Concerning Mothers-in-law...


Comedians and Jokes

Comedians love to tell mother-in-law jokes. Society really loves the caricature of a domineering mother-in-law. I have to confess that I cringe every time I hear such a joke. As the mother of three sons who married and left home long ago, I wanted to be a great mother-in-law. I heard the horror stories about family relationships with married children and their spouses and I did not want any part of that! Of course I did not know how to be a mother-in-law! Who does?

Family relationships are very important to me. I have been researching the family history for over thirty years and I love the research and the way it puts me in touch with my roots. As a member of a large family I was never alone during my younger years and I hoped that my children would acquire that love of family from me. My oldest son married very young and his wife became like one of my children. The end of that marriage was one of the hardest things I have ever been through in my life! My daughter-in-law became a daughter by choice and is still involved in my life with my grandchildren.

Mother-In Laws | Source

The Times They Are A Changing

Evidently times have changed or I am just plainly old fashioned, but I thought when your sons married, their spouses would at least pretend to have an interest in their husband’s family. In my world that is not the case. Now, I am not saying that my daughters-in-law are bad people. They are well educated, caring people. They are involved in their churches and community. They live full active lives and have many friends. My sons are happy with their lives. For that I am thankful.

This incomprehensible situation developed slowly and is a total mystery to me. As far as I know there is no anger, no malice, and no particular incident caused by me that caused this relationship problem. We are cordial when we meet every few months but that is not a real family relationship.

I am a busy person. I have a life outside of my children. And yet, every evening for about fifteen minutes I wonder what they are doing and how life is going for them. I wonder if it is something I have done, or is it just society changing relationships and families as time rushes by in this virtual world in which we live.

There was a time when it was acceptable to laugh at the mother-in-law because her position in the family and the lives of her children was unassailable. That position is no more in the world where I live. I do not love mother-in-law jokes. They come too close to a point of conflict in which I have no idea where I stand or what position I should hold.

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Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

heymcs, thanks for reading. Life is constant change and it is difficult dealing with people who come from totally different backgrounds and values. I have a wonderful life but I will NEVER appreciate mother-in-law jokes...never.

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heymcs 6 years ago from Utah and DC

I feel for you and hope you can find the same closeness with your current daughter in laws as you have with your ex daughter in law. I don't have the answer but fitting into a new family and fitting new family members in takes work on all sides. Everyone grows up differently and only has their own family as a 'guide' for how to be a part of a new, blended one.

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Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Warm hands, I know several women who have only sons and they find themselves in the same situation. I know there are nasty women who are mothers-in-law. There are also nasty women who keep their children away from their mother-in-law for no better reason than they are selfish and self centered. I am acquainted with a young woman who expects her mother-in-law to provide diapers and other necessities for her infant daughter while at the same time this grandmother has not laid eyes on her granddaughter for a month. There is something wrong about this. It gets very old having the mother-in-law carry all the blame for every problem that comes along.

warm hands 6 years ago

Some mother- in-laws are just mean and nasty. They have no regard for other people or their children. They seperate the grandchildren by making one more special than the other. this is devasting and unacceptable. You seem to be just the opposite

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Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for your comments, glassvisage! It seems only common sense but some people do not feel that way.

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glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

I'm not even married yet,and I definitely make an effort to be a part of my partner's family. I try to get along with everyone, do a few favors, and so on. Plus I figure if they helped make him as great as he is, they can't be so bad!

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Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Shalini. I have considered this as a possiblity and believe you are right. Thanks for your support.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

It isn't you Smireles - it's the way life is right now. I see it more and more around me - the mother-in-law making such an effort and the next generation not even noticing. What is tragic is the fact that it's not because something happened to make them act that way - it's just that ties don't seem to matter.

So, it's not you :)

Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you.

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amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

I am sorry for this difficult situation you are in. I have watched my mom suffer and struggle with her relationship with her daughter-in-law and have had my own issues as a daughter-in-law. I think it is just a difficult relationship that hopefully gets better over time.

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Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, Judydianne. You are probably right. It is not the end of the world for me but it is something that never goes away. I am happy to find someone who understands my feelings because one tends to think that they are alone in situations like these.

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judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

I think it has something to do with selfishness. And I would like to know how many times they visit HER mother in three months. I have been a mother-in-law twice, but both ended in divorce, unfortunately. Both my son-in-law and daughter-in-law suffered from selfishness, although I loved them both. I hope that it will get better for you in the future.

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