Accepting Your Daughter-in-Law
This is not meant to be a mother-in-law bashing article. There are many great mother-in-laws out there. I just hope that this article will give some comfort and/or enlightenment to some.
I would like to dedicate this to all the wonderful mother-in-laws out there. If your reading this your are most likely already a very caring person. But you are just feeling a little alone and abandoned because your son is about to leave, or has already left you for another woman in his life. I don’t blame you. You have a right to feel a little jealous that you are no longer the most important person in his life. There are a few things though that every mother/mother-in-law needs to realize. The first thing is that you are not losing someone special to you, but actually gaining someone who, if given a chance can be just as special.
Your daughter in law should be extremely special to you. If you can’t find anything at all to like about her, at least like her for the fact that she will one day have your future grandchildren. But keep in mind that unless she is a child abuser or molester, try not to pass judgment on the way she chooses to raise her children. Another thing to think about is try not to give her advice unless she asks for it; otherwise she may feel like you do not think she is a good mother. If your daughter-in-law feels like you are not being critical of her, and that you are accepting of her then she will ask for your advice, and include you in her child’s life. Keep in mind that you had your chance at raising a wonderful son, so give her a chance to raise her child/children.
The most important thing to any son/daughter-in-law is please do not be negative. Be open-minded and supportive. Do not ask them why just accept that it was his/her decision. Most importantly don’t pressure them. If you treat them like adults then they will act like adults. Even if your son drops out of college to be a janitor, do not criticize, ask him why he did it, or go into the speech about why he needs a college education. Your son already knows the consequences; he has already thought them through. It may be that being a doctor or dentist is not what he had in mind for his life in the first place. In the end the only important thing in life is happiness, so let him find his. The same goes for your daughter-in-law, do not pressure her into a college degree, instead ask her what she wants to do with her life. Sometimes parents think that just because their son/daughter-in-law doesn’t say much when asked that question is because they haven’t made any plans, or haven’t thought that far ahead. They are wrong. Speaking from experience, avoiding that question or simply saying “I don’t know” is another way of saying that I don’t want to tell you because you will criticize me.
The mother-in-law/daughter-in-law issue can be a very sensitive topic. I’m engaged so I only have a future mother-in-law. Sometimes I’ve noticed that we can both be a little too sensitive by taking offense at something the other did when the other person meant nothing by it. However, there have been instances when one person was more in the wrong. My future-in-laws have done everything but demand that I become a registered nurse. I can see where they are coming from as far as the pay goes, but the pressure that they place on me is unnecessary. It makes me feel like I am not good enough for their son unless I am a registered nurse. I have other plans for my life but they ignore and belittle them even in front of other people. I am personally very tired of it, I have remained polite, helped them around the house, and I have asked them for nothing but acceptance. In my case it is not just the mother-in-law, but several family members that feel this way.
If you are a mother-in-law, or any kind of in-law for that matter, please be supportive, give your son and your daughter-in-law some space, treat them like adults, and embrace his/her dreams of the future. In turn everyone will love you. If you are already that kind of mother-in-law then there are many women out there that are jealous of your daughter-in-law.
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