“When do you plan to walk up to the altar?” I asked Susan. “Tom and I are dying to get married, but we can’t find a flat”, said Susan, “what about the one he is living in?” I persisted. “Oh! That is his mother’s. Surely you don’t expect us to live with her! Not me anyway. I hate mothers-in-law.’ How short sighted of her! Wise is the woman who respects the ma-in-law and keeps her in good humour. Sweet are the uses of this lady especially if you are working.
Be an optimist. Look at the plus points of having an m-i-l around. She can be the direct route to hubby’s heart- bypassing even his stomach. Because, however well you cook, he’s going to compare it unfavorably with what “mother makes”. Why not leave it to her to pamper his palate? She knows all his likes and dislikes, just how much he likes his peas boiled or chicken broiled and how thick he prefers his soup. Instead of vying with her for honours in the kitchen, leave it to her to rule the cooking range. If you are smart, you’ll join the bandwagon of her fans, which will include even your kiddos. She won’t grudge cooking at all. Instead, she’ll love it. That’s round number one for you.
Think of the advantages of having a fulltime baby sitter! If you leave your baby with the ayah, she’ll definitely pinch it to sleep or drink up it’s milk. Baby will become lean and skinny and ayah will grow strong and healthy. If you tick her off, she will quit and you’ll be left, literally holding the baby! But ma-in –law is a gem with her grandchild. She will lovingly massage and bathe the little one, coax it to drink milk or eat porridge, and lull it to sleep with her ancient lullabies. You can go to night shows with hubby or shake a leg at a party, without a thought for the heir’s welfare.
If you have a child who loves bedtime stories, what a boon ma-in-law is! It can be a pain to exercise your imagination each night, after a rough day at work, to think up silly stories about bears and tigers. It comes easily to ma-in-law. She has a fund of them with morals too! She can also answer all those impossible questions the child is fond of asking like where do babies come from or why does it rain or where is God? While you feel stupid saying things like cabbages sprouting babies, ma-in-law can credibly tell them how God cries which turns into rain and how little dewdrops on rose petals become pretty girls who listen to their parents.
You can save a lot on doctor’s bills when ma-in-law is around. She knows the quick-cure secrets for aches and pains that ail your children. A ginger here, a pepper there and lo! The youngster is as good as new! She can also tell you how to get rid of unwanted hair without pain or make your skin glossy and not blotchy, as it tends to do.
Ma-in-law is no doubt a goldmine in the house. The deeper you dig her usefulness, the more you benefit! So, if you have a ma-in-law, don’t run away from her or pull her son away. Grapple thy mother-in –law to they bosom, “with hoops of steel”. If it pains a wee bit, forget it. It’s worth the gain!