Not everyone has the stereotypically terrible mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. For the most part, if you are cool with your spouse's mom, she will be cool with you. The signs your mother-in-law likes you have everything to do with how respectful and noncompetitive she is toward you and vice-versa.
It's hard to have another woman in your child's life; another woman whose opinions are valued and advice is taken. Another woman who will be getting some of the attention that had always been reserved for you. For all intensive purposes. the wife replaces the mother. When a child gets married, the mother takes a backseat to their spouse, which can be difficult. But, as long as the daughter-in-law understands what her partner's mom is going through, they can form a new and really wonderful relationship.
The key to becoming close to your mother-in-law is understanding where she is coming from and putting yourself in her shoes. Consider that one day you will likely be in her same position and how difficult it may be to take a step back from what was basically your identity for the last twenty years. Just like you, she is learning as she goes.
If you are wondering whether your mother-in-law really does like you, here are some signs.
1. She Respects Your Boundaries
Boundaries are personal and what is considered appropriate varies on the individual. You might consider it crossing a line for your mother-in-law to stop by unannounced, or maybe you welcome her surprise visits. A mother-in-law who likes you will be sure to respect your boundaries, and not be offended by them.
2. She Remembers You On Special Occasions
When my daughter turned 11, it became apparent that there is a generational divide when it comes to gift-giving. What you like is not necessarily what your daughter likes, and vice versa. So when your mother-in-law gifts you a bracelet that isn't necessarily your style, know that this is her way of saying she loves you. Appreciate that she remembered your special day and went through the trouble of picking out something special.
3. She Doesn't Call At The Crack Of Dawn
I think it's a rite of passage for all new couples to be awoken at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning by an early-rising parent or grandparent who just wants to "check in."
Although Mareen Mackey told Reader's Digest that mothers-in-law hope you are not secretly saying, "Damn. Why is she calling here so early?" the truth is, it feels intrusive and inconsiderate, and we are saying that. A mother-in-law who loves you will wait until at least 10 a.m. on the weekends before dialing your number.
4. She's Taken The Time To Learn Your Quirks
Everyone has quirks. One of mine has to do with my dishtowels. I have usable dishtowels —the ones that are clean, but old or stained, and are folded neatly in my dishtowel drawer. Then, there are my decorative dish towels that match my kitchen decor. Which ones do you think are OK to use to dry the bottoms of pots and pans or to mop up spaghetti sauce?
When your mother-in-law likes you, she will make sure to learn which towels not to touch, even if they are hanging right there, on the oven handle, right next to bubbling pot of sauce.
5. She Doesn't Have Secrets With Your Kids
We've all heard of grandmothers who stuff their grandkids with sweets and then warn, "Don't tell your mom!" If your mother-in-law likes you, she won't ever ask your kids to keep anything from you. The same applies to digging for personal information about your marriage or finances from your kids, or swearing them to secrecy when she lets them to do things you would never allow.
6. She's The Best And Most Reliable Babysitter
What I love most about my mother-in-law is how much she values spending time with her grandchildren. I know that when I am not around, my kids are in the absolute best hands. I am also sure that one of the reasons she is as open and available for my kids is because she loves me. She wants to make sure that I can get some rest to be the best mom and human possible. She also offers up her time so that her son and I are able to strengthen our marriage, and maybe even surprise her with a few more grandkids to dote on.
7. She Doesn't Compare You To Her Daughters Or Other Daughters-In-Law
You may differ in opinion with your sisters-in-law, but the best mother-in-law knows never to compare you. She realizes that there are many different ways to be right, and respects each of you to make the best choices for your individual families, even if she secretly does have a favorite.
8. She Understands That You're The Mom
You are the mom to your child, and a mother-in-law who treats you as such is a blessing. It's easy for grandmas to "take over" when they come for a visit, and sometimes it's nice not to have to do it all for once. But, a loving mother-in-law will ask before doling out permissions or punishments.
9. She Stands Up For You
Believe it or not, sometimes your spouse is flat out wrong. A mother-in-law who likes you will defend you against her own child if she knows you are in the right. She will stand up for you to others as a good person and mother, even if she secretly thinks some of your child-rearing techniques are way too crunchy. The best mothers-in-law always have our backs.