This is a post that I longed to write but never be able to do it, until now. It's not that I don't have any idea what to write, but I intend to obtained more experience so I can share more with my readers. Well yes, I believe some of the wives already rolled their eyes when reading my post header. I said wives because perhaps it brings less impact to the husbands if they ever need to stay with their inlaws.
Ideally, I don't think living with the inlaws is the most exciting topic or situation to consider of think about especially for newly weds. Atleast for me, I was expecting a life of living with the husband and kids, in my own house by ourselves when I was married to the man I believe will make me happy for the rest of my life.
The truth hit me when me and my husband decided (reluctantly, for me)-that me and Amna need to stay at his parents' without him as he was still in long contract terms to serve in the neighbouring country. The maths is simple - it will resolve so many problems of long distance couples with small child such as caregiver, security, safety, ease of mind when working (for both parents), etc.
So now I will share a few tips for those who have no choice but to live with the inlaws, or actually making the decision to do so for whatever reasons.
1. I was blessed with inlaws that treat me like their own child. I know that not everyone had this privilege,and I am thankful to Allah for this. I know that some really need to deal with difficult inlaws, however you cannot erase the fact that you need to deal with them sooner or later since you're married with their son.Hence, most important thing to do first is to fine-tune your mindset because Rule#1-Believe that inlaws are not MONSTERS. They are equivalent to our parents, new set of parents that we recently know during our wedding day. It will last forever. I am not gonna kid you that I can accept the fact and be happy about it straight away. In my case, my family style and his was a total opposite, but of course we stick to the same set of Islamic value and such. Hence, it was a hard time for me in the beginning, regarding how warming and welcoming my inlaws are.
3. Rule #2- Avoid confrontation as much as you can. Believe me, before you find similarities, you will find more differences that sometimes can make you go crazy. I need to admit that I confronted alot during my early months of staying with my inlaws and it did not bring any good. I am embarrassed to recall it now, I envy their patience towards me, the stranger that live in their home.
4. Rule #3 - Don't be too fussy. You're living in their house anyway, not the other way round. For small things that can be ignored, please choose to ignore and accept their way rather than making it a big issue that leads to a bigger problem. Accept lah.. you're not perfect either. Kalau frustrated atau marah sangat, just text and call the husband and pour your feelings out.At least he is there to listen. Never ever confronting with the parents, you will menyesal all your life.
5.Rule #4- If you want them to do something your way (in my case especially in raising my child), the best way to do is get your husband to tell his parents rather than you tell them yourself. I've experimented many ways and believe this is the most suitable and effective thing to do without hurting any parties.
6. Rule #5 - Take your time and find the similarity between you and the MIL. Kalau tak jumpa langsung, try to find it lagi dan lagi dan lagi. Mesti ada. Then work on it, make it your daily conversation topic,etc. Ask your husband for more details.
6.Rule #6 - Try your best to pleased them. Belikan hadiah, bawa balik makanan sedap, buy some groceries to ease them and cheer them up (especially in my case yang makan,tido,basuh baju semua kat rumah inlaw). Macam mana kita gembirakan parents kita, macam tu la kita buat kat parents inlaw kita.
7.Rule #7 - Give them space. To play with their grandchild, to have conversations with their children. Tak perlu nak asyik menyibuk atau fikir kita je perlu perhatian 24/7. Know your boundary as a menantu,some family affair we might not need to intervene.
8.Last but I believe most important is -Uphold all the Islamic values whenever you're facing a conflict.All the adab2 sangat penting.. dan jangan lupa jaga aurat because you're living in someone else' house. Kalau husband ada adik2 lelaki atau ipar lelaki sah2 kena tutup aurat. Perkara ni walau bunyi nya senang tapi susah sangat.. again I need to admit that the first month I'm living with them, I had a hard time of covering up at home.Just imagine long sleeves and tudung for more than 15 hours (except when you're in your own room).What can I say, alah bisa tegal biasa. Its not an option pun, its a must.
OK setakat ni jeif ada lagi nanti I will add later. Again, I am not perfect and had my down moments, we had tense situation when both of me and my MIL cried anthe guys are trying to handle the situation.. you might experience that too.Its important to deal with the problems rather than avoid it..as it will stay and not go away.
As of now, incase my inlaws are reading this... Mama and Abah, you are such a great people and among the strongest people I ever known in my life.Thanks for having me and being patient to your mengada manja cerewet menantu.. even my parents sometimes cannot tahan with my perangai tapi you made it through.. no wonder you were the parents to such a great souls - my husband. I could never repay what you've done to me and Amna specifically. THANKS ALOT MAMA, ABAH.
(I dont have the courage to tell it to them, I know I am penyegan like that)