The End of the World has come! …again

I just wrote few weeks ago about the awesome year of 2014. It was really an unbelievable good year even with my mother-in-law staying with us for three months during spring time. Now I hoped that 2015 might be an even better year but no, it won’t be better because for one simple reason: My crazy Chinese mother-in-law is coming AGAIN for three months to stay with us starting April.


What happens with me?

How did it come to this? Currently I am working from early morning till late afternoon and my wife is in the morning in her German language class. Little Nathan is staying in the morning with my parents. Everything seems good and well however this will change in the beginning of May. My parents will go then to Finland to enjoy their cottage by the lake for 4 whole months. So what will happen with Nathancuty?


I tried to sign him up for two kindergartens already but he is on the waiting list there, place 270 or something like that. Germany has too few kindergartens resulting that there are huge waiting lists and often also requirements the child has to fulfil in order to get into one. As we were not really fond of leaving Nathan alone for 5 hours a day  (he is already a destructive demon with us there so who knows what he will do without us, unleashed…). The only solution we could come up with was to invite MIL once again to check on Nathan for three months till my wife’s language course is over.

My fear is that the kitchen will look like the lower one after MIL is done…


Right now I am really terrified about the prospect of having her over once again for a quarter year. But it is not about me and how I might handle those three months, it is about all the crazy Chinese things she might do to Nathan, it is about destroying our new apartment and the fear she might cook my new pets. The question I am asking myself and also my wife now is how to prevent any damages to Nathan, apartment and my pets. The only thing we came up so far is to give her some food, a sleeping bag and drop her off at the outlet center but that is not a solution for everyday as she still has to take care of Nathan during the week.

As you can see, hard times are awaiting me and I only have three months to prepare myself mentally for this. I am just hoping that we will figure something out until then. But one thing eased my mind already a lot: Granny won’t be joining MIL for three months. Now that would have been utterly devastating for me. Three months of the combined craziness of MIL and Granny!!


Do you have any tips or solutions for my upcoming three month nightmare?

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46 thoughts on “The End of the World has come! …again”

  1. There’s no other Chinese (or not) family around with kids? Maybe you could offer them the baby-sitting service of MIL, and Nathan would have some company too? 😉
    Well, it sounds like you’ll have stuff to write about at least.

  2. quit job, take Nathan and wife with you and move to a place MIL wouldn’t come 😀 but seriously – maybe ask your wife to cook more so MIL only has to use microwave, put all the items she needs outside the shelves so she doesn’t open them and destroy the doors etc. ? I hope little Nathan won’t change into little MIL with her!

    1. Microwave is too dangerous. One thing I forgot for last weeks “things MIL destroyed” post. SHe actually tried to make rice with the microwave last year. As you can imagine the result wasnt that great, not for the microwave nor for the bowl of rice.
      She will also reorgananize the entire kitchen. I wont find anything for several months after she is gone :O

  3. Maybe she will spend so much time ‘oohing and ahhing’ (hmmm…it that spelled right?) over Nathan that she won’t have much time to damage anything. And buy her a large memory card for her phone so she can takes pictures of Nathan the entire time she is there. If she is taking photos, she will not be holding him and spoiling him! 🙂

    1. Oh the memory card, how could I forget! That was some drama last year as her phone had only few mb space and she had to delete all the time pictures and videos. By now she got a new phone so I guess that problem is solved 🙂

  4. Poor you, Crazy. If I could come over and be of assistance, I will. Didn’t know if was so competitive to get into kindergarten in Germany. If Nathan did go, I think he will be on the quick path to world domination and just perhaps the world will be a better place 😉

    I agree with Constance. Maybe buy MIL a camera so she will have something to play with. I really can’t envision her staying indoors all day with Nathan…then again, I don’t know if she will feel comfortable wandering around on her own in a foreign country. Whatever you do, don’t buy her cookbooks 😀

    1. I will try to manage it with MIL somehow. That’s the least I can do and should be able to, after all my wife managed to grow up under that woman :p

      Thankfully she is a pretty brave woman that she wants to go out on her own and discover things unlike her daughter. Last spring she did some tours alon the city center and also to the nearby park. I think she is hyperactive and thus can’t stay in one place too long/ hold still 😉

      1. If she and Nathan go out alone, I hope Nathan doesn’t get lost. Maybe she can take Nathan to some gigantic kids centre or playground-theme-park-thing and have fun together with him. I don’t know, maybe it will create more worry for you. Nathan doesn’t strike me as being as hyperactive as MIL.

      2. I think she would be more active on such a playground than any of the children 😛

        It will work out somehow again, I shouldn’t worry about it too much now though I actually already check daily my calendar and count down the days till her arrival

  5. Bring him over to SA 😀 I’ll take care of him. Or I’ll come and live with you guys. 😛 I promise not to break anything. I’m a good babysitter 😀 Maybe just ask her super nicely to be careful with everything and pray that she actually won’t break anything! Maybe try getting her to develop a new hobby while she is over like, I don’t know… knitting or something. So at least she’ll be busy and won’t have time to break stuff. 😀

    1. She has plenty of hobbies however she is also just very clumsy. Even she she knows she should watch out doe something the chances might even increase that she will destroy it in the end…
      Wow I really got many offers now from people here in the blog to help checking on Nathan, sadly the distances are just too great. :p

  6. Nurseries and day care are really expensive here too. I don’t think they are as competitive as where you live though. But putting your child into one of them is so expensive, it would eat up my entire wage and then some. I’d rather take care of my child myself instead of having to essentially pay to work. And having my own mother come over for months to take care of the baby would drive me bonkers (besides she works) let alone my MIL. Good luck this year!

    1. Yes, I think my wife will go crazy with both my mom and her mother here but thankfully she only has to endure that for a couple of weeks till my parents leave for their long holidays:)

      Child care can be really expensive and furthermore the standard kindergartens are not really that great here as they even try to discourage learning other languages besides German..

      1. Jep, I know. They do it because it will be easier for the staff to handle those children. In case the children are not that fluent in German because they learn another language it might result to problems…

  7. You are so brave! Must have been a difficult decision to come to.

    But this is the lecture my British mother gave me when I moaned about MIL: she is baby’s grandmother too, and she has so much valuable knowledge and culture to impart. She won’t be around forever and think how happy she’ll be to spend time with baby. And pick your battles!

    Part of the money you are saving from kindergarten fees can go towards replacement appliances, damage caused, etc

    Having said all that, I’ll know where to turn for a good moan when my MIL starts feeding baby Z egg yolk at 4 months old against my wishes… 😛

    1. The egg thing, its crazy right? I just recently saw a statistic how many infants die in china each year because of it! The baby can’t process the food which results in diarrhea and with it to a very quick dehydration.
      MIL actually did it to my wfe and she nearly died but of course she wanted to feed it also to Nathan”but its traditional so its good” yeah right…
      My wife and I had already our crazy time with Chinese traditions and when even the Chinese doctors recommend against most of the traditions then you know that many people are just too afraid to go against tradition and to follow basic common sense 😉

  8. Seems you are in a bit of a pickle! I know it is not ideal but think about it this way…lots of great stuff to blog about! That’s how I look at things that I know are going to suck. Good luck to you!

  9. Hi! Maybe I’m asking the obvious, but, isn’t possible to change the time of your wife’s language course D:?
    I was thinking that MAYBE you could send your MIL to a language course for those months, so when your wife gets home, MIL should go to study, so she isn’t all the time with Nathan and your wife gets some NO-MIL time. You could tell your MIL it’s important to understand the language if she is going to go there for those months ~~

    1. I wish we could but my hometown offers only this one language course at that exact time from 8am till 12:20pm 😦

      But yeah, it would be nice to send MIL to some language studies but I think general knowledge about life studies would be even more suitable because how many people do you know who mistake sheeps with cows?

  10. I have to admit, I was thinking the same thing as Marta. Another 3 months of rich stories. But seriously. Seriously. I am sorry. I can’t imagine.

    You might feel better if you establish some ground rules first. I mean, make her feel welcomed and all that, but then sit down and have a serious talk. I think you will feel better if you can just get everything out and have your wife support you.

    MIL might be miffed at first, but eventually she will probably relax and any tension that might have occurred will go away. But the important thing is she will remember. It’s your house and you have to take control of it as much as you possibly can – set boundaries. Treat her like you would a kid, with a lot of patience and kindness, but with a firm guiding hand.

    Good luck.

    1. Oh we do treat her already like a child 🙂

      However she always does everything super well, for one or two hours and then everything goes south again. Her newly learned ‘no destroying’ skills never last more than just those few hours.

      Rules? No chance on earth 🙂

  11. Wooooow. Good luck with that! D: I’m afraid I don’t have any advice, but I’ll think hard for your sake! Until then, pray for a miracle that lasts three months? XD

  12. It seems like you have no choice but to rely upon your MIL! I read the post about her breaking things and then denying it, so I feel like your apartment will be doomed. I think she will take care of Nathan and the pets, but if I were you I would hide the kitchen appliances and take down anything decorative in your home! Then after 3 months you can return to a normal life with not much money in damages.

    I hope you will not have too many troubles, but if you can take any problems in a light-hearted manner it will be the best! Good luck!

  13. I hadn’t heard before about the Chinese belief in egg yolks. Maybe they have a similar belief in the Philippines. When we moved there, my youngest daughter was three weeks old. In the Philippines, every middle-class family has live-in maids. My husband’s boss met us at the airport with a maid for us to try out. We had to accept her because she was the cousin of his maid.

    As it turned out, we liked Nellie. But every time I left the house, I would say, “Don’t feed the baby because I’m nursing her.” Then, when I returned, the baby wouldn’t be hungry, and I’d find out Nellie had fed her a raw egg stirred into hot rice gruel. She had many raw eggs in her early days. It couldn’t have been good for her.

    1. This thing about the egg yolk is strange. I haven’t heard about it before my wife told me about the near disaster in her upbringing but then I thought it was just my mother-in-law just not knowing better. However I heard this same story so often now and that it is really widely spread in China to feed the baby egg yolk.

      My mother-in-law doesn’t know why the egg yolk should be good for babies, she only knows that it is tradition and hence it is good..
      But thankfully she learned her lesson, especially after she scared a doctor in Finland with that sTory 🙂

  14. OMG…..the fear that she may cook the pets LOL! How funny/crazy is that? 😉 I love your writing style and appreciate your lifestyle too. Way cool, and fascinating, meld of cultures here. I have no Chinese in-laws but have traveled halfway around the world twice on Chinese airlines. I leaned more about going for what you want, not waiting, being bold and all that stuff people do when they have 1 billion folks around them, wanting the same stuff lol……thanks for the fun share!


    1. Thank you 🙂

      It is sometimes really interesting just how different Chinese can be when it comes to behavior. For example it was actually a real shock for me to see that no one lined up when waiting/ entering the bus. Just survival of the fittest! Same it goes any other place. You want to pay at a cashier, well, just push through…
      My Mother-in-law is really a special person. I don’t mean it in a bad way but she can get rather confusing and amusing at the same time. However I believe she things the same about me and any other western person 🙂

  15. I can’t wait to hear the new stories about MIL. I wish you luck! Time to mentally prepare for this visit. At least MIL can protect Nathancuty from the evil eye. 😀

    Latinos tend to be really superstitious and rub an egg on a baby to absorb negative energy from being stared at too much. Does MIL have her own superstitions? Just curious. 🙂

    1. I think all superstitions she has now are from the weird links people share on WeChat….she actually believes everything other people post there. About taking care of children, how to avoid ghosts, where to see flying pigs an whatnot!

  16. You have a great attitude about the crazy Chinese (let’s face it) mostly MIL., find humour in the old folks and resign yourself to it! I hope the blogging allows for the necessary outlet gosh….because Im afraid I couldn’t be nearly as accepting as yourself!…and of my own mother.
    I have taken to training my family, carding them with “in violation” of no commutation-periods when they…..act irrationally. You know, pressing on things that make no rational sense.
    Good luck and soldier on!

    1. I think guys have a bit easier time dealing with their in-laws. However the own parents drive me crazy as well….especially my dear mother who is very good in being irrational and to make it worse they just live two floors below us! My poor wife :p

      Thanks for the comment, it is always interesting to see new people reading and even taking their time to write their opinion 🙂

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