The Mother Load

I’ve never done a lot of mother-in-law jokes for fear of wandering into a vast minefield of cartooning cliches. Perhaps I left a lot of good material on the table out of an abundance of caution, and laziness. Of the women I’ve known well enough to enable an opinion on the subject, I’ve never known one who didn’t have a complex relationship with her mother. The relationship of a father and a son can be good, bad or somewhere in between, but I don’t think it normally approaches the near-mystical bond between mother and daughter. That’s not to say it is serene; it never is. Anyway, that’s my opinion. I don’t have anything to back it up really. I may be wrong.

15 thoughts on “The Mother Load”

  1. Try the relationship between a boy and his MOTHER!

    My late husband loathed his and wanted as little to do with her as possible. She was not lovable but I was a dutiful daughter in law. So I forced him to maintain contact.

    We won’t touch my father in law.

  2. It seems that most boys don’t need to fight with their fathers to become men the way it seems that most girls must fight with their mothers to become women – only to discover that they have become their mothers.

    For most girls, to be told that they are just like their mothers is an insult. For most boys, to be told they are just like their fathers is a compliment.

  3. It can be complex. Don’t know when wanting to go somewhere else displaced any genuine love I had for Mom & Dad, but I went to college at Cornell U. [Ithaca, NY] in part to get 9 hr. away by the Lehigh Valley RR from NYC. Did dutiful things at appropriate junctures, seldom missed them when they were gone, but we were not estranged. Affection is one thing, but civility, restraint, and kindness are still possible.
    Took after them in ways I wished I hadn’t, but in positive ways, too. Got temper but also temperance from Dad, and a love of teaching. Love of good English and books from both. Married well, much better than their mismatch. Elaine was a godsend, helped me grow up. Elaine did NOT grow up to be her mother. We did a better job [not perfect] of raising kids; Elaine’s parents did a much better job than mine had. I came eventually to some understanding of why they were as they were, and realized that I forgave them, well after they were gone. That helped. Still miss Elaine, as do many in Bemidji.
    Peace,

  4. Comments so sparse I should regale you with tales from dysfunctional family. On both sides. Should I at age 75 finally write the book it’d be a whopping seller.

    However, my day ended an hour ago after finally finishing cleaning the fridge after four days work. We now have a close to impeccable pantry and fridge, plus a sink. Counter, stove and dishwasher nearing useable condition.

    I work until I start sweating profusely, collapse for long rest. Then do a little more. My days of over achievement are gone! The bar is pretty low now.

  5. Jackie, I know exactly how you feel about being able to accomplish much physical activity. There were times when I could “work” 15 minutes then rest two hours. I’m finally much improved… I can work an hour then rest an hour now!

  6. The only things I can do without stopping to rest now are drive and read. Driving was never work for me; unloading the trucks and chaining up are what did my back in. I did ok until the day I tried to unload an armoire weighing over 600 pounds… it was made of ironwood. It took two of us to move it back to the apron and 4 guys to lower it to the ground to a pallet jack to haul it into the store.

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