Manners Matter: More Than One Mom

Dear Mary Pat,

My husband and I have been married for 14 months and his mother insists that I call her mom. I like her very much, but it seems a little forced to call her mom. My own mom passed away three years ago and I miss her so much. She’s Mom to me and it seems disloyal to call anyone else mom. I don’t want it to be awkward and I don’t know how to explain it to her without hurting her feelings. Help.


Sad Daughter

DePere, Wis.


Dear Sad Daughter,

Relationships take time to develop and I’m sure you’ll get to a point where she does feel like a mom to you. Having more than one mom can be one of life’s biggest blessings.

You don’t have to make a big speech at this point. Maybe think of a cute alternative name for your mother-in-law such as mama or mum. If she asks, you can be honest and tell her that it makes you a little sad due to your mom passing on. That won’t be awkward and she will totally understand.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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