The story of Naomi and Ruth is heartwarming. Us daughter in laws should be so blessed. Mother in laws as well. I guess their relationship is a goal of sorts for both parties.
Newsflash, very few daughter and mother in laws have that kinship. There are those that do and I applaud you both! Maybe you should write a blog! I would read it.
Getting married and doing the dance is hard enough under the best of circumstances.
I’m speaking from experience and through the eyes of some amazing women who have shared their stories with me. I am now a mother in law myself. My goal is to steer clear of these blunders. I need to practice with my son in law before my son gets married. My hunch is that the son in law relationship will be the easier of the two.
#1 Stealing: We did not steal your son from you. Well, I guess in a sense we did steal his heart but we had no mastermind plan of snatching your baby boy from your arms. The arms that you feel provide the care that he needs better than anyone ever could. We know that you love him. If we love him chances are you did an amazing job raising him and we thank you for that.
#2 Advice: Girl, we can handle advice when solicited. In fact, we are going to need your advice. We know that you have several years on us and that you are just trying to help. Truth be known, when you bombard us with your schooling you make us feel that you think we aren’t capable. Wait for us to ask. We will be much more obliged to heed your tutelage.
#3 Critical: When you are critical of our every move as a new wife or mother, our heart shatters. We are doing the best that we can and need to make mistakes and blaze our own trail. Your critical words leave scars on our heart. We try to act like what you say doesn’t shape us but in fact it does. We wipe our tears when you aren’t looking. Please be mindful.
#4 Proud: Tell us that we are doing a good job without adding a but statement or offering a better mouse trap. Just tell us you are proud of us for our efforts. We desperately need your approval whether we want to admit it or not.
#5 Wedges: We love your sons and in turn love you for raising the man that we want to spend the rest of our life with. Please don’t try to drive a wedge between us and our husbands. Be mindful that this type of behavior builds resentment. We will be spending the rest of our lives together, resentment is hard to let go of.
#6 Friendship: Just be our friend. Ask us how we are doing, just as you would one of your girlfriends. Be a shoulder to cry on if we need it without trying to figure out why we need your shoulder. We will tell you if we need to. Sometimes a girl just needs to cry, no questions asked. That gesture will go far and last for years to come.
#7 Sharing: We understand that you have spent all celebrations and holidays from day one with your boy but there will be some changes. Two families in some cases more in situations of step parents, will now be a part of the equation. Be considerate and understand that celebrations with other family is not a dig at you or a way to block you out of our lives. There is plenty of love to go around.
#8 Beliefs: All of your beliefs, religious, political and everything in between have been imprinted on your sons heart since he popped out of your oven. It’s time to let go and let him figure out who he is. You don’t realize the damage that you are doing when you force your beliefs. The damage is not between us, but you and your son. We are often in the background trying to fix the damage you have done to your relationship. The sad thing is you don’t even realize that their is anything taking place behind the curtain, on your behalf.
#9 Mistakes: We are going to make them. A lot. Please let those mistakes play out. These moments are a great opportunity for you to practice #2, 3, 4 and 6. We learn and grow a bond with your sons when we have to clean up our own messes. If we need you, we promise, we will let you know. Just be there for us.
#10 Love: We love you. It is hard for us to know where we fit into your life. You can tell us all day long that we are part of your family, like your own daughter even. We feel the different treatment between us and your flesh and blood daughters. It is what it is. We know in our heart of hearts that your flesh and blood will always have a little more of your heart and while at times it cuts us to the core, we will eventually figure out how to dance that dance. I think we will even learn how not to step on each others toes.
Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Ruth 1:16