Disliking one’s mother-in-law is a tale as old as time, and a scenario that comes up at least once in a marriage. Whether someone’s partner is the best husband or wife they could ask for, dealing with a mother-in-law can become bothersome and downright stressful, given the situation that may arise.
There are plenty of reasons why women can’t stand their mothers-in-law, but of all of them, the main ones that stick out involve their mothers-in law butting into their marriage or parenting skills. And fyi, both arenas are definite no-no’s when it comes to getting unsolicited advice from a mother-in-law.
The whole idea of nicknaming a mother in law the monster-in-law exists for a reason. They can become someone to loathe being around and dread talking to because of the boundaries that are time and again crossed when it comes to mothers-in-law. Even if most of them don’t mean to do it, they tend to overstep where they shouldn't and give input where it isn't warranted.
Of course being able to talk out such issues is always a huge help, if possible, but for some women, talking to the mother of their partner can lead to a dead end, or one that makes them out to be the bad guy, rather than the meddling mother-in-law.
The reasons why women hate their mothers-in-law range from the totally understandable to the probably a little bit insane, but as most woman can attest to, mothers-in-laws will do that as they bring out the crazy in the women their children marry. But just because it's sometimes a fact of life, it doesn’t make it anywhere near easier to deal with.
15 They Make Excuses For Their Son Or Daughter
Listening to a mother-in-law make excuses for their child while their kid’s wife is sitting right there, enduring it, is miserable. And, in turn, it makes things miserable between the woman and her partner. Even if the mother-in-law is right, dipping into her child’s marriage to defend her son or daughter will do nobody any good and will instead raise all kinds of other animosity in whatever fight was going on before she butted in.
In some cases, the mother-in-law may have meant well, but most of the time, there are things between a married couple that need to stay between them, regardless of what outside voices have to say. Especially if they’re picking one side.
Or, if a woman is complaining about a certain habit their spouse does and the mother-in-law is quick to jump in with a laundry list of reasons why their kid is that way, it’s just unnecessary.
14 They Butt In During Heated Arguments
This is similar to having a mother-in-law defend her kid in an argument that has nothing to do with her, but it takes it a huge step further. While it might be the innocent intention of the woman to break in and try to mediate an argument, she is stepping into an atmosphere that isn't about her or her adult child, but instead the marriage her son or daughter is in.
And her child’s wife is never ever going to welcome her mother-in-law into the middle of a heated argument that has undoubtedly already upset her enough to make her get set off by the next annoyance to come in contact with her.
Which, regardless of whether or not she means well, would easily be her mother-in-law. As with most things in the marriage, it just isn't about the mother-in-law.
13 They're Always Talking About Their Parenting Methods
If a woman had a dime for every time she heard her mother-in-law start a sentence with “If it was me…” she would be a very rich woman. When a woman has kids and her mother-in-law becomes an even stronger presence in her life, some of that can result in bonding over motherhood, sure.
But more often than not, it can turn into a case of figuratively fighting for control of the way the woman and her spouse want to raise their children. Because, nine times out of 10, the mother-in-law will be there to pop in and give her input into what she would do in certain parental instances and how her decisions would more positively affect the child.
Yeah, that’s just too much for any daughter-in-law to endure.
12 They Don't Always Discipline Their Grandchildren
Of course it’s every grandparents’ right to want to spoil their grandchildren and reserve their time together as time for fun and laughter, rather than rules or discipline, but when the parents’ wishes aren’t honored and are instead brushed over, it becomes a problem. Especially for the woman who is likely already at odds with her mother-in-law for a whole other set of boundary issues.
For example, if the mother decides to take away a special treat or toy for disciplinary reasons and then the mother-in-law scoffs and insists that it can’t hurt to give said toy or treat back, that’s when it becomes a problem.
No, it isn't worth it to argue with the mother-in-law over every little issue, but when it comes to rearing kids, there are parents there to do it.
11 They Offer Too Much Unsolicited Advice
This is a huge problem for pretty much any daughter-in-law, including those who may not even come close to hearing their mothers-in-law. Because there is no denying a mother-in-law’s penchant for doling out advice about anything from carpet cleaning, to keeping a tidy house, to making a certain meal just right for their adult kid.
But, as to be expected, these sorts of tidbits of advice are ones that are more often than not, unwanted and unwarranted. Anyone can benefit from the wisdom of someone years older, but when that advice comes without warning and accompanied by a back handed compliment, that’s when it crosses that invisible line.
No one wants to tell their mother-in-law to stick a sock in it, but sometimes, in situations where the cringe-worthy advice comes out one sentence after another, it’s almost necessary to.
10 They Compare Mothering Styles
Yes, yes, everyone gets it. A mother-in-law has likely seen and done it all, but that doesn’t mean that the daughter-in-law shouldn’t be given the chance to do the same, without constant advice or words of wisdom that can become too much too fast.
When a mother-in-law starts a sentence with “When [insert adult kid’s name here] was little, this is how I potty trained them” or says something like “I don’t know how you’re doing it, but my kids went to religious preschool and they turned out fine”, it’s time to shut her out.
Of course getting advice and parenting tips is always great coming from someone older and more experienced, but there is also likely decades of time between when she had little ones and when her son or daughter and their wife now have kids. Things are changing constantly, and ideas for parenting styles are changing with them.
9 They Show Up Unannounced
This doesn't just go for mothers-in-law, but pretty much everyone in this day and age. Getting unexpected visitors showing up at the house catches most people off guard, and is pretty off putting. But when it is a mother-in-law especially, it becomes an issue where the daughter-in-law feels uncomfortable in her own home and sometimes, as if she’s walking on eggshells.
Some mothers-in-law tend to use this time to straighten up the house, or rearrange things and although it might seem like a nice gesture, it isn't what a daughter-in-law wants to deal with any time, let alone unannounced. It isn’t a good feeling for someone to feel uncomfortable in their own home and often, when a mother-in-law just drops by unannounced, that’s how it feels.
Especially if they have a mother-in-law who likes to nitpick at pretty much everything. Understandably, it just brings things to a whole new level of dysfunction and discomfort.
8 They Expect Everyone Else To Always Agree To Plans
Being older means gaining a certain level of respect and that’s totally OK and expected, but at some point, it becomes a situation of almost taking advantage of the willingness of others to give in easily. Such is the case when a mother-in-law announces a birthday luncheon or Sunday dinner, a day before the event, and expects her daughter-in-law and the rest of her family to simply drop anything they had planned and comply.
In reality, if the mother-in-law had made these plans with more time in advance and told her daughter-in-law much further ahead of time, it really wouldn’t be an issue. But it all goes back to the inconsiderate nature that comes along with mothers-in-law who are the types that women tend to hate rather than want to call Mom right away.
7 They're Quick To Judge
When it comes to parenting, mothers-in-law love to judge women. When it comes to cooking, and cleaning, and caring for their adult child, a mother-in-law can bring out so many judgments that the daughter-in-law will be so close to dropping everything and dipping out before she says something she’ll regret.
A lot of mothers-in-law attribute their years of experience as a wife and mother to their ability to say whatever they want and dish out their judgments of anything differently and most of the time. Their daughters-in-law bear the brunt of these judgments. But, as was made clear before, it’s this huge generational gap that makes things seem different and strange to a mother-in-law.
It doesn’t mean that it’s OK for her to make snap judgments that never seem to stop, but it kind of makes a little more sense.
6 They Can Sometimes Be Old Fashioned
Because a mother-in-law probably gave birth at a time when there was still smoking allowed in the hospitals and boys and girls were taught to stick to their stereotypical gender roles, she is going to have a lot to say about the modern way of raising kids. And telling any mother how best to raise her kids, based on a mother-in-law’s own experiences 30 years ago, isn't going to fly. Like, at all.
No one wants to be told that they’re doing something wrong as a parent, but especially not by someone in their family who they have to deal with on a regular basis. Mothers-in-law can be totally old fashioned when it comes to rearing children and labor and delivery in general, so when it comes to that stuff, it’s truly best to just block it all out.
5 They Often Have No Filter
Sometimes, it’s funny to listen to a mother-in-law go on, unabashedly, about her past and her youth, but when it comes to handing out criticisms or giving way too much information about her labor and delivery, she loses her filter and it’s just not cute anymore. It tends to be hard for mothers-in-law specifically to not overshare and to not compare their own experiences to their daughter-in-law in a way that somehow demeans them, but it often seems like it's in their mother-in-law DNA.
Which only makes it worse, because that’s just confirmation that is isn't a habit that is likely going to change anytime soon. Even if it visibly upsets her daughter-in-law, it isn't easy for the no filter tendencies of a mother-in-law to just go away, try as she might to make it happen.
4 Parent Their Grandchild Without Consulting Parents
Again, what is it about grandchildren that brings out the bossiness and opinionated nature of the grandparents? Somehow, the moment they get that those titles of Grandma and Grandpa, they suddenly see themselves in the position of honorary parents of the kids, on the same level as their adult kid and daughter-in-law when it comes to raising their grandchildren.
And often times, mothers-in-law go over the parents’ heads to parent the kids. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways for mothers-in-law to over their adult kid’s and daughter-in-law’s heads to parent they way they see fit.
If they see their daughter-in-law implementing, say, a no spanking rule and instead a talking it out policy with their kid, the mother-in-law might overlook that and resort to a slap on the hand instead of talking it out, totally reversing the method of parenting the daughter-in-law is clearly trying to implement.
3 Think Their DIL Should Be A Wife And Mother Only
Being a stay at home mom or a housewife is a decision that many women choose and are plenty happy with. But there are also the women who opt for a career outside of the house, or who choose to share the majority of the housework load with their spouse.
And at times, mothers-in-law can act like there is only one way for their daughter-in-law to live her life, which is as a wife and mother and little else. This may be because she herself was a housewife who dedicated most of her life to tending to her spouse and children, and that makes sense to an extent.
But a mother-in-law should also see the value in her daughter-in-law’s ability to find fulfillment with other things in life, in addition to her children and partner.
2 Always Want More Grandchildren
They have a child and the mother-in-law is the happiest person on the planet, but it isn't long before a mother-in-law will insist that they need another grandchild and that their daughter-in-law should have one. Then, the questions of when another baby is coming will begin, as if it is the easiest thing in the world to have another baby.
Of course this is because the mother-in-law isn’t the one having the baby, and will only be enjoying the exciting and fun part of babies rather than the work that comes into parenting more than one child. And any daughter-in-law can agree that hearing her mother-in-law ask about more grandchildren can eventually sound like nails on a chalkboard.
And feeling like a baby making machine is not what any daughter-in-law wants to feel.
1 They Grandparent Through Stereotypes
Today, there is so much more to parenting and rearing children than giving a girl some dolls and a little boy some blocks and letting them have at it. Instead, it is important now more than ever to adhere to a child’s interests while steering clear of gender biased stereotypes.
And along with that goes the sort of terminology that doesn’t compare poor baseball skills to “throwing like a girl” or consider dressing “like a boy” to be wearing sneakers, jeans, and T-shirts. But mothers-in-law don’t quite get this, as they’re stuck in their parenting ways from decades ago. But what they don’t understand is the necessity of being able to raise a child in a non-gender biased environment for their own good.
Mothers-in-law can be a real pain to the point of simply not being able to stand them, which is why for the most part, everyone can agree that they’re just good in small doses.