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How is a mother-in-law addressed?

(252 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".

Casdon Fri 17-Sep-21 09:35:17

I called my mother in law by her first name, as does my daughters hers. My son in law also calls me by my first name. I’d assumed that was the norm, but maybe not?

Redhead56 Fri 17-Sep-21 09:36:32

First name

Marilla Fri 17-Sep-21 09:36:50

Nowadays, I think many people call their mother-in-law by their first name.

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 17-Sep-21 09:38:12

I didn’t call my mother in law anything! My son’s partner calls me by my Christian name. If my granddaughter is in the room, she calls me Nanna and so does my son!

Parsley3 Fri 17-Sep-21 09:38:15

First name for me.

Baggs Fri 17-Sep-21 09:39:24

First name.

LindaPat Fri 17-Sep-21 09:40:18

My daughter in law, and my future son in law call me by my first name. I have called both my MiLs by their first names also.

My husband called my late mum " Mother", as an affectionate greeting ie when going into her house he would call out " Hello Mother".

Never heard of a MiL being called "Auntie"


Whatdayisit Fri 17-Sep-21 09:40:45

First name! I don't know where you get Aunty from OP but it made me giggle !

Baggs Fri 17-Sep-21 09:41:50

I think many people are on first name terms with their prospective in-laws way before any wedding. After all, what about all the ex-boy/girl-friends? Weren't they known by their first names and called the parents of their partners by first names? That is my experience anyhow.

JaneJudge Fri 17-Sep-21 09:41:57

we call each others Mums by their first names.

Shelflife Fri 17-Sep-21 09:42:40

Don't think I called my MIL anything! In those days her first name may have been too familiar- sounds strange now and Mrs ...... was too fomal!!
My SIL s use my first name, .

Beechnut Fri 17-Sep-21 09:43:07

Unfortunately I never got around to calling my mother in law anything.

I’m called by my name.

Baggs Fri 17-Sep-21 09:43:17

Mind you, my kids and grandkids call me by my first name too. It's what I prefer. Why waste a nice name with generic euphemisms?

CafeAuLait Fri 17-Sep-21 09:49:53

I never knew what I was supposed to call my MIL. I haven't seen her for ages, there is no relationship, so it would definitely be first name now.

My CIL call me by my first name.

Charleygirl5 Fri 17-Sep-21 09:51:59

I asked my mother in law what she wanted to be called and she said "mum". I ended up never calling her anything because I would have choked if I had called her mum.

Aldom Fri 17-Sep-21 09:52:55

I called my in law's Mother and Pop, which is what my husband called his parents. My husband referred to my mother as mum. My son in law calls me by my first name.
I couldn't imagine calling my in laws by their first names. Their generation was very formal.

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Sep-21 09:54:56

Why ever “Auntie” unless you are from a culture which uses Auntie and Uncle as a respectful form of address for any older person as happens I believe in India, China, Malaysia etc
I called my MIL “Mama” but once we had children I referred to her as “Granny”.
My own SILs call me by my first name but I am noticing that in the presence of the GC it is as often “Granny”.

Marmight Fri 17-Sep-21 09:56:19

I don’t think I ever called my MiL anything. It was all very awkward. Once we had our first child I think I called her Grandma. DH called her Mum and my mum , Mother which she found hilarious. My 3 SiL call me Marmight - not really but you know what I mean🤣. Probably something different behind my back

ExDancer Fri 17-Sep-21 09:58:33

The problem was solved when the grandchildren were born, I became Gran.

kittylester Fri 17-Sep-21 10:00:03

I insist on being called Mrs Lester. They should show respect!

maddyone Fri 17-Sep-21 10:04:35

I called my mother in law ‘Mum’ but I hated doing it because she’s not my mother. When the children came along I started calling her Grandma. I preferred that.

Nannarose Fri 17-Sep-21 10:06:30

I was 20 when I married. I had called my MiL Mrs....., then she said, in front of all my family 'now you call me Mum'.
I was actually quite upset, and my mother said nothing - she was 20 years younger than my MiL and felt awkward. I had called her Mummy until I was in my teens, and she had said she missed it - so I said 'well now I'm old enough to call you Mummy if I want to'.
I was introduced to all of the daughters of my heart by my first name.

ElderlyPerson Fri 17-Sep-21 10:07:07


Mind you, my kids and grandkids call me by my first name too. It's what I prefer. Why waste a nice name with generic euphemisms?

Well basically I suppose that reading in this forum of the many estrangements and issues between MiL and DiL that I wondered how people were addressed both in those situations and in the probably many cases where everybody gets on well together so there is no thread about that. Plus I suppose cases where there are problems but people choose not to post about it.

I just thought that if the DiL is treated as if DN that that might sort of treat her as a direct relative and that that might avoid some of the problems arise. I say 'might' because it is just a hunch, noticing that we read of DS and DiL but very rarely of DDiL and I have never noticed DSiL used.

I think a lot of problems in workplaces is because of managers having people address them by their given name rather than formally as Mr. Surname, then they appear as just one of the peer group and then turn suddenly nasty and vicious in an attempt to try to regain their managerial status if they do not get their own way about something because they have undermined their own status. 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.

MayBeMaw Fri 17-Sep-21 10:07:33


I insist on being called Mrs Lester. They should show respect!

“Ma’am” tcrgrin