"Mother-in-law Who Calls Everyday"

Updated on February 05, 2007
J.C. asks from Katy, TX
6 answers

Don't get me wrong, I adore my mother-in-law. However, I do I handle the problem the she calls everyday--sometimes more than once--asking how everyone is doing and wanting to talk to the kids. There are times when they don't want to talk and she calls again an hour later--and they still don't want to talk. How do I bring the subject up to her about only calling every once in awhile? Or, do I just not bring up the subject? We live about 3 1/2 hours away from both of our families so, we don't see them too often. However, it always seems like we have to make the effort of going down for my in-laws to see the children. They RARELY come up to visit--even when they have several days off. Please help! I don't want to seem like an inconsiderate daughter.

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answers from Houston on

It sounds to me like she is a very lonely person to call all the time. It also sounds like she thinks you are sitting around doing nothing but waiting on her to call. Your very busy with 3 small children! Don't let her make you crazy and disrupt your schedule.

To begin, don't answer the phone every time (get caller id). If she asks when you do pick up the phone one day tell her you have a new schedule with the kids and you aren't home as much or busy upstairs doing things with the kids.

I like the suggestion of getting pictures etc on the website. You can also record the kids voices and put that in emails or on the website too. If that helps her be less lonely thats a good thing and it doesn't interrupt your day.

You can be proactive with some things and perhaps help her call less. Have your 2 and 3 year old draw pictures and send them off to her in the mail. She will love that! Be sure to send her any updated photos, or post them on the website. Instead of her calling, have your husband and the kids call her on a particular evening or on the weekend.

If she doesn't come down to your place enough invite her down (not too often)! With three small children a trip to other people's house is a logistical nightmare. Let her know that with all the special baby gear etc it would be a better visit if they came down instead of you going up.

Good luck


answers from Houston on

make a scheduled time for her to call every day, make sure your kids know this is "grandma time" explain to her that things are hectic but you want the kids to talk to her everyday, but that you need to plan it. whatever you do don't let on that she is being a nuisance- this could cause a rift between the two of you



answers from Houston on


Seems like these "smother-in-laws" (as I like to call them) are all too common.

First off - it is your HUSBAND who needs to say something, not you. It will be nothing but bad all around if you say something.
2nd - don't answer the phone. She may also get the hint from you.
3rd- It's a fine line to walk, but don't just let her think she can do anything and you'll put up with it. You and your husband need to invite them up (for a SPECIFIC period of time) and not go visit them every time. You have 3 kids and shouldn't have to shlep them around for someone else's benefit.

Good luck-



answers from Houston on

thats a toughy because there are more than one variable here. Your husbands feelings, your ability to be able to talk to her about it. I think sometimes parents are so rapped up in their kids that when they grow up and have children of their own they don't realize that the grandskids mostly want their parents and the grandparents are just spectators. Sure the kids love them but too much can turn them off. If you could speak to your husband without him taking it personal then maybe you can find away to tell them to cut down on the calling. It sounds like her feelings are going to be hurt but it sounds like she or she and her husband need to find some extra curricular activities. Its hard when the mom has lived her childs whole life about him or her to let go and realize that the grandchildren dont need you everyday. I suppose maybe since she is so far maybe she also feels that she doenst want to be a distance grandma that noone is close too. Talk to your husband if you can to see how you can address this issue.



answers from Houston on

Is she on the internet alot... if so set up a myspace account and tell her to set one up too. Then tell her she can see her grandchildren where she want. Does she sew or other craft project tell her that you need some curtains for thier room. When she call have the kids answer and "accedently" hang up and leave it off the hook until your husband comes home. HAha...lol I don't know what else to say. O at least she not going with you on your first family vacation to Disney World. And I also know what you mean when you say they don't come to visit. My MIL thinks that we ALWAYS have to go over there. The only time she comes over here is when SHE needs to or a special family gathers!!! And she and her husband are both retire so time and money are no problem it just the fact she thinks it's our responsibilty to bring the children. We go one holiday on and off and I remember my daughter was only two months old and she won't take no for an answer and my husband doesn't have the gut or ball to stand up to her. I keep on telling my husband when are we going to set our own tradition and he say well we just can't go over for holidays it just wrong your family will still be with us. BUT WILL BE AT HOME IF THEY WANT TO COME OVER THAT GREAT!!! He always looks at it that way my family is in town so I always see them and we should go over for holidays. I HATE IT!!
Hope it helps to know other are in your situations and worse,



answers from Houston on

Let your husband tell them. It's his parents. You are lucky they live so far. I have a Monster -in -law trying to break up our family! Good luck

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