To be honest, my relationships with my mothers-in-law haven't always been the greatest. Yes, I mean mothers-in-law plural. I have been married twice and have had to navigate relationships with two sets of in-laws. It wasn't easy, but it was manageable. Well, before I had kids. I think there's something about having grandchildren that makes most mothers-in-law say the most passive aggressive, rude, and judgmental things. The worst are the things that sound nice, but really aren't. You know, like the times you don't realize your mother-in-law is lowkey shaming you. The sh*t outta you, in fact.
Sometimes I really do think our mothers-in-law mean well. After all, they want what's best for their children and their grandchildren. Unfortunately, sometimes what they think is best and what you know is best are two completely different things. They make comments about how long your mother-in-law breastfed (so much longer than you did), how she didn't have to get an epidural (so why did you need one, huh?), how young your spouse was when she expertly potty trained them, or how she thinks that you really ought to post more pictures of her grandkids on social media. Yeah, they aren't really nice.
By far, my least favorite versions of mother-in-law comments are what I call "mompliments" — underhanded compliments which aren't meant to actually be complimentary. Like, "I like this new haircut so much more than your last one." So, you hated my last haircut, then? Gee, thanks. And then there's the "You are so brave to wear that!" Umm, no thanks. What you really mean when you say these things is that you can't manage to think of something nice to say to me. So, you know, maybe don't say anything at all?
So, listen up mothers-in-law the world over, and let me give you some unsolicited parenting advice for a change: if you want to have a good relationship with your child, don't give their spouse advice unless you're asked. It totally won't end well, and it will most likely feel like low-key shaming: