I just want to know who came up with the rule that said you have to call your spouse’s parents ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. Point me in the direction of that person, please. Don’t worry, I just want to talk, no funny business. Okay, all jokes aside though, do you feel comfortable addressing your in-laws as ‘mother’ and ‘father’?
A friend explained that calling her in-laws ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ just came naturally and it made sense for her to do so. I mean, when you get married, you become a part of their family. She explained that for her, it became more than just a show of respect. It was a way to fully adopt her husband’s mom and dad as her own. I love this concept so much! It wasn’t always easy for me though.
I mean, I have the best relationship with Hubstopher’s parents. They literally are my other set of parents, in every single way. I love them as a mother and father and yet, 5ish years later, I’m still not able to address them as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. I realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with them, and everything to do with ME. My extreme shyness with regards to the matter just never subsided. Fortunately they are gracious and do not expect me to be anything other than my fabulous self (look at me giving myself kudos for doing absolutely nothing).
Anyways, so the other day I had a nice chat with a friend about her awkward situation. She also finds it a bit difficult to refer to her in-laws as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, but her situation is not as gracious as mine is. Her mini rant was overheard by a few others and I was amazed at how many young people feel the same way. They said that calling someone elses parents ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ just felt weird. Some shared that they had such a close relationship with their own parents and could not bring themselves to giving that special title to anyone else. Others did not have a relationship with their own parents and therefore did not feel comfortable using the term of endearment at all.
It made me think… is this a generational thing? I mean, my mom called my dad’s mother “mommy’, even after my parents were separated. Was it easier for previous generations to accept and feel welcomed in their spouses family? Does this new awkward way of dealing with in-laws speak to this generation’s concept of family and marriage?
This brought about another area of concern: “What do we call them instead?!” I mean, if you find it difficult to call your in-laws ‘mom and ‘dad’, what would you prefer calling them? I feel that using first names or “Mr so-and-so” seems a bit awkward and out of place. Or you could spend the remainder of your life just not using any first names at all, resorting to “you” and “your”…. which is pretty cras in my opinion.
So, with that in mind, I thought to take it to the blog. I’d love to hear from you! What do you call your in-laws? If it feels ‘weird’ to call them ‘mom’ and ‘dad’, what do you call them instead?
Clip note: All the pics in this post are, in fact, my wedding photos taken by the talented Donna van der Watt Photography.