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Hindi Kayo OK Ni MIL? Pope Francis Says, Choose Kindness; Study Suggests, It Could Be Genetics
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
  • At the Smart Parenting Village, one of the topics that parents like to share about is their daily experiences with their mothers-in-law (MIL).

    There's one mom who shared that her MIL had her kids undergo a DNA test without her knowledge. One mom, on the other hand, confessed that she feels more love towards her MIL than her own mom.

    Whether it's a happy or a horror story, parents are able to vent out in this private group for parents their feelings towards their in-laws.

    'Be kind to your mother-in-law'

    Recently, Pope Francis gave advice to Catholics, saying that they should treat their MIL with kindness. He said that MILs are often victims of cliche, and are often portrayed as the bad guy, and that it shouldn't always be the case.

    "I'm not saying we see her (the mother-in-law) as the devil, but she is always presented in a pejorative way. But the mother-in-law is the mother of your husband and the mother of your wife," he said.

    "We say to ourselves 'the further away your mother-in-law is, the better'.

    "But no -- she's a mother, she's an elderly person.

    "One of the most beautiful things for a woman is to have grandchildren. When her children have children, it brings her to life again," the 85-year-old pope added.

    He urged daughters-in-law to take care of their relationships with their mothers-in-law.

    "...they gave birth to your spouse," he said. "At least make them happy."

    It's not the first time Pope Francis is giving a comment about mothers-in-law.

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    In 2015, Pope Francis got real when he told a crowd in the US, "Families quarrel and sometimes plates can fly and children bring headaches, and I won't speak about mother-in-laws."

    'It's not you, it's genetics'

    If you find yourself having a difficult relationship with your mother-in-law, don't worry. You are not alone.

    A recent study published in the Evolutionary Psychological Science journal found that both men and women report having more conflict with their mothers-in-law, than with their own mothers.

    What do they usually argue about? Money matters and child care. 

    The researchers suggested that these conflicts may be “influenced by genetic conflict” as each person “unconsciously acts in the interest of their genetic kin” instead of in each individual’s best interest.

    Conflicts between in-laws, the study found, is also likely due to the fact that they “do not choose to have relationships with one another” but are forced into familial bonds as “unintended consequences” of their children’s romantic relationships.

    How to start building a good relationship with your mother-in-law

    1. Treat her as your ally

    As what Pope Francis mentioned, if you cherish your husband for how he was raised by his parents, specifically his mother, then the least you can do is to treat her with kindness. 

    As Mommy Aprille Lao said, "A wise wife would make her MIL an ally. Nothing beats raising kids with their Lolas around!" 

    If you can't see her as a partner in raising your child because you have opposing views on parenting, it's never too late to compromise or find a middle ground if you communicate with each other.

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    2. Trust your husband

    Remember that your husband is your partner, and if you have issues with your mother-in-law, believe that he has your back.

    Mommy Mary-Ann C. Magistrado-Ayo said, respect begets respect. "So far, napaka-civil niyang tao (MIL). Hindi ka sesermonan harap-harapan. Mahal niya mga apo niya. Marespeto kumbaga, galante sa amin. Kami lang ni husband nag-aatubili tumira sa bahay nila kasi napaka-OC ni MIL, mahirap na baka may masabi. Pag may rant ako, kay husband ako nagsasabi kaya yung respect, nandun pa din."

    READ ALSO: Regine Velasquez On Dealing With In-Laws: Ang Importante Kayong Mag-asawa

    3. Don't blame yourself

    As the research concludes, having a difficult relationship with your MIL is not entirely your fault or hers.

    Dr. Terri Apter, a psychologist from Cambridge University, looked at the root of this age-old problem in her book, What Do You Want from Me?: Learning to Get Along with In-Laws. 

    “Both the mother and the wife are struggling to achieve the same position in the family — primary woman. Each tries to establish or protect their status. Each feels threatened by the other.”

    Nevertheless, the pope also left a word for mothers-in-law.

    "And to you, mothers-in-law, I say: be careful with your tongue, because its misuse is one of the worst sins of mothers-in-law. Be careful."

    This Mother's Day, why not give your MIL any of these amazing gifts that we found online? See the list here.

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