Mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships are notoriously
contentious. Undoubtedly, whole research
studies have been dedicated to the phenomenon. Of course, having now raised my own husband and son, it's clear to me
why each and every one of you (daughters-in-law) hates each and every one of us
(mothers-in-law). You're pissed off. And I can understand why.
Every time a gal gets engaged, she thinks she's getting a
functioning grown man. This is simply not the case. Women don't marry men, they marry large hairy
people who like to throw things on the floor and leave unwashed crap in the
sink. They marry fully capable earners
who come home and can't remember that things aren't clean without the use of
soap. And water. At the same time.
At some point into your
relationship with my son, you'll find yourself in the same spot. You'll be
picking up his boxer shorts off a lamp shade and cursing my name. You'll wonder
why I didn't teach my son better. You'll
accuse me of having spoiled him and of doing everything for him. This couldn't
be further from the truth.
So, in advance, I'd like to
apologize and tell you I'm right there with you, sister. I've been cleaning up nail clippings and
picking up weeks-old tissues ever since I got married. The whole time, I'd assumed my husband had
been spoiled by his mother who never taught him the difference between clean and dirty. Turns out, he's been domestically
lobotomized, a condition some experts call "lazy."
Since children are sponges, absorbing everything their parents say and don't do, our son will probably be like his dad.
My own mother-in-law surely spent endless hours teaching her son how to wash dishes, even suggesting he
could clean more than one. She probably
even educated him as to what a vacuum looked liked. And I'm sure she made certain he attended a
college that had whole semesters covering subjects like, This Is a Garbage Can,
Here's How to Use It and
then his dad walked in the room—leaving his shoes where he took them off—and my mother-in-law was back to square one.
Since children are sponges,
absorbing everything their parents say and don't do, our son will probably be like his dad. He'll adopt his dad's clothing style, throw in dad's recognizable catch phrase, and become a
total and complete slob as soon as he's got the chance.
So on behalf of all future mothers-in-law to all future daughters-in-law, I apologize. We tried our
best. We taught our sons how to remove, use and replace a toothpaste cap. We
created full schematics educating them on how a toilet works (pee goes inside,
nothing goes outside). And we did tell them, no matter what they tell you,
that they are not allergic to doing laundry. And then his dad peed on the floor. Blame him, not me—I'm busy cleaning
the same crap that you are.