How To Remove The ‘Law’ From Mother-in-law / Adorable Mom-in-law

by Mr. Ishwar Parmar | Chapter 6, Act 1

We have all heard the saying that home is where the heart is. Another common saying that we keep on hearing is that home is made not from bricks but from love and care of each of the members. Apart from these, there are other saying as well on the importance of the home for a family. And since the home is so important to any person’s well being, it is important to ensure that there are positive vibes there.

If you can come to a home that relaxes you after the daily grind, provides you with positive reinforcement, and refreshes you, what more do you require? As the lady of the house and elder family member, you play a key role in ensuring that your home is welcoming to not only your family but to your guests as well.

This role is all the more important when you have a daughter-in-law in the house. A perfect scenario will be to not to be stuck with the age old role of a mother-in-law. Rather, in today’s time, it makes more sense to be a mother and treat your daughter-in-law as a daughter. Below are some ways in which you bridge this divide and become the most adorable mother-in- law:

Base your relationship on love

We have all experienced the power of love and things we do when we are in love. As a mother-in-law, if you can base your relationship with your daughter-in-law on love, respect will follow. Sure, love for each other will not happen right away. It will take time, nurturing, and even patience. However, once you reach that stage, things will become smoother between you two.

Appreciate her whenever you can

You know how appreciation helps motivate the other person. Be at home or your workplace, you have seen how positively your family members or colleagues react when you appreciate them.

Every person longs to be acknowledged, to be appreciated. This is true for your daughter-in-law as well. Since she is new to the family, try to appreciate her small contributions. This will motivate her and make her feel more as part of the family.

Help her whenever you can

It is true that a woman has multiple responsibilities even before she becomes a wife. She is a daughter, a sister and even an executive at a company. Now that she is married, she further takes on the role of a wife, a daughter-in-law, and even a sister-in-law.

As a woman, you have been through all these phases and can best understand what your daughter-in-law is going through as a new bride. So, help her out as much as you can. Instil confidence in her abilities, try to comfort her when she is troubled, and help her bridge the gap with other family members. Try to help as a mother would and she would surely reciprocate positively towards you.

Ensure that your decisions are fair

When different members of the family stay together, conflicts are bound to happen. These conflicts can come out in form of emotional outbursts or even verbal confrontations. Be it intentional or unintentional, conflicts will arise in your family time to time.

As the elder member of the family, you need to ensure that no matter As the elder member of the family, you need to ensure that no matter why the conflict arose, it is resolved in a reasonable and fair manner. Also, you will set the tone for the other family members regarding how to resolve conflicts. So, ensure that irrespective of which members of the family were involved in the conflict, you deal with it with fairness. This will not only encourage your daughter-in-law to respect you but also learn this trait and apply it when she takes over the responsibilities from you.

Be the example your daughter-in-law would want to follow

There is a generational gap between you and your daughter-in-law. And because of this gap, a lot of things may be different for you. Being ‘today’s’ woman, your daughter-in-law may have an open mindset and she maybe open in sharing her opinions. Sometimes, you may not approve of these opinions or the way she speaks her mind.

However, it is important to understand that her objective was not to hurt you, but that this is how the current generation thinks. At this stage, you can both get angry and in that anger start yelling at your daughter-in-law. Or, you can decide the stay calm at that moment, cool down for a while, and once the moment has passed, then explain to your daughter-in-law what you thought was wrong. This way, you will achieve two goals. One, you will be able to maintain your dignity as the elder member of the family and the mother-in-law. This is very important as your daughter-in-law will use you as reference for her behaviour.

So, if you yell when you are angry, she will think that it is an acceptable behaviour at home and will act in that way herself. Second, you will be able to teach your daughter-in-law how to resolve conflicts by keeping composure and not having a reactive approach.

She will be able to respect your maturity in handling controversial issues at home and imbibe in herself the need to act maturely during crisis situations.

Choose your words carefully

A key aspect for gaining respect is to give respect. Gone are the days when a mother-in-law could get away by saying anything and the daughter-in-law would not react thinking that it is her mother who is saying all this. Today, the relationship dynamics have changed significantly. The daughter-in-law expects that in her mother-in-law, she would get an advisor and a confidante.

The mother-in-law, on her part, should expect that in her daughter- in-law she will get someone who brings in a different point of view and can add to the unity of the family. As a result, it becomes very important how you phrase your sentences. If you explain your point to your daughter-in-law in clear and normal sentences, chances of her understanding it will be higher. However, if you use taunts, sarcasm, or other hurtful words, your daughter-in-law will not only resent it, but will also not take the advice you were trying to give in the first place. So, if you want your daughter-in-law to really listen to what you are trying to say, then say it in a way that she would want to listen to.

Have a positive outlook

As we have talked about earlier, as a mother- in-law, your behaviour becomes the reference point for your daughter- in-law to replicate at home. Now, in case you are positive person and have a happy-go-lucky attitude, you will send out these positive vibes around you. These vibes will make the other members of the family relaxed, including your daughter-in-law. If you can maintain your cool during the ups and downs of your life, then your daughter-in-law is bound to learn this from you. This learning will help ensure that your family stays in harmony and lives in an environment that is positive and promotes healthy living. Just as you do not like a person who cribs all the time, constantly complains, or even has a negative attitude, your family will also prefer for you to avoid all these negative traits.

Remember, happiness is internal. So no matter how many material possessions you may have, if you are not happy internally, none of these possessions will help. So remember to keep smiling and help others around you smile as well.

Let your daughter-in-law have her own identity

Understand that your daughter-in-law belongs to Gen Y. And as is the case with others in Gen Y, she was raised with freedom to choose her lifestyle, her habits, her clothes, and even her friends. So, it becomes important that once she joins your family, she is given some freedom that allows her to maintain her identity. Let her husband decide what is allowed and what is not.

As the mother-in-law, you should promote an environment where everyone is free to make the choices that they feel are the best. You should act as a mentor and share your advice from time to time. However, let your daughter-in-law make the final decisions regarding her life.

Ensure there is a good communication channel

Since communication is the key to any successful relationship, ensuring that you are approachable as a mother-in-law is crucial. This can only be done once both you and your daughter-in-law reach a comfort level wherein both of you can open up without the fear of judgement.

Reaching this comfort level in the relationship requires time, patience, and a lot of effort. However, once this level is reached, it is beneficial for all the members involved. As the mother-in-law, you can share your life experiences and advice on various facets. On the other hand, your daughter-in-law can help you understand how the current generation thinks as well as her perspective on different things. So, take out the time to ensure that your daughter-in-law feels comfortable in discussing her problems and dreams with you, and you will see how your bond becomes stronger.

Take care of your health

Life has taught you that a person who is healthy is more cheerful, full of energy, and can live life to the fullest. However, an unwell person is devoid of energy and can hardly appreciate the beauty of life. So, to truly ensure that your family lives a healthy life, it is important that you should be the first one to take care of your health.

This means that you should eat well, exercise, and even pursue your hobbies time to time. If you are strong physically, mentally, and emotionally, only then will you be able to nurture and advice your family. So, lead a healthy lifestyles and enjoy the changes that the different phases of life brings. Remember, health is wealth.

To be the most adorable mother-in-law that your daughter-in-law would love and respect, let go of your inhibitions and keep an open mind. The result may pleasantly surprise you.