Mother-in-laws get a bad rap. Google “mother-in-law” and the top results are all about tension and torment.
“Monster-in-laws” are apparently so common that there are blogs, books and movies on the hell they can bring.
But in bucking the trend I’m here to share all the reasons I’m grateful for mine. And no, it’s not because our relationship is perfect. We’re two very different people. We live different lives. We’re constantly negotiating a relationship brought about by chance where we must share the one thing we both love the most: her son and my husband.
Truth be told because of everything we share now, the son/husband and our kids/her grandkids, that’s why I love her. Because no one loves them like we do. Both of us.
So, here’s to my mother-in-law and all the reasons I love her.
1. She loves my husband
She loved him from before he was born. And she knows him, for all his good and bad bits. She knows the amazing person he is and she wants the best for him and his family. But she also knows he is human and loves him anyway. Just like me.
2. She loves me
For being her son’s wife and for being the mother of her grandchildren. And for being me. Though she had no say in my addition to her family, she treats me as a treasured member. I’m eternally grateful for that.
3. She loves my kids
As much as me, or possibly more. She cried when each of her grandchildren was born, overwhelmed at their preciousness. And that they are the continuation of the family she began.
4. She loves my kids even when they’re feral
Even when my little pieces of preciousness are being precocious, she loves them anyway. She gets that kids are kids, and little people learning to be human. She sees their essential good even when they are behaving badly. That’s love right there.
5. She is always there
She is my sounding board. I can share things that are worrying me, big and little. When I was a newbie mum with my first newborn, she took calls any time of day and night, she checked in, she cared for me and my little one. Often it was just a comforting “it’s ok, that’s normal” or a “get it checked if it’s worrying you”. She shared her many-times-a-mother calm with me until I found my own mum confidence.
6. She gets this mum gig
She gets that it is all kinds of crazy. Exhilarating, exhausting. Hectic, happy. Amazing, overwhelming. And she makes it ok that it’s all those things, all at once.
7. She makes me feel like I am doing an awesome job of being a mum, even on days when I know I’m not
She knows I’m doing my best even when I don’t feel like my best is good enough. She lets me be an imperfect human raising imperfect little humans.
8. She is my fall back
She is the only person who not only wants to see my kids when they are sick, but offers to look after them. Rocking up to my place to help when everyone is sick including me takes a special kind of love.
9. She spoils my kids
She cooks them their favorite food. She buys them treats. That’s a granny’s right.
10. She loves being a Grandma
or “Mamma” as my kids call her. She values it as a very precious part of her life. She cherishes her role and never takes it for granted.
11. She brings food
She gets that gourmet cooking has never been my strong suit and even more so in amongst the little ones. She also gets what it’s like to be a mum and have a night off of making the meal. So if she comes for a meal, she brings it with her and I love her for it.
12. She takes my kids on special outings
A ride on a tram. On a bus. To the movies. To the beach. Wherever it is, it’s about spending time with my kids doing something fun.
13. She makes my kids feel special
I love that she loves my kids as much as me and sees them for who they are, and that they are amazing.
14. She loves being part of our lives
She somehow knows the balance of being an essential part of our world without attempting to run it. It’s an art form I can only hope to master one day.
So yes, I love my mother-in-law. I was lucky to marry into her family and for her to share it with me. And now I am lucky to share my family with her.
So, this Mother’s Day, I wish my mother-in-law a very happy one. (And if you’ve got an amazing mother in law – tell her! You’re truly blessed!)