Okay ladies, here are a just a few more tips when preparing for that visit from your husbands other woman. It just takes a bit of effort, but will make all the difference in the world and you can begin to actually look forward (almost) to her arrival. After all, it means a lot less cooking and cleaning for you, once she arrives, so learn to enjoy! Let’s begin.

1. Offer to Do the Laundry When Your MIL Comes to Stay

Your MIL might live in a ranch style house, with one floor so that she is simply not used to staircases. So, simply offer to do the wash (she will probably want to do it herself anyway) but the gesture is what counts! And if she gives your house a zing such as, “I hate this house – it has too many !@#$%^ stairs!” simply agree and tell her that you have to trick yourself into liking it to by telling yourself you’re at the gym doing the Stairmaster, since you want to retain your cute and sexy figure for her son. This will put the kibosh on all further discussions of said stairs.

2. Be Sure To Close the Top Cabinets in the Kitchen When Cooking

Let’s say you are multi-tasking like an octopus, preparing dinner, talking on the phone (thank god for headsets!) regarding an appointment for the water boiler to be checked, while simultaneously doing your hair and nails – as you might have scheduled a class at the Adult Education Center.
Your MIL might accidentally walk into a cabinet that you’ve forgot to close, bonking her head – really hard. OH NO! And you probably will be hearing about it for the next few days, or months (or years). So, to help you remember to close them? Simply tell yourself that the cabinets are like doors to the outside in the dead of winter and that your heating bill is going through the roof every time you open ‘em a crack. This one really works!

3. Be Prepared For Your MIL To Wear Lots of Perfume

Fragrance allergy or not, it’s not always easy to have a new scent around the house – in such overwhelming doses…
Simply spring for one of those Sharper Image Air Purifiers and run it on high when your MIL comes to stay. Compliment her on the scent and keep a bottle of Febreeze and squirt some here and there when she isn’t looking…

4. Be Objective When It Comes to MIL Criticism

Let’s say your MIL tells you your hair looks better the other way. Okay, so your first reaction is to feel like complete @$%^&#. Let’s change all that! Simply style it the “other” way while she’s there, and change it back when she leaves. However, you might actually find that other people start to compliment you on your new style, so be open to the possibility that Mother knows best!

5. Let Your MIL Help You With Your Landscaping

Your MIL loves to pick out flowers for your flowerboxes and shrubs for your garden. I say, let her! Please do not wrinkle your nose or peer furtively in your husband direction, or she will surely get the mistaken impression that you are contrary in every way. We must pick our battles, and besides, she most likely has a lot more experience in these matters than we do, and ultimately, a flower is a flower, right? You will most likely be pleasantly surprised at how nicely they bloom and blossom. If you absolutely must, replace them with your own choices the following spring. She only wants to test the waters and leave her mark – better outside than in!

Please visit www.TheDILRules.com for information on 96 more surefire ways to manage and make friends with your MIL, contests, giveaways, free bonus gifts, the DIL Rules newsletter, the 44 Top Tips Cheat Sheet, free music …and lots of other great stuff!

Author's Bio: 

Sally Shields is an award-winning pianist, composer, speaker, and author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! She graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory and was a recipient of the Boston Jazz Society Award. Winner of the 17th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition, her articles and transcriptions are featured regularly in Piano Today Magazine and her book, Modern Jazz Piano, is the standard theory manual for several music programs, including Princeton University. Her children’s song “It’s Christmastime, Once Again” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and her music is currently featured on the ABC TV daytime drama All My Children. When not traveling and performing around the world—most recently with bestselling author and musician James McBride—Sally (a vegetarian) lives in New York City with her husband (not a vegetarian!) and their two children.

Note: Although the relationship with her MIL was rocky at the outset, with the implementation of the devices outlined in The Daughter-in-Law Rules, the two now enjoy a special bond—which got even better, interestingly enough—after her MIL found out she was writing this book!