Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Mother-in-law, my Friend

The general sentiment that when you marry someone, you marry their family too, is very true. My husband has a wonderful family and I am so thankful that they let me in! They are such a kind and loving family.

My Mother-in-law, or in-love (m-i-l) as we often say, is a special lady. She is kind and gentle. She has such a sweet spirit. She raised an amazing son (well, three if you poll the sisters-in-law :) for which I am so grateful. Marrying her youngest son not only granted me entrance into the family but into their hearts as well. As Mother's Day nears, I wanted to take a moment and let her know how much I love her.

The mother/daughter in law relationship can be tricky. I applaud my  m-i-l for making ours so easy. She has done many things in the past 15 years to bolster the relationship. Today I share a few:
  • She included me. That means in conversations, in decisions, in helping when we were visiting, just everything. She has always made me feel a part of the family.
  • She encouraged me. Despite my well-intentioned but pitiful attempts at times, she is a source of encouragement. Whether it be my attempts to make HER special bar-b-que recipe (which I have conceded will never happen), a botched try at caring for her son, or even parenting two of her grandchildren, she never tried to one-up me, even when she clearly could! Her words remind me of the Proverbs 31. She speaks with the "law of kindness".
  • She befriended me. Not willing to settle for a mediocre relationship, she has gone out of her way to become more than my m-i-l, but my friend. When we speak on the phone she asks and cares about me. How I am doing  as a person, wife, and mother. And then again, in our conversation, she encourages me.
This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is several core principles which guide our relationship. As a mom who one day faces the possibility of her two sons finding young women who capture their hearts, I am trying to take heed now. I want to build a relationship with my future daughters-in-law that is as sweet and uplifting as the one I share with my m-i-l! I love you, Mom Schaffer! Happy Mother's Day!

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