6 Things Mothers-In-Law Love to Hearby Meredith Bodgas on May 09, 2012
Whether your husband’s mom is your best friend or pretty close to your worst enemy, certain statements (you know, if you mean them) can get her and keep her on your side. Try any of the below, and you’ll turn into her dream daughter-in-law.
You’ve given me such a great gift — your son.
Even if the magnificent man you married didn’t inherit all his wonderfulness from his mother, chances are some positive traits and habits are her doing. Besides, it’s worth acknowledging that this woman birthed him — or at least raised him. And without her, he wouldn’t be in your life. So thank her for doing her part.
We won’t ever move far away from you.
Many mothers-in-law fear that their sons’ wives will whisk their boys away, miles and miles from them. But if relocating to a farflung destination isn’t on your agenda, let her know. She’ll be relieved it won’t take tons of money and time to visit her child in the future — and that her son will have one less excuse why he can’t come see her.
I want my children to see their grandparents as often as possible.
Another common mother-in-law trepidation: that her daughter-in-law will stand in the way of a meaningful relationship with her future grandchildren. Assure her that that’s not the case without implying that you’ll be relying on her free babysitting services whenever possible.
Related: The Top 10 Lies Women Tell Men
Will you teach me the secrets of being an awesome parent when I have kids?
Oh, how mothers-in-law love it when you ask for their advice — especially on a topic for which they have a lot to give. When you’re a new parent, tried-and-true tricks from a seasoned pro can only help. Plus, a question like this implies you think she did a terrific job with her children. Who doesn’t like a little pat on the back?
You’ll always be my husband’s favorite ____.
Mothers-in-law can be sensitive about suddenly being second-best in their sons’ eyes. So give her one arena where she can continue to reign supreme, whether it’s her cooking prowess or gift-buying know-how. In addition to boosting her ego, you’re endearing her to you by confessing you don’t think you’re better than her in every way.
I’m lucky to have you as my mother-in-law.
If your husband’s mama really is like a second mother to you, let her know and she’ll be touched. But if your relationship is best described as “rocky,” you still may have reason to thank your lucky stars: There’s always a wife who has it much worse with her mother-in-law. Admit that you’re blessed to have her in your life (and leave out the subtext “rather than a serial killer”), and she’ll truly appreciate the sentiment.
Meredith Bodgas is the blogger behind the wedding, marriage, and baby blog MeritalBliss.com. She’s written about weddings for Glamour.com, pregnancy and kids for WhatToExpect.com, and other sexy subjects for women’s publications like Redbook and WomansDay.com. She’s married to her junior high school sweetheart and lives in her native New York. Follow her on Twitter @mereditor.