What sort of mother in law will you be?

Now there’s an interesting question for you! For some of you, it may seem a long way off. For others you maybe there already. I’m somewhere in between, my eldest son is sixteen and in what he considers to be a ‘serious relationship’ but I think and hope that I won’t be a ‘mother in law’ for a few years yet.

My relationship with my mother in law is variable. Luckily, most of the time we get on really well, but there have been times in the past when things have been a little tense to say the least and my husband has been quivering in the background hoping that the two women in his life aren’t going to go to war.

I know some people and I have to say most of them are women, who have a hate hate relationship with their mother in laws and in most of those cases, it has had an negative impact on their marriages or relationships.

But when you think about it, it would wouldn’t it? Usually you have a close bond with your parents before you meet that special someone and then the dynamics change. As the son or daughter, you want to devote your time and adoration to your partner and although your parents remain important, it is natural for them to take a more secondary role in your life.

As my children are young, I can’t imagine how that must feel and although at times my mother in law drives me to distraction, I do try and take a step back and see things from her perspective sometimes.

Is it harder to deal with mother in laws as a woman? As a mum of three boys, I seriously hope not! I haven’t come across any other parent and son or daughter in law relationships that have been so problematic, but people do say that fathers can be very overprotective of their daughters.

My mother in law had two sons to whom she devoted her life. She often says that she wishes that she had had a daughter as when you have sons you lose them when they meet someone else, whereas a daughter will always be there for you. I often thought that she was being over dramatic when she said this and that it depends on the individual’s and their personalities. Plus, my husband dotes on his mother, phones her everyday, fusses around her goes to visit as often as possible and yet I don’t make nearly as much effort with my own mum.

So what sort of mother in law do I think I will be. Well, currently, I think that I will be reasonable, helpful but not interfering, understanding and will accept my children’s choices of partners and try to get on with them whatever and whoever they may be. In reality though, just thinking about it scares the life out of me but is certainly does make me realise how hard it must be to let go.

How about you? What sort of mother in law will you be?



  1. April 10, 2012 / 8:19 pm

    I have the same worry about my 2 boys leaving me! Well at the moment my smallest is only 9 months and is my shadow so don’t think I need to worry about him!

    • April 10, 2012 / 8:27 pm

      It is a bit scary isn’t it? You do have a few years to consider it!

  2. April 10, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    oooh interesting! I have 3 boys and my future-mother-in-law self terrifies me.I may have to write a blog about all the things that I don’t want to be and read it the day before I meet their future girlfriends.

    But I’m hoping by then I’ll be so desperate for sisterhood I’ll be AWESOME!

    • April 10, 2012 / 8:30 pm

      That’s the spirit! I have had an ‘intersting’ day with my MIL today which prompted me to consider the question. I hope that I will be awesome too I really do!

  3. April 10, 2012 / 8:26 pm

    This is a really good question. I hope Amy never gets married if I’m being honest but that’s because of many reasons including her autism. But I always think that many boys get so spoilt by their mums from an early age, eg they often get away with cleaning, doing household chores, are given the chance to do activities all weekend, be with their mates. Maybe it’s the same for girls in some families but I think boys get away with a lot more. Once they become a man and meet the person they want to settle down with, it’s usually the case that the woman in their life, ie their partner, takes over those household chores and once again the man gets away with it. But this could leave an emptiness in the role of the man’s mother therefore leaving her feeling left out and in some cases jealous. My ex husband’s mother was like that, she used to drive me mad but she had 3 boys and did everything for them. When they flew the nest she wanted to carry on doing for them and it did cause friction with me and her other daughters in law.

    I know some men are certainly not how I’ve described above; unfortunately, my now husband is!

    CJ x

    • April 10, 2012 / 8:34 pm

      That’s really interesting as my MIL is the same! She did everything for her boys and still would and although we do get on, I know she thinks that my husband does far too much and she often makes comments about how her poor son works so hard and then has to come home and do other things. It is a nightmare! We live quite a long way which I think is a good thing. Her other son lives close and they get regular ear bashings about the the way they do things and I don’t think I would have tolerated that as easily as they do!

  4. April 11, 2012 / 3:03 pm

    What an interesting question. I remember the day my husband told his Mum that we were getting married, and her reaction whilst initially happy was then one of ‘oh well’. I could see in that moment, she felt she was losing him. She does have a daughter, but her sexual orientation means that she is unlikely to ever have children or get married. With our wedding, the birth of our son, I’ve tried to make a special effort to include her as this may be the only time she experiences these things for one of her children. As MIL’s go, she’s pretty ok, and we see her with about the same regularity as we see my own parents.

    I love the fact that my MIL offers to babysit when she comes to stay, and she always offers to go to shop/ help out/ do ironing. All things which my own Mum never does. I think though, my own Mum wants to spend the time with me, whereas my MIL is happy to have my son to herself!

    We’ll never be best mates but I feel we have a happy balance of mutual respect and understanding :0). She doesn’t judge, and she never comments on my parenting, and I really appreciate that.

  5. April 11, 2012 / 8:02 pm

    You are really lucky! It is definitely a balancing act and the times that I have been on the verge of a big fall out with mine, I have seen the look on my husband’s face and I have gritted my teeth for his sake, well everyone’s sake really as it is in the whole family’s best interest to keep the peace really. My MIL is the same, she loves having my husband and the kids to herself, I don’t take that personally, I understand and she can spoil them all more than if I was watching.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave such a great comment x

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