The MIL Chronicles
The MIL Chronicles
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Monthly Archives: July 2014

When It Works – A Daughter-in-Law’s Perspective

Supportive, loving, nurturing, thoughtful, respectful, this is my mother-in-law in just a few words. If there was an award for best mother-in-law, I would nominate mine a million times over. From the beginning, she has embraced me as her very own daughter. She lives thousands of miles away so I treasure our time together. As a working mother of three, I look to her for perspective and guidance. She always lends an ear and offers words of encouragement & wisdom. I admire her commitment to weekly Skype check-ins, and value the connection she has created and maintains with my sons despite our distance. I never witnessed a successful marriage and the accompanying MIL & DIL dynamics. My parents married when I was 4 and divorced when I was 12. On the contrary, my husband’s parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. My husband is the eldest of three, the only male, and the only married sibling. Shortly after we were married, my mother-in-law told me that calling her Mrs. Lovejoy was too formal, that I was welcome to call her Mom but she would understand if I didn’t want to since I already had a mother. She said that I could call her Mom Lovejoy or whatever felt comfortable to me. That brief conversation illustrated her respect for my feelings, my decisions, and my family. It showed me that she understood her role in my life and my marriage. Her honesty and openness created an environment for positive exchanges and mutual love & respect. Don’t get me wrong, our relationship is not always rainbows and butterflies. However, the positives far outweigh the negatives. In the rare instance when my mother-in-law & I have had a disagreement, my husband has stood behind me 100%. He listens to my point of … Continue reading

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My Rite of Passage – A Husband’s Perspective

The makeup of my family seems normal from where I’m from, and I have the typical single mother story. I am the oldest son of 3 children on my mother’s side, and my mother became pregnant just before my father left for college in 1974. The issue was that she was 14 years old when she got pregnant with me, and my dad was 19. My mother met my father sometime before she went to high school. I never really asked her much about it, but as far as I could tell she loved him. She has told me that she was in love with my father, but I believe it was more so infatuation. My grandmother gave me most of the information about my father. She said that my father was the youngest of 14 children. I don’t think my parents had a very long relationship, as my mother was extremely young when she pursued my father. No one has ever opened up about it, but I think my mother may have led him to believe she was much older. My grandmother said that she didn’t blame my dad, because she knew how manipulative my mother could be, and that she was accustomed to getting her way. Obviously my mother kept the baby because I’m still here, and I know that she loved me. I’m sure abortion was never a question for her because she needed to feel loved. And her baby would always love her, as long as she was an involved mother. I was the first grandchild, and everyone showed my mom extra attention because she had a baby. I think my mom enjoyed the attention, and she at least had love from her child even if she no longer had a man. My grandmother said that … Continue reading

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It Can Go Both Ways – “The Horror That is Mama Joyce”

I’ve mostly focused my posts on the relationship between the mother-in law and daughter-in-law. But the on screen drama that has played out on both The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and on the Bravo TV special, “Kandi’s Wedding”, between Mama Joyce, Kandi, and her fiancé Todd, proves that the dysfunctional relationship, the inability to leave and cleave, and the Single Mother-in-Law Syndrome can definitely go both ways. The amount, and level of disrespect not only to Todd and his family, but also to Kandi and her childhood friend Carmen is truly heartbreaking and so difficult to watch. And even more cringe-worthy is watching Kandi’s consistent inability to hold her mom accountable on so many occasions. She epitomizes the concept of still relating to her mom as a child, despite her financial independence, and not understanding that she will never have a healthy relationship long term until she understands what it means to “Leave and Cleave.” Among Mama Joyce’s many deplorable moments, one that stood out was when she referred to Todd’s mother and deceased father (who passed when Todd was three) as a pimp and a prostitute to Kandi; claiming that he “learned the game” from his parents. You see, Mama Joyce questions Todd’s motives, and is convinced that Todd and his mother are after Kandi’s/”her” money. Yet, the only reason I would actually question Todd’s intentions would be because he is knowingly committing to having Mama Joyce as an in-law. Instead of telling her mom that what she said is wrong and disrespectful to both Todd and his mom, and that she wouldn’t stand around to hear it, it seems Kandi’s way of coping is to laugh off her mother’s inappropriate and disrespectful actions. However, as I discuss in the blog titled, “Therefore Shall a Man Leave His Father … Continue reading

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