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?