During lunch with work colleagues this week, I learned that most people don't call their in-laws anything. It was confirmed by a survey of my fellow swim parents.
Most people said they just look at their MIL or FIL and start talking. Or when they call them they just say "Hi" and whatever they called for.
Most people said they do not feel comfortable calling their in-laws "Mom" or "Dad" b/c they have their own parents and that is just weird. Some do but it was hard at first. Seemed like they were betraying their parents whether alive or deceased. And that it still feels weird.
Some said they call them by their first name. But it's weird. And calling them "Mr." or "Mrs." Was even more weird so they didn't.
Most people said their in-laws invited them to call them "Mom" or by their first name. But calling them by their first name seems disrespectful to most of us.
When kids came in the picture calling them "Grandma" or "Grandpa" was MUCH easier. Bit of a relief, really.
Interestingly enough, calling their spouses grandparents "Grandma" and "Grandpa" never seemed to be an issue for anyone.
Personally, I never felt comfortable calling my in-laws "Mom" and "Dad." It always felt awkward and not authentic when I did. They are barely older than me (I married their oldest son and I'm 4 years older than him. They were like, 19 or 20 when they had him). Besides, I have my own real, good, healthy parents alive.
My SIL never seemed to have a problem calling them mom and dad. But she is the age of their youngest child and grew up calling them "Mom" and "Dad" when she was teenaged BFFs with her now SIL. I still call many of my childhood friends' parents "Mom" or "Dad" cause I always did growing up.
My in-laws had a German exchange student that called my MIL "Donny-Mommy." That felt like being a copycat to me so I modified it to "Donna Momma." That's what I called her for years. All my Tulsa friends and many of her former co-workers called her that too.
I have always called my FIL by his first name. Now I just refer to him as "Grandpa." I think he prefers that because when he calls me on the phone he says, "Hi, this is Grandpa."
See, it's awkward for them, too! LoL