Guest Post: My Finnish Mother-in-law

Hello everyone, I’m Ruowei the wife of Timo and the guest blogger for today. I will tell you about my weird mother-in-law. No my MIL is not some crazy Asian woman but an elderly European woman who acts pretty strange sometimes.


So this is how an European MIL is through the eyes of a Chinese girl. My MIL is an old and weird lady, I guess you can use weird for every MIL despite the nationality. She is a very kind person, not getting in middle of our marriage life which is very good compare to many Chinese MILs, however, my MIL sometimes can be really–how to say, funny in a way? Here are just some examples which make me laugh every time I see it.

MIL at our son’s baptizing

These are some of the basics about my mother-in-law that you should know. She is a quite stubborn lady, she doesn’t want to learn anything new, especially when it comes to electronics. The worst nightmare for her is that the old remote control is broken and she needs to switch to a new one. It is not simply about changing to something but also to learn all the different buttons ones again even though she only uses three buttons on every remote control : On/Off, Volume +/- and Channel +/-. Really, these are all the buttons she needs but whenever she has to use a different remote control it is like the end of the world for her. Then there is the matter that she does not want to learn anything at all about modern technology. Let’s take a mobile phone as an example. All she can do for the past 20 years is to type in the numbers and dial them and also she knows how to answer a call. Phonebook, text messages, calender etc. are as alien to her and strange as flying pigs are or Mämmi to me! To this day she writes down what she wants to say in a text message on a piece of paper and her husband has to type it in.

Every time Timo’s father is buying something big, like a tv, he always tells her a much lower price so she wouldn’t start complaining about that the old TV was still working perfectly even though the picture was only half visible…Whatever somebody buys, she always complains how expensive it is and this resulted that everyone tells her a much lower price these days whenever she wants to know about it. Timo got a new racing bicycle last summer  from his dad. Both were struggling on how to tell my MIL about it so what they did is not telling the her about the bicycle until she saw it in our apartment this spring. As she started to complain about it, Timo and his father told her “But you know, we discussed this already last year”. This is enough to confuse her and after a while she even believes it….my poor MIL always gets tricked by the evil husband and son.

A group picture
MIL hiding behind my mother

Then there is the matter about food. She just does not want to try out any new food (just as new technology). So just imagine how hard it was to figure out what to eat when my in-laws visited for their first time China for over a week! It was not easy this I can tell you. Even MIL’s sister said to us how impossible it is to find anything nice to eat for MIL. You might think it is because of the strange spices in Chinese food but no, she also doesn’t like/ wants to try any German or Finnish food she hasn’t had before. This results in very standardized dishes we get served whenever she makes food. Boooring!

As a last story I have still my favorite. It is both funny and sad so I never really know how to think about it. The one sentence MIL is using always and with always I mean nearly everyday we are over at her place and are about to leave “This might be the last time we can enjoy this together you never know when I’m dying!” According to Timo she has been saying this as long as he can remember, so at least 25 years now. Great way to cheer up your son MIL!

I hope this gave you a small idea about my mother-in-law. I can sum her up as kind person who is against anything new may it be technology or food. I tried to find better pictures of her but she always runs away when I appear with my phone pointing her direction.

25 thoughts on “Guest Post: My Finnish Mother-in-law”

  1. Hi Rowei and Timo, This is funny. 🙂 Most elderly women perhaps behave the same way, I guess. I remembered my Dad always tells my Mum things he bought at a lower price too as she is ever so thrifty.

  2. Seems sad somehow to become old and always be against everything new. It is common enough way to grow old, to be set in one’s ways, we all have old relatives man and woman alike that way. But just how can you enjoy life, how can you take in new experiences when always stuck in the past? I can understand that new technology is difficult, that’s a natural tricky thing and even gets hard to keep up with for me. But come on, don’t take it too far.

    Shouldn’t we be grateful for our extra time on this earth past our prime, and make the most of it? Ah well, such is a long life and it is good to have a long life…

    1. It is interesting though that my father who will turn 73 this year is really eager to learn new things. He knows his way around computers, adapts quickly to new phones(even smartphones) and does all kind of technical things in the household such as setting up the new soundsystem and so forth, my mother…well, she is a bit different. A walkman is something too strange for her already and dont even bother asking her putting a CD in the soundsystem 😮

  3. Hi Ruowei and Timo. Loved this post, it was hilarious. Oh dear, Finnish MIL isn’t keen at all on learning new technology. Maybe you just need to point out how to change channels and the volume on the remote control one hundred times, that might work. It worked with my mum…my mum who is very much content with using a DVD player that keeps on freezing and a new one just costs $50. We are so different from our parents and the older generation, but I am sure we still have the manners and decency to get along with one another 🙂

    1. My mother seems to be very anti-technology minded. My father has no troubles with new stuff, my mom’s brother who is also soon 75 has no trouble, her sister is also fine but my very own mother…for her technology shouldnt have advanced any further since the 70s 🙂

  4. Great post. Nice to see a post from the opposite point of view! 😀 My Grandparents are like that in the sense that they don’t want to spend money on anything at all even though they have more than enough money! Then they just give it all away to us >_<

  5. The tables have turned!! Glad to see you both think you have strange mother-in-laws. IT’s yet another thing to have in common! 😉

  6. hi! it’s great to see it from the other point of view, we always read about Timo’s MIL and now his mom is being described 🙂 I think she becomes typical ‘older lady’ – no spices, cannot learn anything new etc. is what I see around my friends’ parents and grandparents 🙂 but at least it balances in your family – two crazy mothers in law 🙂

  7. Everyone is different. In my family, the one who doesn’t like to try new foods is my 6-year-old grandson. He won’t even eat apples or oranges. I’m the one who will eat almost anything, although I’ve never eaten monkey brain or balut (immature duck embryo, a Filipino dish). I’m not fond of learning new technology, but when I wanted to start a blog, I had no choice but to learn to use WordPress. It’s too bad my older, computer-savy grandchildren live on the other side of the country. They might have helped me.

    Best wishes in blending your two families and enjoying the fun and variety that results.

    1. It will be definitely interesting soon as we will have our new apartment just two floors above my parents. The good thing is that they will be able to help us out with our little son but my wife is already scared that she will have to eat too much of my mothers food (just not enough taste for her)

  8. XD Hilarious (as usual)! I’m on board with @wisemonkeysabroad, waiting to read about that family trip to China, hehe.

  9. Well, I have to say my dearie’s mother was a gracious immigrant German-Canadian woman. Soft-spoken and willing to listen, sometimes learn something new.

    She’s no longer alive but memories of everyone are warm. But then she immigrated to Canada: she was forced to learn, adapt.

    1. My mother adapted as well when she came to Germany about 50 years ago to work but that was probably her peak time in learning and experiencing new things in life. Now it can be really hard to surprise her with nice things as she doesn’t appreciate new situations and things

  10. What a funny read!! It is great that you let your wife have the opportunity to speak about her mother-in-law! It sounds like your mother and my father are so much alike. He refuses to use a computer, cell phone, etc. And I know how she feels because my father always says ‘I could be dead tomorrow.’ The first time my husband heard it, he asked my father if he sick or something.

Leave a Reply to TW Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.