Friday, February 21, 2014

7QT (Vol. 75): The In-Laws

Remember learning that not all families are like yours? Recently, I've been learning that not all in-laws are like mine. I mean, I knew there were some "bad" ones, but I assumed mine were typical. I've been discovering that there are myriad examples of sit-com stereotypes out there.

"When my mother-in-law found out I was going back to work, she called me up and berated me, telling me I was a horrible mother for not staying home. I had no choice; my husband was in school."

"My mother-in-law was furious that I decided to stay home with the kids. She said it wasn't fair to make her son go to work every day while I just stayed home."

When I decided to go back to work, my mother-in-law said something like, "It's always hard to leave the baby, but it can be rewarding to be working, too." A few months later, I decided to stay home full-time. She said, "You'll have so much fun with him. They're only babies for a little while; you can always go back later if you want."

The father-in-law stories are less common. Sometimes he's not in the picture; sometimes he is physically present but might as well not be there. Sometimes he is verbally abusive to his wife and/or kids. Rarely are fathers-in-law spoken of warmly.

My father-in-law is coming out tomorrow to help us pack. It will be his third trip this week, each almost two hours one way. He has done plumbing repairs and replaced a portion of our furnace exhaust pipe, projects requiring multiple trips to the hardware store. He has bought us lunches. He even brought doughnuts as a treat for the kids (and me). Once he's finished his projects for the day, he has entertained both kids for hours while I pack.

The more stories I hear about other in-laws, the more I appreciate my own. They are encouraging, respectful, kind, and extremely generous - in a word, loving. I'm looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow.

7 Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. I'm with you on the in-laws. Mine are the best - I totally hit the jackpot. And I've heard some horror stories, too. I always laugh with my husband (because he says it, too!) that my MIL would totally choose me over him in an argument! She has two sons, so she loves having DILs!

    1. Hooray for great in-laws! They raise great sons. :-)