She is Back!

Guess who’s back,back again, MIL is back, tell a friend, Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

With a little tweaking these lyrics by Eminem are fitting just too well with the current situation. Thursday evening my dear mother-in-law arrived at Hamburg Airport. Actually I could already stop writing at this point as all evils have been already told for an entire week. It is rather strange to have my first blog post after my two weeks absence from blogging only about MIL but it seems like fate.


Why are we waiting here again?

Now she has been with us already for a few days and enough has happened to fill several blog posts. On the day we picked her up from the airport nothing extraordinary happened. No horror messages came from Finland where she had to take her connecting flight to Germany. Actually I had hoped something like last year would repeat itself again but luck doesn’t seem to be my strong point right now. So once we arrived at the arrival hall I could pinpoint MIL immediately even though I saw her only for a few seconds at the luggage claim  before the doors closed again. In this moment I realized that these will be very long three months for us!


MIL wouldn’t be MIL without her doing something just plain crazy. Of course she saw us as well few minutes later  (she must have senses like a bat) and came running towards us. Yes, she ran out of the luggage claim before getting her luggage. There is a reason why the doors only open from one side so people do not enter the luggage claim who have nothing to do there. After my wife finally got a tiny bit of sense into MIL’s brain this wonderful woman tried to get back into the luggage claim. Of course it didn’t work right in the beginning and only after some other people came out she was able to return. There is always security close by so this won’t happen and then I saw two security guards looking at MIL and then at me. To avoid any more disaster I gave them the “crazy sign” for MIL so they just smiled at me and let her return.


Do you try to bribe me?

One would think that she learned a bit from this however few minutes later she came sprinting back towards us to cuddle Nathan. This step she repeated several times and in between she talked with other Chinese pointing at us. Thankfully she got her luggage relatively quick so after twenty minutes this endeavour ended and we could start our journey back home together with MIL. Of course she wanted to hold Nathan all the time in the car and not putting him into the safety seat. Somehow she does not understand the purpose of safety seats and seatbelts as it took her over half hour and constant reminding by my wife to buckle up…


What else happened thus far with her? Oh, just minor things but just too many to list them all so I give just a brief overview of the things which stick out the most of the everyday madness. Lets start with MIL trying to give Nathan always nearly boiling water to drink. No matter how often my wife says that this is too hot she just smiles and says it is not hot for her so it is okay for Nathan. Then there is the thing of her somehow not being able to close the windows. Instead of locking them when closing the windows she just close them without locking. Hence every time there is some wind they are pushed open again.


Why I have to sit here?

Then there is something else entirely. As soon as she arrived in our apartment she made plans on how to “improve” our living room. Quickly she made plans to move the whole TV set to another position, move the aquarium to another corner etc. What she still did not understand yet is that we need some more people than just us to do so. Part of the TV set is hanging on the wall, it took three men installing this and furthermore once you remove it you will have big holes in the wall. Then there is the aquarium…even though it is not big the total weight amounts to over 200 kg right now, sure lets just push it to the other corner. The list goes on and on but I guess you got the idea.


Not all is bad with my Chinese mother-in-law being here as she is also a great help for my wife now. As we are planing to start a little side business my wife needs to prepare a lot for it and does not really have time to help me with the cleaning or prepare food for us. Here MIL comes in as she does all the cooking now (seems she improved in the past year, thank god!) and actually does more cleaning right now than messing it up again with her oily handprints.


How do you deal with your in-laws? What’s the longest time period you stayed with them?

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48 thoughts on “She is Back!”

  1. Hahaha! The “crazy sign!” Love it! You poor thing. I hope you survive her visit without her rearranging your furniture and such. How annoying for someone who does not live with you to come and arrange things the way THEY want them. Ugh! Chinese MILs! How long is she staying?

  2. I love that song by Eminem! You should have that playing around the house and MIL will feel welcomed…

    Maybe she was arranging the furniture because she thought the feng shui wasn’t good enough. It’s your house and seems odd she is trying to meddle with the way you and your wife set it up.

    Did you guys have cake to celebrate MIL’s return? It looks like she’s eyeing the half-eaten slice and doesn’t want Nathan to eat it.

  3. I lived with my m-i-l very briefly (before I even got married) back in 2007 and it was an experience. These days, she just comes over to help out with out baby. Luckily, she is not too pushy, but she spoils our son to no end. He turns into a little whiny monster whenever she is around. My best way of dealing with it is biting my tongue. . . but it doesn’t always work.

  4. Oh lord, good luck with your MIL this time!

    I am sorry to say that, but I would never EVER accept to have my MIL at our place for 3 months. I would freak out and just hop on the earliest flight to Caracas. There is no way I can handle her for so long. I can barely tolerate her for few hours at time!

    But then again, maybe I am just a very bad DIL 😀

  5. My partner’s mother was a lovely woman who died @93 yrs. several years ago. She loved to bake her traditional German multi-layered tortes, knit things and raise her container indoor plants and flowers.

    She had quiet, lovely style that seem to draw young children….and teenagers. A real gift. I think she had positive influence on shaping on my partner. He as a teenager, would defend/try to protect his mother from his stepfather who had alcoholic tendencies.

    I think she found me a messy person…which my mother would heartily agree! My mother makes a royal MIL pain in the ass. She tends to be demanding and controlling where she can be.

    I still use a pair of double knitted wool mittens that partner’s mother made for me over 12 years ago. They are my warmest mitts ever. They don’t match with my coats (bright red) but I don’t care.

  6. I have never lived with my MIL. She drops by a lot and is as good as gold, but I think things would change if we lived together.

    Leaving the designated area before getting her luggage – what was she thinking? And I just couldn’t stop laughing when you said you gave the crazy sign.

    On a side note, Nathan looks super cute and color co-ordinated and more interested in the banana than grandma.

    1. Most of the times Nathan is more interested inthe stuff MIL is holding to bribe him in order to get ahold of him.

      MIL was a bit less crazy before i saw her first time. Well let’s say I didn’t believe the stories my wife told about her mom, probably I should have:p

  7. That crazy sign was hilarious. Is she trying to move stuff around the apartment for feng shui? Like the water has to be in one place? (At least you have a water feature, that’s super important. Learned this the hard way from my own Chinese in-laws…)

    1. No, she is not doing it for fend shui,it is more about what’s heirs used from home (TV right in front of the sofa so you can counteract pixel instead of in a far corner like us )
      I think I saw it in Chinese TV few years ago that they invited several fend shui experts to redesign an apartment. Well, each expert designed it completely different than the other so latest at that point I lost all hope for feng shui 🙂

  8. I am totally amazed that she was allowed back into the luggage claim area! If it was America, she would probably be pinned down as a terrorist suspect!

    And, oh yes, in Asia, the cuddle is commonly accepted as a safer form of baby car seat. It’s crazy, I know…

  9. Another good, humorous post.

    My MIL only visited us in the United States once, for a week. And even though she lived in Singapore at the time, she never visited us in the Philippines. Can you imagine!? I guess she wasn’t a big traveler. Our whole family visited them in Singapore, and my husband stopped by a few times when he was on business trips. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their families did visit many times though. Now they all live in California.

    1. I believe it was a rather big trip for your mother-in-law back then. It was quite hard for my parents few years ago, or lets say it was quite hard to motivate my mother to get in the plane to fly. It might be even that it was my mothers first flight somewhere but I am not too sure right now.
      My wife’s grandmother is always supposed to come, or at least she would love to as she never has been abroad but usually my MIL says that she is too old for that (same age as my father…)

  10. Does your mother in law know how to read English? 😉 Does she know about your blog posts? HAAH.

    My Danish parents-in-law also have suggestions for the lounge and how to move it around… though most of the time their suggestions are worthy =)

  11. We’ve been away and then have had hectic couple of weeks so playing some catch up now.

    So it’s here… the time has come?!!

    The fear of your doomed 3 months in your introduction is very clear… LOL. We love how you can conjure those emotions even in us!!

    Had to laugh with your MIL leaving her luggage behind and having to go back in… very surprised security didn’t try to tackle her.. that might’ve made for an interesting post 😉

    Fortunately we both love each others mothers, and they are both in Sydney, so we see them often enough and never have them over to stay. But we can imagine if they did, they might start driving us crazy with frantic cleaning and over-feeding…

    Good luck for the next three months.

  12. You have your MIL staying at your place for 3 months?? Yikes! It’s been two years since the last time I saw my MIL. She lives on this tiny island (part of the Faroe Islands) and she’s afraid of flying. Quite a shame, as she’s really cool, and I would want to spent more time with her:)

    1. Imagine that last year my MIL was at our place also for three months, back then we had a 40sqm apartment…

      I always wanted to visit the Faroe Islands, really wonder how it is there

  13. I feel bad for being happy about her living with you guys for now…but some of the funniest blogposts are a result of her presence 😀

  14. Your blog is really good.esp the posts on your MIL.being an asian myself I do know how the elderly tend to be.on the hindsight though,I’m sure its a blessing that she is here to help you guys out with cooking and taking care of your adorable son.

    1. Its great to hear from other Asians that they can relate to my stories as you experienced it for much more time than me.
      Sure, she is a great help for us but still her stories are rather amusing 🙂

  15. We never had family visit us in Texas, but we did entertain some of my wife’s female friends for a week. After picking them up at the airport in San Antonio, When they got into the back seat of our car, I told them to buckle up, but they tried to say they didn’t need to. I explained them that Texas law required everyone to wear a seat belt, otherwise it was a huge fine. Their next response was we don’t have to in China, to which I reminded them, they wasn’t in China anymore.

    Between the two of them taking extra long hot showers, lights left on, watching TV all night and using our oven for hours on end left us with a $200 plus electric bill on our next bill.

    1. Indeed it seems sometimes for few to accept that the world outside of China is a bit different. I do not even wish to see our electric and water bill once my mother-in-law is gone in two months!
      At least she managed by now to buckle up each time she is in the car 🙂

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