Friday, 7 December 2007

Carving knives at dawn

Daughter is now 18 years old and lives with her boyfriend above a sex shop. Someone has to live there I suppose. Her boyfriend is a lovely guy, very sweet and loves daughter dearly. Who knows where it will go to as a relationship but for now it is good. I have not met boyfriend's family, only heard about the food parcels his mother brings my daughter! And the cold remedies she supplies.

Apparently mother-in-law-in-waiting is a mumsy mum. I am not sure where that leaves me and with the imagination I have, have written myself off as an awful mother who is rather lacking in all departments. After all, I don't bring food parcels or cold remedies. But we have financed daughter to find her feet and am often doing the emergency doctor run as daughter is the "I am dying" sort when she has aches and pains.

Mother-in-law-in-waiting is probably a darling and I'd like her but for some reason I feel in competition with her. No-one told me I should be afeared of her competing for my daughter's affections, nor that I have not been good enough. I can do all that self-destruction all by myself. I wonder if she feels in competition with me?

Christmas is a-coming and I have given daughter free reign to do as she pleases for Christmas making sure that she realises my saying that doesn't mean that I don't care, rather that I don't want her to feel under pressure. Daughter is being utterly diplomatic and wonderful. Her boyfriend can eat for England so they are coming to us first on Christmas day where they will both eat with us, and then go on to his mother where they will have Christmas dinner with her but daughter will only have a little as she doesn't eat much.

It is silly that I should feel in competition to make sure I have the nicest Christmas dinner. So superficial of me. But I am working on my menu now!


Thursday said...

MIL-in waiting is possibly feeling as though she's been replaced in her beloved son's affections by your daughter. She's probably feeling as anxious as you are about the change in dynamics of her relationship with her son. Worry not - sounds like you have a very good relationship with your daughter who will always want her own mum.

Doris said...

Ah yes, Thursday. I recall now daughter referring to her guy as a bit of a mummy's boy so maybe you are right.

It is mean of me (on this occasion) but at least it is not just me feeling anxious. No doubt though if we met, I'd be the epitome of graciousness: "What this, oh no, no trouble at all, absolutely delighted to meet at last...."!

alan said...

For me, there was never a competition, I loved my mother-in-law dearly and miss her terribly!

In the few years I had her, she was more Mom than mine has ever been...

Somehow I bet you rate right up there as well!


Doris said...

Alan! Same as me! My mother-in-law is an absolute darling and am lucky to have her still. I dread the thought of losing her and fear that I shall cry more for my in-law parents than my own.

Meanwhile, however my daughter or her boyfriend think of me doesn't take away this surprising feeling I have, of competition with someone I have never met! It is such a surprise to me and so illogical.

rashbre said...

Sorry - but I can't help thinking of that Vicar of Dibley episode... "The Christmas Lunch Incident".

And, seriously, good luck with the menu planning.


Josephine said...

Yup...for me too.

Mother-in-Law 1, Mother 0 in my book, after 45 years of hurt and bitterness (though she is behaving a bit better right now).

Now Doris. You are a fantastic mother. You are. I know enough of you, from what you have said in all the time I have been reading your words, and the glimpses of the past you have shared with us, to say that without hesitation. Just because your Mum did a lousy job (is that where it comes from...a hidden sense of legacy?) doesn't mean you are. The reverse in fact - my take is that you look out for your brood in a way you were never looked out for.

Save me a turkey leg eh?

Hugs x

Chandira said...

Silly Doris!! NOBODY can replace your own mum!! Not even the nicest mother in law in the world...

My own mother is a basket case, I'm sure you're way more functional. lol But nobody could replace her! Just that you care if you're not good enough is a good sign that you are.

I think that feeling of competitiveness is natural, based on what Adi Da calls the 'Oedipal Consideration', meaning the whole deal, Oedipus and Electra. Our early-life experiences with our own parents very much colour the way we see these things. We either do the same, or the exact opposite, but we're not entirely free from it, which ever way we swing..
That stuff sticks deep in us, and has more of an affect than we realize. It's natural for us women to feel competitive on occasion. You're normal. ;-)

Doris said...

Rashbre So glad you picked up on the classic Vicar of Dibley Christmas episode. It crossed my mind too :-)

Jo Awww. It may well be a turkey leg because the Nigella Lawson soaked in brine turkey might just be on the menu. I made it last year and it was superb but want to perfect it.

Chandira Awww again! But you speak lovingly of mothers and yet I do not think in such a loving way about my own mother. However, I have done something brave and for the first time ever, invited my parents for Christmas dinner. They'll come over Christmas eve and leave Boxing day. I am not doing it out of kindness for my parents, though I am lovely to them, but will admit it is to give my beloved sister a break from them.

As for the competitiveness, I 'm glad it is normal. I just never expected to feel something like it. The "Oedipal Consideration" is about right and agree that we are never entirely free from the effect of our parents.


Minerva said...

When I was younger I always wanted a conventional mother. The other girls' mother used to turn up in tweeds and twin sets and mine would turn up in a bright jump suit with boots or some other such.

Now I wouldn't exchange her for the world. She is loving, warm, eccentric and utterly mine...

Your daughter loves you as you are and what greater accolade as a mother can there be?!


Janes Insane said...

Doris, you crack me up! But that has been 1 of my hidden worries ever since my kids have become adults. Fortunately, both are too busy working.
I think for moms of sons the worry is a valid one.

Doris said...

Minerva From what I have read on your blog about your mum and Christmas it sounds absolutely enchanting. I must admit, my daughter has been nicer to me ..... but it is strange to meet her out and about and not to have her as an integral part of daily life as she is off doing her own thing.

Jane Wait till you get to that stage - it is a very strange feeling! At least you can remember me on the other side (the girl's) also worrying!