They spoke off the record, and they held nothing back. Here's what the moms really want you to know.
By Emily Perlman Abedon
They said it
When we offered moms a chance to vent about their mothers-in-law, their response was immediate, intense, and, frankly, a little insecure. "Whatever you do, maintain my anonymity," women said over and over, as they cut loose with gripes over behavior ranging from the mildly annoying to the downright destructive. Now, we're not suggesting that you are guilty of any of the things these moms complained about, but just FYI, here's a roundup of some of the things that OTHER grandmothers do.
Parenting advice? Thanks, but no thanks.
If I'm looking for tips, I've got plenty of resources — including friends, my pediatrician, and most important, your son. Unless we specifically ask for your opinion, let the two of us figure it out. We want to raise the kids our own way — mistakes and all.
Passive aggressive is still aggressive
That story you love to tell about the homemade dinners your son came home to as a child always seems perfectly timed to coincide with my bringing out a store-bought dessert. Oh, and that can of Bar Keepers Friend you gifted me for Christmas? I got the hint. Very subtle.
I don't HAVE to pick up after everyone
You know how you always say you didn't spoil your son growing up? You're wrong. My housekeeping skills may not be up to your standards but I know there's at least one thing that I do differently that I'm handling right — teaching my kids to clean up after themselves.
Let's stop standing on ceremony
I know it bothered you that I didn't send you a thank-you note for hosting my parents at your home, but I wasn't being a rude ingrate. It's just that I had started to think of us all as one clan, not as each other's house guests.
Mi casa is not your casa
So stop showing up uninvited, unannounced, and unable to understand that I like my kitchen organized the way it is.
Yes, I am good enough for him
It's sweet that you still think your son is perfect, as long as you also understand that, despite what you may think, I'm also perfect for him.
Babysit much? Oh, you really think so?
You love to tell your friends how much you enjoy spending time with your grandkids, but when I ask you to help me out and watch them, you act like I have inconvenienced you — yet again. I'm not suggesting you give up your busy life. On the other hand, the children won't be this little for long — you of all people should realize that.
Money can't buy you love
At birthdays and holidays, please ask us for some gift ideas and limits. And if you really think the kids need the latest and greatest video-game system, fine — as long as you keep it at your house.
Sorry, I'm nothing like you
But just because I'm nothing like you doesn't mean I don't respect the heck out of you. If you don't believe me, consider this the ultimate compliment — I married your son knowing full well that, as the saying goes, "you marry the whole family."
Thank you for raising such a decent, responsible, kind man ... but why couldn't you have given him your great sense of style?