What Do Your Sons- and Daughters-in-Law Call You?

Do they use your name, call you grandma or grandpa, or are you Mom or Dad?

By The Editors

Mom and Dad? First name or Mr. and Mrs.? Grandma and Grandpa? Or nothing at all? We recently asked you what your sons- and daughters-in-law call you, in our Question of the Week group and on our Facebook page, and your replies confirmed that this can be an awkward area for in-laws.

Many of you recalled going years without knowing what to call your own MILs; others wrote about how difficult it can be to try calling someone other than your own parents Mom or Dad. Read on for a sample of some of the most interesting responses to this perennial family dilemma, then join the discussion in the Comments section below or in our Mothers-in-Law Anonymous group.


I have Two DILs. One has called me Mom from the day I met her and the other one calls me by my name. I am comfortable either way, but, truthfully, I love being called Mom. I think it shows endearment. — GeeGeemom

I have yet to convince my DILs it's okay to call me by my first name — I'm still 'Mrs. ---.' The kids call me Nana, which seems to be the most comfortable for my DILs, too. I think both DILs are just trying to be respectful, but it makes me feel ancient! — nanabanana2

My daughters-in-law call me Sally. I am sure I asked them to call me that. I told them my mother-in-law's name was Mrs. ---, and she never told me what to address her as, so some moments were so awkward. I never wanted my daughters-in-law to feel at all awkward. — Bimps

My 'son' calls me Mom. The first time he did it, I was so touched I cried! — from our Facebook page

My name — to my face. Behind my back, well, still hope my name.... — from our Facebook page

I'm going back 43 years to when I was the new DIL. I was shy, and because my MIL never suggested I call her by her first name, I spent three years not calling her anything! It was a very uncomfortable situation for me until our son was born and I started calling her Grandma. Because of that, I immediately asked my SIL and DIL to call me Karen. If this sounds familiar — say something now!MomMomKaren

Both my DIL and my SIL call me by my first name. That is fine by me, because both of them still have their moms around. When my DIL and I are out together or we e-mail each other, we will call each other DILly and/or MILly. We've done that ever since she was first married to my son. — MNgrandma

Aside from calling me some nasty names on MySpace, my DIL sometimes calls me by my first name. But mostly, I'm Grammy, which is what my grandsons call me. — GrammyR316

My SIL calls me by my first name. I would love if he called me Mom, but that does not look promising. My DIL does not have children, and she also calls me by my first name. Would also like her to call me Mom. — PatPet

One SIL called me Mom, but the others use my first name. Both are fine with me. I always had a problem hearing my daughters call someone else Mom. — maryj42

My DIL calls me by my first name. Her mother is still alive. I have two SILs and both of their mothers are deceased. They call me Mom and Ma, respectively. I have a great relationship with my DIL and one SIL. The other (who calls me Ma) is soon to be an ex-SIL, so I really don't want that informality to continue. — razza

Prior to my son and DIL's wedding, my husband and I were Dr. and Mrs. ---. As my DIL walked into her wedding reception, she gave us both a hug and told us she would now call us Mom and Dad. I LOVE it! — GlammaGrandma

[poll align=right]

I tried to call my MIL Mom but I felt it was betraying my own mother. When we started to have boundary issues, I definitely couldn't call her Mom anymore. So I call her by her first name. — Bradonsmom

I would be proud to have them call me Mom, but I know they all have their mothers still with them. It never seemed right to call my mother-in-law Mom, because I had my mom with me. — from our Facebook page

Wow, I'm really surprised at how many in-laws want to be called Mom/Dad by their SIL/DIL. I have one mom and one dad so calling anyone else Mom or Dad really weirds me out! — Sunshine1002

Our son-in-law calls us by our first names. We are all comfy with that. I would not feel comfy with being called Mom by anyone other than my own actual kids. — from our Facebook page

My son-in-law calls me Bob! When he and my daughter started dating, he didn't know what to call me. I said it didn't matter to me what name he used, that he could call me whatever he wanted to. He replied, 'Can I call you Bob?' and I've been Bob for 12 years now! Because my kids jokingly call me Mom-o, it has turned into Bob-o, which some of the grandkids call me. It's strange, but fun! — nmc52

My daughter-in-law calls me Mom and my son-in-law calls me Vickie. I am sure that the name my sister-in-law calls me is not printable. — Viclyn914


Get great advice on other tricky family issues:


My DIL called me nothing until she had children and now she calls me Grandma. I am very offended by this as I am not her grandmother! Every time I hear it I cringe. And I can't bring myself to speak to her about it.

grammakay53 on 2014-03-30 15:48:14

My new daughter in law calls my husband "Pops or Dad" and she calls me by my first name. I have asked her to call me mom or some other endearment and still she refers to me by my first name. It's making me feel hurt. What can I do?

cmccln on 2014-01-21 15:59:59

My DIL doesn't call me anything. Still after 25 years. I told her, many years ago, that she didn't have to call me Mom but she could call me Mrs. Jones or Dolores-- still doesn't call me anything. I try to tell myself that no matter who her MIL could have been, DIL would have treated her the same. I try not to take it personally.

Dolores L. on 2013-12-29 10:35:04

Compatibility Horoscope

How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?

Find out here.