This paper will discuss when my own expectations influenced my thoughts of my mother in law. It is never easy coming into a family that you now have to call your own. I will briefly discuss my attributions, as well as how accurate they were.
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There are a couple of factors that influence perception; they are attitudes, motives, moods, self-concept, interest, cognitive structure, and expectations. As I got engaged and with all the wedding planning, the thought of becoming part of a new family; a new sister and a new daughter was always on my mind. What was I getting myself into especially after hearing my mother in laws remarks the first time I met her. First impression makes it the hardest, you can never forget the first impression you got from someone, and as a result you always act I guess according to the impression that you have first received. It always is harder to change that first impression that you got and as a result we tend to form lasting opinions.
Growing up, I was always taught to be respectful and polite towards elders, especially when that elder was your “new mother”. I always pictured that I would love my mother in law and that she would love me in return. I always wanted a mother in law that respected me and treated me the same way that she would treat her own daughters and wish happiness on me and her son the same way she wished it upon her daughter. When we got married true colors showed and my dreams and expectations were not real and it was all an imagination. That’s not how it goes; I guess that’s why they’re called dreams. From our honeymoon, I knew my mother in law wasn’t going to be easy and that my road with my husband was going to be a very bumpy one. That’s why it is true that mother in laws are the ones that are more involved with the family. They’re the ones that cause the most problems for the children in laws.
It was mandated that we go every day off that my husband and I had. Even when it came to getting our new apartment together she would find out that were going out and then she would call us and we would have to cancel all our plans to go to her house. She didn’t want to see me happy with my husband and would always throw hurtful comments that one just can’t seem to forget no matter how many years go. Everything we wanted to do, or anywhere we wanted to go she wanted to know exact details and wants her way to go even though I live in my own apartment in another state. The holidays have to go the way she planned and doesn’t take into consideration what anyone else wants, but dare I say something all hell goes loose. What ends up hurting the most is that my mother in law doesn’t treat my new sister in law (husbands brothers wife) the same way she treated me. You could tell the difference in treatment from the day that my brother in law and his wife got engaged. Whenever I make comments to my husband anything he tells me that’s what you get when you don’t listen to me.
My mother in law is the type of person that loves talking on the phone and they were expecting me to call her everyday, twenty-four/seven and update her what I did, what I am doing, where I am going what I am cooking and so on. I guess since we didn’t get on a good start from the beginning I was not the type to actually want to go and visit her whenever I was in her neighborhood. I tried with my mother in law when we were engaged, I would call her two-three times a week and I would go every week with my husband to her house. I try cleaning and helping with my sick father in law, and try cooking and helping with laundry. Some times she would make faces about that is not how you do it, that is not how I cook, or she would re-clean what I just cleaned. I would always ask her what do you need me to help you with her answer was simply nothing I don’t need your help. She would have a doctors appointment and I would offer to take her she would tell me I don’t need you. I will still offer and get harsh comments. Even though I get the comments, I would still offer and the harshest comment was “I would rather die, than have you help me.” I guess I just stopped trying. I would still do the dishes and clean up after we eat dinner and clean the mess up after the kids’ plays. I don’t offer to take her to appointments or ask if she needs anything from the grocery store anymore.
In the end, I guess I could have tried harder from the beginning, but when I think about it, unless I was married to one of her other sons she would have loved me. The fact that I am married to her eldest and most favorite son makes it harder for her to grasp the concept of him being married and having a family of his own.
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