Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Is a Party Pooper

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I need help! This year my mother in law gave no gift or card to my daughter for her birthday or me for my birthday. My husband’s birthday was just two weeks later and he got a visit at work with a card and a check. I’m so hurt that she would snub my daughter and I and only acknowledge her son. Am I wrong In thinking it should

I’ve asked him to say something, but he won’t. I feel like he’s chosen to protect his mom’s feelings over mine.

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

In a perfect world your husband would be a knight in shining armor and set off to vanquish the rude manners of his mother BUT in the real world he’s going to next to nothing. So, it’s up to you to make the best of a bad situation. This is why I suggest going out and buying yourself your own present from your MIL. Take whatever amount she gave your husband and treat yourself to something fun. 

Now your daughter is a different story and as her mom you need to protect her innocence. So, I would buy your child a present and say it’s from her grandma and then have your daughter write a lovely thank you note to your mother in-law. When your MIL asks you why she got a thank you for a gift she didn’t buy you can explain that you wanted to shield your daughter from knowing her grandma is a jerk.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice With An Attitude please email me at or send me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.

6 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Is a Party Pooper

  1. mamalion3 says:

    I’m guessing the relationship wasn’t stellar before this occurrence, for either of you? So, my question is…do you really want a token present from someone who doesn’t like you anyway? Now, as far as your daughter is concerned, the woman is only hurting herself! Kids are smart and your daughter is getting a lesson in some people are jerks, even some in your own family!

  2. irreverendt says:

    I had a grandmother that did this passive aggressive thing. She would tell my mother to go buy herself “something nice” and she would reimburse her. Guess who never got reimbursed?

  3. Terry says:

    A bad mother-in-law can ruin a marriage. I should know. My MIL is the reason I’m divorced. Tip – never marry a mommy’s boy and think you can change him.

  4. Laura says:

    Don’t buy a present for the daughter and tell her it’s from the grandmother. Depending on the age of the child, just say that you didn’t receive a present this year and that’s ok. Point out that her friends and other family members gave her presents and that was very thoughtful. The only person the grandmother is hurting is herself. I too had the MIL from Hell and believe me, nothing she gave me could make up for her atrocious behavior…and yes, my kids noticed everything and compliment me on being nice to her in spite of her bad behavior. Take the high road, you’ll never be sorry.

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