Advice wanted: How to be a good MIL

As some of you may know, I am getting my first daughter-in-law in a few months. Her name is Emily and I’ve been thinking about her quite a bit lately. I wasn’t too excited about Christmas until I thought about how fun it will be to shop for the perfect gift for her this year. Today I was wondering how the wedding plans were coming and if Emily had found a dress she liked yet. Tonight Luke and Emily dropped by and she filled me in a bit. She went to look at bridesmaid dresses and they talked her into looking at wedding dresses, too. She found one she likes but she doesn’t want to be done dress shopping before she even begins, so she didn’t buy it (or the perfect train that goes so perfectly with the perfect dress). I like that she knows what she wants. That is a wonderful trait.

Mostly I wonder how to be a good mother-in-law. Which is where you come in. I think you should please be for telling me in the comments at least one thing to never do and at least one or more things to always do.

Go!

 

Hope and despair

Sometimes I get text from one of my kids in the middle of the day because all chaos is breaking out at home and they want me to fix it for them.

From work.

I can tell you that nothing I ever have to deal with or fix at work is ever as hard as trying to deal with someone’s crisis at school or at home or wherever.

From work.

Sometimes it’s a big knock-down drag-out fight and things are getting broken that may never get fixed. Or, worse, things are being said that can never be unsaid.

In all caps, of course.

And knowing that this is what is going on at home *while I am at work pains my mother heart. And, already being pained by all the things that I know are already broken and all the things I know can never be unsaid, I feel a little bit of despair.

Sometimes I go home and it doesn’t get any better until I go to bed and surrender (if I’m lucky) to the mind-numbness that is sleep.

Sometimes I go home and I plow through it and I try to be some sort of salve on the wounds of the day and I make dinner even though the kitchen is a disaster (you know, because I wasn’t home) and we eat together (or mostly together) and sometimes (but not always) breaking bread together helps just a little bit.

And sometimes a little bit later one of the kids that was fighting asks the other one if he or she wants to watch a movie together. And even though are other places to be and homework to be done, **I let them.

When that happens, hope replaces dispair.

All together again after nearly four years apart

Sometimes Sunday evenings are the best

I love my kids, especially when they collectively and spontaneously decide to strike a pose for awkward family photos at the family reunion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lest ye judge:

*1. I am working outside the home after being a SAHM for 17 years and because the spirit told me I should apply for this job. And when I almost quit the job the spirit told me I should not quit it, so I stayed. 2. I used to work only the hours my kids were in school, so I was still, in a sense, a SAHM. That changed over the summer, when I had to increase my hours and I am still struggling with my my work-life balance.

**Sometimes, particularly when you have teenagers, being a mom is about making hard choices. Maybe one of these days I will write more about some of the hard choices I make (see above).