Sunday Inspiration

Sunday Inspiration – Thankful for: Mothers-In-Law

I’m sorry if you thought my title was in jest – I don’t have any Mother-in-Law jokes. I really like my Mother-in-Law — but I know I am in the minority.

And why is that? I am forever perplexed that women don’t get along with the most inspirational woman in the life of the man they have chosen as their partner. Sure my Mother-in-Law has her little idiosyncrasies that drive me nuts but isn’t that true about anyone? Why is it that a Mother-in-Law’s idiosyncrasies get on our nerves more than anyone else’s? While my Mother-in-Law isn’t the first person I’d invite on a girl’s weekend, I do love, honor and respect her.

I have to be honest however, I haven’t always thought this way.

When my husband and I were first married, I was happy we lived hours away from his family. He was the oldest of three boys who left his hometown and married someone who didn’t live with a few square miles. I had nothing in common with my Mother-in-Law, our taste could not be more different (including how we cooked Thanksgiving dinner!). And his family was just too close – Sunday dinners together, playing cards well into the evening, knowing all the little details of each other’s lives. I wondered if any of them enjoyed a minute on their own.

I loved the independent life my husband and I were building. Spontaneous weekends away, fun evenings with friends doing anything other than playing cards!

Then children came.

My father always told me that I would not understand love until I had a child of my own. My first was a boy – love long before first sight! As I fell more and more in love with my son with each passing day, I began to understand my Mother-in-Law in a whole new light. Even though I marveled at this amazing little boy with a mind and spirit all his own, I realized how much influence I had over the man he would become. My Mother-in-Law was that influential spirit in my husband’s life. And he turned out pretty darn good!

I started seeing qualities in my husband that she put there, and I told her thank you.

A couple weekends ago we attended the wedding of our nephew – the son of my husband’s brother. I have known this young man since he was a toddler – seeing him dressed in a tux, making a lifelong commitment was almost unreal for me. I had a great 2nd row seat – watched his bride say her vows and felt my heart swell when I realized how in love she was with him.

I thought of my Sister-in-Law and hoped that her daughter-in-law, though they have little in common other than this young man, will love, honor and respect her too.

And, I have yet to meet my future daughter-in-law, but I do hope she will want to spend Sunday dinner with us!

8 thoughts on “Sunday Inspiration – Thankful for: Mothers-In-Law”

  1. I enjoyed how you described the journey of the rapport built over the years and your realisation of the traits she passed on to your husband. I love my mom-in-law because of her progressive mindset. Like many of her peers in India, she would have liked to have me and my husband live with the family, but she vociferously made it clear that we must focus on what we want to do in our lives and that would make her even more happy. She has been a rock of support throughout.


  2. Eileen, this was such a sweet post – I appreciate the insight into your personal relationships. While the first sentence made me chuckle, I have to say that I think often about the kind of relationship I have with my boys and how I hope that closeness will not only keep as they get older but will translate to their eventual partners. All I know is that, if they love my sons half as much as I do, I’ll be grateful!


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