I have been staying with my in-laws since we got married. A conversation with my MIL tonight inspired me to write this post.
Before and after we got married, my MIL has been playing a very supportive role. When we quarrelled, she would talk to my hubby, asking him to be more understanding, and she would find time to talk to me, usually asking me to be less stubborn. FIL, being the father figure in the household was quieter and coming from a traditional Teochew family, he would always politely ask me to “eat more, eat more” during meal times.
When our dear daugher (my in-law’s first grand child) arrived last year, two adults in the household were ever eager to take care good care of her. FIL would scold anyone who made her cry (e.g. he has scolded me for taking too long to warm breastmilk, scolded my hubby for making her cry with his stern voice, etc). He loves babies and children that much that he is likely to spoil them. I, being a first time parent, was so very eager to see mother and child bonding between myself and my daughter. To my disappointment, I didn’t see any during the first few months of my daughter’s growth. My daughter would cry in my arms, and calm down in the arms of my in-laws. Tension was in the air. We were all stressed up over the babysiting of the little princess in the family.
As time passed, we got to know one another better, and I learned to let go more. While my FIL gives in to my daughter all the time (which we all frown about), he is the only person so far, who can make her laugh out loud. It warms my heart to see her so happy with her “Ah Gong”. I’m glad that MIL and my hubby would intervene if they see my FIL giving in to her in the wrong way. Things sort of balances out this way.
Now my daughter (15 months of age) wants my hubby and me to carry her and play with her when we are at home. And MIL took this opportunity to tell me that I needn’t had worried about the lack of bonding between me and my daughter earlier. I smiled and respond that I was being too eager, being a first time parent.
This kinda sums up the interaction between my In-Laws and me.
Tonight, I lamented jokeingly that my hubby has not been “sayang-ing” me enough as he did not massage my aching back for me until I requested repeatedly. My MIL casually responded that my hubby, compared to many others does sayang me a lot. I giggled, as I could see my MIL as a mother eager to defend her son (with good reason). In the eyes of our parents, we are always kids, whom they would shower with selfless love.