Disney Star Tiffany Thornton I'll Return The Kids When My Husband Sobers Up

5/24/2014 12:40 AM PDT

Disney star Tiffany Thornton says she'll come out of hiding -- and bring her two kids home -- but first, her husband has to get sober, TMZ has learned. 

Ruth Carney -- mother of Tiffany's husband Chris Carney -- tells us she helped Tiffany run away to escape Chris' alcohol habit ... but she says everyone's calmed down now and they're actually trying to work things out. 

We broke the story ... Chris filed a police report Thursday accusing Tiffany of child stealing ... after she took their 2 boys to Texas. Chris has denied he has a drinking problem.

Ruth adds ... Tiffany and Chris are talking on the phone, but Tiffany's still bitter because she thinks he complicated a private family matter by calling cops.