list of ways to survive your in-laws

by Guest Blogger, Erin Kokoszka

Sixteen.16. Seize. Dieciseis. That’s how many in-laws I have at my house right now. Yes, yes, I know that all of you ladies out there are thinking, ‘well, sister, that’s what you get for living in the paradise known as Martha’s Vineyard.’ I hear you. But, still. They are here for a week, Friday to Friday. It’s day 3. I’ve lost it three times already. Like ‘psychotic break’ lost it.
It’s a control thing, plain and simple. I have NONE. So I’m making a list for everyone else – 10 ways to survive your in-laws. Here we go:

list of ways to survive your in-laws |

1. Make a pact with your spouse about any ground rules (like no one else uses your bathroom or they can’t bring their geriatric dog that poops on the floor and smells like he’s 207).
2. Plan activities and excursions that you enjoy. At least then you’ll be doing things that make you happy. The caveat is that taking your in-laws to your favorite places might just ruin them for you. If this is the case, don’t take them there, take them somewhere you already dislike.
3. Take drugs, like Valium.
4. Make time for yourself at least 2x per day – even if it’s just for 5 minutes.
5. Schedule several very important extra-curricular activities that can’t be missed: meetings, birthday parties, pap smears…
6. Establish your cheering squad. I have several cynical, bitchy friends on the island that love me very much and they are perfect for this task – sometimes you need people to feed and fan your fire.
7. Gather your support team. I also have people who are just downright nice. They nod and hold me and tell me I’ll be okay.
8. Designate some time every day when it will just be your family – even if it’s bedtime – when you can all just reconnect, breathe deeply and remember that at the end of the day, you’re all in this together.
9. Food. Fill your fridge and some secret hiding place with food that nourishes you to the bone. I don’t care what they say, there is a time and a place to use food for comfort.
10. Find something that you can control. Dogs are good for this, so are blogs. Find something that you can manage and boss around, just to give you some sense that all is not swirling chaos around you.
11. Try to behave. Because if you don’t, you’ll end up fighting with your spouse and then everything will turn black and you’re bound to get dizzy and nauseous. (This is where #5 comes into real play – use them to vent.)
12. Repeat the following mantra over and over and over again: ‘This is only temporary. This is my house. I am okay.’ – It’ll get you through and you WILL make it!

Erin Kokoszka loves all things luxurious and all things mom. She combined these two passions to create her web business Maternally Posh, a hotbed of ultra-cool baby and mom gear. Her store is full of modern and urban looks, and she unabashedly and vicariously lives through her website as her life on Martha’s Vineyard is light years away from life in the Big City. This WAHM lives on MV with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter, Sophia. You can find her products and blog here: &

9 responses to “list of ways to survive your in-laws”

  1. Chris says:

    Thank you for this post. It gave me a great afternoon laugh that was much needed. :-)

  2. A Dusty Frame says:

    aww!:( My mom had a hard mother in law.

    I have to say my mother in law is so perfect! I am incredibly blessed.

    10 years and not one thing I can complain about her except that she’s too nice! Once in awhile I wish she’d let certain people have it because they deserve it;)!

  3. Sandra says:

    I have my in-laws coming this weekend. Just 5 but it feels like more! Thanks for the list to make me smile and realize I will survive!

  4. Mama Zen says:

    And, don’t forget to remind your husband that he owes you big time!

  5. AudreyO says:

    What a great list. Having some ground rules that you both agree on is so important. Excellent post.

  6. Alexandra Hancock says:

    You are a much stonger woman than I am. That’s for sure. I would have sent that many in-laws packing by now!

  7. Ann(ie) says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOH Girl. This is well DONE! Would it be wrong to pop valium every 5 minutes???? Because I’m thinking that’s what I’d need to do whether it be inlaws or my own biological crazy bunch!!!!

  8. T with Honey says:

    I love this list. Although I’m visiting the in-laws at their house soon I follow many of the same tactics to stay sane. Still working on #3 though.

    But the key for me is a unified front (Honey and I agree on all sticking points before going) and coming up with an itinerary filled with activities and places where we want to go and will enjoy being there and maybe have an excuse to spend time away from the in-laws.

  9. (fairy) Godmother says:

    Oh… My… Gosh… You are one very brave woman. I would add two things to your list.

    1. Make sure you pour yourself a nice glass of wine or coctail at the end of every day. (If necessary start your day with one as well!)

    2. If need be… RUN LIKE HELL!!!!


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