When Your Mother-in-Law Rocks

When Your Mother-in-Law Rocks | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Mothers-in law.

They usually have a bad rap for being intrusive, overbearing, irritating and controlling.

I have been at so many gatherings where mothers-in-law have been the center of everyone’s jokes.

I am happy to report though that I can never join in to these conversations because I don’t have one single story to tell. Seriously. Not even one.

My mother-in-law is the best.

And I don’t just say that because she reads this site, or because she will be soon spending an undefined amount of time taking care of my children and my household while my husband are away adopting our fourth. (Anyone who takes on my kids and their schedules is amazing.)

But because she really is the best and doesn’t get the credit she deserves.

Why is she the best?

For starters, she raised her son, who is now my husband, to be kind, hardworking, honest, generous, and loving. She poured these qualities into him everyday by being an example. I get to reap the benefits of her sacrificial and unending love and devotion. Her impact years ago is now impacting the hearts of my children and I could not be more grateful.

She is fun. Every year she travels from Brazil to stay with us and my absolute favorite thing is to hear her joyful laugh echoing in the walls of my house. Her fun-loving nature draws people to her.

She is talented with words, an expert in the kitchen, and a beautiful musician. She selflessly shares her gifts with everyone around her.

She loves my children like they are her own. She is never too busy for them. In fact, once a week she spends a great deal of time teaching them to play piano over Skype. Have you ever tried to have a conversation on Skype? Yes? Then you know how annoying and frustrating it can be. Add Wi-Fi that keeps dropping, and a distracted wiggly-excited child into that scenario and times it by three. That is our every Wednesday evening, and she keeps showing up!

She is a servant. I am always having to tell her to sit down when she is in my home. If she isn’t working in the kitchen, she is busy washing my windows. Also, if it weren’t for her, none of my indoor plants would be alive right now.

She is patient, kind, and understanding. If you ever need a compassionate heart to hear you, she is your woman. Over the years I have been encouraged by our conversations. She welcomes you with open arms and a non-judgmental spirit.

I am often thankful for her perspective. While I am in the throws of motherhood, she comes in with a seasoned wisdom. She often sees what I can’t see and gently offers that perspective, but only if I  ask for it. I am a better mother because of her example, and hopefully one day I’ll be a rock star mother-in-law, just like her!

Maybe mothers-in-law’s intentions are misunderstood. Maybe they don’t get the praise they deserve. Maybe some of us young moms forget that we have a common thread that binds us to these beautiful older moms. We are walking the same journey, and if we are lucky enough we will know that we are blessed to walk it together.

I want to hear your stories about your amazing mothers-in-law. Why are you thankful for her? What do you love the most about her?

Cari Dugan is a lifestyle photographer and writer in Minneapolis Minnesota. She writes candidly about everyday life and experiences on being a wife and a mother on her blog Dugans in Cahoots ( www.dugansincahoots.com ) You can also keep up with her on Instagram (@cariduganphotography ) Her husband, and four children make life what it is – A Beautiful Mess.


  1. Wow!
    It sounds like you’ve won the lifetime mother-in-law lotto!
    You’ve described EXACTLY how I feel about my own MIL, almost down to the last detail (and more eloquently, than I!). My MIL was an elementary teacher for 40 years and that alone feels like such a gift, that I get this special access to pick her brain as the kids progress thru school. And like yours, she just happens to be a wonderful, kind, and patient person on top of it! She has become my spiritual guide, and I couldn’t be more grateful that our lives somehow intersected with one another’s.

    Thank you for sharing this personal tribute to your MIL, and reminding me of this blessing that I have in my own life!

  2. I too am happy to report that I don’t have anything to share at gatherings where mother’s in law are talked about negatively. I too have the best mother in law and hope to be as loving, generous and kind to my daughter’s husband someday.

  3. Wonderful article! I absolutely love my mother-in-law as well. She has been a life saver and treats me like one of her own, which I think says a lot. She actually lives right around the corner from us. When she bought her house, after we bought ours, everyone would ask her if I was annoyed she chose a home so close to us. She’d laugh and tell them that I found the house and helped her buy it 🙂

  4. I too have an amazing mother-in-law! She stayed with us for two weeks after my son was born. Her unwavering support got me through those tough early weeks of breastfeeding and becoming a mother. It’s been almost five years and I have yet to find a MIL-specific card for her on Mother’s Day!

  5. My daughter in law sent this to me and it almost took me down …:so grateful to have a DIL who only sees the best in me and gives me much more credit than I deserve 🙂

    Your MIL is also blessed to have YOu.


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