The thing that worries me the most about becoming a mother-in-law is the fact that we are never truly able to see ourselves through the eyes of another person. The margins for misinterpretation are wide. Not to mention our natural inclination to see your own child’s perceptions of situations. It’s pretty scary stuff! I think the first thing we have to do is keep in mind that just because someone is your child (that’s just a forever thing), they are no longer a child. They are adults who are perfectly capable of running their own lives. They will make mistakes, but if we interfere with this huge part of being married we will be altering their destiny. Possibly to the point of removing their ability to bond as a couple. Bonding within a relationship strengthens through our ability to face problems, and solve them together.
Being someone’s Mom is tricky territory once they become adults. As mothers we have nurtured, and overseen our children’s lives constantly even when they have been completely unaware of our efforts. It requires us to recondition ourselves after years of unending “mommyhood” to going back to being who we were before we became Moms. It would be a lot easier if there was some kind of mommy on and off switch, but life’s journeys are never that simple so I have come up with a list of reminders to try to keep myself in line.
- Treat your adult children’s marriage with the same respect you would give to adults who were not your children. (Mind your own business)
- Have faith that you have raised your children to be capable adults, keeping in mind that growth occurs through making mistakes, and learning to solve them together.
- Your new son-in-law, or daughter-in-law becomes one of your adult children after the marriage so treating them with the same respect you show to the children you have raised is equally important.
- Be supportive without interference, and only give suggestions when you have been asked for advice.
- If you do catch yourself violating any of the above rules apologize, and try harder.
All relationships take time to build, and I am looking forward to the years to come with my future son-in-law. I’m sure that I will make mistakes along the way. I just would like to build a foundation of respect for his place as her partner in life. So when I do make a slip he can at least count on me to autocorrect. 😉