Today is my daughter-in-law’s birthday. She’s married to my youngest son and the mother of my three adorable granddaughters. She’s been a part of our family for ten years! I can’t believe she’s 33 because that means one of my sons turns 34 this year and my other son, her husband, will also be 33 this year! Yikes!
As the mother of sons, I knew there was the likelihood of becoming a mother-in-law. The biggest lesson to learn as a parent is to let your child become their own person. When they select a life partner and begin their life with that person, your relationship is forever altered. Yes, you provide a loving and nurturing environment for your child to grow and develop, but ultimately you must let them go to make their own way in the world with whomever they chose to share their life.
My daughter-in-law is a beautiful woman with a generous heart. She and my son have their own challenges as they carve out their individuality within the context of marriage and parenthood. They are courageous as they are learning to set boundaries with outside forces so they can create a safe and nurturing environment in which to raise their daughters and cultivate their own life together. They are awesome parents and so much fun to be around.
As a mother I have learned to let my son go and as a mother-in-law I have learned to let my daughter-in-law in. In the effort to not interfere or be intrusive, we don’t realize we may not be as welcoming and inviting as we’d like. I may reach out to my son through texts or email, but am I also reaching out to my daughter-in-law letting her know I’m thinking of her or share a book I’ve read that she may also like. I have a relationship with my son, but am I cultivating my relationship in the same way with my daughter-in-law? In other words, have I truly included her as my new daughter?
Birthdays are reminders that we’re unique, unrepeatable miracles of God. May you, dear daughter-in-law, have a blessed birthday with this day marking the beginning of a remarkable year for you! I love you.