21 May 2018, by Gerald Koh
“Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a very surprised mother-in-law”
Honestly I’m not even sure if that quote is a well-known one, but it did give me a bit of a chuckle. HAHA!
It’s been awhile since my last blog, so here’s a quick update.
Zhixin and I have been living in our new home for 1.5years now.
She does the dishes while I do the cooking.
Finding opportunities for more trips together and…
We are………MUMMY AND DADDY of…
Petrent (Pet Parent) responsibility training before our actual human baby comes into the picture. Hahahaha!
The CNY that just passed was of course filled with a lot of “so when is the baby coming?” and “quick start a family already I wanna carry a baby!”
*Mental rant* Ok firstly, you are going to carry the baby, maybe just once, then after that return me cause you’d like to rent a baby is it? LOL!
Of course, Zhixin and I have been thinking quite a bit about having a baby:)
But I thought I’d get a little settled with my new schedule as I’m now doing the morning show. I mean, even my bio clock is not settled yet, let alone having a baby immediately!
But yes… we have plans *wink wink*
So anyway, I thought it would be fun to talk about something different from my previous entries and Parent-in-laws came into my mind.
The reactions I got when I told my friends was…
IT’S DAMN TABOO are you sure?
Will your parent-in-laws read it?
Don’t offend MONSTER-IN-LAWS!
Well… I guess this would be the perfect blog post to return with.
I really think it’s a social stereotype to be generalising all parent-in-laws to be scary, overprotective and are all out to criticise their children-in-laws in everything they do.
I mean it’s portrayed in most movies and from people around, even my parents have planted the idea in my mind and told me to trust them that my future in laws WILL be like that! (Today, they’ve been proven wrong)
I’m not saying that it’s not entirely true, but on a positive note, I’ve heard of some real life stories of how parent-in-laws can be very helpful too!
Let’s rewind time and go back 8 years from now when Zhixin and I first started dating.
I remember being very aware of the fact that I needed to be confident in front of her parents as I definitely would not want them to cast a wrong judgement on me.
It was very stressful… especially when they initially thought I was a club DJ!
Nothing against club DJs. But maybe they thought that I worked at a club and would come home in the wee hours of the morning.
Anyway boot licking’s really not my thing, but I remember my first encounter with her mum.
It was when I brought mooncakes for her as a gift. Boy was it a scary encounter since I didn’t know how to bring up the topic about me being a very different kind of DJ. But it turned out well.
She smiled… said thank you… and then said…
You look like you are younger than my daughter! Are you 17?
…I was 25. So I guess I’m safe?
Fast-forward 8 years later, I can proudly say that my in-laws are like friends to me. And I honestly feel that that is very important to the success of our marriage.
Here is why I believe having a good relationship with your in-laws is important:
- Another set of parents Your in-laws are like another set of parents who could guide you in your marriage. They’ve been there before, you’re probably going to learn more than what your parents can give you. They might also think you are a good influence on their son/daughter
- Free babysitting! Babysitting for free! Hahaha! I’m assuming parents are like most grandparents, they are would most likely want to spend any second with their children’s children.
- Life’s Tutors They could be a listening ear to life’s problems. It’s always better to have family close to you helping you make more informed decisions, than conquering them on your own.
Some rules I live by for a good relationship with my in-laws:
- On neutral ground When your spouse argues with your in-laws, be on neutral ground. Do not get involved or take sides. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of in-law and spouse! Hahahaa…That was an intentional pun, but in all seriousness, your spouse and in-laws will appreciate you for that.
- Regular visits Always encourage your spouse to visit his/her parents regularly. Go out for a meal, or buy stuff back to their place for dinner.
- Chat away! Don’t be afraid to have chats with your in-laws. Share about your troubles and small wins! They would love to be part of that
- Family trips Go on trips with them! I recently went on a cruise with the in-laws and it was fun 🙂
- Involve your in-laws Allow your in-laws to contribute to certain family events. It could be pet/babysitting or deciding on which curtains to get? My curtains were chosen by my mother in law 🙂
- Get involved Take an interest in the activities that your in-laws enjoy. This will make them feel loved and accepted. Bake CNY cookies with them! Or learn a family recipe.
I really think Zhixin appreciates the way I am treating her parents. And with that, she gives the same treatment to my parents, and that really warms my heart to know that we each have an extra set of parents to guide us in life.
This also strengthens our marriage to a huge extent! I can’t imagine how different it would be if we hated our in-laws. Things would be quite awry.
Alrighty! Thanks for reading and all the best to you in whatever you do.
Just remember, as much as you are worried whether your in-laws love you, they worry the same too!
Things will be A-OK!