An Open Letter to My Future Daughter-in-Laws

Dear Future Daughter-in-Laws,

I know I haven’t met you yet – or maybe I have and I scared you away when I came at you waving a tape measure. If that was the case, please – hear me out.

As the mother of all boys, I have no one to whom I can endow my wedding dress. My mother’s before me, it’s a lovely ball gown embellished with Chantilly lace and yards of tulle, complete with a matching bolero jacket and pill box hat. It would be a shame to let it go to waste (insert heavy, prolonged sigh here).

But, I digress.

As I was preparing my youngest son’s breakfast the other day – a kitschy dish we like to call “Egg-in-Bread” – and I arranged it on his plate just so, it occurred to me that you may someday curse the ground I walk on, accusing me of not only pampering your future husband but, worse, creating a needy man who demands that his spouse match, or even exceed, his mom’s level of doting.

For shame.

I handed my youngest his food and he thanked me. But when he pushed the envelop and asked for some milk, I nearly snarled, “Get it yourself.”

Then I set out his clothes for him (after I made his bed, of course).

Far be it from me to raise a high maintenance hubby. However, since he is my youngest, I know the damage has already been done with my older four. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

I didn’t intentionally set out to create narcisitic oafs, incapable of independent living. I blame working mother guilt.

I’ll admit it. I put my career first. After dumping them in daycare, I would rush to my job as if the Earth itself would stop spinning on its axis if I was but a minute late.

By the time I’d pick them up at the end of a long day, I invariably felt compelled to demonstrate my affection by doing irrational things like shoving my beloved Eric Clapton cassette tapes into the glove compartment so we could instead sing along with the likes of Raffi, Arial and Belle. I mean, really, who wants their little cherub humming “I Shot the Sheriff” during circle time?

Then, exhausted to the point of insanity, I didn’t think twice about putting my boys’ needs before my own – even if it meant storing extra clothes for them in their diaper bag while I rushed to work with oatmeal stained shoulders, or cutting their meat for them so I could enjoy my own meal in peace (I swear I won’t do this at your wedding reception).

As they got older, I kept their schedules so jam packed with scouts, sports and school, that again, I felt too guilty to make them do chores. I know, I know – bad move. Is it any wonder they avoid eye contact with me as I read off my to-do list on Saturday mornings?

Please believe me when I tell you, I did it all out of love. Perhaps you’ll understand better once you have children of your own.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Well, anyway. Sorry to be so long-winded. I’m sure I’ll be thrilled to finally meet you when the time comes!


Your Future-Mother-in-Law

P.S. It’s a size 8. Just sayin’…


2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Future Daughter-in-Laws

  1. as the mom of twin boys who I swore that I wouldn’t SPOIL (and then finding myself doing it anyway) I loved this…LOVED IT! I may have to keep it and give it to my future DIL’s too…(or my Sons In Laws if that is how things go!)


    1. Twins boys! So, you’re simultaneously taking care of two at once? No, you’re not spoiling them. You’re just being ultra efficient. A true Plate Spinner if ever there was one. ; ) Thanks for writing!


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