Overbearing mother-in-laws might be objects of fun for men the world over but for women, 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. 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.
The survey found that 39 per cent are annoyed at their mother-in-law criticizing 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, immortalized in jokes by comics such as Les Dawson and Bob Monkhouse.
“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,” the
quoted Nifa McLaughlin, the website’s editor, as saying.
“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,” McLaughlin added.