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Help me to prepare in-laws visit

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by vanithaudt, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. vanithaudt

    vanithaudt Silver IL'ite

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    Dear IndusLadies,

    I am in UK and been married for 14 months and 32 weeks pregnant. I am working. I am ambitious, career oriented, run extra mile to achieve my dreams and goals. My husband and me met in UK as students and know each other for about 5 years. He is also a good, caring, intelligent and career oriented person.

    I took 3 weeks off for wedding. Due to limited time, I stayed with my in-laws only for 5 days after wedding and came back to UK and joined the work. My DH also did the same. Even in that 5 days of my stay, my aunt was with me 24x7 and I was not all alone in my in-laws place. My aunt (chitti) helped me in lot of ways, like knocking my door at 5AM and suggesting me do things such as serving food, cutting vegetables, preparing for the next meal and what to speak/what not to and my stay with in-laws went well without criticisms and bitterness. My in-laws liked me. Thanks to my aunt. I cannot repay her with anything for the help and support rendered. My in-laws are good people, down to earth, hard working, never free ride on others shoulders, very devotional, spiritual, expects order , respect and discipline at home.

    Myself and my DH, wake up at 6 and go to work at 8am and come back at 5.30 PM. We eat bread/cereals for breakfast, eat lunch at work and cook in the evening. therefore I cook once a day. Over weekend, I cook once and we eat same food for lunch and dinner. I am not lighting the pooja lamp every day and not offering nuts/sweets/fruits/flowers to GOD on daily basis. Whenever I have the mood and time, I do it. I am not doing it as a routine. My house keeping activities such as washing cloths, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning kitchen and living room, change the bedding - I do it once a week, at times once in two-weeks.

    Sometimes, when both myself and my husband are tired after work, we eat out. So far we eat out once in two weeks or once in three weeks. Else we eat easy cook foods such as noodles or pasta for dinner. Many days, we have eaten dhal-rice or dhal-chappati for dinner.

    Now the story is, my in-laws are coming to UK to visit us and gonna stay for 6 months. By that time, I will have a 4 months old baby in my arms and would've joined my work. I gonna send my baby to daycare because I don't want to bother them. During their stay, I don't want to put myself in a position where they criticize me on making food and pooja related things. Their expectations would be at the least to cook twice a day and thrice during weekends.

    If you gals are following this sort of routine and have same expectations/experience like mine, please kindly share your daily routine. what time you wake up and prepare food. When you come back from work, how do you manage the stress. Sometimes during the mid of the week Wednesdays and Thursdays, we might be very tired , how do you keep your spirits up to cook two meals a day?

    Because, I want to prepare myself and do enough homework before they come. If they start to criticize me on key things like cooking, house keeping and pooja, I will be very upset, annoyed and stressed. I am afraid that I may end up in using some sharp words. As we all know, whatever we do for our DH, they gonna support their mom and sis and never ever gonna stand for us. Blood is thicker than water. If they criticize me after meeting the expectations, that I cannot help.

    Tell you gals one thing, I am not very good at speaking and being very diplomatic. I am polite and don't hurt others. For instance, some of my cousins and SIL are very good at speaking. They can mask their mistakes or responsibilities with their honey tongue. They way, they portray themselves people feel pity for them instead of seeing a mistake. Unfortunately I was not gifted with one of that trait/brilliance. I am simple, honest and straight and wont like to be sympathized by others.

    All I want is to stay away from trouble and meet their basic expectations to keep them warm and happy in my place. Please share your experience.

  2. Brevity

    Brevity Gold IL'ite

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    1. Enlist husband for lighting lamp daily.
    2. Assign few chores in cleaning, laundry to him and be particular that he tells his parents that he wants to do those chores.
    3. If possible keep a weekly cleaner until baby is 1 yr.
    4. Plan cooking in advance. Make batters gravies etc. Freeze what you can.
    5. You and husband continue as before like eating cereal for breakfast, having lunch at office. tell that you prefer quick And light bfast and lunch for working days. in the morning help your mil in prep work and cooking. But tell her to be free to do her stuff. You stay as her helper. Compliment whatever she makes.
    6. Try to make dinner for evening.

    Better planning, delegation is what is required. If your inlaws are reasonable people they would forgive any short coming. If they are not, they would find fault in everything. No point worrying.
    2 people like this.
  3. JustMyself

    JustMyself Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Vani,

    I can totally relate to your mind-set, as am similar when it comes to "projecting" rather than doing.

    When my in-laws, it was fun, but at the same time quite stressful too, as my MIL could not contribute in any household works.

    What I did learn that worked well were as below.
    1. Set a mobile reminder to light diya in pooja place in the evening - this is a very small task, but many inlaws would like their DILs to get this done or ask MIL to do it as an elder at home.
    2. Get your DH or MIL to help you with cleaning vessels (even to load into dishwasher)
    3. Get 1 item fresh every day in the morning for their lunch. say curry (while roti/rice can be make by MIL fresh during their lunch time. Any other side dish or sabzi make it the previous night.
    4. Encourage them to have cereals or bread or oats porridge for morning breakfast. (If they can not, encourage them to make light breakfast for themselves, while you continue your light breakfast between you & DH).
    5. Encourage them to make tea / coffee by themselves without waiting on you.
    6. Encourage your DH to take them grocery shopping twice during weekdays. You NEED NOT (interpret DO NOT) join them, so you can use this as a break time or personal time.
    7. Order Pizza and dine out in different cuisine restaurants every 2 weeks or so, so they get to taste different meals, and you get some time to relax too.
    8. If possible, encourage MIL to start cooking lunch (my neighbours have a wonderful time, as MIL handles all cooking).
    ****If at all possible, get house maid who can come during early morning every day to prepare meals, clean up home, so you actually CAN enjoy your in-laws visit... If not possible, keep their visit to a period of max 2-3 months, as however you want to, your new-born & work-schedule will make your daily routine to be VERY hectic.

    PS: Am a working woman, (NO new-born) when my in-laws visited. Our life style is similar to yours. Am a south-indian, and my in-laws enjoy ONLY south-indian food (they literally choke on Pulav / noodles let alone american food). So have to prepare south indian meals atleast 2-3 times a day, EVERY DAY, and pack/plan south indian meals during trips too.
    My DH was very very supportive in every possible household work, still I ended up having fever due to lack of rest. (Am a very healthy person. Havent had even flu attacks for decades)
    I don't blame my in-laws, both of them are pretty old and diabetic, and my MIL could not contribute in any way, due to her health constraints. Both of them tried to contribute in every way and were trying to be very adjustable too. While I absolutely loved them, I did start looking forward to their return dates, as I physically could not handle the strain. (we did not have option to hire maid ).

    So, if you can not get external help, or elders can not contribute, please plan their visits to be for a shorter duration.

    Hope you have fun during their visit too !

    3 people like this.
  4. Anamika99

    Anamika99 Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Dear,

    my mind set was like you too, straight forward but I could not ever communicate to my inlaws till date about what i like or i do not like due to their nature in terms of accepting some facts like i do not light diya if i do not feel like and i go to puja room even if I have period becuase I feel like.

    So i ended up in dual life - worse thing ever. 6 months when they r here i live according to their wishes, and 6 months i live according to my wish. But those 6 months when they are here become miserable.

    I would not recommend doing that at all.
    Start communicate right now - in a good way you can mention
    "I felt like doign diya today so i went in puja room today and got so engrossed ended up praying for 10 mins. "
    Make it like conversation instead of u letting her know directly.
    For laundry - "mom, I am so excited for ur trip, can;t wait. Just wanted to mention bring enough clothes to go for a week since we end up doing laundry once a week"

    slowly update her on ur routine, by the time they come they should be aware of ur life style

    2) do not go extra mile.
    it is hard to have new born baby , joining back work...entertaining in-laws by going extra mile - is like inviting them for another visit :yes: if you treat them so well then they would want to keep coming.

    Do only whatever u can. Not saying u shd not take care of them, if they r sick, then do all which is needed. But no need to cook 3 times a day for them if they cannot eat what u eat .

    3) find help well before they arrive

    it could be costly in foreign countries but find help - if u can buy some indian food who makes every day, cleaners for the home, doula till baby is old enough etc.

    4) train ur DH to help you if he is already not

    and discuss with him that how he can manage taking care of his parents so that they do not feel left out and start complaining about you

    most importantly - do not change your routine - like have to wake up extra early or sleeping in late or missing ur work out due to in-laws.

    And do genuneliey take care of them, spend time with them when possible and may be cook special dishes for them once in a while
    4 people like this.
  5. vanithaudt

    vanithaudt Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Indus Ladies,

    thank you once again for giving your valuable advice. My in-laws visited us and returned to UK. With you solutions, I was able to handle the situation very well.

    1) I woke up around 5 AM and did the cooking for breakfast and lunch. Aunty also wakes up little late than me and helps me with the cooking. I plan for BF, Lunch and dinner for the entire day. I can see from my in-laws that they like to eat three different food a day. So I accepted the fact and got myself ready for it. I woke up early do curry (kulambu) and poriyal. I will decide on Breakfast either samiya, idly, chappati and ask anunt to prepare it on their own. While I was cooking, uncle used to look after my baby. My husband do things like her medicines, clothes, cleaning , house maintenance works. I have to leave the house by quarter to eight.

    2) my in-laws look after my baby when we are at work. My hubby comes home before me. He loads the washing machine, dish washer and fold the dried cloths.I come home and make dinner, wash baby and give them food and put the vessels in washing machine and wash-sterilize the feeding bottles. Lit deepam (lamp) and do small praying.

    3) It was initially bit challenging. But I took control of the whole situation. Before my MIL recovers, I had control over the situation. This kind of helped me to establish myself and ask me before making key decision.

    the above routine happened for first 2 months. Then my MIL started to cook. My husband was incredibly proud of her. Then I used to maintain what is in the kitchen and other things. My FIL liked me lot and shared all his financials with me. My husband said that he never did this with anyone else. He infact has sent me his stock holdings and asked my advice for future investment.

    Relationship was good with them. They left happily and looked after my daughter well. I kind of think that We have to work bit harder to stay in control of the whole household so that people wont try to dominate us.

    My husband is very spoiled. He sit in front of ipad and watch all Netflix's cartoons series one after another. At an instance he can watch about 20 episodes, now you can imagine how crazy he is. Once I told him that "we cannot afford this any more. You have to come out and help me in household." after that he always help me in household stuff before doing his stuff.

    I did not please them. I understood their requirement and stayed on top of things. So I did not let others to give me advice on things such as house keeping, feeding baby and stuff. This kind of helped me.

    Thanks once again for all the solutions and suggestions.

    11 people like this.
  6. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Oh.. Common dear
    Don't think too much...

    I can very well understand your plight.

    How you run your family despite of working full time in a demanding career is perfect. After all, your family means you, your husband and the child. If you can meet their needs perfectly as per your role (wife and mom), then that would suffice everything.
    Others like in laws or parents are only visitors. They will stay here for a short period. So, don't overdo anything or change your pattern for them.
    Because, you would feel happy initially, but feel stressed out later on. That too with a newborn returning from day-care means a lot of work/time with the child afterwards. This way, you would probably have no time/energy to return to the chores. So, keep it simple.

    If I were you, I would train my husband to support in the chores too.
    Because your routine would completely change after the kid. Feeding times, and putting them to sleep takes a lot of your free times.

    Continue with the bread/serial b'fast. If in laws insist of traditional b'fast then keep the ingredians ready (from the grocery shop) to make them. Ask them to prepare themselves.
    You may guide them the first time as to where you keep the things, the cooker etc... then it is upto them. They can have their b'fast at their preferred time.

    Make dinner in huge batches, and keep the remaining in fridge. So they could heat up the remaining the next day and use them for lunch.
    For simple things like cooking rice in a rice cooker could be done by themselves anyways.

    Buy a lot of ready made snacks from the store, and guide them how to use. Give them the option to prepare their own snacks should they wish.

    Openly ask help from hubby and in laws while cooking dinner. Cite your baby's need as excuse.

    As for pooja... Clean the room and make everything ready when they come.
    Inform them that pooja could be done as per their way, and tell them you have no objections. Hand over the area to them. So that you are free from this job too.

    Don't create over expectations by doing anything beyond your level. Then only it becomes a problem when you can't do it.
    Set your boundaries very clear at the very beginning. More than this, have some self confidence, and confidence in your husband too.

    You are doing more than enough at home. It is alright to eat out and cook less when you are tired.
    Not all the husband's are momma's boy. Some genuine ones are also there.
  7. CrayoNess

    CrayoNess Platinum IL'ite

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    It may be a little bit boring for them to stay inside by themselves the whole day. Try to find activities for them that they can do on their own. Libraries, temples, if there are a community of elderly people from India. Also encourage them to explore the neighborhood, buy groceries and visit places.

    About handling the criticism, maybe take it from the angle that they are elderly and have a different style of living. They will not change their views so maybe let it go in and out.

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