Mother-in-law/son-in-law Battle Royale: Palin vs Johnston

So Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston have gotten back together and are re-engaged. Bristol says Johnston is making big progress — “like he’ll change a diaper without me even having to tell him.”

While that quote is shocking enough in itself, I don’t want to focus on Johnston’s ability to be a good dad (although you guys can discuss if you want), what I am thinking about is how painfully awful that relationship is going to be between Johnston and his mother-in-law Sarah Palin.

Palin’s saying all the right things. She’s going to try to give the boy a chance but I am telling you Thanksgiving is going to be frosty — not just this year but for the next 20 years.

From People.com:

“According to Bristol, Johnston is really changing. ‘Tons and tons of progress is being made,’ she says. ‘Like, he’ll change a diaper without me even having to tell him, or he’ll take him when I need a 15-minute break, or he’ll come over and help with Tripp, and all that stuff is just so much appreciated’ ”

“Sarah Palin, 46, who is currently hiking Mount McKinley with her family, issued a statement, saying, ‘Bristol, at 19, is now a young adult. As parents we obviously want what is best for our children, but Bristol is ultimately in charge of determining what is best for her and her beautiful son. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives.  We pray that, as a couple, Bristol and Levi’s relationship matures into one that will allow Tripp to grow up graced with two loving parents in his life.’ ”

“Earlier this month, Johnston, 20, publicly apologized to the Palin family for saying things ‘that were not completely true’ following his and Bristol’s breakup last year. He blamed his remarks on ‘youthful indiscretion.’ “

Relationships with your M-I-L are hard enough but I’m just not sure the boy has any chance at all when he’s been on national TV talking about his M-I-L.

What do you think: Even if Bristol and Levi can work things out, can he make it work with her mother? Is your mother disliking your husband too much pressure for a young relationship to take? Can Sarah Palin truly forgive Levi or will it always be tough to get along?

What is your advice to Levi to help mend fences? What is your advice to Sarah to help accept him into their family?

Tell us your worst/best M-I-L/S-I-L stories.

(Check back in for  a second topic at 2 p.m.)

66 comments Add your comment

[...] Mother-in-law/son-in-law Battle Royale: Palin vs JohnstonAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)… what I am thinking about is how painfully awful that relationship is going to be between Johnston and his mother-in-law Sarah Palin. …and more » [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania and BalloonBoysADV, Stephen Roberts. Stephen Roberts said: Mother-in-law/son-in-law Battle Royale: Palin vs Johnston http://bit.ly/9ueWhu [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Phyllis Shelton, Northern Lights. Northern Lights said: Mother-in-law/son-in-law Battle Royale: Palin vs Johnston http://shar.es/mSJfT [...]

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
5:35 am

Whew….I do not know. If your potential son in law lies about you nationally ….that is a lot to swallow. Not sure I would be big enough to handle this with grace.

No MIL or SIL stories for me today…I will not be accused of TMI on this round….LOL.
You posted this late…did you have fun at the reunion?

T…what happened to the blog when you asked readers to send in ideas for columns, earlier this month.

I was curious to see what would transpire, as some folks frequently complain about your choice of topics. This would give them a chance to show their brilliance, through the ideas they sent your way. Have we addressed those stellar subjects yet?

Rick Patel

July 19th, 2010
5:52 am

Levi is a treacherous little jerk who can never be trusted, but he & Bristol understand today’s media/celebrity culture and how to earn money from it. Sarah should avoid & ignore them as much as possible.

Annette

July 19th, 2010
7:01 am

Maybe what Levi said back then about Sarah Palin wasn’t a lie.

And the lie is now, trying to smooth it out, retract the truth to get
on Sarah’s good side.

Could that be?

I think so.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
7:24 am

Annette…you have a point. From the get go, whose character is on higher ground…the Palin Family or Levi’s? While there have been many elected officials who have not been what they appeared, I am leaning towards the Palins on this one.

Readers?

“A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.”

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
7:26 am

Post evaporated T and it was not even long.

I wanted to share this quote, in case you are not able to find it again:

“A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.”

Who do you believe?

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
7:27 am

2 posts in cyberspace…outta here for now

Andrea

July 19th, 2010
7:27 am

I don’t think either the son or the daughter are being totally honest. Sarah is doing the right thing in taking the high road. We can’t abandon our kids even when we see the train wreck coming. Many parents with older children can certainly attest to having to stand by them waiting to pick up the pieces from a failed relationship.

This is probably more about those two kids cashing in on the reality show dollars (similar to the Kardashian sister that has the baby and is in the relationship with the father for the cameras). Maybe these two will make it. Maybe all of what he said about the Palins wasn’t true. Maybe the entire blended family will take one of those holiday photo cards with matching sweaters. Maybe I am the Queen of England and maybe I still wear a size zero.

Jeff

July 19th, 2010
7:41 am

Simple; Levi, stop kissing butt. Odds are, the dislike will never go away no matter how much you try. Stand up and be your own man (a little late but you have to start somewhere), do what you know is right and let the rest fall where it falls. My guess, though, is you have a not-so-great family life ahead of you. If your future wife is already calling you out in public about how you’re finally doing what she expects, and in a sassy way, you’ve got a tough road.

Alas, Andrea, you are most likely right.

Fred (with a capitol "F")

July 19th, 2010
7:50 am

Sarah is way too much the politician not to suck it up and play pretty no matter what she and Todd say in the privacy of their own bedroom. I think probably there was some truth in what he said but that it got embellished when he saw people would pay more attention if he spiced it up. Things have a way of taking on their own life especially at that age, you know?

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
7:52 am

One more check and yes some posts are showing up.

Andrea…too funny. I never wore a size zero…or even a 6 …LOL.

BTW whose family “appears” more solid…Bristol’s or Levi’s?

I wanted to share this quote but it evaporated earlier…sorry for the repeat:

“A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.”

Sk8ing Momma

July 19th, 2010
8:06 am

Palin would be wise to “ignore” Levi and chalk his behavior up to immaturity. I wouldn’t give his actions or words much thought or credence. He’s 20 going on 15. Hopefully, he will get wiser and mature over the year. In the meantime, it is possible to for her to find forgiveness ~ be the mature/responsible adult & doting grandmother, pray for them and move on.

Photius

July 19th, 2010
8:08 am

You know…. we have a full fledged nasty war going on in Afghanistan in which 36 US soldiers have died so far in July but nobody cares or even talks about it. Why? Levi and Bristol and other stupid subjects are what the people want. Oh please…. who cares.

barneyb

July 19th, 2010
8:11 am

They are all hot messes- huge train wreck to follow!

JJ

July 19th, 2010
8:34 am

It’s none of my business. It does not affect me in any way, shape or form. It’s their life, not mine.

Interestingly, a friend of my daughter’s was over Friday night. She is 18 (We will call her “M” and has a 4 month old son (we will call him “A”). GEORGOUS boy!!! Sweet as can be. “M” lives with her parents, the baby daddy (we will call him “G”) lives with his parents. “M” has a curfew, and is NOT allowed to spend the night at “G”’s house. Both parents are very involved in little “A”s life. “G” came over to my house Friday night also. “M” had to check in with her mother and let her know where she was. “M”s parents are supportive, but will not raise the baby for them. They will help out, but they do not take charge.

Both “M” and “G” work, and are both active in raising “A”. They asked me, if it was my daughter, would I allow the boy to move in with us and have them raise the child themselves. My answer was, “I don’t really know, since I am not in that situation.” It’s so easy to say what you would do, when you are on the outside, and not actually in the situation. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about this right now.

But I told “M”, as long as you are living at home, and working, my advice to you is to save as much money as you possibly can while living at home, so that whey you are “G” are ready to do this alone, you have a “nest egg” you can fall back on.

I also told “M” to get started on a 529 plan RIGHT NOW!!!!! She is going to starting checking into it now, and “G” was going to get started also.

They seem to be doing the right thing, but only time will tell.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
8:54 am

Good points JJ.

I tried to share this quote twice and it did not make it on the blog. Let’s see if the third time is a charm:

A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
8:55 am

Oh Lord do I have some MIL stories. It definitely makes married life hard when you don’t really get along with the spouse’s family. Every holiday, family gathering or a simple dinner together becomes stressful for everyone involved. I have a feeling the Palins are thinking this won’t last and Sarah is being nice with her comments to the media (unlike my MIL if ever given the chance).

What most parents realize is that if they want to see their child and grandchild(ren), then they can’t condemn or bad-mouth what their child thinks is right for her/himself. And ultimately, just because a parent thinks something is wrong for their child, doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

I had my son at 16 and my now-husband and I began dating when he was a year-and-a-half. His family loathed me. I got called every name in the book and had a reputation like you wouldn’t believe according to them. We got married 3 years later and have been married 10 years now. Everyone else in the family eventually accepted me and I have no issues with them but my MIL crossed some boundaries to the point that I don’t think I would ever be able to truly love and accept her and I honestly feel bad for my husband because of it. We will never family vacation with my in-laws or quite frankly, spend more than a few hours with them b/c that’s about all the niceness I can muster up. So my advice to Sarah- keep your mouth shut, you really have no idea where this relationship might end up.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
8:56 am

Boo- my comment got eaten!

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
9:01 am

Trying again:

Oh Lord do I have some MIL stories. It definitely makes married life hard when you don’t really get along with the spouse’s family. Every holiday, family gathering or a simple dinner together becomes stressful for everyone involved. I have a feeling the Palins are thinking this won’t last and Sarah is being nice with her comments to the media (unlike my MIL if ever given the chance).

What most parents realize is that if they want to see their child and grandchild(ren), then they can’t condemn or bad-mouth what their child thinks is right for her/himself. And ultimately, just because a parent thinks something is wrong for their child, doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

I had my son at 16 and my now-husband and I began dating when he was a year-and-a-half. His family loathed me. I got called every name in the book and had a reputation like you wouldn’t believe according to them. We got married 3 years later and have been married 10 years now. Everyone else in the family eventually accepted me and I have no issues with them but my MIL crossed some boundaries to the point that I don’t think I would ever be able to truly love and accept her. In the end all my MIL did was hurt herself and her son. Because of her actions and words, we don’t spend that much time together and we will never go on trips with them like we do my parents. So my advice to Sarah- keep your mouth shut, you really have no idea where this relationship might end up.

DB

July 19th, 2010
9:07 am

No bad MIL stories here — I absolutely adore my mother-in-law. She should write a book on “How To Be A Mother-In-Law”. I call her about as much as I call my own mother, and love visiting with her. She’s been one of my firmest cheerleaders and friends for the last 35 years, and has been a brilliant source of advice (never offered, but always available) for men, marriage and children. From the very first, I was embraced as one of “her” daughters, and treated as such. I would do ANYTHING for her, and just hope I can manage the MIL job with as much grace and love when my turn rolls around.

If Sarah Palin is smart, she’ll gracefully accept Levi and support Bristol, Tripp and Levi as much as possible (and I don’t mean financially). Why make it more difficult? It is what it is. The only thing that Levi can do to scrape the dog-poo off his shoes from here on out is to be the best possible father and husband — that pretty much cancels all “stupid kid stuff”. It’s going to take time, and mistakes will be made (didn’t we all make mistakes early in our marriages and child-rearing, as we were learning how to be partners and parents?), but if the Palins want Tripp to have a happy childhood with both parents fully involved, they would be wise to “forgive and forget”.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
9:12 am

@ Tech mom…me too! Maybe T can figure it out.

JJ

July 19th, 2010
9:32 am

DB – you are a very lucky daughter-in-law!!!!!

theresa

July 19th, 2010
9:33 am

mine didnlt show up either ,,, I’ll fix asap

DB

July 19th, 2010
9:44 am

@JJ: I know! I thank God for her every day — loving your MIL certainly reduces a lot of sources of stress!

JF McNamara

July 19th, 2010
9:45 am

It’s not Sarah Palin’s choice. As long as she isn’t financially supporting them, then she should keep her mouth shut and pretend to be happy.

If she didn’t want her daughter to be with someone she considers a bad choice, she should have done a better job of parenting. The choices people make as adults are a direct reflection of the parenting they received as a child. Bristol chose Levi because he represents something she’s comfortable and familiar with. That’s what we all do.

Who cares

July 19th, 2010
9:46 am

Again, what pathetic dribble. What was it , like an 80 word article? I can’t believe you get paid to put out such lame crap

thisissimple

July 19th, 2010
9:47 am

This really is easy. Bristol and Levi are the ones to make this choice. If mom doesn’t like it she has two choices:

1. She can raise hell about it and rarely see her grandchild

2. She can swallow her pride and let things work themselves out.

In most such young couples, the parents have the power b/c they have the cash, place to live, etc. Here, because of the celebrity status, the young couple has its own resources. Since they also have the kids, they have the power.

Sarah, with her political aspirations, can’t afford to be seen as unforgiving and anti-family. If she tries to make it work, and it shows signs of working, then the young couple becomes a political asset.

In almost every other case, they become political liabilities, and she can’t accept that now.

If this were any normal family, things would be different.

Sick of Sarah Palin

July 19th, 2010
9:57 am

Who cares what Sarah thinks? I sure don’t. She should shove a sock in her mouth, learn how to walk without looking like a bouncy high school cheerleader and just shut up. These kids are adults – any decisions made about their child is their right and any consequences from wrong decisions are theirs. Mommy might get embarrassed but who cares because she embarrasses herself every time she opens her mouth.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
9:58 am

Let’s see if this works….

@ who cares…your are correct.. WHO CARES about your post….many do not care about mine either LOL. I can’t believe some professional athletes get paid to put out what they do either. Since neither of us is writing the checks… WHO CARES?

doris benson

July 19th, 2010
10:07 am

Sarah Palin seems to be back in the political limelight once more. She is supposedly a family oriented, Christian oriented person. Doesn’t believe in a lot of things most of which are occurring in her family right now. So little Bristol is now going to go back to her baby’s daddy and marriage in the future. Looking better for Sarah’s family situation now. Her clout will be picking up in the media again. Doesn’t it seem a little coicidental that Bristol’s change in her life situation comes at a time when her mom’s political station is once again emerging. Also read that she bought a house. How can a single teenager who was without a job but now does have one as an office manager (how did that happen) buy a house without some type of aid from parents but they say they are not supporting her financially. Yes they are, absolutely. Another lie.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
10:08 am

OK, so I’m going to try to repost from my original message and hope it goes through this time:

What most parents of adults realize is that if they want to see their child and grandchild(ren), then they can’t condemn or bad-mouth what their child thinks is right for her/himself. And ultimately, just because a parent thinks something is wrong for their child, doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

I had my son at 16 and my now-husband and I began dating when he was a year-and-a-half. His family loathed me. I got called every name in the book and had a reputation like you wouldn’t believe according to them. We got married 3 years later and have been married 10 years now. Everyone else in the family eventually accepted me and I have no issues with them but my MIL crossed some boundaries to the point that I don’t think I would ever be able to truly love and accept her. In the end all my MIL did was hurt herself and her son. Because of her actions and words, we don’t spend that much time together and we will never go on trips with them like we do my parents. So my advice to Sarah- keep your mouth shut, you really have no idea where this relationship might end up.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
10:14 am

@thisissimple I agree, somewhere in my original post that got eaten by the cyber-monster, I stated that parents of adults often find out that they must accept their child’s decision if they want to have a relationship with their adult child and grandchild(ren). They must realize that their child has ultimately made the decision, not them and part of life is accepting that your children are NOT YOU and will not always make the same choices you would make.

DB

July 19th, 2010
10:22 am

@Doris: The housing prices in places like Anchorage are similar to here in Atlanta — you can get a decent condo for around $100K, a 3 BR house for between $150K-225K, etc. Sarah Palin may co-sign a mortgage loan for her daughter (lots of parents do that), but that doesn’t mean that Bristol and Levi aren’t making the payments – and with interest rates the way they are today, the payments are probably about the same or less as rent would be. She may have even decided to gift them with the downpayment (it’s cheaper than college). Either way — it’s none of our business. It’s just another American family making the best of it.

RJ

July 19th, 2010
10:24 am

Sarah Palin is as much if not more of a liar as Levi Johnston. For the life of me I can’t figure out why people even listen to this woman…but, this is their business. If they can make it work, and I think they should at least try, I say go for it.

Abc

July 19th, 2010
10:41 am

Sarah Palin has used up her 15 minutes many times over. Did you see her latest twitter thing where she used the word “refudiate”. This woman is so vapid and shallow, yet the right wing just laps up anything and everything she says.

motherjanegoose

July 19th, 2010
10:50 am

@ DB…good points…also I have been told that EVERY resident of the state gets an oil stipend of $3000 or so per year. This could be helpful for a down payment. Interest rates are hovering at 4% and paying rent vs. owning takes on a new level of economics.

JJ

July 19th, 2010
10:50 am

If this resorts to a Sarah Palin bashing party, I’m outta here.

Hey, RJ...

July 19th, 2010
10:53 am

…if you think Palin lies, have you read anything by Obama ” I will not raise taxes on anyone making under $250K, er, $200K, er “Obamacare is not a tax increase, er, er, er…

And, how best, now, to tell when Obama is lying – if his lips move, he is lying…as are Reid, Pelosi, Frank, and mostly all other politicians…

mom2alex&max

July 19th, 2010
11:20 am

I think both Palin and the baby daddy have told the truth. The Palins are a mess and the baby daddy is an idiot.

And for pete’s sake “he changes his diaper without me even telling him to”????? There are so many things wrong with that picture.

Jeff

July 19th, 2010
11:31 am

It seems many people are projecting their political dislike for Sarah on to Levi and Bristol. I wonder why Bristol and Levi aren’t being given the same encouragement to “make money for their family” as, oh I don’t know, Kate Gosselin? Where’s the “you go girl”, she has to put food on the talble for the children? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to go where they can make the most money? I say get it while you can. If people are domb enough to pay you, then take it while you can get it. You may not always be able to get it.

DB

July 19th, 2010
11:40 am

@Abc: Well, “refute” is a word, and on Twitter, especially, I can see where someone might accidently create “refudiate” out of “repudiate”. Given the everyday mangling of the English language via text and Twitter messaging, I hardly think that misspelling a word here or there makes her any more of an idiot than the rest of us.

Photius

July 19th, 2010
12:21 pm

Mindless, moronic interest and fixations from Americans towards people who simply do not matter….. You people actually read and follow what these two ding dongs are doing? Ahhh, the “Real Americana”.

HB

July 19th, 2010
12:50 pm

Us magazine probably paid enough for the interview/cover photo to make a nice down payment on a modest house.

doris benson

July 19th, 2010
12:59 pm

DB – My main point was not about the house. It was about how when she has come back into the political picture more prominently that now the “children” are getting back together to get married. Good for them on that point if that is what they truly want. I did not think when this first came out that they ever really wanted to get married – they just didn’t seem to be very happy with the decision. It was just like in the “old days” that when a young girl got pregnant the obvious thing was for them to marry. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t but it needed to be something that they really wanted. Don’t you think. And as far as the house goes, most every young couple or young person who buys a house in this day and time needs some starter help. Even 40 years ago when we bought our house (which we are still in today) we had the help of a loving father and mother – downpayment. Oh well, I guess I’ve done as much thinking as I can for today. Now let’s get down to the business of doing nothing.

TechMom

July 19th, 2010
1:06 pm

I think we should quit bashing Sarah and go back to the appalling MIL stories. My co-worker and I are always laughing about our awful MILs.

RJ

July 19th, 2010
1:09 pm

@Hey RJ, please find in my post where I mentioned Obama. Couldn’t resist eh?! Gimme a break. And for the record, I belong to no political party, and you know nothing about me or my beliefs. Only that I can point out that she is not the most honest person, nor is she the brightest.

JJ

July 19th, 2010
1:19 pm

My ex MIL was a real piece of work. I’m not sure what planet she came from, but she was certifiably crazy.

Thanksgiving, for example. The turkey got cooked the day before, and put into the fridge. Thanksgiving day itself….cook one item, put it on the table, go cook the next item, put it on the table, take turkey out of the fridge 30 minutes before we eat, so it will be at room temp. It took 4 hours to prepare the meal for 10 people, one dish at a time. By the time we got to the table, everything was cold. Cold mashed potatos with room temp turkey IS NOT GOOD.

NO DRINKING was allowed in her home, except for her husband. If he offered you a drink, she shot you an agry look. We keep a bottle of booze out in the back yard and kept taking pulls off it, or we had to hide a cooler of beer.

They had a swimming pool in their back yard, but we couldn’t swim in it because it would need to be cleaned after we swam.

We would go shopping, and she would not buy anything unless it was on clearance. NOTHING. But she would drive to 5 different grocery stores to save a dime on one item.

When my daughter was born, she accused me of being jealous when others were holding my baby and said that I wasn’t getting the attention. She said this right in front of MY mother, and my mom just about went off on her. She never like my MIL….

stepmom2

July 19th, 2010
1:22 pm

@ TechMom – I have the same relationship with my MIL. IF we go to family functions we’re there for no more than 2 hours. I just can’t do it. We didn’t even make Christmas Eve last year things were so bad between her & my hubby’s younger brother vs my hubby & his older brother. We don’t do the family vacation thing either. My tipping off point was when we were getting married she and my soon to be SIL rolled their eyes at my choice of rehearsal dinner and after that I was done. Then of course on our wedding day she was trying to do things the way she wanted- nope this is my wedding not yours (it was his 2nd). and so I purposely “forgot” the mother-son dance of which she was not very happy.

My co-worker and I too laugh about the stories we have with our MILs.

But I agree, Sarah needs to either suck it up and accept it or Bristol & Levi just might not come around. We all make not so great decisions and has anyone’s parents ever liked every decision they’ve ever made? Probably not. But you just try and be happy for your children even if you don’t agree.