Dear Mothers-In-Law, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

Dear Mothers-In-Law, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

This post was inspired by the sudden realization that someday I am also going to be a mother- in- law. I thought about the type of mother-in-law that I would want to be….

I have always wondered as to why it is often so hard for mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law to have a good relationship? Is it because of the different cultures or personalities that clash? OR Maybe it is because we never really had the opportunity to talk about what has been on our mind for the longest time?

Not every mother and daughter-in-law have a disastrous relationship but sometimes there may be conflict when you least expect it.

Dear Mother-In-Laws, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

Dear Mothers-In-Law, today us – Daughters-In-Law – want to be honest with you and share what we really feel.

It is true that when you get married, you end up marrying your spouse’s family too but adjusting to a new family isn’t always the easiest thing to do – especially when you marry outside your religion, race, and culture.

You should know about this because once upon a time, you were a newly wedded daughter-in-law too – one who also had to try hard to win over her in-laws.

Most of the time it is easier for a man to adjust to his wife’s family while the wife struggles to find her place in his home – mainly because she’s somehow mistaken to be taking her mothers-in-law’s place.

Dear Mothers-In-Law, even though your relationship has changed with your son, remember that you will always be his mother.

I am the woman in your son’s life now. I know that you feel as if I have taken your spot as your son’s biggest fan but remember this isn’t a competition. It’s not about being better or being the favourite.

Dear Mother-In-Laws, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

You may see him less often and he may miss your calls more often but remember that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you anymore. You will always have a special place in his heart, a place that I can never replace.

You and I are both equally important to him.

It is important that we understand each other and get along. I want to be your friend, I want to be treated like your daughter but sometimes you make that impossible.

Just because I am married to your son doesn’t mean that my life will now revolve around your likes and dislikes. I am my own person. Don’t expect me to dress and eat the way that you want me to. I am a modern woman who wants to work and go out for dinner with friends.

Sometimes I need my space – even from your son.

Please be patient with me while I try to figure out the role called wife to your son and mother to your grandkids. There are no manuals on how to be the perfect wife, mother, and daughter-in-law so I would appreciate it if you stop comparing me to others including my sisters-in-law and love me for the way that I am and the way that I look.

Respect my decisions and my parenting style.

Don’t expect me to keep quiet when you try to give my kids sugar in my presence. Let me parent my kids in the way I want too.

But remember we value your relationship with the kids. They need you!

You are important to us. Don’t feel as if we are pushing you away, sometimes we need to grow and learn on our own.

Yes, I may be spending more time with my mother than with you but it’s because she’s my mother and everyone needs their mother at times, just like the way that your son prefers some of your food over mine.

Your son chose me so accept me for who I am and realize that I may do things differently from you in my home.

Dear Mother-In-Laws, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

I’d like it if you would like to get to know me as a person and give me the opportunity to bond with you because there will come a time when I will need your advice and tips.

I’m not the bad person here… I am not taking your son away from you. Instead, I am giving you new family members.

I wish that you would pick up the phone and call me just to chat. Let’s find things that we may have in common, and let’s enjoy them together.

Don’t push me away… Don’t complain about me to him in my absence, you will only be the one responsible for his unhappy marriage.

Dear Mother-In-Laws, this is what your Daughter-In-Law wants you to know…

All I wish is that you understand that I am not you… I believe you when you say that you were the perfect wife who woke up at 4 am to cook a fresh meal for your husband’s lunch. I am not that woman. Times have changed. I am the mom who has to see to her children and her husband and go to work.

You may have worked and been a mom. You have had your own challenges and I respect you for that. My challenges are a bit different. I also want to be there for my kids when they come home from school but I simply cannot. My husband needs my financial support if we want to give our children the life that we would like to. I know that you want the best for your grandchildren too.

We (daughters-in-law) understand you but it hurts when you seem to take pleasure in knocking us down.

Your son and I chose each other.

We are not taking him away from you.

We want to be a part of your family – but it sometimes feels as if we are outsiders looking in.

It seems hypocritical when you judge us for the very things that your daughters do.

I know that it is easy to compare people and fault find, but do you remember the way that it was when you were the daughter-in-law to a different mother-in-law.

Looking back would it change the way that you are to us?

I have heard so many stories of mothers-in-law treating their daughters-in-law in the same way that they were treated. Is it a subconscious act of revenge or preservation? I have heard of mothers-in-law who treat their daughters-in-law like daughters. I salute you!

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2017-11-04 / 22:10

    Lovely Post Shan! So well said. x

  2. BluS
    2017-11-07 / 10:48

    while I agree with some of your points, to me the tone of the article translated to ‘your son chose me so get over it and make an effort’ there are many great MIL but the usual negatated thoughts and generalisations on the relationship make many DIL behave in ways that would be infuriating to anyone, and of course vice versa applies.

    There is no denying and it’s not wrong that the son is spending more time with his new family, but as his wife and new member of the family the DIL could also make the effort to remind him to engage with his family on certain occasions.

    other instances that cause friction is as you said your mother is your mother so obviously there is a stronger relationship there, but when it comes to him spending time with his family that’s not acceptable to many wives while she plans activities for them to engage with her family and relatives.

    I’m not a MIL or DIL to anyone but these are the things I’ve observed from some very close people, and the sad thing is they don’t even realise their own flaws each wants the other to make the effort, simple gestures of appreciation could really make the relationship healthier.

  3. Opinion
    2019-02-15 / 15:33

    It is sad, I am not a daughter in law, in fact I will never be, as my fiance does not have a mother. I would however like to say the following in response to the above.

    I have seen my very own family members marriages made very difficult due to the MIL and DIL relationship, please do understand this is not my personal experience and therefore I feel as though I am not bias to this situation, and sort of have an outsiders view looking in.

    I have seen MIL compete with the DIL, guilt there son about not spending time with them. I have seen DIL also having to make themselves completely hard as the MIL became unbearable.

    The reality is, when you are married your husband or wife becomes your next priority… this after God. I do not mean to make this a religious post, but I do find this very important as when you are married, it is a promise made to your spouse and God. (Ephesians 5:31) states the following “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

    I find that this is often not respected as the mother may not often respect that her son has become one with his wife.

    Spending time with the husband, or wife’s family, agreed, is important. It is also not just the DIL responsibility to plan social visits with the husband’s family. He can also take the initiative.

    I believe that men and woman are very different. Men often forget special days, such as birthday’s or events. I find this in my situation as well. Woman seem to be more organised for these things and because she has been around her own family her entire life, these dates are in a way part of her planning already. In this regards, I do not believe the DIL are to be blamed. I find that the MIL could make the effort her and inform the DIL, this would make things easier, however if there is a strained relationship this makes it difficult to begin with.

    I would just lastly like to say, that I truly respect the MIL out there, that make DIL feel as though they are part of a family unit… there own family unit… like a daughter… I have seen family members very happy, and at times the DIL actually have to be fetch by there husbands from there moms house because they had lost tract of time… hahahaha

    To those MIL that still feel as strongly as they do against their DIL, remember, your son who you love so much will forever be torn between you and his family that he has created.


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