November through February is prime engagement season. There’s just something about the holiday magic in the air between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day that makes people want to get married! But before the wedding, you have to meet the parents. This includes one of the biggest obstacles for brides: Impressing the future mother-in-law.
Fret not! Whether you’re a bride-to-be or have been married for 30 years, here are seven surefire ways to impress your mother-in-law, in inverse order:
7. Admire her: Does she always find the perfect gift? Are her brownies the most delicious things you’ve ever tasted? Maybe you want to have a career like hers when you “grow up.” If so, tell her! And tell her you’ve told other people. People love to know that their accomplishments are respected.
6. Spoil her: If you’re having dinner at your in-laws’ house, offer to help cook or clean up afterwards. If you’re going out to dinner, offer to split the bill. Ask if you can help with errands she needs completed, or simply listen if she needs to unload office gossip. Love her in the same way you would love your own mother, and you’ll not only impress her, but encourage her to see you as her own.
5. Spend time with her: Making a conscious effort to build a relationship is sure to impress your mother-in-law. Does she like to cook? Make reservations for a class – for just the two of you. If she practices yoga, join her in finding inner peace. This is the woman who raised the love of your life! Getting to know her is worth the time.
4. Listen to her: Ask her about her day, and actively listen to her response. If she warns you about a certain behavior of your spouse, take heed! If you disagree on something, stay calm and hear her out. By letting her deliver her perspective uninterrupted, you are bound to impress her.
3. Respect her home: Respecting the rules of her home will encourage her to respect the rules of yours. Maybe there is a “no shoes allowed” rule at your in-laws’ house. If so, don’t wear them inside! Even if your feet always get cold and you hate it, if you want to impress her, leave them at the door.
2. Be yourself: People can tell when you’re putting on a show. Her child fell in love with you for who you truly are, so don’t deny her the same privilege. Even if things are rocky at first (after all, her pride and joy is now in your hands), be consistent, be patient, and be authentic.
1. Love her child: Above all, if you really want to impress your mother-in-law, respect the way she raised the person you fell in love with. Let her know that you love her child unconditionally, just as she does. Tell her you’re excited to watch your spouse succeed, and will be there in the hard times too. It’s sure to win her over.