June 30, 2009


Q: Why do they bury mothers-in-law 18 feet down, when everyone else is buried 6 feet down?
A: Because, deep down, they really are very nice people.

Q: What does a mil call her broom?
A: Basic transportation.

Q: What is the ideal weight for a MIL?
A: About 2.3lbs, including the urn.

The clock fell off the wall. If it was a minute sooner, it would have hit my MIL. That clock was always slow!

Two men were in a pub. One says to his mate, "My MIL is an angel." His friend replies, "You're lucky. Mine is still alive."

(These were all "borrowed" from this link: Mother-in-Law Stories)

What is a mother-in-law? Oh, I know she's your husband's mother, but why does she have to be in your life? Other than free babysitting, what's her purpose? Once you say, "I do" this virtual stranger is forever, until death do you part, a part of your family. You have to share your holidays with her. Your husband. Your children. At some point you may even have to care for her. You may be the one to do her laundry, cook a meal for her, or give her a ride in her wheelchair.

Now that I'm "older", I've been thinking about what it means to be the mother-in-law. I want to make sure my daughters-in-law don't take advantage of that wheelchair ride and dump me in the nearest lake. I asked a young friend of mine what she liked about her mother-in-law and here's what she said:

Here's what a mother in law has been to me:
*someone who takes my child to the zoo, the train museum, and buys him things that I cannot afford for his birthday...in a humble way-- not a show-offy way
*someone who makes sure my son has clothes that fit every season-- but first she made sure she knew what style of clothing I liked for him.
*someone who may not understand my decisions about the way I gave birth, breastfeeding, cosleeping, non-vaccinating, the food I choose, the toys I choose-- but who respects and honors them anyway, and trusts God to give me the wisdom to do what is best for my child
*someone who treats my birthday as special as my husband's
*someone who asks (and seems to care) about my family
*someone who came to my grandpa's funeral and let me hug her really tighly for a really long time afterward while I cried a little bit
*someone who does her best to be cool about it when I do things that are just weird
*someone who doesn't force me to participate in games when I really don't like them, even though games are a very **** thing
*someone who doesn't hog the holidays, but is honest about what matters to her and what doesn't (like, I would really like to see you for Christmas, it would hurt if I didn't, but it doesn't have to be ON Christmas, etc.)
*someone who has a life outside of grandchildren and children with her husband (they started taking ballroom dancing lessons about a year and a half ago and go to dances twice a month-- they didn't want to just sit in front of the tv and grow old like her parents)
*someone whose advice is never given without request, or, if it is, very humbly without the expectation that it will be taken

So, what do you think? Do you have anything to add? Any advice you'd like to share with me? Anything your mother-in-law does that drives you nuts? What does the bible teach about how to be a mother-in-law? What do you love about your MIL?


  1. I'm still trying to figure out why a mil calls her broom basic transportation?
    What's a mil?

  2. YES! I'm not that blonde.
    Although I did have to read the title and the other jokes before I got this part. :)

    I'm such a goofball.


  3. Yes, bmhs and jubilosa are both me.

  4. Those jokes are funny!

    I was thinking about the scrapbook thing. Even if no one seems to appreciate them now, I know your grandchildren and great grandchildren and descendants will voraciously study every word and every picture. I would LOVE my grandmother to have kept a scrapbook. As it is, I try to ask her questions whenever I'm over there, but she only has one or two pictures from her childhood and just one of the house she grew up in and of my great grandparents when they were dating. I must have stared at those pictures for hours and wondered what their life was like, how they felt about things, etc. I am a memory keeper for the Shumans. Who knows who will look at my books someday and be glad I made them?

    As far as the MIL is concerned, I'm not close to mine at all and she personally hasn't taught me anything, but God has been patiently trying to teach me something about accepting her anyway. 17 years is a long time to have STILL not mastered that.

  5. I appreciate that my MIL gives us space. She kindly calls every other Sunday just to check in and fill us in on their family news. Other than that she does not interfere, she does not give advice, she does not push anything. If we lived in the same town things might be different, but I like this arrangement.

  6. I'm SO blessed to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

    I have a hunch you'll do well. Are there any plans that we should know about?

  7. You're gonna be a GREAT mother-in-law, dear Judy. I'm excited for you to try that out one of these days ... and I'm sure it'll be sooner than later. :)
    I wish you were gonna be my mother-in-law! But no matter ... you will always be one of my second moms. :)


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