Part 2

Having a vision for the kind of relationship you want to cultivate with certain people in your life is paramount.  


Most of the time, we take it for granted how a certain relationship will be.  When I first realized that I was soon going to become a mother in-law, I froze.  All those jokes about the horrible mother in-laws that I used to laugh at, now had my face on them.  Mother in- laws were illustrated as the monsters, busy bodies, critical and controlling. I did not like this picture. This cannot be me. I had a moment of reality and in my panic I announced to all my friends that mother in-law jokes are no longer acceptable to me!   


I needed a model relationship that I could follow.   Some of my friends thought I was over reacting and that I should just accept the role of the ‘monster’ and not take it seriously!  It is a given fact, you are the monster in-law.  


I needed to create a vision of the kind of mother in-law I wanted to be.  Who do I want to be for this young girl walking into my son’s life?  Is she the enemy?  I was the first woman in my son’s life and now…who am I to him? Am I second? Last? Will she treat him well?  Does he know what he is getting into?  


I wanted to go against the status quo and be a mother in-love, mother in-grace and not mother in control.   This meant that I had to set boundaries for myself.  Setting boundaries is a humbling act. It means I value you as a person as much as I value myself.  What would I not want for me? 


I would not want a controlling, critical person who has no respect for me.   I would not want to be undermined and bypassed, ignored and looked down upon.   I would not want to be treated less then.   I have been there and I was not about to be that to a young beautiful girl who had captured my son’s life.  


So, with dignity and respect to myself I intentionally set boundaries for myself – : 


  • Never show up unannounced 
  • Never assume my ideas are better and wiser than hers 
  • Never undermine her authority  
  • Know her and see her for the beautiful person she is 
  • Honor and respect at all times  


Setting boundaries for oneself means knowing one’s value and developing dignity and respect for oneself. 

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