Friday, October 18, 2013

What's With the Mother-in-law Bashing?

This may be my first and last rant post ever, just FYI.

I think that being a mother is really hard, I want to be a fun mom who plays with her kids and teaches them to be kind and respectful and helpful. I try do do fun things like taking Alex to the park or the library. Sometimes I wonder why I bother when the trip is filled with tantrums and disrespect and disobedience and tons of extra work for me.

I LOVE the library. Arapahoe County has a big library very close to me. I have never even explored the books in the adult section because the movies and audio books are a straight shot once you walk in the door and after a quick browse while my child re-arranges the alphabetized movies we then head into the children's library. This section is separate from the rest of the library, there are puzzles and toys and books and movies and audio books and even a little playhouse.

In my "wanting to be a good mother mind" I picture Alex and I going in and us finding books and movies for him to check out then him nicely playing with the toys and the other children. Reality is me chasing Alex around while I try to find books or movies because he is only interested in the toys. When it is time to go, or time to clean up there is usually a battle during which you can see this pregnant momma running after a disobedient two year old who, though his legs are much shorter, is still way faster.

My point is that I am trying my very best to teach Alex to be respectful and kind and well behaved. When playing I am constantly reminding him to share and not take toys from other children. I make sure he is being kind and polite when he is around other people. It takes effort, I can't just pull out a book to read or go off exploring the library.

Today while keeping my eye on Alex in the little playhouse I overheard two little girls saying things like, "Don't look at this book!" or "Don't sit by me!" when Alex was trying to play with them. He wasn't grabbing the books from them or being mean or even sitting too close. I was sad to hear how rude these little girls were. I was even more sad to realize that the two women sitting near the playhouse, not paying attention to their children, were the mothers of these girls. Seriously how can you teach your children to be polite and kind when you aren't even paying attention to them? What were these women doing? Well they were talking about how horrible their mother-in-laws are. Telling elaborate stories about the things they found annoying about these women in their lives. It made me sad, and sadly helped me understand a little more why these little girls display unkind behavior.

When Alex and I moved over to another play area there were two women sitting there talking. They were joking about how they let their children know that when they are talking they are focusing on someone else. Seriously, you can't chat with a friend and still make sure your child is ok? After a few minutes I realized that these women were also talking about their mother-in-laws. These stories were no better than the last ones. One woman repeatedly said that her mother-in-law is legitimately a crazy person.

Now maybe one of these mother-in-laws does have mental health issues, but do you loudly tell stories about them in the library? I know that I complain about people and events in my life but I truly hope that my children as well as other library patrons never hear me say such unkind things about members of my family. I hope that I can be a better example and teacher for my children and that is my goal here. I am publicly (as public as you can call my blog following) determining to step up with my attempts to better myself, especially when it comes to gossip and to teaching my children to be kind and respectful to those around them. This may mean that I don't get to sit and socialize with friends as much or it might mean that I don't get to elicit sympathy or chuckles from others by telling stories about family members. I hope it means that I can be a more positive and happy person and that my children will have an example of kindness in their lives.

Just so you guys know, I have an amazing mother-in-law! Andrew's family is different from mine and they do things differently and sometimes that is hard for me to understand. But my in-laws are ALWAYS kind and loving towards me and my little boy. They try to be understanding of me and my feelings and they are fun, kind people. They treat my family well and even remember to pray for my Dad. They called me around the anniversary of my mom's death just to let me know they were thinking about my family at that time. I realize that I am lucky, or perhaps blessed and I hope that from now on the words that come out of my mouth will always leave people understanding that I have a great family and though there are quirks or frustrations sometimes, there is always love.

Mom and Alex eating cookies after church July 2013

1 comment:

  1. Andy and I sincerely thank you for the comments about your in laws......we truly love you as a daughter and are grateful you are a part of our family. remember you will be a mother in law someday too! The hardest thing for a mother to do is let her children go and make a life with their own little families. We try to be here for you but not interrupt your lifestyle (unless it is heading in the wrong direction) but we are so very pleased with your efforts in all you said about being a good example, and teaching your children kindness, and love...that is what Jesus Christ wants us to do. Can you imagine what a wonderful world this would be if everyone was taught that. Thanks again for your uplifting words. Love, Karma