Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dear Me (when I'm a mother-in-law)

It's no secret that I have in-law issues and I thought I should write a letter to myself so when I become a mother-in-law I can at least attempt to avoid some mistakes.

Dear Michelle,

You will be a mother-in-law to 3 spouses for your children. You will have 1 son-in-law and 2, count them, 2 daughters-in-law and that may be the most difficult of the relationships. Even though it may feel like no girl will be good enough for your boys, Jackson and Bennett will fall in love and get married and have children. Jackson and Bennett will bring home girls and tell you they love them and you will have to do all you can to have a relationship with these girls. You'll probably feel like they are taking your boys away from you, but this is God's plan. Remember that these girls might feel like an outcast in your family. They won't know the inside jokes you all have, they won't know the funny stories about Jackson and Bennett growing up. Do everything you can to make these girls feel included. Call them at least once a week just to say hi and see how things are going. Don't let them ever say about you that you were never there and you never offered to help. These girls might have a great relationship with their moms or the might not, either way you should be there for them. When they have your grandchildren don't just say, "let me know if you need anything" tell them, "I'm free for a few hours today and I could watch the kids if you need a break". Remember when your very own mother-in-law would say call us if you need anything and you never did? Do everything you can to make your children-in-law to feel like a part of the family. Call your daughters-in-law and ask them if they want to go to lunch or get a pedicure together. Be their friend. They may not want to be friends with you and if that's the case, don't be offended. It might take them a while to warm up to you (you can be overbearing at times) and give them the time they need. They may not want a close relationship with you initially, but you should still be there. Don't be the overbearing mother-in-law, always offering your opinion and butting into their lives. Most of all, be as involved as you can with your grandchildren. Get to know them, don't just buy them toys. Go visit them even if Josh can't be with you, you should be comfortable around your daughter-in-law enough to do this. Show those babies that you love them and you'll always be there for them. I'm sure I'll have more experiences to write about later. Your children-in-law should really be son and daughters-in-love. Love them like your own children. It might be very hard to let someone else take care of your sons and daughter. You've been praying for their spouses for years now and trust that God knows what he is doing.

This is only based on my 8 year experience of having a mother-in-law and I'm sure I'll have more experiences to remind myself of later:)

Don't forget in the mean time to treat your boys how you would like their future wife to treat them and act how Hayden should act as a Godly wife. I feel so far from Godly, but I should treat Josh the way that Hayden should treat her future husband. They are looking to you for wisdom and direction and you always hear how children marry people similar to their parents.

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