When you look back on your day of wedding bliss—the dress, the dancing, vowing to love that person forever and put up with that fact that he will never ever put his dirty clothes in the hamper or put the toothpaste cap back on, did you know what you were really signing up for that day? Had you dated long enough to prepare yourself for what comes with a husband? Because when you take that on, you are also letting a whole new slew of characters into your forever life, including, but not limited to… the dreaded mother-in-law.
Don’t throw a shoe at me, but I’m actually pretty lucky with a kind, supportive MIL. She’ll put my husband on blast for leaving his dirty socks in the living room just as fast as I will, and doesn’t criticize my parenting, so I don’t have the horror stories many of my friends do. But oh, are there stories. They’ve allowed me to share some real gems with you, but for some reason, they’ve all asked to remain anonymous. Hmmmm, wonder why?
To preserve the sanctity of their next family gathering, all of the names have been changed. But the stories haven’t! So pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy these MIL anecdotes—you’ll probably laugh, cry, and realize that maybe yours isn’t so bad. Or maybe yours is worse than all of these and for that, we are sorry.
1. Gatekeeper MIL
Jennifer has quite a bit to say about her fab MIL: “She says that the kids can’t have any butter on their dinner rolls because they’ll get big butts. She has said that we need to show up on time for Christmas dinner or don’t bother showing up at all, adding that it is very important to eat as soon as the meal comes out of the oven and even Jesus had a last supper. I told her I don’t like used swimsuits for my kids once they are out of diapers, she brought over some swimsuits she bought at a rummage sale and showed them to my daughter then said “Oh, your mom said that you can’t have these.”
Holy shit. That will be the day someone denies my kid butter for any reason, but especially while commenting on their bodies. HELL. NO. And dangling stuff in front of them that they can’t have is just cruel, Grandma. Next year maybe we won’t show up at all, and you can enjoy your “last supper” without us.
2. Buzzkill MIL
And then there’s the MIL who wants to be fun, but frankly, kind of sucks, like Angela’s: “When she keeps the kids overnight, which she acts excited to do, she will text me the next morning at 6 am EVERY SINGLE TIME to tell me they are awake and I need to come get them immediately.”
Really? The whole reason we ask you to take them overnight is so that WE CAN SLEEP. Thanks for nothing.
3. Martyr MIL
And then, of course, there are the martyr MIL’s, like Sarah’s,who love to talk about how they did alll the things and did them perfectly: “She likes to say, ‘I never needed my husband’s help with the kids. He worked outside the home. He never fed them, changed one diaper, or got up at night. That was my job.'”
Slow. Clap. For you. I like living here in the 21st century where we recognize that dads have working arms.
4. Trump Supporting MIL
But Meredith gets all our sympathies because her MIL is a full-on Trump supporter. Enough said. Thanksgiving dinner must be fun.
5. Meddling MIL
Then there’s Rachel’s MIL, who takes meddling to a whole new level. “My MIL goes over our heads and calls our teens directly to find out what’s going on at home,” she said. “Like she’ll call my son to ask if I’m home, if I’ve made dinner, what I am doing, if my husband is home from work… On the weekends she’ll call them to see what we are doing before she calls us to ask us to come over, that way she knows if we’re making excuses.”
Nope, not making excuses. Just don’t want you to come over, Nancy. <insert fake smile>
6. Behind Your Back MIL
Christine’s MIL also likes to work the channels through the kids. “Mine always talks to me through my kids, like ‘You should tell your mommy to get you a new coat’ or “You should tell your mommy you need a hat” while I’m standing there.”
WTF?! That’s fun and doesn’t belittle my parenting at all, so thanks, Grams.
7. Zero Filter MIL
“‘Have your nipples always looked like that?” Amanda’s MIL asked her. She was nursing her daughter (who was pre-term and had an underdeveloped latch), using an SNS system and crying because it was so frustrating. But sure, that’s a great time to ask about her areolas. Got any vagina comments while you’re at it, Nana?
8. Tactless MIL
I suppose she could be like Cara’s MIL who asked her, while she was 9 months pregnant and caring for a toddler, ” Did you want to maybe put a little makeup on so your face looks better?” Are you fucking kidding me. I care about your opinion of my face about as much as you care about having some tact, lady.
9. Gives Zero Fucks MIL
But Jessica’s MIL might be take the cake here, as she gives ZERO fucks. “My mother-in-law told me I should audition for the Bachelor when they were casting in town,” Jessica said. “We were just dating at the time. Also, she wore black to my wedding.”
Ahahahaha! Girl, good luck with that one.
10. Critical MIL
But wait let’s not forget the dads! They have MILs too, after all. Jack shares this gem: “My MIL once said that she felt like she failed my wife and my sister-in-law somehow because they don’t keep cleaner houses.”
Wow. Willing to knock down your own daughter too, huh, Carole? That’s cold.
Man, these women are tough. If there is one thing I’ve learned hearing these horror stories, it is that I will never behave this way to the people my kids marry. I will be kind and loving and supportive, even if they have different beliefs.
Unless they don’t vaccinate. But other than that, I’ll be totally chill.
Or if they are Trump supporters. Okay, that’s the whole list.
Also, if they are like vegan or something and say my grandkids can’t have a bacon cheeseburger…
Oh shit. I’m gonna be fun.