(Closed) What should I call my in-laws?

posted 6 years ago in Married Life
Post # 16
3208 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I would outwardly cringe if my in laws asked me to call them “mom” or “dad.” I used to call them Mr. and Mrs. [last name] when I was a teenager, but since hitting adulthood, I’ve transitioned to calling them by their first names pretty smoothly. 

Post # 17
2490 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018


I just call them by their first names

Post # 18
1531 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013


Bichon Frise:  I am in the same boat.  I avoid calling them anything as much as possible. Unfortunately they still refer to themselves as Mr. & Mrs. when they talk about eachother.  However I have been trying my best to call them by their first names.  I am not close enough to them to call them mom & dad and probably never will be.   My Darling Husband calls my parents mom & dad – he actually always has -but he is much closer to them.

Post # 19
12206 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Keep in mind, one doesn’t have to be quite so literal. To me it  means H’s “mom” or H’s “dad.” If that is what they prefer, it is a  small investment in family harmony.  It can also represent the idea that you and H  are a team in every way, including family.  What affects him and his family affects me and vice versa.  

The truth is, it’s only awkward the first handful of times you say it.  Inwardly, do I think “mom” is the same thing as Mom?  Of course not.  But whatever you do, don’t call them nothing.  That is neither  respectful nor mature. 

Post # 20
2480 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

As soon as my ex-husband and I were married my former ILs (who I didn’t have a huge amount in common with) immediately started signing birthday cards “Mum & Dad”. I never felt that we had that relationship so spent the years before I had my children not really calling them anything in face to face conversations. Once my sons came along things got easier because I called them “Nana and Grandad” in front of the boys!

Because we have an extended and blended family, Darling Husband and I tend to go by first names now for the partners of our children.  My American DIL calls me “Mum” (she likes English versions of names!) and my Darling Husband is “Pa”. Her own parents are “Mom & Dad”. My English DIL calls me and Darling Husband by our first names. 

We’re a fairly informal bunch though!

Post # 21
4505 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m with you; I would never call them mom and dad. If they don’t like being called by their first names, I would call them Mr. and Mrs. (or Ms.) so-and-so. This used to be the norm anyway — my mother STILL calls her in-laws Mr. and Mrs. 

Also, why does your husband refer to his mother as “your mother-in-law” to you? Why not just “my mom?” That seems so awkward to me. 

Post # 22
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Bichon Frise:  I call my in-laws the words for “mom” and “dad” in their primary language, which is what they want.  My husband calls my mom and dad “mom” and “dad” which is also what they want.  We also call each others’ grandparents by whatever names the family uses for them.  We both call my step-mom by her first name.

I guess I can see not having a great relationship with your in-laws and feeling uncomfortable calling them “mom” and “dad”.  For the people who avoid using any name at all, or find it uncomfortable, do you mind me asking why?  I’m curious if that tends to be the reason (not a close relationship).

Post # 23
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I call them by their first names now and will still call them by their first names after I’m married. I find it weird to call them mom and dad and feel that those titles are reserved solely for my parents. 

Post # 24
2570 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

When I talk to them I call them by their first names, when I am talking about them to other people I call them my Father in Law or Mother in Law, and when I talk about them to my husband I say “your mom” or “your dad”, but I call his step-mom by her first name when referring to her to my husband. My husband does the same with my family (first names or “SunflowerGarden’s mom/dad/etc.”) so we’re on the same page in that regard. Even if we weren’t I still wouldn’t call them Mr. or Mrs. or mom or dad.

I am very choosey about what I call people. I don’t feel comfortable referring to people who didn’t raise me as “mom” or “dad”. I don’t even call my biological father “dad”, I refer to him by his first name or I introduce him as “my father, firstname”.

Post # 25
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000

Bichon Frise:  I call them by their first names. Here in Ireland, that’s more common. They’d be the ones who’d feel awkward if I used Mr and Mrs So&So (which my mother did for her in-laws). I would never, ever call them mum and dad. They didn’t raise me, they’re not getting called that. That’d be pretty disrespectful to the folks who earned that title (not to mention really, really weird to me).

Post # 26
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014


Bichon Frise:  first names. And I would not agree to calling them mom and dad if they asked, because I already have a mom and a dad and those names are reserved for them. 🙂  

Post # 27
7646 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I call them by their first names. I would never feel comfortable enough calling them mom and dad, partly becuase I have my own mom and dad, and they are so amazing. I don’t want another set of parents.

Post # 28
810 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

First names for all inlaws. I love them, but we aren’t ‘mom and dad’ close.

Post # 29
2445 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My fiance has a mom and stepmom of sorts (his dad passed away when he was really young but they’ve maintained their relationship). I refer to them both by their first names. I only have one mom and no one else will be called that, regardless of how close I am with either of his moms.

Post # 30
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I use their first names. They even went through a phase where they tried to get Darling Husband to call them by their first names when he was a kid, lol, so I don’t expect to start “momming and dadding” them any time soon.

Although now that we’re past the wedding, my Mother-In-Law introduces me to folks as her daughter, not daughter-in-law, which I think is very sweet. 

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