After receiving a comment on her TikTok account, toddler mom, Bri was tasked with answering an age-old question: Why does it just so happens that, in *most* cases, it seems to be the mother-in-law bringing the toxicity and drama to a daughter-in-law’s life?
This cannot be some weird coincidence between literally millions of women (and my entire friend group). There has to be some reasoning behind this. In a video viewed by over 100,000 users, Bri shared her theory.
“So, does having a son make you toxic or do only toxic people have sons?” she asked rhetorically. “Having a son makes a lot of women toxic. You have to actively work to not be a boy mom, in the stereotypical sense.”
She notes that so many mothers favor their sons, noting that they just “love them differently” than their daughters. *Insert eye roll here*
Bri touches on the concept of “family enmeshment,” which is a type of family dysfunction in which there are poorly defined or nonexistent boundaries among family members. This can often happen in families where moms are not emotionally supported or fulfilled by their own husbands, leaving them to lean on their sons for that male affirmation. Yes, it’s as sad and weird as it sounds.
“Sh*tty toxic mother-in-laws that I know have sh*tty husbands,” she notes. “Really wonderful supportive mother-in-laws that I know have great husbands.”
Bri theorizes that the reason why so many mother-in-laws come off as “toxic” is because once their son exudes independence, finds a wife, and create a family of his own — she feels slighted.
“It can be really hard for that mom to let go,” she says. “It’s the making of a toxic mother-in-law.”
After the video picked up traction, TikTok users commented on her video, vowing to break this stereotype.
“Can we change this, I’m a boy mom of two. Like can we be the best generation of MIL’s,” one user wrote.
“I AM THERE WITH YOU,” the user responded.
Another said, “I have a son and am pregnant with a 2nd son. I’m already thinking of possibly having daughters-in-law and how to make them feel valued and respected.”
“I was so sad when I found out I was having a boy because I didn’t want to be ‘dad’s side of the family’ so I’m going to do my best to break cycles,” one user said.
Seems like there’s hope for a future generation of generous, caring, boundary-respecting mother-in-laws.