Vi riporto un post che ho trovato qui; lo riporto per intero, anche se è in inglese, perché mi ha davvero commossa, e mi domando perché a troppe di noi non capita di avere una suocera così. Forse il presupposto perché suocera e nuora possano avere un rapporto sereno è che siano entrambe persone intelligenti.
I have the best MIL a woman could ask for. I have known her through my DH since I was in my teens (I’m in my 50s now).
My DH and I have been together for over 30 years, and there is only one time that can I remember my MIL ever getting mad at me. We were living in their house while we were building our house. I played in a lady’s softball league. Our first born was about 7 months old. DS had not been feeling well, and I had to change his sheets 3 times, and do a lot of washing. I was running late for my game, and left my laundry in DS’s room, not folded and no sheets on the crib. My sweet MIL never said a word to me about it. But, I knew she was a little angry about this, because she was a bit cold to me when I got home. Normally, she would have made the crib up and folded his clothes. But, since I was playing a sport, and out of the house 3 times that week, I guess she thought it was inappropriate that I didn’t do it. Just for the record, I was at the new house with DS staining all the interior doors, and was running late getting back to the IL’s house.
I felt that I owed her an apology. She said to me something I’ll never forget. “DIL, we all need a break once in a while to enjoy something that we love. But, we have to prioritize between our duties, responsibilities and leisure time. You’re a great mom, and I’m glad that you love my son so much.” PERIOD! I know I haven’t always lived up to her words, but she never brought up any other faults of mine.
I will very likely be a MIL within the next 3 years. This very same DS has been with his sweetie since they were in their mid-teens in high school. I pray that I can be a consummate lady like my MIL, and love my children’s spouses as she loved all her children’s spouses. I am going to share what I consider to be the do’s and dont’s of being a MIL.
DO: Compliment your DIL. If DIL invites you over to dinner and the pasta is mushy, the sauce is salty, and the salad is wilted (happened with me, LOL) look at the care that she put into setting the table so pretty. Notice that she made a boatload of appetizers that would take a football team to finish. Eat a little bit of everything. You don’t have to tell her that it tastes good, but you can be diplomatic and thank her for the time and effort she put into welcoming you into their home and making a meal. Remember the meals that you had to throw down the toilet, while gagging, when you were first married!!!
DON’T: Tell her, “Maybe you should have read the directions on the pasta box”. Don’t say, “With the family you were born into, don’t you know how to make this dish?” Don’t be condescending to the fact that she only has 4 place settings and 6 people are eating, 2 off of paper plates. Think of it as cute, and remember that she invited you over to spend time with them.
DO: Ask her general questions about her hobbies, interests, her ambitions, her parents/family and especially her dreams for the future, AND REMEMBER WHAT SHE TELLS YOU. Remember her birthday. Praise her for her career choice, whether you like her choice or not. If she died her hair purple and got a nose ring (no mine didn’t), praise her for her uniqueness. There are things about her appearance that you have to accept, even if you don’t agree with it.
DON’T: Ask her personal questions like “how much money do you make a year?”; “is your father still dating that witch?”; “Has your uncle put the bottle down yet?”; “when are you and DS getting married so you can start planning now on losing weight before the wedding?” (WTF?). These kinds of questions don’t go over too well. My best friend’s DIL can attest to this.
DO: Make the best of the situation. Even if there is just no chemistry between you and her. Even if she talks about you to others (or to your face), remember that maybe she is young or she wasn’t brought up in a stable home. Maybe there is something in her past that has influenced her behavior towards others. Some people are just like that. Your DS loves her. He is an adult, and adults make decisions, even if it is not always the right decision. If your FDIL always complains about your DS to you, and it offends you, tell her kindly that you don’t think you are the appropriate person to talk to about it because, after all, he is your son. Even though you may feel rage and want to rip her hair out of her skull because you think she is disrespecting your precious BOY, think before you speak or you could make yourself look and seem like an idiotic shrew, and give her fuel against you.
DON’T: Gossip about her to other people. It will get back to her, just like her gossip may have gotten back to you. By holding yourself at a higher standard, you just might show her a few things about being a kind adult. Why bother lowering yourself? She may just be afraid of your DS not having enough love for the both of you. The love he has for her and the love he has for you IS NOT THE SAME. Just like you love each of your children differently.
DO: Call before you go over to their house, even if you live 2 doors down and you see their car in driveway. Call at appropriate times, unless it’s an emergency. After 10:30pm on a Friday night is not an appropriate time to call and ask them if they are planning on coming over for dinner a week from Sunday! Remember that they are adults. They have lives, friends, and commitments, just as you should. Even if your DS IS your entire life, your sole purpose for living, and the sun, the moon and the stars, he has left the nest and is learning to fly on his own. Swans mate for life, but once they were just cygnets relying on their parents. Maybe your DS and DIL will be like swans, like my DH and I are.
DON’T: Accept a key for their home, even if you remotely think that you have the right to go into their house to borrow a cup of sugar (and maybe do a little snooping) when THEY ARE NOT HOME. Don’t criticize their style. Don’t buy them something that will completely clash with their decor (and YOU know it). Don’t ask about their finances. If they choose to share such personal information with you, DO NOT REPEAT it. If you want to offer financial assistance to them, and you can afford it, NEVER ever have strings attached. Don’t say things like, “If I give you the 3K for the down payment on your car, you have to buy the green one.” WTF? There may be a time when your DS comes to you and discusses some distressing problems in his life concerning his wife. JUST LISTEN. Don’t offer advice unless you are ASKED. Do not OFFER $$ to help him get a lawyer “just in case”. He may just want to vent to a woman that loves him unconditionally – YOU, HIS MOTHER!
And, finally, something we can remember whether it pertains to our DIL or the world in general:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
– Lao Tzu
My beautiful, wonderful MIL is now in the mid to later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Yesterday, she didn’t recognize me, although I am at her house 4 times a week to cook her dinner. This is the first time it has happened. Her once beautiful face registered NO recognition for about 10 minutes. As I was working in the kitchen a little later, she came up behind me and put her arms around my waist. She asked me when I got there, and told me that I was her “favorite youngest DIL”, and that she loved me. I told her that I loved her too, and she was my “favorite MIL”. That exchange has been a joke between us since forever!
She taught me so many life lessons that I hope to pass down to my DILs. I hate this Alzheimers, and I want my sweet DMIL back. Since that won’t be happening, I’m going to do my best to care for her, listen to her memories, dry her tears, wipe her tushy and cook her dinner. I love her so much