The topic of comparing myself to my husband’s mom is slightly repulsive. It’s not because I do not like my mother-in-law. She’s a wonderful woman, really. It’s the fact that I often act like a parent to my husband that is disturbing.
I grew up living with my mother and grandmother, and they were master naggers. Even until the day I got married they insisted on having an opinion on when and what I ate, when I slept, how I dressed, what I watched on television, how long my hair should be, and even the friends I chose to spend time with. All of this has been unconsciously passed onto me, and I’m sure my poor future daughter will inherit this, too.
This epiphany occurred one frosty evening when I woke up and found my husband next to me completely curled up in a fetal position, shivering. Natural instinct told me to cover him up with the comforter and spoon him back into a comfortable warm state. You see, he insists on sleeping au naturel with just a sheet for warmth. He always complains of overheating as he falls asleep, but in the middle of the night, the cold weather finally catches up with him. But what kind of grown man is incapable of realising the need to cover himself up when he is freezing?
My mind started racing as I listed all the things that I do for him that is considered to be motherly. I assure that he has clean clothes to wear and tell him to make sure to bring his jacket when we go out in case it’s chilly outside. I prepare his lunches and dinners for him. It makes me cringe when I shout, “Dinner’s ready!” and he doesn’t come running right away. This was always a pet peeve for my grandmother. On weekends, we have special waffle breakfasts and I let him mix in any special toppings he’s craving—usually some kind of chocolate.
I have never been an expert at knowing how much pasta to cook for the both of us. Typically, I am short a few forkfuls and neither one of us is full. One time I was dividing a batch of spaghetti between two bowls and realised that I only made enough for one person. Again, instinct kicked in and I poured my share into his bowl. I was willing to sacrifice my dinner for him, which is something I know my mother would do.
I’m not sure why I never saw the connection between being a mother and being a wife until now, but I welcome it now. I just see it as good practice for when our children come along in later years. But I do know one thing. You won’t find me kissing his cute little toes or tickling his belly button.