奶奶和我的關係 – my relationship with Momzilla

If you follow my blog for longer period of time (and by the way, I just realized I missed my 5th blogversary), you know I write about my mother in law.
I write so much about her and her behaviour, that maybe I should change the name of this blog to “My Hong Kong husband and my Shanghainese Momzilla-in-law”.
Without her I think my page would be pretty boring, she can be very entertaining to a third party – not so fun if you need to live with her for an extended period of time. And by extended, I mean more than a month.

Sing and I are married for nearly six years now, and in meantime my relationships with Momzilla was like a rollercoaster. From loving the new girlfriend/fiance of Little Treasure, to hating his newly married wife, to loving a future mother of Little Treasure Junior.
There were few more rides in meantime, but in general you could draw our relationship in a mini-sinusoidal graph.

You can read that I quite often complain about my mother in law. I bet she complains equally about me to her friends, that I think she photoshopped in her pictures. But in the end she’s mother of my husband and my family, even if I get angry at her I need to remember I can’t just cut her off and the issues have to be resolved between us.

Currently you could describe the emotions between us as “I’m going to love and care the shit out of you”. I can write a 13 page long

essay why I don’t want to live with her, but if I hear someone does something bad to her, or if she needs help I will do everything in my power to help her. And vice versa.

But honestly, it wasn’t always this way.

There were moments I was nearly hating her – maybe due to my immaturity, maybe she was to blame it or maybe it was just a misunderstanding.
I nearly hated her for yelling at me and making me cry during my own wedding day, when she perfectly knew she was the only mother figure that could be there.
I nearly hated her for bashing on me every single day – eating, not eating, being fat, being skinny, not having a baby.
I nearly hated her when she even started to complain about my dad’s health and what’s the point of marrying someone whose family dies young. Yes, that was her concern as well.

There were so many situations that drove me mad and made me question my marriage with Sing. Would it be easier for both of us just divorce?

Then, whenever Sing and I would argue about the whole situation she would come to the room and try to calm both of us down. She didn’t take Sing’s side, nor mine. She just wanted us to get over whatever we argue about and be together.

Over the years, I realized I cannot be selfish and have Sing just for myself.
As cheesy as it sounds, he loves me so madly, he often would choose my wish, over hers – even if I didn’t really need it and could compromise.
He was (and still is, I’m not even going to deny that) very spoiled by her, and I think over the years he took that love for granted. He would help her financially, but he got used to being served, not serving her.

I always prepared her hot water in the morning, when I was waking up to feed Biscuit the meowing asshole seeing sunshine at 5AM and thinking it’s feeding time.
I would choose food more suitable for her, even if I’m not fond of it myself as she already eats very little.
I would get her an extra jacket going out, because I know she would eventually start shivering as a result of Irish weather.
And that’s the same thing I tried to show to my husband: be considered, show her that just because I’m there, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t matter anymore. Tell her I’m not a threat, but just an extension to the family, I won’t backstab her and steal you away. I will even

push you closer.

I won’t lie: Momzilla and I still disagree, quite often to be honest. We fight through Sing-translator, we have moments of 

awkward silence, but can you believe that for the very first time I got a real hug from her?
Not that sloppy-hand pat on the back, but she actually hugged me really tight and said she can’t wait for us to move back to Hong Kong.

It was one of these moments, when I thought these three months weren’t that bad after all.
Although there’s nothing better to finally rest on the couch in a lazy-cat position and don’t worry someone will judge you and complain to your husband you don’t sit like a lady. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Let’s face it:

mother in law and daughter in law will always have a rocky relationship. Thanks to that at least I will have something to write about it! But we are an example, that if both of you want to work together, you can eventually start genuinely like each other, rather than feel being forced into any relation with another person.

So to summarize this: could it be that the root cause of all the problems between me and Momzilla was Sing all along?
Maybe if he wasn’t there, me and Momz would be BFFs?

Who knows! We can’t get rid of Sing, so we need to get used to each other and learn how to live together, for everyone’s sake.

How’s your relationship with your in-laws? Did it improve over the years? How you made this relationship work? Let us know, we’re so curious to read it!


16 thoughts on “奶奶和我的關係 – my relationship with Momzilla

  1. I suspect you won’t really want to hear this. My Italian-American Mother-in-law and I Ioved each other. Why not? I learned later that she had put in her order for a blonde “American” girl. (Really Swedish-American, but she ignored that aspect.) So she, not my husband, chose me. And she continued to call me her daughter-in-law even after I divorced her son. I loved her to the end of her life and it never stopped being mutual. But then, I did learn from the beginning of the marriage to “cook Italian.”

    And I love your sense of humor — great writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have some friends having tense relationship with the mother-in-law. The Chinese culture may make it more difficult, the expectation of having baby, expectation of taking care the whole family, the expectation of “you are no longer a lady or a daughter , but a wife of my son”………………as Chinese always say 相見好同住難.

    I am kind of lucky and don’t have such problem (because me and my mother-in-law rarely contact each other).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that’s one way to deal with it 😀 the baby topic is even worse, when you have such huge family – aunts I’ve never seen in my life (and Sing haven’t seen them in 20 years) are asking when are we having kids and why I won’t deliver before moving to Hong Kong. They keep bugging Momzilla and she keeps bugging me, then we argue and it goes around in circles … fun family life!


  3. I get along fine with my mother-in-law, but maybe that’s because I’m the son-in-law. She cant’ get along with her daughter-in-law though. I think it’s their generation’s preference for boys.


      1. haha I would like to hear these jokes. I don’t see my MIL that much, but I do wish our relationship was better. It’s hard to communicate cause of language barriers, so I’m surprised to read your post and it seems like that’s not an issue. I’ve stopped taking as much offense as I used to when she rearranges stuff in my house.. 😛 but I am still mostly polite


  4. I think the only reason my MIL is still alive is because I tend to ignore her…just today I came home and the tv looked kind of weird. The aspect ratio and colours were totally wrong and she had the remote in her hands when I arrived. She quickly left and asked my wife why I am so busy with the TV. So I asked Nathan what had happened and he told me that she pushed all the buttons randomly 😉
    With FIL I have a silent agreement to help each other and to ignore MIL/ his wife as well. I have good news about it anyhow soonish for the blog 🙂


  5. I have a good relationship with my MIL but I think that would quickly change if we had to live together even for a short period of time! Let’s see what happens when the baby arrives.Yesterday the wife of my husband’s cousin was telling my MIL that my temperament might change after I give birth and that she should not worry if we fight because it’s normal hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing about your relationship with your MIL. Asian mothers can be difficult people to get along with, especially if you are joining their family. My husband has experienced some crazy situations with my mom (who is Chinese). She is very prejudiced, vocal, and often speaks without thinking. She especially goes crazy when my dad is on a business trip and not there to calm her down and speak sense into her. Good job on being such a caring daughter-in-law and putting up with her antics.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, the Chinese MIL. Has our relationship improved? I dunno. Ask me after she visits us for a month this summer.

    I was never jealous of my MIL, or ever jealous of the time she wanted to spend with my husband during visits. I figured that I got him the rest of the year, and of course she loves Andy and misses him. I lost my mom young, and I want him to get all the time he can with his mother.

    Even though her inability to listen makes me nuts, even though she caters to her son-in-law while thinking of her daughter-in-law as a servant/ broodmare, she is important. So I’m the one who makes sure he calls, makes sure he visits, makes sure they go out to dinner and dim sum alone, and makes sure she’s remembered on her birthday and Mother’s Day.

    Because someday, if I have a grownup son who lives far away? I would want his partner to do the same thing.


  8. I am Canadian and married into a Singaporean Chinese family who immigrated to Canada. I tried very, very, very hard. I learned to cook their foods. I learned the culture. My family and I warmly invited my husband’s relatives in our lives. I could write a novel on how hard we all tried. While my husband is a good man, his privileged Singaporean Chinese mother is the most selfish person I have ever met. After 15 years plus of marriage I regret showing kindness to someone who had no capacity to give in return. She takes and takes and takes and takes and never gives. She has more money than god but gives our children the cheapest gifts you’ve ever seen. She spends money on trips around the world, but never on her grandchildren. My son, the eldest, is only there for her needs. She only phones when she needs something. She probably couldn’t even tell you how old her grandchildren currently are. No doubt she talks about how vile I am to her Singaporean Chinese shrew sisters. We have bought trips for her, bought meals for her, done her finances, taken care of her, the list goes on and on. She also lies and cheats, yet, of course she is a Christian. She has also spit out food I have lovingly cooked for her–only Chinese food is good enough. She has given over the years, virtually, nothing–and she will use her Chinese culture to justify all of this. She told me my husband, her eldest son, owes her a life of service because she did up the buttons on his sweater once when he was a baby (she had nannies and servants). I have been told repeatedly over the years by Chinese MIL and Chinese SIL how much they “hate” Canada and “hate” Canadians. They “hate” all of us Canadians. Where we live is absolutely the most Asian area of all of Canada, arguably in all of North America–but nope, not good enough. They “hate” Canadians. “HATE”–no matter than expressing hate is actually a crime. My own family has bought meals for husband’s family, cooked meals for husband’s family–and on and on. Nothing in return–after all, they hate Canadians. HATE. My husband has benefited financially in many ways from my own Canadian family–yet there is no concept at all of balance. It’s fine for my family to give and give and give to my husband–fine for them, but we should keep giving and giving and giving and giving to Chinese MIL. She’s the Queen after all and we should all buzz around her, opening up our wallets. I would caution non-Chinese women of all backgrounds and of all skin shades to be very careful when dating Chinese men. I think also be very careful if the Chinese family is privileged. Privilege and Chinese mother in laws do not go well together. I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up to be told people hate me when I’m trying so hard to be kind. I didn’t sign up to watch my Chinese in-laws jet-set around the world whilst giving their grandchildren and nieces/nephews nothing. No one deserves this. This is family. And as this is a Singaporean Chinese family, who did not face the one-child policy, we cannot excuse mother-in-law’s behaviour based on that. This is a privileged, classist family who was taught that the world owes them a living. Chinese SIL married a white American man and made his life such a living hell that he ended up in the psych ward. I suppose some might say the white man got what he deserved, but seriously. . .he ended up living on the street and Chinese SIL couldn’t have cared less about that. The poor man’s American relatives were phoning her and begging her to take care of her sick husband and she just told them all to “F-off.” Culture, money, privilege, and being classist don’t go well together. I’m not sure how my own husband turned out okay in spite of this all, but almost weekly I wish we had more family. Who signs up to be constantly told people hate you?


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