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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

I've just been reading Joanna Trollope's 2011 novel, Daughters-in-law. It's essentially about a mother of three adult sons and her difficulties in recognizing that she cannot micromanage her sons' relationships with their wives. No matter how frantic she is to protect them. The sons have formed their OWN new families and she has gone from centre stage to walk-on role.


And of course here in Canada we've been caught up a bit with the news that certain members of the formerly-royal family are taking up residence here instead . . .

All part of a movement from conventional notions of duty and responsibility to individualism within the family structure? Self-preservation over family ties?

Hmmmm. I will be thinking about this for sure.


Yesterday this link was available to non-Globe subscribers -- and today apparently not!! Sorry.
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    Family … ahhh, a gift and a complete … mystery.
    26 days ago
    I was an avid Royal family watcher when Diana was on the scene, but sort of gave it up after her passing. The fact I don't watch or read the news left me out of the loop. I had no idea there had been trouble with Harry and Meghan and the royal family. I hope they enjoy life and that the Canadian people will let them live in peace, respecting their decision.
    It is rather sad for the regular mothers out there to see their children leave the nest and raise families of their own, rendering them an unimportant background figure in their child's life, unless of course they are asked to babysit the grandchildren full time. The Queen has to be concerned about the image of her royal family as they are the UK's representatives adding in a whole new dimension for her concerns. She is a long lived and very experienced Monarch and will deal with the issue regally in the best possible light.

    26 days ago
    As my friend Toni says "Fandamnily!"

    Just glad mine is not royal.
    28 days ago
    I have been so blessed in my in-laws, even to the point in helping me heal my own family-of-origin relationships to a certain extent. This whole situation with the Royal Family has inspired in me a lot of food for thought. I'll be watching to see how it all plays out... I honestly think 'happily ever after' for all is still a long ways off, unfortunately.

    For anyone interested, the article you cite can possibly be viewed here:

    I think I'll check out the book, too!

    28 days ago
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    28 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    28 days ago
    My MIL was a great lady who welcomed me and we had some great times together :), she was encouraging and helpful to a new Mum.

    I admire the Queen, she made a promise and has stuck to it. How would we act if our lives were broadcast for all the world to see? We really don't know what is truth and just inferred.
    The young ones have back stories and bring their history to a new life, they will grow together as the years go by.

    I do know that as the years go by you do miss family :)
    28 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    I wish Harry and Megan the best life that they can have. Everyone deserves that. If the break is what they both want, then so be it. They deserve their privacy.

    If my son ever gets married, I hope to have a daughter in law. It seems to me I want to be the hands off type, because I know, that my mother in law god rest her soul, was one the best friends I could ever have. We started out rocky, but things changed and we formed the best friendship one could have.

    28 days ago
    What a great analogy--that a mother-in-law goes from center stage to a walk-on role! That takes a lot of maturity and grace. It might be a difficult transition, but I do hope to accept the challenge someday.

    29 days ago
    My Mother-in-Law died when my husband was 12 so I never knew her. I am aware that MILs generally don't have a good reputation. Fortunately, I get along well with my children's spouses.
    29 days ago
    Yikes! M-I-L's!!! That's all I can say about that! emoticon
    29 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I also have been watching their situations and feel sorry for all... I have a lot of thoughts on it but none of it is my business so I will just keep my mouth shut, but I'm glad none of them involve me!
    29 days ago
    A few miles between families can make a world of difference. On the other hand, this couple is not really 'divorcing' from their family but rather 1) breaking away from the family business, 2) separating from a country and 3) escaping the glare of the spotlight that can so often tear them apart.
    29 days ago
    Navigating and negotiating family dynamics can be quite challenging.
    29 days ago
  • NANCY-
    All families are different. The old adage, "A son is a son until he takes a wife" came to mind. It helped me to not micromanage my son's new stage of life. It is strange how many tend to impose their expectations upon others.
    29 days ago
    Trust me when I say that although they now have their independent family groups, most of our children still turn to us for wisdom at times. Our new role is just as valuable. As for Meghan, Harry and Archie; I wish them peace and privacy in their new home, something all of us yearn for and deserve.
    29 days ago
    29 days ago
    All what anyone can do is follow what feels right in the heart. Relationships do change.

    29 days ago
    Excellent article. Thanks for the link. That navigation of "growing up" and the change in relationship between parent and child can be tricky! Naturally one tries to put ones own family up and compare. And, depending on the generation, one can find both similarities and differences.

    Wishing the best to Harry, Megan, Archie, AND to the Royal Family! We all share a common humanity, no matter the station we hold with the rest of the world.

    29 days ago
    I do think self preservation is over family ties.
    29 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon
    29 days ago
    Interesting dilemma
    29 days ago
    Families evolve over the years...some people have a hard time accepting that, I suspect.
    My dear man goes over to my (sick) son’s house (almost 30 min away) every single morning to get the three littles fed and dressed and on the bus while their dad sleeps in the other room. My guy agonized over wether he was enabling Patrick to slack off but, with the help of an amazing therapist, we have come to see all that we do is a pure gift with nothing expected in return. DH does it as much for the kids as for Patrick and enjoys being so close to the kids on a regular basis.
    As I recall, he wasn’t around much when our three kids were growing up, certainly not for daily care.
    I am heading over to their house today to ‘tidy up’ ( funny, because their house is chaos) and do some laundry. I need to check in with them regularly to make sure I am not overstepping.
    Btw, Lucy, 10, has a newfound passion for the Royal family, and especially for Harry and Meghan!

    29 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/22/2020 9:44:23 AM
  • DESIREE672
    Being the MIL is a delicate position. I don’t want to be an interfering MIL. A friend tells me I go too much the other way, but that’s OK.

    I’m fascinated by the royals, like so many others, but my logical brain tells me I’m a republican.
    29 days ago
    I wish Harry and Meghan well. I wouldn't join the Royal Family for anything! The intense scrutiny the royals come under would drive me into a dribbling wreck in a week. I don't think that will be affected by whether they are 'official members' any more or not, or by whether they live in the UK or Canada. The fact is, they are celebrities and they sell magazines etc.

    That Joanna Trollope book sounds interesting. I recognise the issue of sons moving on with their own lives once they get married and have children. It's only natural but it can be hard to accept sometimes, especially if they live a long way away. Still, the ability to watch little videos of the grandchildren is one of the wonders of the modern age - it's like being in the room!
    29 days ago
    Families often work well - and when they don't, well, they can be really destructive, as you well know from your work.

    The eldest of my three younger brothers called me the matriarch of our family the other day, because I've always been the one everyone can count on. But I was truly appalled - I have zero desire to be the matriarch! I even chose not to have my own kids!!! I mean, really!!! Emotional or financial support when needed in certain situations is one thing - being involved in the ongoing everyday stuff? Nope, everyone is old enough to handle that on their own!!!

    And Harry and Meghan - I feel so bad for her and the way the British press treated her, plus his family didn't stick up for her whatsoever. I think moving on with their own lives was probably the way to go.

    29 days ago
    Interesting! The royal situation is a big issue I prefer not to discuss.
    29 days ago
    It is difficult to know what is supportive versus trying to micromanage. My second son was in a terrible marriage. There were many secrets and he finally left. His mental health is much better but he has no social life because a narcissist will bleed you dry! It's still a challenge to watch but I cannot and will not rescue. I can support.

    God bless Harry and Megan. I pray them success and some joy in this new plan!
    29 days ago
    Wishing Harry and Megan all the best. Hope that their decision brings them happiness.
    29 days ago
    I think Megan and Harry are going to regret giving up their Royal Family ties, they're already after an injunction on the paparazzi for unauthorized photo taking.

    29 days ago
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