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How to be good MIL

(30 Posts)
lndngg Thu 22-Dec-16 12:34:06

My MIL has pretty consistently made our lives difficult - I won't go into the details but she has suggested my husband leave us several times, including once when I very ill and ended up in hospital. Both my husband and myself have been to therapy and invited her back into our lives several times for us to always end up hugely disappointed, I've very confident that at this stage the problem isn't us.

I have boys and am terrified of the same thing happening when they are older. Please tell me there are other people who get on with their MILs! What does a normal relationship look like? Obvs at he point with my current MIL when I feel we have to protect our family but thinking of my relationship with my boys in the future.

StCecilia Thu 22-Dec-16 12:46:46

Treat your future DIL as you'd want to be treated.

I have two DSs and figure this will be the way to go.

crje Thu 22-Dec-16 13:02:47

My mil has forgotten her link to our family is her son, not me!!
He is very capable but she still thinks it's up to women to organise gifts,events etc

I have three ds
I'm hoping they will be straight with me and we can always chat.
If my dil are hard work
I'd be very happy for them to stay away & I'll just get on with the lads as usual. I've got no expectations of being the waltons.

pithivier Thu 22-Dec-16 15:26:54

I am lucky enough to have 2 wonderful DiLs and a SIL. I say lucky, because I am sure there have been times when my words or actions might have irritated them. Fortunately, they have always been gracious enough not to complain and have welcomed me into their homes with generosity and kindness.

So my advice, offer to help in an unobtrusive way and don't be offended if your help is not required.
Never proffer advice, never compare and never say ' in my day'
Don't make assumptions about their domestic or financial situation.
Don't gossip about them, don't speak to others about what help you have given.
When you are in their home, always remember you are a guest.
Be grateful always that your child has found someone to love and who loves them.

lndngg Fri 23-Dec-16 07:31:32

Thanks for the advice ladies, that is all reassuring and helpful!

drinkyourmilk Fri 23-Dec-16 07:40:06

My mil and I get on well- we simply speak the truth. If she's irritated me we talk about it, and vice versa. She's terrified to give her true opinion on thing's like parenting, because her mum was awful to her husband and it caused bad feelings. I've encouraged her to have her say- because otherwise it eats her up. Opinions are fine, orders aren't. My mil helped me choose my wedding dress (my mum didnt), has been to scans etc - I think she's fab, but for me it's because she doesn't play games and speaks openly. That works for us.

Greenteandchives Fri 23-Dec-16 07:57:27

I am a mil. I am aware that my dils are my ds's next of kin, not me. They are grown men and my job is done with regards to raising them to make their own choices. I am very happy that my dils make my dss happy. Maybe the secret is that I still really love my husband and we are lucky enough to enjoy being together, and getting on with our own lives, so I don't feel the need to meddle with my sons relationships or be needy about seeing my sons.
I only visit if invited. Neither are local. I don't pass negative comments on how they live whatever I might think. It is none of my business.

ASqueakingInTheShrubbery Fri 23-Dec-16 08:02:46

My MIL is brilliant. She helps loads, but doesn't interfere. She listens to the way we do things with DD, and we can talk about how she did things differently with hers, but she accepts the decisions DH and I have made. I've always tried hard to show that she's equally as important as my mum, in wedding planning, in family celebrations and in spending time with DD. I want her to be equally included because I like her and DD adores her, and she doesn't need to be pushy because she's not feeling pushed out so doesn't need to be defensive. It works both ways but the starting point is that I am lucky, she is nice and kind and understands that DH has grown up and left home. It may also help that she had a lot of support from her MIL when her kids were little.

AdelindSchade Fri 23-Dec-16 08:06:14

I love my mil of nearly twenty years. She is there if we need her, although we don't abuse this. She's very close to dd but doesn't interfere or pass judgement on anything.. She has a life of her own and we respect each others boundaries.

arsenaltilidie Fri 23-Dec-16 08:12:23

Teach your DS how to tidy up, clean and cook a decent meal.

wobblywonderwoman Fri 23-Dec-16 08:16:40

I love my mil - there are little things that irritate (she believes in wife work and when I had two babies in less that 15 months and went into hosptial- she sent washing for me to do rather than dh)

But she does not intrude in our lives. She is very complimentary and rings me often to tell me I am a great mother. She knows I feel the same about her.

I suppose, be there but let them live...

wobblywonderwoman Fri 23-Dec-16 08:17:27

She went into hospital

ImYourMama Fri 23-Dec-16 08:43:51

I love my MIL, she's caring, pleasant and is just very happy her son is happy with me. Her only fault is she bitches about SIL to me, things like their house being untidy etc, but I tend to agree blush

BertrandRussell Fri 23-Dec-16 08:47:49

Don't expect to have any sort of relationship with your son or your grandchildren which is not mediated through your dil. Remember that he has his "little family" now which does not include you.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Fri 23-Dec-16 08:53:23

My MIL is lovely, I think it helps that we have a lot in common and she is easy to get along with. Things we disagree on like Brexit we don't really discuss and I think she is really pleased that DH is with me as I think she sees more of him and they get on better since we have been together. I think she is a nice person and everyone likes her. Friends whose MILs are a nightmare seem to find that it's not only the DILS who think they are hard work.

Maddaddam Fri 23-Dec-16 08:57:28

My MIL was fine. We weren't V close but never argued. Basically, we had a rule. DP dealt with all issues with his family and I dealt with mine. Also we each cooked for our own relatives and did all the hosting for them. And we each sorted the presents and arrangements for our own families. It worked well.

Also probably worked cos my own parents are V difficult so my ILs though not perfect were a whole lots easier than my parents.

pithivier Fri 23-Dec-16 08:57:40

Don't 'expect' it, but be grateful to your Dil or SiL, if you can maintain it. When my eldest was suffering from depression, my DiL organised a mini break for him and me USA. She said, "he needs his mum at the minute. They had been married 6 months and because of an outside influence in his life, things just overwhelmed him.

She knew how grateful I was to her long before that. When he met her she totally turned his life around for the better.

Apachepony Fri 23-Dec-16 08:58:28

Don't expect to have any sort of relationship with ds which is not mediated by the dil? What kind of bollocks is this? I don't mediate any relationship between my dh and his mother. Imagine if you said don't imagine having any relationship with your daughter which is not mediated by her husband? The husband would be considered a controlling git, and rightly!

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Fri 23-Dec-16 08:58:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoItTooJulia Fri 23-Dec-16 09:00:00

I came onto say similar to arse it starts with raising capable men.

Once you've nailed that surely, it's about being 'normal' and honest. By normal I mean no weird expectations that your dil can't live up to, and generally treating her how you'd have liked to have been treated in a similar position.

But ultimately you might not like each other and thats the minefield. How you navigate that I don't know!

Astro55 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:05:24

My MIL issue was that she would come and stay - and revert back to mother and son relationship - shed jump up and make him tea /breakfast when he should be doing it for a guest and that he's capable

She'd fuss round him constantly like a toddler - horrible to watch

Don't assume things - and listen to DIL - leave the baby asleep - don't grab the baby - look how they dress him/her and follow their lead - don't turn up at the hospital unless invited -

smilingsarahb Fri 23-Dec-16 09:20:58

I like my mother in law and I've always respected she is my husbands mum and haven't tried to compete, I see mum and wife as totally different roles and have on many occasions sent DH off to talk to his mum and get her support. I think being someone's only emotional support is hard and I like knowing DH has more than just me to turn to.. I find some of things people complain about their mother in laws doing a bit odd to be honest. One friend got very upset her MIL did their ironing and others getting cross their DH tries to maintain any sort of regular contact with their parents. But I appreciate I am lucky that she is fundamentally a nice person and not crazy and not interfering. There have been some moments of tension about the children as she has different ideas on diet and routine to me. It would have been totally fine if she was just visiting but she wanted to look after them one day a week when I went back to work. I have DS only and being the MIL is a big worry to me. I've seen so many friends be quite unjust to be honest. Learning from my MIL, she never says anything negative about her DIL which could later be held against her, she never comes uninvited, she helps in practical ways like waiting in for deliveries and she never offers advice that isn't directly solicited. She cooks a very nice roast dinner too and she doesn't get into hysterics about christmas day.

Astro55 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:39:18

I do think that's the issue 'I see mum and wife as different roles'

MIL would come in take over the kitchen do the ironing and generally ignore the kids

My mum would come round talk to me as a adult and play day games with the kids - take them out from under my feet

You need to be gran without interfering with their home - unless you 'help' rather than interfere

MerylPeril Fri 23-Dec-16 09:53:02

My MIL hated her MIL for being critical/mean/nosey
Guess what - she was the same with me!

Learn from experience I would say.

Respect the fact your child is in a relationship and it takes priority over yours.
When FIL died my MIL thought DH would move home (leave me and baby) to replace him.

2ndSopranos Fri 23-Dec-16 09:55:59

Accept that there's another capable woman in your son's life. Be proud that he's independent and making a jolly good go of adulthood.

Don't interfere.

Accept that his dw might have family traditions she'd like to uphold, too, and don't be selfish.

Celebrate their achievements and if they have dc, tell them of they're doing a good job. Making his dw feel guilty for working and guilty for using childcare isn't fair. Dw might actually earn more than your son.

Don't undermine their parenting.

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