Dear Mother-In-Law, I Tried, but Now I’m Done

A woman facing the ocean and holding up a sign with the text Freedom.

Dear Mother-In-Law,

I know that I am the villain in your story, but there’s something that I need you to hear :: I tried. I tried to spend alone time with you so that you could get to know me. I tried to invite you over for dinner when it was just me and your son. I tried by inviting  you to important bridal appointments. I tried by inviting you to holidays and incorporating you into my side of the family. I tried by inviting you to the important baby ultrasound appointments. I tried.

I tried by inviting you over to see the baby {eventually, babies}. I tried by inviting you to special events, like baptisms and holidays. I tried by texting you pictures of the babies and by consciously remembering to post pictures on Facebook. I tried by being the person who buys birthday gifts, Mother’s Day gifts, Christmas gifts. I sent homemade cards and things from the kids. I sent flowers to make you feel special and I gave my husband the credit he deserves. I tried by helping you move eight hours away. I tried by continuing our Sunday Skype sessions while your son was out of the country {for months at a time}. While I was alone with the kids, running ragged, I tried. When you were strapped for cash, I tried by offering our guest bedroom for free until you got on your feet. Despite drama between us, I even tried by texting you obligatory bluebonnet pictures this year.

I tried, up until the point that you told your own son that he was the reason you are single, alone, and miserable. Now I will no longer try. My husband is the most amazing man I will ever meet. He’s kind, caring, loving, helpful, protective, and an incredible partner. He is definitely not the burden that you make him out to be. He is the strength in our marriage when we need it. He’s protected you through breakups, moving, losing your job, losing your family, everything. He would have continued to protect you and help you if you would have just been grateful. Instead, it’s over. I’m done trying.

You’ve always had this dramatic, negative view of me that’s worth of some television storyline; but in reality, we both know that that is not me. Your problems are not with me, they lie within yourself. You are unhappy and I am the perfect scapegoat. Your son found his happiness in me and our girls. I would love to share a fraction of our happiness with you. I yearn to have a happy mother-in-law and another happy grandparent for my girls {and let’s face it, another babysitter for date nights}. That’s not the relationship we have though.

Publicly you have admonished my efforts, which I can handle; air your dirty laundry if that is what makes you happy. When you publicly bring up the fact that my husband won’t “control his wife”, a fact that most mothers would be proud of their sons for, I sit here and smile. Not only would he never be able to control me, he would never want to. He did not marry someone that won’t speak her mind, especially when my husband is the subject of your cruelty. You can try and tell your 12 Facebook friends that I have never allowed you to be a “true grandparent”, but I will sit here knowing that I tried.


Your strong daughter-in-law

Pin this post and be sure to follow Houston Moms Blog on Pinterest!

Dear Mother-In-Law, I Tried, but Now I'm Done. Logo: Houston moms blog. A photograph of a woman facing the ocean and holding up a sign with the text Freedom.

Previous articleMe vs. The Summer :: A Story of Body Positivity
Next articleA Houston Mom’s Guide to July
Jennifer is a native outside-the-loop’er growing up and living in the Richmond/Rosenberg area. She has a Bachelors in theology and political science from Texas Lutheran University and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Texas Christian University. She and her husband Greg met in 2010 through and fell in love on their first date. They married exactly one year later and have fought lovingly and constantly since. They have two amazingly brilliant girls, Kaitlyn {June 2013} and Elizabeth {June 2015} who Jen stays home with during the day. When Jen is not curled in a little ball rocking back and forth with Peppa Pig on in the background, she can be found crafting with her Silhouette and/or binge watching The Office for the millionth time. Jen has an uncanny ability to be comfortable in almost any situation put in front of her, thanks to growing up in politics and on the debate team. Before having kids of her own, she had the opportunity to help other kids through teaching, youth ministry, and generally being a helpful, kind soul. You can check out more about Jen on IG @themommymiddle.


  1. Oh this is amazing for you to write! I fully understand as I’ve had similar experiences with my MIL. Kuddos I’m having the courage to write this!

  2. I sadly not only go trough this with my MIL but my mother as well …I have never had the courage to speak my mind to them and by reading this it gives me the courage to make changes..

  3. Yes. Just yes. This is not for my MIL but my own mother. You could have written this from my perspective and been spot on. Thank you! ❤️ Fellow contributer from SAMB

  4. Are any of you MILs? Maybe, just maybe you should put yourselves in their shoes for a moment. The son they raised, took care of, and was the apple of her eyes, is no longer there for her. Don’t you think the same will happen to you when your sons leave too? Think about it for a moment before judging and mistreating your in-laws, you’ll be one, too!

    • Hey there!! Thanks for your comment.

      While I respect your comment, this isn’t my case. My husband and I both (individually and together, before kids and after kids) invited her to everything and did our very best to include her until she made it abundantly clear she wasn’t interested. Instead, she wants to pout that I am a horrible person online. In person, she skipped my wedding rehearsal, daughter’s baptism, and countless other things because they weren’t about her.

      She lived in my house for 5 months starting this past December and REFUSED to speak to me in my own home. No “hello”. Not even a bad look in my direction.

      We did everything we could to let her feel included, but she is not interested.

      Thanks for your comment though.

    • Remember MILs, DIL have the ‘goods’ and therefore have the control. Let them boys go! Cling to your husbands if you have one and don’t concern yourselves with them! This is time for you MIL to enjoy your life and for once take care of YOU! Don’t make yourself so readily available to babysit at a moments notice. Rediscover the romance and fun you once had with your spouse and let that lousy, whiny, griping DIL figure it out for herself!

  5. Well, I am a MIL and I too bent over backwards for my DIL. She married my youngest son this past June. We contributed $6000 to their wedding and they paid the rest. We just received a ‘thank you’ card in the mail the day after Thanksgiving of which she wrote and didn’t even sign: “Caleb and I appreciate the thought that you put into helping prepare for our wedding. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day at the Botanical Gardens. Thank you for the quilt, helping with the cake, and floral accessories and for decorating and hosting the rehearsal dinner. The Butcher Shop food was really good. The wedding cakes from Frost turned out great and it sounded like our guest thought the same!” No signature. Now, here is the thank you my MIL received and keep in mind she is from a second marriage and she has never acknowledged my boys at Christmas or any other holiday. My DIL has met her only a handful of times. “Thank you so much for helping celebrate our special day at the Botanic Gardens. It was so great to see you. Please tell your friend thanks fir attending as well. We really appreciate your wedding gift and will keep these memories for a lifetime! Love, Sophia and Caleb

    I lost my eldest son in a car accident in 2014. I was always closer to Caleb and so I tried to include her in all kinds of things. I threw her a surprise 30th Birthday party, I have cooked numerous meals with no help on cleanup or help cooking. She sits on the couch playing on her phone. I wanted to love her because my son loves her. They dated nearly 7 years. Right after my son was killed she broke up with Caleb, I believe out of jealousy because he began working out with my eldest son’s girlfriend. They both had lost someone they loved; a brother & a boyfriend. Somehow they got back together but Caleb wasn’t aloud to work out with my eldest girlfriend any longer.

    I tried. I really have tried.

  6. Hats off you Jennifer! You are truly my inspiration!
    My MIL stirred my FIL up enough to the point that despite the fact we have been kind enough to let them live with us, he yelled at me for 3 minutes straight telling me that I am the SOLE reason for his wifes misery and that he is going to kill me and that people like me don’t last long.

    So reading your article gave me such satisfaction that I am not the only person to say that I am done with in-laws!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here