Advice to DILs- been given and argued out in many forums
Here comes the rest of the counsel
Disclaimer- This is not my experience. It is collective wisdom gathered over a period of time
To all the forward thinking ILs- This is not meant to insult you. This is in answer to many households who believe that the advice doled out bears merit
1. It is not enough to just welcome the DIL with open arms into the household on the day of marriage in front of everybody. One must also make her feel welcome and part of the family through and through.
-So if you give her the master bedroom with the only attached bathroom during the first week of her stay- continue to do that, because the newly weds would need that more than the rest of the family needs it.
-If you feel it is not right for her to cook for the entire household during the first few days, continue to feel so because after 3 days she will not morph into a cooking machine. The rest of the household should move their backside and do their bit in helping out as much as possible.
-If you encourage the newly weds to go out alone for their honeymoon or to catch a movie, do not frown on them if they want to continue doing that without taking the lot of you with them.
2. The DIL is now the Chief Executive of the house. The rest of you can be board members/ (senior) directors if you may please. You play the role of advisory but it is upto the CEO to execute. Remember, once again, the CEO is the ultimate decision maker. The rest of you are advisory and refrain from unsolicited advice unless it's really crucial for you to speak up. If so, do it tactfully. Do not hurt the feelings. This is like a relay race. You got to pass the baton if you want to ultimately emerge a winner as a team. Else you remain static and do not progress.
-Where the DIL goes and whom she visits is upto her. Do not question or prevent
-Trust the CEO- you have voted her in so you would have seen some qualities in her worthwhile to your household.
-Do not compete for her post. You are past your prime. Take Voluntary Retirement before you are unceremoniously thrown out.
3. Support the DIL at all times especially in the initial stages. It will reap more rewards than you can think of.
-So if you feel your son or brother is being unfair to the wife, do not hesitate to protest and make him see sense. It is easier to get back into the good books of your son/ brother than the DIL.
-In an unfortunate event of you becoming a witness to any quarrel between the couple, either scoot or support the DIL. Why? See above in red or go to this link.
4. The DIL is the certified better half of the son. So now stop behaving as you have the complete right over him
-Do not hog his time. Forget about late night chats with him. If it has to happen, it has to be done strictly in the DIL's presence.
-Allow the couple to cozy on together in privacy in shared resources like the sofa, TV, car, garden etc. Give them space. You could tactfully walk away into your own room when the son/ DIL come home after a long day at work instead of pouncing on them immediately
-Allow the DIL to talk of relevant events of the day to her husband instead of you being the mouthpiece. You can be the mouthpiece for your own husband.
-Do not butt in if the couple talk something to each other. If it had been of any conseuqence to you, they would have involved you. Probably they are discussing something that is too embarassing for you to listen to. So mum's the word
5. If you want to eat something specific- make it yourself. Don't expect the DIL to magically know how you like your food made.
- if your son likes a specific recipe do not nag the DIL to make it - if you wanted him to eat that same food all the time, you should have taught him how to make it.
6. If you find your son romantically helping out the DIL, do not crib or taunt on how he never helped you. Blame it on your managment skills and crawl back into your hole.
-don't pretend that the tyrant DIL is overworking your poor son and start lending him a helping hand. I repeat, crawl back into your hole.
7. Whenever you buy a gift for the couple, ensure that the gift for the DIL is equal in stature or value to what you give your son.
-rerfain from giving cheap unbranded stuff, sale stuff or dowdy or fake clothes. Nothing but the real thing for the real gem of DIL who is coming to grace your home.
8. Your DIL is the representative of your house. Do not sit and gossip with neighbours of her age now.
-As I said, back off into your hole or den or whatever you wish to call it.
9. You make a fool of yourself if you compete with DIL in domains where your skill sets are low.
-It makes better sense to tell yourself- I am not competing.
10. She is the DIL. She is not a cleaning machine to pick up wet towels, put your dirty laundry in the machine, stash away smelly shoes, make beds, switch off lights, fan, gas or taps after all of you.
-Remember the mantras
- each one for oneself
-do unto others as they do unto you- so if you want your DIL to pick up after you, you lead by example- pick up after her first.
11. And finally, don't try to force fit your grandchildren's looks/ behaviour to your side of the family. Remember she is the mother who bore the child for 40 weeks. It is nature's way of ensuring that the child has to take after the mom in some way or the other.
-Since you cannot beat them(nature), join them. Sing profusely how the child is just like the mother. It will reap more rewards than you can think of.
Edited to add
I quote from her and applaud...
You have handed over your son to his wife. She is his first priority - not you. So chill okay. If he spends more time with her, dont sulk. If they do want to go out with you or spend time with you, they would come and be with you. Its their zamana, not yours. Plus at this age, you would not survive their pace, their food, their loud music. Notice I said “their” They are a team now, you are the bystander. Accept it.
Lastly and most importantly ….. Be nice to the girl your son brings home - remember that she is the one who will be around when you are old and frail. Also she is the mother of the grandchildren you hope to pamper.