Mother in Law, isn’t always the way you would think.

There seems to be a negative connotation related to The mother-in-law.  Considered overbearing, interfering, and controlling are some popular descripts of mother in-laws.  Yet, what must be considered is that the mother in law, was also a daughter in law.  Should there really be such a domineering division when we both love the same man?

Marcia, my mother in law is the most interesting woman.  She is about to be 99 years old.  Her mind is sharp and she still does her own laundry, checkbook and taking her dog on walks daily.  We are impressed.  Really, she is a very generous and caring person.  I have learned so much from her.

Being born near the end of WWI and being raised by immigrants, her family new to the United States.  Marcia’s father being killed in an accident when she was a teenager around the time of the great depression, she learned to live by her wits.  She married during WWII and her husband right away went off to fight in WW11 and she found she was pregnant and she had the first of three sons.  The industrial revolution started, and her mother lived with her, so she went to work as her mother cared for the young boys.  You had to get into a long line and hope to be picked for the job.  There were some very beautiful women in line, and Marcia was clever but not endowed with the beauty, yet, she had a very nice figure and she dressed professionally, with a sparkle in her dark eyes and a bit of moxie she has led a very exciting life.  Taking trips and traveling to other countries she has treasured up many great memories.    She knit, and she sewed and she made all she desired.  Marcia learned knitting and sewing from her mother whom was from France and was a professional milliner.    She bought a large property with a dilapidated house, and she turned it into a very nice home.  She bought a horse and rode it before work each day.  She worked as a secretary in the Judicial Department.  Marcia has always had dogs, Marcia gave to charities, and supported causes, and she strived to be a good neighbor.  Marcia kept busy going to different fairs and shows, she did not feel she had to go with anyone.  She did what she wanted and she has enjoyed her life.  We have a lot of good times together.  I love to go over my projects with her, I feel she is very keen on creativity and I love her input.  I wished I knew her decades ago, I needed her then as well.  I really have great respect for her.

The mother getting older losing the control and influence on the adult child she raised, and the new wife asserting her independence of a new family.  All are threatened by the potential abuse of familial affections.  The adult child is put in a precarious position between two whom both claim to love them, that are both competing for devotion.  One day when we were going head to head and my husband seemed stressed and caught in the middle I said “Aren’t you a blessed man to be in the company of your two favorite women?!”  It settled all our dissention with a little humor and he expressed if we did not figure out how to get along he would have to leave the two of us at the table.  I have enjoyed more time with her in a great variety of activities, more than the mother whom raised me.  A mother-in-law is a woman, a person, not just as you see her now.  She is a woman with experience, history, accomplishments and sorrows.  She is the person whom raised the man we love.

If you care to, make your mother in-law your friend.  It is a relationship worth tending.  I have learned so much from her.  All a mother wants is to be loved, valued, while spending time with her.  We need to make time for them because it is a sad reality we may not always have them available to us as the years go by.  Call your mum and express some love and appreciation.  I am a mother in-law now, and it can be just as scary to us learning how to interact with the new daughter in-law.  I started out giving too much advice imagining it was valuable, forgetting all the mistakes I made, I created a level of discomfort.  Is she walking on glass too?  Respectfully loving relationships are worth the endeavor.  We all have to try.   You do not quit gardening just because there are weeds to tend.  Time is the intimidating factor, because we  imagine that someone will always be there, and things will be the same.  Things do not stay the same, spend time with your mothers.

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