They're the words most of us dread our partners saying,
My mother is coming to visit. Automatically your Zen goes out of the window and you are looking ahead to what you hope will be a successful trip, filled with compliments about your housekeeping skills and design scheme, but don't leave it up to chance!
We have compiled some handy tips for making sure that you are not only prepared for your mother-in-law's visit, but will be the winner when it comes to an end! We know it shouldn't be a battle but sometimes it pays to be prepared, just in case!
Even if it's the first time you've properly dusted and hoovered this year, make your house spotless so that there can be no questioning how easily you keep on top of everything and look after the whole household. We know you are picturing your mother-in-law visit including white inspection gloves now, but keep that image in your mind and you will leave no sofa unfluffed, no carpet uncovered and no windows unwashed!
Aim to present a house that is airy, clean and refreshing, like this one from Seymour-Smith Architects and your mother-in-law will be suitably impressed!
If your mother-in-law has significantly different taste to you and your partner, there is a reasonable chance that things she has bought you both will be hidden away for much of the year. When a mother-in-law visit is imminent, however, you need to make sure you remember to get every last item out of storage and on display!
Nothing is worse than hurt feelings and in the case of your in-laws, you should always aim to tread relatively carefully, so as not to offend them. A few days of looking at items you don't necessarily like won't kill you and they can be boxed away later anyway!
If you and your partner are junk food fanatics or like to keep things casual at the weekends, with tracksuit bottoms and sweatshirts on, we doubt very much that their parents will want to see that. They may even think that you are encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle!
Be sure to plan well in advance of a mother-in-law visit so that unhealthy food can be hidden away, you can be showered and beautifully dressed and really giving off the impression that the two of you have it all together. Double check your kitchen, as easy go to junk always seems to find its way to the worktop!
Of course, there is one exception to the 'nothing unhealthy in the house' rule and that is whatever your in-laws' favourite snacks are! Ahead of a mother-in-law visit, get to the supermarket and stock up on snacks and drinks that you know she likes, that way you can show that you are attentive to her needs and wants, as well as your partners'.
We think it's always nice to have some of her favourite food waiting to be served as soon as she arrives, that way she doesn't have to feel strange about asking for anything.
Candles, towels, toilet roll and soap are all basic necessities but they become even more important in the face of a mother-in-law visit! The last thing you want is to run out of any of them, as she will no doubt wonder if you know what is going on in your own house at all!
Candles allow for a relaxing bath after your mother-in-law's journey, as well as discreet sensitivity to bathroom needs, while fresh towels and luxuriously scented soap will make her feel really pampered and spoilt. It'll almost be as though you were looking forward to her coming by!
Ok, so this tip might be more geared towards your happiness than hers, but if you have to suffer the stress and indignity of a mother-in-law visit, shouldn't you get something out of it too? She will be impressed that you can cook well and you can feel that you are still the master of your own home, so choose something that you are confident preparing and outdo yourself!
At the end of the day, your mother-in-law only needs to see that her child is happy and that you are looking after them and even if you don't get on well, always remember that without her, your beloved partner wouldn't exist!
For some extra house maintenance tips, take a look at this Ideabook: The Spring Clean: Tips To Refresh Your Domestic Space. Not many people like to clean so any useful tips have got to be a good thing!