Friday, June 13, 2008

What do you do???

Back in December, most of my in-laws came for Matt's graduation. They also helped us move. Anyway, right before they left, both of his parents told me that I can call them "mom" and "dad" respectively. I was speechless. Not out of happiness. I don't consider them anywhere near my parents. My parents are my parents. I don't even call my best friends parents mom and dad. And I've known them almost 20 years longer. The last time I talked to his dad, he said it again. I'm so not comfortable with calling them that. But I don't know how to not call them that, but not to have to keep dealing with them saying it. I know I could say that I'm just not comfortable with it. And I kind of said that last December, but I don't think they get it. And I don't think they'll get it no matter how plainly I put it. That is just them. Sigh. Any advice? Anyone else have to deal with this??


Nicole said...

I don't call them anything. In my head I think of them either by their first names or as "Princeton's dad." When I talk about them I say "my father-in-law" or "Princeton's dad." When I talk to them I just talk to them. Or I call them Grandpa and Grammy, just like my kids do.

The only time I possibly call them "Dad" and "Mom" would be in a letter, and the closest I come to that is in our Christmas card once a year - so I make him write those.

Maybe you'll just have to say "I've tried, but I can't call you the names that mean my parents."

LeeElle said...

I grew up hearing both my parents call their respective in-laws Mom and Dad. I've always liked that. Then when we got married I realized I would be calling John's mother "mom" and it was wierd. They (in-laws) told me I could call them whatever was most comfortable for me but that they don't mind being called Mom and Dad. It was important to me and I just sucked it up and did it and now it's not a big deal. It was strange at first, becuase like you said, their not MY mom and dad. I know everyone has different feelings and relationships but I'm glad I call them mom and dad. (I think they are too)

Steve-o said...

Just be honest and tell them that you feel uncomfortable calling anyone but your birth parents "mom" and "dad". Be direct, because beating around the bush will only prolong the uncomfortable feelings you have.

As a side note, I have an aunt that calls my grandparents "mom" and "dad" and it has always made me feel weird and uncomfortable. There's something about it that just strikes me as being really phony.

Heidi said...

I can relate to your dilema...not the part about what to call the in-laws, but about having them not "get it" when you try to tell them in a nice way how you feel. My advice is to just make it VERY clear the next time it comes up. If it bugs you, you gotta rip it off like a bandaid. You can't be subtle or beat around the bush...and you shouldn't have to feel bad about simply disagreeing with what they've asked you to do.

Oh, and I don't call my in-laws mom and dad either...i just didn't feel natural.

Jen said...

Awkward. That is the expectation in my DH's family too, and it just doesn't work for me (or for one of my BIL's who refers to them as "Mil" and "Fil"). It would be easier with my FIL than my MIL though.

I just call my IL's Grandma & Grandpa. Or if I'm talking to MIL and refer to FIL, I refer to him by his first name. To other people I refer to them as Paul's Mom & Dad.

If they bring it up again, I think it would be best (although probably uncomfortable) to be honest, and say that you aren't comfortable with it, and if they aren't comfortable with your using their first names, maybe there is some other title you can agree on. I would think that would hurt their feelings less than if you just ignore their request. ?

When my kids marry, I think it would be weird for their spouses to call me anything other than my first name.