An Open Letter: A Promise to my Future Daughter-in-law

My darling future daughter-in-law,

Let me first of all say how welcome you are to our family – regardless of marital status, ring or not, you are already part of our family and our lives.

I promise that I will always strive to make you feel welcome in my home.

I promise to always provide you with a white fluffy towel by your bed.

I promise not to get annoyed if you spend too long in the shower.

I promise to let you watch telly without having to ask permission.

I promise not to judge you by outdated standards.

I promise not to blame you for my own shortcomings.

I promise not to wince when I hear your accent for the first time.

I promise to keep my criticisms about your wild hair to myself.

I promise never to apologise for you to my friends.

I promise not to quote the Daily Mail at you.

I promise that I will respect the name you choose to go by, and not address you by my son’s name if you choose to keep your own.

I promise that I will not call you by a previous girlfriend’s name.

I promise to stop myself from offering you a comb.

I promise to stop my own neuroses from spoiling a family gathering.

I promise not to shout at you for putting the pans away in the wrong cupboard after you have been kind enough to dry the dishes.

I promise you that just because today you like a certain chocolate bar, I won’t buy it for you for every Christmas in perpetuity.

I promise not to tell you what my son does or doesn’t like to eat or expect you to take on the mother-role because he now lives with you.

I promise not to tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat, or hint that your weight is out of control.

I promise to take your food allergies seriously.

I promise not to mention your hair when it’s looking a mess.

I promise to be there for you if you need me; if you suffer a loss, have a fight, feel down, need a hug – know that I am here.

I promise that I will be here to celebrate with you – a wedding, a birth, an anniversary.

I promise not to hint heavily at the lack of wedding ring or grandchild.

I promise to avoid family arguments and shouting matches which make you feel uncomfortable.

I promise not to pretend that my son and I share a secret joke of which you are not part.

I promise not to tell you how it should be done.

I promise to celebrate our similarities and to respect our differences.

I promise not to fixate on your messy hair.

I promise that if you get a tattoo, I won’t write you out of the will.

I promise not to be the mother-in-law that’s gone before; I promise to break the cycle; I promise only to lift your self-esteem, not to crush it.

With love,

Your future mother-in-law.

Letter written by Jenny

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