1. How to Build Positivity in Married Life? : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

In Law Visit - Help!

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by Marisa, May 7, 2007.

  1. Marisa

    Marisa New IL'ite

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi there. I'm married to an Indian man, and while we did marry in India we didn't spend more than a few weeks there. Now, his parents are coming to stay with us for a couple weeks. I'd really welcome any advice I could get, I think I do much better when I can prepare myself beforehand. I know I should relax and "go with the flow" but it's not really the kind of person I am; I find that a little extra thinking (or "worrying" as the dear husband calls it!) can go a long way.

    We live in a small 1 bd apartment so we got an extra mattress for us to put in the living room so that the in laws can have the bedroom and be a bit more comfortable. I'm trying to collect a few books and/or movies in their language in case they get bored, and I plan to cook a few things beforehand (I cook Indian food, even if it's all just merit of having a decent cookbook and MIL's spice podis) in case we have some last minute thing. I went and bought a few long skirts and kurtas to wear around the house instead of the more skimpy things I might usually be seen in (still not sure what to do about going to the gym, though, I usually leave the house in a tanktop and tight pants). I plan to at least get a few language lessons in to appease them, but Im rather time-constrained lately. Apart from this and making sure I light the house lamp twice a day, I have no idea what to do. And on that topic, what can I clean it with? It's silver and it gets tarnished rather often and it takes me about an hour of scrubbing to make it look ok.

    I have no idea what my in-laws will do at home all day every day with me while hubby works. I really need some ideas of things to plan (hopefully indoors because we have no car and they can't walk that much). And I'd appreciate any other tips of respectful things I might completely forget, even silly little things like not turning the power switch on with my toe anymore :D And mostly, what to expect, I think I will freak out if my MIL starts cleaning the apartment, although I expect she'll want to cook. In my mind I imagine I can help her doing the chopping and etc.? I really don't know. I think it's particularly difficult since both my MIL and FIL will be here. Btw, I got a nice shirt for FIL and ordered a sari for my MIL, my husband insisted that she'll get upset about us spending much more money than the sari is worth in India, but I persisted because well, she only wears saris and what on Earth else would I get her then. I hope she's not offended. I would like to get some flowers for them at the airport but then there's always the weird thing about giving flowers to someone who's staying in your home, since the flowers end up in your vase, it's like an auto-gift :D I have been insisting on getting them a copy of the house key, just in case too.

    Anyway, I welcome any and all comments about more things I can do. I'd like to believe I am a flexible person, but really, I need time to adjust so any scenarios, the things that didn't go well when you had your in-laws over, or possible problems or experiences will be more than welcome. Thanks!
     
    Loading...

  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    8,454
    Likes Received:
    5,070
    Trophy Points:
    440
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Marisa,

    Dear dear gal, this is the most sweetest request/post that I have read in a long long time. God Bless you. Marisa, with the attitude you have and the amount of prep work you have done in the anticipation of your in-laws' visit, nothing should ever go wrong. I think your in-laws are fortunate to have you as a daughter in law. I am sure that all of you will have a great time together.
    Having said that, are your in-laws easy going, have you any idea about their likes and dislikes?? Have a good talk with your husband who will surely give you some more insight into this.
    That you are planning to cook in advance and have stocked books and films for their entertainment is more than most d-i-ls do. May be you have already done this, but if not, buy some ready made chapathis and snacks from your local Indian grocers, just a thought.
    As for indoor activities, just some board games and card games to keep you all entertained I guess, can't think of anything else, you seem to have done all the thinking. I am sure that the other young IL'ites will come up with their suggestions, so look out for them.
    All the very best to you Marisa...nice to know you:)

    Oh yes, about cleaning the silver lamps...just use your dish washing liquid and also some toothpaste. Toothpaste polishes silver like magic. Your lamps will be clean and shining:)

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
    sindmani likes this.
  3. Marisa

    Marisa New IL'ite

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks a lot, Kamla!

    I'll certainly try the toothpaste trick!
    I am going to the Indian store today before seeing a Bharatanatyam concert, (it's a bit far away) so I'll see what shelf stable things I can get already, that's a great idea I hadn't thought of.

    I'm thinking of cooking ahead and packing the freezer, but I'm worried that they won't like food that is not freshly made. It will certainly be a lot easier for me than to cook when they're here, though, and so many things reheat really well. I think I will do it anyway and if they don't like it my husband can eat the food later once they leave.

    I've asked my husband once and again what his parents do in the house all day and he just laughs and say: "they fight". So I'm at loss.

    Hubby and I had been reading the Ramayana slowly and today he suddenly mentioned that his father likes to talk about that a lot (because my husband gets tired of my questions). I do remember that the only moment his father paid attention to me while the wedding was when I was learning Tamil from a book, so maybe books were a good idea, although the print seems really small.

    My main problem is that I need to prepare a very important presentation in the weeks they'll be here (I'm flying out in the middle of their visit to do present this and coming back only two weeks later, after they've left), and I am worried I just won't have any time left for that, since I stay at home all day.
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    8,454
    Likes Received:
    5,070
    Trophy Points:
    440
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Marisa,

    Most couples do that...I mean, 'fight'!!! So nothing really bad about your in-laws doing that. I see your husband is naughty and is no help to you in easing your worries:) But looks like he is not worried, that means, you should be fine with his parents. After all, they are aware that you come from a different world and will appreciate all the efforts you take to please them.
    Besides, you should not feel if your ma-in-law takes over the kitchen work and wants to help you. It will keep her busy and will give her pleasure in cooking for her son, dil and hubby, let her feel free.
    I get the impression that you are worried about how you are going to prepare your paper for presentation. That is a valid concern. Explain this to them and they should understand. The wise thing to do would be that you get out of the house and go to your local library or Barnes and Noble type of bookstore if you have one, for a couple of hours a day. This way, you have some time of your own to prepare for your presentation. That should be manageable. If not every day, go whenever you can.
    Best of luck for everything.

    L, Kamla
     
    sindmani and Pallavi4me like this.
  5. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    4,465
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear marisa
    your mail was wonderful. It was really thoughtful of you of having making your inlaws stay so warm.You can even stack some audio tapes so that they would listen to it when your away. Even cd tapes can be borrowed from the library if they are interested in watching good books.You can allow your mother in law to cook your husband's favourite dishes.You can take some leaves from your mother in laws cookbook.Spend time with them as much as poosible,You can even introduce them to your friends' inlaws .A small walk to a nearby park or store would also be a wonderful idea.Even if they are not able to move about much a long ride in the car would be nice.
    Have a wonderful time.
    yours kanaka raghavan
     
    sindmani likes this.
  6. Bhooma

    Bhooma Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    40
    Gender:
    Female
    Marisa

    Dont get so worked up!! I am sure your mil is going to adore you ... keep calling her Mom ( most preferably the same way your husband does) and I am sure she is going to fall for it .

    MILs are not ogres.. they love their dils as much as they do their daughters.. I am sure she will understand you perfectly and all of you will have a great time.

    Please keep us posted

    Best wishes and good luck

    Bhooma
     
  7. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Marisa,
    From your post, I am able to understand that you are not an Indian. Any way, I would like to help you in some way. As you said giving flowers to them at the airport would not be too good an idea as it will be coming back to your own home, you can think of giving them a "welcome card" preferably a hand made one which will have a personal touch, if you are good at that. Otherwise, a printed card would do. You can decorate your home with welcome notes and flowers to show that you are really happy to receive them. If your Mil offers to take over the kitchen, please oblige because she would be of the opinion(as most doting Indian mothers) that her son is still the same old child in need of attention and pampering from his mother! If she is friendly and warm towards you, try attempting some Indian dishes that you have learnt to cook and serve them ocassionally.This will really draw them towards you.
    I don't know how modern your in-laws are.Now-a-days most indian parents are quite modern and do not make much fuss about dresses since Indian girls too wear jeans, t-shirts,short skirts etc. as long as they are not sexy and revealing.
    It doesn't matter if you do not own a car to take them out. You can take them out for a walk, nearby shopping malls and for longer distances you can take them by local buses. They would be happy to visit places since they have travelled a long distance from India.
    Over all, be your own self and whatever you do, let it be a whole-hearted one. If you do not like some of their habits, don't show your temper tantrums. Instead, you may try saying,"Here , in US it is done this way". If they still continue with their way of doing things, just put up with it for the love of your husband.
    Last of all,'If Love can't work miracles, nothing else can'. So shower your love on them and make them feel at home while they are there. All the best for a happy time with your in-laws.:thumbsup
     
  8. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Marisa,

    You are indeed a sweet girl!

    You are taking so much of pains to see that your in laws will feel comfortable during their stay and I am sure that they will also notice it. Your heartfelt welcome is definitely going to lead you into their good books and with this good feeling, I am sure you will enjoy each others company.

    Treat her with love and affection and I am sure that she will teach you a lot of things which you are eager to learn about your family values and cultures. And definitely she will also reciprocate in the same way.

    Giving her the freedom to run the kitchen during her stay (if she wants) will avoid many sticky situations.
     
  9. Lavanya

    Lavanya Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    As Kamla has suggested try to go to a local library or bookstore to prepare for your presentation that way you can have your alone time too. Its wonderful & refreshing to see a d-i-l trying to learn ways to adapt to another culture & customs. I truly hope your in-laws realize what a rare gem you are & cherish & love you in return.
    L.
     
  10. Marisa

    Marisa New IL'ite

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Thanks so much for all your replies!

    Kamla, I am really not used to seeing elders fight or argue , so I'm hoping there won't be much tension. Hopefully whatever I can do to make them feel more comfortable here will prevent that kind of thing. I'm still really worried about my mother-in-law spending a lot of time cooking instead of resting, but I'm completely non-territorial about the kitchen, so if it makes her happy she can cook as much as she wants, I'll go clean afterwards. I go out to work on my thesis a lot, but I feel bad about leaving them here alone in the apartment and going out. I usually walk or run a couple miles, etc. Maybe I can go in the evenings after my husband comes. I really don't know. I'm so used to being alone all day it's going to be a bit hard.

    kanaka Raghavan
    , we have endless amount of music, since I married into a musical family :D I am definitely looking forward to learning cooking secrets; it's been all trial and error for me, and the only reason why I can cook Indian food is because I'm persistent and my husband eats whatever I plate. It'll be great to know the correct way of doing things.

    Bhooma, she's definitely not an ogre but a sweet lady, yet I still need pointers :) I feel kind of funny about what to call her (and everyone else). For me calling her "amma" would be a lot less respectful. I mean, if my husband would start calling my mom "mama" I would think it's the weirdest thing ever. But I'll be fine with it if they tell me to. So far I've completely avoided calling anyone anything. Of course then I came and read that thread here about not calling your husband by his first name when referring to him to another person, and well,
    that I had no idea about. Of course, since I'm not Indian my in-laws cut me a lot of slack :)

    Malathijagan, I'm definitely not Indian. But then, I'm not from US either so I don't feel compelled to have them adjust to how things are done here. We're all foreigners and at least we have that in common :) I'm sure they'll pamper my husband, he's already daydreaming about it. I just think that there's a fine line between a parent doing some sweet things to an adult child and a parent feeling they're being taken advantage of. I see that with my own parents, e.g., they like spending time with their grandchildren but when my brothers have them care for both kids for the whole day it's exhausting. They don't have the energy they had when they were young and they have already raised their own kids. Yet, my parents don't complain. So I'm worried that my in-laws will not complain if they're doing too much, and that I won't realize. I really want to avoid that and have them do whatever they like, and take rest, and I can take care of things. I will freak out if I see my MIL cleaning the apartment.

    chitrajan, I don't really have dibs with the kitchen, so my MIL can do whatever she wants. Although I'd feel really concerned if I see her cook for as many hours as she did when we were in India. Again, it's a hard place to be, since my husband really wants her to cook, but I remember she was very tired from cooking for everyone when we were getting married.

    Lavanya, I volunteer at the local library once a week so I can probably go a couple hours earlier and use that time to work on my presentation. I'm just worried about being stressed because it makes me emotional quite easily and I don't want them to feel they're making me uncomfortable. I am seeing my parents soon after they arrive, after a year apart, and I'm doing this presentation which is also new for me, and dealing with the endless gift list for my brothers at home, trying to keep the house spotless, trying not to gain weight, etc. it gets overwhelming after a while.
     

Share This Page