I hit the in-law jackpot and consider myself lucky that those frighteningly common horror stories of bickering mother and daughter-in-laws are foreign to me. My mother-in-law has always been insanely generous and kind to me... and as many women know, a little extra kindness goes a long way when you're pregnant and overly-emotional. If you're a mother-in-law yourself, spoil your daughter-in-law with these eight things all great mothers-in-law do for their pregnant daughters-in-law during the holidays. And if you're an expecting daughter-in-law... give your MIL a little *hint hint* by passing along this list. Or actually, make your partner do it.
The holidays can be overwhelming for anyone, but even more so for expectant moms. Whether she's fighting the all-day sickness of the first trimester or struggling with new aches and pains as the due date approaches, keeping up with normal, non-pregos during the holiday excitement can be difficult. A little extra holiday TLC can be a serious game-changer, and moms have a knack for supplying the best TLC. Plus, they've been in those hormonal, uncomfortable shoes before.
While no one is perfect and it's hard to check all of these boxes, here are some of the best things truly wonderful MILs can do to show some extra love and support.
1. Cooks Her Favorite Meals
I used to think that being hangry was the worst thing in the world, but being prhangry (pregnant, angry, and hungry) is ten times worse. Don't change up the entire holiday menu, but include a few items with the expecting mother in mind. Incorporate dishes that satisfy her most intense pregnancy cravings, and take her food aversions into consideration as well.
2. Helps With Last-Minute Shopping & Gift Wrapping
All stores are a madhouse before a major holiday, and no pregnant woman wants to fight her way through the crowds. The MVMILs (Most Valuable Mother-In-Laws) can handle the last-minute Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, and even help wrap up those last-minute presents.
3. Gives Her A "Get Out Of Festivities Free" Card
It can be really uncomfortable to say no to invitations from in-laws, and no one wants to be a wet blanket during such a joyous, festive time. The sweetest MILs are not only familiar with the nausea and fatigue that her daughter-in-law is going through, but fully understand and support that sometimes, a Christmas movie marathon in bed is a better option than attending another holiday party.
4. Lets Her Sleep In
MILs who understand the value of extra sleep are the best kind. Whether that means watching the older children so her pregnant daughter-in-law can sleep in or simply not scheduling any festive, holiday activities in the mornings, it's all appreciated.
5. Goes Shopping For Baby Supplies
The post-holiday sales are excellent opportunities to pick up baby clothes and supplies. A helpful MIL will accompany her daughter-in-law on said shopping trips or pick things up on her behalf — even better? She'll foot the bill.
6. Babysits The Grandkids
When you're pregnant and already have kids, there's no time for naps, morning sickness, or pampering. That is... until Grandma comes to town for the holidays. Give your daughter-in-law time to recuperate and rest up by taking her kids off her hands for a bit while you're all together.
7. Gifts Her Cozy Maternity Clothes
I've been warned repeatedly not to invest in many maternity outfits, simply because I won't be able to wear them for very long. Now, my leggings are starting to cut off my circulation and my t-shirts are reaching their stretching capacity, but I feel guilty "wasting" money on maternity clothes. You certainly don't have to spend a fortune, but your daughter-in-law will be thankful for something cute and festive that she can actually breathe in.
8. Masters Mocktails
Fun cocktails are everywhere during the holidays, and pregnant women can experience some hardcore FOMO. It's depressing to watch everyone cheers with bubbling champagne while you're stuck with a bottle of water. MILs, make your daughter-in-law feel included by providing yummy, special, alcohol-free mocktails that you've perfected for this season.
9. Keeps Tabs On Your Partner
Because the best MILs don't assume their children are always the perfect, blameless party in your relationship, they'll also give your partner a word or two of maternal advice when needed. In other words, the best MILs have no problem telling their adult kid it's time to step it up a notch and take over holiday duties because their pregnant partner needs a dang nap.
10. Reserves Judgment
Even if she's the next best thing to Martha Stewart, a kind and supportive MIL will bite her tongue when her pregnant daughter-in-law's holiday hosting capabilities aren't 100% on the ball. On the other end of the spectrum? MILs who complain that you didn't get their cookie recipe perfectly right.
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