Today’s fantastic guest post comes from my friend and fellow blogger Donna - a journalist and proud mum of two boys at primary school. She maintains her sanity by unleashing her thoughts and feelings over at Mummy Central. Her life’s ambitions are to become a sane and useful member of society. She is failing miserably. (Her words, not mine!) But feel free to say hello on Facebook or Twitter.
Every mother of boys will have had the following rhyme repeated back to her by a smiling (but ultimately spiteful) acquaintance at one time or another: “A daughter’s a daughter for life. A son is a son until he takes a wife.“
If you haven’t, then you’re lucky. Because what this person is trying to remind you is that much as your boy stares lovingly into your eyes, while he proposes to you every five minutes when he’s a toddler and promises he’ll never leave your side, one day some wench is going to come along and steal him from you.
Anyone who says they are pointing this out purely because they care about you is talking horse manure!
It’s something I think about, having two boys who have changed my life beyond recognition – two little beings I am more in love with than anyone else in the whole wide world. (Sorry husband, I love you too. It’s just different – thankfully).
But think about it. A girl usually wants her mum. When a couple get married, the mother of the bride is more involved. She’s the back-up birthing partner when the babies come along. And she’s naturally the first one they turn to for babysitting or advice on parenting.
Yes, I know that’s not always the case. There are exceptions – like me. I’m not especially close to my parents, so me and Mr G have always seen more of his family. But that doesn’t mean I don’t walk a fine line with my mother-in-law.
She’s perfectly nice. And when she was one half of a couple, we had a relaxed and friendly relationship. Since we lost my dad-in-law to cancer and she’s had to adjust to time on her own, my husband has been a bit of a crutch to help her through.
Which was fine at first. But 3 years on, it’s starting to wear a little thin.
I’m not proud of it. But I sometimes begrudge the fact this woman is on my territory, spending a lot of time in my house, taking a lot of attention from my husband. It’s taught me that even the easiest of mother-in-laws can end up being a thorn in her daughter-in-law’s side.
So with that in mind, I think I need a prenup.
Just a little emotional contract before a woman marries either of my boys, to ensure we can both exist as part of his life, without getting in each other’s way.
So listen up bitch! You love my son? Sign this:
I, the daughter-in-law, do solemnly swear:
Never to mention how creepy it is when you refer to my husband as your baby. Because he is, and I’ll understand how you feel if I’m ever lucky enough to have a son of my own.
To always remember that the good qualities I fell in love with are down to you – but never to blame you for his bad ones!
That much as I think he’s the sexiest thing on two legs, I will resist the urge for public displays of affection, bearing in mind you may just be a little sick in your mouth at the sight of it.
I will always compliment your outfit and hair – even if you start to look like an extra for The Golden Girls.
To make sure you get at least equal time with the grandchildren as my own parents. And divide Christmases and special occasions between both families, if geography should mean we can’t all be together.
Never to criticise the way you do things, because you have age and wisdom on your side. And you have learned from your mistakes.
That I’ll never try to capitalise on disagreements you may have with your son. That would make me an opportunist bitch and karma would ultimately serve me up a huge helping of parental grief to show me the error of my ways.
If you sign it, then I’ll happily put my signature to the following:
I, the mother-in-law, do solemnly swear:
Never to mention what a son-stealing wench you are, even though it will cross my mind every time we meet.
To always remember that my son chose you, so you must have some good qualities – even if I don’t always see them!
That as much as I think of him as the baby I cradled in my arms, I will resist the urge to wipe the gravy from his chin or offer to make his favourite meal (because I know how he likes it best), bearing in mind you may just want to beat me to death with a soup ladle.
I will always compliment your outfit and hair – even if I think you look like a cheap streetwalker.
To make sure I don’t outstay my welcome when I visit – and never suggest I come and live with you for as long as you allow me to be part of your family (shut me out and all bets are off bitch!)
Never to criticise the way you do things, because you have youth and enthusiasm on your side. And you have to learn from your mistakes. But I’ll always be available to give advice – IF you ask for it.
That I’ll never try to capitalise on disagreements you may have with your husband. My son’s happiness will always come first (having said that, physically harm him and I will hunt you down and unleash the kraken like you wouldn’t believe).
Feel free to take a copy of this prenup if you should need it, to protect your relationship with your son should an interloper ever get in the way of that sacred bond.