The best tip I have ever received about my relationship with my Mother-in-Law came from an Aunt of my husband. People, prepare yourself because this is gold.
It is the rule of 3. You always insist 3 times. I'm sure I've mentioned this before but it is so important that I will mention it again.
Now the rule of three is in relationship to activities with her. I will give you an example that happened just last night in my very own home.
Mr. Rant and I had been planning to have a date night. This is a rare occurrence in my home as I don't have a full time maid who babysits and have yet to find a babysitter I trust outside of direct family members. Yes, I can be that anal.
Anyway, my Mother-in-Law had offered to babysit, tonight actually, and we were supposed to go out. So when Mr. Rant mentioned that his Mother was upset about missing out on lunch with him and that he would like to take her out one evening to make it up to her, I knew where it was going. Of course the only possible evening in the foreseeable future was tonight.
Given my interesting past with my Mother-in-Law, I have a lot of respect for our now good relationship and have an understanding of what makes her happy. If you think a happy wife equals a happy life than a happy Mother-in-Law gets your name on the list at the doorway to heaven.
We both brought it up to her and she put her foot down saying "No no, I am babysitting for you tomorrow night."
Rule of 3 people.
My rebuttal: "No no, you and Mr. Rant NEVER get any quality time. We can go out another night."
Her rebuttal: "No no, you and Mr. Rant never get to go out."
Me again: "Ah, I get to see him every day. We cuddle every night after the kids are in bed. But I'll let you babysit another day."
Her rebuttal... oh wait, there wasn't one. See, I've gotten so good at this point that I'm down to 2! Of course I did mention it to her again today and confirmed with Mr. Rant. Somewhere along the line it became my job to make sure it actually goes down as she never wants to put us out even though she does in fact want some time with her boy. Amazingly her son has yet to figure this out. You'd think he'd speak fluent woman after growing up in a culture like this.
And while some of you may say this is all immature and where is the direct communication, I will merely respond with "so you don't have Brazilian family, do you?" It's a fact of life and when it comes to your Brazilian Mother-in-Law it is worth it!
Your Brazilian Mother-in-Law is the force in the life around you, like it or not. She cares for your family more than you could possibly understand and if that caring means she has to take you out, she will. Of course only in the name of what is best for your family.
Keep in mind though, once you start to understand each other there is no better ally. She will have your back better than Captain America and the Hulk combined. Not to mention if a certain husband will not listen to your sound advice, Mother-in-Law will make it happen.
It really is an amazing thing to watch, especially with mine who is so tiny she could just fit in my pocket. She's a pocket sized Mother-in-Law, conveniently sized to take anywhere.
What Golden Mother-in-Law advice do you have to share?