Moms Respond: How Do You Handle Your Mother-in-Law?

Moms share secrets on how they deal with their mother-in-law.

Freedom of Expression

"My husband and my mother-in-law have a very close relationship, so she's always around our house. That being said, she does give me a lot of really great advice. And she's very good about expressing her opinion and then saying, "Whatever you decide will be best." Plus, when we don't agree, I usually let my husband straighten her out!"
Anonymous, via e-mail

Living in the Past

"Both my mother-in-law and my mother are quite a few years older than I am. So when either one of them gives me any unwanted advice, I simply tell them, "You know, people don't really do that anymore." I'm not sure why exactly, but (lucky for me!) it works every time."
Ann, Prescott, Arizona

Good Intentions

"My mother-in-law has given me plenty of really great advice over the years. But when I do disagree with her (which, as we all know, is bound to happen), I simply explain why and then do what I think is best for my kids. No matter what, though, I know she absolutely adores her grandchildren, so even when we disagree, I can be certain that her heart is in the right place."
Brenna, Hudson County, New Jersey

"I try to remember that she's only trying to help. I listen to her advice and then remind her that things have changed a lot since she raised her children. If that doesn't work, then I say, "Well, that's what my pediatrician told me to do!"
Anonymous, via e-mail

A Fresh Perspective

"I actually love my mother-in-law's advice. She has four sons and 14 grandchildren, so she has the one gift that as a new mom I don't possess: perspective. She was the one who taught me how to relax when my newborn son arrived, how to make room in my heart for a second baby, and how to recognize -- and appreciate -- that I am doing a great job as a mom. My only complaint? I wish she lived closer to us so she could babysit her grandkids more often!"
Kimberly, Suwanee, Georgia

Like Father, Like Son

"I handle advice from my mother-in-law very well. Since she raised my husband to be oh so wonderful, I don't see why I shouldn't take her advice about my own son whenever I can!"
Karina, Bronx, New York

Originally published in American Baby magazine, May 2007.

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