Some women nail being a mum from day one. And once their offspring grow up and decide to get married, then they nail being a mother-in-law as well. They are just the right amount of supportive, sweet and sensitive without being too overbearing.
But then there are some mothers-in-law that don’t quite get it. If you aspire to that role and want to ensure pure awkwardness at every family gathering, here’s our simple guide of what you need to do.
Step one: Assume you’re still number one
Yes, you’re still the Mum. But wifey gets to come first now. It’s how it works.
Step two: Invite yourself into the master bedroom (and reorganise it while you’re at it)
Sorry, but master bedroom is off limits for all time.
Step three: Compare … everything
Like how you raised your children versus how your daughter-in-law chooses to raise hers and how hard life was back then versus how easy it is now … And make sure you also passively-aggressively suggest that your way is right. That will end well.
Step four: Criticise your daughter-in-law’s awful cooking
Even if the meal tastes like crusty toothpaste, you chew, you smile and you swallow.
Step five: Take it upon yourself to your daughter-in-law’s laundry
Because there is nothing more uncomfortable for everyone than having someone other than you (or your partner) touching your dirty underwear. For the love of avoiding awkwardness, stay away from the laundry pile. Knock yourself out with the dishes though …
Step six: Play marriage counsellor
And make sure you bring up the following topics often: sex, weight gain or loss, exes and any sentence that starts with, “When I was your age …”
Step seven: Buy the grandkids toys that sing, roar or recite the alphabet continuously
Because what mother doesn’t love hearing these toys on repeat for four hours a day (and then having to make a trip to the shops to grab more expensive batteries because the damned thing stopped roaring).
Step eight: Provide the kids with copious amounts of sugar after 5pm
Be prepared for a vendetta.
Step nine: Complain about everything
It’s too hot. The chair isn’t comfortable. The kids are being too loud. The television is tuned to a children’s channel … that is bound to end really well.
Step ten: And, finally, attempt to change everything the way you would do it
Yes, you’ve had years of experience doing it, but let the rookie have a go. And try not to micro-manage.
The bottom line – things are going to be different. But just remember, your daughter-in-law is trying her best. And she loves your son and your grandkids. And that’s what matters.
You can always rearrange her atrocity of a Tupperware drawer and add some salt to her terrible attempt at spag bol when she’s not looking.
Just blame it on your son …