We feel that mothers-in-law have been unfairly criticized in movies, shows, and popular anecdotes for years and years. These stereotypes can make folks go into relationships and marriage with bias instead of an open heart. MILs are ordinary people and just like anyone else they have the power to be as wicked as fairytale stepmothers and as wholesome and healing as fairy godmothers. You can’t discount a person just because they’re technically your mother-in-law.
Today, Bored Panda is giving you a whole bunch of reasons to see your MIL as your potential best friend because we’re featuring all the people who did this and were as happy as can be. Mothers-in-law can be incredibly warm, and supportive, and they show how much they care in the most wonderful ways. Not convinced yet? Well, the proof is in the pudding—or rather, this list. We’ve collected some of the best evidence of people becoming best friends with their mothers-in-law from all over the net, including the incredibly wholesome r/adorableoldpeople subreddit.
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Scroll down, upvote the pics that made your heart grow three sizes today, and be sure to send this post to your closest pals who have a MIL in their lives. The potential for friendship is always there! Oh, and if you’d like to boast/vent about your own parents-in-law, dear Pandas, you can do so in the comments. We’re all ears.
Dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man, kindly shared with Bored Panda his thoughts about why mothers-in-law generally get such a bad rap and what he thinks are the secrets to getting along with your in-laws. Read on for his great insights, Pandas.
#1 Just Got This Snap From The Mother-In-Law
Image credits: no_notthistime
According to relationship expert Dan, who created The Modern Man project, the issue isn’t mothers-in-law, as much as people in general who try to force their way into a couple’s relationship.
“Sometimes a mother-in-law forces her involvement in the relationship, decision making and planning for the couple’s future, which some people don’t like. However, in most cases, it’s not so much a mother-in-law per se that is the problem, but another person having too much of a say or presence in a relationship. Some people just don’t like other people being too involved in their relationship, or expecting too much in terms of attention and inclusion in their relationship,” he told Bored Panda.
“As a result, a mother-in-law is sometimes seen as a nuisance or a problematic person in popular culture. Yet, in many cases, she just loves her son or daughter and is doing what she thinks will be best for him or her,” he explained.
#2 It’s Important To Me That The People Of Social Media Know That My Mother-In-Law Crocheted Her Grandcat A Couch With A Coordinating Afghan
Image credits: ThisIsTheOnly
#3 My Mother-In-Law Knitted My Wife’s Snake A Christmas Sweater
Image credits: mlkey11
Dan stressed that there’s no single simple answer to getting along with one’s mother-in-law because they’re all different. In short, they’re individuals. What matters, however, is putting in the effort to get along, whatever shape or form that might take.
“If a man truly loves and respects his wife, then he will also genuinely respect and love his mother-in-law without feeling like it is a chore. He will naturally feel good about her. That doesn’t mean he has to see his wife’s mother all the time or want her to be a huge part of his life though. Instead, for most men, it simply means allowing her to be a part of the couple’s life as much as his wife wants her to be,” the expert pointed out to us the most important things we should be aware of.
“If his wife respects him, then she usually won’t want to annoy or make him unhappy by having her mother become overly involved or present in their day-to-day life. Instead, she will want to ensure a happy balance is maintained, so she doesn’t cause unnecessary problems in her relationship with him. If his wife doesn’t respect him though, then she may not really care how the overly strong presence or involvement of her mother in their life makes him feel,” Dan said.
#4 Never Loved My Mother In Law More Than The Moment After She Gave Me This. (Mind You, She’s Old School And Doesn’t Know Memes)
Image credits: loxnessmonster
#5 My Fil Passed Away A Year Ago Today. A Veterinarian, He Always Wore Fun Ties To Work. My Mil Just Finished Making This Quilt From His Ties
Image credits: speedycat2014
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#6 So My Mother-In-Law Is Taking A Photoshop Class…
Image credits: SalmonAskOh
Meanwhile, the expert added that a man who truly loves and respects his wife will also care about and respect her father, his father-in-law. However, he noted that this care and respect should only go as far as is appropriate for the relationship because “some women don’t really like their mother or father and don’t want them to be much of a presence in their life, if at all. So, in some cases, it’s just about caring about and respecting her parents from a distance, rather than trying to become more involved with them when she doesn’t want to be.”
Dan told us that each and every relationship is different, but someone who truly loves and respects their partner will naturally want to do what makes them happiest. It shouldn’t feel like a chore.
#7 My Mother-In-Law Insisted We Should Have Kids, So She Got Us These For Our Wedding Present. Meet Kanye And Taylor
Image credits: atramentum
#8 Grandma Made This For The Baby’s Room. My Mother-In-Law Is The Best
Image credits: MelissaJHills
#9 “The First Month Spent At My Mother-In-Law’s House vs. 1 Year Later”
Image credits: Disentibot
The r/adorableoldpeople subreddit is an online community that is all about shining the spotlight on our seniors and just how wholesome they can be.
The subreddit, founded back in the spring of 2018, has a dedicated following of 86.7k people. And the group, as a whole, is another reminder to love, cherish, and respect our elders. It’s a reminder to give our parents and grandparents a call or drop by for an unexpected visit.
It’s only natural for parents to want their children’s partners to be the very best people possible. Everyone likes to think that their kids deserve the best. And they do. So mothers-in-law (fathers-in-law in tow) become extra critical of whom their children date.
They try to check and see if the partners are quality individuals who are kind, strong, loving, and caring. What’s more, parents are also (usually) on the lookout for someone who is a family person and has the means to support their better half. Ambition and drive are as important as financial stability. You can’t just live off hopes and dreams when you need food; on the flip side, a massive income doesn’t automatically turn you into a great husband or wife.
#10 My Mother-In-Law Is A Great Soul That Adopts Every Stray Cat Or Dog Who Dare Enter Her House. Meet Big Brother And Little Sister!
Image credits: bilpereira
#11 Due To Covid-19, Our Newborn Couldn’t Get Any Visitors At The Hospital. That Didn’t Stop My Mother In Law With Her Binoculars From Seeing Her First Grandchild
Image credits: kingbankai
#12 My Mother-In-Law Set Up A Sweetheart Table For My Fiancée And I On What Was Supposed To Be Our Wedding Day
Image credits: c_zim
According to Fatherly, acceptance opens the door to positive relationships between in-laws. For example, a mother-in-law telling her daughter-in-law that she’s a member of the family is a very powerful symbolic step.
Something else that helps get in-laws to become closer is sharing family traditions, talking about relationship problems in the family, and being nonjudgmental. However, gossiping about any family members or speaking ill of them leads to a drop in the quality of the relationship between in-laws. In short, things are very simple: being an awesome person leads to great relationships; being a jerk leads to bad ones.
The main things that daughters-in-law detest about their mothers-in-law, according to one 2015 study, are personal attacks and overbearing, controlling behavior. However, at the same time, a large chunk of respondents were also of the opinion that MILs who were under-involved were also problematic. It’s a hard balance to find when you’re trying to please your DIL as a MIL.
#13 This Mother-In-Law, Who Had This Response To Her Son-In-Law Texting Her Gifs
Image credits: PaulinaDedaj
#14 My Mother-In-Law Sent This To The Whole Family!
Image credits: Goobles75
#15 The Wedding Cake My Mother-In-Law Made For My Wedding. She Had Kept It A Top-Secret Project Until The Day Of For Me And My Bride. The Cake Is A “Fake Cake” But Nonetheless We Were Really Surprised!
Image credits: zero2cool
“I actually felt sorry for mothers-in-law. The same things that were making some daughters-in-law satisfied were making others dissatisfied. And I thought, these poor mothers-in-law, what the heck are they supposed to do?” the study coauthor Christine Rittenour explained to the Boston Globe.
#16 My Mother-In-Law Knows I’m Into Marvel, So She Made Me Groot Using A Technique Called Paper Quilling
Image credits: whompyjawed
#17 My Mother-In-Law Painted My Best Friend. I Think He Approves
Image credits: Crumbeness
#18 About 2 Weeks Ago My Original Wedding Rings Were Stolen (Top Picture). Today My Mother In Law Stopped By And Gave Me Her Wedding Rings (Bottom). All Though They Are No True Replacement, They Still Have Their Own Sentimental Value And I Will Cherish Them Forever. I Love My Mil
Image credits: Tater3825
It’s obvious that if you become friends with your mother-in-law that you want the very best for her. As we age, our bodies change, and it becomes vital to focus on physical and mental health even more, in order to lead a happy and healthy life. It’s important to support seniors and sometimes even gently nudge them into picking up healthy habits and letting go of old bad ones.
#19 My Husband And I Are Expecting Our First Child In September. My Mother In Law’s First Granddaughter. When She Found Out She Immediately Set To Work On These Two Beautiful Quilts. (2 Of 2)
Image credits: LadyLuna21
#20 Not The Typical Aww, But I Present The Piglets My Mother-In-Law Is Hand Rearing At The Moment 🙂
Image credits: bearbear92
#21 Mother In Law Thought It Would Be A Good Idea To Get A Sculpture Of This Beautiful Moment
Image credits: reddit.com
One powerful way in which seniors can keep their minds, wits, and bodies sharp and able is through hobbies. Age UK, a leading charity that is dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life, spoke to Bored Panda about lifelong learning and staying bright and capable as people age.
#22 My Mil Asked If I Wanted A “Game” That She Found At Her House…
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#23 When Your Mother In Law Sends You A Late Christmas Present….
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#24 My Future Mother In Law Made Me This Shirt For Christmas. I Love It! Even Has A Pocket. Zoom In.
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“Hobbies add color and variety to all our lives so it’s good to help to inspire others to take up new interests. New hobbies and interests can help maintain social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness and it’s a great way to learn new skills. Taking part in social activities may help us to stay sharp in later life,” Age UK explained to Bored Panda.
“If joining clubs and classes are not an option, or your loved one doesn’t feel ready to start going outside yet, there are still ways to help them engage with new hobbies. Making sure older family members have everything they need to take up or continue hobbies, such as arts and crafts or wool if they are a keen knitter, ingredients if they are a budding chef, or even the right tools for DIYing, can help,” the experts in later life learning said.
#25 My Mother In Law Makes Dog Costumes Every Week For My Wife Who Is A School Teacher As Part Of Their Virtual “Theme Thursdays.” This Week’s Theme Was Star Wars
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#26 My Mother-In-Law Won Her Office Costume Contest This Year
Image credits: reddit.com
#27 I’m 32 And My Mother-In-Law Made Me The Greatest Gift I’ve Ever Gotten!
Image credits: Musicgeekification
“Doing activities together such as the gardening can be a great incentive too, or maybe help them research locally to see if there is a neighborly Book Club dial-in they could join. Even encouraging older friends and relatives to settle in with a favorite book or audiobook, do some cooking, listen to the radio while doing a puzzle, or tuning in to an afternoon radio play can help emotional wellbeing and mental health.”
#28 My Mother In Law Handmade This Blanket For My Kids! The Score And Time Are Their Birthdays!
Image credits: PumpkinStunning
#29 My Mother-In-Law Posted This On Her Facebook Today
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#30 My Mother In Law Made A Yoshi Cake For My Daughter’s 4th Birthday. What Do You Think?
Image credits: Name818
Having hobbies isn’t just about spending time pleasantly. They help keep seniors social over shared pursuits. They also give life purpose and create routines to follow.
“If we want our brain to stay in peak condition, we should use it. In fact, one of the theories about reducing or delaying cognitive aging is referred to as the ‘use it or lose it’ theory. Research shows that things like learning languages helps keep us brighter as we age. It is just as important to look after your brain by exercising your thinking skills, as you would do physical exercise to look after your body,” Age UK told us.
#31 My Mother-In-Law Made All The Men In Our Family A Pair Of These Sleep Pants For Christmas
Image credits: KyleRichXV
#32 Picture Of My Mother In Law Walking The Cows
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#33 My Mother In Law Made This Flower Arrangement For Easter
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#34 Mother In Law Noticed My Half Dollar On My Keys And Said She Had A Gift For Me. Talk About An Upgrade!
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#35 I Know This Might Be Hard To Believe But This Is A Pic Taken By My Mother-In-Law. She Is Incredibly Talented For Someone Who Started Taking Pics So Late In Life. Charleston, Kruger, South Africa
Image credits: MrGarreth
#36 Laker Fam I Just Got Married And My Mother-In-Law Made Me The Best Groomscake I Could’ve Asked For
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#37 Lucky Me, Got This From Mother In Law. Was My Father In Law’s Turntable. Wat Going On The Junk Pile After Being In The Garage For 20 Years. After A Clean, Good Als New. Only Dustcover Is Missing. Father In Law May Never Know
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#38 My Now Wife And I Are On Our Honeymoon For A Week, And My Mother In Law Who Was Scared Of Our Dragon Is Finally Coming Around Now That She’s Taking Care Of Her For A Week. Gemini Is Being A Good Girl.
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#39 My Girlfriend’s Sister’s Mother-In-Law (What A Connection) Has Started Making Clothes For Her New Kitten In Her Spare Quaran-Time
Image credits: DirtyMikeAndTheBoizz
#40 My Mother-In-Law Is Taking Care Of Our Cat While We’re Overseas. She Sends Me A Picture Of Steve Enjoying Dryer-Fresh Clothes Every Laundry Day.
Image credits: wiscobryo
#41 My Mother-In-Law Owns A Store. This Little Guy Waits Every Day For A Treat.
Image credits: OneNutLessThanTwo
#42 A Few Weeks Ago, My Mother-In-Law Saw This Family Casually Strolling Around Her Backyard. She Has Bought Duck Food And Placed A Pool For Family Duck To Enjoy.
Image credits: ElienVH
#43 I Asked My Mother In Law If She Checked On My Dog While I Was At Work, I Got This Picture As A Reply.
Image credits: DwarfWarrior17
#44 The Face Of A Dog Who’s Spent His Last Night Ever In The Shelter. And The Face Of My Mother In Law Who’s Spent Her Last Day Without A Puppy To Snuggle Ever. I Don’t Know Who’s Happier.
Image credits: justxcookies
#45 Mother-In Law Made A Mask For My 3 Year Olds Favorite Stuffed Animal To Help Encourage Him With Wearing A Mask
Image credits: CBPainting
#46 Barack Obama And His Mother-In-Law Watch As It Becomes Clear He Has Won The Presidency In 2008
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#47 Someone Said That Others May Also Appreciate Seeing This. My Mother-In-Laws Legacy Of Quilts She Made For Her Family And Friends Displayed On Pews For Her Funeral This Morning.
Image credits: xxxKELLSTERxxx
#48 Father-In-Law Just Sent Me This From Vegas, Mother-In-Law Told Him, “We Loved The Fast And The Furious.”
Image credits: mntnman38
#49 Asked My Mother In Law To Make A Cake For My Son’s First Birthday. Was Expecting Something Simple. Got Something Awesome!
Image credits: Millybat
#50 My Mother In Law Had A “Virtual” Thanksgiving Dinner With Us This Year.
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#51 My Mother-In-Law Wins Christmas
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#52 Four Real. Snapped This Four Generation Shot Today Of My 91 Year-Old Mother-In-Law, Her Daughter, Her Grandson, And Her One Month Old Great-Granddaughter. Smiles Abound.
Image credits: RadioShea89
#53 I Sat There, Staring, Wonderding Why My Religious Mother In Law Had A Severed Toe Christmas Tree Orament. Upon Closer Inspection…
Image credits: JoshuaHubert
#54 My Mother-In-Law Was Complaining That She Couldn’t Get The Coffee Grinder To Work. This Is A Pencil Sharpener.
Image credits: YabbaDabbaDoofus
#55 My Mother-In-Law: “I Bought It To Play Sudoku Years Ago, Maybe Played Two Or Three Times. You Can Keep It.”
Image credits: forte801
#56 My Mil Sewed This Beautiful Stocking For Me For Christmas! I Feel That All This Love And Hard Work Needs To Be Shared!
Image credits: lezullee
#57 My Mother-In-Law And Her Sister Are Visiting From Brazil And Have Never Seen Snow Before And Their Excitement Is Adorable
Image credits: stefan715
#59 I’m The Luckiest Nuera Alive! My Mother In Law Made Me A Special Vegan Meal Alongside The Rest Of The Dinner So Grateful
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#60 Mother In Law Scored Me This Little Beauty From Walmart For $15!!!
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#61 Mother In Law Found This Trove In Her Attic And Was Nice Enough To Gift Me This Haul!
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#62 My Mother-In-Law Made This Lovely Mermaid-Themed Cake For My Daughter’s Birthday
Image credits: RPBot
#63 My 90 Year Old Mother In-Law Went Disc Golfing With Us Today. She Rocked It!
Image credits: it_iz_what_it_iz1
#64 My Mother In Law Gifted Us This Amazing 80s Olle Andersson Lamp That My Partner Grew Up With. Any Ideas For A Shade That Would Look Good With It?
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#65 My Soon To Be Mother In Law Has Been Sending Us These Pieces To A Spooky Village Over The Past 2 Years. It’s Finally Looking Good!
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#66 So My Mother-In-Law Said We Are Having A New Family Member, Never Thought Would Be This Cute.
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#67 My Mother-In-Law Had A Robin Lay Eggs Over Easter Week In Her Backyard. Yesterday They Hatched!
Image credits: Snumpler
#68 Mother-In-Law Knitted My Dog A Sweater
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#69 My Dog Loves My Mother-In-Law
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#70 Handmade Octopuses From My Mother-In-Law
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#71 Our Mother-In-Law Sewed Some St. Patrick’s Day Bandanas For Our Dogs. The Dogs Loved Them. Then We Tried It On The Cat…i Think We Maybe Murdered Tonight.
Image credits: RobertsKitty
#72 Mother-In-Law Took The Family Dog For A Photoshoot
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#73 She Had A Build-A-Bear Football Boot, But Then The Mother-In-Law Wanted To Make Her Look More Like A Girl If She Needed To Keep Her Cast Protected From The Wet
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#74 My Mother-In-Law Has Taken In An Orphaned Baby. Meet Forrest
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#75 My Mother In Law, She’s Worked Her Entire Life To Be Able To Go Away With My Father In Law In Their Rv With Their Dogs.
Image credits: Dmakkasaurus
#76 I Thought I Had Put Socks On My Son This Morning. Turns Out They Were Gloves. My Mother In Law Sent Me This.
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#77 My Mother In Law Named Her New Mini Horse Lil Sebastian
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#78 My Mother In Law Makes All Her Greeting Cards. I Think She Has Outdone Herself
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#79 The Spread My Mother In-Law Put On For Christmas
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#80 My Mother-In-Law Delivered On My Hat Request
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#81 Mother In Law, Wife, And 5 Daughters.
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#82 Everyone Is Having Babies And We’re Just Sitting Here On The Mother In Law’s Shelf Like
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#83 A Conversation Between My Mother-In-Law (Elementary Art Teacher) And My Wife ??
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#84 My Mother-In-Law Keep Complaining That Her Kindle Wouldn’t Charge…
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#85 My Mom Had A Little Fun With My Husband’s Christmas Gift.
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#86 Earlier This Evening, Great Aunt Shelly Blessed Us With Another Status Update. Mil Again Came In Clutch With The Facts And Logic.
Image credits: notyogrannysgrandkid
#87 My Mil Gave Me Her Mother’s Fur Coat From The 40’s. This Is My Attempt To Recreate The Picture Of Her Mother Wearing It 70 Years Ago.
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#88 “It’s A Stew, Courtesy Of My Mother-In-Law. Delicious!”
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#89 “The Mother-In-Law Sends Her Blessings”
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#90 Mother-In-Law Just Brought Me Over My “Birthday Cake” It Is Perfect!
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#91 Mother-In-Law Is Visiting From Out Of State And Gifted Me These Cuttings.
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#92 My New Skirt I Got From My Mother-In-Law
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#93 This Box Of Chocolate My Mother In Law Brought Over. That’s A Pretty Good Sized Banana
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#94 Snow Couple Made By My Mother-In-Law
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#95 Say Hello To Maggie, A 7 Yo Shih Tzu That My Mother-In-Law Rescued From A Breeder Today
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#96 My Mother-In-Law Found This Poor Bird Hurt Outside Her House. He’s Now Sitting Inside On The House Plants On The Kitchen Sill. White Throated Sparrow She Believes.
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#97 Toys My Mother In Law Has Been Holding On To For 20 Something Years. Hooray, My Childhood!
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#98 My Mother In Law Is An Amazing Knitter, Here’s Her Latest Creation.
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#99 My Mother In Law Knitted My Son A Ninja Turtle Hat…i’m Jealous Now
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#100 I Got A Kick Out Of This T-Shirt My Mother-In-Law Got For My Son
Image credits: SightlySt00pid
#101 My Mother-In-Law Made This For My Birthday.
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#102 While My Mother-In-Law Is Super Wholesome, Trying To Decide Between Golden Corral And Don Juan Is A Struggle. (Not Sure If Autocorrect Would Help Or Make It Worse.)
Image credits: reddit.com