Living with a mother-in-law can be a challenge to put it kindly. I've lived with mine for 3 years now
*EDIT* Actually, she has lived with us (and that is an important difference!)
~and with medication and intense counseling I feel I have dealt with it somewhat reasonably.
I know there are those who love their mil's, and then there are those who would murder them if there was even the slightest possibility of getting away with it. I reside somewhere between love and murder depending on the phase of the moon and day of the week. Most times it's well balanced diet of tolerance, you just have to know how to keep it to a healthy loathing.
Lately I've taken to calling her eMiLy, it's much easier to type and safer to discuss, especially in mixed company. And so she will be referred to as thus from here on out.
eMiLy and I haven't always shared this delicate dance of mil vs. dil. In the very beginning - the first 3o minutes or so - before she took off her mask and revealed she was s...well, never mind. Back then, it was pretty good. But somewhere the romance took a downhill turn and it's never been the same.
Some moments stay with you making you long for back then. Like when I would go outside to work in the flowerbed, she would come out and watch over me and I would feel her presence like a big itchy blanket in the summer heat. We would have such deeply bonding moments back then. Moments when she would share her heart. Once while looking at one of my plants she said, "My friend has one of those like that, you know, except it's pretty."
Those are precious moments you can't buy anywhere.
I know it's hard to believe but before I married her son she wasn't too happy that I was to become the next Mrs. Moya. Most mothers aren't happy about the prospect of losing their son to another woman and she was no exception to the rule. But with time, coffee and a few empanadas her heart was won over. I eventually became good enough to bear his children. Good thing, since I had already given him two. And I know that she knows the pretty genes were grown on my side of the family tree. I know this because she is forever telling me "No matter how big you are you still look so pretty." When she loves on me like that, it makes me question why it's not the same between us. I know that she truly thinks of me as a vital member of the family. Once while sharing a prayer request about a family situation, she shared this bit of wisdom with us us "You can't replace family, you can get new a wife anytime." Yep, she hearts me. She really, really hearts me. Why just the other day my husband bought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, she asked where they came from and when I told her that Jesse bought them for me you know what she said to me? She said "Well. That's o.k.." She was probably dancing on the inside!
"Mijo, do you want me to make your coffee?"
No mom, I think I can get that.
"Mija, take your sweater with you, it's cold in your office."
eMiLy, I am a grown woman.
"Well, that's o.k."
There is a definitive difference between a mother and a mom. I will always need my mom, I have not - since an age I can't remember - needed a mother. I don't get the battle that rages on between us. It's strange and normal all at once. All it takes is the slightest comment from her and I gather my battle gear. A mere straightening of my couch pillows and my childish insecurities come back to haunt me. One word, one look, one silly hmmph, is all it takes and off I go into the age old war of women past. But my eMiLy and me, we will keep on going. And to quote her that's o.k.
I know some of you reading this are soon to be married. To that I say: Dear Lord, bless these women with a mom-in-law, not a mother-in law, or, a mother-of-all, or a mother-is-law, or worse, D. all of the above. One day I might even be one myself and I hope to be a good mil, one that doesn't provoke her dil/sil to hire a hit-man for $10,000 and then at the trial the jury will empathize with the sob story of hell she/he has lived and will find them innocent letting them go on an insanity plea and then, then my grandchildren will be raised by a hate-filled murderer who would never tell them of their most beloved grandmother - or something like that. That's what always happens in those Lifetime movies.