to ask you to help me put together my guide to being a fab MIL?

(151 Posts)
ilove Sat 04-Jan-14 16:05:19

My son has proposed to his lovely girlfriend, and she has said yes!!!

We're thrilled, but I am also very nervous - I know full well that I'm very likely to be unable to do right for doing wrong as a MIL!!!

So, help me please to put together the MN Ultimate MIL Guide of promises I can give her on the big day...

LookingThroughTheFog Sat 04-Jan-14 16:08:04

The most wonderful thing my MIL does is listen to me. That's not to say she never ventures her own opinion (she does regularly), but she listens to what I'm saying and respects that my point of view is valid.

It's what made her into a friend and eventually a confident, rather than a person who was attached to my husband.

magimedi Sat 04-Jan-14 16:12:28

If in doubt - say nothing!

And I second listening - lots.

Pancakeflipper Sat 04-Jan-14 16:14:49

Oh no - you are going to be a MIL.....

I think you need a nice smile and then I am afraid whatever you do next can be taken offensively ( you cannot win) so good luck..

Have a look on Amazon - the gransnetters put together a Good Granny Guide which might be worth getting.

Spottybra Sat 04-Jan-14 16:20:02

My MIL is really really nice. I could have done far worse. We differ so much its hard for us both but I do try and she is wonderful to me. I think understanding that you are going to differ every now and then but it doesnt have to be a big deal is a good starting point.

LouiseSmith Sat 04-Jan-14 16:20:18

One of the major things my MIL did that drove a wedge between us was always, always sided with her whiter than white son (my ex)

Try and not get involved in there spats. Xx

chanie44 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:21:45

As a dil, I struggled with my Mil's way of doing things was different to mine. As previous poster said, I'm happy to listen to her suggestions, but I have the final word.

I guess it is about give and take on both sides though. Mil does like to spoil the grandchildren, but as they only see her once a week, I can live with it. I know she loved the children and that's good enough for me.

Boaty Sat 04-Jan-14 16:23:45

I'm working on it too and failing miserably with one DIL I have 2 daughter in laws and 1 son in law.
Good luck and if all else fails there is wine
grin

Homebird11 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:24:08

Don't make assumptions. find out about her family background and get to know her as this will influence how she will perceive you and your relationship. Everyone's normal is different.

Crowler Sat 04-Jan-14 16:26:37

My MIL is incredibly eccentric/not normal but I love to her to bits. She treated me like a daughter from the outset, made it clear that she wanted that kind of relationship with me, and this made it possible for us to avoid MIL/DIL pitfalls.

Piscivorus Sat 04-Jan-14 16:27:34

My son has a steady girlfriend and I have always said to her that if I get bossy, over-enthusiastic or start to annoy her in some way then please tell me. I think it also helps to accept that different people have different ways of doing things and there is often no right or wrong way.

For me, one of the key things is to recognise that this is now THEIR life and a MILs role is to listen and advise if asked but never to try to control or to take charge

(Speaking as a DIL can I also point out that MILs who try to manipulate like mine will always be found out grin )

MorrisZapp Sat 04-Jan-14 16:29:07

Just be yourself. No need to be anything else just because your son is getting hitched.

Morgause Sat 04-Jan-14 16:31:31

From what I've seen here on MN the best thing to do is die before you become one!

grin

RustyHalo Sat 04-Jan-14 16:34:01

Don't start every any sentence with "You know I'm not one to interfere but. . ."

Salmotrutta Sat 04-Jan-14 16:35:05

I'm a MIL to a son-in-law.

I treat him like any other family member and keep my own counsel about DD and his lives - they are adults and don't require my interference.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sat 04-Jan-14 16:35:50

If they have a baby, do not insist on being present during the birth. Do not feed the baby chocolate / sweets / beer without permission of the parents.

Salmotrutta Sat 04-Jan-14 16:37:34

Oh, and by the way, if you have common sense you don't really need to buy a "Guide To" book!

wink

Bodypopper Sat 04-Jan-14 16:40:54

My mil and fil now sadly died had 5 kids. I married their baby son!!

They treated me from day 1 (18) with kindness and care and as another 'one of theirs'.

They always said they had done their parenting and would help advise but only when asked/needed.

I remember vividly driving to my mils with my older 2 as babies and her taking over, sending me to her spare bed with a hot water bottle. She would care for the kids for the day and wake me up with a bacon sandwich.

I guess I am saying just be nice.

I am really looking forward to bring a mil if I can get anyone to marry my sons. grin

Tinkertaylor1 Sat 04-Jan-14 16:40:56

To realise your not in competition for your ds affections.
That his priorities have changed.
Make friends with the gate way to your dgc.
Accept you have gained a daughter and treat her accordingly
never get involved with an argument.
never cause an argument.

marzipanned Sat 04-Jan-14 16:41:45

I agree with Homebird. My MIL and I are very different but I think we have a really good relationship. No thanks to me and all thanks to her, to be honest.

With us it has been a bit more complicated as my Mum died when I was little and I think MIL has always wanted to fill that role for me, yet being so completely unlike my Mum, I haven't really let her. But things she has done that I have always really appreciated:

- Made sure that my family's holiday traditions have been observed (when spending Easter, Christmas, etc with DH's side)

- Since his family is all boys, she often treats me to girly things e.g. massages - particularly appreciated during extended family get togethers when I can escape for a couple of hours!

- She keeps track of things I like e.g. we usually do self catering holidays and if there is a piece of kitchen equipment in the villa/chalet that I like, she gets it for me (not saying that you have to go out and go wild spending money. I think it just, again, comes back to Homebird's point about your DIL's tastes etc)

- She NEVER gives me advice unless it's solicited

- OTOH if I have a problem she goes to whatever lengths needed to resolve it

- She defers to me regarding DH e.g. she buys him clothes quite regularly, which I love as I hate shopping, but she always checks that it's okay with me that does it

- She has always copied me in on all family related emails. Though probably because I'm way more organised than DH and otherwise we'd never actually make it to aforementioned family events and holidays.

All in all I consider myself very lucky. The only thing she does that bugs me that you could easily avoid...

- Talking about your kids' childhood as if it was the best one in the world EVER. I know she doesn't mean it but to me it feels like she's belittling my own parents.

Congratulations to you all smile

nobutreally Sat 04-Jan-14 16:41:58

Ahhh, congratulations to your ds! I love my MIL - she's nothing like me, but I get on with her really well. Things she does:
- always made a point of complimenting me/my parenting/my kids
- never offered advice or her opinion unless it was asked for (it very rarely was!)
- followed my lead on anything to do with our wedding/her grandchildren - even when it was (subtly) clear it wasn't to her taste
- treated me equally to her son (Ito birthday/Christmas presents)I was bemused by this initially but now find it very endearing

She was fabulous in the run up to our wedding - supportive, excited but never interfering, and one of my favourite wedding photos is of the two of us, when she first saw me in my dress <sniff>

russianmule Sat 04-Jan-14 16:45:18

Try not to overstay your welcome, by hours and hours when you've "just popped in for a quick coffee" I dread them visiting as it is always a marathon. It would of been lovely to see Mil for a chat but really all day without an invite is just too much.

insummeritrains Sat 04-Jan-14 16:46:45

Listen, care, offer help and have lots going on in your own life.

My own MIL is possessive of DH, to the point where it just pushes me away. She's also only interested in the needs of herself and FIL and they come first, it's as if she wants to recreate their old family unit with my DC.

She's also obsessed with what we're doing, the little every day things, she needs to know everything. She used to call DH around 3 times a day until we kindly told her it was too much. She flounced and now barely calls at all, only to DH when he's at work confused

DP and I aren't married but I think of his Mum as MIL, she is really lovely, things she does that I appreciate are,

Listen to me, my word is law as far as the kids go, if she has something to say she'll keep shtum or quietly have a word, she won't undermine me in front of the kids.

Offers help, repeatedly, and support. I'm the sort of person that is too embarrassed to ask so MIL offering is always a blessing.

Takes an interest in my life - I mean my hobbies, work etc. it's nice to have a chat with someone about my stuff as well as the kids/DP.

Ultimately she treats me with respect and like I'm part of the family.

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