Mother-in-law vs daughter-in-law: how to possibly get along.

You’ve probably heard plenty of story about in law from hell. Be it mother in law or daughter in law.

These two hardly get along! Even if they eventually do get along, usually it’s preceded by a rough start.

Well, recently I had the honour to have my in law staying with us for two months….I know Elle will probably roll her eyes and say ‘get over it already!’ as her experience with in law…mine can’t compare.

Anyway, I was pretty nervous at the start but someone (read: L) told me I’ll be fine, so I took her words, you know. I trust her and her judgement. I became confident, after all, I’m one of those kid who you would love to hate. You know the type your mom would want you to be friends with because she’s such “a good influence”. Old people love me! Yes, they do!

Let’s just say, by the end of the visit, I couldn’t stop asking myself this question:  WHAT THE HELL WENT WRONG?

I’m certain that they wished they hadn’t come and they would never come again.

I was determined to be the best daughter-in-law, attend to their every needs, and assure them that their son is in good hands.

Oh boy, was I very optimistic! I’m no difference from all the other daughter-in-laws out there. I’m pretty sure their image of this sweet angelic daughter-in-law has tarnished and now I’m one of those daughter-in-law from hell.

Back to the question, what went wrong? I think I may have the answer after many days of pondering after they left. I think this may be what’s wrong with every pair of mother-daughter in law out there who don’t get along.

Your mother-in-law is NOT your mother.

Your daughter-in-law is NOT your daughter.

So don’t treat them as such.

“I think of you like my own daughter” may sound sweet and affectionate but in reality, I say this is the root of all evil!

In law comes from a different family, with a different set of habits and values. You know those annoying habits of your partner that you don’t like but you put up with it because you love him/her? Most likely the parents will have the same habits. And when you don’t have the sort of love you have for your partner to be able to put up with it, you’ll go crazy if you have to live with it.

So I think the answer to this is to not get too comfortable around your in law. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT treat them like your own mother/daughter. Treat them like a guest.

For mother-in-law:

If you’re in her house, behave like a guest. Don’t just barge in and try to fix everything, go through her stuffs, point out all that looks wrong, and clean all the mess like you would in your daughter’s house. If she’s in your house, treat her like a guest, don’t expect her to know where everything is, to cook her own meals, help you with chores without being told, and to know all the house rules.

For daughter-in-law:

If you’re in her house, behave like a guest. Don’t get too comfortable and laze around expecting to be served. Offer to help, follow their rules. Ask when you don’t know where things are or how things work. If she’s in your house, treat her like a guest. Don’t expect her to pick up after you, to know where everything is, and to put up with your sour face like your mom would.

I think if we follow this simple rules, hopefully peace of the house can be kept.

I hope I will remember this when I have a daughter in law of my own. Please refer me back to this post when that day comes!