Since you'll be spending a lot more time with her, why not make it count?
Credit: Siri Stafford/ Getty Images

Whether you've known her for years or just met, you feel a self-imposed pressure to impress your future mother-in-law whenever you're with her. (And even when you're not.) Though you're usually self-confident, you're driving yourself nuts trying to present yourself as the ideal daughter-in-law: smart, funny, kind, and worthy of her son. You'd really like to bond with her, but how? We have some tips that will make the two of you tighter than a pair of Spanx before you've even set a date.

Gifts to Never Give Your Mother-in-Law for the Holidays

Offer your help.

Whenever you're at your FMIL's home, always offer to help her with chores. Whether you wash dishes or offer to set the table for dinner, your MIL- to-be will appreciate the kind gesture. If you're helping her in the kitchen, it's a great time to ask about your hubby-to-be's favorite family recipes and hear childhood stories about him.

Take a walk down memory lane.

You and your future MIL share an important common interest-her son! Ask to look at old photo albums and yearbooks, and ask questions about what your groom was like growing up. If she's like most moms, she'll be more than happy to chat about him. It's also a good time to tell her about your childhood and family--but don't go into any depressing tales of woe. Keep the convo positive.

Ask to hear her love story.

Everyone loves a good romantic tale. Ask to hear about how she and her husband met or how he asked her to marry him. If she's happily wed, ask her opinion on how to have a successful marriage. Bonus points if she shows you the wedding album. A win-win for everyone!

Take an interest in her hobbies.

Whether she loves a mid-morning power walk or is nuts about wine, take an interest in her interests. Ask to join her on a walk around the neighborhood or for advice on choosing a great bottle of vino. Focusing on activities is a great way to start a conversation. Maybe you'll take up her hobby for real; it's also a way to figure out great MIL gifts once you know what she likes to do.

Plan some girl time.

Though you two may have super busy schedules, try to carve out an hour or two to treat her to a mani/pedi or grab a quick bite to eat. It will give you some one-on-one time to really get to know each other.


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