Real Brides Share Heartwarming Mother-in-Law Stories

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Mothers-in-law get a bad rap. (After all, we don't give them the nickname monster-in-law for nothing.) But not all mothers-in-law are bad. And, in fact, some are just plain amazing. So to celebrate those wonderful women, five brides are here to share their most heartwarming mother-in-law stories.

Nikki admits she may not have been the best match for her now-husband before they tied the knot. "When we married, I didn't really have my life together," she says, "and I cringe at what my mother-in-law must have thought of me marrying her son." But Nikki's mother-in-law kept any doubts she may have had to herself. "She displayed the most selfless, unconditional love to me," Nikki says. "Over the next ten years, her unconditional kindness and love changed me as a person and I realized I was given the greatest gift: a mother-in-law who chose to love me through hard times, even through times when I probably wasn't good enough for her son. To this day, she has never said an unkind word to me, and she has always been quick to point out all my good qualities and encouraged my unique gifts."

Stephanie's own mother passed away when she was pregnant with her first child. So after her son was born, it was especially meaningful to Stephanie to have her mother-in-law by her side. "She came to stay with our family for a month to help care for both him and me, manage our household, and give me pointers on caring for my first baby," Stephanie says. "The pregnancy and birth were a joyful but bittersweet time for me, but my mother-in-law has always been there for me when I've had questions or needed advice about raising my son, while never trying to replace my own mother. I'm sure she knows I would have rather shared that special time with my own mother, and I hope she knows how grateful I am to her for stepping in when I most needed somebody."

Dana feared her Southern mother-in-law didn't like her. But after putting serious time into the kitchen, whipping up real greens, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese, her fears were soon put to rest. "I knew that she had accepted me into the family when the week before our wedding she shared her recipe for her sour cream pound cake," Dana recalls. "She had never shared it with anyone in the past and hasn't since. I was so honored. It was like she was trusting me with her son and her legacy."

Christina's Canadian wedding was a destination affair for her family, who lives in Great Britain, and many of whom might not have been able to make the wedding if not for her mother-in-law. "My mother-in-law opened her home to my whole family to come and stay in Canada for the wedding," Christina says. "There were people everywhere, taking up every bed in her house. She even borrowed RVs and trailers from friends and had them parked outside her house so my family could be more comfortably accommodated. It was absolutely amazing, the way she just extended her home to my whole family so that they could be there for my big day."

After Stacy had an emergency C-section, her mother-in-law didn't hesitate to come to her side. "I was in terrible pain and called her within hours of returning home from the hospital," Stacy recalls. "She called off work and came down the next morning to stay with me for several days." But that wasn't all. When Stacy got pregnant with her second child, "she found out the date of a planned C-section this time and took off three weeks to be with me and my toddler. She was by my side the entire three weeks and kept the baby for me at nights while I rested. She was a godsend those first few weeks."

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