Why You Should Have a Spanish Mother-in-Law

I have a Spanish (almost) mother-in-law. Her name is Josefa, but she goes by Pepita. She is great.

I am 5’11”. She is, perhaps, 5’1″. She was raised in small Spanish pueblo with her many brothers and sisters; she was the youngest. She learned French in school and thus does not know any English. It’s okay, though; I speak Spanish (surprise, surprise!).

I know you don’t happen upon a Spanish mother-in-law every day. I know! I am just saying … they are pretty amazing MILs! Why? Here’s why:

  • They worry way too much. This may not sound like a plus, but at least you know someone’s always thinking about you and hoping/praying you are okay.
  • They cook so damn well. I wish I could put into words how much I love her cooking – but I can’t. Let me just say: until you have tasted her tortilla de patata, you have not lived.
  • They love you like a member of their family. You cannot escape that, nor would you want to.
  • They may seem overzealous, but it’s only because they want to help

  • They try to help you dress well, even if this includes buying 30€ scarves at Massimo Dutti and then ironing them for you.
  • They help you improve your Spanish. They may not try to do so, but it is, after all, inevitable. Also, try learning how to cook any dish from them—this exercise will stretch your vocabulary, believe me.
  • Did I mention they know how to cook? Would you like to learn? Hey, so would I. Only problem? All her recipes are oral, not written, and i tend to get confused. If only, if only.
  • They know a lot of history—they’ve grown up here. Thus, if you venture out to the local parador, she will be able to explain the historical significance to you.

  • Spanish moms know how to appreciate good wine (hey, so does mine!).

So yeah, get yoself a Spanish MIL and maybe you’ll be as cool as me. Though I really doubt it. I think Pepita could kick your Spanish MIL right outta the water! No, but really -her food is better. It’s just a fact; you’ll have to accept it.

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30 comments

  1. Do NOT claim that Pepita is better than Doña Carmen! They’re likely evenly matched – my suegra is teeny, makes fabada that puts me right to sleep during siesta (she is Asturiana, after all) and calls me more than she calls her son. For being so teeny, she packs a mean verbal punch and would defend me to the death! when I broke up with Kike for a few months, she smacked him in the head. Winning on the suegra end!

  2. Well, my suegra, Paloma, will give Pepita and Carmen a run for their dinero. My suegra on the other hand is probably pushing 5’11” (explaining why Jacobo is 6’4″!) – check her out in my post about my wedding. Is she not gorgeous? My favorite part (other than her world famous tortilla ;) ), is when she has the house cleaner (who works for both her and for Jacobo and me), surprise us by leaving food in the fridge at our house. I’ll come home to a fat batch of gazpacho, or cocido, or lentejas. Love that women.

  3. My host mother quicky turned into my Abuelita. She taught me the finer points of Tortilla and cerveza con limon. She showed me Sevilla and still sends letters. I never dated a Spaniard but my Abuelita was a blessing and still is.

  4. I don’t have a spanish MIL but I did have a Señora when I lived in Barcelona so I can relate on some aspects – she cooked, gave great advice, and told hilarious stories. She bought me a scarf once, too!

  5. señoras and suegras alike can win anyone’s heart .. and damn sure don’t try to get in their way / turn down a meal / correct them :) I’ve already got my señora for life (also a Josefa) .. next stop: MIL!

  6. Ah this post made me miss my Antonia! Also a great suegra… as all seem to be she’s overbearing at times, but the sweetest woman ever. If you mention needing or craving anything in front of her it’ll be bought or cooked in no time! Best salmorejo, arroz con leche, and carillada!!!

  7. This post is so cute! And I love how half of it centers around food- Spaniards definitely know how to cook well! My host mom, Angeles, made tortilla de patata that was especially fabulous.
    …sidenote: Kaley, I think I stayed w you on a college visit way back in 05. Crazy small world, right? I’ll be an auxiliar in Mérida, Extremadura this year.

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