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.
There are a few key things that you need to be aware of before going over to your mother-in-law’s place. First of all, know in advance that you will be making mistakes, but this is actually good, because you will take specific and copious notes that will provide you with plenty of material for your Daughter-in-Law Solutions Worksheet, and you will be able to prevent many-a-future D.I.L.Z (Daughter-in-Law Zings) by simply filling in your I.N.C.S. template! (Identify the problem, Note what was done and said, Create a rule title, and Set up a solution!) I always get a kick out of how great the rules actually work, once I put ‘em into practice! Now remember, a lot of these rules are universal in nature, but some of them are quite specific. The key is to remember that I.N.C.S. for D.I.L.Z. will work like a charm! Okay, so here are a few tips to get you started, from my personal files. Compliment the Way Your MIL Keeps Her House
1. Advice This is something that all parents give, regardless of in-law status or not. However, when our mother-in-law offers us advice (particularly of the unsolicited persuasion), there is a specific formula that we must adhere to in order to preserve our sanity. And that is to thank her profusely! In fact, we can take it a step further and actually beat her to the punch and solicit her council, which accomplishes two things simultaneously: one—it will make her feel like her guidance is special, and two—makes it easy for us to be gracious and thankful. A word of warning, however: make sure that you keep your subject matter on the simple and inconsequential side, and although it may seem contradictory, avoid all topics pertaining to professional advice or you will likely get D.I.LZ.ed (Daughter-In-Law Zinged)! 2. Interests
Never complain about your mother-in-law to your husband. I did this for a few years and this simply does not work! As tempting as it may be, strive to never put your husband in the middle – he will not appreciate being asked to take sides, may or may not defend you, and you will end up feeling far worse than before. Daughter-in-law tip: Call your best girlfriend or your own mother, but make sure that your husband is not within earshot. He does not like the thought of you talking about his mother (or any family arguments) in a derogatory way to anyone. It may not seem fair, but this is how he feels so it’s best to not let him overhear you discussing anything to do with his mother’s latest interesting take on the state of your domain! Never let your husband catch you imitating your Mother-in-law’s voice.
Ahh, dining with your mother-in-law! If it wasn’t already fraught with tension because you are a vegetarian and she has never heard of tofu, well, then, you must be prepared to follow a certain protocol to help smooth mealtime over, and make the experience an overall pleasant one at best! Here we go: Top Tip #1) Be prepared to be enticed by lots of sugary temptations! Even though you have recently committed to losing that last ten pounds, and removed all treats from your pantry, and have implemented an exercise program that you are sure to stick with THIS time, once and for all, your MIL will undoubtedly sabotage you with phrases such as, “I made TWO chocolate pies last night,” and, “There’s a couple of Collacchi on the counter!” several times a day. Who can maintain a healthy regimen in a war-zone such as this? So you don’t. Strategy?
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.
After eight years of sweaty hands and heart palpitations before packing up a car for a visit to my mother-in-law’s house at holiday time, I figured enough was enough. How could this sweet, little old lady with the rheumatoid arthritis and wig cause such fear and trepidation? Coming up with some strategies was an essential move. What was the most surprising part of the trip that year? The approach actually worked wonders! Note: The bottom line while you’re implementing these tips is to really and truly learn to appreciate your MIL. After all, she did give birth to your husband and you are forever thankful to her for that! So, although there will always be problems because of a general lack of commonalities, goals and cultural pursuits, we just sort of have to give up that fantasy and let our MIL be herself. Top Tip #1) Be aware that your MIL’s mood may be directly affected by the weather and act accordingly.