This is an old topic, well debated by people more qualified than me in print, movies, serials and is likely to continue.
In the yesteryears, it was taken for granted that Mom in law was always bad, mothers always knew best and that the daughter in law would need to survive.
Most husbands rarely interfered. Then the change happened. Women studied, wanted a career, freedom, to be treated fair, some even embraced feminism.
Economy helped, Lifestyle also changed, you needed two working people to maintain your lifestyles, yada, yada. Late marriages, later children, expense, maid all led to the requirement of ‘family’ to take care of the baba/baby.
This is where the Moms or the Mom in Laws came in. Some that I have been privy to
Dependent This category was/is the easiest. They are dependent on the Son/Daughter and have no option. They may have had money, but the son has first right on the money and has taken it away. In the case of the daughter, there may be a brother who has exercised the right and the daughter is helping out.
Partly Independent Husband still alive, staying in the same locality/area but separately, willing to help out in emergencies, some weekends or even weekdays with specific rules agreed to.
Independent Staying with spouse or alone in a different city/alone within the city, but has own life to live, hobbies, friends to interact with, sometimes so much so that there is no time for anybody.
Advisor These are the most dangerous. Stay close or far off, but are likely to be advising the son/daughter on practically everything.
What kind do you have? What are you likely to become?
Disclaimer – This post was written whilst waiting for a filter coffee and acting as a fly on the wall whilst Kitty Party was debating the topic