Author Topic: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?  (Read 3208 times)

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2chickiebaby

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Anyone? Anyone? 

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Offline luise.volta

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 08:25:59 PM »
I have a thought about that...but first, it isn't "all: mothers of sons. My MIL loved me dearly, faithfully and against all odds, as I have written about under Success Stories. And I loved her with all my heart until she passed at age 104. I don't think we were the exception to the rule. It's just that people who are in relationships that are working probably don't come to this site.

OK. This post is an "I think" all the way through. I'm just not going to keep saying it. It is is just my sense of the generic problems that occur from my experience of raising my sons and from reading over 1000 questions on my website www.MomResponds.com...half of which have been on this subject. It's a huge issue and it's universal.
 
I think the relationship between a mother and son is very different from one with mother and daughter. All mothers are their son's first loves. When they get to be teens they have to pull away and get ready to leave the nest. Often they have to create a break in the relationship to be able to do that.  Many transfer their attachment to their wives. Some, at that time, turn their backs on their mothers, others try to work through the complexity of reconnecting with the mother and putting the wife first. There are many places where these dynamics become too complex to understand or face and work through. Often the wife isn't able to cope with the process because she has issues of her own.

We are looking at and trying to understand how to survive these conditions. How to help each other and how to heal.

There's my "I think."
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 08:36:32 PM »
Luise,
This is the first thing in all this time that has made sense to me.  I think I get it.  Thank you...

Our sons never caused us one mili-second of trouble, not one. Not growing up, not grown up, nothing.  I guess we were lucky.

Until this person came into his life, it was a happy, happy home.  She was so insecure with his love for us, she couldn't stand it.  It was either her or us.  It's her. 

lilyofthevalley

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2009, 08:53:33 PM »
I'll join in with an I think as well...

I think that sons and daughters are just different. And that as things move more towards gender neutral training, this issue will lessen.  A daughter, who is likely closer to her mother than her MIL, will call her mom and chat.  My son would prefer to play Xbox than call anyone, including me.  My daughter and my DIL take photos of really cute/meaningful things (grandkids tasting a first food, their new puppy, etc) with their phones and email them to friends.  My sons take photos of funny things they see and send them to each other.  My daughter in law/daughter think to send cards or plan a dinner.  My sons don't really think of those things.  In some ways, it's my fault because I probably had some role in encouraging or at least not discouraging my children's tendencies to follow gender lines.  Do I think my sons love me less than my daughter?  No.  I just think they express it differently.  And I am fortunate that my DIL and I have a working relationship where she sends me the cute emails that she would send to her family and she invites me to dinners that she plans.  Would I love to have a relationship with her that was closer?  Sure, but I also have to realize that there's a good 30 year age difference between us, and while I think I'm pretty fun, she has girlfriends to hang out with for that and a mom. 

Not everything that happens with my DIL meets my "expectations" that I had when my son got married.  But that's OK.  As long as we can work together to have a relationship, I'm happy.  And my son and I have a good relationship.  He may forget my birthday and send flowers the week after, but it's not the day that matters (or the flowers), it's that he cared enough to try.  So I guess I don't really agree with the premise that daughters' moms are always loved and sons' moms aren't.   I think that children (barring a terrible family situation) will always love their parents.  Daughters are better at relating and expressing their love to their moms than sons, which may make some feel like they're not loved, but they are.  And some MILs (me included at times) try to get their DIL to express their son's love to them (send cards, remind him to call, etc) and get mad when they don't.  And then feel more unloved because their DIL and their son aren't doing what they need.  But that's not really fair to anyone in the relationship. 

One separate thing that came to mind is that the mother of both the son and daughter would likely be contributing in similar ways...that is, it's more likely that the moms would talk about cooking, child care, work, etc instead of car repair, home repair (there I go with assigning gender roles again, but bear with me).  When the mother of the daughter does these things, the daughter would feel comfortable saying to butt out, or know how to listen and ignore, or agree with the advice becasue it's what she grew up with.  While with the MIL, there isn't the history to put things in perspective.  So the MIL isn't as able to contribute in these ways and may feel marginalized even though, if it was her son who was the house husband, she'd likely have more of a say than the daughter's mother.  So again it isn't that the MIL is less loved, it's just not her son who is in charge of the areas she's trying to contribute to and there's no way for a MIL to have the same relationship with a woman as her mother does.  Just my two cents.

Offline isitme?

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2009, 06:40:28 AM »
I think you ladies are right and a lot boils down to the difference between women and men - women sometimes make more effort to maintain a close relationship.  But then I also feel because sons can be this way, a DIL is expected to be the one to maintain the relationship with their in-laws.  Do you ladies expect this?  That was the vibe I kind of picked up early on from my BF's family....but as some of you know, my experiences with BF's family have been less than postive  :(

Bride2Be

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2009, 07:42:58 AM »
Well I must say that the dynamic in my home is different.  My husband is way better at remembering birthdays, sending cards and calling people, I'm not really a phone person.  It works that way for us.  He's better at that anyway.  I just do the decorating and handwriting (husband has chicken scratch, lol) he comes up with what to say and sends them out.  So if this is wrong then I guess we are one of those "New Generation" couples, lol.  I like it though.  That's why I love my husband, he's thoughtful and I'm creative.  Put us together and you get great cards, lol.  I wish my MIL wasn't so caught up in the fact that I don't send her something personally, but hey, the relationship isn't there quite yet and I'm not rushing into it this time.  I don't want it to crash and burn this time....baby steps, lol.

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2009, 07:51:09 AM »
I understand....Some people are better at things than others are.  I'll admit, I was hurt the first time DIL didn't write her name on a card sent to me.  But you made that make sense to me, MarriedChick. 

Offline Pen

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2009, 07:57:05 AM »
I tried creating a fun, friendly relationship with DIL, but she wasn't interested. Her parents rule, we drool. We're not respected for anything, not even for being good parents to DS (who turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.) We get the leftovers, if anything. DS is trying to put his foot down, and occasionally it works, thank goodness.

As a DIL, I was very respectful of my MIL & FIL. They loved getting news of the grandkids, and I always praised how they raised DH, telling them how honorable, hardworking and family-oriented he was. I knew that one key to the success of my marriage was to honor DH's family, even if he had issues with them. Although he has said little things about them before, I have never criticized them. It just isn't my place to do so. Therefore, my DIL's attitude baffles me.

Full disclosure: DIL's recent behavior has been better, so we're hoping for improvement all around. Still no friendly emails or whatever, no invites, no compliments...but one step at a time is OK.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 08:04:17 AM »
DIL does not know 'fun'.  She only knows a mission, marching to get whatever it is done.

I'm going to take it one step at a time and try to be happy with whatever she will allow us to have.  It's hard.  I don't understand "not having fun".  I don't know "missions and marching".

We can't laugh, if we do, son might laugh and it takes the attention away from her.  So we don't laugh.  No fun.  If you ask her a question, she might take 45 seconds to answer. Just stands there, no response.  So weird.  Finally, son will say, "DIL?"

Oy

Offline Pen

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2009, 08:12:26 AM »
She sounds like my stepmother, who measures every word that comes out of her mouth. A friend of mine had occasion to have a phone conversation about some professional matter and later said to me, "She doesn't give ANYTHING away - she's quite the cool, calculating customer." It's all business with her - she criticizes where my brother and his family live because the people in their country love to have fun on the weekends. ?!?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline isitme?

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2009, 08:14:58 AM »
Oy, that does sound terrible.  chickie, I think there is no denying that your DIL has issues and that this hurts you deeply. 

On another thread, I think a lot of MILs emphasize that they have to put up with DILs bad behavior because it's the only way to maintain contact with their sons and grandchildren.  I totally understand that.

As a FDIL who comes from a very close and supportive family, I really want my BF to maintain a relationship with his family....but they are like your DIL's - no reasoning with them and it's all about control.  I think it's been a very unhealthy situation for him to grow up in but it's not my place to say that.  But I know it's NOT an option to just avoid his mother or cut her out of our life... she is family and comes with the territory.  But how on earth do you deal with someone like that - ignoring them just brings up complaints that you are "disrespectful" and don't believe in family.  I don't want to be abused though.  I don't want my BF to be abused.  I especially don't want to bring children into this family so that they can be abused.  But family is important.  What are we supposed to do?

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 08:17:48 AM »
Uh, yeah.....Penstaman, you poor thing...I had 4 stepmothers. They were all varied little dingbats too. 

One of them had such a strange way of saying her name that we thought she was saying her name was Jean.  We called her Jean but she was saying Jane. (whatever)

2chickiebaby

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 08:28:04 AM »
I don't know....for us, we have to take it to see son and GC....I don't know what makes people act like this.  Controlling is terribly hard on people. 

Bride2Be

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 08:50:47 AM »
My response wasn't necessarily directed at you.  I read what a few people said and just commented on the topic.

As far as her having anything to do with him being thoughtful I'm sure she was apart of that, what does that have to do with what I said??

Bride2Be

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Re: Why are Mothers of Daughters always loved and Mothers of Sons aren't?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 10:53:34 AM »
I'll join in with an I think as well...

I think that sons and daughters are just different. And that as things move more towards gender neutral training, this issue will lessen.  A daughter, who is likely closer to her mother than her MIL, will call her mom and chat.  My son would prefer to play Xbox than call anyone, including me.  My daughter and my DIL take photos of really cute/meaningful things (grandkids tasting a first food, their new puppy, etc) with their phones and email them to friends.  My sons take photos of funny things they see and send them to each other.  My daughter in law/daughter think to send cards or plan a dinner.  My sons don't really think of those things.  In some ways, it's my fault because I probably had some role in encouraging or at least not discouraging my children's tendencies to follow gender lines.  Do I think my sons love me less than my daughter?  No.  I just think they express it differently.  And I am fortunate that my DIL and I have a working relationship where she sends me the cute emails that she would send to her family and she invites me to dinners that she plans.  Would I love to have a relationship with her that was closer?  Sure, but I also have to realize that there's a good 30 year age difference between us, and while I think I'm pretty fun, she has girlfriends to hang out with for that and a mom. 

Not everything that happens with my DIL meets my "expectations" that I had when my son got married.  But that's OK.  As long as we can work together to have a relationship, I'm happy.  And my son and I have a good relationship.  He may forget my birthday and send flowers the week after, but it's not the day that matters (or the flowers), it's that he cared enough to try.  So I guess I don't really agree with the premise that daughters' moms are always loved and sons' moms aren't.   I think that children (barring a terrible family situation) will always love their parents.  Daughters are better at relating and expressing their love to their moms than sons, which may make some feel like they're not loved, but they are.  And some MILs (me included at times) try to get their DIL to express their son's love to them (send cards, remind him to call, etc) and get mad when they don't.  And then feel more unloved because their DIL and their son aren't doing what they need.  But that's not really fair to anyone in the relationship. 

One separate thing that came to mind is that the mother of both the son and daughter would likely be contributing in similar ways...that is, it's more likely that the moms would talk about cooking, child care, work, etc instead of car repair, home repair (there I go with assigning gender roles again, but bear with me).  When the mother of the daughter does these things, the daughter would feel comfortable saying to butt out, or know how to listen and ignore, or agree with the advice becasue it's what she grew up with.  While with the MIL, there isn't the history to put things in perspective.  So the MIL isn't as able to contribute in these ways and may feel marginalized even though, if it was her son who was the house husband, she'd likely have more of a say than the daughter's mother.  So again it isn't that the MIL is less loved, it's just not her son who is in charge of the areas she's trying to contribute to and there's no way for a MIL to have the same relationship with a woman as her mother does.  Just my two cents.


Best advice I've seen on this site thus far.  We are all different and we don't all fall into the little box we have all created for one another.  Don't get mad, just adjust.  We are all different.

I'm much more strong willed, straight forward and no where near as sensitive as my husband's mother.  Does that make me bad, nope.  Does that make her better than me, nope.  Just different.  I've learned that my husband's mother can't seem to understand why I don't fawn over her, I don't compliment her every time my husband does something nice for me, etc.  I don't even like my own mother!!!  I cut ties with my own mother because she felt like she could say whatever she wanted to say to me and not take my feelings into consideration.  I won't even let my mother talk to me crazy, why would I let someone else?

Thank for your input Lily, you seem to have a great understanding that everyone is different and being mad because someone isn't what you think is pointless.