Mr. Rebates

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Why the mother-in-law is no laughing matter for women UK

Nov 9, 2010

The overbearing mother-in-law has become an object of fun for men the world over.
For women, however, life with such a figure is no laughing matter.
Seven in ten mothers say they have to endure a controlling matriarch who criticises their parenting skills.

Irritation: Women say that mother-in-laws who question their parenting skills or turn up uninvited are the biggest causes of annoyance

Major sources of irritation include questioning how they bring up their children, mollycoddling their son, and trying to spoil their grandchildren too much.
The mother-in-law turning up uninvited is another cause of annoyance, according to parenting website
While conducting a survey of 1,000 mothers, it received dozens of testimonies from women who have confided that they can’t stand their husband’s mother.


  • Les Dawson
    I saw six men kicking and  punching the mother-in-law.  My neighbour said: ‘Are you going to help?’ I said no six  should be enough.
  • I saw the mother-in-law walking  down the path so I jumped from behind the garage and shouted ‘Boo!’. She said: ‘You nearly frightened me to death.’ So I shouted: ‘Boo! boo! boo!’ The wife’s mother said: ‘When you’re dead, I’ll dance in your grave.’ I said: ‘Good, I’m being buried at sea.’
  • I took my mother-in-law to Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors and one of the attendants said: ‘Keep her moving, sir, we’re stock taking.’
  • Dawson was following in thefootsteps of the ancients in poking fun at the wife’s mother. In the first century AD, Juvenal wrote in Satire VI: ‘It is impossible to be happy while one’s mother-in-law is still alive.’
Nikki, 35, from Essex, commented: ‘I have two daughters aged five and three. 
'My MIL has asked when she can start having them to stay over at her house for weekends, as she thinks she doesn’t see enough of them, despite having them one day a week EVERY week. 
‘My youngest is still quite clingy to me and has said she doesn’t want to go. I told my MIL this and she told my partner that I had separation anxiety issues and that I needed to learn to let go!’ 
The survey found that 39 per cent are annoyed at their mother-in-law criticising their approach to child-raising.
The mother-in-law interfering in day-to-day life (23 per cent) and ‘babying’ their son (20 per cent) were the next two biggest complaints. 
Completing the top five gripes were spoiling the grandchildren (18 per cent) and turning up uninvited (7 per cent). 
Complaining about the mother-in-law has traditionally been associated with men, immortalised in jokes by comics such as Les Dawson and Bob Monkhouse. released the results of their survey as it launched a free online guide for mothers on how to best deal with their mother-in-law in the run up to Christmas. 
Nifa McLaughlin, the website’s editor, said: ‘The key thing to remember here is that she doesn’t think you’re doing a bad job; it’s just very hard for grannies to resist offering their own opinion if you’re doing something slightly differently to how she would have done with her own children. 
‘You’re probably a bit less resistant to advice from your own mum, but with the in-law it can irk that much more, as you feel as if your authority is being undermined.’


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