We live quite a distance from our son & his wife and don’t get to see them as much as we’d like. So, one of the things my daughter-in-law recently did which built up our relationship is to share with me new recipes that they had tried and liked. Both she and our son really enjoy cooking on the weekends when they can do so in a relaxed atmosphere and wind down from the week’s busyness. They had given us a cookbook for Christmas and so could even direct us to the page number of the recommendations. We are planning on sharing the Acorn Squash Bisque with friends this weekend since we found it simple to make and delicious and reported this to Juliana (DIL). We’ll add to it Szechuan Chicken in Lettuce Bundles, another recipe in that same cookbook – Healthy Cooking for Two.
Food does tend to bring people together, doesn’t it? So, if you’re looking for something to share with your MIL or DIL, you might try recipes. It’s working for us!
So, if you’re like some MILS, you may not immediately recognize many commonalities with your DIL. Or vice versa. As one person commented, at first the only thing they had in common was her son! And that may have seemed the case at the time.
But, was it really? Or did they share numerous likes, dislikes, personality traits, talents, passions, etc. and not yet know it? Isn’t developing any relationship an exercise in finding out what the other person is like? What makes them tick? What moves them, motivates them, inspires them, entertains them, makes them laugh and cry?
“….. the things we have in common far outnumber and outweigh those that divide us.” – Walt Disney
Can’t convince me that a man is the only thing two women who love him have in common. Sounds like one of my opportunities is to want to find those common threads that connect us. And to do that, I’ve got to care enough about my son and DIL to invest my time and energy – two of the most important resources I have.
So, let’s tackle this question first: What makes for a great MIL/DIL relationship?
“Wow! I have that with Elaine. We have a lot of commonalities.” – Gayle in Colorado
When a MIL & DIL have quite a few things in common, when they share an interest in the same things or have some significant common experiences or similar backgrounds, there is a connection that makes it easier to develop the relationship. It might be an affinity for getting mani/pedis or massages, or a passion for bicycling, hiking, music or cooking. Maybe they both collect shoes or cookbooks or they work in the same industry. Perhaps they admire the same people or support a common cause. When you meet someone who likes the things you like, a bond is immediately formed. Looking for and becoming aware of these “ties that bind” sets the stage for shared conversations activities and adventures. And a great MIL/DIL relationship is definitely about sharing. Isn’t it?