PARENTS

Why I Love My Mother-In-Law

09/10/2012 16:07 | Updated 22 May 2015
Why I love my mother-in-lawAlamy

There's no denying the relationship with your husband's mother can be a difficult one. After all for most of his life she was the most important woman in his world and now you hold that accolade.

But while the world of Les Dawson-esque comedians love to poke fun at their mothers-in-law – "Take my mother-in-law...no really, take her" – I must confess that my mother-in-law is amazing.

I don't have to think twice before phoning her up in tears because I'm worried or stressed about something. I can rely on her to soothe and calm me with her natural understanding and positivity.

And she's not only great on the end of the phone, my mother-in-law has even carted home bags of washing on the train after visiting us only to bring them back the following week laundered and ironed. Plus, in the early days of my son being born she came round – only when invited – and stocked my fridge with food so I didn't have to worry about cooking.

On top of this we can joke and tease each other and we go for lovely long walks whenever she visits. I never feel as though I have to put on act around her. She accepts me for who I am despite being very different from her.

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Even when I do things she doesn't approve of, she still supports me.

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I am putting my 11-month-old son into nursery while I return to work part time, whereas she gave up work to look after her two children and genuinely believes that children do better when they stay at home with their mums.

However, that didn't stop her coming to look around our chosen nursery, saying how lovely it was and reassuring me that Sam, my little boy, would be more than happy there.

Also, she doesn't understand my love of designer handbags and boots preferring to raid her local charity shops for items under 50p, most of which make me shudder - although I have to admit she's come up trumps with some of the toys she's found for Sam.

When we travelled to France for my niece's christening, she packed everyone a lunch to enjoy on the train, taking care to choose my favourite sandwich fillings as well as bringing a bag of toys for Sam to play with. It was typical of her thoughtfulness.

I'm not saying my mother-in-law is perfect. She has a tendency to repeat the same story often three times in the same conversation and she can drive me mad when she treats my husband like a little boy.

Plus, she's very old fashioned and a total Luddite proudly telling us that she's got a twin tub washing machine and still gets down on her hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor instead of investing in a new-fangled mop.

It helps that my mother-in-law is a genuinely good person. She can't do enough for anyone she meets and her philosophy in life is that she was put on this earth to help others. She truly puts my selfish ways to shame.

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I've heard the nightmare stories of mothers-in-law who are bossy, interfering and downright rude. One of my friends even has a horror theme ring tone allocated to her mother-in-law so she can be warned whenever she phones. Others roll their eyes as they mention their husband's mother and praise the fact they live miles away, unable to drop in on a whim.

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They reel off stories of disapproval and attempts by their mother-in-law to undermine them.

Luckily for me the worst thing my mother-in-law has ever done was to give my son a lick of vanilla ice cream when I wasn't looking, although she had his dad's full approval.

Listening to my friends bemoan their mother-in-law makes me feel grateful for mine. I know my husband, Matt, is relieved. After all before me, his mum was the only woman in his life and I don't think our marriage would last if we didn't get on.

Best of all, my husband feels the same about his mother-in-law – my mum. He loves that she comes round once a week to help me with my son and to cook us all a lovely dinner. In fact as mothers-in-law go, we've completely lucked out.

Do you get on with your mother-in-law?

Do you think the days of fighting over your husband/her son are over nowadays?

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