When I Told My Mother-in-Law I’m Out of a Job

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

Just like a lot of the daughters-in-law who lived with their mothers-in-law, I too, have a lot of complaints. My mother-in-law lives with us, and she’d focused every ounce on her energy on her family, everything from meals, habits, schedules, to everything else, she’d had a ton of rules, that we can’t even challenge.

From before, I’d thought this was a formless kind of surveillance and interferences in our lives, so, I’d felt, upset, that I can’t even, move about freely in my own home. I’d rarely spoken with my mother-in-law, because every time before I was done talking, she’d started, voicing her opinions and thoughts and after awhile, I’d, stopped, sharing anything with her. I’m thinking, that in my mother-in-law’s mind, I must not be a daughter-in-law with lips so sweet either. Gladly, I have my job, that I’d not needed to come face-to-face with my mother-in-law during the daytime.

我跟許多三代同堂的媳婦一樣,對婆婆有諸多抱怨。婆婆與我們同住,生活重心全在家人身...from the newspapers…

Unfortunately though, I’m currently, not working! Because of the manager of my department, keep giving me a hard time, I’d left my former post angrily, and am ready to look for my next job. My friends all consoled with me, that I must, hide the fact, that I’m now, out of a job from my mother-in-law, otherwise, I will surely, lose my own “freedom”; meaning that I’d needed to, pretend I was working, I’d gone out at the regular time I’d gone out for work, and came home at the time when I usually come home. But after a few days of thinking things through, I’d decided to come clean to my mother-in-law, because the kids all knew, that mom’s out of a job, that everybody need to work together, to pass through this difficult time, if I’d lied to my mother-in-law about this, and asked my kids to help me cover up the truth, this would be, the most negative kind of behaviors, something I wasn’t willing to do.

Last night, I worked up the courage, went to my mother-in-law’s bedroom, asked her to sit up steadily (I’d watched too many Korean soaps, and imagined that the elders couldn’t handle it), then, I’d told her, that I was, out of a job. And of course, my mother-in-law inquired about what happened, as I’d told her everything that my superiors did, I’d already, expected, that she would interject, and to teach me a lesson of “introspect on your own behaviors” a lesson in morals, and was ready, to get grilled by her about the household finances too.

But, I’d not expected, that my mother-in-law who normally gets worked up so easily, and would blame everything that happened on someone else, actually kept her patience, and heard me talked, and told me, “It’s okay, life is always twisting and turning, you can expect it to be smooth sailing all the way. Let’s just eat simple, we can still get through the days, no worries!” Then, she’d used her legs which she’d complained every day on, got down on her knees, and, lifted up the mattress, and, before I could react by helping her with the weights, she’d, pulled out a red envelope from underneath the mattress.

“The allowances you’d given me every single month, I’d not used it for four months already, take it, and, you guys don’t need to give me any more money from here on out. It’s difficult, to keep a household, raising three kids is no easy task, I’d been there too, I know what you’re going through.” As I took that dense red envelope from her, along with hearing those words from my mother-in-law, I’d, broken down finally. And, with the tears, came the release of the over-a-month’s difficulties I’d faced at the office, as well as the gratitude for my mother-in-law too.

I can’t believe it, that in times of crisis, my mother-in-law no longer directed, instead, she’d, supported me. The encouragements she gave to me made me really feel, that I was, one of her own children. All the way, because I was young, and inexperienced, I’d not tolerated or understood my mother-in-law enough, and this time, it’d given me this enlightenment on our relationships: living under the same room, so long as we used our true hearts to treat one another, take care of each other, the mother and daughter-in-law not related by blood, can develop this, true feelings of being able to depend on one another.

So, this, is how someone changes her beliefs about her mother-in-law, because when her mother-in-law moved in, she felt it to be an intrusion to their lives, and that, was what blocked her from becoming closer to her mother-in-law, which was why she’d felt, that her mother-in-law wouldn’t understand her situation of being out of a job, until she’d come out with the truth, and, everything changed, she’d learned, that her mother-in-law was actually kind, and gentle, that she should’ve treated her like her own mother, and told her everything from the start.


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