We all wish we could change a few things about our lives. We all wish we could be a bit bolder and a bit more nuanced. We want to be able to stand up for ourselves or simply respond in situations when we feel we give up to easily. Here are a few times most of us can relate to.

1- I made a commitment

I’m fully aware that I’ve made a promise to be a partner to your son in front of God and other legal bodies and I intend to keep that promise. There is no need to keep reminding me of how terrible I am at this job.

2- Please knock. Also, please ask your husband to knock as well:

Doors have locks for a reason. If I use them, it’s a problem; if I don’t use them, it’s a problem. Many times, we can’t lock our doors because we have little kids, and they need easy access to our rooms. Do I need to put up “Keep Out” sign like an angsty teenager?

3- Please let me and your son find our own way to live. You are a great mother and always will be. Let me be the wife that I want to be:

If you wanted to find your son a second mother, well, you failed. And why would you even want that? I mean, we all agree that you are a great mother, well, most of us anyway. What he needs is a life partner and a companion. Let me be that for him. I know what my husband needs from me as a wife. Let’s play our separate roles in his life. Why do we have to edge each other out or take each other’s place?

4- Respect my parenting. All babies are different.

My baby is your grandchild, not your child so respect my parenting. I will respect your grandparenting. My child, my rules. I’m so sorry that this doesn’t suit you.

5- Please don’t turn your son against me. It will end up ruining his life, not just mine:

If you let him love me and think good things about me, he will love you more for it as well. Oh dear mom-in-law, if you only understood that you are not just making things hard for me, you are also making things extremely difficult for your son whom I know you love so much. You only think making me look bad will make for a more pleasant experience for you two. Even if he believes you, I assure you he is miserable knowing that his life partner is a terrible person. If he doesn’t believe you, which is more likely, he is probably disappointed in you and doesn’t want to admit it because it’s too painful.

6-Please be on our team. We need you, and more than that, we want you

Your son needs his mother. I need my husband to have his mother.  I came in knowing and accepting that you are a part of my life and want a healthy relationship with you.However, I already have a mother. But I will happily accept you as a loving elder and guide. Or just agree to disagree because that’s probably more likely.

7-Please find your own life and your own activities:

Find a purpose for your life so we don’t always have to be the center of your attention. Please and thank you.

8-You chose me this way now accept me this way:

I’m not always going to do things you like. I’m not always going to do things that your son likes either. I’m my own person, flaws, and all. Get used to it.

9-You son’s flaws are not my fault:

I’m not here to change him, nor do I want to. Please keep your relationship with him directly between the two of you as it has always been. Leave me out of it.

10-The household is not just a woman’s responsibility:

Let’s try and put some of that responsibility you keep going on about on your son. What do you say? He’s just as much of an adult as I am.

11-I respect you and may even grow to like you, but you are not my mother:

I repeat, you are not my mother. Just like I don’t expect you to love me like you love your daughter.

12-I am doing the best I can:

If it’s not obvious, let me say it. I am doing the best I can. However, I don’t need to be perfect. New flash: you ain’t perfect either, sister!

13- Do not discuss our personal matters with others no matter how close you are to them:

That auntie you talk to is just a gossip; she does not care about our family issues. You know when you told her that my son is flunking his class? She did tell other aunties just that, along with the fact that your grandchild is just as careless as your son in studies, because you were a negligent mother. Talk about a two-for-one deal.

14- Please don’t talk to my older kids about me and my parenting:

As a grandparent you do have a right to them. However, that stops where my parenting begins. Harsh truth but accept it and move on please. I’m sorry that you didn’t have this kind of control over your children when you were raising them but that’s not my fault.

15- Don’t compare me to other women in your family because I am my own person and I don’t want to be like anyone else:

You don’t have to love who I am and, as a matter of fact, even your son doesn’t have to love who I am (yeah, you heard me). I am happy with myself and satisfied with the person I am so please keep your criticism of my housekeeping, parenting, wifing and any other skills to yourself. Again, please and thank you.

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