How To GET Your Mother-In-Law . . . by the numbers

Did you know that Mother-In-Law Day is officially celebrated this year on October 27?

Really. I can’t make that up.

While this may be a “Hallmark Holiday,” I thought it would be fun to examine your relationship with your Mother-In-Law, by the Numbers.

If you’re married (or have ever been married), you know that integrating your two families together is one of the most delicate balances all married couples must accomplish. And even when you get along like white on rice (or two-peas-in-a-pod), you can’t deny that your Mother-In-Law holds a unique status within the family structure.

So close your eyes.

Pull up a picture of your Mother-In-Law in your mind.

Hold it here for a moment.

Now, what comes to your mind first?

(please don’t say it out loud if you’re in a public space . . 🙂


For this exercise, you need your Mother-In-Law’s full birth date.

You can’t guess on this, even if she lies about her age.

We’re going to work with the Life Path number. If you’re only going to know one number in your entire Numerological Chart, this is the one. It gives you an indication of your life’s purpose.

Calculate the Life Path number:

Example: DECEMBER 19, 1948
December is the 12th month. Add 1 + 2 = 3
The day of birth is 19. Add 1 + 9 = 10; Keep
adding to digit down to a one-digit number:
1 + 0 = 1
The year of birth is 1948. Add all four numbers together: 1 + 9 + 4 + 8 = 22; continue adding until you get a one-digit number:
2 + 2 = 4
We now add the resulting single digits.

Month = 3          Day = 1              Year = 4

3 + 1 + 4 = 8

The Life Path number is 8.

So take a moment to calculate the Life Path number. (I’ll wait . . . )


If your MIL (Mother-In-Law) is a 1 Life Path, understand this: She needs to be the leader! She’s a leader and so she needs followers. She’s here to use her creativity, leadership abilities, and she’s supposed to be an achiever.

GET ALONG: Know that she needs to be in charge. Let her. Know that she needs a cheerleader. Cheerlead.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: Is she a leader or has she folded? Is she active and engaged in creative and/or business pursuits or is she “the wife/mother?” If she’s not actively expressing her healthy independence and achievement, she’s going to be a negative, cynical, judgmental person. Know that she can have problems with addictions. Just FYI.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to be the center of attention when it feels appropriate. Encourage her to act upon her creative ideas if that’s something she’s not actively pursuing. She’s meant to follow her unique voice. Appreciate where she has come from, which is usually The School of Hard Knocks.

If your MIL is a 2 Life Path, understand this: She’s conflict avoidant. She’s a mediator, diplomat, and just wants to give and receive unconditional love. She’s extraordinarily emotionally sensitive.

GET ALONG: Know that she lives and breathes her family – you’re very important to her. Know that she thrives when the whole group is thriving. Know that she’s intuitive and very emotionally sensitive.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: If she’s not being acknowledged for what she does, she can emotionally withdraw and be resentful. If she’s hurt, she can become childish, combative, and downright impossible. She can over-give and then wonder when it’s her turn.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to Mother you. Encourage her to be involved with group activities that give her a sense of purpose. Appreciate the way in which she takes care of the details and wants everyone to be happy.

If your MIL is a 3 Life Path, understand this: She’s a creative powerhouse. She’s got a great intellect and thrives on good communication. She’s deeply emotional and is a joyful and giving person. She’s a natural entertainer, performer, and can be the Hostess with the Mostess.

GET ALONG: Know that she needs to have her creative outlets – through writing, teaching, performing, music. Know that she makes it all look so easy. Know that she’s extremely emotionally sensitive and needs to be “heard” from the inside out – meaning she likes to dig deep into the emotional components of relationships.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: If she’s not using her creativity and expressing her emotions consistently, she can experience depression. She can be scattered and have trouble following through with things. She can let her projects take precedence over some of her family interactions. She’s debilitated by criticism. If she’s out of balance, she’ll be unable to connect to you on an emotional level. She’ll be critical and emotionally unavailable.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Listen to her and she’ll listen to you. She’s a master listener. She loves great conversation, loves to know who you really are, loves to support you in whatever you do. Encourage her creativity – she has a debilitating sense of self-doubt.

If your MIL is a 4 Life Path, understand this: She’s the pillar of the family. She’s solid, steady, and craves security. She’s a hard worker. She can be the dominant one in the family.

GET ALONG: Understand that she’s the “slow and steady” person. Allow her to process slowly and take the steps it takes her to get there. Ask her about the newest book she’s reading – she loves sharing her knowledge!
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: She can be a workaholic. She can be stubborn, blunt, and opinionated. She can be a bulldozer when it comes to doing what she feels needs to be done. If she’s out of balance, she can be myopic and bossy. She can have an inability to understand anyone’s point of view other than her own.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to give you unsolicited advice – also understand that she sees the world in a very “literal” way. Encourage her to be a bit more flexible and think outside of the box. Appreciate the ways she’s reliable and knowledgeable.

If your MIL is a 5 Life Path, understand this: She’s the life of the party! She’s freedom loving, adventurous, and an agent of change. She lives life without a filter. She’s always up for fun and something funny.

GET ALONG: Know that she needs her space! “Don’t fence me in!” is her mantra. Appreciate her quirky humor. Enjoy her unpredictability. Understand that she’s super-emotional. Humor her propensity to be a Drama Queen.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: If she’s feeling hemmed in, she can be quite volatile. Addictions can be an issue – she’s all about escape! She can lack focus, commitment, and follow-through. She can abandon things before starting them – or hang on long after needing to let go. If this doesn’t sound like your MIL at all, she’s most likely succumbed to fear and has retracted and retreated into being the “Anti-5.”
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to have her space. Encourage her to add some self-discipline to her life – she’s here to master the constructive use of freedom. Appreciate the ways in which she’s so fun and full of life.

If your MIL is a 6 Life Path, understand this: She’s the “love and marriage, horse and carriage” MIL. She’s all about the family. She’s nurturing and it’s her thing to make her home beautiful and comfortable. She’s super-responsible and can be quite a visionary.

GET ALONG: Know that family and her children are her heart! Know that she’s Super Mom and that can have both its upside and its downside for you. She needs to have control over virtually everything, so allow her that when possible. She doesn’t like to be told what to do (understatement).
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: She’s a perfectionist! If she’s not balanced, she can be extremely hard on herself and on her family members. If she’s not happy, ain’t no one happy (if you get my drift). She’ needs to feel as though she’s in control, so understand that she’s in her game when she’s putting out fires. When things are going smoothly, she might be a bit antsy. She has often put herself on hold in order to take care of everyone else. So the more you can understand that about her, the more you can encourage her to pursue her talents outside of her family responsibilities.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to be the apex of the family dynamic when possible. Encourage her to “live and let live.” She can become quite self-righteous because ultimately she’s an idealist and can be disappointed with the world. Appreciate the way in which she can be counted on.

If your MIL is a 7 Life Path, understand this: She’s an elusive spiritual seeker. She’s highly analytical and data-driven and yet also acutely intuitive. She can appear somewhat detached at times. She’s always asking questions and her life is centered around seeking The Truth.

GET ALONG: Know that she’s got trust issues, so always be trustworthy to your 7 Life Path MIL! Honesty is the best policy with her. Know that she’s on a slightly different wavelength than most people. Know that she needs her “alone” time.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: If she’s off balance, she can be amazingly superficial. She can have the sharpest tongue you ever experienced, so be prepared. She can have addictive tendencies to anything from drugs and alcohol to food and cigarettes.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her be a little “woo-woo” or weird. Encourage her to seek her own sense of spirituality – or the bigger picture. Appreciate the way in which she is emotionally attuned to you and will go to Hades and back to support you through thick and thin. She’s caring and compassionate and wants the best for you, even if you have to wade through her trust issues to get there.

If your MIL is an 8 Life Path, understand this: She thinks in business terms. She’s a powerhouse and is meant to be successful in the world. She’s the pillar of the community and really cares about her (and your!) appearance. She’s here to make her mark in the world.

GET ALONG: Know that she’s supposed to be mastering the art of money, power, control, and authority. That’s a large order to fill! Know that she avoids the emotions and communicates more comfortably in business-like terms. Praise her for her achievements. Allow her to help you out if she offers it.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: She’s blunt and opinionated. Her way is often the only way (if you know what I mean). She can struggle with money. If she’s off balance, she can struggle with scarcity or downright poverty. She can be the ultimate victim, where it’s everyone and everything else’s fault that she’s where she is.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to focus on money, as long as it’s balanced with giving. Encourage her to go have some fun and relax! She needs a good laugh since she’s often working so hard. Appreciate the way in which she isn’t a slacker.

If your MIL is a 9 Life Path, understand this: She’s the ultimate humanitarian. She’s quite charismatic and has a giving and compassionate heart. Family is very important to her and she’s a giver.

GET ALONG: Know that she’s there to help and support you. Know that she experiences a lot of loss in her life, so she’s learning to let go and live in the moment as much as possible. Know that she’s going to help others no matter what.
HER POSSIBLE ISSUES: She’ll never, ever ask for help. Offer support to her even when she acts like she doesn’t need it. She feels as though she carries the world on her shoulders. She can get overwhelmed about the troubles of the world. She can become bitter and resentful and have problems letting go of the past. Oddly, she can also be someone who’s always pushing against something, even when there’s really nothing to push against! I call it the “Rebel Without A Cause” Syndrome.
IN ORDER TO ‘GET’ HER: Allow her to give to others. Encourage her to act upon her own creativity. She’s extremely creative. Appreciate the ways in which she sees you and supports you for exactly who you are.
When you know your own Life Path number you can reflect upon the ways in which you are naturally matched (or not!) with your MIL. This is extremely useful for “getting” each other. Certainly this won’t “fix” any issues you might have or magically make any of the annoyances you find with each other disappear. Yet knowing more about what makes your MIL tick can perhaps give you a different lens from which to view your similarities and your differences.

VERY BRIEF: Here are the number-pods that just naturally GET each other. You may not adore each other, yet you understand each other on an intuitive level.

1, 5, 7 – You’re thinkers
2, 4, 8 – You’re business-related
3, 6, 9 – You’re creative

Happy MIL-Day!

Suggested MIL-Day Gifts:

1 Life Path: Gift Certificate to her favorite restaurant
2 Life Path: A family trip to the bowling ally, a movie, mini-golf, or another activity
3 Life Path: Tickets to a concert, a play or musical, or a new installation at the Art Museum
4 Life Path: Gift certificate to her favorite bookstore
5 Life Path: Sky Diving Lessons (just kidding!) – Gift certificate to her favorite wine bar or if you can, a special Limo service for a dinner out at a special restaurant
6 Life Path: Flowers and a Gift Certificate to Pier One Imports or any other Home Décor store she loves
7 Life Path: Take her for a day trip on a nice hike – if you can have an excursion near water (ocean, creek, lake) – even better! If she’s not into the outdoors, take her to an interesting movie or documentary.
8 Life Path: Take her on a dressy evening Charity Event or – on a different track entirely – go out for a relaxed dinner and a funny movie or comedy show.
9 Life Path: Make a donation to her favorite charity and write her a thoughtful note about a nice memory you have of time spent together.