Dear mothers-in-law of the world,

Do you remember a time when you dreamt of your son’s future, as you stared into his innocent eyes thinking of how you hoped he would someday find someone to love him unconditionally?

Well, it’s happened.  We, the partners, spouses, wives, husbands, and significant others, are your son’s special person and while we appreciate all that you’ve done to make him the man we fell in love with, we need you to hear us when we say it’s time to:

                                   ((((((( BACK THE FUCK OFF )))))))

Allow me to elaborate on what “Backing the Fuck Off” would look like when done properly with this easy-to-read list you are welcome to keep on the fridge right next to the picture of your son and me, where he looks terrific and I look like I’ve been up all night puking.

1. Stop saying “I know you didn’t ask for my advice, but …”  In general, all advice is unwelcome, but unsolicited advice is the actual worst.  I’m sure you think you have the answers, but even if you do we are not likely to take it.  Save your fucking breath.

2.  Stop forwarding articles about things like “How to Get Your Child to Sleep Through the Night,” or “How to Make the Best Homemade Applesauce for Your Baby,” or “30 Days to an Organized Home.”  Receiving a forwarded article is like handing us a piece of paper that says “I disapprove of your choices.”  That shit has to end.

3. Stop giving us clothing as gifts.  It is another passive aggressive way of disapproving of us.  We know you hate our style, but your son chose us because of it.  Our low cut tops, tight pants, and “hooker boots” are what help bring grandchildren into the world.  Deal with it.

4. For the love of God, stop tidying our house when you visit.  When you do the dishes in our sink or wipe down our bathroom counters, you may as well hire an airplane to drag “My son’s life partner is a lazy asshole” over our house.  If you don’t like our messy houses, try staying out of them.

If you really want to know how to make your son’s life mate happy, here’s a no-fail approach:

Make us a cup of tea or coffee or VODKA and leave it on the porch and walk away.  If we have children, leave it in exchange for one or ALL of them.  Take them to the playground or the mall or Asia so we can take a bath, scroll Facebook, or stare at the fucking wall without being interrupted.

Also, I need you to know that your son is not the flawless diamond whose shit does not stink that you think he is. Your child farts in our bed.  Your child has not cleaned the toilet the entire time we’ve been together and probably never will. Your child turns his underwear inside out to get an extra day out of them.

One of the few things he’s done right in this world is choose US.  

WE are the people who sleep with him despite the farts, shitty housekeeping, and dirty underwear he refuses to launder.

WE are the people who put up with his obsession with staring at screens of ANY KIND like they’re going to sprout actual sex organs at any moment, instead of carrying on a face-to-face conversation every goddamn once in awhile.

WE are the ones who scrub the shit stains out of the toilets on our hands and knees just in case people might come over.  And by people, I mean YOU.
In the absence of appreciating us, because let’s face it, it’s never going to happen, please do us this one favor.  Lean in mothers-in-law, because this is important:

                                     ((((((( BACK THE FUCK OFF )))))))

I know I said it before, but I’m saying it again, just in case your son got his hard head and penchant for ignoring us until the moment we start shrieking and foaming at the mouth with frustration from YOU.  

The People Who Love Your Son

About the author: Lisa Shaw often has spinach in her teeth, a wedgie, and the F-bomb on the tip of her tongue, because who has time to be socially appropriate when you’re an interracial adoptive parent, secular homeschooler, writer, and sugar-seeking maniac?  If you want to feel a whole lot better about yourself, you can check out her antics at


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1 Comment

  1. My feelings exactly. And thanks for the laugh. Truly. I needed that.

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