If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Life in MIL Land

First I want to thank all of you who have emailed me and left comments regarding: 1. Where the heck I’ve been. And 2. How Bug and Lady N’s visit went.

Where I’ve been: I’ve been lazing around, spending some time with Hubby, doing a little shopping with a friend, and generally just enjoying my clean house and my carefully selected, lovingly placed Christmas decorations. All too soon, I’ll have to take it all down and the house will slowly go back to its normal, lived-in state.

The kids’ visit went well. The biggest problem I had was that I just could NOT stop being Damama. As so many of you can attest to, 30-somethings do not want to be mothered! It’s just so darned hard for me to turn it off! Oh well. One day you will be the 50-something, learning to live in the new and challenging world of mother-in-lawdom. I hope I’m still around reading your blogs so I can whoop and holler and say, “SEE!! Told ya so!!”

It is really weird, this mother-of-the-husband world. Not only do you have to cope with the addition of a permanent other-half to your son, but your relationship with him changes, as well. Neither change is necessarily a bad thing, just a new, weird thing that sometimes leaves you feeling like you’re standing with one foot in quicksand and the other on eggshells.

But then I remember feeling that same way when I became wife-of-the-son. I guess I was so wrapped up in those odd, unbalanced feelings that I never fully appreciated how hard it was for my first husband’s mother. I wonder where she is now. Maybe I should find her and tell her that I now understand. And maybe I’ll finally forgive her for making me eat her fried frogs legs after she’d pointed out that they looked just like baby legs jumping and jerking as they cooked in the pan.

(For those of you who’ve never seen cooked frogs legs, here’s a picture of the finished product.

And if you still don’t believe me, go check out some of the frogs legs cooking stuff on YouTube. Warning: some of them are so gross that I refuse torture you with ‘em here. )

Just suffice it to say that I’ve never again consumed that particular Cajun delicacy, and forgiving her for having seared that image into my young brain is a MAJOR step in my emotional development!

Now the moral to this story: If you are married to the son-of-the-mother, be patient with his mom. Try to get to know her as a woman, not just as his mother. She might just surprise you and be someone you could actually like. And remember that some day...

When I'm an old lady, I'll live with each kid,
And bring so much happiness...just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they've provided.
Returning each deed! Oh, they'll be so excited!

(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)
I'll write on the wall with reds, whites and blues,
And I'll bounce on the furniture...wearing my shoes.
I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I'll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they'll shout!

(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)
When they're on the phone and just out of reach,
I'll get into things like sugar and bleach.
Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

When they cook dinner and call me to eat,
I'll not eat my green beans or salad or meat,
I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry...I'll run...if I'm able!

(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)
I'll sit close to the TV, through the channels I'll click,
I'll cross both eyes just to see if they stick.
I'll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud 'til the end of the day!
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids)

And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,
I'll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan,
"She's so sweet when she's sleeping!"

Thank you, Margie, for sending me this so I could share it here.
Author unknown – if you know, please tell me so I can share that too!


  1. Welcome back.

    I've been visiting the blog of those that have posted on mine because I'm having a little give-way over at my blog to celebrate one year of blogging - no gimicks - just some fun.


  2. Whew, I'm glad you're back. Missed ya. That was a great post. I know what you mean about getting to know the person and not just as the mother. BTW, I loved the poem. Margie

  3. Good to see you again! Glad the visit went well. I am sure you DIL was just as worried about how she acted as you were. I bet one day you two will have a great relationship. It just takes time =)


  4. I love my mother-in-law, but appreciate her a lot more after reading your post. FYI - I love frog legs, and your look extremely tasty!

  5. I loved this poem and I would imagine it is a little strange becoming the MIL. I know it is a little odd, at first, being the DIL.

    Thanks for dropping by my site - it's very nice too see you and I hope to see you again soon. Take care. Kellan

  6. I love that poem. I've seen it before, but I don't remember if there was a reference attached.

  7. My email is down. I'll send you one as soon as I get it working again. :(

  8. Rick - I'm going to have to unsubscribe to that contest post! My inbox is overflowing! LOL! Let me know when you are shipping my prize. ;0)
    Margie!!!!! I'm so glad you loved that poem. The wonderful, beautiful, YOUNG, grandmother of Miss A-dora-ble who sent it to me is SO sweet! ;o) Give Miss A a hug for me, OK!
    Hey, UTMom - thanks for the encouragement. This old dog needs all the help she can get learning these new tricks!!
    Heather - I bet your MIL loves you, too! But FROG LEGS?? YUUUUUCK! I guess maybe I could do OK with them if I just didn't have that baby leg thing blocking my desire to even try! LOL!
    Kellan - When we are in the moment of our "stuff" it is so hard to think about the other side's perspective. Hopefully everyone else who reads this will get that, too!
    Hi Brandi - I'm almost ashamed to show my face to you! I'm so sorry I haven't gotten that picture back to you... been just a wee bit preoccupied. I promise I'll have it to you today!

    Glad you liked the poem. I think it should be required reading for all teenagers! LOL!!



  9. Okay, I really can't relate. I don't have a mother-in-law. I am divorced, but I still talk to my ex mother-in-law and we have always gotten along so I'm sorry to hear it's not the same on your end. I loved the poem though!


  10. Oh I love that poem!
    I found something more scary than meeting the DIL - it's the first visit to our house from her parents!!!

  11. I am sure I will never quit being mama either. :-) LOL Glad the visit with Bug went well. My bug went back to school yesterday and is so happy!

  12. Kathy - If not in a legal sense, then in a moral sense, whether you are divorced or not, if you have children with your ex, you have a MIL. How lucky you are that you get along well with yours. And your children are even luckier. Not acknowledging her place in their lives would be robbing them of a very important part of their heritage. Keep up the good momma-ing, kiddo! You're doing great!
    THANK YOU DRAGONSTAR for saying that meeting the DIL was scary! I guess we lucked out with the inlaw family thing because Hubby and I both adored her parents. we have a lot in common - including kids who ... mmmm... march to the beat of their own drummers. And that reminds me that I need to give Lady N's mom a call. Hope your experience eventually turned out as well as ours! xoxo
    AZ!!!!!! Once a mama, Always a mama. Why is it so hard for the kids to GET that??? Hug your bug for me! Thanks for stopping by! I'll check in on your world soon. TTFN!

  13. OMG I love that poem. With your permission I am planning on printing it and mailing it to my grandmother-in-law who now lives with her kids!!!

  14. Hey Susan! Of course you can use the poem. It's not mine. I have no idea who wrote it, but I'm betting your grandmother will get a huge kick out of it. and your mother, and your aunts, and your coworkers with children! LOL!

    I'm so glad you visited me from over there at the House of HOOE's! Stop by again soon!



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