(Closed) MIL wants me to call them Mom and Dad

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 47
1132 posts
Bumble bee

@Yellow515:  I think you should call them Mum and Dad. It doesn’t mean that it replaces the meaing of the word. If it helps you to build a better relationship with your in laws then why not? Obviously they are quite hurt because you wont call them that, but does it hurt you to actually call them that?

Post # 48
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I just don’t call them anything. When I’m referring to them in conversation I use their first names. When I’ve written them thank you notes for things, I’ve used their first names. Other than that, I just don’t call them anything. I don’t think Fiance calls my mom anything either. When he’s talking to me he refers to her as “your mother” or, occasionally, “momma,” but most of my friends in college called my mom “Momma S” or “Momma LastName.” I’ve seen “Mom and Dad LastName” listed as alternatives, would “Mom and Dad LastInitial” be more comfortable for you?

Post # 49
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t do it. I’ve called them by their first names since the moment I met them. I call his dad ‘dad’ sometimes and he LOVES it.

Post # 50
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I agree with you – “Mom” and “Dad” are reserved for my mom and dad. Why? Because they are special to me and are my only mom and dad. They raised me, not SO’s parents. So why do SO’s parents get to take credit by having me call them that. Sorry, but no. 

I don’t think it’s that strange that they wanted to be addressed as Mr. and Mrs. Last Name. It is more formal, and if they don’t have a particularly casual relationship with their own son, I’d hazard a guess that they’d be mighty uncomfortable having one with you. Sure, it’s not the ideal situation, but at least they were clear about what they wanted. Now that you’re married into the family though, it would absolutely be strange to still call them Mr. and Mrs. Last Name. If first names are out of the question (weird, in my opinion!), I would most likely be socially awkward and avoid personal pronouns whatsoever. It’d be an uncomfortable “hey… you. Do you want some help with the dishes?” or, “please sir, can I have some more?”… that’s just me though, and I really can’t see it going well for anyone trying the strategy, including myself.

In the end though, I’d rather it be completely socially awkward than call someone other than my parents “Mom” and “Dad”. Those names need to be earned, not married into.

Post # 51
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@Yellow515:  This is a pretty strange situation, and I’m sorry you’re having to go through this!

I agree with you though and think you should keep your strong stance on NOT calling them mom or dad…those names are reserved for your ACTUAL mom and dad!

I first met my FIL’s when I was 26, and at the beginning when our relationship was still informal, I called them Mr and Mrs Last Name. Shortly after that, though, I was able to call them by their first names and have been ever since. Sometimes for fun I will call them Mama last name and Papa last name, though not very often. My Fiance also calls my mom by her first name.

You’re in a tough situation and it’s hard to tell you how to deal with difficult people…it’s just strange that they’re requesting all of these formalities out of you :/

Post # 52
3277 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think such issues depend on upbringing and culture. My parents are very old fashioned and traditional, so my husband has to call them Mr and Mrs (lastname) or Mom and Dad. He would rather call my parents by their first names, but my parents do not like that. 

I call my in-laws by their first names or sometimes Mom and Dad. Because of the way I was raised, I do not like calling my in-laws by their first names. I was raised to respect elders and part of showing respect is not using first names. 


Post # 53
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I had never heard of anyone calling their in-laws mom and dad before I met my husband! He called my parents ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ right from the start, but he knew them already because he’s friends with my brother, so he was already comfortable with them. I have called my in-laws by their first names from the start. It’s odd to just change that and start calling them mom and dad…I’m not sure I can do it! I have referred to them as mom or dad only over email or text with them, I have never called them it to their face. It’s so awkward because I already have a mom and dad and technically my in-laws are not my mom and dad! I’m finding it difficult, I’m glad someone else is too!

My mom and dad never called their in-laws ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ either…is this something that’s been around for a long time and my family is one of the odd ones that just never did it?

Post # 54
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

In your case, I’d proabably go with Mother/Father Lastname

In my case, we call each others’ parents by their first names, and our own by their nicknames. He calls his parents Momma & Daddy. I call my parents Mom & Dad. So at least we don’t have any confusion over who’s referred to as what!

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