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I love the concept of a sister wife; helping with the dishes, cooking and raising your kids. The show on TLC is all chummy and wonderful until that other very minor detail is brought up. She gets to sleep with my husband? Oh hell no. I think that snap back to reality just gave me whiplash.

So fellow women, let me introduce you to an even better thing. It’s called living with your mother-in-law.
I've got one. Her name is Carmen, a.k.a. Vieja Loca. We’ve been living together for seven years now. My girlfriends think I’m crazy. I am crazy. But that’s beside the point.

The point is, Carmen’s the sister-wife I’ve always wanted!

She’s great at giving advice. Just the other day I had on an outfit I used to wear comfortably 10 pounds and 10 washes ago. Funny…those skirts never ride up when I'm in the house. It’s only later, walking through the parking lot to work, that stupidity and regret settles in.


Thankfully, late in the day as I clumsily kicked a coworker’s highlighter under my desk, the sound advice my mother-in-law whispered in my ear as I kissed her goodbye came to mind. "Mira Yessi, remember - you see a 100 dollar bill on the floor, don’t pick that up."

She’s also a co-conspirator. When I want my husband to do something he hates doing like… spending money. I’ve got back up in my back pocket. It’s called the "Carmen-card." And all I’ve got to do to keep it is pay the three C’s membership fee: coffee, chocolate and cigarettes. Oh, what a small price to pay for gold.


"Hijo! Yessi needs new wedding band with more diamonds, more diamonds. It’s not too much, it’s perfect. It’s the symbol of your marriage and what she means to you."
Oh Carmen, music to my ears.

Some may call that a bribe, I call it knowing the way to my Vieja Loca's heart, and by heart I mean influence. Every mother-in-law is different, so make sure you know what makes yours tick. What I always keep in mind is, I want to keep my Vieja Loca happy.


Here's what I’ve learned: you can’t be a boss-bitch. So what if she wants to hang that ugly-as-sin flower painting in the middle of the dining room? Don’t look at it. In fact, learn to love it and buy curtains to match.

Does it piss me off my daughter would have to kill someone for her grandmother to consider giving her a timeout? Of course it does, but then I remind myself to focus on the big picture: I can have my cake and eat it too. Boy, is it delicious.


I’m not saying you can’t do it all without a live-in mother-in-law, but why work hard not to do it all with one? Ladies, let’s not chop off our noses to spite our faces. Woo her, love her. She can make all your dreams come true.

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