It’s All in a Name

This is a topic that I’ve been hunted by for a while now. Ever since Pete and I got engaged, really. I would like someone else’s input besides my co-workers. The question that’s been the source of so much pondering? What to call my in-laws now that we are married.

Lots of people call each other’s parents “Mom” and “Dad”.  That is how they refer to themselves. It’s something that lots of people are very comfortable with, and have no problems doing it. Me? I’m more uncomfortable with the idea that I’m calling someone who didn’t raise me by the names I give my parents.  My Mom isn’t here, I can not even think of calling someone else “Mom”.  That is a sacred name and I can’t use it on someone else.  No matter how great they are.

Up until this point, I’ve avoided calling Pete’s parents anything.  I call them excuse me.  As in “Excuse me, would you like more Tea?”  “Excuse me, can you hand me the remote”.   Pete has told me to call them by their first names, but I haven’t done that.  I was not raised to call adults by their first names.  Sure I am an adult, but I am not old.   So Miss Eve and Mr. Ray seem like a good idea, right……wrong.  In NJ it is odd to do that.  No one does it so his parents laugh at it and think it is weird.  I feel weird calling them Mr. & Mrs. since I am too Mrs. Reese.  I think of them as Mama Reese and P. Daddy.  That is how they are in my cell phone, tha tis what I call them while talking about them to Pete but I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling them that to their faces.  I can’t wait til we have kids so I can just call them Grampa and Grandma.

  Answer me this, – What do you call your in-laws?

12 Responses to “It’s All in a Name”

  1. Debra Sue Says:

    First name, it takes some getting used to, but you’ll get there. If that’s what they prefer, then it’s perfectly okay.

  2. Shannon Says:

    Ugh, you know I’m in the same boat. Luckily when they are over here they refer to themselves as Grandmama and Grandpapa cause of the pugs. I can’t wait to have kids so I can call them this all the time! I’m tired of Excuse me!

  3. Morgan Says:

    I call my inlaws by their first names.

  4. rachel Says:

    Ha! We’ve been married almost 4 years and I still don’t really call them anything. I just wait until I am in the room with them and start talking. And they normally just call Matt on his cell so phone calls aren’t really an issue. They refer to themselves by their first names but I think that sounds weird, although I never called people Miss Jane or whatever, I was always a Mr. Smith, Mrs. Jones person. Frankly I sort of think of them as the other “our last name heres” than anything else. But it seems a little formal to call them Mr & Mrs. XXX especially when Matt’s mom uses her maiden name professionally and I guess we are related. So I am no help at all!

  5. Lisanne Says:

    That’s a hard one. I usually just call them by their first names, really. But if it’s a Christmas card or something else that is from ALL of us (including tags on Christmas presents), I say “Mom and Dad” (because they ARE Jeff’s mom and dad). But on a regular basis, I do *not* call them Mom or Dad. We always just call them Grandma and Grandpa because of the kids!

  6. kath Says:

    I’m in total agreement with you on the “mom and dad” thing. You only have one mom and one dad imho.
    Anyway, first name. it is weird at first, but you do get used to it.
    Happy New Year!

  7. Ani Says:

    I just started such as saying “Hi or How are you?” I don’t call my MIL in law mom.

  8. Christina Says:

    I call them by their first names. It does take some getting used to, though. I only address them as “Mom B.” and “Dad B.” on presents or cards from the both of us.

    After my dad died, my MIL said something stupid about my FIL taking his place. Um, NOOO! My dad is my dad and always will be.

  9. mamamichele Says:

    Luckily I am both in the south and have children.. so they are Miss Sharon and Mr Jim, or Granny and Papa.. I would be in the same place if I didnt have the girls though

  10. Beth Says:

    First names, from the time I met them (my family is from NYC, where that seems to be the standard). My husband and I met as adults (not as kids or teenagers) so I didn’t feel comfortable with Mr. and Mrs., ever. I’m glad I just jumped into the first name thing, because I see my SIL does NOT know what to call them. She and my husband’s brother just moved back to our area after several years far away, and she often says to her daughter “Go bring this to John’s mom.” Since her daughter is not also his, it isn’t “grandma” Awkward!

  11. Jenna Says:

    this is a good question…i call my MIL her name when i talk to her but when i refer to her to bobby or my SIL’s i call her Mom…but i hardly ever call her by her first name i just try to make eye contact and start talking lol

  12. Margie Says:

    I call my mil Hazel. She never actually told me what she wanted to be called, and in my book, I only have one Mom.

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