Indian Inlaw's first visit to USA. what to expect etc. - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 07-13-2011, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

So IL's will more than likely be coming this fall for a month long visit. We have traveled to India 2 1/2 years ago with ds, and now they are coming to visit us. I was not completely happy with the visit, mostly because did not translate for me so i just had to sit for weeks not really getting to know the family but watching them interact. MIL doesn't speak english, FIL does but has a thick accent and I am not going to deny that I am more shy around males in general. DD will be about 5-6 months while they visit, ds is now 5 and will be in K M-F mornings only. I am just curious about what I should expect they expect of me? They were more than hospitable when I visited, but with DD being so young and me not being able to keep up with the house as it is and having to resort to take out have the time I don't know how I can be a good hostess?!?! I kind of explained to dh that it is my insecurities about me not being able to do 'it all' that makes me nervous about their visit. I do find the language barrier a big challenge, as in I don't want to be left alone MIL because we can't really communicate. Dh has not decided if he will take time off work, but I am all but begging him to take the whole month off just so I don't feel uncomfortable in my own home. Well that is just a start of my concerns many more to go over but baby is calling...


supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#2 of 19 Old 07-13-2011, 07:43 PM
 
thanneaKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

First of all, get the ingredients for dh's favorite dishes and turn the mil loose in the kitchen.  Indian mothers generally love to cook and she can teach you how to make his favorite dishes.  Be affectionate to her and compliment her and admire her cooking and enjoy the month off.  You can do the dishes--she'll appreciate that!  Especially learn to make Indian sweets--all those milky sweet things. And be prepared for some serious frying--but a product called Greased Lightning (available in Home Depot or Walmart) will clean it all up just fine. I use it on the stove, counters, etc.  Just don't pour grease down the drain--put it in a milk carton after it cools and throw it out that way.

 

It helps to realize that it's only for a month. She'll spoil the children--let her as much as humanly possible.  You and your dh should go out on a couple of dates--let them babysit after the children settle in with them. 

 

Most of all--you are "required" to show complete and total respect and quiet submission. It isn't hard--just smile a lot, don't argue, be sweet, and love on them.  It doesn't really mean anything--it's just for show--but it will make your dh look good in their eyes and they will love you for spoiling them, spoiling him, and having grandchildren for them to love.  Indians can be very sensitive so never show embarrassment even if they commit gaffes--you are always on their side because they're family, kwim?  They would probably like to meet your family and friends--just give them the place of honor as much as you can.

 

Oh, and have lots of tea, condensed milk (or whatever they like to make their tea drinks) and enjoy the food.  I'd love to be there!!!!!

thanneaKS is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 07-13-2011, 07:56 PM
 
thanneaKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I reread this and it sounds more than a little like stereotyping!  In reality, I was thinking of my Bengali friend (my age, 58) and what she would like from her dil. If these things don't apply to your mil, I'm sorry.  I have a lot of Indian friends but they're all either Bengali or from Trinidad and India is a very large country, with many subcultures.  I should have thought before I started writing!

thanneaKS is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 07-13-2011, 08:07 PM
 
serenbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,393
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)

Can you get anyone to help you--translate?

I don't know what section of the county you are in but my local ashram has many young "babysitters" that would love to help---think of it as a "mother's helper" type of thing-----see if you can hire someone-------? Not to take care of the children but to translate and help you better understand the in-laws customs. Would be great if you found someone from the same region. 

 

as the other PP made really great suggestions, I would think a "mother-helper" type person would really show that you are making a big effort to communicate and in the long run might be more cost effective than you DH talking the whole month off

 

there are lots of "small" things you can do to get ready for their visit----special photo book maybe would make a nice gift, nice charm neckless for your MIL with both pictures of the children - little but heartfelt token goes along way 


 

 pro-transparency advocate

&

lurk.gif  PROUD member of the .3% club!

 

Want to join? Just ask me!

 

"You know, in my day we used to sit on our ass smoking Parliaments for nine months.

Today, you have one piece of Brie and everybody goes berserk."      ROTFLMAO.gif 

serenbat is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 07-15-2011, 12:37 PM
 
MamaMunchkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

My ILs speak no English and I don't speak their language - they've visited us here in the US a few times and stayed with us anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. 

 

The language barrier - it's surprisingly not that difficult to communicate on the most basic level, even when DH is not around.  My ILs and I do a combination of gestures and drawings, or primitive sketches of whatever, or mimicking some noises ... - it's almost like playings Charades and Pictionary, sometimes at the same time lol.gif

 

I thought it'd be much harder but you see, there's almost always a context for what's trying to be communicated - you'll have a very good guess most of the time on what they're trying to say.  And if not, just ask your English speaking FIL, or call your DH if it's something urgent.

 

Don't worry too much about how you "perform" as a host.  Ask your DH what they like and don't like - perhaps get some welcome gifts if appropriate.  And if somehow you do commit some cultural faux pas - you can make it up.  Don't forget to ask your DH every so often if they need anything.

 

Or, another thing with the language barrier - without the verbal part, the body language is probably going to matter even more.  You clearly care about  making their stay as comfortable as possible - they'll pick up on that vibe, really.  Even if you may do something culturally off sometimes - don't worry, more than likely they'll still be able to pick up on your good will and good intent.   Just pay attention and keep an open mind.  Sending you good wishes and hope you'll have fun.

 

 

 


Pro rights (vaxes).
MamaMunchkin is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 07-18-2011, 08:22 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,933
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

There is the stress of hosting for an extended period of time and the stress of managing culture and language differences. 

 

For the hosting stress, can you do a few things to plan ahead? Meal planning and prep will ease the strain a little. If you have a freezer, can you make (or buy) some simple meals and freeze them to make things easier? You can still get take-out (soups, curries, lasagnas, uncooked marinated chicken breasts, pre-sliced veggies for stir fry, etc.) and freeze them in different containers. 

 

If it's their first visit to the U.S., are you planning any overnight visits (either with you or on their own) that might give you a break from hosting in your own home? I'm not sure where you are located, but they might like an overnight visit to New York City or Washington or whatever "big name" tourist place is relatively close to you. 

 

Regarding culture and language, your DH will be a great resource and help. Hopefully, your DD has been learning the language from him, and she'll be able to help translate too. How much of the language have you been learning yourself? With such a young baby, it's probably tough to focus on acquiring a lot of a new language, but a few key phrases can go a long way. 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 07-18-2011, 08:57 AM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What part of India Are they from? Have they been to the usa before?

My suggestions - find local people (retired) from their part of india. Invite them over. They will have things to talk about, i promise. One or two retired visitor PER DAY. is not too many.

Takethem to the local temple (assuming they are hindu, lol) every day is ok. That is their social thing. Invite temple friends to your home. offer sweets. Have a party with other indian families.

Sometimes, it may be impossible to keep them happy. Some conflict may be inevitable, as they may be sad thattheir son is in the US and they may blame you. Prostration and the words "yesmother" or "yes father" are a small thing to give if it keeps the peace. Your husband owes you one, though he may never realize it. Also hide the cigs, alcohol, evidence of your religion, meat products, etc etc.

Let us know what part of india and we can provide more specific advice on food and "proper wifely behavoir"
SleeplessMommy is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 07-19-2011, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post

My ILs speak no English and I don't speak their language - they've visited us here in the US a few times and stayed with us anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. 

 

The language barrier - it's surprisingly not that difficult to communicate on the most basic level, even when DH is not around.  My ILs and I do a combination of gestures and drawings, or primitive sketches of whatever, or mimicking some noises ... - it's almost like playings Charades and Pictionary, sometimes at the same time lol.gif

 

I thought it'd be much harder but you see, there's almost always a context for what's trying to be communicated - you'll have a very good guess most of the time on what they're trying to say.  And if not, just ask your English speaking FIL, or call your DH if it's something urgent.

 

Don't worry too much about how you "perform" as a host.  Ask your DH what they like and don't like - perhaps get some welcome gifts if appropriate.  And if somehow you do commit some cultural faux pas - you can make it up.  Don't forget to ask your DH every so often if they need anything.

 

Or, another thing with the language barrier - without the verbal part, the body language is probably going to matter even more.  You clearly care about  making their stay as comfortable as possible - they'll pick up on that vibe, really.  Even if you may do something culturally off sometimes - don't worry, more than likely they'll still be able to pick up on your good will and good intent.   Just pay attention and keep an open mind.  Sending you good wishes and hope you'll have fun.

 

 

 



Hearing dh give FIL our address for paperwork worried me alot as FIL could not understand our american address it took dh a few tries for him to understand and he talked half in hindi but, yes i do agree it isn't that hard to understand, but I'll admit  I use it as a scapegoat to do what i feel...IE if we could communicate more than I would feel more burden to please I guess. Anyway. Some more on our situation, the IL's are from Delhi and they have never came to the USA before. We live in a boring suburb of a boring midwest city, landlocked and not much to do. The closest and only Temple is 20 minutes away which I have never been to and don't know anything about. Dh is atheist, IL's are devout hindus, I have to go through all my food and make sure there are no egg, meat products in them prior to their visit, I mean even the yogurt we ate yesterday hast gelatin in it, it hides everywhere! That is going to give me a headache just thinking about it. But I respect their relgion and don't want them unknowingly eating animal products they are not allowed to eat.

 

Dh does not teach the kids or myself hindi. He is just now teaching ds phrases and words because the IL's are visiting, I do know many words but I don't like speaking foreign language as I don't feel like I am speaking it right.

 

Food issues, ds is used to eating meat products and I have told him when his grandparents are here he will not be able to, which is frustrating because he doesn't like Indian food that much and likes meat a lot. He lived on chapati, bread and jam when we visited India, it wasn't good.

 

I'll admit straight up I am going to feel uncomfortable for their whole visit, I won't be able to do what I want when I want, I won't be able to parent the way I want, I will pretty much clam up. When we visited them they had 2 houseworkers that did all the cleaning and dishes and helped with meals, plus the SIL's helped alot and so I just don't know what to expect, MIL has health issues so that with jet lag, I don't expect her to be helping me much probably with cooking but not much else. And since Indian men are suppose to be waited on hand and foot I imagine I will have to be working double time as far as dh goes, though other than ironing his own clothes, and the yardwork, house maintenince he doesn't do anything around the house anyway.

 

I don't know, I do know that dh would probably go crazy taking a whole month off of work to just sit with his parents, but I personally think he should because they are his parents, and they are elderly and in ill health so since this will be the second time he has seen them in 10 years I think he should take the time off just because of that reason and of course it will help me out as well. Ideally he has said he may drastically reduce his hours and only work 2 days a week, which I hope he will at least do that because he often works 10-12 hours and that is a lot of time that there will be potential for conflict with me and the IL's.


supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 07-19-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

ETA: i have told dh that he should take the IL's on a trip but he doesn't want to leave me and the kids behind, I am not wanting ds to miss lots of school when they are hear, but honestly I don't think he wants to go with them alone, although i think it would be good for them all. I am not really wanting to take long trips with dd either since she is just going to be 5-6 months. It basically depends a lot on our finaces at the time what dh will do, if there will be any 2 days trips or anything. I do also have attachment parenting issues, as in I will be okay going to pick ds from school and leaving dd with them, but me going out on my on for a few hours, dd will have to go with me and I don't see them being okay with me just going and getting the shopping done alone with dd and them not coming with. I don't know how it will be, as i said they have never been to the usa before, but when i was there it was always and ordeal to go out anywhere and a lot of a hassle. I don't see it being much fun, but at least dd doesn't scream and cry in the car like ds did, as MIL would freak that we leave her in the seat and cry, they don't do carseats there and from the way dh acted when we had ds, they also don't let their babies cry and MIL would be tempted to take her out of the seat to calm her i imagine.


supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 07-19-2011, 07:34 PM
 
serenbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,393
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)

given what you have now said-perhaps if you DH can take off he should

 

SInce you have a temple not that far away you should have at least one store (or order on line) at least a few comfort food items and I would at least get the brand of tea they drink.

 

Given your MIL health (with a big gulp) I would defer as much as you can to her for the baby--give over the child to her as much as you can--make her feel welcome, who knows if it is the last time she will see her?? hand jesters will convey the meaning---that will make you look good and her feel good and the baby will be fine

 

I would push that you DH take them alone at least for a lunch- 20 miles isn't that far and they would get time alone and maybe a decent Indian meal.

 

as with your older child- you really don't need much language communication for the FIL to play with the child- let them both alone with a favorite toy-deaf people communicate fine with others- kind of think of it the same way----just smile a lot and know it's only a month! 


 

 pro-transparency advocate

&

lurk.gif  PROUD member of the .3% club!

 

Want to join? Just ask me!

 

"You know, in my day we used to sit on our ass smoking Parliaments for nine months.

Today, you have one piece of Brie and everybody goes berserk."      ROTFLMAO.gif 

serenbat is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 07-20-2011, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I honestly don't have a problem with MIL and holding the baby etc, since I have to supplement I imagine MIL can feed her bottles a lot after I nurse her and I am actually looking forward to that, I just am not much of a cook persay and my cooking skills have taken a turn for the worse since I had morning sickness with dd I never really got my Indian cooking back to its former glory, and now with the baby in the house I haven't gotten my cooking skills back lol. But I know how to make lots of indian foods, I just don't like to devout 2 hours to making the fancy stuff I don't that much time to spare and dd can be happy with others for short periods but 2 hours straight and she is going to want me. I do know how to make lots of quick indian meals that involve rice and beans and honestly I dont' think they expect me to be making time consuming indian meals while they are hear so I am just goign to go over my favorite dishes and eliminate all the egg/meat ones and see what I can plan to cook when they are here. MIL while in ill health is not one to lie in bed the whole month so like I mentioned I expect her to hold the baby a lot and help with cooking but I am not going to expect her to clean, as I was not expected to clean when i visited them. I helped with the laundry and made our bed, I was very intidmated by the thought of cooking indian food with a house of indian women, lol, but now I don't really have a choice as i cook for us and I will have to cook for MIL and FIL as well so I hope it will be good enough, lol...


supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 07-20-2011, 12:20 PM
 
MamaMunchkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 356
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

I've had some extended family visiting us that sound kind of like your ILs - if I have to guess, it's going to be a very challenging month. I'm trying to think what kinds of things helped me ...

 

Let's see, when they first arrive, the jetlag - they'll probably be up at night and sleep during the day at least for a few days.  Make sure you show them everything, like where to find food, drink, bathroom etc before you go to bed, so there'll be as little disruption at night as possible for you and everyone else.  Also, do you have night lights around the house - I've known some who got extremely disoriented just from the combination of jetlag and exhaustion from the trip -  would it be easy for them to find their way around at night? 

 

Also, do you have any basement?  Do your ILs know what a basement is?  I'm not joking, not everyone in the world knows what it is.  Is there any chance your ILs walk into a basement by mistake, in the dark?  If you do have one, secure it - lock it, or put some childproof lock, or anything, so it's not easy to open.

 

Do your ILs have any health insurance?  Would they be covered in case something happens during their visit?  If not, consider getting one for them.  There used to be some options from AAA for foreigners traveling in the US.

 

Once they're settled, then it's about how to keep them entertained.  Can you get/rent any movies in Hindi (I believe you mentioned somewhere this is their language, sorry if I get it wrong)?  Also, cable TV or satellite TV etc, if there's an option to get a special Hindi speaking channel,  I'd seriously consider getting it. Whenever they watch TV, you get a break from them - it's win win for everyone.  

 

In terms of outing, yeah, running errands with them would be a big hassle.  Instead, use it as a mini day trip, I know I know sometimes you probably just want to get some grocery shopping done and go home.  Well, instead of taking trips somewhere or other, might as well use errands.  Kind of lame, but, look, they've never been here. Yes, grocery shopping will probably take muuuuch longer than if you had gone alone, same with post office, or going to the library, or even filling up your gas tank - but they'll treat it as part of sightseeing etc.  It'll be a production to get anything done, but you need to get those errands done anyway, and they'll be entertained at the same time.

 

Or talking about driving and traffic, do they drive on the left hand side in India?  If so, be careful when you cross any street with your ILs - they might reflexively watch out for cars from the "other" direction first, you never know, don't take it for granted.

 

On the weekend, when your DH is home, a real day trip here and there is a great idea - I like your idea of him going alone with his parents.  It'll really give you the break you need.  

 

If I think of something else, I'll write more - but I can understand why you're stressed out about their visit.  I've had some very high-maintenance family member visiting - they're not difficult because they difficult or anything, but the cultural difference is sometimes so big.  They're used to fulltime household help, things are a lot more convenient for them etc.

 

I'm not going to lie - more than likely you'll be very tired from the stress and just actually doing so much stuff during their visit.  The language thing won't help either, but do keep things in perspective.  Just make sure they are physically safe and not getting hurt etc during their vist, that's really the big thing - the rest, yeah, things will be super inconvenient, annoying, you'll be super tired etc but it's only for a month.

 

By the way, once they leave, you should plan for a vacation for yourself, even if it's a mini one - you'll totally deserve it.   smile.gif


Pro rights (vaxes).
MamaMunchkin is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 07-21-2011, 08:19 AM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok... More details!

Culturally, you and the kids will be going along on any trip with your husband and inlaws. even if things are significantly more complicated. Even if kids wont enjoy it. Just the way it is.
The only exception might be if they go somewhere overnight to visit a cousin somewhere else.

Next. Your inlaws may be bored. It will be hard on them, really, to be so far away from home. Make one visit to the temple before they arrive. Find out the names of a few of the priests, esp. One from delhi. Go to the temple once with your inlaws, on a weekday. bring fruit, introduce them to the delhi priest. After that, you can drop them at the temple for 1-2 hours at anytime, they should be happy to worship there.

Also, anyone indian who takes an interest in talking to them, invite to your home. The other indians will compliment them on their hardworking son, the handsome (fairskinned) grandchildren and talk about back home. It will make the inlaws so much happier. You just bring out unhealthy sweets from the indian store andhang out in the ktchen, lookig busy.

Plan some outings for them. The local park, elementary school (outside only is ok), highschool, college, library, etc. Just a drive by tour counts. They will go home and tell everyone how clean the parks are, how nice the buildings of the local collage are. And they will have greater understanding of why your hubby is staying in the usa.

A professional family portrait is something to arrange, and will make them feel respected. A good take-home souvenier.

Your husband may not be able to handle 4 weeks straight with his parents. Asking for 3 days a week off work might be a good comPromise. (yes, i do see the irony in him expecti g you to do something he could not handle himself)


SleeplessMommy is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 07-21-2011, 08:30 AM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry about the typos. Iphone here and very hard to edit.

Take them to chicago if you can. (not sure how far you are. ) take them to see the nearest big river, lake, tall buildings, corn fields, etc. - they will have things to talk about back home!

If you want bonus points, make some flash cards with food and animal words in hindi. Get them out and "drill" your son on them. This demonstrates how important education is to you, lol. After the relatives leave they go to the back of the closet.

SleeplessMommy is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 07-22-2011, 06:49 PM
 
thanneaKS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just a reminder from an "old" mom--someday you may be in a mil's shoes, with your son married interculturally and living far away from you.  His wife may not like you and may not want to spend time with you. She may dread your visit. She may not trust you with the grandchildren.  She may not like your food or your religion or your customs...Try to put yourself in that situation and think what would make you happy and content.  Probably you would want most of all to be cherished, loved, nurtured, and accepted. Undoubtedly the grandchildren would mean everything to you and you'd grieve if they couldn't understand a word you said!!!!  And, of course, you would want to reconnect with your beloved son. It would hurt to see him married to someone so unlike you. It would hurt to see the ways he rejected your customs, values, religion, and so on. 

 

I was in those shoes 35  years ago.  I wasn't as kind or understanding as I should have been, could have been.  I still regret it.

 

I think you'll be great--there are so many more of us in this position than there were when I was young. The advice has been great.  I'm now a mil, though, and it is interesting and humbling to remember when I was the dil--and not at all understanding.

 

creddy likes this.
thanneaKS is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 07-29-2011, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)



I am sorry but I am a bit offended by your post, maybe you are talking about yourself as I have never said I disliked my Inlaws. In all honesty I would think someone who posts here trying to find ways to make  their Inlaws stay more comfortable for everyone would be viewed the opposite. My dh was an athesist long before I met him and he was also in the USA and planned to stay despite meeting me..I didn't keep here, rather told him to go back home when his mothers health turned for the worse, I lost my mom when I was young and my dad was never in the picture, I am a likeable person and yes it saddens me that I cannot have a close relationship with my IL's because of mostly distance and language, because these are my kids only grandparents they'll ever know. And yes I will feel uncomfortable and 2 1/2 years ago I was in their shoes so I know the boredom that they will face and the culture shock so I don't want their stay to be bad. MIL has never even flown on a plane before, this is a big deal for her so I want it be a good experience for us all and I don't want them going back to India thinking awful things about me or American culture. And as bored as I was in India, I have mentioned they were very nice to me in their actions and I want to return the gesture but do feel a bit overwhelmed as I have mentioned they had lots of help and I have the new baby who needs a lot of my attention and I have no extra help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thanneaKS View Post

Just a reminder from an "old" mom--someday you may be in a mil's shoes, with your son married interculturally and living far away from you.  His wife may not like you and may not want to spend time with you. She may dread your visit. She may not trust you with the grandchildren.  She may not like your food or your religion or your customs...Try to put yourself in that situation and think what would make you happy and content.  Probably you would want most of all to be cherished, loved, nurtured, and accepted. Undoubtedly the grandchildren would mean everything to you and you'd grieve if they couldn't understand a word you said!!!!  And, of course, you would want to reconnect with your beloved son. It would hurt to see him married to someone so unlike you. It would hurt to see the ways he rejected your customs, values, religion, and so on. 

 

I was in those shoes 35  years ago.  I wasn't as kind or understanding as I should have been, could have been.  I still regret it.

 

I think you'll be great--there are so many more of us in this position than there were when I was young. The advice has been great.  I'm now a mil, though, and it is interesting and humbling to remember when I was the dil--and not at all understanding.

 



 


supermod.gif semi crunchy single student super mama to DS 7wave.gif and DD 3shy.gif. Falling in stillheart.gif with single super dad superhero.gif to DD5kissy.gif and DD2energy.gif 
ILoveMyBabyBird is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 07-30-2011, 05:56 AM
 
texmati's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post

So IL's will more than likely be coming this fall for a month long visit. We have traveled to India 2 1/2 years ago with ds, and now they are coming to visit us. I was not completely happy with the visit, mostly because did not translate for me so i just had to sit for weeks not really getting to know the family but watching them interact. MIL doesn't speak english, FIL does but has a thick accent and I am not going to deny that I am more shy around males in general. DD will be about 5-6 months while they visit, ds is now 5 and will be in K M-F mornings only. I am just curious about what I should expect they expect of me? They were more than hospitable when I visited, but with DD being so young and me not being able to keep up with the house as it is and having to resort to take out have the time I don't know how I can be a good hostess?!?! I kind of explained to dh that it is my insecurities about me not being able to do 'it all' that makes me nervous about their visit. I do find the language barrier a big challenge, as in I don't want to be left alone MIL because we can't really communicate. Dh has not decided if he will take time off work, but I am all but begging him to take the whole month off just so I don't feel uncomfortable in my own home. Well that is just a start of my concerns many more to go over but baby is calling...



Firstly, Indian IL's come in all different flavors, just like the rest of them. Steryotypes like they like to cook, they are neat, won't help you. 

 

Be yourself. I'd make sure to greet them with a smile, don't put pressure on yourself to cook special food aside from being respectful of their vegetarian-ness. I would put a little effort into find out about the cultural outlets in your area-- locate a grocery store, theater (if you have one), temple (which you've already done). Maybe even figure out if your cable company offers hindi tv.

 

Don't worry about keeping house-- i know indian people that are slobs (ahem, me) and Indian people that are super neat freaks. I've known indian people who are extremely warm, and those who aren't. I do think your husband should take some time off, I think itwould be nice for him to take him on a tour of the town or state.

 

Another tip-- use that language barrier in your favor! Funny gestures, etc can be a great ice breaker. And if you think they are saying something not nice, just pretend you don't understand them!


Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

texmati is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 07-31-2011, 12:20 PM
 
serenbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,393
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)

 

 

Quote:
I am sorry but I am a bit offended by your post, maybe you are talking about yourself as I have never said I disliked my Inlaws. In all honesty I would think someone who posts here trying to find ways to make  their Inlaws stay more comfortable for everyone would be viewed the opposite. My dh was an athesist long before I met him and he was also in the USA and planned to stay despite meeting me..I didn't keep here, rather told him to go back home when his mothers health turned for the worse, I lost my mom when I was young and my dad was never in the picture, I am a likeable person and yes it saddens me that I cannot have a close relationship with my IL's because of mostly distance and language, because these are my kids only grandparents they'll ever know. And yes I will feel uncomfortable and 2 1/2 years ago I was in their shoes so I know the boredom that they will face and the culture shock so I don't want their stay to be bad. MIL has never even flown on a plane before, this is a big deal for her so I want it be a good experience for us all and I don't want them going back to India thinking awful things about me or American culture. And as bored as I was in India, I have mentioned they were very nice to me in their actions and I want to return the gesture but do feel a bit overwhelmed as I have mentioned they had lots of help and I have the new baby who needs a lot of my attention and I have no extra help...

 

 

your post come across as warm and sensitive-----don't worry, things will be just fine


 

 pro-transparency advocate

&

lurk.gif  PROUD member of the .3% club!

 

Want to join? Just ask me!

 

"You know, in my day we used to sit on our ass smoking Parliaments for nine months.

Today, you have one piece of Brie and everybody goes berserk."      ROTFLMAO.gif 

serenbat is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 08-09-2011, 06:11 PM
 
USAmma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Arizona
Posts: 18,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have a lot of experience with this after being married for 15 years now to my Indian dh. His entire family is in India. When we or they visit, it's for a long time. I think the worst thing is just the long visits. Even the nicest people can really start to rub the wrong way on each other. The worst comes out.

 

Try to make a sanctuary for yourself and for your MIL in each of your rooms so you can have time away from each other. Put a TV in her room, offer to take her to the library to get armloads of books, and buy her some magazines in subjects she's interested in (cooking, news, etc). If you can afford it and it's available, get the Indian cable TV channel. If she's religious, offer to take her to the temple every week. My IL's enjoyed mall shopping a lot and I figured out that it's good to drop them off and then pick them up later so they can browse and feel like the got out of the house alone. 

 

If your dh wants to connect with his mom, maybe they can take a short daytrip or weekend road trip to see the sights. Honestly after having traveled with my IL's on many road trips I find it easier to stay home and dh enjoys the alone time with his mom so they can speak in the language together and catch up on old times. It also gives you a breather from your guest.

 

I let my MIL take over my kitchen and she's happy, and I'm happy. I take her shopping at the Asian food market and she cooks. Dh loves it too of course, and it makes MIL feel she's doing something to contribute. 

 

RE: Vegetarian-- it's great of you to respect their beliefs. Maybe you can have a small fridge in your room to store the non veg stuff, or just buy carryout. We are totally veg in our house but we do eggs/ milk. This would be a difficult thing to manage but at least it's only for a month!

 

As previous posters have said, everyone's different and the advice won't fit all people. My MIL is both traditional and modern.


7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
USAmma is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off