By Jayashri Jayashankar Last Updated:
It was a bright, sunny afternoon, my boyfriend and I were relishing a hot cuppa coffee at our favourite cafe when he casually suggested about meeting his mother. It seemed legitimate as we had been together for quite some time and marriage was obviously on the cards. At that moment, a ‘hmm’ saved me, but when I got back home, I actually freaked thinking about ‘the meeting’ that I was supposed to have with my mother-in-law. Deep in my heart, I knew I had to face it and work things out, but ‘how’ was the biggest question.
Having been married for a while now, along the way, I figured a few answers to dicey questions like ‘how to bond with your mother-in-law’, ‘how to make your mother-in-law like you’, ‘how to share a great rapport with your mother-in-law’ etc. etc. Bonding with my mother-in-law wasn’t a Herculean task as I thought it would be.
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Here are some things that I did (honestly and candidly) and they pretty much helped me. And no, I did not go out of the way to ‘impress’ her!
Yes, this is the most basic thing you can start off with. Once in a while, escort her to the places she likes visiting. Given that every woman is unique and different in her own right, understand what she likes doing in her ‘me time’. It could be a visit to her friend’s house, a visit to her favourite café or a maybe a stroll after dinner; these small things do help in creating a natural bond with your mother-in-law.
Clichéd this may sound yet it works most of the times. This applies to regardless of whether you live in a joint family or nuclear family, irrespective you know how to cook or not, bonding over food works magic. If you know how to cook, nothing like it and in case you are not too great with culinary skills, help her out in the kitchen by assisting her. Ask your mother-in-law to take rest and take charge of the kitchen and whip out something delicious and special for her. Again, do it only if you genuinely feel like doing it. Even if she doesn’t love what you cooked, she will at least appreciate the efforts you took for her.
We don’t mean an actual date here, but then a relaxing outing, preferably to the places she likes going to. If she likes watching movies, take her out on a movie followed by lunch or dinner maybe, and if she likes unwinding at a spa or parlour, book her an appointment or maybe for a live concert. It’s a very trivial thing but doing so, she will know that you are taking steps to create a loving bond with her minus the inhibitions.
Yes, the magical word here is shopping because women and shopping have a karmic connection, plus it’s always fun! If she’s been planning to buy something, take her along to the market and shop with her. Even if she doesn’t have any particular plans, still take her out to popular bazaars like Chandni Chowk or Rajouri Garden (if you are a Dilliwala), shop a bit, observe her taste and let her know your choices too. You never know if she ends up becoming your best shopping companion.
Nothing can beat maa ke haath ka khana, right? And plus, all mothers love it when their kids go bananas over their culinary wonders. So why not steal a recipe or two from your mother-in-law’s amazing cookbook and let her know how you value it? Ask her about her favourite recipes, jot them down, and someday, surprise her by making one for her.
Mommies know it the best! This necessarily doesn’t mean that you need to take advice from your mother-in-law on every single thing under the sun. Just remember, whenever she comes forward to suggest something, be open to her it.
This stands true above all! A basic, transparent bond with your mother-in-law can only be created if you are frank and honest with her. And moreover, this is the best way to get to know her and vice-versa. We don’t realise it too often but sometimes, the smallest of things have the biggest impact on people.
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So, here’s what you can to create a loving relationship with your mother-in-law. Feel free to tell us what you think of these in the comments section below.