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Quick question, how do you address your in laws?


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

  • I call my IL's by there first name or Mr and Mrs M. They refer to themselves as a variation of things to me from first name, Mr and Mrs M, To the full last name. When we have kids it will be some variation of grandma and grandpa in front of the kids. I call DH's grandparents Grandma First name, and Grandpa lastname (different side of the family). Which is what DH calls them. I'm only comfortable calling my parents mom and dad and when I was with my ex I called his parents mom and dad bc I was young, had a difficult home situation and lived with them some.
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  • My ILs pretty much feel the same way yours do.  First names don't show respect (they said I should be calling my boss Mr. when I work in a very informal environment).  Wanted to be called mom and dad which frankly I don't like them enough to do.

    I didn't call them anything for a while.  Now I call them by their first names.  I told DH I didn't like any of the other options and if they wanted me to call them Mr. and Mrs. they could refer to me as Mrs. as well.  They don't seem to have a problem with the first name things anymore although I think they'd prefer mom and dad.

  • I think it is ultimately what you feel comfortable with.  My personal opinion is also yours, I think it's weird to go from Mr. & Mrs. to Mom and Dad.  While my inlaws treat me like family and also call me their daughter at times, I just have a difficult time with it.  First names were never offered to me the entire 7 years we dated although they would sign cards Mama and Papa P. at times. I think they started it as a joke and it's just continued.  So I kinda go by these rules...

     1.  If signing cards for birthday, mothers day, etc...we use mom and dad because it's from me and my husband.

    2.  If an email b/w just me and one of them, I go back and forth with Mom/Dad P. or use their first names.

    3.  If in person, I refrain from using anything but if forced to I will usualy call them by first name now.  I tend to refer to them in conversation more than actually call them by their name, so in that case I use first names or say my father in law.

  • Growing up, everyone addressed friends' parents or other elders as Mr./Miss Firstname. Ex- Mr. John and Miss Jane.  "Miss" even for married ladies; no clue why.  That's how I address my inlaws and it works well.  DH followed my lead and addresses my mother this way, too.  It's casual, but not too.
  • image Karen2905:

    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".)

    This is what we do.... the kids don't get confused or see it as a lack of respect at all and my MIL is VERY formal and proper.

  • Does she call you by your first name? If is that conveying respect for you to the grandkids? Or does only she get respect? Her argument makes no sense...I would do first name or just not address her at all.
  • First name basis

    Weird that they are more comfortable with mom and dad than their first names.

  • I use their first names.

    I would not call them Mom and Dad even if they asked; they aren't my parents.  

    As for kids, I think their first names convey plenty of respect.  If that does become an issue, it's easily avoided...just refer to them the way the kids do.  I call my ILs Yia Yia and Papou (Greek for grandma and grandpa) when my girls are around and everyone is ok with that.  The conversations where I am addressing the ILs more directly and using their names aren't ones where the kids tend to be around in the first place. 

  • Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. I really appreciate it. I feel very confident now in calling them by their first names.
  • When I speak to them at all I call them by their first names.  DH and my SIL both call my parents by their first names.

    My mom hates being Mrs _________, she's always said that's my Dad's mom, even thought Dad's mom is remarried and has a different last name. 

    She only lets her children call her mom and she readily admits that she doesn't feel "motherly" to other peoples children, although having a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law has changed that some. (Especially since my in laws are such wackadoos.)

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  • I go back and forth. Sometimes I call them by their first names or I call them mom and dad or by their nicknames (by husband and his brothers call them mops and pops sometimes!) I'm really not sure what else you would call them unless you did a variation on mom and dad and instead did ma and pa or something of that nature.
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  • First names basis.  Thats how I am used to it, I will never never call them mom/dad, cause they arent my mom/dad.
  • I call them Mr. and Mrs. P.  Not last name, just P :)
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  • I call my in-laws by their 1st names and DH call my parents by their 1st names, too, (maybe once in a while he calls my mom, "Mom"). Even when we were dating we never used Mr./ Mrs. last name.
  • I refer to them by their first names, they are not my mom and dad and will not be addressed as such.

    If and when we have children they will be refered to as Grandma and Grandpa when the children are around to hear and still their first names when they aren't.

    "You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness."
  • When we where engaged I called them by their first names and sometimes Mr. And Mrs. Lastname. Now that we are married I call them by thier first names or mom and dad,, it depends on who we are with or if they respond to a female voice callin them mom and dad. My husband is the oldest and only has a brother.  My sisters have kids so my parents are Nana and Papa and his parents want to be grandma and grandpa, so we use those names to let our dog know whose house we are going to, seeing as kids will come hopefully in the next few years.


    Good luck!

  • Good News! MIL said they loved me and wanted me to be comfortable, so she accepted that I preferred first names. :) I feel so much better. Thank you so much for all the help!
  • Of course they love you. they are parents their job is love their children and their mate :). I use their first names too 
  • My MIL always refers to my FIL as "Mr. FristName" when talking to me, maybe not so much anymore but she used to. My husband's, sister's, husband calls them "Mr. & Mrs. FirstName" but to me that sounds childish. We're all adults, I only talk to authoritive figures like that. We call his neighbors "Mr. & Mrs. FirstName" because my husband has since he was a kid.

    At first it was super uncomfortable, I did the same thing, wait for them to look my way or address me, but eventually I just called them by thier first names and my husband does the same for my parents.

    But funny is that I have been wondering for a while if this was normal so it's awesome that this post came up & now I know it's pretty common!

  • and I also agree, I feel uncomfortable calling them Mom & Dad because I'm very close to my family & it just doesn't feel right to refer to someone else as that.
  • First names. We are all family, the formality of Mr. and Mrs. just doesn't seem to bode well with us when we get together. Of course, our get togethers are usually more casual and fun than maybe some families.

    As for the grandchildren argument, my parents always referred to each of their respective ILs by first names, unless talking to my brother and me (or any of our cousins). When talking to one of the grandchildren our grandparents were always referenced by the names we (the grandchildren) used for them.

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  • *If* I addressed them by name at all, the first couple of years of marriage, I addressed them by Mr. & Mrs. Lastname.  Now, I only saw them a couple of times in that time.  Towards the later end of that time, one of them caught that I had addressed them by Mr & Mrs. Lastname and quickly asked why.  I mentioned that they hadn't actually told me to call them by anything else.  By then we had babies, so while I was told to call them by their first names, I just made a point not to call them by their first names and instead called them by the names they had chosen for the grandkids (Granny and Old Grouch).  I even stopped referring to my own parents by their names or by Mom and Dad and just called them Grandma and Papa.
  • Out on a limb here.

    Just before the wedding (we'd been dating 5 years) future MIL asked me to call her Mama, which is the "mom" of DHs family (grandmama/mama). That was a lot easier to transition to than Mom since it was distinct from what I called my mom. It was also much easier for DH to transition to Mom for my mom. She passed away many years ago, but DH has stuck with Mom for my mom.

    I liked that compromise although after her death when I reference my MIL I just call her Lisa.

    We both called our dad's dad though and DH worked at the same company as my dad for a couple of years so they got into the habit of first names. DH isn't terribly close to his dad and there was the matter of a divorce- DH's last name is hyphenated from his mom/dad and we didn't actually know if is dad dropped the hyphen after the divorce or not... so I awkwardly avoided Mr X-Y or Mr. Y for years. At this point I'd probably call him dad if I really needed to call him anything (He's a good guy and I don't think my dad mind's sharing the honorific)- but I haven't really needed to call him anything in years. He has the same name as one of my uncles and it feels stranger to call him Bruce than to just call him dad.

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  • I call them by their first names. And when it comes to the kids (aka, when my kids are around, or when i'm having the kids address the grandparents) it's Grandma (insert first name) or Grandpa (insert first name). And sometimes my daughter throws the last name in there too. But that's cause she's a dork =]
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