I have had a very tumultuous relationship with my mother-in-law over the last decade and bit. I would love to do a polygraph test on her about her feelings for me. I would actually like to take the test myself so I can understand my feelings for her.
The beginning years were very hard. She had a hard time accepting me or appreciating me. It was a very hard time. Then over the years, I think we have all found our groove of where we fit in the this family of ours. Acceptance and compromise are a huge part of having a working relationship with my in-laws.
This weekend, I found myself so angry at her. Again. I sometimes wonder if she knows she is being hurtful or that her words will hurt. Having two boys, all she (they) wanted was granddaughters. So imagine their frustration at the news … It’s a boy, over and over again.
Then came the beloved precious, perfect granddaughter. They were in heaven. Their world revolves around her, quite literally.
My mother-in-law feels she missed out on having a daughter… as that would have given her a child that would always be there and take care of them… etc. The Daughter… There was no subtlety of what they wanted and excepted in a daughter-in-law.
Today as I was ready to truly want to hurt her physically, I just swallowed my words… again and shut my brain down. This time the conversation was how girls are so thoughtful and loving … and how boys aren’t like that. (I am paraphrasing here…) I was on my way out the door to BBQ when I poked my head back and couldn’t help respond, “I am not sure my sons would agree with. My boys, some of them are very thoughtful and caring.”
See, I don’t see this as a boy/girl thing. It isn’t. Not all girls are kind, thoughtful and generous. Not all girls treat their moms with respect and love.
It is a personality thing… a character thing… Yet she was insistent. I wanted to scream. I actually felt such anger towards members of my family I felt that if I actually said the words that were wanting to come out… there would be a huge rift… as sometimes the truth… the raw truth, really hurts to hear.
I lashed out to Sanj in the van on the ride home expressing my frustration. Suddenly, it hit me… where this anger and rage comes from… every time there is comparison… in their world… girls are the be all and end all.
I realized that my anger and hurt is that I am wanting, just for once, for her to love my boys as equally as she loves her granddaughter. There I said it… I want her to love my boys the same.
She can’t. I realize that. The boys realize that. It is no secret the blatant favouritism that is shown. My boys see it, feel it and yet for them it is a fact of life. I know it must hurt them otherwise they wouldn’t verbalize it.
It sucks. What message does it send to my sons? I love my boys to death. Would I have wanted a daughter? Of course, that is no secret. Yet… a girl would not change my thoughts of a boy.
I see why men feel and act as they do… they hear it all their lives… men are dogs, jerks, obnoxious, all the various definitions that they hear start at a young age. Men are no different then women in this context. It is time to change that thinking…
See, over the weekend, we had family here. One of the boys little cousin was this dainty little thing. They went fishing… she did it all, touched and held the fishes etc… while some of the boys were scared to. As this little girl was experiencing fishing for the first time, the lap she sat on was none other then Sammy (you know, my rambunctious son), who has a gentle heart and loving spirit.
It isn’t a gender thing. It is a personality thing. If someone is a kind, generous person, it isn’t because of their sex…. it is because of their character in combination with their upbringing. While the gift of empathy is stronger in some than others, thoughtfulness should be taught by parents who consider it important.
So… while I feel so sad at the constant, obvious favouritism… I can not just sit by and let it be said that girls are more thoughtful and loving than boys. Wrong. For those that know my sons, Tyler will immediately stand out for his gentle spirit and thoughtful heart. Max, will stick out for his kindheartedness and gentle spirit.
I feel the need to duke it out! These are my babes! They need to be pampered, spoiled and loved to death too.
Thank you God, for my sons. I see them for the gift they are … they are my heart.
Lord, in the years to come, please nurture my soul to be a mother-in-law that You want me to be. I won’t lie, God, I am so scared. I want to love my daughters in law with all my heart. Could You mould them a bit now, so that it is all good later? (lol, just kidding but if You see fit… 🙂 ).