There’s boy math, girl math, mom math, Taylor Swift math, and even toddler math, but one type of math that some of us will just never understand is that of “toxic mother-in-law math.” Y’know, the one that is kind of hypocritical, passive-aggressive, and just an all-around bummer?
TikTok mom Janelle Marie breaks down just a few examples of what this kind of draining arithmetic means for daughter-in-laws in a viral TikTok, leaving so many TikTok users to resonate with her points.
“Toxic mother-in-law math is having four, five, six grandchildren, deciding one of them is your favorite, and making sure everybody knows loud and clear,” she begins.
She also points out that several equations of toxic mother-in-law math have to do with singling out the daughter-in-law, making things her issue and forcing her hand when it comes to making tough calls like boundary discussions and holiday plans.
“Toxic mother-in-law math is knowing that your married, adult child has two or more sets of family gatherings to go to and deciding unilaterally that yours is the most important one,” she says.
“Or the equation where your grandchildren have in fact two parents, but you decide that the one parent that isn't your child is the one who must be enforcing all of the decisions and boundaries that you don't like very much.”
Therefore, making every single issue or disagreement their fault. Classic toxic mother-in-law math!
The real kicker for the OP always has to do with the “opinions” that toxic MILS seem to have about everything to do with their in-law child.
“Favorite equation of all is not understanding how talking s**t about your daughter-in-law, being mean to your daughter-in-law, doesn't, in fact, equate to her wanting to spend a whole bunch of time with you,” she points out. “And a variable to that equation is that her spouse, your child, may also not spend very much time with you as a result.”
“Because very often you've also struggled to calculate the fact that your adult child married your daughter-in-law, and then that does equate to them loving her more than anything in the world.”
Why do MILs always seem to be super baffled by this concept?
After Janelle’s post went viral, several TikTok users confirmed this math theory, stating their own toxic mother-in-law equations.
“Toxic MIL math - gossiping about your daughters and DIL and wondering why your son won’t share personal details of his life,” one user wrote.
“MIL math is telling your grandkids that you loooooooove them so much and miiiissss them so much but only put in effort to see them twice a year,” another said.
Another wrote, “Toxic MIL math is telling the mom how ALL the baby’s good traits were inherited from their side of the family, and any flaw the baby has- is from her”
Janelle posted another installment of toxic mother-in-law math after her first explanation was such a big hit, touching on a few more toxic mother-in-law math equations.
“Toxic mother-in-law math is thinking it's your daughter-in-law's fault that you don't have any real relationship with your grandkids because her family has a relationship with your grandkids, but you make no effort to see your grandkids,” she says.
And on the heels of that, toxic mother-in-law math is also never making an effort to see your grandkids and then complaining that you never see your grandkids. Or how about knowing that your daughter-in-law shopped for, picked out, and wrapped your Christmas, present but you open it and only loudly, proudly thank your son.” Ugh, all this math talk, especially toxic mother-in-law math, is why I was an English major in college!