Ah, to be newlywed. It’s fun and exciting, and even if the two of you have known each other for years, there seems to be a certain freshness in your relationship.
Because now it’s official. Now it’s just the two of you, from here to eternity.
Enter: your new mother-in-law.
If you just cringed, you are definitely not alone. It’s the Pavlovian Response felt the world over: mother-in-law equals absolutely no fun.
Think about it: characters like Jane Fonda’s in Monster in Law and Endora from Bewitched exploit the image of MiLs as overbearing saboteurs who will do anything to make you run crying back to where you belong (the arms of your own mommy).
And it goes further. When you type “mother in law” into Amazon’s book search, how many of the first 12 books are self-help guides to avoid strangling your mother-in-law? 11.
And further still: the Old Testament quotes “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law…” (Micah 7:6).
The battle between newlyweds and mothers is a tale as old as time – how does anyone not dread Thanksgiving with the in-laws?
But, for those of you sans-MiL who are nodding as you read this, thinking, “Yup. That’s exactly how I imagine having a mother-in-law must be,” I am here to tell you you’re wrong. Not to rub it in, but, in a lot of ways, you’re really missing out.
Full disclosure: I have a fantastic mother-in-law. She’s great. She’s nice, and she is considerate, and she helps with the dishes when we have big family dinners, but she has never once tried to vacuum my living room carpet or taken it upon herself to clean my guest bathroom (a common stereotype of “evil mothers-in-law,” or so I have discovered).
A lot of my friends have great mothers-in-law too. Is it a generational thing?
I hear my boss at work grumble about his MiL flying in from Connecticut. I remember my own mother gritting her teeth when Grandma came to town and brought her own towel because “she just didn’t like” the ones we had.
But all my newly-married friends love having their mothers-in-law visit: they go out to lunch, go shopping, talk about books and movies. It’s like getting a new friend who just happens to be older, wiser, and a much better cook.
Is it just me, or are mothers-in-law actually…kind of cool?
The awesome trend of mothers-in-law who are friends and not foes is the best thing that ever happened to the newlyweds of the world. Pro-MiL campaigns, like Mother in Law of the Month, are increasingly popular and I hope finally breaking that monstrous stereotype.
Can you imagine a Hollywood with no more mom-in-law drama to draw from? It sounds nearly too good to be true.
Do you have any good mother-in-law experiences to share in the comments?(photo source)
About the author: Rachel Smith is young and freshly married. She writes for Storkie Express, the online stationery store with some of the coolest wedding invitations, graduation invitations, and baby shower invitations she’s ever seen.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.