What your mother-in-law won't tell you

We asked a mother-in-law what she wishes could say to her daughter-in-law—and it's a lot nicer and more heartfelt than you might think!

1. It hurts to be downsized

I spent a couple of decades being the leading lady; now I have a smaller role.


2. I know he’s your husband now

But he’s still my son.


3. You don’t have to call me Mum 

But it would be nice if you did.


4. Thank you

I don’t always say it because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m sucking up. But I’ve never seen my son happier than he is now, married and with children.

Read more: Significant mothers: unforgettable film mums


5. A little gratitude wouldn’t hurt

Every year, I send you a birthday present, but you never even pick up the phone to thank me. This year, I said, “That’s it. No more.” Yet look at me: I’m about to send another present. I guess that’s how I am.


6. I want the best for both of us

We mothers say to our children, “I want you to be happy.” And we mean that. What we don’t say is, “But I would like to be happy, too.”


7. I know a little something

I’ve bought and sold 13 houses in my life. Why won’t you ask for my advice?


8. When I visit you, I’m just coming to see the family

I’m not coming for a white-glove inspection.

Read more: 7 Celebrities share lessons from their mothers


9. I’ve got his number 

When I really want to talk to my son privately, I don’t call your house. I call his mobile phone.


10. I’m truly appreciative

I’m happy that you allow my son—your husband—to visit me on Mother’s Day. It’s a long trip and a big expense.


11. I have a dirty little secret 

I’m afraid that if I don’t get this right, you’ll cut me off.

Read more: Why you should embrace Christmas with the in-laws


12. I’m lucky to have you!

Whenever I stay at your house, you always have my room ready, my towels, everything. You do all the right things.


13. I really want to make you happy

If you hate that green sweater I bought you, please, please tell me.


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Have you got Lasting Power of Attorney to help you make legal decisions when your loved ones can no longer make them on their own? It needn’t cost the earth and can be arranged in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Start by requesting your free information pack from Reader’s Digest Legal, by calling 0800 031 9516 and quoting reference RDL11.