Mothers and Mothers-in-Law

I've been listening when you talk, sisters!  I hear you, brothers!

This is another one of those posts that will probably get me in hot water, but I could use a soak right now anyway.

I am determined to NOT be the kind of mother or (someday) mother-in-law (MIL) that I've been hearing about.  My kids are grown.  They no longer require my advice on how to wear their hair, or clean their home, or do their laundry.  Since I am no longer responsible for them, I am choosing to BUTT OUT.  I know that this is not how all women approach their relationships with their grown children and their spouses.  Here are some things I promise to not do, my ten commandments for Moms:

  1. I promise to not get all weirded out when one my sons spend a holiday with HER family.
  2. I promise that when I am a dinner guest in my son's home, I will behave like a guest.  I won't dust.  I won't instruct.  I won't discuss my gall bladder, or any of my other organs.
  3. My Ohio grandma ate at our house very often, and my Momma is a wonderful cook.  Mom would do the dutiful-daughter-in-law thing and call her every day to check on her.  When Mom called Grandma on the day after she'd eaten dinner at our house, Grandma would say, "Oh, I don't feel so well today.  It must be something I ate."  She did it every time.  I vow before all that is holy, I will never do that.  Even if my DIL poisons me, I'm not going to blame it on her dinner.  I promise.
  4. I promise to keep the embarrassing stories about my son's childhoods down to a minimum.  I can't promise to never tell them, but I'll try to control myself. 
  5. I promise to remain calm if I hear my son refer to his MIL as "Mom".  I've had the sole title for over 22 years so far.  I know I can't be the only one forever and I understand that loving your MIL doesn't mean you are throwing your Mom away.  Speaking of which, my son's girlfriend doesn't really call me anything.  Not Mom. Not by my name.  I think she doesn't know what to call me.  But I digress.
  6. When I was expecting, Mom told me that all of her children were completely potty trained right after they were two years old.  By the time my son was born, she said we were all under two when we were potty trained.  And by the time he was learning that valuable skill, Mom reported that we were all only 18 months old when we had complete control of our bodily functions.  I promise to keep my mouth shut on the subject.  Except to relay that story right there.
  7. I am sincerely hoping that one of my DILs or maybe a someday-granddaughter will want to wear my wedding dress when she marries.  If none of them do, I promise not to pout.
  8. If my sons and their love interests will promise to not discuss their sex life with me, I promise to not discuss mine with them.
  9. I promise that I will only offer marital advice when asked.  If my son should really need a slap upside the head, my DILs will have my unqualified support in administering it.  If my DIL needs to be told that she's being a drama queen or something, I'm going to stay the hell out of it.
  10. I've brought you this far, boys.  You'll have to figure it out from here.  To the women who commit yourselves (and commit might be a good word there), I've done the best I could.  All the rest of it is for you two to work out on your own.  Don't ask me.  I see nothing.  I know nothing.  (Name that TV show character?)  I love my sons and I will love the women they choose to spend their lives with.  I promise to act in a way that lets you love me back.