If you are married, chances are you have a mother-in-law.
If you have a mother-in-law, chances are you may not always get along…. If I’m wrong, click away: this post is not for you.
I knew my mother-in-law long before my husband and I married. We always got along. In fact, we even did things without my husband.
After my husband and I married, I still got along with my mother-in-law. But when our son was born, everything seemed to change.
The thoughts came quick and hot: Why does she think she did everything better? Why is she trying to take over my family? Why won’t she just leave us alone?
It wasn’t as easy talking to her. I didn’t want her to come over and help. I became indifferent toward her and sometimes even downright rude.
Did she do something different? Did she make some big mistake?
Well then, if she didn’t do something, what happened?!
It took me months to figure this out. Then I realized: it was me.
I was the one searching for fault. I was the one comparing. I was the one with bitterness.
Then an even scarier thought hit me: Someday, I will be someone’s mother-in-law.
Cue freak out.
No, seriously. It’s that scary!
Right now, I am the only woman in my son’s life. He looks to me for everything: when he’s happy, when he’s sad, when he’s hungry and especially when he’s tired.
But someday I won’t be that woman anymore.
And that scares me.
I’m scared because I love my son. I’m not sure anyone could ever love him as much as I do. He’s my world, my little boy. And someday, I’ll have to give him away.
And now I think of my mother-in-law. How many times did she hold my husband and think of the same things?
How many boo-boos did she kiss? How many times did she rock him back to sleep?
How many times has she whispered, “I love you.”
And who am I to take that from her?
So next time she calls and just wants to talk to my husband, I’ll give them some space.
Next time she offers advice, I’ll remember: she’s been there.
Next time she asks to come babysit, I’ll let her.
Because after all, before she was my mother-in-law, she was just a mother.
And one day, I’ll be in her shoes, hoping that my daughter-in-law understands my need to be a mother.