being a mom

Be Nice To Your Mother-In-Law, One Day You Might Be One

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be nice to mother in lawI think we should all be nicer to our mothers-in-law.

Now, before you lay into me, let me tell you one thing. I understand. Your mother-in-law is the absolute worst and you hate her and she hates you and she deserves it. I really, really, really get it. My mom is my husband’s mother-in-law, and we’ve both agreed that he drew the short straw.

But if you could, for one moment, remember; one day, there is a real possibility that you will be a mother-in-law.One day, your son or daughter might fall in love with someone and marry them, and the tables will be fully turned. You will be the mother-in-law.

I ask you; If you cut a mother-in-law, does she not bleed?

You know, I actually empathize with mothers-in-law that are meddling or clingy or cut eyes at you when you’re hanging out at family dinner. I mean, I don’t think that there’s an excuse for being a human trash can to someone whose only transgression was pairing off with your kid, but I guess I can kind of see where they’re coming from.

I guess I just think that, as cliche as it sounds, you won’t be able to imagine what your mother-in-law is feeling until the day you become one. It might not be the easiest thing in the world.

Even now, if my kid takes to someone who isn’t me, I get all snitty internally, especially if they’re an adult. How dare this adorable Kindergarten teacher come in and steal my child’s affection? Who does this bitch think she is? I mean, most of us won’t even take advice from the childfree or other parents, because there’s that underlying feeling that no one can know or love our children like we do. And that’s true. But if I let that jealousy fester, I’m just going to end up bitter and shitty to anyone my daughter ends up loving, and that might include my future son or daughter in-law.

I also believe in the power of sucking up. I had a professor once who I swore hated me, and I hated her right the fuck back. It didn’t matter what she did, every word she said to me was proof that she was a horrible soul-sucking harpybeast. Then, one night when I was plastered, I found this stupid cat figurine in a gift shop that reminded me of this dumb picture of a cat that she kept on her desk. I presented it without comment, and she got all teary-eyed. Turns out, that picture was of her dead cat, and this little gesture of niceness didn’t turn us into besties, but at least we could be near each other.

I’m not suggesting that you debase yourself or take abuse from someone, but you can always try to empathize. And hey–if it doesn’t work, you can at least say that you did your best.

(Image: imtmphoto/Shutterstock)