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I don't hate but for sure do not like her. My husband is asian, i an mentioning because you should keep in mind the cultural differences. My MIL never ever worked. All her sons lives in abroad including my husband. She is a widow since many years. Always lived with her kids recently the last one moved abroad so now she lives with all of them, few months with us, then the other...few month she spend in Asia with her relatives. We send money every time. She doesn't know the worth of money, spending everything, not saving plus she has separate bank account with lots of money she does't touch. We send money which are more than enough. Her relatives pay bill, food, this is just for clothes, medicines and other things. She spend all even last time she changed her all old clothes with new. Whenever she lives abroad with us, she asks for very expensive phone, tablet newest, lipsticks. Ok we pay it. But she does only sleep and cook not to help but because This is her fav hobby. She does not help with kids, nothing. We even still hire babysitter and childminder as i work. We earn but we have kids plus bills and one million things. She does not understand as she is uneducated useleess person who sleeps OnLy. Her health is perfect just fee medicines she takes with most old people take. We take her everywhere she is lazy to walk few steps. She dies not go alone anywhere shopping or anything nor abroad nor her asian country. She is used Someone to take care of her like gor baby. But i already have babies. She is scared to stay 1 day alone in the house and call us snd complain we left her, she doesnt want to come with us either. Antisocial. She is scared according to her to go anywhere alone. Always prefer to stay at home with months when she is with or her other kids, she is same. Only cook spicy things with my kids do not eat, waste food but i allow her as this is her hobby, change outfits 3 times per day, make hair masks and show her hair to everyone how long is. All the time. While not realising we are abroad, work hard, have kids, bills, worries, problems...she just js like new born baby who doesnt realize anything. I am tired of her. She is not a bad person and i treat her with respect but i m tired. Her other grsbdchildren call her mum but in their language. She was teaching mine same but i said she is Grandma so they can call her names for grandma in whatever language she wants. What should i do? Thanks

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She in not jelaous of me and yes i do understand her. I do not expect total change just a litle bit of participating in our life as a member. I can not build her anything near our house because she DOES WANT ONLY TO LIVE WITH US, MEANS ALL THE TIME TO STAY WITH US. When i am saying all the time i mean all the time. I am also not depriveding my kids from their culture they are doing their cultural events when needed, but whatever i decide in this culture and tradition is not good they are not going to follow. I think that is why i am their mother and i responsible for their brought up. And not to mention which things exactly but not everything in asian culture is so fantastic. Thanks for the advices.
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Please listen to Country Mouse! Two more things. If you'd like to learn some more about her culture, read ahort stories by Jumpha Lahiri. The other is, can you see her life for the tragedy that it is, at least from a feminist perspective? Never educated? Never to have had any expectations for her self beyond morherhhod and even the fun parts of that given off to sevants? She may be wildly jealous of YOU!
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Seriously: you can't beat her - or at least you don't want to, or you wouldn't be saying you can't even ask her to help - so join her. Ask her to do your hair or nails. Learn to love crazy melodramatic song-and-dance (what's not to love about Bollywood???). Preempt her hobby-cooking by suggesting a particular day for her to make one of her fabulous dishes. Channel her activities so that they are useful to you instead of a constant nuisance; but do not expect her at this stage in her life to transform herself into a down-to-earth, level-headed worker bee. She can't.

And whatever you do, please, please do not deprive your children of their fantastic cultural heritage.
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If she has her own money could she not hire a servant for herself - in UK we would call them ladies' maids - they are gofers - go for this go for that. If your house or the area round it was big enough perhaps build a granny annexe then she wouldn't be right on top of you all the time and with an attendant on tap she wouldnt need to call on you so much either? Is that a possibility as for sponsorship dont do it
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I completely agree with you that you don't want her being called Mama in any language. You are the mama, you get to decide that. When DS2 started calling his new girlfriend's mama Mama, oh NONONO, I'm a jealous mama. I'm with you there!!

Sponsorship - you DO NOT want your hubby to sponsor her. You are liable for all her expenses for 5+ years if she cannot meet them, and old people have very expensive medical problems no matter how much fortune they have back home. We considered sponsoring my DIL until we found out that our son was making enough to sponsor her, and we really had to think as she is in her prime childbearing years- we thought births might be too expensive for us to cover! They are nothing compared to heart attacks, stroke, cancer, or hip fractures.

If you are submissive to your husband, there is nothing you can do to keep him from treating his mother like a queen. You have probably already enrolled the children in after school programs so they don't have as much contact with her. Tell husband that it is more expensive for the children since the babysitter does not want the responsibility of taking care of grandma if something happens while she is there, so some of his budget for mom needs to be diverted to the children's fund.

My retired pastor married into an Asian family, and his father in law lived nearby. As I remember, FIL did not speak English, and only stayed around his housing complex where there were other people from his home country. I think he joined the YMCA (very cheap for seniors) and joined a walking group where he met others who were not in his complex, but that could have been another family. How about searching the internet for (your nationality) senior program (your city).
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That's a lot of stress for you and your family -- it sounds very difficult, and probably something you did not anticipate when you married into this. The only thing I can think of that might change things a bit is to find the good things that she brings into your life (tradition, family history, if nothing else, good DNA) and praise her for that. Perhaps that will make her feel more cooperative. and perhaps drop your expectations that she will change --It does not sound as if she is going to change much, and she has no incentive to do so.
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She lives with us and we know each other well enough. I can not ask this should be her will to help. I can not force anyone. Like the way she cook as this is her hobby without asking me or telling me she can help with other things. She is more busy to watch indian dramas and asian chanel, to sleep, and take care of her hair like she is a teen. Another thing is cook spicy food which not everytime is needed coz when i cook there is no need. Change new outfits, earing, necklecess and many other enjoyful things.
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Even in this country, you can be a prisoner of your own culture. In my experience, however, I've noticed some people use it as a crutch to avoid taking responsibility for their own behaviors and pulling their own weight around the house.

The problem is that your MIL has become too comfortable. If your husband wants to send money while she's away, that's on him. But that doesn't mean she gets to do nothing when staying with you.

Definitely talk with your husband. Chances are he's going to side with her anyway. Whatever the case may be, ask your MIL for help around the house. Maybe if you get to know one another better your relationship might improve.
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Thanks to all of you for the help and goid advices. I will try to answer few of the questions and advices i have got. My relationship with MIL is wonderful. we never fought nor had argument. I treat her with respect and she loves me and call me her daugher. But my issues with her are reasonable. It is not like i do not understand that she is used to this life. it might be difficult for her but for us it is not easy either. My family is totaly different. About the topic how my kids to call her with my all respect i would say it is my choice. My kids can not choose as they are small. She is Not their mother So they call her grandma. I dont like it and it is not going to happen. I m not a big fan of names like mimi, mum and others for Grandmother. And someone adviced me to ask her to take place near by and visit us I think did not get my point. She does not know how to live alone, totally unable, never leave house alone, doesnt know how to lock a house even nor speak the language. She is typical asian woman who never worked or mixed with people out of her family. She is in perfect health but get tired to walk 10 min. She can not do it. And second she has other sons so all of us have an agreement to take care of her for the reason i mentioned above. My ONLY PROBLEM is that she does not realized we have not servents we just live our life, work and manage to provide for our children. She need to stop asking for useless things, control money she spend and participate in her life as a member. But how to make her understand is the thing i do not know.
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What is tradition? 20% useful. 80% just another millstone to keep down the Power of Women!
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Sounds like you should become Gershun's pen pal, and get more advice from her. She knows how to deal! I do not believe that tradition should continue at the detriment of your family. This will eventually hurt your marriage and your children's financial future, if you do not stop it. It can only get worse if you let it continue like this. Soon she'll fall down and break a hip, and then you'll have full care of a self-centered diva. Firmly point out that this is the 21st century. Make her use her own money. When she comes to visit you, make her get an apartment and pay her own rent. Say, it's great you want to see your grandkids. Here's a place you can rent nearby. And here's a senior center for activities. Make sure you have lots of family events where you are just unavailable to her. It's the time in her life where she'll have to develop her own resources. Toughen yourself so that her complaints don't affect you. It's an opportunity for your husband to grow as well. I know an Asian woman who although she works full-time, she spends every weekend cleaning her in-law's home and yard! That is time and energy away from her own family and their needs. In this day and age, those expectations are unreasonable and untenable.
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I grew up calling one of my grandmother's Mama and the same with a great grandmother. I never once confused them with my own mother. It's just a name. Grandmothers these days go by lots of different names. I know a Honey (!), Meme, Mimi, Nana, Grandma first name...and many others.

I would let her choose what name she wants to be called, just like I did with my own family. My kids let me decide what to be called as well. In fact I am a great grandmother and my name didn't change with the next generation. It's her identification, not yours. Yours is secure with your children. They will not be confused as to who is their mother.
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It's a different normal. My son's classmate caused howls of laughter at a birthday party where the topic of conversation was the (rare) swimming pool at the host's house with his throwaway remark "oh, in India *everyone* has a swimming pool." Well, everybody HE knows does. Not the other 999,999,000 others, perhaps, but everyone he's ever had anything to do with...

Is it your MIL's fault that she came from that rarefied stratum of her society? Do you resent her never having done a day's work, as you see it?

How does she behave towards you? Is she openly critical, or would you be very surprised to think that she might find you a bit intimidating - so modern, so capable, so full of energy - and actually not know how to fit in with what you want? I just wonder if there might be bridges you can build with her so that you discover a personality you might find more attractive (after all, she made your lovely husband didn't she?). Why not ask her to show you how to make some good, quick family dishes from her own cuisine, for example? - gosh, come to that, you could hire her out to teach classes..!

I meant to add about the 'what the children call her' issue before: make allowances for differences in honorifics, such as calling respected females 'auntie' and so on. There are differences in family structures and the titles that go with them, she's not trying to usurp you in the children's affections.
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she is older and set in her ways. things will change with the next generation - that would be you. in the grand scheme of things, a few months here and there are tolerable compared to if she lived with you full time.
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I can not go out of the country every time as I work and kids go to school. She comes often and lives with months. For everyone who might think she is amazing housewife I will disapoint you as whole life she had servents and babysitters in her country when her husband was alive. Not only never touch work but very lazy for house work as well. So she is used for this. Getting up late, whole afternoon sleep like this is fine. And when someone meet her might say that she is a sweetheart. I will say that it is easy to be sweetheart when you never worked, never walked more than 5 min, never been outside alone, never did housework without 10 servents and never brought up a child without help of 1 or 2 babysitters. Now it is changed so she need to change her expectations and attitude. Am I right?
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When she is at your house, go out of the country and visit your relatives.
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I doubt very much you can do anything to change your mother-in-law's behavior - it servers her VERY well, and is culturally approved, so you have very little leverage. You have to decide just how much you can put up with and draw boundaries. Hopefully, although your husband will not dare to challenge his mother, he will give you some support in avoiding the sillier aspects of "queen for a day" thinking of your mother-in-law. Just downing tools, refusing to hear her demands, building a mental wall to ignore her, might help.
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I too have an Asian mother-in-law and have to say it has been difficult. If I had not stood my ground from day one (and I'm talking day one literally) that family would of swallowed me up. I would be most likely living in one house with all of them, cooking and cleaning for the whole crew.

I ran the risk of alienating them but didn't care. I clearly stated from the beginning."I am not living with you, cooking for you, cleaning for you. I am your sons wife and he is my family and we will live as we want to. If you want to be part of our life you have to accept it. Period"

I think my husbands Mom would never admit it but she secretly respects me for not giving in to their cultural expectations. We don't love each other but we tolerate each other and that is better than nothing.
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I have to agree with country mouse and again am slightly afraid about crossing the line into stereotypicla views. From my experience it is left to the daghters and daughter in laws very often and they may well not be carer orientated. You could always use the tactic that you dont feel comfortable with supporting your MIL while there is so much else going on in your life that requires your focus but I suspect that you will be talking to the wind. You see while times have changed your mother in laws matriarchal grip on her family has not
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Um, I need to tread carefully because I don't want to be accused of lazy stereotyping, but from what Asian friends tell me about mothers-in-law in general you're actually getting off quite lightly. The position of daughter-in-law in many traditional households is not enviable: perhaps one blessing to count is that you're not stuck with her all year round.

I am extremely taken with the image of a mother of many children who has never worked. Hmm. She must have had some pretty miraculous children, then.

More comfortingly, as far as I can gather it is also a grand tradition in Asian cultures for wives to swap horror stories about their mothers-in-law. Maybe there's a club you could join?! - but, again, I really don't think you'd win any prizes.

You need to understand one thing: when she goes to visit her relatives in Asia it will be critically important for her to emphasise how brilliantly her son is doing and how much spending money he lavishes on her. She's not being a wastrel, this is about taking pride in him. If she made economies they would think either he or she was being cheap. Is it creating a financial problem?
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I have no problems with my husband. Socond i know is not my bussiness i just discuss with my husband only and only in peaceful way. We have good relationship btw family members. I do speak about this because we all together discuss about her; when and who will sponsor her, how much, tickets when she travels, so i can speak. But i fo not want him to break his tradition. I said this things just to cleat the picture. I just want to ask for advise how to make her help around, what should i do.
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Did you understand before you married into this family that this was part of their culture? Unless your husband is ready to break with tradition, you are going to have to figure out how to work around this if you want to continue in the marriage? What does "taking care if" mean to your husband? You and he might benefit from some couples therapy so you can work this out.
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Whether you are Asian or American, you are still only an in-law. What is done or not done for her or with her is up to her sons and daughters. You have no decision in this, you can only appeal to your husband if you need help.
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He realized most of the things but at the same time he repeat all the time "we need to take care of her, she doesnt know how to do this or that, she is suffering". GOSH. I swear this woman is not suffering even a litle bit. She is like a queen. But when to not go out with months and sit and being useless is making her happy. I am helpless.
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Sorry I am bit tired so I made too many mistakes. Here i tried to correct most of them.

I don't hate but for sure do not like her. My husband is asian, i am mentioning this because you should keep in mind the cultural differences. My MIL has never ever worked. All her sons lives in abroad including my husband. She is a widow since many years. Always lived with her kids recently the last one moved abroad so now she lives with all of them, few months with us, then the other so, then other and other...few month she spend in Asia with her relatives as well. We send money every month if she in with her relatives. She doesn't know the worth of money, spending everything, not saving plus she has another bank account with lots of money she does't touch and dor this she has second and she uses this one only. The other one is in case something happen so she can use it. We send money which are more than enough. Her relatives pay bill, food, this is just for clothes, medicines and other things. She spend all even last time she changed her all old clothes with new. Whenever she lives abroad with us, she asks for very expensive phones, tablet newest always, lipsticks, earings. Ok we pay for each and evetything. But she does only sleep and cook, and she cooks not to help but because this is her fav hobby And the one thobg she knows. She does not help with in taking care of grand kids in fact she does nothing whole day. We even still hire babysitter and childminder as I work. We earn but we have kids plus bills and one million things. She does not understand as she is uneducated useleess person who only sleeps onIy. Her health is perfect just Takes basic medicines like most old people take. We take her everywhere she is lazy to walk few steps. She does not go alone anywhere shopping or anything nor abroad nor her asian country alone, very rare she leave house with someone else as well. She is used someone to take care of her like for a baby. But i already have babies. She is scared to stay 1 day alone in the house and calls us snd complain we left her, she doesnt want to come with us either. Antisocial. She is scared according to her to go anywhere alone And feeling cold all the time as she wear thin asian clothes not suitable for place where we live. Always prefer to stay at home with months, when she is with or her other sons, she is same. Only cook spicy things with my kids do not eat, waste food but I dont mind it as this is her hobby, change outfits 3 times per day, make hair masks and show her hair to everyone how long is. All the time. While not realising we are abroad, work hard, have kids, bills, worries, problems...she just is like new born baby who doesn't realize anything. I am tired of her. She is not a bad person and i treat her with respect but i m tired. Her other grandchildren call her MUM but in their her asian language. She was teaching mine same but i said she is Grandma so they can call her names for grandma in whatever language she wants But not mother. What should i do? Thanks
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No one can take advantage of you, if you don't let them. But, you are probably going to be considered the bad guy. How does your husband feel? He needs to step up and set some boundaries.
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