On becoming a Mother-In-Law

Written by Hollye Dexter


Whew. I am still coming to terms with the fact that my son is now a married man, and will soon be a father. It’s a lot to wrap my head around, and it’s come so fast.

I am cool with becoming a grandma. The image of grandma conjures up warm, fuzzy memories. Everyone loves grandma. Of course, I want to set my own rules for being my own version of Grandma. I aspire to be a fabulous, free spirited, salsa dancing, gigging, world traveling Grandma who still rocks her grandbaby to sleep and bakes cookies with him.

But Mother-In-Law? I haven’t gotten used to that title yet. How many comedians have made their fortunes taking jabs at the proverbial Mother-In-Law? How about that movie “Monster-In-Law”?

I’ve given a lot of thought to this, especially since my son and daughter-in-law live with me. What type of Mother-in-law do I aspire to be?

I’ve always told my kids that I would love whomever they chose to love. I trust their judgment to find the person who is right for them. Whether it lasts the rest of their lives, or whether it lasts a summer, I know that they are choosing a person who is worthy of their love, and is going to bring rich textures and learning experiences to their lives.

But now that my son has taken his vows, and is committing his life to this beautiful young woman and their child, I feel that I should make some vows of my own.

My Mother-In-Law Vows:

I vow to be a support system and mentor to them as they make their way.

I vow to give advice only when asked. : )

I vow never to pass judgment on them, nor to intrude on their young relationship,

I vow to place confidence in their ability to make the choices that are right for them, even if it takes them a few tries.

I vow never to speak unkind words about them, even if I don’t agree with their choices.

I vow to give them the space to raise their child in their own way, which may differ from mine.

I vow to always be there for their children.

I vow, together with my husband, to set a good example of a respectful, loving married relationship with open communication.

I vow to keep my door open to them both, whenever they want to share something or ask for help.

I vow that, even when they have their fights and misunderstandings, I won’t take sides nor judge. I understand that this is a normal part of a young couple finding their way.

I vow to always be kind.

I vow to post this in a place where I can see it every day.

I vow to love my son, his wife, and child. Unconditionally. Always.

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