This is a partnered post.
Celebrating mother’s day is a big occasion for us all (or at least it should be), but when you get married, you might find yourself with a new mom as well. How do you include her? Should you treat her like your own mom or do you recognize that the relationship is a little different, so how you treat the day needs to be a little different, too?
Pitch in with the present
Perhaps the easiest way to make sure that you’re spending some energy and thought on your mother-in-law is to help your spouse find a great mother’s day gift or make one with the grandkids. If you’re both pitching in, you can make it feel a little extra special. Of course, taking the time to present the gift to her and to wish her a happy mother’s day is just as important as the gift itself.
Add a little something to it
Your relationship with your mother-in-law isn’t going to be the same as your spouse’s relationship with her. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that while making it clear that she’s still an important part of your life. A little gift, something as simple as taking the time to send flowers to her can make her feel appreciated. This is especially true if she lives a distance away. It can be difficult to find those opportunities to make sure she feels like part of the family you are building, and sending a little something can be a great way to do to.
When is the last time you go to express your real emotions to your mother-in-law? It wouldn’t be surprising if, for most of us, the answer was “never.” If you have something good to say, then why not take the time now? You can write a “thank you letter” alongside your spouse’s present to her, thanking her for raising your true love, for helping you grow your family, and for accepting you as part of her. Of course, if you don’t have that kind of relationship with her, you don’t need to go that far, but some great mothers-in-law deserve to know that they’re great.
Spend time with her
Navigating mothers day with two mothers (and your own celebrations, if you’re a mom too) can be tricky. However, spending a little time with your mother-in-law, at least, can feel like the right way to pay respects to her. If you’re having dinner with your own mom, for instance, you can have lunch with her. If you can’t make the schedule work, it can still feel very heartfelt to invite her out the next day you are both available. Don’t forget that she might love to see the grandkids, too, if you have any children.
The truth is that how far you go for your mother-in-law on the big day is going to depend largely on the nature of your relationship with her. However, with the tips above, you can at least let her know she is appreciated and cared for as a part of the family in whatever way feels right to you.