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Quick question, how do you address your in laws?

Mom and Dad?

Mr. and Mrs. Lastname?

First names?

While we were engaged, I asked my future ILs how they would like me to address them. They preferred Mr. and Mrs. Lastname, but said we'd talk about it again after the wedding.

Now that we are married, it seems weird calling them Mr. and Mrs. Lastname because at family gatherings, everyone else addresses them by their first names. I wanted to also call them by their first names because to me it feels like we are friends and all adults. So I asked again, and now they want me to call them Mom and Dad. MIL felt first names would not convey respect when there are grandchildren around someday.

The problem is I don't feel comfortable calling them mom and dad because to me, only my parents are my mom and dad. My MIL said she asked her friends and apparently, according to her survery, everyone uses Mom and Dad or Ma and Pa with the last initial for their ILs.

So, what do you call your ILs? Any other suggestions (MIL said she was open to other suggestions)? For now I've decided to stick with Mr. and Mrs. Lastname since they aren't comfortable with first names and I'm not comfortable with mom and dad.    

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Re: Quick question, how do you address your in laws?

  • I call them by their first names. 

    My parents addressed their in-laws by their first names and I never sensed any disrespect.  Of course, when they were talking to me about them, they referred to them as I did ("Grandma" and "grandpa".)

  • First names.

    I don't get their arguement about grandkids.

    Plus, I find it odd to go from "Mr and Mrs Smith" to "mom and dad".  I feel like a huge middle ground has been skipped over! 

     

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  • image wlsalbion:

    Mom and Dad?

    Mr. and Mrs. Lastname?

    First names?

    While we were engaged, I asked my future ILs how they would like me to address them. They preferred Mr. and Mrs. Lastname, but said we'd talk about it again after the wedding.

    Now that we are married, it seems weird calling them Mr. and Mrs. Lastname because at family gatherings, everyone else addresses them by their first names. I wanted to also call them by their first names because to me it feels like we are friends and all adults. So I asked again, and now they want me to call them Mom and Dad. MIL felt first names would not convey respect when there are grandchildren around someday.

    The problem is I don't feel comfortable calling them mom and dad because to me, only my parents are my mom and dad. My MIL said she asked her friends and apparently, according to her survery, everyone uses Mom and Dad or Ma and Pa with the last initial for their ILs.

    So, what do you call your ILs? Any other suggestions (MIL said she was open to other suggestions)? For now I've decided to stick with Mr. and Mrs. Lastname since they aren't comfortable with first names and I'm not comfortable with mom and dad.    

    I have the SAME issue with my IL's.  I have always called them by their first names.  Then, after DH and I got married, my MIL was insistent that I call her "Mom _____ (insert DH's last name here) ".  This made me feel very uncomfortable.  One, because to me, I only have one mom & one dad.  Two, because we aren't close - not even in the slightest. 

    I don't think it matters who your MIL is asking.  She should be asking you what name makes you comfortable.  She can ask neighbors, friends, coworkers, the whole sha-bang!  YOU are the one who has to address her. 

    She said she was open to suggestions.  Suggest calling her by her first name.  My MIL keeps addressing herself as whatever she wants, but I still call her by her first name.

    You: "MIL (insert her first name here), I really don't feel comfortable calling you Mom, Ma, Mama K., ect.  I feel that we are both adults and would like to refer to you as (insert MIL's first name here).  I hope that you can respect that."

  • First name. There are 4 in-laws and I was always worried about calling my MIL by our last name, but it is not the same as hers!

     When we have kids, I'm sure it will be Grandma so-and-so, or whatever name they get.  

  • I don't get their arguement about grandkids. -->Agreed! We don't even have any kids right now anyway.  

    Plus, I find it odd to go from "Mr and Mrs Smith" to "mom and dad".  I feel like a huge middle ground has been skipped over! -->Yes! I don't want to hurt their feelings, but it just doesn't feel right.

     

  • Mine have both passed away, but when we were first married I called them Mr. & Mrs. and tried to avoid calling their names at all whenever possible, it was uncomfortable.  After I had kids, I called them Granny and Paw Paw, just like my kids did.  I was very comfortable with this and they were too.
    Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone
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  • We (Meaning MIL and her other DIL) actually had a discussion about this before getting married.

    DIL has been a part of the family for 5 years and has always called them by their first names. MIL didn't seem offended by this at all, so I have just always called them by first name.

    Funny story though, when we first started dating, I didn't know how to address them at all, so for the first few months I didn't say their names or Mr. and Mrs. ____. Just waited till I had eye contact to ask a question! Silly, I know. 

     

  • I use the first name system, as do my BIL and SIL. My H and my two BILs call my parents by their first names as well. It certainly does not cause any confusion with the grandparents, I can assure you.

    Stick to what you are comfortable with. My MIL signs cards to me "Mom DHsLastName" and I still call her "FirstName." I don't think anybody is upset by this arrangement. 

  • Thanks for all the help! Looks like my survey had some different results. I didn't think first names were a weird way to address ILs, but I wanted to check.

    I decided to go with what makes me comfortable. I told her I agreed that Mr. and Mrs. Lastname feels distant and since we are family I preferred first names. I nicely said that when we have kids someday, hopefully she won't mind grandma (she's dying to be a grandma!), but since we don't have any kids now, that I hope first names would be okay in the meantime. We've been discussing this over e-mail, so I'll let you how it goes.  

  • First names. They wouldn't mind being called Mom and Dad, but I'm just not comfortable with that.

    The grandkid argument is ridiculous. How is it disrespectful for an adult to call another adult by her first name in front of children? It's not like you are going to tell your kids to call her "Jane" instead of "grandma".

  • I call them by their first names.
  • It was an easy decision for me and DH. First, we were in our 30s when DH and I met so while our parents are older, we're all adults. I call his dad and step-mom by their first names. DH always called his step-mom by her first name and sometimes calls his dad by his first name (DH's mom and stepdad were mom and daddy to him--they are now both deceased).

    DH calls my parents mom and dad most of the time and by their first names sometimes when we're in public and in a larger group. But they get along great and my mom was the second "mom" to most of friends growing up so she's used to being called that by more than me and my brother.

  • I call them by their first names and DH calls my parents by their first names. 

    My dad always called my mom's parents by their first names when speaking to them, but when talking to us, called them by their grandparent names.  There was no confusion on our parts. 

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  • I have the same issue. When my DH and I started dating 7 years ago, I called my IL's Mr. and Mrs. Lastname. When we got married in 2008, I assumed I would start calling my inlaws by their first names. It turned out it would work that way with my MIL but not with my FIL. He either wanted to be called Dad or Mr. Lastname, so Mr. Lastname it is. He is older and has a VERY traditional, old school mentality.

    My DH has called my parents by their first names since day one. My parents are the type of people who insist everyone, including my friends, call them by their first names. They are very relaxed, welcoming people.

    I will admit it's strange to call a "family member" Mr. Lastname.

  • this is all very strange to me.... maybe it is because we are southern and pretty casual. I call ILs by their first names, DH calls my parents by their first names, and we always have. I would think it very uncomfortable to go from Mr and Mrs to Mom and Dad after the wedding day. LIke other have said... I only have one mom and dad. 
  • image wlsalbion:

    Thanks for all the help! Looks like my survey had some different results. I didn't think first names were a weird way to address ILs, but I wanted to check.

    I decided to go with what makes me comfortable. I told her I agreed that Mr. and Mrs. Lastname feels distant and since we are family I preferred first names. I nicely said that when we have kids someday, hopefully she won't mind grandma (she's dying to be a grandma!), but since we don't have any kids now, that I hope first names would be okay in the meantime. We've been discussing this over e-mail, so I'll let you how it goes.  

     

    After reading your earlier post about her not treating your husband like an adult I would suggest really sticking to your guns on this one.

  • may i suggest the tried and true 'avoid' method? my parents have been married for over thirty years, and my father has never to my knowledge used any name or title to refer to my mother's parents when speaking directly to them. my mother has never noticed, so apparently he's quite adept at it!

     we haven't seen my FIL in five years, but i call him by his first name when i see him. and my MIL by her first name. DH does the same for my parents. both sets sign first names when they're sending something (like a bday card) to only the married partner, and 'mom and dad' if they're sending something to both of us.

  • I called my ILs by their first names and my SIL & DIL call me by my first name.  I think your MIL is wrong: first names are not less respectful than "Mom & Dad".  If grandkids come along someday, I'm sure you will refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa, or some version thereof.
  • first names

     



  • I've always addressed them by first names.  My husband calls my parents mom and dad, but I'm not comfortable calling his parents mom and dad because they aren't my mom and dad.

    When children come into the picture, it will be grandma (last name).

  • I call MIL "Mom first name."  I call FIL by his first name. 

    We see MIL lots more often since they are divorced.  

  • First Names.

    However, I do refer to his grandparents are "Nana" and "Pop Pop," because they prefer me to do so. I never sensed any disrespect.

    Actually, I felt weird when, about 2 months before the wedding, my H's mom left a message on my cell phone saying, "Hi, this is Mrs. _____!" All I could think was, "You know, in about 8 weeks, I'm going to be Mrs. ______. How about I just call you by your first name?" lol.

    Dave and Kathleen - 09.12.09:

    image 

  • I have always used her 1st name. I feel like because I was older when I met her, it was never an issue - I never considered calling her anything else. But she's not formal at all either.

    My SS calls her Grandma Nancy, but my DD calls her Nana.

    So now MIL signs cards to us...
    "Love, Mom, Nancy, Grandma Nancy, Nana"

    - Jena
    image
  • i've been with my husband for ten years. i have always skipped over the part to call inlaws anything. if i need to talk to them i just wait until they are talking to me. hahaha

    im shy

     if im talking to my SIL (almost 10 years younger than me) i refer to them as mom and dad.

    so after being married almost three years my MIL finally get me a birthday card address to DIL and signs it "love mom and dad" . hahahaha that took almost three years.

  • srgwsrgw member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    First names.
  • I call my IL's by their first names and my husband calls my mom, mom its all whats comfortable. My IL's don't treat me like family so i will never call them mom & dad or grandma & grandpa. My husband feels like family with my family so he acts like it. Its all up to whats comfortable with you. 
  • First names.

    I agree with you, my Mum and dad are the only ones who get that title.

    Plus I'm not even a little bit close to MIL. I would never call her Mum. 

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  • First names.  I was also older when I met DH.
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  • first names

    MIL goes by a nickname anyway and that is what she prefers.

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  • Mrs.H.Mrs.H. member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    MIL felt first names would not convey respect when there are grandchildren around someday

     

    Since she said the above phrase, turn it on her. Tell her it would not convey respect to your own parents it you were to call her Mom.

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