My mother-in-law, Linda, is an amazing woman. When my friends complain about their in-laws, I smile smugly. I try not to brag, but I seriously can’t help myself. Since marrying The Doctor, Linda has never once made me feel like I wasn’t part of the family. She supports my parenting choices, she tolerates my off-color humor, and she truly adores my children. She has a strong relationship with my husband, and is happy that her son and I present a united front. She has raised five productive members of society, and she loves her adult step-children.
When my father died almost five years ago, she was a wonderful resource for me, since she was a widow herself. When my own lovely mother remarried last year, Linda helped me understand why some of the dynamics were changing, and she eased my worries with assurances that while things would never be exactly as they used to be, things would be good. Blended families aren’t easy, but they can still be great. She has taught me many things, both in word and example, and in honor of Mother’s Day and her birthday, I’m sharing ten of those things today.
10 Things I’ve Learned from My Mother-In-Law
1. Don’t borrow trouble. Life has enough worry, don’t go looking for more.
2. Enjoy your children as they are today. Don’t wish the time away with thoughts like, “I can’t wait until they can talk,” or “It’s going to be so great when they are potty-trained.” Each phase is wonderful on its own.
3. “If you wait until 7 PM to feed people, they’ll eat anything.”
4. Don’t be too smug about your two well-behaved sons. Your next child will be wild all the way through.
5. People parent differently. If your grandchildren are loved and cared for, hold your tongue. Eventually your daughters and daughters-in-law will ask you for advice and you’ll get your chance to help them avoid being crazy new moms.
6. As a girl, you can still know your way around a Home Depot. And a tractor. And a surprising number of traditionally male jobs.
7. Raising children, plants, and farm animals aren’t that different. Food, water, love, and consistency are the necessary ingredients.
8. If you have two daughters-in-law who want to fight for the title of your favorite, let them. You’ll get hundreds of dishes washed, and at least five grandkids out of the deal.
9. Your kids aren’t mini replicas of you. You may love mushrooms and every one of your children may hate them. What can you do?
10. If you want a donkey, get yourself one.
My mother-in-law is strong, compassionate, thoughtful, hard-working, smart, and a great cook. I am blessed to have her in my life, and I appreciate the things she does for our family. She has supported and championed my writing, from reading my blog daily to buying multiple copies of my books to give to friends. I love her, and I can’t thank her enough for raising such an amazing man for me to marry.