MicroblogMondays: Final Countdown to In-Laws’ Arrival


The time has come.  My in-laws will be arriving on Wednesday.

My mother usually comes from overseas and stays with us for about six months each time.  She is very self-sufficient and considerate so Bob and she get along very well.  This time she came in March so she was supposed to leave in September.  However, in order to make room for my in-laws, my mom graciously offered to leave super early.  She returned to our home country on Memorial Day.  When we remodeled the house, we added a new addition so that she would have her own space with a room and a bathroom.  We intend to let my in-laws stay in the new addition so they can have their own area and we can maintain a little bit of privacy.  Before my mom left, she cleaned out all of the drawers in her dresser and cleaned out half of her closet.  She has helped us a great deal.  My mom had a twin bed in her room.  In order to accommodate two people in the room, we needed to buy a new queen size bed frame and new sheets as well as  to move my queen mattress from another bedroom to my mom’s room.  It was all accomplished this past weekend:

In preparation for the visit, we have gone grocery shopping and bought things that are necessary for my in-laws’ survival.  My in-laws only eat homemade food.  They do not eat out let alone try other types of cuisine.  They only eat South Indian food that my mother-in-law cooks.  They don’t trust non-vegetarian restaurants and they don’t think South Indian restaurants are any better than their own cooking.  We went to an Indian grocery store twice.  We picked up things that I don’t usually use, like wheat flour, refined sunflower oil, sesame oil (not the kind for adding taste but the kind for cooking), and idly rice.  My MIL is going to make everything from scratch so different kinds of flour are necessary.

Another big task for us to do was to get rid of all the meat products in our fridge and wipe everything down.  You see, my in-laws are strict vegetarians.  They do not want anything to do with meat.  They know that I eat/cook meat and my mom does too.  So to reassure them, Bob wanted us to clean out the fridge and wipe it down.  When his parents came to visit him seven years ago, his mom got mad at him after she found chicken broth in his pantry.  He does not want a repeat of that moment.  So this was what I did on a nice overcast Sunday afternoon after 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls:

And this is the result:

 All the grime and dirt is now gone!  I do like a clean fridge.  My next job is to finish using the eggs as well as to clean out the beef broth and chicken broth plus the frozen meat in the freezer.  My Dear Colleague graciously lets me store my stuff in her extra freezer until my in-laws are gone.

So what will life be like with my in-laws here?  I actually do not know what to expect.  The last time we saw my in-laws was two years ago when we went to visit.  That visit didn’t end too well.  I have gone to India two times.  Each time we stayed for about 10 days.  We stayed at a hotel so we had a place to go to for some personal time.  I don’t know what will happen when they come to our space for almost two months.  My mother-in-law will definitely take over cooking, so my kitchen will become her kitchen.  They have packed four suitcases full of stuff to bring here so I am anticipating many new things that they will leave here instead of taking home with them.  The one thing that I am little worried about is my down time after work.  I usually get home at around 6pm.  From then until Bob’s arrival at 8pm is my usual me-time.  I am home doing whatever I want to until my husband gets home.  When my in-laws come, I will be greeted by them instead, and I don’t know if I get to do whatever I want or if my MIL is going to have me watch her cook everyday.  My father-in-law doesn’t usually interact with me (given our history of them not approving our marriage) so he probably won’t say much to me.  I would imagine things to be awkward in the beginning.  Needless to say, it is going to be big change for me in the next two months, having my in-laws stay with us, eating only vegetarian at home, and hoping that they won’t go through our personal things and ask any questions about fertility.

A good friend of mine asked me last week if we would ever share our fertility journey with my in-laws.  I would prefer not to, given how judgmental they have been ever since we started dating.  If we use a gestational carrier, then they will have to know that piece of information.  However, I think that sharing with them about egg donation is out of the question unless I want endless judgment and discrimination against me and possibly my future child(ren).  I will just say that my in-laws are not open-minded people like my parents who would welcome any babies in our family with open arms.  For this reason, my task before their arrival also includes putting away information about our treatment and all the books related to infertility.  It’s tiring to not to be able to open to one’s parents, but Bob knows his parents.  So it’s better to be prepared for that.

So here we are.  The final days of time to ourselves, hopefully not the calm before the storm.  Hopefully there will not be any storms.  Hopefully my in-laws’ visit will surprise everybody and will be better and nicer than anyone would have guessed.  I have been praying for their visit for a long time, for harmony, for unity, and for a very nice time together.  I also pray for a breakthrough in our relationship and for some new understanding of one another’s life and value.  I just chatted with my dad on the phone.  He is always the wise one.  He told me that we don’t ever know how much longer our parents (my parents and my in-laws) will have left in this world, so he told me to be as warm and welcoming as possible, and keep an open mind with this visit.  I think I’ll take his advice.  So, I hope that I will be writing some happy posts about their visit rather than the stress that the visit may cause.


14 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Final Countdown to In-Laws’ Arrival

  1. Good luck! Your father sounds like an incredibly wise man, and you sound like you are preparing in every way you can. I also will send you lots of wishes for a smooth visit and I hope you are able to keep your privacy during this time.


  2. Yikes the stuff you have to do for them before they arrive. Maybe schedule something in your usual down time at least once a week. Like a “doc appointment” or a “massage” and just escape for awhile


  3. It sounds like you have prepared well mentally and physically for their visit, and your father gave some good advice. I have learned through the years to just keep myself a little more guarded with my in-laws and pick my battles. Sending you the very best. 🙂


  4. You are such a great wife and person. I live in SF so if it gets to be too much and you need a break, you are welcome to come over here. I will give you your own space and a computer to watch Netflix :). It is a sincere offer and you can always email me at joahn23@gmail.com. Good luck!


  5. I’m praying for you Isabelle. You are so faithful to honor Bob’s parents and gracious in the way you are welcoming them. I know that God will reward you for your faithfulness towards your in-laws and your loving husband. XOXO


  6. Oh boy. I don’t think that I would have the patience to deal with this. Good luck to you and I hope that the visit goes better than expected. I would definitely try to schedule in some “appointments” with friends or errands that you have to run so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time with your in-laws before Bob gets home.


  7. That’s some great advice from your dad, and it really puts things in perspective. I hope you’re pleasantly surprised by their visit too. Two months is a long time to have guests in your home!


  8. Wow… that is really stressful. But maybe really good, too? I hope it’s a good visit. You’ve done so much to prepare. Now all you can do is let it happen.


  9. According to a South Indian mindset they sure would want to spend much time with their son and see what he has achieved and they would also like to see America and click pictures to be shown back home,if any of their relatives live close by you can make arrangements to send them for some time…your mothering law would also expect you to learn some of her recipes and appreciate what she is doing…I guess they will be happy to see you doing we’ll professionally so you can talk to them about how well you are doing there and how it is benefitting their son …if they are religious they might want to visit some temples around… In the house ur MIL might want to have some space for her daily prayers … She would be mighty happy if that is taken care off…that will give you some space as well… Order some Tamil movies on Netflix or the next time you visit an Indian store that should keep them engaged … Take care of yourself and Bob and your relationship don’t let them come in between…. Their stay is only for two months.


  10. Reading this in reverse is so crazy because it sounds like things are going better than even your highest hopes!! So now my question is, will you reconsider telling them about treatment?


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