4 reasons I want to say thank you to my mother-in-law

All right, so here’s the thing. The relationship of daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law has always been a very complicated one. The daughter-in-law has to accommodate a woman who she is expected to treat like her own mother, and the mother-in-law has to learn to accept a woman who will now be the leading lady of her son’s life. It’s not an easy bond to forge, and although I have a satisfactory relationship with my mother-in-law, oftentimes I’ve wanted to bang my head against the wall because I just couldn’t take it anymore. When I had a baby, it became even more unbelievably complicated because there were certain ways of raising a baby she knew that I didn’t agree with (but couldn’t say anything).

And I’m not the only one. I have girlfriends who have complained about the exact same things. But this post is not going to be a rant. This post is to say a sorry and thank you to my mother-in-law, because even though she drives me up the wall sometimes (I’m sure I drive her nuts too), I’m thankful to her for these four things.

They put their life on hold

Taking care of a baby is a full-time job. So when your in-laws graciously decide to come and live with you to help take care of the baby, they are putting their plans on hold. They may not be big plans, but they do press the pause button on their own life, and for that I’m thankful.

They don’t HAVE to look after my child

The decision to have my baby was my own, and so my child should ideally be solely me and my husband’s responsibility. And although my in-laws are not duty-bound to look after my baby, they do.

They do their best

A lot of times, I resented my mother-in-law for her parenting methods. I’d get irritated if she decided to give the baby a 100ml milk instead of 150ml, or sugar instead of jaggery. But now and then, I would tell myself that she was doing the best she knew and I should respect that. More importantly, would I rather a stranger did that? Absolutely not. So even though we didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of parenting methods, I’m glad that I had a family member instead of a stranger looking after my baby.

They support my career

My mother in law was always a homemaker. But I will always be thankful to her for being at home when I had to work. It shows that she’s supportive of my ambition and career. It also shows me that she’s a progressive woman who doesn’t believe that if a woman has a baby, she should stay home and forget about her career.