Last month’s viral email from the mother-in-law from hell, Carolyn Bourne brought up a lot of ill feelings among ticked off daughters-in-law. After an overnight visit, Bourne felt the need to email her future daughter-in-law, 29-year-old Heidi Withers, a list of her so-called incidences of ill manners.
She listed things such as:
When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat unless you are positively allergic to something.
You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.
When the email went viral (after Withers emailed it to a friend who in turn passed it along to start a chain), hoards of angry women said not only have they been there, but they’ve heard worse from their own mother-in-law. And I’m sure it left a few mothers-in-law wondering if they’ve ever stepped beyond their boundaries with their words.
Inspired by this story, I’ve pulled together a list for any prospective (or current) mother-in-law of 10 things that should never be said!
What is the worst thing your mother-in-law has ever said to you? Share with us in the comment section below!
Read more on negative grandmas.
How To Keep Her Home 1 of 10My own mother-in-law who is the laid back type and wisely doesn't offer her own two cents unless asked for it, says that one thing a MIL should never do is tell a daughter-in-law how to keep her home. So that means no comments on her housecleaning, the way she places her furniture, or her visible dishes in the sink. None of it. Luckily my MIL lives by this rule so she never places pressure on me to have a immaculate house when she visits. If anything, she tells me to sit down and stop cleaning!
My Son Looks Skinny, Don’t You Feed Him? 2 of 10Is that a dig on cooking skills or the ability to keep her husband healthy? Sadly, it's probably both. First of all, the presumption that a grown man cannot feed himself makes my skin crawl. But on the cooking side, mean mothers-in-law often love nothing more than to put down a wife's cooking skills. Remember Marie Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond"?
He Was Mine Before He Was Yours 3 of 10Courtesy of my good friend, Lisa, these comments, as she says "are fighting words!" It's common sense that she raised your husband, but you are his wife and she is his mother, two unique and starkly different roles (God willing!). No reminder is necessary.
I Would Never Let My Child Do THAT! 4 of 10I don't care if it something as simple as leave food on their plate or throw darts as their brother, what you did with your child 30, 40, 50 years ago is utterly inconsequential to me. I am the mother and I will respond the way I see fit, got it?
The Baby Stopped As Soon As You Left 5 of 10Stopped crying, fussing, acting out, it doesn't matter. The implication is that once you were out of the picture, your child behaved fine…for her…probably because you couldn't get the job done. Might you want to rethink those words?
Discussing Your Husbands Past Girlfriends 6 of 10"Oh honey, remember your old girlfriend Lila with the long flowing blond hair who came from that well-bred rich family? I saw her yesterday and she just completed her second year of medical school, had three kids, bought a house on the Upper East Side (in cash), and looks exactly the same as she did when you were dating. She said to say hello." Of course, she'll say this when you have not yet showered after being up with a newborn all night, your hair is falling out, and your hormones are teetering on the brink of full blown breakdown……..which leads me to...
Physical Appearance 7 of 10Do not comment on your daughter-in-law's recent bad haircut, weight gain, added grey hairs, tired eyes, or any other physical asset, unless it's complimentary. I can assure you that you may have no ill intention behind it, but I can also guarantee you that there are some women out there who will take it the wrong way. And some comments are just comments, like "Why don't take a rest, you look a little tired. I'll watch the baby", but some are plain mean, "I notice the grey hairs are just multiplying, time for a touch-up?' And those words are simply asking for trouble.
You Have It Easy… 8 of 10I have a friend whose mother-in-law tells her every other visit about how easy her life is. My friend didn't grow up in war torn Europe, says MIL. She doesn't have to work at menial jobs all day and night long. She lives with an electric stove, refrigerator, and even a dishwasher! So therefore has NOTHING to complain about. Modern conveniences, yes, but with a MIL like that, I dare say an easy life sadly eludes her.
Im Coming To Stay With You When The Baby Is Born… 9 of 10A little help is much appreciated…when asked for, but declaring that you will be staying with your daughter-in-law just after she is home from the hospital is a nightmare, not a help! Most couples want to be alone to treasure the time with a new baby and to become a family, and having an unwanted guest around will be another added stress. If the daughter-in-law wants you to stay, she will ask!
My Johnny Likes His Steak Well Done, Clothes Folded This Way, Coffee Made My Way… 10 of 10True, a woman's husband may very well enjoy to have his clothes folded for him and his coffee stirred just right, but he is a grown adult and I am not his mother! So yes, Johnny can do very well all by himself and one day he may even make it to the big swings without my assistance, either.
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