The minefield of mothers-in-law

Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday as it is otherwise known, is a day for celebrating mothers throughout the world – ladies who have borne children, wiped teary eyes, kissed it better and cheered their babies’ successes. It is one of the busiest days of the year for florists, and Hallmark cards can be found in their multitudes all lauding mothers and grandmothers.

When two people get married, it is a wonderful occasion. It is also the day that they inherit each other’s families, popularly known as the in-laws. The mother-in-law in particular has been much maligned in books and films over the years, but most of the time she is being given a bad rap for no good reason.

What happens, however, when a young wife and her husband have a child of their own and Mother’s Day looms on the horizon? Who takes priority and how do you keep all the mothers happy so the second Sunday of every May doesn’t descend into carnations at 20 paces?

We took to the streets of George Town to ask the burning question – mother or mother-in-law?

“When my husband and I had my first child, I wanted my first Mother’s Day to be special and just us. My mother and his mother completely understood, so we sent them cards but spent it on our own with the baby and it was wonderful. Now we have three children I am VERY happy to include them. We go to brunch and they take their grandchildren from us the minute we get there because that’s how they want to spend their day. I get to drink champagne!”

Cathy – Wisconsin

“I don’t really get along with my mother-in-law. We try, but we just don’t see eye-to-eye. On Mother’s Day my husband spends the morning with me and then he goes around to see her for a while. I’ll usually take the children out to the beach for an hour or so. I don’t get in the way of their relationship, but I don’t want to spend my Mother’s Day arguing.”

Janet – Cayman

“My mother-in-law is really cool, we hang out a lot going shopping and chat on the phone. My mother died when I was fairly young so she has been great to have her around and she loves babysitting my five year-old daughter. My husband and I joke that I would rather spend Mother’s Day with her than him!”

Amy – Tampa, Florida

“Once we had a child we agreed that the morning would be ours, and then if my mother is in town we would spend some time with her. I usually cook my wife breakfast with our two children and we serve her breakfast in bed. She takes priority on Mother’s Day.”

John – Jacksonville, Florida

“Ha! You say that, but you are usually on the phone to her first thing in the morning, and if you haven’t called her by 10am, you know she’ll be calling you. She’s a nice lady, but he is her baby.”

Jessica – (John’s wife)

“Thankfully my mother and my wife get along very well. My mother doesn’t interfere in our lives and she understood that once we had children, my wife would be a mother herself on Mother’s Day. She is happy with a phone call and of course a card from her grandchild.”

Terrence – Cayman

The mother-in-law in particular has been much maligned in books and films over the years, but most of the time she is being given a bad rap for no reason whatsoever.