奶奶強權下的生存之道 – Momzilla: survival guide from daughter in law

Sunday, 13th of March it will be over. image (8)My patience will be rewarded. Momzilla flies back to Hong Kong. I even marked it with a Gudetama-birthday sticker in my calendar because I will feel like born again. To be honest, she drained so much life out of me I thought I won’t post anything until she’s away, but hey! in the end she’s my biggest inspiration and for some reason you guys love to read about her. Laugh at my pain.

As for now, YOUR patience has been rewarded. With a new-old video from Macao Science Center (Momzilla-free content) and… Momzilla – survival guide from foreign daughter-in-law.

I get lots and lots of e-mails from my followers and random readers who found my blog by looking up the phrases like ‘my mother in law from hell’ or ‘that witch (sometimes ‘w’ and ‘b’ get really close on the keyboard) who gave birth to my husband’. A lot of those e-mails are ‘Thank you’ e-mails because when girls read about my Momzilla they start thinking their mothers in law are not that bad. Some of the girls are unlucky enough to have MILs who are probably some Momzilla’s far relatives because that kind of momzillness can be only passed through genes.

image (5)Don’t get me wrong, but I kinda consider myself an expert in surviving time with Momzilla. If that was a legitimate thing I would have PhD in it.
Every single time I see her she will stay with us (or we stay with her) for few-months-long period of time and I still haven’t done anything illegal  to her. From the first time I met her up until now I made a huge progress in making the amount of complains smaller. Stop trying to make ‘No complaints’ happen, it’s not going to happen – unless you don’t get married in first place. 

But let’s say the guy you love is really amazing, kind, handsome, smart or you just haven’t met her before the wedding and now it’s simply too late, you have a cat and all crap together and you have to put up with all the sh*t your MIL will going to bring up on you.

Here are my tips how to survive the time you spend with your Momzilla (please note these tips are not to make YOU happy, but trust me – as long as your MIL is happy and stops complaining… that’s the closest you can get to happiness while she’s with you):

  • If you’re forced to spend time with your MIL, try to get FIL with her. I noticed the meaner mother in law is, the more polite and nice father in law is. Our Wah Wah is smart and he says ‘I have to work, cannot take that many days off’, but I know he just won’t come because he knows once Complain Machine starts working he won’t be able to go back to work, far away from complaints. But if your FIL’s time is more flexible it would be a great idea to have an ally. image (7)
  • Don’t talk back. Trying to be rational will only make them louder and angrier. You can eventually nod your head pretending you agree or don’t react at all pretending you haven’t heard that, but avoid discussion at any cost. 
  • If you cleaned up, clean it up again. Especially if your MIL is Shanghainese or Taiwanese – once Taiwanese/Shanghainese ladies reach certain age they get ‘The Perm of Justice and Cleanness’, their hair curl in a characteristic way giving them +10 points into looking for dust. They will find dust and dirt even in operating theater and that only leads to more complains. It’s good to carry a small spirit level (that little tool) to see if your clothes are folded in the right way. To gain their appreciation you should reuse what you already have – I’ve seen girls cleaning their shoes with the socks they were wearing for the whole day since they will be washed anyway, but you save on paper towels.
  • Don’t take her to any place where spending money is needed. Spending money is bad. Even if that 6 euro per person can provide that huge cliff which you could  use for testing if The Perm of Justice an Cleanness can help them fly as well… But if you find a nice place that is free to enter, you will get some points in her eyes as ‘good money manager’.
  • Throw away all the receipts and take away the price tags. Every new cloth you smuggle into your bedroom needs to go through quarantine at the bottom of your closet for around a month so you can tell her ‘New? I have it for months now!’.  Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Provide a baby. Not necessarily yours – just any baby she can take care of and leave you alone. It’s better if it’s your own, but BE AWARE: for your own sake the baby has to be born already, if you’re pregnant and you have to put up with all the Chinese pregnancy believes, that will be probably your last pregnancy (at least the last your MIL knows about). image (6)
    Eventually you can use a cat, but she might want to diet your cat and you will see your cutie-jelly-bean so unhappy, meowing for more treats and hearing in return ‘Chobobola’. Biscuit cannot speak Shanghainese, Momzilla cannot speak Meownese so we have a communication issue right there.
  • Accept the fact you will never eat ‘right’ amount of food. If you eat too little because you want to leave more for your husband – wrong, you don’t like her food. You eat too much to show your MIL how much you like her food – wrong, your husband and her precious son would be hungry. Same goes with the time you spent on your meal – you will either eat too far, like me, or too slow, like Sing. Just accept it and let it be.
  • Listen with one ear and use the other ear to let all the complaints go away. As I said – there’s no way your Momzilla stops complaining, doesn’t matter how hard you try. That’s just their personality. The best thing you can do for yourself and for everyone else is just pretend all the crap she said never happened.
  • Divorce your husband. Just kidding, if I haven’t divorced Sing over his mother then there’s no need for you to do the same.

I know I complain about my Momzilla a lot, but there’s a lot to handle. I try to be the best daughter in law I can be, and if that’s not good enough then I cannot do anything more besides following the tips I provided you with. I won’t change, she won’t change, but at least we are able to cooperate for Sing’s sake. Some days will be fun and everyone will be laughing and the other time you will pray for time to pass faster. And if you lucky, you won’t have your own Momzilla – but these are just the legends about mythical COOL MIL that I’ve heard.

Do you have your own Momzilla? What are your tips to survive with her? Let us know, maybe we can all create a paperback version of ‘Momzilla – the survival guide’! 🙂

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40 thoughts on “奶奶強權下的生存之道 – Momzilla: survival guide from daughter in law

  1. I guess I am lucky on two counts number one for a guy I think the dynamic is different for me with the Lao ma and you and the Momzilla sorry for you but happy for me 🙂 2nd difference my Mandarin is so terrible to be non existent while you speak and read… which means you know exactly what she is saying, poor thing I can only imagine…

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    1. I speak very limited Cantonese and Shanghainese, I can understand some of what they say, but unless they write I’m never 100% sure – I can just recognize the complaints by the tone, Momzilla feels like growling from her lungs and her eyebrows move in a funny way, she then speaks much faster and louder 😀 I can only catch some of her complaints but then Sing makes sure I know what’s going on… sometimes I wish I was clueless! 😀

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  2. I don’t think that there are any cool MIL’s around, it must be some kind of myth or perhaps they just vanished from earth and all knowledge of cool MIL’s or how to deal with Momzillas was lost à la some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth.
    You must be so glad that this is over for now. I am facing this 3 months death sentence starting June…

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  3. Yeah, my FIL is sometimes worse than my MIL. But it’s true, when one is particularly awful, the other tries to make up for it. Of course, if you have both of them at the same time, one of them is ALWAYS particularly awful.

    My only advice is to live thousands of miles away and never answer the phone. NEVER.

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  4. MILs are there to hate their DIL’s. It’s been that way since the beginning of time, I think… 😛 My mom once said to me “never advertise that you speak your MIL’s language… act like you don’t, that way she’ll bug you less” and as sucky as it is to not have a close relationship with my MIL, or at least try to, I understand where my mom is coming from. I’ve heard countless times how she tends to make comments about me, thinking I don’t understand.I mean, I apparently cut bell peppers incorrectly. Like there is a correct formula involved to cutting peppers. She actually almost broke us up when we just began dating. Now I am lucky enough to get a smile and a ‘ni hao’ from here whenever I see her… I do however have more than a MIL to deal with… I have a SIL to deal with too :P. I think women just hate each other!

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    1. next time get a protractor while chopping peppers and ask how many degrees she wants 😀 you will have one heck of a life with those two – luckily Sing’s sister likes me so on those very few occasions we see each other she won’t be against me 😀

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  5. I think you cannot even announce your pregnancy. She will MOST DEFINITELY fly in to “take care” of you throughout your pregnancy! Better to just suddenly surprise her back in HK with your baby safely delivered already!

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  6. This is how I often feel about my Polish MIL. 😉 It must just be different cultures, but what my husband’s family seem to see as advice to me seems like criticism. I often feel like all of our time must be a ‘learning experience’ instead of just enjoying another’s company. My in laws like to give money or spend money, but then send an e-mail after saying how much they spent (including on coming to our wedding, which my own parents were unable to attend) and the various things their son did wrong which are usually things like ‘not being respectful or interested enough.’ I’m thankful they don’t usually focus on me, but on the other hand my husband finds it draining and it can ruin a nice visit after the fact. So…we think a visit went well, go home, and the next morning there is an e-mail from my MIL about how we don’t appreciate her, how we should have done this or that, don’t have the right attitude, they spent too much money…it’s really awful. The only time my husband and I feel stress together is when we’re with his parents! My father stayed for a month and it was completely relaxed, but if my parents in law stay for a weekend it’s like world war three. :/

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    1. see. that’s why in Poland we have plenty of jokes about mother in law like: A guy hears a door bell and opens the doors, seeing his MIL.
      MIL says: Hi Honey, I came to visit you!
      SIL says: So for how long you plan to stay?
      MIL says: As long as you want!
      SIL: So you won’t even come and drink a tea with us?

      Yes, I guess Polish MILs are very close to Chinese MILs 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have no words to comment on your MIL anymore haha. I only have 2 questions:
    1. Why do all women get a perm once they reach certain age? (My MIL got a perm the other day for cousin’s wedding. It makes her look older but I didn’t tell her).
    2. What is chobobola? If it is Shanghainese there might be a similar expression in Suzhounese haha.

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  8. Hahaha omg this list was funny but also sad. Please tell me you don’t clean with socks!

    Shanghainese moms ARE scary. One of my ex boyfriends was Shanghainese and I knew that if we were to ever get married the mom would drive me to do something illegal or, well, force me to the point of divorce. The dad was amazing though.

    I have so much respect for you, living with MIL so long. The thought of even living with my own mother for one month (who is a kind and gentle lady) sounds hard enough.

    Good luck Lina! Beautiful photo, btw. Ireland right?

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  9. lol. can’t help but keep smiling as i read this post. ps: sing seems to be VERY active in the video. i have always thought he is a very calm kind of person.

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  10. I love this post. I’ve actually been afraid to post about my MIL. I totally agree with your techniques of making sure FIL is around and also not talking back, or talking period. I have never had to live with her or had her stay with us, thank goodness. I would never survive. Mad respect to you for putting up with that!

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  11. Your momzilla stories are hilarious and at the same time relatable. I lived with a Taiwanese family for a couple months as a nanny.
    I’m also dating a Burmese guy,but have yet to meet the mom. I am meeting her in two weeks so I like to read these as a prep

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