The Perfect Mother-in-law

I’m sure we all have a story (or two) to share about our mother-in-laws, but here are 3 great tips for keeping the peace.


by Nikki Pennington | staff writer for The Snap Mom

I imagine when you first opened this article you expected me to tell you I have the perfect mother-in-law. Or you expected me to provide tips and tricks on how to turn your mother-in-law into the perfect one. You won’t get that from this article, but I can assure you that you might walk away with a different perspective on your mother-in-law.

Nobody has the perfect mother-in-law. Yes, they may be an amazing person, but they still do things that at some point will begin to aggravate us. That is just reality. I know this because all mother-in-laws are human!

I don’t camouflage the fact that my relationship with my mother-in-law has been anything but perfect over the last nine years. I say that not to be mean, but because I want to be completely honest and open in this article. I want to help someone else that is in a rut with their mother-in-law. I want to share with you how your expectations of your mother-in-law could be hindering your relationship with her.

Here are three things to keep in mind the next time your mother-in-law does something that aggravates you, whether it is the first time or the hundredth time.

1. She is not your mother:

You see, my own mother set the bar pretty high on how to be an amazing mother. She knew me better than anyone; she knew how to calm me down. She knew how to calm my fears, how to guide me through tough situations in life. She called me every day, texted me, remembered important events and cared about my life. I expected my mother-in-law to be the same way, do the same things and act in the same manner. Wrong. Having high expectations for someone that is not your own mother is only going to lead to heartache. Appreciate it when she remembers things, texts, calls and invests in your interests – but when she doesn’t, don’t take it personally.

2. Her Parenting Style is Different:

Chances are she is going to treat you like her own daughter. This will involve mothering you the way she mothered her own children. This will be completely different from how your own mother raised you. She might barely call you and talk or she might call you every second and want to talk for hours. One way might annoy you more than the other. Just keep in mind when she contacts you, she is thinking of you and that counts.

3. It’s Not All About You:

Maybe she’s always been amazing with you and then out of the blue she starts doing something to annoy you. Maybe she calls less and less, stops by less and less. Maybe when she does call she’s short with you. Keep in mind, she has a life and other things going on. Her acting out might have nothing to do with you and everything to do with something else going on in her life at the time. Try not to take it personally and instead of getting upset or annoyed stop and take the time to give her a call. Ask her if everything is going ok, if there is anything she has on her mind she would like to talk about. If she declines just let her know you are there if she needs to talk.

At the end of the day your mother-in-law is someone you should respect as your husband’s mother. She is also human and not perfect. Remember she is a person with feelings and real life problems. Take the time to treat her like your best friend and don’t place such high expectations on her. You might find with a different perspective that you can have a better relationship with your mother-in-law.

Feature image: Getty Images

About the author:

nikki admin

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey.