Mamapedia City Voices highlights the inside scoop on your city by selected writers, from up-and-coming mom bloggers to well-known mom experts.
I Survived Ten Years with My Mother-In-Law
While I was channel-surfing the other night, I caught a glimpse of a new show on NBC called “Momma’s Boys.” The title itself annoyed me, as well as what I saw on the screen. A mother was loudly telling her son she did not like the choice of girls he had made.
And did I mention the girl she was talking about was standing right next to him? It made me wonder why the girl even wanted to be involved with a guy who had a mother like that. What if they ended up getting married? She’d be stuck with the mother-in-law from Hell.
The relationship between a woman and her mother-in-law is often tense… if just at first. When I first got married, I was very anxious around my MIL. Trying to please her, I never argued with her, but instead told Hubby later, letting him to deal with it. My MIL, like me, is a very outspoken and strong woman. She is not afraid to express her opinions… and she has many opinions. She never shies away from telling anybody exactly what she is thinking, when she thinks it.
Once my MIL came over and rearranged all the furniture in my living room, stating that she knew how to increase the space. I literally had to bite my lip to keep from yelling, “Stop! This is My House!” But I ran into the next room and cried instead.
One night much later (after we had both had several glasses of wine), my MIL told me she felt we didn’t talk enough. I was shocked. She actually wanted to hear what I had to say? “Even if I disagree with you?” I asked her, still unsure. “Especially if you disagree with me!” she insisted, laughing. We both cried and hugged each other.
The next time she came over, I made sure to express my opinion, even if I hadn’t been asked for it. When she started telling me how we should redo the house, knocking down these walls and painting a certain color, I told her, “We already have our own ideas on decorating.” She nodded with a smile and stopped talking. And I saw a new respect for me in her eyes.
I’ve been married almost 10 years, and the years since my MIL and I had our talk have been the best. My MIL and I get along great, going shopping together, sending emails back and forth, and gabbing on the phone for an hour like girlfriends. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I had just been myself from the beginning, instead of trying to be someone I thought she wanted for her son. As it turns out, she liked me for ME all along… because I made her son happy.
Pixie was an elementary classroom teacher for 7 years. This only gave her over-confidence in being a mom, but no training whatsoever. She has been a full-time mom for 6 years, and lives in Oregon with her Hubby, two kids, a dog, and a cat.
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