Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why would a loving mother turn into an impious mother in-law? How to deal with a harsh mother in-law?!

If what people say about motherhood being capable of curing the tautly tendons of a cruel heart, then something must have gone wrong! As every in-law started out as a mother who according to that doubtful saying supposedly holds a kind heart! Puzzler! Because as far as I know, seen, witnessed or whatever, mother in- laws are mean! Of course there's the occasional lucky bride who lands a sporadic peaceful second mom, however, not every girl out there is as fluky. In fact almost everyone I bump into is surrounded by craws! So, how, when and why did that transition take place? I was literally on a mission to find out…

Since I'm a huge potential believer, digging into a woman's personality, past and belief system to scrutinize her motherly side should reveal plenty regarding her tendency to turn into an impious mother in-law. That being said, I managed to categorize potentially cruel mothers in-law into 4 groups:

1. The "because they told me so" potential group:Those mothers are much affected by the tradition and what should and should not be. They tend to blindly follow the script, a mother in-law should be wicked, sly, hard to please and manipulative and so they shall be!

2. The "can't trick me twice" potential group:While growing up, it's only natural for women who witnessed their kind-hearted mothers standing helplessly as they were roughened up by their spouses to subconsciously turn into the fiercer version of the in-laws who primarily protect their kids and secondly themselves so as not to be taken for granted!

3. The "I'm bossy and I like it" potential group:When bossiness shines brighter than the sun in a mother's eyes, goodness scurry to the nearest exit! For she's a natural impious mother in-law waiting for someone other than her family and friends to show who the real boss is!

4. The "me, myself and I" potential group:As it is the case with most selfish people, ego issues overflow when someone dares to steal the light, the people or even their place in their children's hearts. Consequently, I won't be magnifying their reaction when I say that they'll be competing over their children's time, love and affection, after all they are their properties!

Giving in to the fact that not every mother has the natural hidden potential to go crazy, yet manage to surprise the world with their unforeseen dark side. I had to look somewhere else for that drive and fortunately enough with less effort; the factors contributing to their transition hit me in the face!
So, without further ado, I present to you the 3 compelling factors which can instantly turn a gentle mother to a daunting in-law:

1. Security issues:
Security for Egyptian women comes from exactly 3 different sources; men, jobs aka money and children. Since in our culture women struggle to create a career and filthy rich women are usually intimidated or used by men, it's only fair to say that jobs aren't guaranteed to provide a lifetime of security. And since men come as the number one stressor in any woman's life, they counteract their actual role as security providers to constant nags, which kind of leaves women with only one last life-connecting-thread, their children! But when their children are about to be abducted by wild aliens who threaten the mother with an endless loneliness, it's only logical that clinginess and overprotection comes as the only defense mechanism left to achieve the sought after security.

2. Payback time:Word is out that part of the motherly job is to protect the kids, regardless of the fact that I personally wouldn't know about the level of dedication when compared to nationality or various cultures, but I know this, instinct-wise mothers everywhere are ready to suck the life out of any predator aiming their children. Accordingly, witnessing a daughter or a son being mistreated by a spouse is fairly sufficient to turn any soft mother into a man-eating monster enclosed in the form of an in-law screaming "REVENGE!"

3. Their rants:
People talk, there's nothing new about that! Yet, as talkative as women can be gossips and stories pass around faster than fire especially when it contains bits and pieces concerning familial quarrels! Hearing this, any mother, fearing for herself and her kids would chose to put on the scary mask and act like the toughest mother in-law that ever lived! Even though the spouse might have done nothing wrong nor harmed her child in any way, but it's as they say safety first and experiences never lie!

Now that we have covered some pretty serious grounds on mothers' potentials in turning into a typical mother in-law and the factors that might have lead to this wonderful abruption, let's play a probability game to detect the category to which your possible/current mother in-law belongs to…
Considering only 2 personal trademarks, kind and harsh, we get 4 possibilities for any mother in-law, she's either:

1. Kind on the inside but harsh on the outsideThis is nothing but a wily cover-up to hide her scare from your unseen dark side, send you an indirect message that she's capable of taking you down anytime you decide to attack or that she's harmlessly bossy and selfish as mentioned earlier. How to detect her deliberately hidden kindness is easy, as between the yells and the angry looks, her true self pops out once in a while in the form of kind gestures, generous offerings or even a sincere thank you. And don't worry because she won't be harsh to you for long, as if she's truly kind, then she'll drop the act when she trusts you to be the nice person she hoped for her children and grandsons.

2. Kind on the outside but harsh on the insideShe is by far the worst of all types of mothers' in-law, as she simply allures you in with her welcoming arms, charitable gestures and the delusion of her caring about you more than her own child. I'm telling you now wake up and smell the coffee; no one is capable of loving anyone more than their own offspring! She might say it, emphasis it and even persist on it but she'll drag you in to trust her, spill out your guts about what's bothering you in your relationship and memorize you inside out. I can't say that she's that evil to use the information you once shared in confidence against you, but let's just say she'll keep it, if not share it with your future spouse to know how to deal with you and put you right where you belong!

3. Harsh inside out
As much as there's no hope going around this awful mother in-law at least there is no baffling involved, she's just harsh. Though good-intentioned spouses would try to look for the bright side but alas! As cruel as her truth is, she'll spare no effort to tick you off and drive you out of your temper. Probably to gain the sympathy of her children and reclaim her property or out of tradition, a mother in-law should never be nice, kind nor negotiable!

4. Kind inside out
If other people's experiences are of any indication, it's that being around your mother in-law should never be fun, but what if it actually is?! Well, there are a number of possibilities here; may be she's playing you till the worst happens, may be you're delusional for skipping on her harsh comments or than she's actually kind. Just like the harsh inside out mother in-law, time is your only detector. When you see no harm, feel no threat from her side while keeping her child's best interest at heart, then this is a real blessing because she'll be working to make you both happy and together. Sure she'll have her flaws like caring too much or being too much involved but at least she's not thriving to get you out of the picture!


Houda said...

It's a real pleasure to visit your interesting blog.


Thank You HOUDA... Hope 2 hear more from you (",)

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