How to Handle the Five Different Types of Mothers in Law

The biggest concern any of us has before marrying that special someone is about the future in-laws. “Will they accept me?”, “Will I like them?”, “Are we socially compatible?”, “Are they still hung up on my partner’s ex?” are just some of the questions we find ourselves panicking about. Then the big wedding day comes and Pandora’s Box is opened.

An immense success factor in any marriage is a happy mother-in-law. Some of us are blessed with perfect ones and it feels surreal sometimes, yet some aren’t as lucky. So we decided to share with you some tips that might leave you happier at family gatherings:



The jealous mother-in-law



This usually happens when a mom loses a son to marriage, not a daughter. The jealousy might be caused by an obsessive, territorial feeling or simply over-protection after a lifetime of nurturing.

Let’s face it: You will never be good enough for her son. You could be Queen Rania and she will still make you feel unworthy. As a mother, I can tell you it’s understandable, your child is always the best.

Exhibit A: You are having a family dinner and your mother-in-law starts her ritual bragging about her son’s sex appeal. She starts telling you tales (mostly fictional) about how every woman wanted him, yet he was looking for someone as perfect as his mother and failed. And the she takes it too far and starts judging your brand new marble dining table set, which you happen to think is great. She can make a comment about pretty much anything.

A beginner wife will silently smile, then make her husband’s life a living hell for the next six years. A professional wife would say, “I know, isn’t he gorgeous? Tell me how you dealt with it, I know I will be crazy jealous when my son gets married.” I witnessed this real-life event and it left a monster-in-law with a smile beaming so wide, her face almost cracked.



The “I know what is better for your kids” mother-in-law



The notorious Egyptian family struggles: The father is angry that his mother-in-law is spoiling the kids, the mother is mad at her for excessively feeding them, the grandmother blames them for giving a timeout – a headache-inducing dominance struggle.

They do not know or believe in silliness such as one chocolate per day, vegan diets, gluten-free meals, no TV or timeouts. They consider them unnecessary modern trends, especially since you grew up just fine.

Exhibit B: You have errands to run, so you leave the kids at their grandmother’s. When you pick them up, you meet an ecstatic mother-in-law who tells you that they refused to have lunch and ate candy instead.

A beginner wife would not only snap at her, but also never leave them alone again. A professional wife would send their lunch box with them the next time or just laugh it off, unless the kids become overweight, in which case my friend took her in-laws to the kid’s nutritionist. That did the trick.



The perfectionist mother-in-law



If your in-laws have exquisite culinary skills or cleaning OCD, you are in trouble. They are the worst peer pressuring type. It’s embarrassing when they make unannounced visits and you have to cook one of your average meals for them or they see a chaotic house, piles of unfolded laundry, messy beds and countless plates and pans to be washed.

You need to bring your A-game because they will show you that they noticed the mayhem.

Exhibit C: You are peacefully sitting with your mother-in-law, when suddenly she asks you to help her with marinating the chicken. If you are not so blessed in your cooking skills, you will cause a mess and fail the ultimate test.

A beginner wife would panic, try her best and make excuses that she couldn’t find all the ingredients when she fails miserably. A professional wife will ask her mother-in-law to guide her because she never tasted chicken as good as hers and her son keeps asking for it.



The needy mother-in-law



Some in-laws just need their phones to never stop ringing. She wants you to call her, if not daily, then for every single occasion. You must call her before she travels, on her trip, when she is back the minute the plane lands, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, during all kinds of feasts (Islamic and Christian), when she is sick and then when she’s better, when she has a fight with her bawab, when it’s cold or hot, when her second cousin’s best friend’s daughter meets a guy.

Exhibit D: You decide it’s time to make that lengthy phone call and you are greeted with the line, “Weshek wala wesh el Ammar”, a line that literally means your face is the same as the moon’s, but what it actually means is that your face rarely makes an appearance (AKA you don’t ask about me enough).

A beginner wife would explain how busy she is with her kids and job, which leaves a bitter in-law. A professional wife would pretend to not understand the line and say, “Enti eli Ammar” – you are the stunning one.



The nosy mother-in-law



She is the type who wants to know every single thing about your daily routine. She needs to know who pays for the groceries, if the husband stays out late, if the wife is wasting money on designer bags and why the wife isn’t pregnant yet.

Exhibit E: You are constantly cornered about having kids before you are too old and menopausal.

A beginner wife would say that she is not ready and she needs to accomplish things in her career first, which literally opens the gates of hell to responses that will frustrate you so much that it might even lead to early menopause.

A professional wife would say, “I am solely dedicated to my husband this year, I need to take better care of him”. This might work a couple of times, but in-laws are obsessed with babies and they will never stop pressuring, so just pray to God for patience.



WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss The Six Types of Girls You See at Every Egyptian Wedding.