If you’re married you have them. If your child is married then you are one. The in-laws! There are so many bad jokes about in-laws and especially the dreaded mother in-law. We’ve had experience with being an in-law as well has having in-laws. We’ve also talked to a few people about what they think makes a great in-law!
1. Choose a name you’d like to be called. Nothing is more awkward than not knowing what to call your husband’s mother or father. It’s just as simple as saying, “please call me Sarah or Mama K”, or whatever is your preference. And be ready to accept whether the name sits well with your new daughter or son in-law. Some are just not comfortable calling you Mom or Dad.
2. Accept your son or daughter’s spouse as your kin. Period. There is such a need as a newlywed to feel included, loved and understood. Yet please acknowledge and respect that they are an individual family in and of themselves. There needs to be healthy boundaries.
3. Be a friend. The happily married couple doesn’t need another set of parents. But they sure could use a good friend. One of our friends said her mother in-law did a good job of asking her to do something together, just the two of them. Get to know your new daughter or son on a one to one basis.
4. You are no longer the coach but the cheerleader. And that can be a fun change! How wonderful it can be to relinquish that responsibility and control! Now you are free to let go of your son or daughter and let them become a family. Along this line, let them work out their own struggles. God has a plan for their lives, just as he did, (and still does) for yours, they just need to figure it out on their own. One more thing here, never take sides. Again you lived your life and marriage your way. Give them the same chance to work it all out.
5. Enjoy each other. It’s exciting to have a couple who will be your friends for life. Be willing to spend time with them and do things they want to do. And also respect their right to do things just the two of them. Invite them to dinner and you’ll be so thrilled when they call you up and say come on over, we are cooking tonight.
What else would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.