The Mother-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law Translator

Filed under: Relatives, Holidays, Funny Stuff, Opinions

mother in law picture

Do you fantasize about taking your mother-in-law or daughter-in-law down in a sumo match? Credit: Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP/Getty Images


Bet you didn't know this, but Sunday, October 24, is Mother-in-Law Day. Since 2002, families -- well, some families -- have celebrated this holiday on the fourth Sunday of October. (We're sure that its proximity on the calendar to Halloween is completely coincidental.) A lot of jokes have been written about mothers-in-law, but many couples rely on their "other mothers" for child care, holiday meals, and even financial support, so after 364 days of being taken for granted, maybe they deserve one day of celebration.

In the spirit of the holiday, we want to help bring mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law together, because we understand that, just once in a while, you may have a little trouble understanding each other. So we've created this "MIL-DIL Translator" to help you decipher the hidden messages you may be sending each other. Share it with all the MILs and DILs in your life:

Daughters-in-law ...

When your MIL says: That's a lovely picture of your parents on the refrigerator! ...
What she means is: So I should assume you're keeping my picture in a shoebox somewhere?

When your MIL says:
What a nice surprise! You didn't need to go to the trouble of cooking me dinner ...
What she means is: Oh, so you DO know how to operate a stove! I owe my husband $20.

When your MIL says: Don't worry about seeing me over the holidays. Whatever works for you is fine ...
What she means is: I'll just sit at home, alone, bitter, and be sure that nothing I've ever done for you has been appreciated.

When your MIL says:
How thoughtful! Thank you for this lovely present! ...
What she means is: I'll be regifting it to your mother next year.

When your MIL says:
You have a cleaning lady coming in now? Well, good for you! ...
What she means is: It's hard to tell because she does as halfhearted a job as you did.

When your MIL says:
You've enrolled my granddaughter in a fencing class? That's incredible! ...
What she means is: Whatever happened to the Girl Scouts?

When your MIL says:
Good for you for taking her pacifier away. She'll be upset for a while, but it's time ...
What she means is: Tell me again why you couldn't do it tomorrow, when I'm out of earshot?

When your MIL says:
He's just a ball of energy, isn't he? ...
What she means is: When are you having him checked?

And, mothers-in-law ...

When your DIL says: You should stay for dinner; it's no trouble at all ...
What she means is: I'm giving you one hour from when the plate hits the table. Then I turn down the heat.

When your DIL says: Don't worry; the children will love whatever you buy them ...
What she means is: If you get them exactly what I suggest.

When your DIL says:
Oh, the kids are easy; they'll eat anything you give them ...
What she means is: As long as it's a hot dog, a French fry, or a chicken nugget.

When your DIL says:
It's so wonderful how close you still are to your son ...
What she means is: But he's mine now so don't you dare badmouth me to him!

When your DIL says: We'd never dream of leaving the kids with someone from outside the family ...
What she means is: Make sure you're on call for us seven nights a week.

When your DIL says: You gave them all candy bars right before bedtime? We'll, that's why they love grandma! ...
What she means is: You're never babysitting again.

When your DIL says: We've decided not to allow the kids any TV time; it's no substitute for creative play or family time ...
What she means is: You were a terrible mother.

When your DIL says: We let him wear his Batman cape everywhere. I think it's adorable ...
What she means is: I'm a terrible mother.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Grandparents.com.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.