If you’ve ever watched a Chinese soap opera, you would know there is always a cross-generational battle going on between family members, more specifically between the mother-in-law (MIL) and daughter-in-law (DIL) – and the poor son gets stuck in the middle. This story line is so popular probably because it’s based on reality and like they say, fact is sometimes stranger (and more entertaining) than fiction. I would venture to say that regardless of what culture or background you are from, you have experienced or heard of such conflicts occurring in your family, too.
With this in mind, I was having lunch with some fellow moms the other week and we happened upon the topic of in-laws. We were actually talking about our kids getting married (crazy I know, considering our kids are ages 7 and under!) and one day becoming a MIL ourselves. One mom said, “Yeah, that’s why I started praying that I would love her (her future DIL) more than I love him (her son).”
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What?!?!?!?! I had to pick my jaw off the floor for that one! I looked at her and saw that she was totally serious. And I was humbled. Wow. What a prayer to pray! She was basically asking God to help her NOT be one of those dreaded MIL’s on TV. More than that, she is already opening up her heart to accepting and treasuring her son’s future wife. She even wants to love her more than she loves her own flesh and blood!
Yes, it’s been weeks and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what she said.
Now, I have been blessed with a saint of a MIL. I can honestly say I feel like she loves me as much as she loves my hubby. She happily cooks for us twice a week, cleans our bathroom and fridge when she stays over, and has never said a mean word about me to me or behind my back. So I know it’s possible to have a good MIL-DIL relationship. But even still, it’s hard for me to imagine getting to know some stranger that your son (or daughter) met and loves and inviting that person into your family and ultimately, your heart.
But I am willing to try. I want to break all the MIL stereotypes that society and the media (ever heard of the movie Monster-in-Law?) have ingrained in our minds. I want to make life easier for whoever marries my son and daughter – cause marriage is already hard enough as it is! I want to pass on a legacy of love for my kids, grandkids and the generations to come.
Because if fact is stranger than fiction, I want to make our family’s reality, and my role as a MIL, mind-boggling – in a good way! 🙂
P.S. The mama friend who blew my mind is 8 years younger than me – more proof that young’uns can really inspire us!
Here’s Carrie Underwood’s song, “Mama’s Song”, to get you thinking about that big day in the future when you will gain a son or a daughter in law. (Get the tissues out!)
What are your hopes for your child and his/her future spouse?