Monday, March 22, 2010

Are YOU My Mother?

Hubby’s family came to visit this weekend. I’m very blessed to have not only a wonderful hubby, but wonderful in-laws! We had a great time, they taught us to play Kings in the Corner and we showed them the things to see on post and some of our favorite places around our town. Our dogs were excited to see cousin-Juno and and we were all sad to see them leave yesterday.

Hubby and I got married more than 6 months ago, went home for Thanksgiving and hadn’t seen either of our families since, and while the distance from our families has been strange, it’s also been nice in a lot of ways. We missed everyone at Christmas, but enjoyed spending the holiday together and making it our own (We won’t be able to share our next one, with hubby on another continent). We often miss the advantages of built-in dog sitters, or having parents there for a promotion ceremony, sisters and brothers to enjoy comedy shows with and going out with good friends from back home. However, the fresh start and opportunity to grow together as a couple is very special to us.

Do you want to know the thing I MOST appreciate about living more than 7 hours away from everyone we knew? It is being able to avoid the awkwardness of addressing his parents.
My parents were born and raised in the south, where you said Sir and Maam, and they brought us kids up the same way. Hubby’s parents were always Mr. and Mrs. to me. When hubby proposed and we became engaged, it felt too formal to call them Mr. and Mrs., but there was no way I would start calling them by their first names uninvited! Here the avoidance began. Since Christmas, 2008, I have successfully NOT called my hubby’s parents anything, most of the time it was quite easy, and when it wasn’t, my escape was to enlist hubby’s help, “Babe, can you get your mom’s attention?”

The avoidance technique worked for almost a year! Until the night we came back from our honeymoon; we were at his parents’ house talking to his dad. A comment was made about “Mrs. W”, and hubby stepped in to remind him that I am also “Mrs. W” now! This was the moment I had waited for, permission to call them… Something! Nope. No further instructions, he just laughed at the realization.

Hubby and I are good friends with a couple down the street, who also just got married (The same day we did, actually). Recently, her in-laws came to visit, and mine were planning their first trip out, which led to her and me commiserating over dinner about the anxiety caused by not knowing what to call your husband’s parents. While hubby laughed at us that night, he must have taken my concerns to heart. I knew he told his parents because this weekend, they made sure to tell me, more than once, to call them…

Mom and Dad.

A flood of relief, I can finally directly address them again!

But wait! Mom and Dad…? Aren’t those… MY parents? Don’t they already have dibs on the titles? Am I the only one who finds this… awkward? *sigh*

“Are YOU my Mother?”


  1. When you are lucky enough to have awesome in laws [and I do too] It is a gift to call them Mom & Dad too, I think. It is like a bonus because now you have 4 people to share those special monikers. I am sure you are old hat at his by now. Enjoy the holidays. [Hope you don't mind the errant comments - I just found your blog today and it is great!]

  2. Yea, I refuse to address my in-laws as mom/dad. Thankfully, my in-laws have never suggested that. But I never had the Mr./Mrs. problem with them, either. I've always just called them by their first name.

    It would also make me very uncomfortable if hubby called my mom, mom. But he's of the same opinion...he already has a mom. That title is taken. My mom is not and will never be his mom.


Do I need to be liked? Absolutely not. I like to be liked. I enjoy being liked. I have to be liked. But it's not like this, compulsive, need, to be liked. Like my need to be praised. - Michael Scott, "The Office"

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