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.

American Baby


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