In Defense of Mother-In-Laws (And All In-laws For That Matter)


With the holiday season fast approaching we are reaching the time when we either visit our families for Thanksgiving, or – if you are hosting – they come to you. For some people this is a time to look forward too. Others dread it and suffer massive anxiety at the thought of spending time with their in-laws.

Fortunately, I love my husband’s family. In fact, I consider them my family too. I love to visit them and when they come to visit us. We live far apart and so the time we share is always short and sweet, but the holidays with them are something I anticipate every year.

But recently – and to get to the point of this post – I was on Instagram and a new mom was complaining about her mother-in-law and how she was so livid because she felt disrespected by her not following ‘her rules’. I continued reading and found that the issue she was massively upset over was that she didn’t want her mother-in-law kissing the baby.

This is the part where I began to roll my eyes and chalk it up to her just being young, sensitive, and it being her first baby. This was not a newborn baby. And how incredibly silly and selfish to demand that a grandma cannot kiss her grandchild?

Let grandparents kiss and hold their grandchildren. Let them take them places and experience new things with them. Let them feed them whatever the hell they want (barring any food allergies obviously). Are they taking them to get piercings and tattoos? Then maybe you can complain.

I think we need to learn to pick our battles. We need to remember what is truly important and what is ridiculous. If you are a woman who has a mother-in-law that adores your children and treats them with nothing but kindness and love, then I don’t want to hear you complain. You should appreciate the good thing you have. There are some women that truly do have monsters-in-law, I’m not disputing that. But there is much more serious crap to get upset about than a loving gesture to your child.

We as moms can be very protective of our children, but there is such a thing as being too protective. The grandparents, the uncles, the aunts, the cousins – that our children have in their lives – are a blessing. Let them love and enjoy your kids. Don’t get hung up on parenting ‘rules’. Especially during the holiday season.

With that being said I hope you all go into this holiday season being open minded and willing to put aside whatever anxieties or hang-ups you have and just enjoy the time with your children and families.


5 comments on “In Defense of Mother-In-Laws (And All In-laws For That Matter)”

  1. I agree with what you are saying about rules and the absence of them, but I think that kissing may be different (obviously, I do not know what that mom had in mind). My daughter teaches her daughter that she does not have to hug and kiss people if she does not want to. This includes grandparents, uncles and even parents. I never gave a thought to that before I saw her instilling this rule, but now I think that she is right :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry I accidentally sent my comment before I was finished. I agree about giving kids bodily autonomy. In the context of this particular situation I think it was a 9 month old baby. And for all I know the grandma gave the baby a kiss on the cheek, whatever the situation is I suppose it depends on the context. I do think it’s important for moms to evaluate the situation and whether it’s an issue of safety or just being in control that is driving their ‘rules’. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hettie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure:). You know, most of the time I pay attention to the things which are different from the times I was brought up, and the times when I raised my children. That’s why I am so interested in observing my daughter’s parenting and reading your blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely agree! Grandchildren are a grandparent’s delight (in most cases). As much as my mother-in-law drives me (and my husband) batty we would never dream of keeping our children from any of their grandparents. People show love and affection in different ways and I think it’s a good way to teach children this within a loving, accepting environment. Sometimes out own personal parenting rules just have to be put aside once in a while for teaching moments and to let people show their love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Thank you!
      And it really shouldn’t be about our relationship with our in-laws anyway when it comes to our kids. Our children have their own relationship with them and we should encourage it to be positive and loving.
      I totally understand boundaries and putting certain rules in place for issues of safety or maybe even because of your lifestyle or religion, but getting upset because a grandma gave her grandchild a kiss just seems silly to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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