Tag Archives: mother-in-law

“Jaw With John” – Monster-In-Law Keeps Popping In

My mother-in-law has begun doing the “pop-in.” My husband passive-aggressively hinted that he wished he had known she was coming over. Her response was, “I’m your mother; I don’t need to let you know when I’m coming over.” I regard this as total disrespect.

She has done this plenty of times — including popping in when I was having a dinner with my parents and children, which made her mad because she and my father-in-law hadn’t been invited.

She did the pop-in again last week. My husband, four children and I were about to sit down to a family dinner when she rang the doorbell. I didn’t have enough food for her and my father-in-law, which made us all uncomfortable. She made a sarcastic comment, “Gee, I guess I shouldn’t have come over,” then she sat in the living room staring at us as we ate.

I have begged my husband to say something, but he says it would be disrespectful. I said it is disrespectful that she comes over without checking with us first. What’s your take on this? — NO POP-INS, PLEASE

Dear No Pop-Ins,

She sounds like a handful.

The whole showing up someplace unannounced was fine when there wasn’t a way to effectively communicate that you were coming over (like, oh, I dunno before the telephone was invented). Nowadays, it’s common courtesy (or not so common in the case of your mother-in-law) to call or message ahead.

In an ideal world, I wish you would’ve said “No, you shouldn’t have come over!” when she came over and ended up sitting and watching you eat. Then again, I’m a bit of a sarcastic asshole. But, she needs to hear this considering that she believes that she can just come over whenever – which we know is NOT the case.

I love the part where she was mad that she wasn’t invited. BECAUSE SHE WASN’T INVITED! It was a dinner for your family and your parents! She’s mental.

Your husband seems to be slightly whipped by his own mother to the extent that he’s afraid to stand up to her. Yikes. You need to tell him to sack up and stand up to his mom because it’s having an effect on you, your marriage, and your life.


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“Jaw With John” – Not Enough Cooks In The Kitchen

My husband, children and I moved in with my in-laws. It has been a learning experience. The hardest part is that my mother-in-law cooks with old, sometimes moldy produce and expired canned goods.

I have gotten sick a few times and it’s just not OK with me. I’m not “allowed” to say anything because it could “hurt her feelings.”

My mother-in-law is always treated with kid gloves, and no one allows anything negative to be said to her, so I would be “completely out of line” if I said anything.

We alternate cooking dinner, so at least I get clean food half the time. What do you suggest I do or say so that I’m not forced into eating rancid food while not looking like a monster? — Scared To Eat

Dear Scared:

Look at it this way: this could be the best diet ever!

Perhaps if you were to spew while you’re eating and then bring up the fact that it was because of the rancid produce it could change her perception on her cooking. That’s a visceral image and if it were to happen multiple times – not all by you or else you’d damage your esophagus – then I’m preeeeeetty sure she’d get the message.

Or, you could just throw out the expired foods before she got to them and when she comes around asking about them you’d tell her you threw them out because they had expired. From there you could go to the market and find some stuff you both like/will eat. Or she’ll blow up at you and kick you out or whatever…

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“Jaw With John” – Wrap Your Head Around This

My mother-in-law frequently orders birthday and holiday gifts for my family online, has them delivered directly to our house and then expects me to wrap them.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful — I really do appreciate that she cares enough to buy nice presents for our family. But I have three kids, a full-time job and many other obligations, and the time spent wrapping her gifts adds up.

I totally get why she wouldn’t want to have the items shipped to her, only to wrap them and pay shipping again to send them to us. However, I think if the situation were reversed, I might pay for gift wrapping when placing the order — or at least ask first whether she had the time to take care of it. Am I being an unappreciative grump? — Wrap-proachful

Dear Wrap-proachful:

I like the play on words you did with your name. Cute.

How many gifts is she sending? Is it really too much of your time to wrap a few of them?

I view two options here for you. Option 1: Ask your mother-in-law to have them wrapped by the company she bought them from. That way they will arrive at your house already wrapped.

Option 2: Open them up, remove any receipt and then wrap the box that it came in. I do that A LOT. It saves me from having to wrap an oddly shaped item unsuccessfully to wrapping a box unsuccessfully.

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“Jaw With John” – Stop Toying With My Child

I just had a baby. My mother in-law has already said she will buy us mountains upon mountains of toys. I believe her.

Last Christmas, our niece, who is 4, received nearly 20 toys, including a $500 item, from just my mother-in-law! The child receives gifts from every family member, so it’s not like no one else buys things for her, there is no need to “make up” for gifts she wouldn’t receive.

It’s like this every holiday/birthday. A million toys, too much money spent, while my mother-in-law is behind on her mortgage and repeatedly asks us for help!

I have said to her that at Christmas I don’t want too many toys for my child. I was told how horrible that is of me, how dare I deprive a child of playing and that I’m being selfish. My husband tried backing me up on this, but his mom wouldn’t hear it. We gave her alternatives, like a college fund, to put the money toward, but she says she’ll do whatever she wants.

I flat-out told her if we receive too many toys, they will be donated. Now, she is buying toys for an infant, sometimes multiples because she forgets what she bought!

I am outraged at her behavior and her blatant disrespect for our wishes. She is lonely and none of her kids can seem to rein her in. I do not know what to do anymore. — Enough Toys

Dear Enough:

Your mother-in-law just wants your child to be happy and have fun, but it seems like she’s going overboard.

She’s clearly not getting your hint/direct message that she’s giving too many toys to your child. The fact that she doesn’t remember what she gave your child is probably due to the fact that she’s buying so many damn toys!

If she continues to give you toys and won’t put money, that would’ve spent on those toys, into a college fund (which would be smarter) then why don’t YOU take the toys you don’t want/need and choose the ones you want to donate and then you can sell the rest and use that money for a college fund.

If your mother-in-law becomes outraged by this, then maybe she’ll finally get the message and follow your wishes.

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