Ladies! There are a few more simple things you can avoid that will save you from repeat D.I.L.Z. (Daughter-in-Law Zings) that we all experience from time to time. The bottom line while you’re correcting these “mistakes” is to let your mother-in-law be herself, don’t expect her to change or be anything other than who she is, and try to focus on the positive. As well, do not, for heaven’s sake, take anything she says personally! We must try to always give her the benefit of the doubt, and put our stubborn natures aside. Here goes:
Don’t be objective when your MIL criticizes you.You must always remember your objectivity!
Solution: If your MIL tells you your hair looks better the other way, enthusiastically thank her by solidly agreeing how difficult it is to be objective about yourself. Then style it the OTHER way while she is visiting. Of course you can change it back when she leaves, although be open to the possibility that she may actually have a point!
Ask your MIL for professional advice. If you’re contemplating starting a home-based business, for example, try not never end a sentence with, “What do you think?”
Solution: However, if you do try to get her endorsement for the new multi-level marketing opportunity you’ve been thinking about and she downplays your enthusiasm, simply say, “Wow, you are so right. I hadn’t thought about that side of things before––I’m not going to give this crazy scheme another thought!” Then, buy all her birthday and Christmas gifts with the 40 percent discount you get from the new business. Even better, wrap up all the stuff you win from your super-starter incentive bonus packages and “re-gift” ’em to your husband’s relatives at Christmas time!
Expect your MIL to share your interests. For instance, while watching a James Bond marathon on TNT during Christmas time, your MIL may disdainfully decree, “How can you watch those silly movies over and over again? How incredibly boring. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all!”
Solution: Rather than launching into a diatribe about how each film is an epic masterpiece chock full of brilliantly-casted star ensembles and jaw-dropping action scenes (not to mention the drool quotient from Roger Moore to Daniel Craig), simply respond with something to the effect of, “That is just SO true! I can’t tell the difference between Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton, and all the plots are exactly the same!” (Then fluff up your pillow and hide the remote.)
Don’t save gifts from your MIL for at least a year. When your MIL gives you a gift, make sure you display it prominently in your home, or wear it a lot when you’re visiting.
Solution: If it happens not to be quite your cup of tea, don’t make the mistake of getting rid of it prematurely. There is nothing more humiliating than not being able to produce whatever it may be upon inquiry due to over-hasty re-gifting!
Pick out presents for your MIL. Don’t take it personally if your MIL doesn’t like the presents you give her. Although you may have thought yourself to be very clever and picked out a something for your MIL that you are sure anyone would have loved (who wouldn’t?!) don’t be surprised if you find out that the yearly Star Magazine subscription that you’ve been renewing in her name for the last several years has been making it’s way over to the hair salon––unread! (How unimaginable is THAT!)
Solution: Just transfer the remaining issues over to yourself. The very best way to handle gift giving is to let your husband do the buying. Even if the responsibility of holiday shopping usually ends up on your shoulders, give him the assignment of this one single thing––it’ll be worth your while to make sure he follows through!