Dear future daughter-in-law...

Dear future daughter-in-law…

Dear future daughter-in-law,

I don’t want to screw this up! I really, really don’t.

My oldest son came out to me as “straight” a few years ago, and he’s a real romantic who has mentioned on numerous occasions that he’d love to be married someday. This would eventually make me a mother-in-law to you, my daughter-in-law, and as we all know, that relationship has had a nasty reputation for centuries and centuries as being one of the most volatile ones known to mankind. I’d like to think that you and I could be the exception. Now, I realize that I might be setting my goals a bit high, but my hope is that you’ll never think of me as “the witch,” “the devil,” “a pain in the ass,” “judgmental vulture from hell,” or “monster-in-law.” And, yes, I am fully aware that that’s 99.9% up to me.

I’m going to be honest with you. My son getting married someday will inevitably be a bit of an adjustment for me. Just dropping him off at summer camp for a week gets me all chocked up. I’m pathetic that way. But I’m not needy. I’m not completely selfish. I’m only semi-immature. And I’m certainly not going to try to hold my boy back when the time comes to let him go… even if I don’t feel ready.

I have a few promises I’d like to make to you, and hopefully by the time you enter my life, these promises will be completely engrained in my mind, because I want us to be okay. I want us to be better than okay. I want us to be great from the very first “Nice to meet you.”

So, here we go…

I can sometimes be hyper and loud. And by “sometimes,” I mean always. The bad news is that I can’t completely change this about myself. (Trust me, everyone from my first grade teacher to my older sister have tried and failed.) The good news is that I’m aware of these traits and have some control over them, so if you’re more of the quiet type and my loudness gets to be too much for you, I promise to tone it down when you’re around so as not to annoy you. And if, on the other hand, you end up being someone with a similar outgoing, vivacious, occasionally obnoxious personality as mine, I promise to try to take a step back and let you have the spotlight. I’ll start practicing toning it down and taking the back seat now, so that I’m really good at it by the time you come along. Currently, I’m only mediocre at it, at best.

I will do my very best not to give you unsolicited advice. I hate to follow that with a “however,” but…. However, knowing how ridiculously excited I get when I have a creative solution to a problem, I may accidentally blurt out some advice without thinking. I apologize in advance. My suggestions won’t imply that you’re incompetent or wrong. You’re not. It’s just that I’ve had many more years of experience with balancing life, making the perfect chocolate soufflé, getting a child to stop taking her diaper off in public, dealing with adult acne and constipation, and buying everything from sofas to underwear on sale. Always on sale! Because you should rarely pay full price for anything! (See, there I go with the unsolicited advice. I have time. I’ll rein this in before our first meeting.)

If I do blurt out a suggestion, please know that I am not judging you. I’m just trying to be helpful. But still, I will do my best to constrain myself, keep my mouth shut, and wait for you to ask if and when you want to ask. (Please ask. Please. Just every once in a while would be great. It will make me absolutely giddy to think I’m able to make life a tiny bit easier for you with my advice. Solicited advice, of course.)

I promise you that I am doing all I can to raise a man who will respect you, cheer you on, pay attention to details that matter to you, know how to forgive and ask for forgiveness, keep asking you out on dates even well into your third decade of marriage, adore you to pieces, and leave no room for doubt about his commitment to you. My son is still young, but I’m working at making sure I don’t raise a “momma’s boy.” Instead, I’m trying to raise a man who loves and respects his mom but knows that once he gets married, his wife will come first. I will never try to compete with you. I hope and pray that you and I will never have the type of disagreements where my son feels stuck in the middle, but if we do, I hope I’m raising the kind of man who will always stand by you and take your side instead of mine. You will be his priority, and my pride will just have to suck it up and accept it.

My future daughter-in-law, I know I’m going to make mistakes along the way. Be patient with me and know that my intentions are good. My own mother-in-law has set a great example for me and has been more supportive and more accepting than I ever could have hoped for. Lucky for you, I am learning from the best. I have no good excuse to screw this up. I won’t screw this up. I promise you I will try my hardest not to.

My greatest hope is that you will always feel loved and accepted by me, just the way you are. You, my dear, will have such a special place in my heart because my son will have chosen you as his partner through life. You loving him will be the greatest gift you will ever give me, and there’s nothing more I’ll ever need from you. (Except maybe a few grandkids. But only if you want. Please want.)

Until we meet,

Kristina, your future mom-in-law

16 Responses to Dear future daughter-in-law…

  1. Elle M January 22, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Beautiful. I definitely need to write my own someday. I am a daughter in law that loves my MIL. She makes it pretty easy, but I think too, that many daughter in laws play a large part in a negative relationship with their MIL’s. Hopefully I’m raising my sons to be smart enough and worthy of marrying women that will be loving, genuine and thoughtful enough to know that anything I do or say is not a purposeful attack on her. We talk about mother in laws being so nosy and rude and pushy, but I’ve known plenty of daughter in laws that assume the worst too quickly. Give your MIL a break! The poor woman loves her son and just wants to be part of your lives. She raised the man of your dreams, that’s the least you can do is love her and accept her (and her advice-even if you don’t always take it) !

  2. Jennifer January 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm #


    I will respond to this as a daughter in-law. First off, most people are not even self aware. The fact that you’re consciously writing out a list of things you’ll make an effort not to do is amazing. With that, I think you will have a great relationship with whoever your future daughter in-law is. The biggest thing for me is being open. If someone has a different point of view or parenting style, that’s fine, but be open to the reasons why. Just suggesting something, but not listening to someone on the ‘why they are doing it’ is disrespectful. If you don’t, it says to the daughter in law that you don’t really care why she’s doing something a specific way and that your way is best. Please always keep that in mind and you will do great!

  3. Beth Moore January 20, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    I absolutely love this! My only boy is months away from marrying the only daughter-in-law I’ll ever have and she’s the very one I would have picked. And now I’ll be starting on my letter to her – what a sweet idea this is!

  4. WimpyWoman October 26, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    such a poignant read, very powerful. As a mother to a probably straight son, I can relate, I hope to make a better Mother in law than the one I had.

  5. Jen October 7, 2016 at 3:58 am #

    so good! As a mom of 2 boys (still very young, 4 and 1), I often think about how it will be for me when they grow up and get married. I already know that if someone genuinely loves them that will be the biggest gift to me! Your writing is awesome!

  6. Oana September 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    OMG, u’ve got a (new) fan!!!! U’re just aaaawwwesome!!!

  7. Shellie June 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    Boy do I need to write one of these. My youngest son is now engaged and the whole thing has me very concerned. In fact the whole family is concerned. I hate thinking of being the “monster in law”, but I will not sit back and watch my son get taken advantage of. He’s already put me on the back burner, and that’s not the problem. Problem is what all happened before the engagement. Fingers crossed I can make sense of what I need to say.

  8. Helen Fernandes June 11, 2016 at 8:19 pm #

    My mother was that type of mother-in-law. She thoroughly loved and embraced all our spouses (there are 6 of us). I hope I’m that way when my children marry.

  9. Margaret Clements May 26, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

    My mother in law was that person to me. She always showed me so much love and acceptance, and I knew that she knew I loved her son and that was all she really hoped for.
    It’s probably good to get an early start on prepping to be an amazing MIL but the biggest thing is raising your son to be a good man who will find himself an amazing partner. Looks like that is already going on. I so enjoy your irreverent humor!

  10. danise May 18, 2016 at 2:44 am #

    It’s like we share a brain but yours is so much more eloquent than mine! You rock.

  11. Tracy May 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. A couple days ago I told my husband of three years that I am so tired of hating his mother. I want to be more patient with her, but it takes a lot of time and effort on my part too. Thank you for helping me see her perspective a little bit. And thank you for helping me prepare for twenty five years from now when my son brings home a girl that may not want to be my daughter in law.

  12. Nancy November 4, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    I’m very moved by these wise words. I’m very Blessed to have a Daughter-in-Law who treats me with Respect, Trust, and who has given me the two most Beautiful Grandchildren. I must give praise to her Parents for raising a Beautiful Daughter. I expect nothing less than for my Son to Love Her, Protect Her, and put Her first. Thank You, God for my Daughter-in-law.

  13. Kathy November 4, 2015 at 2:35 am #

    I love this! I am so blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my two daughters in love, as I like to refer to them as. Our twin sons are very close and we are so thankful for their wives. We are a close family and spend lots of time together. It is possible. Oh and they have blessed us with three granddaughters (so far)

  14. Claire B November 3, 2015 at 11:54 pm #

    Can your son marry one of my daughters? The older one is smart, creative and caring, the younger is adorably cute (she’s only 17 months), mad as a hatter and loves music.

    I hope they can have a good MIL/DIL relationship when or if they choose to get married. I admit I didn’t start off that way with my mother in law, but in time we have come to love and care for each other. we don’t see eye-to-eye on everything by any means, but we respect each other enough to agree to disagree, and we both love enough people in common to disregard any differences.

  15. Gabriella Faught November 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    This. Yesssss!!!! ???????????????????????????????????????????????? that seventh paragraph is so perfect. I have already been dealing with a MIL who demands her son take her side. So you bet I read this out loud. ???????? LOVED THIS SO MUCH.

    • Kim June 13, 2016 at 5:45 am #

      Lol awesome!!!