#Microblog Mondays: What’s in a Name? Pt II


Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


I would say that I have a complicated relationship with my mother-in-law, as I’m sure most people would. She’s a nice enough person, but I feel like the daughter in law is always viewed as the one who takes the son away from his mother, to some extent (even if she doesn’t hold it against me ha ha). I’m fairly close with my husbands family, in that we see them fairly often, have vacationed with them, ect. But even with all that, it’s just not the same as my own family, the one I grew up with, aunts, uncles and cousins that pepper the memories of my childhood. Of course, how could it be? Yet, as I witness other daughters-in-law calling their mothers-in-law “Mom”, I think, “I could never…” My mother in law is not my Mom. I call her by her first name, and that’s as far as it’s ever going to go. Her and my father-in-law will sign cards, and emails with “Mom” and “Dad” which is all good and well, but I would still never call them that. I don’t know, maybe I’m being weird about it but my Mom is the person who raised me, and she earned that title by mothering me. What do you call your mother-in-law? Would you ever call her “Mom” (if you don’t already)?

28 thoughts on “#Microblog Mondays: What’s in a Name? Pt II

  1. OH no-absolutely not. I have a very tricky relationship with my in-laws, but at it’s best I would never call them mom and dad. If they send something just to me they sign it with their first names. If it’s to Chief and I they sign it Mom and Dad. We definitely don’t have that kind of relationship and never will-you’re not alone!

  2. Sometimes I call her mom2 (texts and emails), sometimes I call her by her name. Sometimes its just dirty looks in her general direction. It depends on the day!! But I would never ever call her Mom2 in front of my family or on texts/emails that include them. But she calls me her daughter, so its an odd line to walk! I think everyone walks it differently, and there isnt a wrong way to go about it.

    • Yeah it is a bit of a tricky line, and I am not one to be very emotionally open in that way…I guess. My MIL usually refers to me as her daughter in law, or her son’s wife. Which is fair, I think it would be weird if she called me just “daughter”, just as weird as me calling her “mom”.

  3. Nope, wouldn’t call her Mom, however I do call my FIL “Dad”. I think because I have a way better relationship with him and because my own Dad is gone. My relationship with MIL is tumultuous at best. Even when I think we’re in a good place, she ruins it with her odd accusations and lies.

    • I feel bad, because it’s not like a I have a super bad relationship with my MIL but I could still never call her “mom”. I, too, have less of a problem calling my FIL “dad” but I don’t know that I’ve ever called him that to his face. But when he emails just me, he refers to himself as dad, and he did ask me if that was ok and I told him it was fine. My mom raised me alone, I know who my dad is, but he was not in the picture so that’s probably why I feel comfortable referring to FIL as dad. The father I do have isn’t much of a dad.

  4. I call her by her first name. I would NEVER call her Mom. When I first met her, she seemed like a nice enough person, but she has exhibited crazy behavior, sometimes acts like a child, and has never really had to take care of herself. If it were up to me, I’d have nothing to do with her, but she’s my husband’s mom, so I do my best to tolerate her.

  5. I think my MIL is very nice and we get along, but I would never call her “mom”. As far as I know, I’m the only in-law that doesn’t. Perhaps it’s a regional thing?? When I told some members of my family about the practice, they were equally baffled.

  6. I’m the same way…very close relationship with his family but I cal my MIL by her name. I have never in my life heard people call their MILs that until I moved to TX. My brothers GF calls my mom that and at first she was weirded out and now just goes with it. Still I don’t think I’ll ever cross to that point.

  7. I have been married … cough … 31 years as of last week … and I have never called my MIL mum. Like you say, she is not my Mum – I have one of those. And I only had one Dad too, and now he’s gone I’m not calling my FIL that either.

    For a long time I didn’t call her anything. My husband asked them both (MIL and FIL) what they’d like me to call them, but they never really answered. So now I just use their names. There have been a few cases when it has been awkward. She always calls herself “Mum” to me, despite the fact I’ve never called that. I remember her phoning me once (it’s a rare occurrence), I answered the phone, and she said, “Hi, it’s Mum.” I was about to say “sorry, wrong number” and hang up, because her voice so clearly wasn’t my mother’s, but stopped myself just in time when I realised that it was MIL!

    I’m the only daughter-in-law who doesn’t call her Mum. But the other three are all foreigners so they never called their mothers “Mum,” so they never had the same issue.

    • Congrats on 31 years! So clearly if you haven’t grown to calling your MIL “mum” I probably won’t either. I think my MIL would like it, but I’m sure she would feel awkward about ever suggesting it. She’s not that forward anyways.

  8. Candis b

    Just stumbled onto your blog and thought I’d comment here as I a mother in law to three daughter in laws. I told them right away that they had a mom and, though they were welcomed to call me mom, I had a nice first name and that it worked just fine for me for them to call me by my name. I love these girls a lot but did not need them to call me mom.

  9. It took my years to call my MIL “Ma”. I mean my mum is still alive, and I would rather just call her by her first name. But it made her so happy. I don’t make it a habit but every now and then I say it if I’m feeling sentimental and she seems to appreciate it. I think she just wanted a daughter.

  10. Hmmm. I call my inlaws by their first names, even though I feel very much mothered by my MIL. I guess it’s because in my first marriage, I called my MIL “Mom” and it caused a lot of friction with my actual mom, for strange competitive reasons I don’t entirely understand. I have two sets of inlaws (as does my husband) thanks to remarriages, so it’s just easier to do first names all the way around. I think going with Grandma/Grandpa when the children arrive will be a nice cop-out! 🙂 Most of the time I just don’t address anyone by their name or title if I don’t have to. I can see how this would be trickier if you had a difficult relationship!

  11. My MIL calls her MIL “Mom” and her FIL “Dad” and refers to them lovingly as “the folks.” She has a complicated relationship with her own parents, so I think it’s comforting for her to have her in-laws. Personally, I’m with you. I call my in-laws by their first names. It would be strange for me to call them anything else.

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