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To my dear mother-in-law,

Thank you for showing me that good mothers-in-law really do exist. I hear so often about the stereotypical mother-in-law who ends up alienating her daughters-in-law. You are not one of those. You have totally won my heart instead.

Thank you that on days when I feel my world unraveling, I can gather up my little ones, and crash down at your place where you welcome us with open arms. I did it the other day. My overstimulated brain and body needed a break, so in a sort of desperation, I got myself and the four littles in the vehicle and drove to your place without asking first.

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Oh, if my mother were close enough, I would likely go to her place as we young moms tend to end up at our moms if we can. I know my mom would do all the spoiling if she could, and for that, I am doubly blest. But distance lies between her and me, and you give me the support I need. I dropped down on your sofa. The girls scurried out to your trampoline where they were happily entertained. You took the baby from my arms. My spinning world slowly straightened. The tension drained from my nerves.

Your home was clean and in order, and I didn’t have to see 20 jobs begging for my attention like at my house. I just rested. An hour and a half later, we headed home after being treated to a peanut party. Nothing had gotten worse while we were gone, and somehow it didn’t look quite so impossible to be at home anymore.

The day after my brother’s accident some years ago, when my eight-month pregnant body had hardly slept all night, you came and kept our home ship afloat. After each of my babies, you have had a comforting meal ready when I come home from the hospital. You remind me that the hard postpartum days will get easier, as you bathe my babies, or hold them when they scream and I don’t know what to do. You give advice and yet don’t criticize my mothering choices and style.

Thank you for your son, too. You raised him well and now stay out of our relationship so I can freely be the woman of his heart. I know you have done so much to raise him to be the man he is. We love you for it.

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Someday, I want to be a mother-in-law like you and like my mother. When job circumstances dictate that my husband ends up at her house a whole lot more often than I do, she spoils him well over there. You both help us out so much whenever you can. What a blessinghaving two good mothers-in-law for our family.

As you are getting on in years, you maybe can’t do everything anymore (like you used to clean my floor when I was in my first postpartum weeks). But we are blessed to have you and your wisdom here as a stabilizer for our growing family. Thank you for showing me what Jesus-loving, wise, mothers-in-law are like.

I hope mothers-in-law and future mothers-in-law everywhere can learn from you. It could change the world. And I pray whoever doesn’t have a mom or mother-in-law like you can find someone who can fill the mother-in-law role well for them.

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Melinda Dueck

Melinda is a happy wife, mom of four, homemaker, and owner of the blog, YouTube channel, and Facebook page for Connecting With Littles. She lives in Costa Rica and loves to write and speak to encourage and inspire other women.

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