The Daughter-in-Law Newlywed: What to Do When The Honeymoon is Over (Literally!)

So, you’ve just stepped off the bus–do not delay! You must take these 5 rules and place them in your arsenal of weaponry immediately!!! It is often the most vulnerable time for a daughter-in-law (although you won’t know it it until it’s too late) since you are all starry eyed and wanting to make friends with your beloved’s mother. You will be bending over backwards and twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to win her approval but if you do these top 5 rules in a calculating and proactive manner, you will protect yourself from 90% of future D.I.L.Z. (Daughter-in-Law Zings) that are sure to come hurtling your way! So, let’s begin.

1. Call Your MIL “Mom”

Although this might take some getting used to, it is well worth the effort. Not only will it create a sense of family (remember the advice from The Secret: Feel it first and then it will happen, right!?) but it will also help remind you who is the true boss in this triangular relationship that you’ve just entered into. Hint: It isn’t you!

2. Call Your MIL Regularly

This seems like something that would be best left to your sense of spontaneity, but do not take this lightly. You must mark it in your calendar to call your new Mom at LEAST once a week. Mark a day on your calendar such as Sunday and call her religiously. If you are super busy, you can aim for getting her machine like when you know she’s at Bingo, but leave a message saying that you just called to say hi and to…

3. Ask Your MIL How She is Feeling!

This is a secret strategy that you must not leave solely for the times where she is truly under the weather. You must ask Mom how she is feeling each and every time you speak to her! Otherwise, you may be leaving yourself wide open to hearing about her aches and pains and she will have to initiate the topic, which brands you as an uncaring person.
So, beat her to the punch and make sure you do not forget!

4. Tell Your MIL What a Great Job She Did as Mother

This is a real good one, because it is a proactive strategy that works like a charm. This will most likely bring her to tears and that is great! Just remember that someday you too will perhaps raise a son and can you think of a more wonderful compliment that that? Surely not! So, speaking of compliments …

5. Compliment Your MIL’s Looks–Often!

Remember, your MIL can be just as self-conscious as you are, and who doesn’t like to be flattered? So, tell her how pretty, young, healthy, thin, she looks. Tell her what a great hairstyle she has. Even if she’s wearing a wig. Especially if she’s wearing a wig. In fact, go out and get yourself a hairpiece and you too can enjoy the benefits of “fake hair!”

Okay, you’ve gotten through the honeymoon phase. But beware, because you’re about to enter the realm of the ridiculous – a lifetime of wedded bliss with your MIL! Want to be armed with the impenetrable shield? Let Sally “The MIL Manager!” Shields prepare you with the ultimate Rules Shield! Please visit for information on 96 more surefire ways to manage and make friends with your MIL, contests, giveaways, free bonus gifts, the DIL Rules newsletter 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!