Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Let me tell you about MIL

Debbie DeCarlo, aka MIL, and Jonah meeting for the first time.

MIL = Mother-in-law.

A few summers ago I was at the Jersey shore playing dominoes with my husband and his family when at some point during the game, for whatever reason, we realized that every combination of in-law creates a name.

Mother-in-law? MIL!
Father-in-law? FIL!
Daughter-in-law? DIL!

Maybe it was the wine, but I swear that we acted like we were the first ones to ever realize this. I remember a lot of laughter following, "It's your turn DIL." "You're going DOWN MIL!" "Pour me some wine, FIL!"

Over 7 years into my marriage, I am still so grateful for my in-laws. I met my husband in Peace Corps Mongolia. He was fresh out of college. I was fresh from five years in corporate America. Yes, I am the older woman. Call me Mrs. Robinson, I dare you.

I was so nervous for them to know about me, much less meet me. Would they think I was a cradle robber? Even worse. Desperate? They were as accepting, generous, kind and supportive then as they are today. If they think Shawn and I make silly, stupid mistakes, they never utter a word. They seem to want what is best for us, as defined by us.

But this is a mother's day tribute, so I want to talk about me and MIL. She has been surrounded by boys for the last 32 years. I have been surrounded by girls for the last 38. I am the woman married to her first born. I am a LEO and the youngest of 3 girls. Kind of seems like a recipe for disaster, neh?

But we get along really well. And I won't speak for MIL, but I love our relationship. I know it isn't always easy. I also know that we both work at it. We are a lot alike and a lot not. In the end, though, I feel like we are more friends than MIL and DIL.

MIL is funny. She is also confident and opinionated. At the same time she tries to understand all sides of a situation. I see a lot of MIL in my husband.

I have often thanked MIL and FIL for giving birth to my husband. I am sincere in that. The first time I saw him I thought, "This is the most interesting man I will ever meet." I still feel the same way.

Tomorrow is my first mother's day. When I went to the mailbox yesterday, I received my first Mother's Day Card. From MIL.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative