Laws of In-Laws

“You are a guest in their marriage and a guest in their home. You have to fold into their rules and their lives if you want to be welcome there.” ~ Dr. Phil 


My Father-in-Law is home for two weeks, and dutifully, we go home to my husband’s ancestral home in the province so our daughter can spend time with her grandpa.

Sounds ideal, but the whole scenario took several days of adjustments, weeks of discussions, and months of planning. Who brings which car? How do we do laundry, grocery, weekend playschool? There’s no perfect answer, but we managed to follow our own survival guide:

1. Manage Expectations

Not everything is the same as your house. Your child may also adjust to different meal times or bath times. It may be good to discuss these with your husband so you won’t find yourself out of place. You can also state essentials, such as important routines for your child that you can still work out together before going to her grandparents’ house.

2. Discuss Roles

This can get tricky, but the key is to discuss and plan things early on. Imagine your day-to-day activities, list them down, and try to see how this would apply to your in-laws’ house. Discuss who gets to do what with your spouse, including timings, so you can adjust accordingly. 

3. Respect the House

When in Rome, Do as the Romans do. In laws may have their own ways, but since it’s their house, you have to respect their rules while staying there.

I noticed that my mother-in-law likes having clean beds and clean garbage bins inside the house. So while staying there, I make it a point to fold all linens and empty waste cans at all times. It’s a sign of respect for their rules and for letting you stay at their house too. 

4. Enjoy 

Every house and every family has their own way of running things. The important key is to open your mind to new things and to make sure that your child still enjoys her time with their grandparents. Who knows, maybe you can also learn a new thing or two from them. 

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