How to Be a Better Daughter-in-Law

Be a better daughter-in-law


I try not to compare myself to my sister-in-law, Cindy. She does many things better than I do, especially in the in-law department.

Cindy is better at helping out in our mother-in-law’s kitchen; she brings better dishes to the family meals; she’s more apt to initiate phone calls and visits with our mother-in-law.

Although my mother-in-law (she’s the best!) never shows favoritism between Cindy and I, I sometimes think she has to be more pleased with Cindy than with me.

But then I remember one thing.

What’s the most important thing my mother-in-law wants from me? It’s to love her baby son well.

And while I even fail to do that perfectly, I trust that she knows I do my best. I do love her baby boy. Jeff is my favorite person. And I am his.

When she heard I agreed to ride with him from Alabama to Illinois and back in two days a weekend ago, she was relieved. She didn’t want him doing it alone.  

Because he is happy, I know it makes his mother happy, too.

To be a better daughter-in-law? Be a better wife.

All in the Family

My youngest daughter Jenna mentioned that she and my oldest daughter Morgan talked last week. I always love hearing that. I love when my daughters love each other.

It was important to me when they were young. It’s still important to me now that they’re adults.

It makes me happy.

Parents are pleased when their kids love each other.

Remind you of someone else we know? Isn’t God pleased when he sees his kids loving each other, too?

All his kids.

Loving each other is loving God.

It might be the best love we ever give him. 

Share your thoughts in the comments.

13 thoughts on “How to Be a Better Daughter-in-Law

  1. Barb Hegreberg

    I do my best to love my husband well & my mother-in-law has always been good about treating me like a daughter.

    I know that I am blessed as I know many whose relationships with in-laws are volatile.

  2. Laurie

    Great advice, Lisa – to be a better in-law, be a better wife. I was lucky enough to have two wonderful mothers-in-law. Bill had a mom and a stepmom. In a relationship that is sometimes fraught with tension, I was blessed to have two excellent role models. I hope my daughters-in-law feel about me the same way I felt about my mothers-in-law.

  3. Barbara Harper

    As a mother-in-law, I agree with that–I love knowing that my son is well taken care of and appreciated and loved. And I love when one of my kids casually says they were talking or texting with one of their brothers recently. I love that they’re keeping in touch. When my oldest son is here and he and my youngest are talking in one of the bedrooms, it makes me so nostalgic–feels just like old times!

  4. Shannon

    Great insight, Lisa. I have an amazing mother-in-law. I’ve never felt the need to go out of my way to impress her, but I do look for ways to honor her and encourage her. I’ve never considered how something so simple–just loving her son well–could bless her.

  5. Jean Wise

    Good reminder. I know I need to tell my mother-in law kind words too. Not that I am mean; often I am silent and don’t express the positive to her. We will be seeing her in a few weeks and I plan to make an effort to say I love you more often. Thanks for the good push

  6. Shelbee on the Edge

    Lisa, thank you so much for sharing this post! I always feel like I am the worst daughter-in-law on the planet so this really was a helpful message to change my perspective. My Jeff is my favorite person ever and I am his and his mother sees how amazing our love for each other is, so that must make her happy, right? I have always been the black sheep of every family…my own and my in-laws (both ex-in-laws and the current ones). But you are so right, if we are loving their baby boys, that is all our mothers-in-law wish for!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad this thought resonated with you too, Shelbee. It’s easy to compare ourselves to what we think is the “norm” and come up short. That’s how I feel in this department. But if we can love their baby boys, we’re fine! 🙂

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