Meet my mother-in-law often referred to here on the blog as MIL
(by the way I sent her this text earlier today, “working on a blog post about you today-hope that’s okay- I promise to be nice :O))
J and I started our courtship 21 years ago this past July
He was 17, I was 15
we dated almost 6 months before he ever took me to his house
our families attended the same church…
His mother and I would speak in passing- you might say we were cordial not mushy
(I should insert here that I pursued her son. Pursued is putting it lightly. This may be part of the reason for the lack of mush-just sayin’)
She was polite and always sure to invite me to their family gatherings
Tradition runs deep in his family as well
After four years of dating he whispered, “will you marry me”- I shouted, “YES”
I don’t know about you and what your expectations were for and your MIL but I had BIG plans…we were going to shop for and with each other often (because I was obsessed with shopping for way toooo many years) we were going to have lunch dates, call each other multiple times a day and be each others BFF.
God had other plans.
My MIL is an AMAZING mother to all four of her children that she birthed without pain medicine- is one of the absolute best cooks I know- is dependable, loyal, devoted to her Savior and her husband of 39 years.. and in spite the fact that she has been as good to me as I would allow her to be -our relationship has been work.
In our earlier years of marriage –I was a much STRONGer A-TYPE personality as well as an arrogant 19 year old who thought she knew all there was to know about how to run a home, keep a house and rear children…
And I just couldn’t understand “why” my MIL and I didn’t gee-hah (that’s horse talk for work well together)
(Shut. up. See why I need Jesus y’all? I was awful.)
I became obsessed with our relationship-or lack of…
While in college I sought out the advice of my physcology teacher..I talked about it all the time. My mother advised, “never put yourself in competition with his mother. She will always have her place-you are making yours.” I should’ve headed her words. I read article after article on how better to relate to others while I was on bed rest with Tucker. For months- years really I just couldn’t put my finger on why things weren’t as I had dreamed.
(**Interesting side note: My younger sister married my husband’s brother. So my sister and I share our MIL. My sister is a merciful person, very non-confrontational. From my perspective she had MIL were mushy from the start.)
After Tucker was born I thought things would be different. Yet there was still a tension that I just couldn’t reason out. She was gracious and welcoming and willing but….
And then one day…although I can’t exactly put my finger on the date ..things were different.
She and Pop invited us to go to the beach and camp with them. Without hesititaion we agreed. The one thing MIL and I have ALWAYS been able to agree on is our love for the beach. She may be the only person I know that r-e-a-l-l-y loves it as much as I do..
While at the beach things were different. At first I reasoned that it was because it was our “happy place” but yet there was more…
During our time together I relaxed. I let her mother her son. Encouraged her to help with her grandbabies. Love on them the way she likes to love on them. No pretense. No rules. She cooked. I cleaned. We talked. Shared books and all the other stuff good vacations are made of…
that was the beginning of our happily ever after..
I still don’t know why or where things got off track for us or if they were ever as “off track” as I made them in my mind…mostly a matter of pride on my part..thankful we serve a forgiving God
What I do know is that I am very, very thankful for MIL. For the mother she was and is to the man that completes me. For the “mawmaw” she is to our boys. I thank God that she chose to love for me in spite of how awful I was and still can be. You are loved forever and always.