Q: My mother-in-law thinks that she is the one having the baby here—what do I do?
A: Allow your MIL to Share in your pregnancy joy. As soon as you announce your pregnancy, your MIL may jump up and down, run around the house, eyes welling up with tears, hollering, “Yippie! We’re finally pregnant! I hope it’s a boy!” and proceed to call all her buddies on the phone telling them the wonderful news that she is finally pregnant!
Go along with the game and frequently ask her how she’s feeling. Offer to bring her water and crackers, slippers, and other comforts of home, especially during her first trimester.
Q: My MIL thinks we should give up our cats for adoption because she thinks they will sleep on the baby’s head and smother her to death.
A: Tell your MIL that you’re also concerned about this very thing, and that you’re currently investigating adoptive home. This is only a tiny white lie that will allow her to feel that you share similar concerns. However, when you seedling finally makes her grand appearance, feel free to rescue another kitty from the shelter, but just make sure that your pride doesn’t end up sleeping on your baby’s head!
Q: My MIL told me that as soon as we find out the sex of our baby to let her know because she wants to start coming up with names. As if!
A: Say, “Great! I can’t wait to see your list!” Then, curl up with the latest rendition of the The Guinness Book of Records All-Time Greatest Baby Name Book and pick your own, of course! But make sure you let mom supply your peanut with plenty of nicknames when he or she arrives and use them generously in her presence.
Q: My MIL is always “one-upping” me during my pregnancy. This is annoying as all get-go! What do I do?
A: If you’re feeling particularly tired during pregnancy and your MIL reinvents the past with statements such as, “When I was nine months pregnant I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors! I was out every night at this party and that—nothing could keep me in—I was always on the go!” Even if thirty years ago she was twenty-two (you are thirty-five) she gained a mere twenty pounds (you gained sixty, d’oh!) and she didn’t have to get up for work everyday (you work), just say that you wish you had her energy and stamina. Oh, and is anyone going to have that last piece of cheesecake?
Q: My baby is only a week old but my MIL already wants her to have a sibling to play with! Is she nuts?
A: If your twinkle toes has yet to shed her umbilical cord, your mother-in-law may nonetheless put in an application for a new addition by way of a statement such as, “I can’t wait until she has a little brother or sister to play with!” Say how eager you are to have another. Smile coyly and mention that you’re already working on it. She will be hard-pressed not to picture you and her son having relations (don’t think of a pink elephant, okay?) and she will most likely not ask you again ... at least for the next couple of months, that is!