Fifty-three percent of all married women describe their relationships with their mothers-in-law as obligatory, cordial but nothing more, reporting a mix of both anxiety and tension. I am the author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! and my vision is to inspire more harmony among 20 million mothers and daughters-in-law around the world by teaching all brides to learn the art of making friends with their husband’s mother. Here is a small parable to illustrate the philosophy behind the Daughter-in-Law Rules: Story of a Daughter-in-law, Li Li A long time ago in China, a girl named Li-Li got married and went to live with her husband and mother-in-law. Their personalities were very different, and Li-Li was angered by many of her constant criticisms.
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As a mom, we try to do it all. For example, I teach, do workshops, co-host a weekly radio show, give online tele-classes, write books, blog, tweet, do a weekly newsletter, prepare corporate sponsorships, answer HARO ads, etc. I also am a jazz pianist and mother of two small children. Here are some tips as to how to do it all: Do not Procrastinate! When you have five minutes to do something on your to do list, do it! I used to let things pile up but now I realize that five minutes is golden and you can accomplish a LOT if you just put your mind to it! When the Kids Are in Bed, GO! As soon as your kids’ heads hit the pillow, RUN to your computer and start getting things done! I do not waste even a second once my kids are in bed. I know that this is very, very precious time and I utilize it most effectively (as per the first tip)! Juice and Eat Healthy
My vision is to inspire more harmony among 20 million mother ’s and daughter ’s-in-law around the world by teaching all brides to learn the art of making friends with their husband’s mother, so I wrote a book about it. I knew I wanted it to get out there in a BIG way, and, a being big fan of Deepak Chopra’s The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, I am always very aware of the law of giving and receiving. I felt this would be the best way to get my book out on a larger scale, and to help others in the process. Many people ask, “How can you make money when you’re giving so much away?” But, believe it or not, the more you give away, the more money that is attracted to you, because the universe gets the message that you have abundance and just helps create more of it! This is truly “The Secret” in action. Giving back has actually led to quantum leap in my success, because when you partner with a charitable cause, you now have an entire database and media presence behind you.
It is estimated that about 1.3 million families have at least one grandparent living with them. And that includes the new first family. So what advice can we give the Obamas now that they have the first granny living with them? There are a few things that Michelle, her mother Marian, and Barack can do to make living together a most harmonious experience. Here are some tips for Michelle: Make time to do things together with her mom and the children. Even though they may not be able to go out to dinner and the movies anymore, after the children are asleep they can sit down and have a nice cup of tea together so that they can nurture the relationship that way.
Q: What would you tell other authors about how to be a successful bookseller? A: Through an online opt-in email blast strategy, I brought my book to the #1 spot in Wedding Showers, on Amazon.com. And that, I must say, was a fundamental factor that afforded my book an essential credibility boost. Indeed I was elated to add the bestseller distinction to my name—and I was thrilled to sell a few hundred books in one day! However I soon realized that bestseller day was exactly that—a launch—a jumping off point. Now, how to effectively leverage my new Bestseller Status to it’s utmost advantage? How to use this distinction to catapult from selling a few hundred books on Amazon to becoming a true, six figure-income author? Back to the drawing board.
About six months before my book was published, I had this dream of getting listed as “Hot Book of the Week” in the Star Magazine “Hot Sheet.” So, I made a phone call to the editor and told her about my book. She seemed pleasant enough, as I mentioned that several A-list celebrities were mentioned in the book, as well as the fact that 15 percent of the proceeds would be going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Over the months, I’d let her know, via email, the progress of the book. I’d get pleasant little responses, here and there. I knew that getting in Star Magazine was a big deal, and rather a long shot, as most of the featured books are those by celebrities themselves, or number one bestsellers that are put out by major publishers such as Simon and Shuster, Wiley, Random House, etc. My book was simply self-published via POD, and I knew that this was going to take a miracle. But I kept affirming that this was my goal—to get listed as “Hot Book of the Week!”
When I first signed up for the Amazon.com Bestseller Campaign course, I created a list of affirmations for myself. I knew that this course would take months of dedication and hours of concentrated work. Many people said that it was very difficult to reach the #1 position, and that even so, why spend so much money on a course that would probably only lead to a few hundred sales, at best? But I kept affirming to myself, “I am a #1 Amazon.com bestselling author!” So, I kept on collecting bonus gifts, and reaching out to JV partners month after month, personalizing each and every note, keeping in touch with everyone regularly to make sure that I established a good relationship with them, and hopefully ensure that they would come through with their promise of mailing for me on that day—as the secret to an Amazon.com bestseller campaign is to get a bunch of people to buy your book on a certain day, by offering them an incentive such as free bonus gifts.
There are some deceptively simple ways to help daughters-in-law to gain the trust and build the foundation of friendship with a very deliberate, proactive set of strategies to use with one’s husband’s mother. It is based on one of the seven spiritual laws of success, which is—the quickest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. The rules work wonders so that any daughter-in-law can transform the relationship with her mother-in-law from one fraught with tension and competition to one of mutual respect and peacefulness. I spent several years doing the “wrong” thing with my mother-in-law (even though I felt that I was being a nice person) until I realized that nothing that I was doing was going to change her behavior, and that being nice had nothing to do with it.
Okay ladies, here are a just a few more tips when preparing for that visit from your husband’s other woman. It just takes a bit of effort, but will make all the difference in the world and you can begin to actually look forward (almost) to her arrival. After all, it means a lot less cooking and cleaning for you once she arrives, so learn to enjoy! Let’s begin. Offer to do the laundry when your MIL comes to stay. Your MIL might live in a ranch style house with one floor, so that she is simply not used to staircases. So, simply offer to do the wash (she will probably want to do it herself anyway), but the gesture is what counts! And if she gives your house a zing such as, “I hate this house—it has too many !@#$%^ stairs!” simply agree and tell her that you have to trick yourself into liking it to by telling yourself you’re at the gym doing the Stairmaster, since you want to retain your cute and sexy figure for her son.
There is a distinct set of rules to follow when you are expecting a visit from your husband’s other favorite gal. Yes, these rules take effort, but well worth it! Let’s begin. Before your mother-in-law comes for a visit, make the bed with her linens and put her towels in the bathroom. If your MIL enjoys storing her own linens, pillows, blankets, comforters, and towels at your house for use when she visits, make sure you have them ready and put them out upon arrival. Although you might get the impression that she thinks your things are simply not good enough for her, more likely it’s just that she is used to what she is used to, no reflection on you. After all, we like our stuff too, right?! Simply condense them nicely in some shrink-wrap material and place them in a box under the bed upon her departure. Put up the household items your MIL brings over.