What I Learned in May

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Did you catch the rainbow?  They always make me smile!

 

Okay, okay!  So, I seem to be a bit “behind the eight ball” so to speak, with getting my “What I Learned In …. ” posted in a timely manner.   I could tell you I learned it in June so as not to look like I’m late announcing this.  However, truth be told, I did “learn” this in May.  So, I might as well say so.

This was definitely worth recognizing, worth writing about, because it changed my perspective on the MIL/DIL thing.  So, perhaps you’ll find it worth the time to read.  😉

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This is one thing I became very much aware of in May …..

I’m HIS mother.  And he is a grown man now.  (THAT part I already knew!  Keep reading.)

I’m not HER mother.  I’m not HER friend.  I’m not HER family.  She need have nothing more to do with me than she would with an acquaintance.  My daughter-in-law did not choose me and I didn’t choose her.  They chose one another.  He is HER husband and she is HIS wife.  I have no claim on her – her time, her attention, her friendship, her love.  It may come – and I hope it will – but I have NO claim.  Nada.   Rien.  Niente.  This is at the core of the MIL/DIL relationship.

We both get to choose how much time, energy and effort we will put into the relationship, how far we let the other into our life, how often we want to spend time with one another, … whether we will choose to be friends …. family … allies ….

It may have been different years ago … in previous generations.  And it’s most likely different in other cultures.  (This we will explore in future posts!)  But, for here and for now, that’s what I see.  That’s what I hear.

That sheds some light on the subject … for me!  And in some way …. it seems to make the whole relationship a bit …. easier.  I feel more relaxed.  And that’s got to show.  This “I get it!” realization dissolves any pressure I might have been experiencing – even unknowingly so.  Fewer expectations … fewer “should”s ….. fewer “need to”s …. more time and space to see what, if anything, will come together.

Rainbows?   Perhaps.  But, there’s no rush.  I feel less inclined now to “make it happen” and much more comfortable to “wait and see”.

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5 thoughts on “What I Learned in May

  1. It’s like a clean slate waiting to be written on.Those are very true statements…. doesn’t it sound like there is a “vacuum” just waiting be filled? What I have done since becoming a MIL last year, I write Dani, my DIL, little notes every now and then.Not because I “should” but because I “want” to. Just randomly when I feel something rising up in me. Like just recently I told her in a text, that “I’m so happy that you are a part of our family and that my son found someone so wonderful to love and to be loved by”. I think as the MIL I need to take the lead…not in order to “get” anything in return, but just to let her know how I feel. DIL are implants into an already established family unit….I have 31 yrs of loving “history” w/ my son; she has less than 2 years. Talk about a ‘handicap’ 🙂

    • I really like your idea about writing notes – whether it be by text, email or – really?? – even paper! Thanks for sharing that. I’m going to adopt that practice – with no expectations of receiving replies. And the “implant” idea is an interesting one ….

  2. I like this – the idea of no claim, but also no attitude of “distance.” It is what it is. Honestly, as a DIL, I didn’t give much thought to MY relationship with my MIL until years after I was married. I tried to have a good relationship when I was around her, but I didn’t think much about reaching out. I don’t know if she took that as distance or not. It wasn’t intentional. It took me a few years to develop a real friendship once I realized I needed to foster my own relationship with her, not just a proxy one through my husband.
    To my6sons point in the comment above, I felt I had a huge “handicap” and I felt really threatened. I guess I was really insecure in a lot of ways! It is an odd place to be to know you’re your husband’s #1 pick but will lose every round of childhood trivia.
    Keep sharing. This post seems more personal in a good way. Sharing your heart perhaps gives me a peek into my MIL’s … and that is a good thing for me to see.

    • Thank-YOU for sharing your thoughts & feelings! It gives me a glimpse into MY DILs. It also makes me want to start up that MIL/DIL “coffee time” I’ve been thinking about where MILs & DILs (none who are related!) sit down together and talk about their experiences, attitudes, perspectives and expectations. In a constructive way.

  3. I choose to work at and make it happen. We now tell each other that we love each other. I told her the other day, when she told me that she loves me, that it really meant alot to me.

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