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

(197 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...

Purplepoodle Tue 11-Feb-14 22:10:12

I have a nice mil the only things she has done that really annoy me are:

Expecting dc1 to stay whole weekend with her, every weekend when he was only 6 months and I was working ft - led to a bit of a fall out.

Spends more on dh at birthdays and Christmas where my parent spend the same on both of us.

Had comments about bf, holding too much yet she is very possessive of grand kids

On the plus she can see dh's faults and never takes sides in an argument. She has probably saved our marriage several times by mediating

ilove Tue 26-Jan-16 21:13:16

I'm resurrecting this because we have now got a date for the wedding, and a venue, and they've booked the church, photographer and she has her dress!!!

I think I've done ok with her/them the last couple of years - treat them totally equally and include her automatically for all family stuff. Chat to her and text/message her to see how she is, separate to my son too.

So, any further advice from anyone?

CrohnicallyAspie Tue 26-Jan-16 21:17:40

Don't forget your DIL's birthday.

ilove Tue 26-Jan-16 21:51:30

Ah no, have remembered each year and bought her presents I know she wants/likes. Also remember her parents birthdays too

dobbythedoggy Wed 27-Jan-16 00:05:51

ilove you sound so lovely! I'd love it if you'd addopt my dh so I could have you as my mil.

It sounds like you love and respect your future dil and in the end I think that's what really matters. When I compare you to my mil you seem like the total opposite and seem to have the ablitity to think about other people's feelings not just your own.

Just by thinking about this it feels like you're going to be alright.

My biggest tips would be.

- Respect your ds and dil as indivuduals and their own unit.
- Get to know your dil as a person, not just the person who is now responsable for your son and a vesle for future grandchildren.
- Don't react like a toddler when told no. Respect their wishes when they've made a decison even if it means you don't get what you want.
- Don't expect her to cast of her family. Don't get upset when your son builds a relationship with him. Think of ds and dil as their own family unit.
- Don't expect them to be able to dedicate whole days to you each week or month if they are working long weeks or hours. I worked 50 hours a week plus overtime at weekends, so couldn't spend every tuesday with mil and gmil. Dh now has a job where his on call 5 or 6 days a week and has to stay close to home so he can't visit 2 or 3 times a week like he did when he worked down the road, 1 a month is a big commitment currently.
- If you miss multipul calls from one of them return them.
- Don't make assumtions. Issue invites, not demands and give them notice, not a let them know a couple of hours before hand.
- Never ever tell them they need to share, it's unfair etc!
- Don't compare what they do with others to their relationship with you.

But reading your posts it sounds like you understand boudaries already.

My exs mum was fabulous and I'm still very close with her despite 8 years of marriage to dh and a very short relationship with her son. She's like an extra grandmother to my dd, but fear she might become that mil as she tends to ram her relationship with me and dd down her future dil's throat!

Best thing she did and does for me is listen and has the knack of working out people's feels on subjects before engaging with them on them. So if I ever ask for advice she asks me how I feel about the situation and what I've tried before offering any sort of advice of her own. It feels like it takes away any form of judment.

Best policy is if you are ever having problems with her or ds is have a trusted friend you can moan to rather than her, ds, or other members of your family. Someone who will pull you up if you're being a lunitic or unreasonable before you make a hash of it. I use this idea with regards to mil, bil and my own lovely mum and it keeps relations a lot smoother.

blueturtle6 Wed 27-Jan-16 08:21:06

Be respectful of boundaries, sometimes they won't visit all the tine as will have other plans. Invite them for dinner and ask about their wedding plans, offer advice on marriage, the first year is hard than expected. And when they have children show an interest, offer to help and go out of way to show you are excited. Congratulations to your son and future dil

redexpat Wed 27-Jan-16 08:36:17

This is a good phrase: Id like to be involved in xyz, what could I do to help? My MIL is bloody wonderful. Dotes on the GC, cooks, babysits, knits comedy balaclavas for thhe GC.

CraftyMissus Wed 27-Jan-16 08:41:51

My MIL has always been fab... I love her to bits.

Her policy is "I won't tell unless asked and I won't ask to pry"

Although saying that she does occasionally ask hubby "when did you last take your wife out on a date?" If he hesitates she tells us to stop our visit with her and go to the nice pub/cafe /farm shop nearby!

Trickydecision Wed 27-Jan-16 09:28:40

Be prepared to be heartbroken if your DS and his adorable GF split up and accept there is nothing you can do about it (but keep fingers crossed they will get back together - current situation with DS1).

Be prepared to be incredibly relieved if one of your DCs splits up with an appalling GF or BF ( and keep fingers crossed that they will not get back together - current situation with DS2) .

Ultimately remember that it is not your children's mission in life to make you hapoy, you have to let them make their own choices and you have to make the best of it and support them.

AlwaysDancing1234 Wed 27-Jan-16 09:46:23

Just the fact that you are worrying about this means that you are already 90% of the way there! You sound lovely.
Lots of listening, try not to judge too much even when it seems like they are doing silly things (especially if/when kids come along).
Don't try and wear white to the wedding!

ilove Wed 27-Jan-16 10:24:20

Dobby I'll adopt you if you want haha.

DS and FDIL (future DIL) have both said they're glad I'm so laid back about the wedding - her mum is stressing her out because she is SO excited, which I understand as FDIL is an only child, so obviously her mum has been waiting for this day for a very long time and has lots of ideas about how it should go. I'm good friends with the mum now, so I've been able to let her offload to me instead of FDIL which I think has been good for FDIL and DS, as FDIL gets very stressed and it's not good!

The irony of the whole thing is that I know full well I CAN be one to take over and arrange stuff, and I've sat on my hands and kept my mouth shut for the last two years - very proud of myself haha!!

ilove Thu 28-Jan-16 22:06:13

Ugh. I need to stop reading the shit MIL threads. Or some of MN until after they are married. I really, really hope he doesn't resent me just because I'm his mum

TheExMotherInLaw Thu 28-Jan-16 23:34:28

It sounds as if you are doing ever so well!
Deflecting the stress from her mum is an amazing achievement.
The fact that you care enough to be concerned is great; if DIL is a good person, then you have it cracked. Getting on with her mum as well, to me, anyway, shows that the families work well together.

As you can see by my name I'm an ex MIL. I hated my dd's husband from the getgo, but tried my best to get on with him, not to interfere, but was so glad when she left the controlling git. My ds partner was a friend of dd's, but cast me into the role of evil MIL, even tho I did try hard to get on with them, and I do miss them now they've left. (not forgiven for breaking ds heart, tho)

However, they both have lovely new partners. I've told them both that they now have an extra home. They both know how I like my cuppa!
I scarcely know ds partner, but like her immensely - she makes him smile.
DD's partner is wonderful, we get on well - they live nearer. I told him early on that if I mess up, he's to tell me, and I reckon he will, too!
All the very best, future MIL!

a1992 Fri 29-Jan-16 07:26:50

I just got married nearly 3 months ago. My top tip is do not get your other children to basically call her a gold digging whore and accuse her of being a bitch amongst other things a couple of days before the wedding. And then side with that child and wonder why your dil is pissed. Or ignoring her family at the wedding, making comments about how you only have a daughter now as your sons gone.

Can you tell I still haven't forgiven that.

I do recommend just being nice, even if it hurts. The old adage of if you don't have something nice to say then don't speak really applies. And take an interest in her life and don't blame her for things your son chooses or does not choose to do.

Clearoutre Fri 29-Jan-16 09:03:18

This thread is slightly triggering! (Obviously 100% unintentional OP!!)

I have alternative advice: don't think of yourself as an MiL at all, after the wedding day you'll still be you and you sound lovely!

If you've developed strong relationships with friends, family and colleagues then there's no reason to think you don't already have what it takes.

Let your relationship form over time, get to know each other as individuals and the rest will come naturally. Forcing a new relationship or a new sense of closeness that doesn't currently exist might end up failing.

A good MiL/DiL relationship isn't one thing that you can write down and adhere to forever it's different for everyone and even then it will change over time as with all relationships. This is where your incredible sociable instincts will come into their own!

Too alternative?

Dowser Fri 29-Jan-16 09:19:06

Never fall out.

grannytomine Fri 29-Jan-16 09:22:28

Well it works two ways, I had a mil and she was challenging to say the least. She would say the most inappropriate things and liked to stir it. On the other hand I have a dil, well 2 actually but to concentrate on one, I help with childcare, pick them up from school and feed them and do homework 3 or 4 nights a week. Have them to stay every Saturday night. Have them alot in school holidays. As babies often got calls to say she "couldn't cope" and rushed over to have them for another few days, starting when they were a month old. I get shouted at if the washing I do for them isn't satisfactory (have you used enough softener, was it a 40 wash it should have been 30 etc) At Christmas I didn't even get a card let alone a gift. By the way she isn't with my son now so his present is a different matter. She gets financial support from my son and CB and CTC and FSM, she has a boyfriend living with her but I don't think it is declared. I am never offered anything for petrol, school isn't within walking distance to me, or food. I have suggested to my son that maybe he should talk to her about giving me some of the child support as they eat at my house more than hers.

My other dil and I get on well, she appreciates help, is considerate about giving me notice if she needs help etc.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 29-Jan-16 09:42:44

iamslave ...as far as I see on aibu a MIL is always wrong

pick the baby up....not allowed/babystealing
leave the baby in moses basket...not allowed/uncaring and uninterested

drop by for a visit..intrusive and rude
don't drop by...uninvolved, uncaring and aloof

invite dil to Christmas...selfish, disruptive, traditionstealingbitch
don't invite dil to Christmas...selfish, RUDE, not inclusive and obviously hates the dil and gc.

Just be you OP, f you get on with her already, carry on in the same vein and I am sure all will be well

I intend to be a lovely mil, who cooks the best things and feed any grandbabies cake ALL the time (post baby led weaning natch!)
I am already complaining I do not get my hands on dd's friends baby enough.

I'm already screwed as far as ds1 is concerned, he already rebuffed his (on/off/on again/off again) girlfriend's Christmas dinner a couple of years back as he told her he HAD to be here.....little weasel. She is lovely, but shy as hell, and apparently we are all scary. 8)

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 29-Jan-16 09:46:11

insert apostrophe as appropriate in my previous post <tuts>

ilove Fri 29-Jan-16 11:52:05

I really think some of you need adopting!! Your MIL's/DIL's sound dreadful!

Me and DH are going to her parents' tonight for dinner, which will be lovely. We do get on very well - although DS and FDIL are a little nervous about that fact, and say it was never supposed to happen this way haha!!

KurriKurri Fri 29-Jan-16 14:18:18

I hope I'm a good MIL - I certainly love my DDIL to pieces - we hit it off straight away. My advice is much the same as anyone elses -

They are adults - they make their own decisions , I never comment on them I support them in all their choices..

I let them know I am always there if they need me for anything - help support, money (if i have it) and they only have to ask - I will always help if I can.

I regularly tell my DDIL I love her and she is the best thing that ever happened to my DS (it is true) (She will also regularly FB message me with 'love you xx' and it's lovely when a message from her pops up)

I listen to her when she needs a shoulder, and I listen to her advice when I need one (she is much more sensible and grown up than me in many ways)

Obviously I remember her birthday and often buy little things I think she might like at other times - just as I would my DD, she is in my thoughts as much as my DS and DD are, she is my family. I can't even bear to think of them ever splitting up - it would break my heart.

I am good friends with her Mum, who is a lovely person, and I accept that her Mum is exactly that, they have a very close relationship and if DDIL and DS decide to have children then I'm sure as most daughters would she will turn to her mum for help and advice far more than she would to me. But I'll always be willing and up for babysitting, and I bet me and her Mum will plan all sorts of double granny trips together grin

In short I adore her - my DS really got lucky when they met, she has turned his life around in a way I never could have done - he was drifting and she gave him purpose.

I hope you have a great relationship with your DDIL - sounds as if you are doing a pretty good job smile

shutupandshop Fri 29-Jan-16 14:34:04

Don't turn ip when dil in labour then refuse to go home for 3 days until dh sends you home.

Listen to dil and except she has her own ways

Don't take dil's baby when it is 1 day old and refuse to give it back

Don't do things in the house unless you have checked its ok

DrDreReturns Fri 29-Jan-16 14:58:09

When saying thank you for a meal that both you DIL and DS have prepared, remember to thank both of them, not just your DS.
When referring to something the couple own jointly (e.g. the house) try not to say 'DS's house' - include your DIL in the phrase somehow.
My Mum does both the above and it annoys DW - I have had words with my Mum.
Also, if you are introducing your son's family to friends remember to include your DIL (I'm looking at you DF).
If you ask about something and are told it's private don't keep on asking about it.

ClaraLane Fri 29-Jan-16 16:13:28

My tip is to try and make sure you treat your children fairly because your DIL will notice if you treat her and your DS differently to your DD and her fiancé and they will talk about it between themselves as a couple and it will upset them.

I would also say that you need to understand they have their own life together now and if they only have one day off a week together due to work patterns please don't be upset if they choose to spend it alone instead of running round swing everybody in the family. I love my family and DP's family very much but quite frankly I don't want to spend our only day off running between 4 sets of grandparents and 2 parents because I'm shattered and still have a house to run!

If you tell them you'd like to contribute to their wedding and ask for a list of items to choose from please come forward with what you'd like to help with instead of forcing us to have an awkward conversation about it with you. We'd be more than happy for you to just turn up on the day but if you want to contribute please tell us what your plans are so we can save accordingly.

The one thing I love about my future MIL is even if she comes round and the house is a tip with washing up needing doing and the floors needing vacuuming she will never say anything to me about it. She understands we both work hard and that sometimes housework isn't a priority. She also doesn't judge me for not ironing every single thing like she does!

Please just accept they are adults and they have their own lives and don't ask them to cancel previously made plans for a last minute get-together and then sulk when they won't do it. Especially if they gave you three other dates they could do but you're busy on all of them and don't want to cancel your plans...

blessedwithtwo Fri 29-Jan-16 16:39:39

The fact that you even posted this OP I really don't think you have anything to worry about. You sound lovely

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