Reel life often portrays a relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law distressing and competitive. But, in real life, those are only a few that stands up to this common relationship portrayal. On the contrary, bonding with your mother-in-law isn’t as hard as the movies and serials have painted them to be. And just like any other relationship, all it will take effort, acceptance, and compromise.
Needless to say, forming a wholesome bond with your partner makes it imperative for you to connect with his family, and vice-versa. For some women, it’s an easier path, and for others, it might take some effort. You don’t have to be best friends, but getting along smoothly makes life easier for you, your partner and his family. Luckily, there are many ways to bond with your mother-in-law. Outlined below are 8 of them to get you started.
Get To Know Her
Often, we only perceive our mother-in-law as an extension to our partner. But, they have had a life of their own. It would be nice to hear all about her childhood, her experiences growing up, raising a family, her interests, etc. She can also tell you about her future plans – possibly a business idea, or any classes she wants to take and you can pitch in some of your valuable suggestions to the same. The key is to go slow and be thoughtful with your questions. You don’t want to look like you’re prying.
Find Things You Have In Common, And Do Them With Her
A superb way to connect with your MIL, or anyone really, is to start a conversation about something you both like. Let’s say you both love gardening, or Yoga, or possibly a TV show, like Bigg Boss. The basic point is to find these interests and talk more about them. Or if you live with your MIL, join yoga classes together. If not, talk about how her yoga session went today, what did she learn, etc.
If not anything, you’ll always a common point to talk about always – your spouse. Ask her what he was like growing up, his childhood interests, or something similar. This will lift the focus off you and take it a person who you mutually love and care about.
Go To A Movie, Or Shop Together
For women who don’t like making small talk, going to a movie is a true saviour. It’s a nice way to spend some time together in the same space while keeping the chat to the minimum. After you come out of the movies, you have the plot to talk about, so looks like it’s a win-win situation in every way.
Alternately, you can also go shopping together. What women can say no to shopping? And it’s always so fun and exciting. Take her out to a popular shopping area in your town, get to know her choices and let her know yours too. You never know if she can turn out to be your best shopping buddy.
Ask Her For Advice
From traditions, cooking, setting up home, or general life problems, share your troubles with her, listen to what she has to say patiently, and use them if they feel like the right action at the moment. You don’t have to go all-in and share with her your deepest fears. Asking something as simple as a recipe for a dish, or how to handle a mean colleague can work. It also shows that you respect her opinion, and that’s always a sweet thing to make someone feel.
Stay In Touch
If your mother-in-law stays in the same city, incorporate her into your monthly schedule. More if you’d like; once a month is a minimum. Remember that she wants to make you a part of the family too, so make the effort whenever you can. It can be as simple as inviting her to the grocery shopping or on a visit for dinner. In case, your MIL stays in a different city, harbour the technological advancements to stay in touch. Video-calling seems like a closer approach than a phone call, and text her often too.
Of course, in India, it’s also common for the complete family being together. In that case, we’d advise you to converse on menial daily conversations, like a news affair, or something that happened in your family or work, etc. This will help maintain a strong, healthy bond.
Shower Her With Gifts & Compliments
You can never go wrong with gifting your mother-in-law anything she’s fond of. Probably, you were wearing a Kurti and she loved it too, surprise her with the same one in her size and get it delivered to her doorstep. Else, just get some flowers when you see her next. If not anything, complimenting her on her cooking, or how she’s looking that day can help too. The best compliment of all is to tell her how much you appreciate her hard work raising such a wonderful gentleman.
Be ‘You’ At All Times
There’s a self-imposed pressure to impress your mother-in-law, and that can make you stray away from who you are to please as she wishes. But that’s the recipe for starting your relationship on a bad note. At all times, be you and be respectful. Your husband and friends see something unique and special in you. She needs to see the same. So, don’t overly compliment her on her palak paneer, if you generally hate the dish, or be excited about something she likes when you don’t. Over time, she will respect your genuine nature and accept you as who you are. And it will be just amazing to have that honest, lovely dynamic.
Everyone shares a different relationship with their mother-in-law. Just because your recently married BFF can’t stop raving about how amazing her MIL is, and she does everything with her, it’s not necessary you have the same relationship. (We do wish you do though: it will make your life so much better.) Nonetheless, there’s always a window of opportunity to bond with her. Take them, and use them well. Let the relationship unfold at its own pace rather than try too hard. Trying to spend some time together can be a great start.