Las Suegritas/ Mothers-in-Law

A while ago I read a post about a suegra. It was kinda sad. I knew I wanted to write about mother-in-law, daughter-in-law and sister-in-law relationships but I wanted to be respectful.

I also understand the underlying mechanisms that sometimes create divisive lines between women, especially women "competing" for the same man's love... Anyway seems like realistically that's what it comes down to. Women competing with other women for men. 

Sad if you think of it that way but funny if you can make light of those uncomfortable situations.
Here's my attempt at that ;-)

I decided to compile all the stories I've heard from friends and family with a couple of my experiences and made a list I'll title:

"The Monster-In-Law, I don't want to be"... 

Hopefully if I have these things in mind I can start preparing to be the coolest suegra ever to exist ;-) and maybe get a little laugh out of some of you.

1. La alcahuete (the enabler): Her son can do no wrong. He may have had a hard childhood, or a good one but he was never taught boundaries. When he gets in trouble, when he needs money, or when he fights with his wife. His mami y papi are always there to help him out of the situation. They would never allow him to grow up because that would imply detaching their ombligo. It's just far too risky. 

2. Si pero en mis tiempos, o en mi pais, todo era mejor (Yes but in my day, or in my country, everything was better: Everything the nuera suggests is chlidish or sophomoric. She knows more because she has more experience. Nueras are young, dumb creatures especially if they aren't authentic Latinas born in Latino America. 

3. La metiche (the nosey one): If she didn't find out about it then its not worth knowing. She knows what day you start menstruating. She goes to the store and tells everyone about all her son and nueras troubles to find suggestions as to how she can fix their messed up life. She gives you vitamins and other nutritional supplements for the kids because they got a cold last year, they must be desnutridos. She purchases special books and learning guides for her poor nietos because they didn't pass one spelling test. You even tried to plan a secret birthday party for her but she knew about it the day before you planned it! She doesn't mean any harm, she's just so annoying. 

4. La victima (the victim): You know the type who doesn't get a call once a day and is complaining about being neglected, even though she works full time and has a husband to hang out with. Nobody loves me. All my children left me y esa mujer no lo deja visitarme. She is often heard to say: How am I supposed to have a relationship with my grandchildren if they never bring them? But then every time you invite her to hang out she ignores your call or text and the only way you hear the complaints is when your hubby is telling you to be nicer to his mom because she told his sister to call him and tell him she was crying because she is being ignored. Everytime you do get to catch up with her, she is sick, super busy or having drama with her evil conocida. Pobecita (sniff, sniff)

5. Recuerdas a ______, era tan linda. (Remember ________, she was so cute) Oh man, this one is a stinger. She just can't forget about that 10-month relationship her son had with a really nice girl that he met just before he met you. He never told her she cheated and stole money from him. So she still chats it up with her, and refuses to throw away the pictures she has of her. You've been married for 10 years and she still brings her up. Sometimes she even calls her to say hi! Awkward. 

6. Mi hijo merece lo mejor (My son deserves better): No matter how hard you try, you just aren't good enough for him. She has this image of a nuera that is comparable to La Virgen. Anything of even slightly less modesty is unworthy of her. If you have any, any kind of baggage you are the ruin of her wonderful son's life. Sometimes this one aligns with the alcahuete. Cause a lot of times her son is far from perfect but she fails to acknowledge that. If he isn't doing everything perfectly in life something has got to be wrong with his wife, because when he lived with her everything was perfect. Guess this one aligns with being delusional too. 

7. The competitor: Hay no, this one is tough because you have a pretty good relationship but any chance she gets she is competing with you. She makes better arrosito, her pasta, her baby changing/raising skills, her daughter just got a job and she earns way more than you. Her youngest son is a soccer star, so she has to rub in he's better than your little brother. Her other daughter is about to graduate from college. She's planning to be a doctor someday that means she has way bigger aspirations than your sister. Oh and yesterday she went to the mall and got some shoes that were way cuter than yours. Maybe some day you will be as cute, smart and good as her. Oh and a word of caution don't you dare complain or point out she's always competing. That just means your jealous of her fame and fortune, osea stop being a hater oquei :-) 

8. La doble cara (the two-face):  When her son is around she hugs and kisses you. She actually asks you questions. This one is confusing cause you just never know. I mean she seems so genuine and then WHACK, she hits you with a, "aw the baby's nose is so big, he probably gets that from your side." *smile* or "you should work out more it'll help you feel more active and sexy, hint, hint" (it makes you a little insecure but you assume she's just looking out for you). She calls you to gossip about her friends and family and here and there she'll throw in questions about how you are she starts asking if you have a lot of bills and debt, followed by oh then why is my son always working? Or everyone once in a while your husband will ask, "why don't you try being cool with my mom?, she's trying so hard" And your caught of guard cause you assumed you were good! Then all the little jabs come back as a hard punch in the stomach and you realized you've been fooled again. Ouch! She's good....

9. La que hace todo mejor: She is master cook, cleaner, she's smart and dedicated. She is never late. She owns a business or two and she does all this with a perfect made up face. She works out every morning and sometimes at night. And honestly, when you first met her you kinda looked up to her and even thought you wouldn't mind being like her someday. She's not interested in bringing you up to her level though. Your cute but she's much better. BUT THEN one day you realized it's all a big front. She knows when your on your way so she can make up her face. She has more secrets than the CIA. She started that business but never actually does much. She's skinny cause she's anorexic and has a poor self-image.UGHHH. If only you'd known all this before you got that boob job :-/ 

10. The worst one to me: La que ni te las para (the cold-shoulder):  Ay this one, this one is cruel. She hates you. She's very straight-forward about it. You are not a part of her family and will never be. She ignores you are with her son. She's even tries to find him dates and offers him up to available bachelorettes. She is convinced you will split up and she is anxiously waiting. You are not welcome to family events, baby-showers, shopping trips, or any type of announcement. You usually hear about family activities through Facebook after the fact. If you are ever there, not by her invite, you are reminded clearly that you are not welcome by her. Because you are so uncomfortable and nervous you always end doing or saying something awkward. It's kinda sad because your suegro loves you but he is stuck between a sword and a hard place.Your husband pretends he doesn't care but when he can he'll sneak a call just to see how they are.

Don't feel shy to share your thoughts since you can post anonymous no one will know who you are talking about :-) 


Haha!! And what do you do if your suegra is all of these!? LOL!!
perudelights said…
Lol.. This post is very funny. I never had a mother-in-law, just cuñadas, and I love them because they always have been very polite and respectful. Like real sisters to me. Now that my son is married and I have a daughter-in-law, I hope to be the best suegra in the whole Milky Way...
Leslie Limon said…
Flor, this is an AWESOME post!!!

I love my suegra (and the rest of my in-laws) dearly. BUT...sometimes they can be a bit like your description for suegra #2. I think it's mostly because Hubby is the baby and I'm a gringa, so neither one of us never knows what we're talking about.
This is by far the funniest blog post I have read in a while. I just found your blog today...I am sending the link to my best friend. Our mothers-in-law are a little bit of all of these. Add that to the fact that we both married American boys (HUGE cultural differences-I am Peruvian and my Best friend is Nicaragan)with different religious beliefs than our own too. And let me just mention that both of our husbands are also the only boys in their families. For the most part, my in-laws are ok, but like I said, my mother-in-law is a little bit of all of these...and HER mother, she IS ALL of the above...except for #2 bc the only country she's from is rural Kentucky. (They have been REALLY giving me a hard time lately, so forgive me if I seem harsh...).

Anyway, your blog is fun to read!!!

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