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Saturday, April 10, 2010

It's Either Her or Me

How many of you have said those very words? Either as the unwelcomed girlfriend or the scorned mother-in-law?

I am so thankful that I have never, not ONCE felt that way, but I know that I very well could be "that" mother-in-law if I don't keep my manners in check!

Ellie Slott Fisher, author of Dating for Dads and  Mom, There's a Man in the Kitchen and He's Wearing Your Robe, tackles this issue fearlessly in her book It's Either Her or Me, which hit bookstores March 23rd (Bantam Books, 240 pages, $15.00).

While I found the book entertaining and certainly full of helpful solutions for some awkward in-law situations, I have to admit I wasn't riveted. I am an avid reader, and I can easily sit down and devour a book in one sitting if it captures my attention right off. So, I was disappointed when I had trouble getting through the first couple of chapters after a week.

I have had a chance to really think about why that is.

I am happy to report that it's not because of the writing (which flows easily) but rather because, first, I am not experiencing either of the issues she speaks of in the book...THANK GOD (For the record, I adore both my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law)! Since it's not a hot-button issue, it's been difficult for me to lock in.

Secondly, I don't necessarily agree with her on some issues; such as it doesn't matter what your son's girlfriend/fiancee/wife's religion is as long as she makes him happy since my relationship with God is paramount in my life. I would honestly be deeply troubled if he were to marry outside of that. (That's not to say I wouldn't make every effort to love the girl and welcome her wholeheartedly into our family, but it would be a supreme effort.)

I also had a hard time following the story of each "character" because the different scenarios hop around from chapter to chapter. Maybe it's just because I'm a methodical reader, but I think I would have preferred to have each story told from beginning to end in one place.

Chapter Seven opens with a mom being surprised when her seventeen-year-old son walks in the room-in the morning wearing his boxers and a t-shirt--- with a teenaged girl behind him. Fisher then goes on to discuss the difficulty in acknowledging your children are sexually active.

Again, I have to say that I would IN NO WAY react kindly to this scenario playing out in my home. We have very strong beliefs about sexual activity before marriage and to have one of our children not only overstep those beliefs, but do so in our own home--and before they are even legally adults--would certainly make my head explode. No, I'm not a prude, and no I wasn't perfect--but I can say I carry the scars from not listening. So, while I can't make my children's decisions for them--especially as they enter their late teens/college years--I certainly can control what I condone and do not in my home and the message I send as far as what is acceptable and what isn't.

I had a hard time with the discussion of a mother speaking to the parents of her son's girlfriend. The girlfriend's parents, apparently, had no problem with the two teens having sex, and reassured the mother that their daughter was using birth control. The son's mother replied that she didn't want to discuss her son's sex life with the girlfriend's parents as the son's sex life was none of her business.  Say what? I disagree wholeheartedly with both sets of parents' feelings, so reading much further was difficult for me.

If you come from a more liberal viewpoint, this book will be a no-brainer and thoroughly enjoyable. If, however, you share my more conservative take on things, I think you may take issue with some of the philosophies presented in the book, like I did.

Ellie Slott Fisher most definitely has a gift for telling a story and getting a point across. Unfortunately, I just didn't agree enough with her perspective to say that I love this book.

If you'd like to find out more about Ellie Slott Fisher, you can visit her website: http://www.elliefisher.com/

You can also check out her blog at http://www.elliefisher.com/ellieblog or check out her facebook and twitter pages here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Slott-Fisher/40168594799 and http://www.twitter.com/EllieSFisher, respectively.

*The book reviewed above was given to ManyP by Random House. MandyP was not compensated financially in any way for this review. The thoughts and opinions are solely those of MandyP.

5 comments:

  1. hmmm sounds interesting... But TBH I don't think I will be reading it. Just not the book for me. LOL

    BTW I left you an award on my blog!! :)

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  2. I am so blessed to have great in-laws too! Wow. Just read through all of the drama going on with your anonymous commenter.

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  3. Oh my...I couldn't agree with you more. Truthfully, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I hear of advice like this being given to parents. Yikes. I will also not be reading this one!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  4. I feel very grateful to have wonderful relationships with my mother-in-law and sister-in-laws. I hope when I am a mother-in-law I will have a great relationship with my daughter-in-law, but I have at least 15-20 years until that happens!

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  5. Clearly you have not lived with your in-laws... just kidding. My relationship with my MIL has actually improved! However, the FIL, well... sometimes it's better to not say anything at all.

    And about the book. Yeahhhhh, don't think I want to read that one. Seventeen year-old's getting it on in my house? I don't think so. Oh, I pray not so. I pray that being open about my mistakes and discussing why they were mistakes will prevent all of that! Yikes.

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