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From the dawn of time (or so it seems!), the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law has always been portrayed as venomous, dramatic, and horrible. We’re not exaggerating here – TV serials thrive on saas-bahu struggles, ranging from scolding the bahu for not adding enough salt in the dal to unadulterated abuse. So much so that when getting married, the very thought of the ‘other woman’ in your life may have struck plenty of fear in your heart! And we’re sure you must have received lots of advice on how to win over your MIL too!
But it’s not in every household that we’ll get to witness this never-ending melodramatic saga of the daughter-in-law suffering at the hands of the evil mother-in-law. Some women actually form a beautiful bond with their husband’s mother, going so far as to gain a second mom!
Signs That Show Your MIL Is Your Second Mom
If you’re able to relate to a lot of these signs, you’re one lucky woman!
1. She treats you like her own child.
You’re not merely a new addition to the family, you’re now your MIL’s new daughter! She treats you with the same love and respect she gives her other kids, chides you lovingly, and doesn’t treat you like an outsider. At the end of the day, she is still your mother-in-law, so there may be a bit of the distance brought around by that technicality. All the same, the love and affection she showers upon you makes up for any little disagreements and moments of awkwardness because of that negligible distance!
Speaking to Vidya Balan on her show on 92.7 BIG FM, Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho with Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor said, “I like to call my mother-in-law my mother. She has two children and she treats me like her third child. She is my friend and at the same time, she’s my mom. I think she’s loved me as much as my mother loves me. She doesn’t have a daughter, so she keeps saying that she eventually got a daughter in me and I think everyone should be as lucky as I am.”
Sonam sure seems to have hit the MIL jackpot. And if you can relate to what she has to say, so have you!
2. She doesn’t compare you to her own daughter or anyone else, for that matter.
You may not be perfect – technically, nobody is – but your mother-in-law understands that and doesn’t see that as a fault. She doesn’t annoyingly remark that her own daughter is a better homemaker than you are, or that your dress sense could be as good as the next-door neighbour’s. No, she accepts you for who you are – the woman who makes her son happy, the most wonderful mother to her grandchild; she sees you as the daughter she was lucky to gain! Similarly, you look past any insignificant flaws she may have and concentrate on all her strengths. After all, she’s the mother of the man you’ve married, so she’s sure to have been a queen if he’s treating you like a princess today!
Rani Mukerji has this opinion of her darling mother-in-law, Pamela Chopra as well. On the show with Vidya, she credited her for bringing up her husband so well with the kindest words – “She is a fantastic lady. I thank my mother-in-law every day for making Aditya the person he is today. She’s an absolutely fantastic lady to know, and this is something that’s clearly visible in the way that she’s brought him up. She has instilled such good values in him that I keep thanking her.” So ladies, if your man is a Prince Charming reincarnate, you have your MIL to thank!
3. She supports your aspirations and ambitions.
Whether you choose to continue your job, start your own business, or actually quit to become a full-time stay-at-home mom; whatever your wish is, your mother-in-law is on board with it. She understands that you have certain dreams and hopes about your own life, and doesn’t stand in the way of you achieving what you set out to do. Rather, she backs you up with much gusto and is the wind beneath your wings!
4. She’s ever-ready to take care of your child.
Not only is she readily available to take care of your child when you have to go to work or run an errand, but she’s also more than willing to do so! She loves spending time with her grandchild and doesn’t consider it a punishment to take care of your baby when you’re tied up with something. In fact, she prioritises it because she knows how important what you’re doing is to you, especially if you’re a working mom. However, you also understand that as much as she’s willing to do it, cutting into her time isn’t always right. You always check with her first if it’s convenient for her to babysit your child, rather than just informing her that you’ll be dropping the baby at her place in 15 minutes!
Juhi Chawla is one such lucky working mom. She revealed on the show to Vidya that her mother-in-law would fly down from Uganda especially to support her family. This allowed Juhi to continue working and travelling, because her MIL always had her back when it came to taking care of her little ones!
5. She speaks of you with respect even when you’re not around.
Treating someone with respect doesn’t mean showing to their face only; how you treat them when they’re not around counts too. If you hear from your husband or other relatives that your mother-in-law praises you for your career achievements or for making fabulous meals, that’s sure to make you glow, right? She refrains from speaking ill about you and doesn’t indulge in mindless gossip about how you’re always at fault for something or the other! The same goes for you as well – you speak of her with the same love and pride that you show in her presence.
6. She takes your side when it’s needed.
Disagreements and arguments in a family are common. Sometimes, your spouse may be blaming you for something that isn’t your fault. Sometimes, his other relatives may find fault with something you’re wearing, what your baby is wearing, or how you’re raising your child altogether! We all know such nitpickers, but you’re blessed if your mother-in-law stands up for you when you’re on the receiving end of unfair comments or remarks. Isn’t it refreshing when the usually ‘snide and snarky MIL’ image is completely replaced by the ‘sweet and supportive MIL’?
7. She respects your decisions and opinions.
Your mother-in-law may not always understand certain choices you make, but she respects them. For example, if you choose to formula-feed your baby as opposed to breastfeeding him because of personal or medical reasons, she won’t shame you for it. Instead, she’ll try and make the effort to figure out the motive behind your choice. Also, she counts your opinion as valuable and ensures that you’re consulted on different matters of the family as well. Likewise, there’s no decision you make without running it past her in the first place.
8. Whenever she criticises you, it’s always constructive.
Even if there are things your mother-in-law finds annoying or wrong on your part, she doesn’t scream it out for the world to hear. Rather, she always explains to you her point of view or how you could do the same thing in a better way, but never in a belittling tone. Her criticism is never meant to make you feel bad, rather, it has always benefitted you. Under her guidance, you’ve even improved in certain matters; therefore, you always count her as an extra source of advice!
9. She regularly keeps in touch with you if you don’t live near her.
Texts, calls, WhatsApp messages, occasional visits – all of these are a regular feature when it comes to communication with your mother-in-law. You don’t find the need to cut her off or ignore her calls, neither does she speak to you only because her son forces her to. On the other hand, it’s wide smiles and enthusiastic reactions that are common when you get in touch with her, from both ends!
10. She remembers you on special occasions.
Your birthday, anniversaries, festivals – nothing gets by your MIL and she takes time out of her day to wish you. If you live with or close to her, she probably even goes out of her way to treat you to something special; even if it’s something as simple as taking care of your child because your husband wants to take you out. She doesn’t consider it a waste of time to celebrate you on days that matter. Likewise, you don’t miss an opportunity to treat her like royalty – Mother’s Day for you means two sets of gifts or cards, one for ma, one for sasu ma!
11. You now have an extra wardrobe to raid!
Your mom’s sari cupboard is no longer your only source for fancy wear for different occasions; your mother-in-law is always cool with you borrowing her clothes and jewellery. That makes it two places you can depend on for dressing up; bonus points if your mother-in-law has exquisite taste in clothes!
These are just a few signs we could think of; we’re sure you can think of a lot more examples of the wonderful relationship you share with your mother-in-law. But if you’re able to relate to a lot of these signs, know that you’re not just a daughter-in-law; you’re your MIL’s daughter-in-LOVE!