So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

To my estranged in-laws,

It’s the middle of the night and I can’t sleep. For whatever reason, I have woken while your beautiful child sleeps beside me. I call him my built-in furnace because he is always so warm. I wrap my arm around his body and I am surprised that in his sleep, his fingers still grab mine and they intertwine. These little moments, to me they are what love is.

I am so thankful; I’m thankful that you brought this man into the world. I’m thankful he chose me to be his spouse, and that he continues to work hard each day to better himself for me and our family.

You cross my mind as I lie there and consider how hard my husband has worked at bettering himself. I wish with all my heart you could see him now. He is a hard worker on the job, and at home. He is the first person to admit his faults, quick to apologize and consider the weight of his actions. He still sees a therapist so that he can overcome the weight of what has been handed down to him and avoid giving the same chains to the next generation.

I imagine that he is everything you could have ever hoped he’d be. I consider this because this is my hope for our children, that they will be half as awesome as he is. He is successful at work, in his parenting, in our marriage, and in creating an amazing life for us all. Yet you are missing every step of it.

You might have loved him exceptionally when he was created, born and growing. For whatever reason, you have given up on knowing him, me and our children but I need you to know that I won’t give up on him. I won’t walk away the way you have.

I will love him so much that it will make up the difference. He doesn’t have you now, and hopefully that will someday change, and I will always encourage that because I long for what’s best for my husband, even if you don’t or won’t.

But if you never come back around, know that I am strong. I will take your weakness and make it my strength. I will love your child, my spouse, so much that the void of an estranged parent lessens over time. I will sit beside him in every counseling session that he needs. I will tell him when I see the damage of your emotional trauma playing out in his life. I will keep him forward minded.

My promise isn’t to you, it’s to him. I promised on my wedding day to your child that I would love him, support him, care for him, and cheer him on, and I plan to do exactly that.

I wish I had you in the cheering section, too. I know my husband loves you deeply and that this isn’t what he had in mind when he imagined his adult relationship with his parent, but I am so proud of him for not letting this break him.

You cannot break us. Your void will not shatter our family because we won’t allow it.

I admit, it did briefly. A parent is never supposed to walk away from a child; it’s just not the plan, and when it does happen, it is one of the most painful experiences. I know that because I feel it, too, even though we are related by marriage only. The pain of losing you was so hard.

The pain of living continuously without you is still hard.

But, I am strong.

Your son is strong.

Together, we will be strong. Together we will do differently for our children. Together, we will heal and do whatever is necessary to not let this hiccup destroy our lives.

So, as I drift back to sleep cuddled to this warm, broken and yet determined man, I want to thank you. He wouldn’t be here without you, and that is the single greatest gift I have received.

I just wish you could see that, too. 

Signed,
Your daughter-in-law.

You may also like:

You’re Missing Out on Incredible Grandchildren by Choosing Not To Be In Our Life

5 Tips For Dealing With a Toxic Mother-in-Law

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy

Leslie Deane-Mountjoy is studying to become a Registered Psychotherapist. She loves to encourage people to see their true worth as beloved children of the King, capable of overcoming the obstacles life throws their way. She is married to her high school sweetheart, and together they have four kids. Leslie is rarely seen without a big smile, and a cup of coffee!

Your Son Won’t Care About Decorating His Dorm Room

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
College boy in dorm room

  ‘Tis the season for dorms for those of us whose children are in college. You may be designing, planning, and buying dorm essentials because the decorating has begun; physically or mentally, it’s happening. And here’s what I’ve learned: boys don’t care. That’s right, boys don’t care what their rooms look like. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not that far off the mark. Last year, I remember scrolling through my newsfeeds admiring my friends’ daughters’ room pictures. Everything was color coordinated, and I mean EVERYTHING–even the Command hooks stringing up the fairy...

Keep Reading

We’re Learning to Be Just the Two of Us (And It’s Fun!)

In: Grown Children, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple cooking in kitchen

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert.  When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five. In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us. There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While...

Keep Reading

Mothering a Little Boy Seems Like it Will Go On Forever—Until it Doesn’t

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother with two grown sons

I walked with a determined gait through the airport doors after I hugged my adult son goodbye. My tenacious walk was designed to communicate to him that I still had a purpose in life apart from being his mother. It was the same walk I had adopted when I left him at the preschool gate some 23 years earlier, at his university campus, and more recently, after his wedding.  The same stoic, and yet if I’m brutally honest, somewhat fake walk.  I reached airport security and slung my carry-on bag onto the escalator in one swift motion in case he...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, You Still Amaze Me

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

I don’t know how she did it. My mother excelled at motherhood. It was as if she attended a university renowned for its studies in being a mom, and she graduated at the top of her class.  Growing up, our family had homemade meals six days of the week (Friday was either pizza or sandwich night) and there was always a fresh vegetable. Nothing ever came out of a can or a box, including our drinks, which were iced tea from steeped tea bags and hand-squeezed lemonade with a few drops of blue food coloring because pink lemonade was so...

Keep Reading

Walking Mother Home

In: Grown Children
Elderly woman holds hands with daughter

I call my sister for another update on Mom. Last week had been my week to help out. Our mother lives in her own home in Battle Ground, Washington on the property she and my father bought together—their personal version of the American dream. My sister Kari and her son Dane live with her and provide most of her care since her stroke several months ago. My sister took intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave of Absence) and was able to decrease her work hours, but her leave is running out. My nephew took a reduction in hours from his job delivering...

Keep Reading

Where Is the Instruction Manual for Parenting Grown Children?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Two teen boys dressed in suits, color photo

You know what’s really hard? Parenting. You know what’s even harder? Parenting a child who isn’t a child anymore. My husband and I have leveled up.  High school graduation has been a major event in our house for the last two years. It’s an exciting time and a great chance to celebrate the accomplishments of each of our boys individually.  That being said, this level isn’t something you can mentally prepare for. It’s just so much. So much of everything. Exhausting. Gut-wrenching. Exciting. Confusing. Rewarding. Bittersweet.  My son graduated last year, and my bonus son graduated this year. I’m equally proud...

Keep Reading

A Painting from Heaven by Way of St. Louis

In: Grown Children, Living
Woman standing next to painting, color photo

The very first piece I ever wrote for Her View From Home was posted on the website June 14, 2018. It dealt with losing my mother little by little to the ravages of dementia and how happy we all were to have the bonus time with her—sharing her enjoyment with old movies, a purple sunset, her high school yearbooks, and all of the new friends she made in the memory ward of a wonderful senior living facility. We were so blessed to have her remember all of us as her other memories began to fade, and we spent as much time...

Keep Reading

Good Dads Make Great Grandpas

In: Grown Children, Living
Grandpa walking with two grandsons, color photo

This is not only written for my dad, but for all the dads out there who aren’t the typical, everyday dads. The hands-on dad, the dad who goes on bike rides, the dad who watches his grandbabies. The dad who creates a legacy whether he realizes it or not. The world needs more of you.  It’s not every day you get a dad who enters a diaper changing contest and comes in second place. Yes, that happened to my dad. He would take me up to the local mall to walk around and one of the stores was holding a...

Keep Reading

The Kids are Grown—Now What?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Middle aged couple at home smiling

Between video chats with our son stationed overseas, our daughter flits in and out our door from college while the shoe jungle by the front door and lack of peanut butter in the house are proof our youngest adult son is still under our roof.  Our kids are now independent—almost. Gone are the days of diapers, endless food preparations, naps (well, not for me), and announcing everyone’s daily schedule like a calendar drill sergeant. After years of simultaneously spinning multiple plates on various body parts, we managed—by God’s grace—to raise three kids to adulthood. We made it! (High five!) We...

Keep Reading

There’s No Distance a Grandparent’s Love Cannot Reach

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grandparents with adult children and grandchildren, color photo

You just finished another chaotic FaceTime call. Chubby toddler fingers hung up several times, hoping to catch that elusive red button. He ran from his mom and your view was straight up that adorable nose for about half the conversation. His 4-year-old brother alternated between refusing to talk and giving a doctoral lecture on carnivorous dinosaurs. You’re a little frustrated. You’re a little heartbroken. Frankly, you’re a little dizzy from them running rogue with the phone through the house. But you accept it. In fact, you cherish that crazy call because you are rocking a role you never imagined for...

Keep Reading