My lovely Chinese mother-in-law

There are a lot of stories about Chinese mothers-in-law in the blogosphere: Lina’s Momzilla and Timo’s crazy MIL are just two funny examples, but there are many other cases in which the couples had a hard time or even broke up because the Chinese MIL didn’t think the match was good enough for her precious son or daughter. I think it tends to happen more in AMWF couples, where the MIL is scared her son will be taken away by the Western bitch. At least in China, if a Chinese girl wants to marry a Western guy it tends to be fine with her mother.

I have been extremely lucky with my Chinese MIL. I like to joke and say that she accepted me very easily because her son is already old for Chinese standards and she would accept almost anyone, but the truth is that she is extremely kind to me. Let me elaborate with some examples:

– She gave me her dowry’s duvet

I just moved to Shanghai for work (I go back to Suzhou on the weekends) and the first days in my new rented room I was basically freezing. This is an old apartment, very charming but also badly insulated. It is almost 0 ºC outside and the wind comes in throught the old windows. The air con wasn’t working and I had just brought one duvet from Suzhou. The next weekend, C.’s mom gave me a very heavy duvet, it must weight around 8 kg. It looks very new and it is quite warm indeed. She then told me this duvet was part of her dowry more than 30 years ago! We both agreed the quality of things produced in China was way better back then.

– She sends me messages asking if I am cold

Because of the events described above, she now regularly checks on me through WeChat (she is a very modern lady) and asks me if I am cold.

– She buys clothes for me

In this regard she treats me as if I was a child. She must think my winter clothes are not warm enough so she keeps giving me long johns, thick leggins and wool jumpers. The wool jumpers… how to say it. They are indeed warm, but totally not my style. I wear them sometimes to make her happy. C. says that if I keep accepting her presents she will never stop buying things for me. But how can I say no to her?

She has also given me many necklaces, bags, and even underwear…

– She peels crabs for me

Ok, this is a bit weird. Hairy crabs from a lake in Suzhou are considered a local delicacy and when they are in season (around October and November), everybody in Suzhou is buying and eating crabs like crazy. I don’t like eating crabs because the meat is so complicated to reach: you have to crack and slurp for hours just to get small pieces of meat. Tasty, yes, but mafan.

One day we went to her place for dinner and one of the dishes was crabs. She insisted I had to eat at least two and she proceeded to crack open every part of the crab for me.

I felt very weird. C. of course thought it was very funny. I told her she didn’t need to do that but of course she completely ignored me.


The crabs incident.



– She scolded C. because I cleaned the new apartment right after moving in

She said I must be very tired and how could he let me clean. Then she texted me and told me to stop cleaning because she would come and do it on her next free day!

– She has never asked me when we will get married or have a baby

And this is a huge thing. Chinese people basically live with only one objective in mind: having a grandchild. I am already 30 but she has never asked or put any pressure on me (and I am very grateful for that).


For these and for many other things, I hereby declare her the best Chinese MIL ever!

Family portrait.

Family portrait.