The case for Mothers-in-law by Jo

[advert:mpu]Mother-in-laws are pot luck. It’s a bit like putting your hand into a lucky dip knowing you are going to get the usual crap that everyone gets, and then out pops a Gucci bag/ a pair of must-have Top Shop jeans.

Everyone I know (well most of them) have reason or reasons to really dislike their Mother-in-law. Top five complaints (our survey says) include sticking their nose in too much, sticking their nose in too little, sticking their nose a little bit too close to their sons, too many opinions on childrearing (noses not withstanding) and crap birthday presents.

Whilst I’m sure much of this is true. I thought I would like to counter the majority and say that my mother-in-law is great. As a mother of three boys herself with her mother decidedly being a hands-off-grandmother, I think my M-I-L spent a lot of time thinking about how to be a good M-I-L.

What I really appreciate from my MIL is the unconditional support I receive. This applies to all areas (although I haven’t pushed the matter by complaining about her son), whether it is problems with the children’s behaviour, neuroses about the kids' development, or days that I feel down and just don’t know why.

I suppose in some way she is a surrogate mum ( My mum died when I was 18), but I think it goes deeper than this. She is just a thoroughly grounded, kind, intelligent person who regardless of being related to, I would choose to seek friendship with. Perhaps one of her greatest qualities is that she does not tell us what to do or force her will on us. She is a sounding board, voice of experience and always interested in what I’ve got to say.

I realised just how strong the relationship was with her when there were moments when I started acting like a rude teenager around her. To me that is a compliment, as you only really feel that relaxed with your own parents to answer back in a certain way. I’m not quite sure what she thought, but she seemed to take it in her stride.

That’s not to say the relationship is perfect, they never are, but I wanted to make the case for the unsung hero (or rather heroine!).

And on a completely different subject….

Musings of an almost six-year-old - contemplating the concept of power or rather misuse of power

Barney: Mum – Can Tony Blair still do what he wants?
Mum: Well, not really, he’s not Prime Minister anymore.
Barney: Yes, but can he do a poo in his pants?
Mum: Emm, no. I don’t think his new job allows for this.
Barney: oh

Barney: Mum – This new guy Gordon Brown, he must be able to do what he wants?
Mum: yes, I suppose so, within reason.
Barney: So he must be allowed to do a poo in his pants?
Mum: Well, I suppose so – if he really wants to, but I’m not sure what his friends would make of it.

Well move over Jeremy Paxman, I think we’ve got to the bottom of ministerial powers!!!



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