October 28 marks Mother-in-Law Day, a day to appreciate and spend time with your spouse’s mom. Many of us have a tumultuous relationship with our mothers-in-law, while some of us have great relationships and love them as much as our natural moms. In most cases, it’s a good idea to pursue a familial bond with the woman who raised your husband up from a little boy into the man he is now. Here are some ways that you might spend the day:
- Have a mom/daughter bonding day. Go out for lunch, get pedicures, see a movie you’ve both been wanting to see. This will be particularly meaningful if you don’t usually see your mom-in-law without your husband and kids. You might get the chance for conversations that you wouldn’t normally have. It might be a good time for your husband and his dad to spend a few hours hanging out with the kids, too!
- Start to make amends if you have had a rocky relationship in the past. A heartfelt letter or phone call might be the first step needed in order to repair your rift. If your mother-in-law isn’t someone with whom you want to pursue a relationship, you could still send a card or even have the kids draw her some pictures in order to at least make some contact.
- If your mom-in-law lives far away, gather everyone up for a Skype or other video call. Many moms, in-law or otherwise, love to hear from their faraway kids and grandkids, so this might be one of the best gifts that you could get her.
- Send a small gift or gift certificate if you can’t be there for her special day. It could be something just for her, such as a bath and body set or a candle, or it might be a gift certificate for her to spend some time with her husband, such as for a dinner out.
- Don’t forget about your husband’s relationship with your mom! If the two of them are friendly, then he could take her out to lunch or dinner. If their relationship is strained, encourage him to reach out and make some contact for good family relations.
Remember, no matter what your relationship with your mother-in-law is like, one day you will probably be a mom-in-law yourself, so take mental notes on what works and what doesn’t so that someday, with any luck, you’ll have a good relationship with your kids’ spouses!