10 Things It’s Okay to Say to Your Mother-in-Law
The mother-in-law relationship is one many struggle with.
She gave birth to the man who helped you create the children you gave birth to.
In many ways, you get her protectiveness. You can probably empathize with her desire to be as close to and involved with the care and keeping of the babies her baby helped create.
But, also? Sometimes? You want your husband to grow a pair — a pair that will give him the gumption to tell his mama to butt out and get a life, along with a fairly long list of other things that you don't want to say out loud in polite company.
Please don't give my child candy. Definitely not after you heard me say he can't have it. I don't need to explain my choice here because the dietary restrictions that I've set forth for my children are my decision.
But if you need a reason, here are a few: he's allergic to peanuts, and there are trace amounts in that chocolate, whose label you didn't bother to read. Also he just brushed, and it's 9 a.m., and he refused breakfast, and HE DOESN'T NEED ANY CANDY. Because I say so.
Please don't undermine my authority. My children don't need you to stick up for them, and I don't need to feel like the bad guy because you think a few hours of TV “isn't going to hurt anybody.” My kid, my rules.
Please don't make promises to my children that you can't keep. — Emily S.
If you'd like to ask my permission, please don't do it in front of my child. Again, it puts me in a difficult position where I feel pressured to do what you/my child wants or to get into the I look bad, you look awesome situation.
For the record, I am awesome. Ask your son!
Please don't show my child inappropriate things when they are at your home. Now, I know this one is hard because what you think is inappropriate seems to vary greatly from what I'd slide into that category — that's cool.
But I think we can agree on a few things: R-rated movies, violent videos, anything that involves swearing and nudity, and Spongebob are all a no-go.
If all else fails, just ask me.
Don't have my son call to ask. Don't ask me in front of my son. Don't passive aggressively say over dinner, “Welllll, we were going to go see The Hunger Games, but your mommy thinks it's ‘too mature' for you.” Just pull me aside, or send me a text, or call while he's playing out front and ask.
Please don't try to give my child a kitten every time she visits. — Ashley S.
Please don't make my child feel guilty for choices I make. I'm the one who said he's not old enough for a sleepover. I decided that he couldn't accept the kitten. I'm the one who purchased that house coat for your birthday instead of the cruise you asked for. He doesn't deserve to be made to fee like he doesn't love you enough. He loves you plenty, maybe even more than you deserve, based on this behavior!
Don't baby him to the point of regression. He's off the binky. He's no longer wearing Pull-ups. We JUST transitioned him to a sippy cup. Please don't give him a pacifier, or put him in a diaper, or make him a bottle because “he's just a baby.” You just make his life harder while also making me want to ban you from my house.
Please don't take them to their “first” anything because, strange as it is, I'm the parent, and I'd like to experience that “first” with them. — Meghan F.
Please know that I have the best interest of this family in mind. THIS family. I have to put my marriage and the raising of my children ahead of pretty much all other things. But know also that I want you to be happy, and I want my children to have a close and a loving relationship with you. If not for you, then for them. Provided you act like a decent person. And stop judging everything I do. And buying me pants that are 6 sizes too big. And asking about my hair. Because, yes, I MEANT to do it like this.Read More