I have OCD. I have my way of doing things. In fact sometime ago, my youngest was helping me to fold the laundry and as she was leaving she mentioned very casually ” Don’t think that I don’t know that you are waiting for me to leave so you can refold the undies that I just folded before you put them away” Which incidentally is nothing but the truth. I like things to be neatly organized and if my daughter didn’t fold it the way I want, I do it again the moment she is out of sight.
I don’t clean any of my children’s room. It is their room and keeping it clean is their responsibility. I however do put away my son’s clothes in his closet. He and I have come in to an agreement on that. I just couldn’t stand him chucking freshly laundered clothes on the floor, on the chair or where ever he found the place to chuck them. The problem was with me. My son had no issues where he kept his clothes and he felt if I had an issue, I should deal with it and in this particular situation, I could put his clothes away. And since I am doing the putting away part, I get to do it my way, it is all color coded and follows a specif pattern. Formal outfits, pants, shorts, sportswear, t shrits in 4 colour groups, school uniforms and winter wear.
Few days ago, as I was taking the clothes from the laundry line ‘she’ asked me if I needed help and I said “sure”. She took my son’s clothes from the laundry line and I was just about to tell her how she should hang them in his closet. And that really was an issue faced by all mothers in law world over. ‘She’ is not my daughter in law yet, but she could be. The truth is eventually I will inherit a daughter(in law) and I need to get my acts together. Just as I won’t allow anyone to dictate how I should hang my partner’s clothes in my closet, I don’t have the right to dictate how ‘she’ should hang my son’s clothes. It really is her choice.
I don’t deny that I am tempted to go in to my son’s room when no one is in the house and sort the closet to the way I like. I considered doing it couple of times. But I do know that I need to let it go.
I also treat ‘her’ very well. There are two reasons for that. One of which is that one day, some other woman will inherit my daughters as their daughters(in law) and I hope they too will treat my daughters well. The second reason is that I want the best for my son. If I treat her well, (I am hoping that) she will treat my son well and that is very important to me. Yesterday when I went to buy the groceries, I bought her favourite tea (Honey and Vanila) and gave it to her. No in laws ever bought me my favourite tea. However, that shouldn’t stop me from buying it for the girl my son brings home.
Plenty of good lessons I have learned in such a short time.