It is said that a gift softens the hardest heart. Tatiana Saina proved this recently when she extended some generosity to her mother-in-law
During one of our couples’ seminars last month, the main speaker touched on the need to strive to form good relationships with our parents-in-law. She emphasised the fact that they remain our family forever and that they are ready to offer their love and support if we are open to receive.
The speaker went on to illustrate how, being a Christian, she had purposed from the beginning of her marriage to put to practice her teachings about love and caring for others.
She said her mother-in-law was cold towards her at the beginning and was suspicious of her every act of kindness. With time, however, she warmed up to her and she is now her favourite daughter.
I doubted that this would be possible in my case, but I would give it a try. The speaker had told us to begin with small acts of kindness like buying gifts for them. I had noticed that my mother-in-law had been wearing one particular dress and sweater to church every Sunday and I decided to get her a new pair of Sunday clothes.
I did not want to buy expensive clothes, in case she rejected them, so I settled for an average-priced flowered skirt suit. I pictured her size and bought a size bigger. (Most church women in the village prefer loosely-fitting clothes.) I even bought some nice rubber shoes to match and hoped she would like them.
I sent the package through my husband as he travelled upcountry two weeks ago. That evening after receiving the gifts, she was very excited and I was pleasantly surprised by her sense of gratitude. I was a little cautious in expressing my feelings, but I was no doubt impressed. Everything fitted perfectly. Word had even gone round in the village and everyone knew ‘the daughter-in-law in Nairobi’ had bought the clothes. Considering how little it cost me, I was glad I made the effort.
Since then, things have been looking up and she has even begun flashing my phone so that I could call back. I didn’t even know she had my phone number.
She recently even promised to bring her friends to visit the baby and I. The tradition of a mother-in-law taking her friends to visit a daughter-in-law, who has just given birth, has existed for decades. Although I knew it would be a major task to host them, I could not reject this important gesture.