Dear Mother-in-Law


Dear Mother-in-law, 

I know you’re trying to help.

I know you’re concerned.

And I know you want to share in the joy.

But please, back off.

I am a young mother who left her career to become a full-time mommy. My friends and family live across the nation, and now, I’m learning the ropes of motherhood. So, please give me some space to figure it out. 

I don’t need your advice on how to balance my children. Or advice on how to cook dinner. I don’t need comments on what is best for my kids or that YOU know what they need. 

I don’t want to hear your advice on how to play with my kids. Or hear your condescending tone when they haven’t hit developmental milestones. I don’t need books to read, nor do I need your educational expertise. 

I’m already overwhelmed and stressed out, so I don’t need you telling me I could do better. 

I beg you to stop comparing my kids to other kids. I implore you to stop challenging my authority. And I request you to stop giving your two cents where it is not needed. And please stop telling your son we need to be doing more for our kids. 

My kids are uniquely themselves, and I love them for it. Whether they are developmentally behind, average, or ahead. I love them to pieces. With a pandemic looming over all parents, I speak for all when I say, “we’re doing the best we can.” 

I need you, as a mother, to acknowledge my struggle. I need you to respect my parenting choices and support me during this challenging time. You know it’s hard raising children to be kind humans. You know it’s hard to dodge the mom-shamers. So please, don’t become one to me. 

You’ve had your chance, now give me mine

I try my best every day to give each child the attention they need. I wake up every day with the goal of loving, encouraging, and supporting my children. In addition, I love your son more today than yesterday. Giving him the love and support I promised I would on our wedding day. 

That being said, I choose my kids and my husband every single day. When I say I’m doing the best I can, I’m using every piece of my body to show up and be present for them. 

Is that enough? 

I’m doing the best I can. 


Your Daughter-in-Law