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Choosing to Love Your Child's Person 

June 13, 20224 min read

Getting it right.

Or at least making an effort and being open to correction.

I think that’s the ticket to making sure we accept our child’s fiancé.

As I sit down to write this post, I am specifically thinking of the LGBTQIA+ community, but truly, as an In-Law myself, this includes accepting the person your child loves. Embracing them into your family and celebrating the love the couple shares.

I’ll admit. I’m limited in my knowledge and have done some research, but it has become very frustrating to me because there is not term similar to “Daughter/Son in Law” for our nonbinary family. I often shorten the term to “DIL” or “SIL”, and while I understand the gender identity terms, “they/them”, “TTIL” doesn’t sit well with me. Because it doesn’t seem….as warm and fuzzy…as the “traditional” terms. So, shortening it to my “In-Law” or “my child’s Person” are my current go-to.

As a Mother-in-Law, I want to love the spouses my children have chosen with all of my heart, and I want to honor them because they also chose to become part of my family.

Maybe you are not facing the exact same situation as I am, but I think you’d agree that welcoming your child’s person into your family will take some time and adjustment on both parts.

I remember meeting my Mother-in-Law, Judy for the first time. I was scared to death! This woman had it ALL together! She ran a company, cooked from scratch, hosted huge family meals every other week with her mother (I mean, 50 people was not unheard of! Often times there were more!!), she quilted, painted, served her community. She spoke her mind and had boundaries! I’d never met anyone like her!! She did it all—and did it very well! I was out of my league. But you know what? She remembered being a timid bride (who’d have thought?!), and welcomed me into her family because her son loved me.

That’s it! The only reason she needed to love me. Over the years, I learned so much from my Mother-in-Law! So, when we began to welcome our children’s chosen People into our family, I took my cue from Judy. It's simple. I love them because my child loves them. We’ve worked to find common ground. I have learned, I’ve listened, I’ve created space and I’ve loved. Have I done it well? Probably not always. Have I been well intentioned? YES.

So, I think the point of this post is to say, it’s not about us, Parents. It’s about our children. They have chosen their Person, and it’s our job in life to choose to love that person as part of our family. Unless you have some warranted reservations that involve unhealthy or abusive behavior, I’d like to challenge all of us—let’s make this the best life we can for our children. Let’s get on board and celebrate their love. Let’s get behind them because as you know, life is hard anyway, and it’s much easier with a Tribe. A family.

I know you have reservations, doubts and maybe even questions. It’s OK. You’ve seen them through scraped knees, little league, ballet, middle school (for goodness sake!)—it’s natural that you are cautious about this major life decision. Is there a way that you can make a plan to spend time with your child and their Person? A meal? An outing? Planning their wedding (You listening to and supporting their plan)? Invite the couple to family events—even silly or simple ones. Movie night. The Sunday Game. Worship service. Whatever you can to get to know the couple. Host a BBQ or a party in honor of the newly engaged couple so they can meet extended family and friends. This will help in planning parties to celebrate the wedding!

Looking back at the people that my children have chosen as theirs, would I have chosen the same people? Absolutely. In a second. They are the one’s who make my child’s life better. They add value, even during the struggles. Some of those people have moved on, and I still support the time they spent as part of our family because they also chose my child and my child is a stronger, better person because of the time they spent with that person.

To love an be loved. Isn’t that what we all want out of life? It’s time for us to step up and love our child’s Person. I think that’s the one that’s going to stick. I love that term. PIL. Person In Love. Yep. It fits.

Happy Planning!

DIY WeddingDIY BrideMOGMOBMother of the BrideMother of the GroomYour child is getting married

Corri Lewis

Corri has been planning weddings and events for over 3 decades and has authored 4 books (keep an eye open for book #5!) She loves everything about weddings--and, as her husband says, 'can squeeze a dollar out of every nickel'! She is a DIY'er at heart, and loves to create beauty on a budget!

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