Monday, September 14, 2009

Where is my mom when I really need her?

When I started my life I had a great teacher, my mom. Throughout my life, my mom taught me many things, sometimes without even either one of us aware of the process. She taught me what it is to be a giving, caring mother. Unfortunately, I wasn't really paying close attention to when she was a mother-in-law to my husband. Sure, I was present, but I was too busy trying to keep both of them happy to realize that my mom had been given the task of trying not to interfer, judge and sometimes strangle my husband.

I dearly love my husband, in spite of his shortcomings. The Husband store was out of the "perfect" husband and so I got what was on the shelf that day. Lucky for me, the Wife store was also out of "perfect" wives, so my husband chose me. When my mother would point out the lack of some "talent" I would take the defensive stand and tension between the two of us would set in. Don't get me wrong, my mother grew to dearly love my husband, even while she still pointed out how our life could be easier/better/nicer (pick one) if only my husband would...(you get it, right?)

Now my role has changed, my mom is gone and I am now the dreaded MOTHER-In-LAW. Being a mom wasn't all that difficult for me, actually. But when you add those last two words (In Law) it's then that I find myself on a slippery slope. My daughter has been married for a couple of years, so I thought being the MIL would get easier; boy was I wrong. Now, add a grandchild into the mix and bammo I get another role, Grandmother!

Keeping the proper distance is difficult, as I usually speak my mind and being a MIL and Grandmother causes me to bite my tongue very often. Whenever I find myself wanting to make a "suggestion for your own good" I actually think I hear my mom laughing from Heaven. I didn't realize how much control she had, because looking back on our lives, I would imagine that Mom could have really said MUCH more than she did.

Thanks, Mom for being there and not saying ALL that you could have. My failures and successes in life have both taught me so much. Being a MIL and grandmother will push the limits of my patience, love and control.

Isn't life great. I wouldn't trade my new responsibilities for all the tea in China.


  1. Truth--what a nice post. I am a mother-in-law also. I know they would not always agree with me, but I really do try to be the kind of M-I-L I would have liked, if my M-I-L had not been such a horrid, horrid, shrewish, passive-aggressive, mean woman. If she had been a bit nicer, I probably could have hung in a bit longer with her boy, but the opportunity to shuck all of them was too good to pass up.

    I used to own-I loaned it to someone and I can't remember who-a book called M.I.L.D.E.W. Mothers-In-Law Do Everything Wrong. Paperback, cheap. Find one and use it as ammo when the S-I-L complains about you!

  2. Hmmm...I wonder who Truth is.....

    I appreciate your MIL story as I have had a few doozies. Actually the only reason the latest one & I haven't killed each other is because we have not seen each other nor spoken in 2 years (we live in the same town)! My mom is a great MIL...she never bad mouths the hubbys, she always sides with them & throws her daughters under the bus when needed. I have noticed a trend though, my mom had a crummy MIL, my Mema had a crummy MIL, my sis's MIL was less than desirable at the beginning but all the men involved had wonderful MILs which is the exact opposite of what is normally portrayed (the wifes mother being the shrew). I am a fair & balanced MIL to be...I call 'em like I see 'em & my kid ain't perfect!