Saturday, September 11, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times – Chapter 49

#49 - “Always stick up for your sons/daughters-in-law.”
Even when I was a little kid I noticed that my mom was always very, very nice to her four sons-in-law and one daughter-in-law. Even under the best of circumstances that must have taken a certain commitment. You know how it is. No one is ever as perfect as your perfect child. 

Interestingly, although I noticed how nice mom was to Jack, Carroll, Bill, Cathy and my multitudinous husbands (I’ll bet you’re wondering how multitudinous), I didn’t particularly notice if they deserved her kindness. They could have been horrible and mom wouldn’t have ever said so. Whether she thought it will remain a mystery that she took to her grave. Click on Read More Below...

What mom didn’t say, that comes across just as clearly, is that you don’t want to have a tenuous relationship with your kids’ life-partners.  I must admit, that as a mother of three, the graduation from having complete control over your children, to loosing most of your control over them when they go off to college, to completely loosing it when they marry, is a power-draining experience to say the least.  You go from “we’re doing this,” to “we would love to do this, but if it doesn’t work for you we understand.”

This is the natural order of things. Your kids develop a life of their own that sometimes includes you, but sometimes not. And I think that this is why mom always stuck up for her sons/daughter-in law. She knew that she would be much more welcome if she were nice than if she were adversarial.

I’m lucky. I have a daughter-in-law I adore. She is smart and beautiful and a wonderful mother and wife. And I have a son-in-law that loves my daughter and his children very much. He provides a good home for them, and has a good heart. My youngest is still single, but you can be sure that I’m going to love whoever he picks out because that’s the way it should be.

So mom was right. Always stick up for your sons/daughters-in-law!



  1. I heard a Mideastern saying; When your son becomes a man, make him a brother.
    Who knows what happens to the women though.

    Thanks for posting all the neat pics.


  2. Interesting quote Dirk, and you're welcome re: photos. Thanks for your comments.

  3. I heard her stick up for Kathy one time, favoring her position over that of JS. I imagine you're as shocked as I was. When I expressed my surprise she replied, "Well, she's a woman!"