So, my fiancée (well, husband now) and I kind of eloped a couple months ago. We've been together for four years, and one day thought, "Hey, we can totally get a tax break for this relationship business." So we got married and that was that. Not super romantic, but whatever. Regardless, the married life is pretty awesome, particularly because I have the best mother-in-law, ever.
I get that some of us aren’t so lucky. Some of us have really over-protective, overbearing in-laws that make us feel like we’re in some cringeworthy Ben Stiller movie and that everything is not okay and will never be okay. In fact, there is probably an entire section on Netflix for "In-Law Comedies" (and if there isn't, there should be) because In-Laws are so notoriously known for wreaking havoc on everyone's lives and providing really good dark humor material. I guess there's just something about letting your kid marry someone that brings the terrible out of you, but thankfully I don't have to experience that.
If you do have a great relationship with your in-laws, then you’ll know that they’re basically just an extension of your family, but better. Here’s why:
1. It’s like having another set of parents who think you’re purely awesome
Your in-laws love you almost like they gave birth to you (except not because that would mean you’re in an incestuous relationship, ew). You’re the daughter/son they always wanted, no matter how many sons and daughters they have. For some reason, if you’re in the good graces of your in-laws, everything you do is untouchable and praise-worthy. The last time I saw my mother-in-law, she thanked me for being such a wonderful fashion influence on her son, and I would have to agree—he looks pretty fly. Furthermore, she’s not super acquainted with my flaws like my parents are, so she basically thinks I’m perfect (LOL). Hey, whatever. I'll take it.
2. They will probably babysit for free
I haven’t produced any children yet, so I have yet to find out if my mother-in-law will be cool with hanging out with my future babes. But I know my parents will watch my brother’s kids any time he wants them to. He dropped them off for three weeks when he and my sister-in-law went to Turkey, and my parents were overjoyed (or at least, they pretended to be overjoyed in a super convincing way). I’m assuming my parents are like most grandparents in that they are basically hard-wired to want to spend any second with their kid’s kids. Free babysitting service? Please and thank you.
3. They will do most things for free, actually
In-laws are just as altruistic as your own parents, if not more. If your car breaks down and no one else is around, your in-laws will totally help you out. If you and your SO are struggling for cash, they will lend you interest-free monies to help you survive, or at least let you eat at their house whenever. In-laws are kind and wonderful life-savers.
4. Holidays are so much better with them around, especially if your parents aren’t close to you
I’m basically the only family my husband has here in California, and that can be kind of lonesome for him sometimes. Not that I’m not excellent, exciting company, but it sucks to not have family around especially during the holidays. Which is why my parents have made sure to take him under their proverbial wing make sure he feels totally at “home.” It's just so much different than showing up to a friend's house for Thanksgiving and innately feeling like an interloper no matter what.
5. They most likely will take your side if you go to them for advice about your relationship
Obviously, if you’ve like, burned your house down in a jealous rage don’t expect any sympathy from anyone. But if you talk relationship issues with your mother-in-law, it’s almost guaranteed she’ll take your side, because ladies stick together, duh. And your in-laws know your SO better than anyone else, so even if they see his side as well, they’ll at least alleviate the situation with their parental expertise. Because sometimes you just need a grown-up around to make things better.
6. Because hanging out with them is like hanging out with older, wiser versions of your SO
My parents are really Russian and really intense, and my husband's mom is really into those white, chalky angel figurines and has an entire collection at her house. But it’s true that parts of us are totally derived from our parents. I have my mom’s relentless neuroticism and my dad’s penchant for short-term obsessions. Mischa has his mom’s highly-apparent low tolerance for bullshit and ambivalence to change. It’s just cool seeing who our honeys come from.
7. You get to look through old photos of your boo with them
Who else will procure an endless supply of dorky high school photos and insanely sweet baby pictures for you to wade through? No one. No one will let you do this highly-embarrassing activity.
Images: ABC; Giphy(4)