Italian Mother-In-Law

on Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Whatever you've heard about Italian mother-in-law's are probably true, or pretty darn close. For the most part, mine isn't TOO bad, basically a milder version. There are moments that she drives my husband and I crazy. For the first few months my husband and I were married, I didn't say too much. Now after three years, I'm not afraid to tell my husband what I think about his mother. Now he's starting to "see" how much a pain in the back side she can be.

For example. Last weekend my husband went to Slovenia for a bikers meeting and returned yesterday. He called home every day to let me know he was ok. Then he would proceed to call his mother, not because he wanted to, but because SHE wanted him to. My husband told his mom only to call in case of an EMERGENCY. Yesterday, while he's on his bike in Austria, she calls him, just because. When he didn't answer his phone (since he was on his bike), she immediately calls me wondering if my husband had called home yet. Not two minutes later, my husband calls home. I told him about his mother calling, he starts going off, and I don't blame him. He's almost 41 years old, intelligent man and is able to take care of himself. Yet his mother feels she NEEDS to talk to him EVERY day. Get a frickin grip lady, your son is a grown man with his own life and family now, time to cut the apron strings!

Once we were over at my husband's parent's house, and my husband's mother ordered pizza delivered. When it arrived, she went downstairs (they live on the 2nd floor), to pay for the pizza, but I had to bring them upstairs. She had a backache, therefore she couldn't bring up 4 pizzas that didn't even weigh a pound, including the boxes, up a flight of stairs.

One Sunday the four of us, my husband, his parents and I went for lunch with a couple of friends of the family. Basically everyone in the family smokes, minus my husband's sister and her husband. When my husband's mother wanted to smoke, she'd put an unlit cigarette in her mouth, and just sat there expecting someone to light it for her. This wasn't a once or twice incident, but ALL day! After the second time, I just ignored her. I figured if she wanted to use my lighter, she can ask me directly. About a week or so later I was out and about with her, we had stopped for a coffee. Afterwards, we were outside, she pulled the same stint. Finally I told her point blank "If you want to use my lighter, just ask me!". Don't play helpless/I'm too lazy to do it so will you do it for me attitude with me.

One day I was with my husband will he was running errands for work. His mother calls ME, to ask my husband to stop and get cigarettes for her, since she was too lazy to go get them herself. Heaven for bid she'd actually have to drive the six blocks to get them.

My husband's parents have helped us on a few occasions, but that does not give my husband's mother the excuse to act in this way.

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. My fiance must call his full blooded Italian mother
2 - 3 times a day!! He is 36 years old! Once in the morning, once at lunch while he is at work, and in the evening! He sees her 3 times a week on top of that to boot! I feel like he is such a mama's boy. Yet if he doesn't call her, she calls him. It's like she has to make her presence known.
It really annoys me. I want to tell my fiance that she will live if he goes a night or two without calling her. And he KNOWS it's abnormal, because half the time when he calls his mommy he makes sure I'm not around. Like I'm upstairs or outside or something. Because I know he's embarrassed, but yet he puts up with it and caters to it, by constantly calling her at least twice a day, in addition to his 3-4 visits during the week.

I hope this relents a bit after we are married, or I am going to have a strong issue with it. I wonder if he is going to call her twice a day during our honeymoon!!??? He better not if he knows what's good for him! Any advice??

Ann said...

Anonymous, where are you? Are you in Italy? I would "gently" tell your fiance how much it bothers you. Suggest he call mommy dearest once a day, maybe at the end of the day. I totally understand, trust me! My husband sees his parents EVERY day Monday through Friday, since his office is in their wine cellar. Then he talks to his mother once to twice a day on the weekends. I usually work the entire day on Saturdays, so that leaves Sundays just for us. After two times his mother calling at a rather "inappropriate" time in the morning, me telling my husband not to answer the phone because it is his mother, he told her not to call before 12 noon on Sundays. She has since learned.

It will take training on both your fiance's and your soon-to-be mother-in-law's part. Your fiance will always be her little boy

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the input. No, I'm not in Italy. I'm in the US. His parents came over from Italy though many years ago.
I guess it just annoys me. He sees them 3 times a week and calls her twice a day on top of that. Then expects us to both go together to visit them on the weekends. I realize I need to visit his family, of course. But my family lives an hour and a half away from me. I don't call mommy everyday and I don't have the luxury of seeing my parents a few times during the week. So to me, weekends should be reserved for him and I as well as my opportunity to go visit MY parents. Which is my only opportunity to see them is the weekends. Ugh. There's gotta be an easier way.

Ann said...

Make a compromise, that if he wants the two of you to visit his parents on the weekend, one weekend you visit his parents and the next you visit your parents. Otherwise you will not go. Set aside two weekends a month total to visit the parents. One weekend for your parents and the other weekend for visiting his. Then the other two weekends reserved for the two of you.

As far as he calling mommy dearest so much, if he NEEDS to talk to her so much, why doesn't he move back in with his parents? Not to sound cruel, but.... When my husband and I were first married, he expected that our house be hospital clean like his mother's. "That is what I'm used to" was his response. I retorted back that if he wanted our house to be clean EXACTLY like his mother's place that he could move back in with his mother. He has never brought the subject up again.

Sometimes you will need to be "in your face" with your fiance otherwise he is going to continue on this way. In his eyes he's doing nothing wrong and the apron strings won't be cut.

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Chandra said...

I can understand your frustration but you have it so easy compared to ex pats that live in Italy with their Italian "suocera."
I had to live one year and a half in my in-laws' house with my boyfriend. My mother in law does everything for her husband and her only son. She even thinks for them. She is their memory. Her husband would be a zombie if not for her. You can call her superwoman but she is the reason why her husband is so brain dead at times and can't do anything for himself.
I've been able to "change" this mentality with her son a bit but until we move out (in a few days) we live under her roof.

What would you do if your mother in law bursted into your room 3 times a night to turn off a fan because she thought her son would get sick from the direct breeze. What would you do if you knew your boyfriend didn't know where any of his clothes or shoes were and needed his mom to prepare his daily attire?
What would you do if your mother in law packed suitcases for your boyfriend to go on a vacation?
What would you do if your boyfriend rubs his temple and your mother in law starts to freak out because she thinks he has a serious headache?
What would you do if he got 2 headaches in a week and your mother in law starts to cry because she thinks he has a degenerative disease?
The list goes on and on. Calling 3 times a day is nothing. I just hope she doesn't get the keys to the new apartment.

Chandra said...

I can understand your frustration but you have it so easy compared to ex pats that live in Italy with their Italian "suocera."
I had to live one year and a half in my in-laws' house with my boyfriend. My mother in law does everything for her husband and her only son. She even thinks for them. She is their memory. Her husband would be a zombie if not for her. You can call her superwoman but she is the reason why her husband is so brain dead at times and can't do anything for himself.
I've been able to "change" this mentality with her son a bit but until we move out (a few days) we live under her roof.

What would you do if your mother in law bursted into your room 3 times a night to turn off a fan because she thought her son would get sick from the direct breeze. What would you do if you knew your boyfriend didn't know where any of his clothes or shoes were and needed his mom to prepare his daily attire? What would you do if your mother in law packed suitcases for your boyfriend to go on a vacation?
What would you do if your boyfriend rubbed his temple and your mother in law starts to freak out because she thinks he has a serious headache? What would you do if he got 2 headaches in a week and your mother in law starts to cry because she thinks he has a degenerative disease?
The list goes on and on. Calling 3 times a day is lucky. 3 more days to go. I just hope she doesn't get the keys to the apartment.

c353a934-a16e-11e0-8148-000bcdca4d7a said...

I heard this information from others. Italian mother-in-law's are probably true, or pretty darn close.
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