Not All of Us Hate Our Mother-in-laws
Not all of us hate our mother-in-laws. Here is tribute I wrote and read at a mother's day service. To be honest I'm tired of the hated mother-in-law syndrome. From what I've seen the blame for bad relationships cannot be placed on just the mother-in-law. If you hate her, trust me your actions will come across that way. So if you have the gall to say that you hate her. You probably deserve the way she treats you. (an honest look at it never hurt anyone.) I know you might think you have "just" shared your opinion, but think back about the tone, attitude and feelings behind the words you spoke. Trust me when I say, if you had an agenda or felt anger, frustration or annoyance she picked up on it!
Due to several comments I've read, I'm going to add one more note. I do understand that in certain situations your mother-in-law might certainly be to blame. I have come across a few women in my time who would have been impossible to get along with. But as a human being, and as a mother irregardless of their actions they still deserve your respect. By that I mean you can still be kind and respectful while taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your children and if necessary your husband from mental, physical or emotional abuse. I also have such people in my life, where each words needs to be weighed and measured before spoken to avoid confrontations, but I still believe that as a parent they deserve my respect.
We just don’t give mothers-in-law enough credit. And we certainly don’t on Mother’s day. Mother-in laws are stereotyped as a negative presence in our lives. Our culture demonizes them, or tells jokes about them, or simply tolerates them. We hear stories about clingy and possessive busybodies who will go to any lengths to control their sons or daughters. But It’s not always that way. When I first met the woman who was to become my mother-in-law, granted I too was intimidated. Who wouldn’t be? When I could see immediately that she was a woman of intelligence, strength and integrity. I could also see that she had a voracious appetite for life and a ferocious love for her family. Woe unto anyone who dared criticize or attempt to hurt one of her brood. Mary was proud of her two children and fiercely protective. The more I learned about her the more I appreciated her individuality, generosity and loving heart. My mother-in-law has become my inspiration. She has always been a virtuous and godly woman; a model wife and mother. My mother-in-law is also our family’s rock. The one that everyone counts on She is always giving of herself. She unselfishly gives of her time helping in any way she can. Which means she is often stuck helping her daughter-in-laws with projects they start but aren’t sure how to finish. But perhaps one of her most astonishing attributes, is her sense fairness. No matter who, child or a spouse she is always on the side of truth and justice. That is a truly rare gift! When I became a part of the family my mother-in-law embraced me immediately as one of her own. It took a bit of getting used to, but I love it. Over the past few years we have grown closer. She has become a true friend. Her wisdom and guidance is something I cherish and often seek out. We haven't always seen eye-to-eye on everything, but it doesn't matter. The key is that I love her, and amazingly enough SHE LOVES ME ---weaknesses, flaws and all. Her love is something I can be absolutely sure of. It isn't relative to her son...it's just between me and her. And although I know this strong woman has her opinions, as any woman does. She is the perfect grandmother and a wonderful mother-in-law. It is my privilege to call her mom, and for my daughter to call her grandma. I love her and I respect her. I tell her that on occasion but I wanted to tell her here again today on Mother’s Day.