Girls Write Out
Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm guessing most of us, when we were starry-eyed and filled with dreams at our wedding altars, missed the woman in the middle with folded arms and a frown on her face. Otherwise known as our soon-to-be . . . .

Mother-in-Law.

Shudder. Just saying the words sends tingles down your spine, doesn't it?

Okay, me neither. But sometimes a dramatic flair comes over me and I just can't help myself.

The truth is I was blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law and now a step-mother-in-law. Kind, loving, helpful. But I know many women who don't share that kind of relationship with their mothers or daughters-in-law.

My good friend is writing a non-fiction book on mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. She is gathering vignettes and opinions along the way to deal with issues in her book. I told her I would blog this and get your views on the matter. :-)

As a daughter-in-law, I wanted to be the best I could be. Now that I'm older, as a mother-in-law, I want to be the best I can be. I love Ruth and Naomi's story in the Bible. But let me just say for the record, I'd have some serious issues with my mother-in-law if she told me to lie at a man's feet.

Still, we all want a good relationship with the woman who marries our son, don't we? Even if you're now a mother-in-law, you've developed a long-term relationship with your mother-in-law. So all you daughters-in-law out there, no matter your ages, answer me this:

"What one thing could your mother-in-law do (or could she have done) to help you have a better relationship?"

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Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:10 AM  
  Comments (12)
 
 
Delicious Delicious
12 Comments:
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Sabrina L. Fox said...

Diann, my MIL was always kind and giving when we were first married. She would offer to watch our son for us and you could see she enjoyed it. She always asked how I was and you could tell she really cared.

She knew I loved her roasted turkey, so every now and then she'd make us one and drop it off for our own Sunday dinner.

She prayed for us and she even told me how grateful she was for her son to have found me. She made me feel loved.

Now she's in a nursing home with the end stages of Alzheimers and doesn't know us at all, but wow, what a treasure I had and a great example for when I someday have to stand by as some silly girl takes my son away. LOL

So, I guess that didn't answer your question, but I just had to share what a blessing this woman has been in my life.

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh, my goodness, I'm so glad you shared, Sabrina! What a legacy your precious mother-in-law has left you! Thank you for sharing. These are exactly the kinds of examples that help, too! It challenges all of us to do better.

I'll have to find out what my d-i-l's favorite meal is. Though she's two hours away, so I don't think I can drop it off. ;-)

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I appreciate the fact that my mother-in-law doesn't interfere in our lives. She lets Mel make his own decisions, doesn't treat him like a baby, but like a grown man. When he calls her, she doesn't keep him on the phone for hours. She doesn't cling.

My mother does the same for Mel. She makes sure she doesn't interfere in our relationship. Now, of course, she needs more help, and won't accept it as much as she should, but her independence allows us to make the right decisions for our own lives. I don't want to sound selfish here, but I'm saying this because I've seen other situations that could break up a marriage because of clinging, interfering inlaws.

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger Ellie said...

My mother in law situation is rather unique as not only is she French, and lives in France, she's only been married to my husband's dad for 3 years (just one year more than my husband and I). My husband's mother died ten years ago. I'm very thankful for my pseudo MIL as she tries very hard to communicate with me when we stay (her limited English and my even more limited French).

However, in ways that it could be better...I'ld love to know more about my husband's mum but bringing up the topic in mixed company is difficult, and the one time that I did she took great offense.

Secondly, she is very territorial
when we visit. I won't go near the kitchen unless my husband is there too (for added protection ;))

I'ld be curious to hear how my husband answers this question in relation to my mum and her MIL status to him...I'll have to ask him tonight!

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Interesting comments, Ellie! And let us know what your hubby says! :-)

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

I've been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law and I'm taking notes now that I AM a mother-in-law. But my mother-in-law and I joke that one reason we may have gotten along so well all these years is that for most of them, she lived in California and I lived in Kansas. ; ) She lives closer now and we still get along great. I admire her a lot and appreciate that she's never interfered in my husband and my relationship, and only offers advice when asked. She's a very thoughtful gift-giver and always helps out with meals when she's here.

 
At 1:42 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

I had a horrible MIL and pray that I never behave the way she did! I would wish that my MIL stayed out of our lives and our business the way Cheryl's MIL does. What's worse, she told me not too long after we were married that she wished she had never gotten pregnant with my husband! Oh dear! That NOT a good thing to say to your DIL!!

Using my MIL as an example of what NOT to do, I have prayed a lot and worked very hard to be loving and supportive to my DIL without giving unsolicited advice. My son and DIL were here over Christmas and I had an opportunity to tell her how much I love her and how important she is to me. It turns out her own mother is controlling and manipulative (sound familiar?) and my DIL said at dinner one evening that she preferred me to her own mother. What a compliment, but how sad!

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I love my MIL! When my hubby and I got married, she very accepting of me, even though we had only met 3 times before the wedding. (they lived on the east coast, I lived on the west coast) She never interferes, never offers unsolicited advice. As a shower gift she gave me many of my hubby's favorite recipes, which was wonderful! When we had our daughter, she came when ever I needed help, but didn't just show up. Several times she called to tell me she was bringing dinner, I was grateful, I had a colicy baby and dinner was the last thing on my mind. We talk regularly on the phone, and see each other at least 2-3 times a week at church and other functions. When her hubby had some health issues, she needed help from my hubby but was hesitant to call on him because she didn't want to take him away from his own family. I appreciated that, but did not mind that they needed him. My MIL is always willing to take my daughter if I need some time to work on things at home, or even if I just need a me day. I want to be a MIL just like the one I have!

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I love my MIL! When my hubby and I got married, she very accepting of me, even though we had only met 3 times before the wedding. (they lived on the east coast, I lived on the west coast) She never interferes, never offers unsolicited advice. As a shower gift she gave me many of my hubby's favorite recipes, which was wonderful! When we had our daughter, she came when ever I needed help, but didn't just show up. Several times she called to tell me she was bringing dinner, I was grateful, I had a colicy baby and dinner was the last thing on my mind. We talk regularly on the phone, and see each other at least 2-3 times a week at church and other functions. When her hubby had some health issues, she needed help from my hubby but was hesitant to call on him because she didn't want to take him away from his own family. I appreciated that, but did not mind that they needed him. My MIL is always willing to take my daughter if I need some time to work on things at home, or even if I just need a me day. I want to be a MIL just like the one I have!

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger SheilaG said...

This could be a very long post for me, but I'll stick with one thing. :) I would like my MIL to respect our beliefs. We are Christians (she is also), but have some differences. We live several states away from each other, so we don't see her often. The biggest example is that once we were visiting her and FIL for a week. She offered to babysit the kids one day so hubby & I could go out. Years later she confessed to my hubby that she had baptized the kids. (This confession was after she found out our kids had made the decision to be baptized in our church.) She was quite proud of herself for pulling that one off and then quite shocked when she found out he told me about it! I would have loved to have a MIL like so many are posting here, but it has never really gotten better. I hope/pray that when the time comes, I will be a GREAT MIL!!! :)

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

The thing I appreciate the most about my MIL is how hard she tries. Yes, she offers unsolicited advice and opinions at times, but I know she means well, and I also know I don't have to take the advice. But I know she loves me and will always be thankful for the way she welcomed me into the family, even though I could tell it was an adjustment for her (mostly because my husband is an only child).

That being said, in general, I think most DILs wish their MILs remembered what it's like to BE a DIL... there's a lot of pressure!

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

My MIL has become one of my best friends. She is disabled but constantly overworks herself to serve her family and others. She is an amazing example of grace through adversity.
However!!! (adn I have told her this) she could have spoiled her only son less so I didn't have to inherit his need to be ... well ... spoiled ;)

 

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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

www.KristinBillerbeck.com

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

www.ColleenCoble.com

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

www.DiannHunt.com

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

www.HannahAlexander.com

 
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