Gransnet forums

Relationships

How is a mother-in-law addressed?

(253 Posts)
ElderlyPerson Fri 17-Sep-21 09:31:20

How is a mother-in-law addressed?

For example, upon returning from honeymoon is a new daughter-in-law told something like

"Now you are married you can call me Auntie Jane if you like."

And then she is treated the same as a niece, with cards signed

Love from Auntie Jane

So she is not then regarded as "the mother-in-law".

MrsEggy Fri 17-Sep-21 10:10:42

MayBeMaw, As a child in the 40s in Birmingham I called all my Mom's friends "Auntie - Auntie Alice, Helen and so on. It was very usual in the Midlands then.

Baggs Fri 17-Sep-21 10:11:42

If they had been Mr Surname all along then they are not mistakenly thought of as one of the peer group and so many of the problems often do not arise.

Hierarchical power can be maintained without nominal formality. I work in an organisation where that is true and presents no problems.

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Sep-21 10:21:53

MrsEggy

MayBeMaw, As a child in the 40s in Birmingham I called all my Mom's friends "Auntie - Auntie Alice, Helen and so on. It was very usual in the Midlands then.

As did I - my parents’ next door neighbour was always “Auntie Jessie” to me - also a lady of a certain age. Their neighbours on the other side were much younger and once I was in my teens asked that I call them Pat and Bill.
I think we all did in those days- only not mothers in law/ fathers in law.

grandMattie Fri 17-Sep-21 10:24:21

I was amused and flattered, when we got married, to be invited by MiL to call her by her first name. SiL who had been married about 9 years to their daughter was only allowed to call her Mrs…!

Audi10 Fri 17-Sep-21 10:24:28

I am called by my Christian name,

NotSpaghetti Fri 17-Sep-21 10:24:38

Another one here for "first name"
I call my mother-in-law by her first name and my children's partners all call me by my first name.

CafeAuLait Fri 17-Sep-21 10:25:51

Baggs

*If they had been Mr Surname all along then they are not mistakenly thought of as one of the peer group and so many of the problems often do not arise.*

Hierarchical power can be maintained without nominal formality. I work in an organisation where that is true and presents no problems.

Maybe this is where some of the problem arises. There is no hierarchy by age in my house. In my house, I'm the main woman. When it comes to my children, mother trumps GM. You may have a mutually respectful relationship but if you try to have authority because you're older, the GM, or think you're the boss of me - I will see you seldom if ever.

AmberSpyglass Fri 17-Sep-21 10:29:53

This thread is so odd - is anyone really so formal these days?!

FlexibleFriend Fri 17-Sep-21 10:30:50

I called my Mil by her first name, would have been weird to call her anything else as we worked for the same company. My Dil calls me mum, which is her choice or nanny if grandson is present.

Newatthis Fri 17-Sep-21 10:38:35

I assumed that I would be able to call my MiL by her first name when we got married given that everyone else did, even the 6 year old next door. However, when I asked if I could she said 'No, but you may call me mother" I pointed out that I only had one mother. After that I didn't call her anything. If I had to speak about her to DH I would say 'your mum ....' . She was a very nasty person though.

NotSpaghetti Fri 17-Sep-21 10:47:36

My mother-in-law avoided calling her mother-in-law anything.
If she had to call her something she shortened the surname and called her "Mrs P".

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 17-Sep-21 10:50:57

All my in law children call me by my first name.

Mallin Fri 17-Sep-21 10:55:34

Friends husband calls her mother Mrs M. Short for Mrs Mother in Law.
It always sounds very affectionate.

BlueBelle Fri 17-Sep-21 10:56:42

My daughter in law calls me by my first abbreviated name .sounds fine to me, can’t understand the aunty business where does auntie come into it ? 😂
All my mums friends were aunty but they don’t seem to do that now
For my own mother in law I called her Mum Surname so say Mum smith

kittylester Fri 17-Sep-21 11:02:40

Actually, the grandchildren call me Ma and so do 2 of mummy sons in law. My dil and other sil call me by my first name.

grannyactivist Fri 17-Sep-21 11:24:09

My daughters still tend to call me ‘mummy’ or ‘mother’, my sons call me ‘mum’ - and all of my in-laws use my name. My mother in law always referred to her mother-in-law as ‘gran’.

My parents-in-law (by their own choice) are only referred to by their first names, by everyone in the family including their children.

Cuckooz Fri 17-Sep-21 11:29:40

My SIL and DIL use my first name.

Salmo Fri 17-Sep-21 11:39:52

I called my MiL Mum when addressing her, I liked to do so and didn't realise it wasn't usual. When talking about her she was DH Mum or Granny

grannylyn65 Fri 17-Sep-21 11:41:36

My daughter in law is Dil and I am mil!

mrswoo Fri 17-Sep-21 11:43:20

Prior to marrying her son My MiL wanted me to call her Mrs R‐---. After we were married I asked DH what I should now call her and he suggested I call her by her first name. Wrong! Apparently I was to call her "Mother in Law". I ended up never calling her anything at all.
Incidently, she insisted that my son from my first marriage call her Mrs R---
She was, as they say, a right piece of work.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 17-Sep-21 11:54:59

Nowadays I think practically everyone uses first names.

I remember my mother being offended by my brother-in-law calling her "mother-in-law" which when my sister married in the seventies was still considered correct in Denmark, where you addressed your in-laws as svigemor '/ svigefar until children came along when most sons- or daughters-in-law used the grandparent designation chosen by the grandparents.

My mother wanted her SIL to call her mother, which was ridiculous as he naturally called his own mother, mother.

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Sep-21 11:59:12

AmberSpyglass

This thread is so odd - is anyone really so formal these days?!

Does anybody remember Mrs Dale’s Diary?
“Jim” used to call his MIL “Mother in law”
Giving away my/your age? grin

ElderlyPerson Fri 17-Sep-21 11:59:35

BlueBelle

My daughter in law calls me by my first abbreviated name .sounds fine to me, can’t understand the aunty business where does auntie come into it ? 😂
All my mums friends were aunty but they don’t seem to do that now
For my own mother in law I called her Mum Surname so say Mum smith

The idea of a MiL being addressed as Auntie Given_name was just something I thought of. I wondered if it ever happens - it appears from this thread thus far that it does not.

I just wondered if being Auntie Given_name might defuse some of the situations that get discussed in this forum, or avoid them starting in the first place. My idea being that the MiL is then seen as a relative rather than an "in-law". So perhaps being as if aunt and niece might make it clearer as to roles and avoid friction, rather like the saying that good fences make for good neighbours. If everybody knows where the boundary is, then disputes over alleged boundary enchroachment are often avoided.

But maybe, just maybe, it might help somebody somewhere sometime.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 17-Sep-21 12:02:55

MrsEggy

MayBeMaw, As a child in the 40s in Birmingham I called all my Mom's friends "Auntie - Auntie Alice, Helen and so on. It was very usual in the Midlands then.

And in the fifties in the west of Scotland. Unless they objected all my parents' friends were auntie or aunt + Christian name to us children and the men Uncle + Christian name.

This resulted in an Aunt Isa and an Auntie Isa as great deal of the generation older or slightly older than my parents had been named Isobel!

My father distinguished between his grandparents by calling them Grandma+ surname and Grandpa+ surname - this was still fairly common too, but not followed in my family, as we called Daddy's parents Grannie and Grandpa, and addressed my mother's mother as Bedstemor as she was Danish.

ElderlyPerson Fri 17-Sep-21 12:03:54

AmberSpyglass

This thread is so odd - is anyone really so formal these days?!

Hopefully not odd, just a hopefully interesting discussion about how people interact.