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Got a Mother In Law From Hell? Here’s Our Wildest Reader Confessions

Mother in laws. What the actual f*ck. Is there some unwritten agreement amongst them that when their sons get hitched they no longer have to have any kind of filter?

We think there must be. Because from what we’re hearing at Mum Central, mothers-in-law feel completely freaking free to say and do whatever the hell they want.

Cue the Mother in Law from Hell!

Obviously it’s better for marital relations not to kill them so here’s a little list to, at minimum, make you realise you’re not the only long suffering chick with a complete (delete as required) bitch / crazy / overbearing-child-rearing-expert / mother in law from hell in your life. It’s our best ever list of Sh*t Mother In Laws Need To Stop Doing, as told to us by long-suffering wives…

1. Bringing food over. Because their son needs it.
When I invite my Italian mother in law for dinner she regularly brings a meal with her despite knowing that I have cooked. It pisses me off no end especially when she says ‘Well Donny really likes his mumma’s cooking…’ One of these days it’s going to slip out that Donny really likes his wife’s blowjobs – let’s see who wins this battle lady.

2. Making judgements. About stuff they know nothing about.
My ex MIL thought that only irrepressibly horny women wore tampons. She believed they could make you want too much sex and were thus best avoided so as not to have illicit desires at improper times. She was appalled when I went grocery shopping with her sister and bought tampons. Apparently I embarrassed her. I wish I was joking. (Via Flying Cat Potato)

3. Wishing you were the ex. 
My mother in law really liked my husband’s ex girlfriend. So much so that she called me ‘Not-Amy’ as her idea of a joke for many years. Amy actually cheated on my husband and is now happily a lesbian. She’s still apparently a better candidate wife than I am.

4. Assuming their sons are angels we have corrupted. 
The first time I met my mother-in-law (before we were married) she asked me point blank if I was a virgin. When I looked shocked and uncomfortable at my boyfriend (we’d been dating over six months) she screamed ‘Wait, did you steal my son’s virginity?!‘ For the record, my boyfriend was not a virgin when I met him – and he had more than double the notches on his bed post that I did.

5. Having no boundaries what-so-ever and on so-many-levels
My mother in law bought me a David Jones voucher for my birthday. It seemed innocent enough until when I thanked her and she said, ‘I thought you might like to get yourself some nice lingerie. I know what my son likes and having hung your sad sallys on the line you might want to think about something new. Men don’t stray when they get what they like at home…’  I wear Bonds.

6. Thinking their son can do better than you, or get a new wife altogether!
My mother in law suggested my husband should go on the Bachelor! I was sitting right there and said ‘But he’s already married’ and she deadpan replied, ‘Well, maybe he could meet someone new.’ (Via: Reddit)

7. Commenting negatively on the looks of their grandchildren
My mother in law is a freak about medical things. One of our kids is short, so she tried to convince me that he would have a miserable life and we should take him for a procedure where his leg bones will be broken and metal rods would be inserted so he’ll be taller. It’s important to know that she says it’s my fault he’s short because I don’t force him to drink milk. Obviously it has nothing to do with the fact that I married into a family of short people – she’s 5′ tall! She couldn’t explain to me why people allergic to milk are not uniformly short. My husband said he thought I was going to jump across the table with my butter knife and cut her face off… (Via:Rants in Mommy Land)

8. Taking credit for good-looking grandchildren.
My mother in law said to my daughter’s ballet teacher, in front of my daughter and I, that it was obvious that Asha got her poise from the paternal side of the family because ‘clearly the mother is quite ungainly’. I didn’t even know that was a word people still used.

9. Commenting on your spending. Or who earns what. 
I bought my mother in law Tiffany and Co earrings for her birthday thinking I was doing something nice. She commented in front of me to her friends how I had ‘horribly expensive taste‘ and that I was ‘always spending his money‘. Firstly I bought them for her. Secondly I didn’t have the nerve to tell her I earn three times what her precious high achiever does!

10. Commenting about their sons as lovers.
My mother in law is quite the open book. She asked me if my husband ‘sexually pleased me’. When I tried to politely gloss it over she said ‘I taught him everything he knows about sensuality. Just because you grew up in a prudish household don’t let that hold you back…He has needs you know..’ Up until then nothing had ‘held me back’. After that moment I had so many questions and quite the taste of vomit in my mouth.

11. Criticising the way we parent.

My mother in law told her friend (in front of me) that my children were raised ‘free range so don’t expect them to have good manners.’ I’m a normal suburban mum and we have plenty of rules. I dared to tell her in reply that ‘I live with the product of your parenting and it is 45 years old and still leaves the toilet seat up!’ I thought she’d back off but she replied ‘Surely that’s your job, dear, I mean he works so hard!’ We have four kids (including twins) under six years and I’m a part time intensive care nurse.

If you’ve got a great mother in law – lucky you! We’ve heard some whispered urban legend that there are some good ones out there! If you’ve got the garden-variety-troll like these gals above take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

The good news however about getting on badly with your mother-in-law is that a study has shown women who enjoy a positive relationship with their in-laws actually have a 20 per cent greater chance of separating. So keeping up the battle could actually be increasing the odds of keeping your marriage alive! Who would have thought!?

Avatar of Belinda Jennings

Belinda's a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. Mum to two cheeky boys, and wife to her superstar husband, they live a busy but crazy lifestyle in Adelaide. Great conversation, close friends and good chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. Oh, and bubbles. Champagne is key.


  1. Avatar of margie sincoe
    margie sincoeReply

    Why is it assumed that the horrible mothers in law are all mothers of sons? Mothers of daughters can also be pieces of work to their son in laws, interfering the same as sons mothers. And of course there are plenty of unpleasant daughter and sons in law, I think it’s called jealousy and it doesn’t attack only one section of the community.

    • Avatar of Pat

      True, and I know one… But it is more frequent that the mother-in-law is the mother of the husband, especially in some cultures.

  2. Avatar of Sarah H.

    My mother-in-law is awful. She judges me and my husband on EVERYTHING. She thought our car was dirty, when she *borrowed* it, the last time we visited. Not only did she cross boundaries by digging through all of our belongings, in our car, but she also threw things away, and brought the car to a detailer, to be “nice,”. It wasn’t at all so that she could say how wonderful she was, instead of proving how awful she really is. She did it to assert her power over us. It will never happen again, as she will not be seeing us for a VERY long time.

  3. Avatar of Linda

    My MIL has lived with us for 12 years on and off,more on than off, need I say more? She is a “ pianist” so she can not use her precious hands for anything related to cleaning,so all this years I have been her maid pretty much. Not once has she vacuumed or moped or swept the floor or dusted or cleaned a toilet , never. She has watched her son being abusive and very disrespectful and NEVER once stood up to say, hey that’s not ok, everything I did with my children was wrong, she knew better.If they ever got sick it was obviously my fault.I can go on and on .All this coming from a woman who divorced when my husband was 5, abandoned him for years in a different continent and had gone through 4 husbands and never cleaned anything, was always chaotic and pretty much a hoarder, chronically late a hypochondriac and didn’t know how to boil water. No spiritual beliefs, never a word of good advice or wisdom. Cold with the only two grandchildren she will ever have, not loving as a mother or grandmother. Right now she just walked behind me to see what I was doing! Why do I put up with this? I don’t know, but believe me, I’ve had enough. I want my home back.

  4. Avatar of Kellie

    My mil told my hubby he still had time to come to his senses n call off our wedding right as I was about to walk down the aisle. She tried her hardest to delay the day, but **tch he still said ‘I do’ we have been together 8 yrs married 3 this year. He doesn’t like me coz I’m getting things she never got when she was married n coz I dnt work due to medical reasons which she knows.

  5. Avatar of Bridgette

    My ex MIL tried to compare my 36week stillborn son’s death to her daughter having a miscarriage at about 6 weeks. If my son had been delivered about 12 hours earlier he would have lived. Never could bring myself to tell my ex husband. It was just too awful.

  6. Avatar of CC

    I live with my MIL and FIL. Both think they are perfect and are extremely judgemental. Everyday is a lesson. Everyday is a lecture. And everyday is a new day to criticise my parenting. I have given them free reign with our son who is now two because their other DIL didn’t speak to them for the first 8 years of their grandchildren’s lives. But now I see why. Today was the cherry on the top. My son has croup and all she could say was “shame on you” my two sons were never sick. “Shame on you for him being sick and then she just walk off in this righteous walk she always does. Another time she told me to go to the doctors to see about my memory because I’m forgetful. Literally seconds later she couldn’t find her bowl of grapes. And everyday it’s “what a mother you are” and shakes her head. I cannot wait for March to roll around because that is when we are getting the eff out of here.

  7. Avatar of Patricia

    My mother in law is crazy and a flat out liar. She tries her hardest by coming up with lies to turn my husband against me, deep down i think She’s having a hard time believing that her only son is now married. . She has purposely made both of my pregnancies a living hell (I suffered preeclampsia my first pregnancy all thanks to her! ) and she constantly crosses boundaries when it comes to how I do things with my children. She’s been living with us for almost 8 months now and I’m anxiously waiting for the day she leaves. That women has made my life a living HELL and I cant wait to wake up and not have to see her face everyday.

  8. Avatar of K.U

    On the day of our wedding whilst I was getting ready to come down the aisle my mil told my hubby that he still had time to come to his senses and call it off she had the taxi on speed dial. Hubby wasn’t paying attention as he was so nervous.She didn’t realise my uncle heard the whole thing. We still got married 4yrs this yr.

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