The Mother-in-Law Paradigm

Not long ago, I had a revelation.

I have three sons. One day I will be The Mother-in-Law. One day some little chickie will swoop in and steal my boys from me.

I told Marshall this, to which he said, “You have a daughter, too. She’ll get married one day.”
“Yes,” I said. “But that’s different. Daughters love their mothers always. It’s the sons who get sidetracked by new women in their lives. Haven’t you heard the saying, ‘A daughter’s a daughter all her life, but a son’s only a son till he takes a wife.'”
He had never heard that. Obviously because he is a son. With a mother. My mother-in-law.
Now, I love my mother-in-law. She’s an amazing person. I go to her for advice, and I call her regularly. If I need godly counsel or help with “why do boys do that?” I call her. But I know not everyone has this relationship with their husband’s First Love. And yes – there is some tension. I do things different. I made her baby live hours away. I am a very picky eater. Small problems, thankfully. But I do make an effort to spend time with her, talk to her, get my husband’s favorite recipes from her, etc.
I hope I’m half the mother-in-law she is one day.
So one day my baby boys will grow up and get married. They will love another woman more than they love me. Will they move hours away? Will their wives – and by extension they –  turn their backs on me at some point? Will I ever get to see my grandkids?
I know I have years and years before this happens. But I hope I can be a great mother-in-law. I hope I can be accepting of other women getting the affections of my boys. I hope I can be nurturing, loving, accepting, and yet distanced from my sons and their wives – supportive without butting in. What a delicate balance.

What is your relationship with your mom-in-law? How do you think you’ll be as a mom-in-law one day?


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