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All the reasons why I love my mother-in-law

It’s time we pay some tribute to some unsung heroines in our lives—our mothers-in-law. I realize this may be a touchy subject, but just hear me out.


Full disclosure: I won the MIL lottery—BIG TIME. I am beyond #lucky, but realize that some mamas struggle with this VIP in their lives—which probably explains why my friends refer to my mother-in-law as a “unicorn.”

Sure, you may have battled over flowers at your wedding or bickered about how to change diapers properly, but you might have more in common with your partner’s mama than you realize. And even if you’re polar opposites, perhaps the two of you could connect over the fact that she loves your husband as much as you do.

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Every mama deserves a unicorn, er, mother-in-law like mine. But what makes her so special and what do good mother-in-laws do to earn their daughter-in-law’s praise?

First, she gave birth to- and raised her son well—very well. It is because of her that he reveres women and is a devoted dad who worships the ground his daughters walk on. She led by example, showing him what a strong, confident female looks like and taught him to deeply respect and support women.

She doesn’t hesitate to call her son out when she needs to. Rather than protecting her baby boy at all costs, she will support and defend her daughter-in-law if warranted (possibly disappointing her son). Sorry, dear.

She doesn’t meddle—like, EVER. She understands that her son has a life partner now and his marriage is just as important as his relationship with mama. Hello, Fairy Mother-in-Law!

She offers opinions without passing judgment. She has a way of suggesting things in a non- offensive, casual manner. You can take it or leave it. No pressure.

She helps without prying. She steps in to save the day and welcomes the opportunity without any strings attached.

She gives her daughter-in-law space to transition to life with an infant and her new family unit on our terms.

She quietly and thoughtfully chips in with essential tasks around the house and thereby allows her daughter-in-law to navigate those foggy days of new mamahood more easily.

She shops for groceries and organizes friends to deliver meals after her daughter-in-law gives birth to her grandchild(ren). Imagine someone showing up at your doorstep delivering scrumptious feasts fit for a queen for two weeks. Cue angels singing…

She adjusts to (and respects) her daughter-in-law’s parenting style rather than trying to force her views on her. This includes “back when she was a young mother…” stories, btw.

On family vacations, she volunteers for the midnight feeding shift with her extremely colicky grandchild and keeps her in her room to give her daughter-in-law at least one night of decent sleep.

She is a great nurse. She comes over (without being asked!) to bring her daughter-in-law soup and makes her tea. She also gets her grandkids from school those days and entertains them at her house until her son gets home. #AngelOnEarth

She welcomes and accepts everyone with open arms.She’s the embodiment of ‘zero judgments--just love.’

Mama, as you can clearly tell, I adore my MIL—I understand all too well that may not be the case for everyone. BUT a good rapport with your husband’s mama may be within your reach, too.

Most mothers-in-law probably have good intentions and want to connect with their daughters-in-law. After all, they love their baby boys and only want the best for them, right? They want to be part of your village (and you could probably use her help, too!), even if it doesn’t always come across that way.

Take a chance, mama. Make the connection. Bridge the divide and take that first step toward building the beautiful relationship you deserve with your mother-in-law.

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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