Welcome to Mailbag Monday 7.0!
Our first question comes from the Dim Sum and Doughnuts email inbox:
I have a husband and 3 kids. We are both Greek and our family life is a lot like the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” except it’s not my parents who are overbearing, it’s his parents. They are not on the same street as us but they are only two streets over. They come over unannounced all the time. Plus, they are not nice to me. They bring up my husband’s ex-fiancé a lot to make me feel bad. I have told my husband so many times to say something because he says he doesn’t appreciate it either, but he doesn’t really do much. I don’t know what to do. Do you have any ideas for me?
First of all: I love that movie—the original one. The second one wasn’t as good, but it still made me happy because I love everyone in that movie family.
Second: NO. Coming over unannounced is NOT OK. Call, text, something. I admire the people who are OK with people coming over unannounced, because I don’t like it. I used to like it, but now I don’t. Now, I like to be prepared. It sounds like you do too, so you need to take care of it.
Here’s what you do:
Tell your husband you’re done discussing his parents coming over unannounced, and he can either end it, or you will. If you are the one who ends up having to deal, (with or without your huz) just be honest. Tell your in laws it’s not a good time in your life right now (or ever…?) for anyone—including family—to come by without a heads up.
Be nice and explain that if you don’t get back to them, that means it’s not a good time. Get out your calendars and pick agreed-upon times for them to see you guys and the kids (well, maybe not you, sounds like she’s not that into you).
It sucks that she’s not into you, but it doesn’t sound much like you’re into her either so it’s basically a wash. But if she’s good to your kids, you have to honor that. Don’t disrespect and don’t talk sh*t about her (or anyone) when your kids are around. It’s not up to you to decide how they feel about someone else. Those relationships are separate.
You’re “sick of” the ex-fiance coming up, and who can blame you? I’m exhausted just reading your email. Your husband married YOU, the former fiancé is gone. That’s just dumb for them to romanticize her and shove her in your face. Tell them to stop DOING that when you discuss the new schedule. Tell them it makes you uncomfortable.
You’ll see though, once you cut the time you spend with them into time your kids spend with them, you won’t feel as bad. It will be more about the kids and less about you.
You can do it, sister! Good luck and I hope I didn’t just f**k up your life.
This next one comes from the Dim Sum and Doughnuts Facebook page:
Most awkward moment as a parent…
I think I keep coming back to this one because it was my first awkward moment as a parent. Parenting was so new to me; I had no idea what was happening:
We had just adopted our daughter, F, like two days before. We were in China. It was not cold, but for some reason in China, babies are expected to be dressed for the cold. I get it. Better safe than sorry. OK. But this one morning, I forgot F’s sweater. She was 11 months old, but she had just met us, so she was still in the “Who in the hell ARE you?” beginning stage of her new life. She seemed fine, but my huz decided to run up to the hotel room to grab a sweater.
F and I were waiting for him to come back, when all of the sudden, I got accosted by a group of old, Chinese ladies. They went nuts on me! Rapid-fire Chinese all over the place. They weren’t happy. They kept pulling at F’s shirt while shouting and pointing at me. It was very stressful.
Especially then, because I had no confidence in my new role as a mom. It was Day 2! I was not prepared at ALL for that moment, all that Chinese yelling. Eventually, I started yelling too: “My husband went to get the sweater! He’s coming back! He’s coming BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!”
And lastly, also from the Dim Sum and Doughnuts Facebook page, this very funny DS+D tribe member and her equally funny family had some burning questions for us:
What does your child fake the most: Being “hurt”
What’s the most common lie: Anything and everything, usually something stupid.
What do you miss most about your home when you’re away? When we’re at camp, I miss air conditioning, feeling clean, and the instant hot water thing on my sink.
Biggest dread about starting school: Scheduling everything, class parties, and making lunches
Is it true that you have to be born upside down to be able to beatbox? I think so. Seems like it would be.
What code word names do you use to reference body parts? Gynie. We still call it a gynie, even after all this time: https://www.dimsumanddoughnuts.com/the-gynie-monologues/
What about YOU?
What does your child fake the most:
What’s the most common lie:
What do you miss most about your home when you’re away?
Biggest dread about starting school:
Is it true that you have to be born upside down to be able to beatbox?
What code word names do you use to reference body parts?
Thanks for being here! If you have a good topic or question for Mailbag Monday, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment when you see the Mailbag Monday posts on our Dim Sum and Doughnuts social media pages!
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XO, The DS+D Crew