A Daughter-in-Law Whos’s a Thief

Between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law, translated…

There’s a saying of “Daughters are thieves”, meaning that as daughters go home to visit the house, the mothers would always take things out, for the daughter to bring back home, it’s not that the daughters couldn’t afford the items, but, the love of mothers shown, toward their daughters, but I’m a standardized, “daughter-in-law thief”.

Every time I’d gone back to my mother-in-law’s to visit, after supper, my mother-in-law would start rummaging, packing the things up, and most of these items were homegrown produce without the pesticides, or the fruits from their relatives, neighbors, and friends; other than telling me that I can give some of the produces to my neighbors, my friends, she’d asked me, are you going home to visit your parents?

from this…

If I’d told her that I will, then, she’d also packed another set, for me, to take back home to my own parents, and it’s usually, a lot. So, I’d not only needed to give the portion my mother-in-law gave to me to the neighbors, my mother also needed help, from her neighbors, to help her digest these foods. My coworkers and neighbors all said, that they’d loved it when I told them I’m headed back home to my mother-in-law’s to visit, because as I’d returned, they will have a TON of goodies to share.

I’m going into my twenty-seventh year of marriage right now, and, I’d not started out, as a “daughter-in-law thief” from the beginning, I’d had to, fight hard, to get accepted by my mother-in-law’s family too. One of the reasons being, I’m too short, at about 4’8, standing next to my husband who’s about 5’7, we’d looked like the deities, too mismatched in height. The second reason was, I’d not known about planting and agriculture, my mother-in-law’s family owned fields and tea plantations, and my family is in business, I’d had NO clue of how to work in the fields whatsoever. Thirdly, I’m a city dweller, my mother-in-law had this stereotype of how city dwellers are aloof and cold; and although my parents lived in a seaside village in Taichung, it wasn’t really the cities, but, compared to my mother-in-law’s home that’s located in the mountain regions of Nantou, it was, much more populated.

to this…

not my photo still…

And, because of the above reasons, my husband and I had, broken up once, until his eldest sister spoke on our behalf, we were finally able to, successfully, marry. After we wed, the two of us, mother and daughter-in-law who were both, straight shooters didn’t live together, but, we’d had, our shares of conflicts that’s for sure. For instance, my mother-in-law was extremely picky, while I was on my month-long recovery after birth, she’d told me about the women my husband had dated before marrying me, and claimed, that if we get divorced in the future, my child will be theirs, and my youngest brother-in-law mistook me for offending my mother-in-law, and told me to get down on my knees in front of everybody to apologize to her.

But after my youngest sister-in-law and my husband, fighting hard for me, to later on I’d learned, to show my cares and concerns toward my mother-in-law, and would stuff money to my mother-in-law to help out with the household expenses, and on the major holidays, I’d totally, made it back home to help out too, finally, it’d made my mother-in-law understand, that although I’d not followed her every command, but I followed the beliefs of filial piety to the last word.

As my father passed away, my mother-in-law went to offer her condolences at my mother’s house, in front of me, she’d told my mother, that thankful for me, as a daughter-in-law, I was truly, very glad, although that, was the very first time I’d ever heard my mother-in-law, giving me verbal praises, but I’m sure, that before this, she’d affirmed me for a very long time.

So, this, is how to get through the adjustment period after you’d married into your husband’s family, there would be a LOT you will have to learn, after all, your mother-in-law has a different set of rules than your own family, and if you don’t follow their rules, then, they won’t like you, and this, is why it’s hard, for all the traditional Asian daughters-in-law. But gladly, this woman had, gotten her mother-in-law to start liking her.


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