Entered into the “One Word at a Time Carnival.” The Word is: Reconciliation.
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It must be normal for some mother-in laws and daughter-in-laws to butt heads from time to time.
In our case, my sweet mother-in-law and I got along quite well, because she always did everything I told her to do!
I remember one time, my young 4 year old brother in-law who was just a tad older than my own children, and he spit out the F word, at my mother-in-law. I grabbed him up, turned him over my knee, and gave him three swats quick as your eye can blink. His mom, (my Mother-in-law,) said, “He doesn’t know what he is saying, and he is just a baby.” I told her, he knew enough that it was disrespectful, and as I looked him in the eye, I told him to never speak to “B” like that again. All of her children called her “B”, and I think it was because she thought she was too young to be called mom. Anyway, that is another story.
Then my children grew up, got married, and I found that I was now the Mother-in-law.
I have always been good at telling people what to do and taking charge, and I really do not plan to change, but things were different with my new daughter-in-law. She had been raised in a rather large family, with brothers to tease her, and hurt her feelings.
Some of the things I said, were not taken lightly, and were misinterpreted. In her way of thinking, she was certain that I did not like her; and that I thought she was not doing a good job of raising my grandchildren. Those were her thoughts, not mine, although I did have some good suggestions.
As it was inevitable, one day without realizing it at the time, I spoke in haste, and hurt her feelings deeply. The next trips to our place, she found an excuse to stay home, and only the boys and our son visited.
Sometimes, I am dense, because I tend to give others the benefit of the doubt, but I finally realized that I had offended her, and she was not about to forgive me. Thinking back, I could even point to the event that must have triggered the whole thing.
Finally in desperation, I knew I must at least take action on my part to bring about reconciliation. If she did not respond, that would be “her problem and not mine.”
So, one day, I called her cell phone, and left a message for her to return the call. Shortly she did, and I proceeded to remind her of the event, and told her I realized that I had hurt her feelings, and I asked her to please forgive me. I told her I missed her when she did not visit, and I wanted her to understand that she was always welcome at our home.
“Yes, I forgive you,” she said, and that was enough for me.
I must recognize that she is the mother and I am the Mother-in-law, and there is no reason for us to butt heads.