This subject is so touchy that it’s comical. So touchy that I don’t know how to start this, even.
I’m talking about mothers- and daughters-in-law.
See? You just went “ooooh.”
I cannot speak from the side of a mother-in-law yet, nor can most of my friends. We still have our feet squarely planted in the DIL square. There are things we don’t know yet; can’t know yet.
But one thing I’ve learned, MILs? There’s something you are missing. In the midst of the tension and the quips and the strange power struggle… the thing most of us want, or wanted at the beginning at least? It’s your approval. It’s a motherly relationship; to truly feel like family. It would seem that you may be underestimating your influence. Did we all come at it correctly? Probably not. But that’s the desire under the mess of it; to be fully seen, known, and validated as we navigate the early years of marriage and motherhood. All the hurt and confusion and whatever else is there really just boils down to that.
I asked my readers, my friends, and even some strangers what they wished their mothers-in-law knew. It’s my hope that these can be read with an open mind and an understanding of where they come from- both the ones full of hurt and the ones full of love- and that perhaps a conversation could even start. I think sometimes resolution only comes by going through the thick of the mess. We need to start talking, and we need to be open and honest with one another. No walls, no fear.
Mamas who have gone before us; who have entered a season we have yet to enter; whose words and actions can hurt or heal: here are some things that maybe haven’t been said:
Chime in: What do you wish your mother- or daughter-in-law knew?