You Loved Him First

You loved him first.

Your love for him was instant. It was an unconditional love that started before you even met him. You were the first one to kiss him. You showed him what true love looked like.

You sacrificed your time, body, and heart for for him. You spent many sleepless nights worrying about him. You taught him how to walk, talk, read, and write.

You gave up your career for 10 years to stay home and raise your sons. You were there to witness all of his firsts: his first words, the first day of school, first heartbreak, and first time leaving home.

For so many years, you were the love of his life. You were his world. He cherished every moment he spent with you. He adored spending time cooking, cuddling, and playing cars with you.   


20 years later, I entered the picture. Accepting me into your son’s life couldn’t have been easy. But you immediately made me feel like family with your warm embrace after you saw me walking hand and hand with your son. I can’t imagine the day my sons will find their soulmate and introduce us for the first time. I can only hope I handle the situation as gracefully as you did.  

Over the next two years, you quietly backed away while our relationship blossomed. By the time we got engaged, I could tell that you loved me like one of your own children. You were considerate and gracious throughout the wedding planning process. You weren’t the typical overbearing and pushy mother-in-law. You welcomed my family into yours without hesitation.

On our wedding day, you officially welcomed me into your family with a tender hug. I realize it’s not often one actually loves their mother-in-law, and I’m proud to be one of those fortunate individuals with two moms who love me unconditionally, flaws and all.  

Thank you for raising the strongest, most caring husband I could ask for. Thank you for teaching him to do traditionally “wifely duties” like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. I’m appreciative that you taught him how to be a self-sufficient, independent man. Thank you for always supporting our decisions, whether or not you agree with them (like the time we bought a puppy two months before moving across the country to California).

Thank you, most importantly, for letting me love your last born.


As a grandma, you shine like no other. You were made for this role. You love our boys as much (maybe even more) than your own two sons. Watching the boys’ eyes light up when you walk through the door makes my heart melt.

You are always there when we need you. You have been at our house at a moment’s notice when I needed an extra set of hands no matter how tired you were or what plans you made for the day. We appreciate the endless hours you have spent helping us raise the kids. You have helped me through motherhood immensely but, at the same time, let me do things my way even if we didn’t see eye-to-eye. 

While I always give you heat about spoiling the boys with toys and treats, I know deep down that is your way of showing your love to them. They know that whenever they have a sleepover at Grandma’s, they will be coming home with a new present. Even though our house is being overrun by mountains of toys, I still love you. I’m told this is what being a Grandma is all about.

Thank you for teaching your son that parenthood is a 100/100 effort, not 80/20. For showing him that a dad can do everything a mom can do. From the moment our boys were born, he dove head-first into parenthood, never once shying away from challenges or scary moments.

My promise to you.

Here is a promise that I want to make to you. I promise to love your son the way you loved him when you first laid eyes on him 37 years ago. I promise to always cherish him the way you did as you rocked him to sleep every night as an infant. I promise to support and encourage him as you did throughout his endless years of schooling. I promise to raise my three boys to be just like their father: patient, compassionate, and loyal. And I promise to be the affectionate and fun-loving grandma to my boys’ children.

And, most importantly, I promise to love and accept their spouses as selflessly as you did to me. I love you and am so grateful to call you my mom.

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Steffanie married her college sweetheart and now resides in Northville. She is a graduate of Michigan State University (go green!) and worked in advertising & marketing until she became a stay-at-home mom when she had three boys under 3 years old. She loves photography, crafting with the kids and making digital photo books. When she isn’t busy cleaning up Legos or kissing boo boos you will find her practicing yoga or curled up on the couch with some ice cream catching up on her favorite reality shows.


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