During the past years of blogging I read often comments like “You must be a very patient man”, “I could never live that long with my mother-in-law” or “You are a role model of being able to cope with MIL”. I don’t really think that I am a role model or even that patient. It is a mix of all kind of things which help me to endure every year my crazy Chinese mother-in-law for three months at our home. Of course there is also no real “guide” on how to deal with Chinese mother-in-laws as every person is unique and my MIL, even though very crazy, she is not the worst kind of person you can imagine. To get some view on other bloggers Chinese mother-in-laws you should try for example the blogs of Betty, Lina and Jennifer. They all got hilarious stories about their dealings with their MILs.
One thing you might notice after seeing those three blog recommendations is that they are all women. Yes, I actually don’t know any male blogger writing about his dealings with Chinese in-laws (in case you know some, please do tell me). Seems that I am touching a subject that is not too common for men to write about! It is also not a bad thing as you will notice that there are certain differences between how I as a guy am able to endure my Chinese mother-in-law and how women from other blogs manage it. I’ve been told that there are some women who could never ever manage to live for more than a few days with their in-laws. Of course I am no expert when it comes to women but my wife explained it in a way that even I get some tiny idea on what might go on. Mind you this is just how things were explained to me and will most certainly not mean that it can be applied on everyone. It goes somewhat along these lines: The mother-in-law always looks out what is best for their son, nothing and I mean really nothing what the daughter-in-law is doing will be ever good enough in the eyes of a MIL. Did I get it more or less right? Feel free to give feedback. This seems to be the key factor which could lead to certain problems between MIL and their daughter-in-law.
How is it for a guy? I don’t want to generalize again as it is just from my view as I have zero ideas how other men are doing it. I am somehow able to endure three months without too many problems because of one big thing: I don’t care too much! Really, I know MIL’s insanities for several years now and even though it leaves me speechless I don’t really make any drama. Sure I try to set up certain standards which all of us should follow (especially MIL). Sometimes this works, sometimes not. For example it has not worked thus far when it comes to kitchen rags or leaving oily handprints everywhere. I respect that my mother-in-law has her own view on how things should be done but there are some limits. This is where my dear wife comes into play. She has actually much less patience when it comes to her own mother. Most of the times she goes tell her mother how things are being done in this household before I can even open my mouth to comment on something weird MIL has done again.
As you can see it is not only my attitude of not caring too much about all the crazy stuff MIL is doing but also how my wife reacts to her own mother and makes certain that it our home doesn’t turn entirely into a monkey-house. Besides that I also kind of switch off most of my brain activities during every three-month visit (not that there is much brain activity anyways but I reduce it to a bare minimum). So things which would drive me at normal times insane such as the need to clean the apartment at least ten times a day due to the mess MIL leaves behind just don’t receive any reaction anymore in my head. I see the mess but my brain does not react accordingly and thus much stress is avoided. The constant background noise which is my wife and her mother talking/ arguing doesn’t even bother me anymore, in fact I don’t hear it. There are many occasion where I sit in the living room watching my favorite TV show indifferent to the fact that I am placed right between those two women “talking” a bit loud…
Is it just me who switches of the brain when dear mother-in-law is staying for three months? I think not. I actually know some other guys who are married with Chinese women and do the very same thing as me when their MIL decided to stop by for three months. Whenever my wife would ask them how it is with their mother-in-law staying for such long time they just shrug their shoulders. However I must say that these other guys are all Finnish just as me. I have heard stories about other men from around the world having big time troubles with their MIL. I guess it is this Finnish mentality of not giving a damn which helps me to survive all the insanities around me.
P.S. The featured image on top is one from back in the days when I was in the army, who can find me? (Also Nathan’s godfather is in that picture!)
How do you deal with your mother-in-law?
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