NZ Woman's Weekly

When mother-in-law helps too much

Dear Wendyl,
My mother-in-law has taken it upon herself to bring around a meal every Wednesday night. She says she’s helping us out because we both work full time and have two kids. She is a really lovely woman and I really appreciate her helping out but her food is terrible. It’s fairly close to inedible and we all sit there eating as little as possible so as to not hurt her feelings, and then after she leaves we all have toasted sandwiches. How can I get her to stop?

Busy Mum, by email

Dear Busy Mum,
This is an easy fix. What you need to do is give your mother-in-law something else she can do to help. Just because she came up with the meal plan doesn’t mean you have to accept it; you just have to come up with something else. The important thing is that she feels she is helping, and it’s a good idea to encourage that. Tell her that you now have a regular appointment on Wednesday nights so the meal plan will have to change, but how would she like to help look after your garden, or take the kids at the weekend so that you and your partner can have some time together. Find something you know she’ll enjoy doing and perhaps something you can all do together, as I suspect the meal is a way of getting to see her family.

Send your questions to or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

Issue 1541

Subscribe to the magazine

Simon Barnett’s 7 magic rules

In this week's issue of New Zealand Woman's Weekly magazine: Simon Barnett reveals his seven magic rules for raising girls.

New Zealand Woman's Weekly is the country's most-loved women's magazine, bringing a wide variety of news, stories, recipes and helpful hints to the home every week.

Subscribe now

Subscribe to our newsletters

Receive the latest celebrity news, recipes and beauty tips, delivered right to your inbox.