How often do you phone your married sons?

pickyshopperJanuary 27, 2011

I can't offer my friend an opinion because my own kids aren't married. She is wondering how often mothers phone their married sons to 'chat.' She says she phones all her children nightly to catch them up on whatever happened during her work day, and whatever happened with their father, siblings or nieces and nephews that day. Her calls last about 20 to 30 minutes each.

The DIL of her eldest son has always had a civil but rather aloof relationship with her for no apparent reason. The other son is newly married, but has no children yet. My friend so far has a good relationship with her new daughter-in-law, but her son mentioned that his wife recently commented "Gee, I think maybe when we have grown kids I'll just call them on a rotating schedule instead of talking to each child every night. I can't picture spending every single night on the phone for almost 2 hours." My friend doesn't know if this is a hint that her new DIL might be finding her nightly phone call a bit intrusive, or if she was just making a point that she personally couldn't talk for a long time on the phone each night. I told her I could probably get a great variety of opinions here and I'd let her know!

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To be honest I think your friend is over the top. As much as I love my daughter I don't call her every night even though she lives on the other side of the country. As much as I loved my own mother I wouldn't have wanted a nightly call, it would have made me feel like she couldn't let go. If I had caller ID I probably wouldn't even answer.
I get on very well with my ILs and if they call us even once in two weeks I'd be surprised. We talk when we have something worth saying, not just talking for the sake of talking.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:42PM
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It seems excessive. Obviously I don't know the personalities of those involved but if I were the DIL it would rankle a bit. Do the sons ever call their Mother? or is it only one way?

But I'm curious - did she call her sons every night before they were married to 'chat.' Once a week seems more the norm to me unless something momentous happened.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:43PM
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I don't want to talk to my mother every day. Once a week is more than sufficient. BTW, I love my mother and we get along quite well. I have friends who talk to their parents and siblings every day, but they tend to be those people who are always on the phone.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Holy cow! I would drive me absolutely nuts to talk to ANYONE on the phone for 20 to 30 minutes every night. No way.
Hardly ever call Rob on the phone. I can keep up with everyone on Facebook on a daily basis at my convenience.
I don't mean it to sound rude, but I'd have a problem if DH's mother called every single night too. Way too intrusive!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:47PM
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I don't do this because I know they all work very hard every day and have children that they want to spend time with each evening. I would never do this. My children call me a lot but not every day. My son calls often when he is on the road. I usually do hear from one of them each day. If your friend doesn't want to ruin her relationship with her DIL she better stop calling each evening. Give them some time to do the calling to her. I used to have a friend that called every day and I can tell you it drove me crazy. We speak once in awhile now but would never do the daily thing again. Tell her to "STOP."

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:47PM
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If my dad called me EVERY night to talk it would drive me NUTS. If my SO/husband's mom called every single night for a 20-30 min conversation, that would annoy me also. I think she should lay off a bit and let them call her. Or at least cut the calling down to a couple times per week.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:56PM
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I call my sons once a week and they call me once or twice a week. It's usually just a quick call to say "hi". We also e-mail each other. My mom and I talk everyday and have since I got married 30 years ago. Our conversations usually last less than 10 minutes. I asked my DH if it bothered him and he said "no".

In your friend's case I think the DIL is sending a clear message. It may very well be that her eldest DIL is aloof because MIL is intrusive. It's a tough thing for a son to be in the middle of mom and his wife, it can cause alot of resentment. I think your friend should limit her calls and see if the relationships improve.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:03PM
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I have three grown sons. All three have been married and no way would I call them every night. One son we talk to maybe once a month unless we really need to talk to him about something important. The other two we talk to every 7 to 10 days. They all have busy jobs and families. What does she find to talk about every night?? If my MIL called every night my husband and I both would be annoyed.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Calling every night is way too much. It is intrusive. The DIL was issuing a broad hint, no doubt about it. They have their own lives, dinner to get, maybe kids to deal with, other phone calls to make, etc.--half an hour on the phone every night??? No way.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:08PM
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Three grown married sons. I don't want to be "that" mother in I call twice a month and if they in call between, I am happy!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:18PM
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I avoid calling my DS due to the fact, I seem to always catch him at a busy moment, work, family, etc.

So when I need to talk with him, I send him an email to his cell phone and he calls me.

He does call me, on his own, at least once a month. Generallly when he is enroute to some place or other.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Toni S

Once or twice a week I could see. Everynight would be to much.
My son is in college, not married. He is preparing me for life without son. Hardly ever calls, he is not a phone talker anyway. He is a great texter tho! I often talk to him that way. Ends his call with "Love you". aww.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:59PM
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I talk to my kids once every 10-14 days depending on what's going on. Every night for 20-30 minutes? That's way over the top - no wonder the DILs are cool. I'd certainly resent my MIL calling every night for that length of time. I agree she needs to cut back to no more than once a week and see if the DILs warm up a little.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:02PM
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Well, my son is not married and I call him when ever I want and he calls me. He just called this afternoon to chat. My girls and I talk to each other whenever we want, mostly they call me and most of the time I talk to some of them more than once a day. I am not talking about having long, long talks on the phone, but ten or 15 minutes. We always have plenty to talk about. All of my daughters are stay at home housewives. I do not call them in the evening or much on the weekend but they do call me and we all get along with doing it that way. I have four children. When my Mother was not in a nursing home, she would call me several times a day. It was not long distance for her to call me, but would have been for me to call her. I miss those calls now that she is in a nursing home. So to answer your question, no I would not call in the evening, but if they want to chat, have them call you.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:15PM
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She and her sons need to cut the apron strings.

The DIL of her eldest son has always had a civil but rather aloof relationship with her for no apparent reason

Oh there's a reason all right. See above.

I have a close relationship with both my grown kids. My DS is very busy and no way will I intrude on the little time he has left for his lady. They live together and I love her like a second DD. Why? Because she loves him and supports him in a way that makes my heart sing. I love that they have found each other. They truly appear to be soul mates.

Ditto fr my son-in-law. I do chat on the phone with DD more often because its a mutual desire.

I seldom get to have a conversation with my DS. We do sound bites. LOL If we need to communicate something important we text. He is always there for me if I really need him. I don't have to yak on the phone with him to know that.

This woman is well on the road to destroying her sons' ability to have a healthy marital relationship. At some point the wives will have had enough. Then maybe she can have her sons move back in and be her little boys again.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:18PM
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I would resent anyone calling me every day. That woman needs to get a life!! Tell her to let the sons call her, unless there is an emergency. I talk with my DS about every 7 to 10 days. He lives 1800 miles away. My mom used to call me 2 or 3 times a day and it drove me nuts. I finally had to tell her not to call me at work unless there was an emergency. My XDH once commented on how often she called.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:21PM
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The last time this question came up I was surprised at how many people talked to their adult children on the phone every day. Must be a different group here at the KT now.

I call my 21 year old DD about once a week, she'll call me to ask a question a couple times a week... but they are all short, maybe 5 or 10 minute calls. I call my Mom once a week and we talk about an hour usually. I couldn't imagine calling anyone on a daily basis.

I think the DIL's comment means your friend should lay off the nightly call. I'm surprised though that the son would mention what his wife said to him to his Mom.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:23PM
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That mother needs to get a life of her own. Doesn't she realize that the son with children needs to help with homework, story reading, bath time, etc. Then he needs to spend some time with his wife.

You said she calls to tell about HER day. I think that's very intrusive and self-centered of her.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Whoa...she is way over the top. If they all
work, I'm sure they have lots of other things to
do in the evenings than talk on the phone night
after night. They do, I presume, have a life of
their own. What is she thinking?

If she didn't over-call, son would probably give
her a call once in a few days.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:27PM
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Never, but I drove all the way from Florida to California to visit my one and only precious son in Sept. Met my teen age grandchildren and daughter-in-law for the first time to.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:36PM
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That is not only intrusive but downright obnoxious. I'm not surprised the Son mentioned it to his Mom. I think that was his way of hinting for her to back off. I am also sure that is not "exactly" what the DIL said but Son was trying to candy coat it a bit.

Tell your friend to take the hint and back off.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:17PM
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FlamingO in AR

I'm not surprised son told his mother what his wife said. Poor guy is probably scrambling to find something worth saying, since he just talked to her last night! lol Or this could be his way of getting off the phone call roster. Too bad he wasn't man enough to shoulder the blame himself, he has to let his wife be the bad guy.

I talk to my mom twice a day when Pops is out of town and we both run out of things to talk about, sometimes she just calls and says "goodnight" and hangs up! lol She's 90, though, so I have to keep tabs on her. When Pops is home, we'll go a week without talking sometimes.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:42PM
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If she is asking the question, then she probably already knows the answer LOL.

What if she calls one kid per night, then takes a night off, then starts the cycle again? That way they get breaks in between, and she can always call if there is something important to discuss.

She can always ask her sons, but only if she won't be offended to find out how they really feel (although, she might be pleasantly surprised).


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I agree she should back off! No need to call and talk every night for that amount of time.Anyway,it's not her business what his day was like.He should be discussing that with his wife,not his mother! I'm sure he could care less what happened with other family members.
My oldest son isn't married now and lives in a different state.He usually calls his dad and they chat about cars and man stuff every day but I don't talk to him every day, unless he calls me.Of course we live with youngest son right now but when we didn't he would call DH just about every day.I didn't do the calling though.This woman sounds like a meddling old woman and she needs to stop or she will lose the relationship she has with her younger son too.It's time to let her baby boy grow up!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:55PM
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DS & I talk on the phone on average probably about once per week... occasionally twice or sometimes none. I am pretty certain that my DIL wouldn't appreciate a daily call from me to him. DS's going off to a college 4 hrs from home helped immensely with my need to be in frequent contact.

DIL's mom used to call nightly, they are no longer on speaking terms. Now the phone calls had zero to do with their separation, but perhaps it does illustrate how intrusive she was in my DIL's life & marriage in soo many ways.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:58PM
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My DH has 2 grown children aged 36 (married, 3 kids) & 35 (getting married in Sept 2011) - he talks to them probably 2-3 times a week - no set schedule - he will call them, they will call him. I have 2 DDs - ages 27 & working FT, and 21 in College & working. We text frequently, talk probably once a week. They are local & good about coming home for visits. Interestingly - my DDs and I are not phone talkers - we are very close, but none of us are phone talkers.

My very Dear Mother passed in November 09 - we spoke on the phone rarely - she had hearing loss. I would put letters in the mail frequently & visit often.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 6:16PM
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I don't call mine unless I really have to, but one calls me about every 2 weeks and the other calls me about once a month - they lead very busy lives and I don't like disturbing them unless I really need to.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 6:45PM
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I might talk to my son maybe once every 2-3 weeks. He's very busy with his own family. Most of the time I will email him. Actually my DH has been on a business trip for nearly 2 weeks. For all my son knows, I could be laying at the bottom of the stairs, dead or something. LOL He rarely checks in with me. But, I'm totally fine with that. My MIL was not a meddler, and I completely love her for that.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:22PM
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Intrusive and controlling! I would bet that is what is behind her DIL's aloofness, it sure would be mine! Her children are probably trying to figure out how to tell her to back off, that they have their own families and lives that need attention. She needs some friends and interests.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:29PM
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My married son and I probably talk on the phone once a month - we do email each other quite frequently both at work and on facebook. My married daughter and I talk on the phone every sunday night, sometimes up to an hour! It's always been this way ever since she went away to college.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:40PM
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I read every post in this thread, and I'm not going to add anything new. Everybody said what I would say, and said it well.

I wonder if your friend knows how . . . er . . . unusual she is.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Sounds lonely to me. She needs to make some friends. Her kids need to live their own lives. I talk to sons at least every couple of weeks. Sometimes they'll call in between.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 7:52PM
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There's a very simple way to figure out whether or not your behavior is excessive. Just ask yourself, if your mother-in-law called every night and kept your husband tied up, on the phone, for at least a half hour, would it bother you?

If the answer is Yes, you have your answer. Couples today have little enough time to spend together, since they both usually work. Then to know that no matter what needs to be addressed with your spouse, his/her time will be cut short by a nightly phone call would absolutely irritate me.

Both my children are married. We speak with them on a weekly basis. Of course, if there's something that needs attention right away, there's no standing on ceremonies. But, the one thing I do not want to do is wear out my welcome with their spouses. As a result, our in-law children treat us with great love and respect and will call, on their own, to ask our opinions or help.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:15PM
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If she was my MIL, I wouldn't like that one bit. Does she really think her sons care to know what happens with Mom, Dad, siblings, neices, nephews EVERY SINGLE DAY? I talk to mine maybe once a month for just chit-chat plus additional calls if there is something particular to talk ABOUT.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:15PM
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I agree with georgysmom, she must be lonely to spend that much time on the phone with her sons. ....she needs to get a life.....Her sons would probably rather be doing most anything else but don't want to hurt her feelings.......she is so over the top that I am surprised the DIL's even speak to her.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Well I don't have a son but I do have a daughter. She's 24 and we talk daily. Always have. If I don't call her, she calls me. But we NEVER talk for even 20 minutes. We talk for about 3 to 4 minutes every day. Don't know why we do it but we do and I believe we both like it that way. She must like it since if I don't call, she calls me. But like I said it's only for about 3 minutes. We always talk when we are getting supper ready or we are at the gym. I don't like to call her when I know her boyfriend is around. I imagaine that once she gets married and has kids, we'll switch to a couple of times a week.

I do think talking for 20 to 30 minutes is excessive. Maybe she could try cutting it off at 3 minutes? That way she could talk every day just to check in but that's it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:33PM
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I have sons, sometimes weeks will go by, sometimes they call daily. As a daughter, my mom and I spoke every day. Even after she had no idea who I was I called her every day at the time we would normally call. Her caregiver would hold the phone for her. This thread makes me miss my mom.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:42PM
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I do not believe this is REAL. No one could be that rude, needy, intrusive. My son calls me once a week. In return he knows I won't call him, unless an emergency came up. He isn't married. I am hoping the habit is set firm by the time he is. I tried like heck to get my husband to call his mom once a week, but it didn't happen. There is no one I don't live with I talk to for 30 minutes every day. This story is not possibly true.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Well, she's just too needy to be believed!

My DS is in grad school, not married, so I wouldn't be inflicting myself on a girlfriend or spouse, but there is no way in hell I'd be calling to talk for a half hour every evening!

He has things to do, and SO DO I!, LOL. That woman needs a life.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:59PM
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Thank you for all your responses. My friend did call her sons every day once they moved out, so this nightly phone call was established before they got married. Maybe because the sons have always been used to it, it never occurred to them that their wives might find it a bit excessive. (Her other 2 kids are daughters and she feels she has a good relationship with her SIL's.)

I asked my friend if she always calls her children at the same time of night, and she said no, but it's usually sometime between 8 and 10:30 p.m. After reading all your responses, I think I will suggest that she might wish to ask each child when is the best time to talk to them so she can avoid interrupting them at an inconvenient time. I'll tell her that although the nightly call has always been accepted by her sons, perhaps the older son's wife finds it a bit excessive, which might explain her aloofness. Maybe he's hestitant to tell her for fear of hurting her, but it might be hurting his marriage instead. I'll also gently remind her that the newlyweds are just that, and her spontaneous phone calls might sometimes be derailing a 'romantic interlude' since they never know when she'll phone each night.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:01PM
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I call my DS once or twice a month....he doesn't enjoy chatting.
He calls me if it is something really when Jake was born or when Mio was born or when the Twin Towers fell and he was working across the street.
And he does call for Christmas and for our birthdays.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:25PM
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After reading your update I can say that I will get very annoyed if anyone calls me after 9 and get really mad if it is after 10. That's because my DH goes to sleep at 9 because he gets up at 4. Maybe that's the problem also? It's really hard when the kids get married. I'll have to be mindful of this when my daughter gets married.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 9:38PM
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yikes! that's insane! LOL My son would have told me
STOP! lol If that had been my Mother in law, I would
have freaked.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:04PM
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HOLY COW!!! I agree with the poster above that said the son should shoulder some of the blame, but man-oh-man, that is waaaay too excessive.

I talk to my mom once a week and DH talks to his family once every few months, LOL!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:06PM
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In my family we are FaceBookers~Emailers~Texters. My three kids keep in contact with me that way the most. If one is having an unusual problem I am the sounding board and may recieve lots of calls~~I am also the go to person when one of the 3 is stuck in traffic, they want to talk until they are out of it. As for me I very seldom call my kids~~I do not want to intrude on their lives~~~but with all of the above going on we talk quite a lot and usually with me never calling them.

The lady needs to back off give them a chance to call~~she may be surprised at how often they do call mom;)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:34PM
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I talk to my mom every day and my siblings almost everyday...but I don't often do it during family time.

I think that's the main problem here. My husband talks to his mom but it's on his cell in the car or he often calls her from work. If your spouse is working evenings, talking to your mom every night may be ok, but the mom in this case is interupting time with his new wife every evening... that's a huge problem. Does she not see that?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:52PM
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they ought to get fb! we all check there for things like updates on the kids, or whatever.. lol...

i check in with the kids only if we need something or to make arrangements to see the grands play soccer, ect...dd1 will call once in a while on her way to work, or like the other day, to let me know about dgd surgery..(tubes)

we established rules years ago when the kids were calls after 9pm...and we've kept that kids all work and need that tme to be with their families...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:00AM
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Never, because he calls me about 4 to 5 times a week. I couldn't ask for a son more devoted to his mother than he is.
It seems as if we always have something to talk about especially his 3 children. He is a graphic designer and works at home a lot. I fear I would break his concentration if I called, so he calls when he needs a break.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:28AM
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That's way way over the top. I talk to my kids occasionally but not every day for sure. In fact saw my son at the gym tonight from across the room and just waved. They are both local, so if I want to talk, I'll drive to their house.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 2:16AM
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I very seldom call my kids (both married) because I don't want to interfere with their personal time with their spouses, or with things they are doing in their off work time. My daughter calls me once every 2-3 weeks and we usually talk 45 minutes to an hour, maybe more. My son calls me when he has something he wants to talk with me about, usually once every month or two, and we talk maybe 15 or 20 minutes. We also stay in touch by email and on Facebook.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 4:18AM
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Haven't read all the responses, but I agree calling every evening is a bit much. I generally phone my married sons about once a week (more in an emergency or special situation, or course) -- sometimes they do the calling.

Both of them are VERY busy in their careers, get up early, are tired in the evenings, have wives and small children (one has a new baby), so I know their time is valuable, and I don't want to interrupt their time at home with their families. Don't want them to get tired of hearing from me, either. :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 6:21AM
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I think you should just print out all of these responses for her, or let her read them online. That way, she will not be offended by YOUR advice! (I rarely call my son In ky, just wait for him to call us.)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:01AM
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I agree, you should print out the responses. Your friend must be lonely in her life. There is no way I would spend two hours of my precious time every night calling my kids, and no way would they tolerate it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:10AM
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sleeper said it .no way they would tolerate..Show me a Mother that rude and insensitive and I'll show you a daughter in law that can barely stand her MIL. I/We do not interfere in our kids lives in any way. I learned that from a friend who from the time her kids married had to be in their faces all the time. Advice and intrusion blah blah blah.....she doesn't understand why her DIL doesn't like her. She has gotten upset because of things like calling and telling DIL we are going to pick the kids up at 8:00 and go to ??? and DIL says, I don't think notice, no preparation anything. Or here's another good one......two grands but they want to take the older one and not the younger one for pizza........DIL you can't do that......Some parents seem to believe that they are still in charge........I don't blame the DIL's and I think my friend is a sicko.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:19AM
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It is time the son step up and tell mom that he loves her but to back off. Set a time of once a month to call him. If I were the DIL, I would think that his mother was rather wierd, and I would run like the wind, even if I had just got married. It ain't gonna get any better babe!!.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:01PM
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If I were hers, I would buy an answering machine and
let the machine take the phone calls and call her back
when I wanted......

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Guess it's unanimous that she's over the top. My MIL had a hard time letting her boys go but even she didn't do that. I notice these days that a lot of parents are very connected to their young adult children - texting them multiple times per day. Probably will be even more cling on parents in law in the future.

I will add that when my in laws were in their later years my husband talked to them every day and often visited them multiple times per week. At times I thought it was maybe a bit much but a good thing none the less.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:25PM
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Wildchild, I was thinking more of unlatching them from the breast.

That's ridiculous.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 1:53PM
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I talk to my mom most days. I didn't use to, but as my sons are older (early 20's) and she is older (early 70's) I have more time to chat and want to check in to be sure she is ok and help her to not feel alone. She is a busy, vibrant woman but loves her children dearly and I know she loves to hear from each of the four of us.

As for talking to my two sons...the younger one away at college and the older has moved back home and is back in college. When they do not live with us I talk to them 2-3 times a week at the most. I would LOVE to talk to them every day, but I know then they would take our conversations for granted. A daily conversation would last perhaps 5-10 minutes as it does with my mom. I think if she limited herself to that, it might be well-received. Sometimes we children have to do things we don't necessarily LIKE doing to make our parents happy. But I could definitely see a spouse growing resentful to daily conversations of that length!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 12:09AM
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