Mothers-in-law can be wonderful creatures to observe and interact with. However, some are capable of going from docile to dangerous very quickly, especially when their young males are involved. The purpose of this article is to inform readers of the prevalence of MIL attacks across North American. To help teach them how to protect themselves when mothers-in-law (or MILs) occasionally can and do attack.

Attacks were somewhat uncommon in the northern hemisphere but have increased dramatically since the mid 1900s. Statistics indicate that thousands of women a year are now traumatized, hurt, and even sometimes hospitalized due to unprovoked and unexpected mothers-in-law attacks. Although some encourage attacks by exhibiting behaviors that the MIL may deem as threatening, such as confining MILs to specific boundaries (especially those who are used to living in a boundariless environment), getting too close to an MIL’s young (especially an MIL’s male offspring), or approaching an MIL with your young children, which some MILs may have a tendency to perceive as their own. It is important to remember that MILs can and will nip, bite and even attack.

How to protect yourself from mothers-in-law attacks

If you enjoy brief encounters with MILs, making sure to seek them out at the right time and in the right environment is the key to a positive sighting. This can be a challenge, as there are risks involved in both allowing MILs into your home as well as entering their territory again. This is because MILs may respond negatively to a wide and varied array of conditions, such as loud noises, bright colors, requests, revealing or unflattering outfits, certain foods, political perspectives or discussions, temperatures that are too warm or too cold, and any number of other elements outside of their comfort zones.

In fact, it is impossible to determine what it is that can insight an unexpected MIL attack because there are so many varying factors, and therefore, it’s safest to assume that MIL attacks are inevitable. Preparation is a valuable weapon in defending ourselves. Here are some other tips to help ward off MIL attacks:

There is safety in numbers.

It’s best to approach MILs in a group when possible. If you do find yourself face to face with an MIL, try not to box them into a corner – always allow a way for you both to easily leave the room.

MILs may retreat if lured away or hugged into submission by a child, her male child will work well.

This can be your best defense. Try to interact with an MIL only when necessary and urge her male child to wrangle MIL as needed to diminish any unnecessary comments on your mothering ability.

Eye contact may be deemed as threatening, as may no eye contact.

It’s best to wear sunglasses so MILs don’t know which it is that you are doing. Take off sunglasses to rub eyes now and then to throw her off the trail. This can also at times prevent an attack, though if she senses that you’re tired or not feeling well, she is sometimes more likely to pounce.

If you know you’ll be going into an MIL’s den, carry mace.

You probably won’t ever need to use it, but it might make you feel better to know that you have it.

Submissive behavior is often necessary to keep the MIL subdued.

If it appears that an MIL may attack, get into a crouched position, perhaps on a couch or chair near a cheese plate when possible, and relax your lower body in preparation for the unsolicited feedback on the condition of your home.

Mothers-in-law generally enjoy staying hydrated.

They typically prefer water that’s been fermented first. Though there’s no knowing whether keeping them well hydrated will help or hurt a situation, as it may differ from interaction to interaction. If you have an MIL who doesn’t engage in hydration, try feeding them food mixed with the flowers of a sativa plant in it 1-2 times per hour or day, depending on how feral the MIL is. Do not overfeed or underfeed MILs.

Lastly, remember, the only way to completely prevent an MIL attack is to never have children. If this is not an option, try to limit your interactions around MILs.

(Image: iStock / TatyanaGl)