In a month I’ll be 52. By the time you hit this age, you get comfortable with who you are. I’m a Mom, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Aunt, Cousin and Friend. Those are my “identities” if you will, and I wear them with pride.
Last month, our Son asked the love of his life to be his Wife. They have dated for eight years and have a lot of experience under their belt both as individuals, and as a couple. This is the type of relationship that has a solid foundation. That makes me proud.
So, what does this have to do with my role?
Sitting on the deck one evening with my husband, we happily laughed about this new wonderful event that happened in our lives. We smiled proudly, marveling at how our little boy has become a man in front of our eyes. Suddenly, we realized that we were going to be someone’s Mother–in law and Father–in law. Whoa!!!!!
This got me thinking. How does this all work? What does a Mother-in law do? Up until that moment, I had never given a thought to the actual role.
I mean no big deal, I was always in regular contact with my Son’s Fiancée, before she became his fiancée. I have always prided myself on our relationship and the ease with which we communicate. There doesn’t seem to be many topics that we can’t chat about. Our visits, text messages, hugs and kisses. But suddenly, I felt self-conscious.
Is it because a “Mother-in law” has such a bad rap? Oh boy, what do I do? How do I act?
Obviously, just like some of the most important roles in our lives, this one comes with no formal job description.
No one wants to be the overbearing, obnoxious, nosey, pushy, condescending busy body the world makes Mother in laws out to be. When do I ask questions? What questions am I allowed to ask? Do I keep some of my opinions to myself? Or ALL of my opinions to myself?
EEEEEEEEK!!!! I will have a new identity in about a year!
I considered rushing to Google just to see what I would find. But, I stopped myself. Really? Come on Maryse! Get a grip! You are so not resorting to asking Google “What are the functions of a Mother-in-law”.
And so, I have simply continued on with what I’ve been doing for the last few years. Communicating with my future daughter in law in the same way we always have over the past eight years.
Maybe as if sensing my hesitation, she has recently asked me what I think of a few things pertaining to the wedding. Those simple things make me feel important, and I have realized that everything is going to be alright. Why? Because I am going to be just ME, this is who I am and will continue to be. Loving and supportive and kind. I embrace this new upcoming role with glee.