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What to Say to Your Mother-in-Law

A Letter to My Future Mother-in-Law

Dear Future Mother-in-Law,

I have seen many mother- and daughter-in-law relationships in my life. I have seen the type where the two go out to lunch and talk on the phone every day. And, unfortunately, I've seen the type where they b*tch about each other to anyone who will listen, including their son/husband. There are many reasons why the latter happens, but in my experience, the reason these relationships become so negative is over something so positive — grandchildren!

I know you did an amazing job raising your own children. After all, I'm choosing to spend the rest of my life with your son, which means he's most likely supportive, sweet, and smart (and, if I can be frank, very handsome). But now it's time for you to take a backseat and let me bring up my children how I see fit. You should take some comfort in the fact that I work for a parenting site and know a thing or two about car seats, sleep training, healthy snacks, and so much more. In fact, I'm probably starting off with more knowledge than you did when you were in my shoes . . . no offense. I also had amazing role models in the form of my own mother, aunts, and grandmothers. So while I may not have your years of experience, I do have some idea of what it takes to be a good mom. There will be plenty of times when you want to criticize me by offering a suggestion or just telling me I'm wrong. Don't. I'm happy to listen to your advice if I ask for it, but if that's not the case, then I ask you to remember what we tell children: if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Another favor I must ask is that you please respect my parenting rules. I get that one of the benefits of being a grandparent is getting to do the fun things that parents won't do with their kids. I know you'll occasionally take them to ice cream before dinner or slip them $5 each time you see them. I'm OK with that. But there's a fine line between spoiling them and stepping on Mommy's toes. I'll turn a blind eye and let you break those little rules, but when it comes to big-picture things, like religious practices, holiday celebrations, and discipline, it's my way or the highway (another sign I'll be a good mom — I use lots of mom clichés).

I hope you don't take this letter as a threat or mean message. Rather, I want to use it as a guideline for building a better relationship between us. Because the one thing I would hate is for our relationship to affect our loved ones.

I love your son and grandkids. Sometimes I worry my heart might explode from how much space they occupy. They are my motivation for being the best version of myself. I have had some struggles in my life, but each one was worth it if it means having them with me now. Yes, there are days when they drive me crazy, but that's what being a wife and mom is all about. I love your son and grandchildren more than words can express, and I know you feel the same way. I really hope at the end of the day, our love for them is enough to make us love each other too. Or, at the very least, respect one another.

Sincerely,
Your Future Daughter-in-Law

Source: Flickr user Wim Mulder

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DianeMurray22782 DianeMurray22782 1 year

A letter like this would break my heart and thank God, I don't think my son would favor his wife writing something like this either. I have to say-it also makes you sound like a (to use a cliche) "know it all". Sorry if this offends you. I don't know of many mother-in-laws who would not find your letter offensive. I do however, admire the fact that you are confident enough in your abilities to chance doing everything on your own-should your mother-in-law find your letter heart breakingly offensive. You MUST be unbelievably confident considering you are a FUTURE daughter-in-law.

Isabel14435120 Isabel14435120 1 year

Although I do believe that you a Mother-in-law and/or Mother should respect your parenting styles, rules, and basic moral beliefs, I don't think this is the right approach. This letter is filled with assumptions and judgment. And the underlying message is DON'T F***K with me or you'll be cut out!

I have a Masters in Counseling (child development) and can honestly say that theory is a lot different than practice. My best parenting school has not been in the classroom but at home with my 6 children. The person writing this article might have a lot book knowledge but mothers have REAL WORLD KNOWLEDGE that shouldn't be degraded.

This is PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR AT ITS BEST!! I don't applaud it at all!

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

Thumbs up! and thanks

The-Momsson1398047858 The-Momsson1398047858 1 year

Don't feed the troll......

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

I guess you didn't read the whole story either this happened 2 years ago and she did report it which she did not say in the beginning didn't see the part of her motherinlaws molesting the child I thought she was keeping her away period. Karin never said she had reported this until farther into the conversation. I never even dreamed something like that would happen No one has to feel sorry for my grandchildren they have no problems or parents with me . I don't do things unless asking first even to picking the child up. So stop judging . Just had two beautiful days with my out of town daughter and her baby . Actually we both cry when its time to leave I take care of my daughter she takes care of her baby I hold him when asked If you took the time to read it all u would see with police officers in the family this would have been flagged right away. No one gets away with that kind of behaviour in my country it would be fully investigated. For some reason the anger is directed at me and that is all I am saying about this matter it has gone way too far. I will report this attack to the editor

Chiquitabanana1399399059 Chiquitabanana1399399059 1 year

Wish I had the kahunas to write this to my mil lol. The lecturing started not long after my little guy was born 7 weeks ago with how she disapproves of me posting some pictures of my son on Facebook and how it isn't my child's choice yada yada. She also told me not to post nude or poo pictures on Facebook, well no duh! Who does that anyways?

My own mom likes to watch us change his diaper and then criticize how we do it, but will never do it herself. She's let him sit in his dirty diaper for 3 hours once I was pretty disgusted with her. When I asked her why she didn't change it she just started laughing, real mature! When she found out I gave my son a soother so that he didn't use me as a human pacifier she said to me "and I thought you were going to be a good mother". I think my mom is probably the worst of the two :/

Chiquitabanana1399399059 Chiquitabanana1399399059 1 year

Are you crazy Maggie!? The grandmother is a pedophile! That type of scum deserve all kinds of hell and worse. Karin I hope you reported the molestation to the police. She's sick and shouldn't be out free.

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

Subject: Re: New comment posted on What to Say to Your Mother-in-Law

TenaRodgers TenaRodgers 1 year

Without a doubt, you did the right thing.

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

omg you have blown this all out of proportion Maggie. Let me try to explain in a way you'll understand. My original post was a response to the person who wrote that letter. I applauded her letter because my mother in law sucks, plain and simple. I never once said this was a post about mothers in law who molest so you need to get YOUR facts straight. You responded to my original post where I explained that my mother in law is horrible because she molested my child and you told me that I need to be more understanding of my mother in law. Right away that tells me that you didn't actually read my post because I can't imagine anyone would actually tell me to give my mil a break even though she did something so horrific. So yes, I got angry at you. I won't apologize for defending myself or my child. The fact that you told me to "get help" and "talk to my doctor" was very insulting when all I did was defend my son. I think I have a right to be angry about what she did. And by the way, that all happened 2 years ago and everything has been taken care of. I also never said that ALL mothers in law are terrible because I know that's not true. I have many friends who adore theirs. I wish mine were better but she's not. And being the mother of boy, I know that someday I may have a daughter in law. My mother in law has taught me about the kind of mother in law I do not want to be. I will be kind and welcoming and would never in a million years do the things she has done. I certainly can't believe a grandmother would do those things either and I think she's despicable, but sadly, that's the world we live in and there are too many people out there that have a twisted mind and think it's ok. I don't need emotional help, I just need for people who know absolutely nothing about me or my life judging me without getting all the facts first. I will always defend myself and my family and there is nothing "sick" about that. Now I hope you're better able to understand and can stop insulting me and we can just drop this.

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

ok so she has just stated now that she has notified someone, she didn't tell me that she had reported this and what was going on she immediately verbally attacked me after I had said my first statement the recommendation is to keep her child away from her mother in law so hopefully they are investigating this issue and will do something about it . This is not a reason to judge all mothers or mothers in law. If her mother in law is proven guilty I hope she is prosecuted and I hope she Karin gets some emotional help to continue on with her child . I never even dreamed a grandmother could do such a horrid thing . The original chat was about mothers in law in general not mothers in law who molest let us read and get the facts correct.

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

I am very far from being alone lol

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

Karin what a shame is, is the fact that you cant read and you don't understand what is being said . I didn't do any thing to your son and yet you are on the attack. You need to read what is said I didn't say that I was reporting you to any police I said that having police in my family made me aware of some things and this it a real red flag. You are emotional and very upset this is no place to be saying the things that you are saying and to attack me why I don't know. But when I open my mail and see your ranting's 3 of them I see that you need help , venting is doing you no good. Talking about such things in a public forum is going to get u nothing but trouble. And my dear I am not a young woman. You insinuate a lot, my suggestion is you talk to the police and to your doctor , making accusations like you are is going to make things worse without their help. I never said it was alright for your son to be harmed I was talking about issues with `a mother in law` don't paint all mothers in law with the same paint brush some day you will be one. I did not read the part that u stated your son was sexually harmed so don't take your anger out on me. As far as allowing your mother in law in your home or near your child is going to be your decision and if it goes farther the decision of children`s services. This is all very upsetting to hear this in a forum and to read that is going on so its up to you to do something about it and stop attacking me I am not your mother in law . You don't have to feel sorry for my family they are all alarmed at your ranting's and not reporting this to the authorities . If you don't your mother in law may or may not have reason to sue you for saying these things. I asked you to not send me any more mail regarding this but you insisted several times to do this no one wants to hear this kind of thing so do what is right and report it. STOP ATTACKING ME everything u say on here is sent to me don't send me this disgusting messages do something about it for your own well being and your child one message after another ! Really ? not my problem

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

Subject: Re: New comment posted on What to Say to Your Mother-in-Law

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

He told me. We were having a discussion about good and bad touching and who shouldn't be touching him and he told me what she had been doing. i'm sure you're more rational than that Maggie person who thinks I'm sick for not siding with my mother in law and allowing her access to my child. I called DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) and filed a report with them. They did an investigation, etc. They also strongly recommended that I keep my child away from her which I do. My job among other things is to protect my child and that is what I'm doing. I'm only angry at myself for ever leaving her alone with him.

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

lol get a clue

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

Then don't read it. As long as you keep posting nasty stuff to me I'm going to respond. And I have no idea what you're talking about "emailing you". YOU are the one who responded nasty and told me to "respect" my mother in law. You didn't even bother reading what I wrote and I certainly didn't come here looking for advice, I replied to another person. YOU are the one who responded to me without knowing the whole story. Move along young lady, move along.

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

you should have by passed all of this and gone straight to your doctor don't mess around with that it could have been something else of course some mother in laws love their children/pets so they take offence don't blame your husband I would never have animals around children what is in their house is their business I mean the parents good luck

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

the messages I am getting back from this woman about her mother in law molesting her child is so disturbing she is not well I have asked her to stop and she continues so sad I have a wonderful relation ship with my family never thought I would read this stuff that comes from her she needs professional help for sure

LindaRacicot1407310602 LindaRacicot1407310602 1 year

ten thirty in the morning shouldn't u be busy with your child ?

Subject: Re: New comment posted on What to Say to Your Mother-in-Law

TenaRodgers TenaRodgers 1 year

Sorry that this happened. That's horrible! How did you find out?

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

lol you don't have a clue. I only pray your daughter in law is patient because she's going to need it. YOU are the one who needs help for believing that I should be ok with my mother in law touching my young son's penis. So sorry. I honestly didn't know it was now legal to masterbate your 4 year old grandson!

KarinVanDalen KarinVanDalen 1 year

Excuse me miss know it all but perhaps you should re-read my original post that you blindly responded to above and see why. You don't have a clue.

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