Dear Future Daughter-in-Law


Welcome to the family. I am so grateful that my son has found you. My son is one of the most important things in my life and knowing that you make him so happy, makes me happy. I view my son finding you as also gaining a daughter. I pray that we develop a true friendship over the years and to initiate a healthy and prosperous relationship with you, I want to share a few things with you.

I promise to always be honest with you, and to start, I admittedly worry that my relationship with my son will change as the two of you start your life together. It is my hope that my son will continue to involve me in his life, and even better in the life he has built with you. I am so excited for the addition you’ve made in our family, and genuinely want us to form and maintain a strong, positive, involved, and loving family foundation. I hope that my son will continue to prioritize me in his life and maintain frequent contact with me. Now, I understand this may seem intimidating, but I can assure you that I also know my boundaries and promise not to overstep them. I recognize your role in my son’s life and will never disrespect nor disregard that. I demand that he honors his role to serve as a husband and with that, his priority to you comes first. I expect him to ask you of your opinion and seek your advice and support before mine. My hope is that together, you and him will prioritize having a relationship with his dad and me while also allowing us to also be engaged in your life.  

I do not want to be a “monster-in-law.” I want to be the mother-in-law that becomes your friend, that you feel comfortable enough with to seek advice and support, that you text just because, and that you’re excited to see during visits. To facilitate this I will always let you know how appreciative I am of the positive influences you have on my son’s life. I will never criticize you or stick my nose where it doesn’t belong. I will cherish you for you and respect the decisions you and my son make together. I believe in the power of strong communication and ask that you’re always open with me. I ask that you always make me aware of times when I may have offended, upset, or frustrated you. I never want to cause you negative feelings; therefore, please make me aware if I do so that I can make things better and learn how I can best react and/or respond so that we prevent any negative mishaps in the future.   

I want to be a team. We already have one very important thing in common—the love for the same man; we just each love him in a different way. I love the baby boy that I nurtured into the man he is today, and you love the man you met and said “I do” to, proclaiming your life together as husband and wife. I promise to support you by raising a man that respects his wife to the highest degree; a man that fulfills his promises and prioritizes his integrity; a man that is kind, encouraging, and actively listens and understands the importance of strong communication in a relationship; a man that shares household responsibilities; and a man that provides comfort and feelings of safety. You can remind my son on a lazy Sunday afternoon that his mama misses him and would love to hear from him. You can encourage my son to plan a relaxing family dinner for us all to join together and enjoy each other’s company. You can reassure him of how important and meaningful it is to me that he (and you too) are an active part of my life.

Family is so important to me and I know it is important to you too. I absolutely love the thought of spending the holidays together and I hope we have many, many holiday gatherings; however, I also realize you’ll want to spend time with your family too. I would never ask you to not be with your family. My hope is that we can aim to see each other as much as possible, whatever that may look like for that year. I understand different seasons of life require flexibility and that one year of holiday gatherings won’t look like the next. Also know that we can come to you, and even better, we’d be absolutely honored to join your family’s gathering and celebrate as one big family!

Lastly, I never want there to be a feeling of competition between us—we are love, we are friends, we are a team, we are family! 

I love you and am excited to make endless memories with you and my son.


Your Mother-in-Law, aka, your biggest advocate and your friend

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Melissa recently resigned from her career in higher education and was promoted to her new title as Dr. Mom to two-under-two. Her quest to have a family involved a long road of infertility struggles. She has a son named Rowan who is 21 months old and a girl named Ildi who is 6 months old. There is never a dull moment in the Butcher house with two-under-two. Their days are fast, dirty, silly and tiring, yet also imaginative, magical and memorable. Melissa is passionate about conquering every great moment as well as the challenging moments, with love. She truly embraces the Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love” especially in moments when she finds herself gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths during the blissful chaos occurring in her home. She enjoys reading, baking, decorating cakes, walking, biking, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. She also enjoys writing for infertility and adoption focused organizations, striving to serve and support families pursuing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to achieve their dreams in becoming parents. In writing for Charleston Moms Blog, Melissa hopes to bring Moms together in enjoying and laughing about the special and comical moments of being a mom as well as providing the comfort and support that all Moms need on this journey we adoringly call Motherhood.