All his mom does is cooking and meditating. She calls several times a day and tells us to come “home” and eat. [/quote]
This sort of thing drives me and my wife absolutely nuts. All of my wife’s sisters are full grown adults but still live with mom and dad. Mom just can’t stop being the care giver. Every day, she makes a huge dinner. If any of the daughters will be coming home late, she keeps food back to make for them when they get home, sometimes as late as midnight. She doesn’t reheat the food from dinner; she makes everything fresh for them. None of the daughters can cook, clean or wash their own clothes. Mom does everything. This drives my wife and I nuts because her mom and dad are getting old, but none of the daughters have the basic skills to take care of themselves- much less take care of their parents. They always ask us to “come home” for dinner (it’s not my damn home!), but of course when we get there, nobody talks much. The only person in the family who is always social is my wife’s mom, but she is always too busy cooking or cleaning to talk to us when we go over. IMO, the relationship between children and parents should evolve; my mom in-law’s behaviour is something to be expected from a mother of young kids. She should be relaxing at her age and enjoying talking to her mature (or should be mature) kids rather than trying to wipe their backsides for them. I see this sort of thing a lot. Chinese parents generally don’t deal very well with their kids growing up.
Oh, and if my wife or I get sick (which happens frequently because we work during the week in Dongguan, the most polluted shithole in Guangdong), mom in-law immediately says that it’s because we eat outside too much and that if we “came home” to eat and had her soup more often, then we wouldn’t get sick.
Yup. When we go over for dinner, the TV is never turned off. My family isn’t perfect, but when I was a child the TV was never on during dinner.
Before I married my wife and moved to HK, I worried a bit that I would get into arguments with her parents because we have different ways of seeing things. However, I’ve hardly had any arguments with the in-laws. The biggest reason is that they just don’t talk. When there are arguments in the family, though, they are HUGE and can get really out of hand. This is precisely because nobody knows how to communicate with each other.
…and the in laws expect that they will take care of the kid while mom and dad are at work. My wife and I don’t have to worry about whether we’ll have a boy or girl, but her parents have in the past made it clear that they want (and expect, as if it is some sort of natural right) to take care of our kids. Over my dead body. I want my kids to have a good relationship with their grandparents, but I will not let somebody else rear them. I don’t care if I have to halt my career to take care of my kids; they will be reared the way my wife and I see fit. Since I can cook, clean and do general household stuff (and my wife can’t) I have known all along that I will probably end up being the primary care giver for our kids. I don’t really have a problem with that. The in-laws were quite stunned when my wife casually mentioned that I would slow down or completely give up work if necessary to take care of our kids. It was as if she had told them the Earth is flat.
OK, rant’s over. Thanks for the opportunity to vent, Mesheel.