Monday, October 22, 2012

My Sweet, Loving Mother In Law

I respect anyone with their own views. I also expect people to respect my views & beliefs.

My mother in law is the sweetest person I've ever known. She would go to such an extend to make everyone feels go good.

She does get on my nerves sometimes but there's not an inch of me that do not love her so much that I know I would do everything I can for her.

Here are some of the points which bothered tickle my not so funny side.


Last night my mother in law (MIL) 'whatsapp' (iphone & android application) me and asked if we have received our special card.

We have just arrived back home a 19 day holiday in London & in France. We haven't checked the mailbox.

I told her I will fetch it then & revert back to her. :) Before the card was in my hand, my husband and I were joking and laughing as always.

Then the card came to my hand and I saw "To Mr & Mrs XXXX"

I passed the card to my husband & bluntly said "She is pushing it doesn't she?"

Don't get me wrong. I think I'm blessed with the bet mother in law in the world. She would do so much for me & I would do the same for her. I love her dearly to a point that she knows me more than my biological mother knows me. I am more myself with her than I am with my biological mother!

Having said that, she has her traditional ways. And I've been a controversy since I came into my husband's life! I'm not traditional. I'm not what everyone expects of a wife or a mother or a daughter in law.

While she secretly enjoyed my free spirited mentality (since we joked a lot and I do make her laugh a whole lot.), she sometimes do wish I would conform a little bit to the rest of the world.

When we announced that we were getting married, she was quick to say that she can't wait for me to be part of the clan - to be yet another Mrs XXXX. And me being me, I was quick to say that I will be part of the clan but I will not take my husband's last name and will retain my last name.

That affected her for a long time. I had the dillema of conforming to make her happy while I am not at ease or let them get used to how things would be with me. Fair to say that I made up for not conforming in my other special ways. And slowly, she got over it.

Having said that, there will be random cards or word on the cake....something you can't take back which still pushes "Mrs XXXX"

And last night....5 years, 2 kids and many ups and downs (between me & her) later, she still wrote that. I was sad. It hurts me that I wasn't heard. I felt like I wasn't taken seriously. Like she thought this is just a fad or a thing that I would finally get over. I've told her the reason why I am keeping my last name. That was the only legal thing I have of my late parents and to have her disrespect that and still pushing it through - it hurts.

I did over react a little bit. After passing the card to my husband, I said "I'll make them learn!!! I'll change my kids last name only to mine!!!"

And my husband knows that if I say something like that, he knows I am capable of doing. He got upset. I got upset.

At the moment it's like "MINE-HIS" ... and no, I wasn't serious about changing their last names. Was just being defiant at that second. :)
And I said I didn't want to talk about it and went straight to bed. It bothered me so much that I was tossing and turning badly to a point that it became annoying!

I wrote a message to her & copied my husband on it

"I'm not Mrs XXXX. I'm Hera. Hate me for not conforming. I'm not afraid of being me, I'm not afraid of not being liked for something I believe in.

Somehow I haven't made myself clear enough.

All I'm asking is a bit of respect & acknowledgment that your are aware that I am not Mrx XXXX.

I can't open the car. I'm really sorry. It's not you. It's the principle. Have passed the card to your son. Maybe he will read it.

I do appreciate your thoughts though. Thank you so much for remembering our anniversary. And making the sweetest gesture of sending the card. Love u.

Thank you so much for having a big heart.

Just ... Hera"

I didn't hear from her for half a day before she replied "For god's sake , I forgot."

I don't know what to make of that. You forgot that I am not Mrs XXXX?? Well, she is old after all.

I am usually quick to forgive her because I know in many case she does things with good intentions. Like sending the card for our anniversary. She does have a big gigantic heart. She loves our kids and showered us with a whole lot of love. And I love her for that. But it's the small things that seals the deal..... like the name on the card.

This morning, my sweet husband was trying to make peace between the 2 important women in his life. He said his mom is old after all, she doesn't realise these things. I said I am aware of that but I also need to point out what's important for me. I told him I'm just upset. I love her no less but let me pour it out on a blog and feel better first before I deal with this again! ;)

It's one of those things, you know. Like I said, I think she is perfect for me. She is young at heart. She could take my jokes. But there are certain things which may cut the blade sometimes.


I could think of is when we just got a baby. 4 years ago. Before we were married I have never called her anything. not "mom", not her name. Nothing. When I need to address her, I went to her and speak to her. There wasn't a need to call out for her. There simply wasn't a need to do that.

I didn't see any problem with it at all. Well, what's not a problem for me, may be an issue for another. Just like this last name issue we are going through right now.

So one day, we had a "meet the baby" gathering. We live in Singapore and my husband's family lives in Australia. So when my daughter was like a month old or so, we decided to have a little gathering so they all get to see the new addition to the family. We have lived at her place for a week before the party was held.

During that party, she suddenly brought up to her cousin that she was nothing to me. Alright ..... well, I was sure we could have discussed about this NOT in front of everyone.

"I am 'she', 'her', 'your mom', but she has never address me as anything! I don't know what I am!!! I'm not mom. I'm not Mrs XXXX. Not even my name!" She retorted as tears welling up her eyes.

That did caught me off guard. I didn't expect that. I didn't realise it was bothering her. I didn't know. I should have seen it coming but it was all building up inside her and it had to burst out in an outrage right in front of all the guests.

Even though everyone was staring at me, I know I didn't need to address this issue in front of everyone. I just smiled at all the cold stares I was getting - Yes yet again I am the cold bitch! Voila! Here I am for everyone to see! 

My husband managed to break the silence by popping a bottle of champagne. I went to her, squeezed her hand & then gave her a hug. She leaned over and wiped her tears off.

The next day, I told her that I need more time. I haven't grown up with parents & to suddenly medal someone a mom (because I married her son), that is a little unfair for me as I don't want to replace my late mom's place yet. I took very long before I started calling my biological mom 'mommy', it'll take just as long for her too. It'll all take time.

Weird ain't it? She was just feeling a little insecure and I understand that. And I could have shouted at her and retaliate to why she had to create such a scene in front of the whole world. But I chose to hold her and tell her that I have my ways to show her how much I care for her.


Traditionally in a marriage, men & women shares their everything. My husband & I are 2 business people who has several business under our belts.

We do support each other if one business is in trouble than the other. However, what we don't have is a joint account.

Due to the complexity of our businesses & the vast difference of one business to another, we have never tempted to have a joint account until my mother in law actually brought it up.

She said that a husband and wife should share everything including a joint account. My independence seems to be something new for her.

Mind you she was also a working woman when she was younger but her husband is the bigger bread winner and she likes being taken care of.

Me on the other hand, loves to be independent. We spoke about this in 2007. She somehow felt that it's unheard of that I will not consider having a joint account.

I didn't quite understand the concept but we didn't bring it up again. So I guess from that point forward, she knows that I'm not that typical daughter in law she was hoping to get ;)

She loves me dearly though. Well, I want to believe so. :)


When I was pregnant with my daughter, she was so happy. I wasn't born healthy so before my marriage I've told her that she shouldn't expect any babies along the way since the doctors said I will not be able to conceive.

3 months after marriage, somehow, by such miracle, I conceived. She was so happy and she was pampering me too much and she was also marking her territory.

She said this baby is going to be a XXXX (the family's last name). Well, needless to say, that kind of tone didn't do well with a feminist like me. I'm rebellious ESPECIALLY when someone demanded that things are done ONLY the way they want it.

The way I see it - I was the one being pregnant, I was the one going through the discomfort, I was the one getting fat - so nobody else should tell me what I should do. The last thing I need is someone pushing my daughter's last name on me because she is so afraid that I would not put the family's last name since I didn't take my husband's last name.

Well, it is still not his last name. I put both our last name as our kids' surname. Yet, there's that bit of regret for even adding my husband's last name. Because till today, my last name has always been conveniently skipped when their names are written on presents of cards. She still think that's the RIGHT thing to do.

I have every right to blow up. But I haven't. That was my kids and not entirely me. So I let it slide. Many many times. If it happens again this Xmas, it will not be pretty. I have told her many times that maybe she should just play it safe and just put their first name. And not get into too much trouble.


Being brought up an evangelist by my late parents, we do not eat pork or any form of it. And she was made known about it. My sweet husband has stopped consuming pork since we got together and he is still maintaining that stand after all these years.

Knowing that his wife doens't eat pork and her son is standing on that theory as well, she still buys his favourite ham or bacon from his favourite shop when he was a teenager and said she bought it only for him and therefore he has to eat it.

What do you call that? Mean to be waving a carrot in front of a donkey when the donkey has his mouth covered?

Was it a plight to check her influence on him, to see if she has power on him still? Was it her being insecure of his son's latest change? Coz he moved out when he was was 17 and he is 40 now. Before I came along, she hardly remembers that he likes those ham and bacon! It's not intentional, I know that because I know she won't even hurt an ant! But somehow she felt the need to remind him of his favourites now that he is not going to eat it? Strange aint it?

Anyway, one day, I will be a mother in law too. And there will be certain things  I want my way but I know that once the kids leave the nest, I would have no say whatsoever. And their first priority will always be the love of their lives. And I would need to respect that. Whether I like it or not (Possibly NOT)

It will take a lot of getting used to since I have been raising them and have been in charge of their everything & to see them abiding to their partner's rule instead of your preference, could be hurtful I guess.

Such is life though. Meanwhile, I'm still lucky that on top of some annoying points, she is still the best mother in law I could think of! :)

PS: And I'm even saying this even when she has no access to this blog!