Thursday, 20 November 2008


A little over a year ago when we found out that we were having Isaac, we thought of moving back in with my parents because we would like for them to be able to spend more time with their grandchild instead of just weekdays and during office hours.

So I checked with my mum and was rather disappointed and hurt that they rejected the idea. I believed that the Mrs felt terrible then too. Naturally no one likes the feeling of being unwelcome.

In my mum’s defense she has always told my sister and I since we were young that she does not want to live with us once we have our own families. The reason for this is she believes that by staying together we will have more conflicts and clashes hence it is better that we meet once or twice a week.

My dad's main reason for turning us away was he was worried that he will have arguments with me. Back in my younger days when I was still a little more hotheaded I will not back down from any arguments with anyone, my dad included. However with the help of the Mrs I have learnt to control my temper better and I had no argued with my dad for years now.

Although I knew my mum’s standpoint on this but somewhere in me I always thought that I could get them to move in with me eventually hence when faced with the reality I was disappointed.

Looking back now, after having stayed with them for the past five weeks I am glad that the whole moving in together for good thing did not materialised.

For the past few days the Mrs and I were quite vexed because Ani was having problems with my dad. It all started on a faithful Thursday when my friends and I were planning to have a game of mahjong and because there were not have enough chilled can drinks in the fridge, Ani took the initiative to leave a few cans in the freezer with the intention to remove them after about half hour or so. This is common practice in my own household. Unfortunately when my dad came back and saw the cans in the freezer he was shocked and shouted for Ani asking her to remove them fearing that they will “explode”. He was not aware of her true intention plus he did not know how long had the drinks been in there.

Since then things seemed to have gone downhill between the two of them. After that incident Ani was terrified of my dad so she had not been smiling and neither was she warm towards my parents and even resorted to avoiding them. My parents in turn thought that she was showing them the ‘black face’ and being rude so things got out of hand pretty quickly.

Although I was out at work but I got constant feedback from the Mrs everyday through Skype on what was going on at home. I pity the Mrs because she was right in the middle of the tension when she was supposed to be resting and instead she had to spend more hours hanging around in the dining area just watching everyone and assessing the situation.

Her birthday was sort of ruined by this entire matter also. She lost the mood to celebrate and did not want to go out for dinner because she did not want Ani to be left alone to eat with my parents resulting in everyone feeling awkward.

Finally after speaking to both Ani and my mum we started to piece together where the real problem lies.

It is all about having 2 systems in 1 household with Ani caught right in the middle. She was being told off for doing things in ways that were the norm in my own home but not to my dad’s likings, e.g. the chilling of fizzy drinks in the freezer issue.

They are all small and petty matters but I believe after many of such incidents Ani finally could not handle it anymore. On one hand she did these things because she was taught to do it in our own home but on the other hand my dad will tell her not to do it. I believed she felt really caught in-between.

My parents have never been the confrontational type when it comes to my sis and I. Over the years whenever they want to learn things about me, they will call my sis and vice versa. For some reasons they do not like to bring it up to us directly so in this case they will tell Ani not to do instead of coming up to us instead. Ani on her part does not want to relate stories to us so she will just shoulder it herself.

Last night the Mrs and I sat down with my parents to explain to them what had been happening at home was really miscommunications and a big misunderstanding and we hoped that they will understand that Ani is not showing anyone ‘black face’ but she is merely sad hence not smiling. We tried explaining to them that she was used to our way of doing things but did not realize that they are not applicable here.

I also tried explaining to Ani that she should not feel sad because such things do not apply to her alone. It applied to the Mrs and I as well. In our own ways we also feel like we are guests under my parents’ roof so there are things that we could not do even though we wanted to or had been doing at home.

By having 3 additional adults and a baby moving in full time we will not doubt cause inconvenience to them. Everyone has their personal space reduced and as a result frictions may have been caused.

Even simple things like the fridge will also be an issue because in the past my parents are not used to having things such as fresh milk, orange juice, cheese dip and other unfinished stuffs taking up space in their fridge. Suddenly they find their fridge not big enough to contain all the things they want in there anymore so they had to remove part of it.

During the conversation last night I told them to be patient with us and we only have a few more months here before we move everything back and they can have their own space back minus rooms for their additional 2 grandchildren.

I understand now that whether we move in with them or they move in with us is really not a good idea because they will feel exactly like guests under my roof and as a result they will not truly be at home and comfortable which is exactly what we are feeling now.


Anonymous said...

Yoz Dylan,

Our parents think this way too... I believe most of the parents do not like to live with their children. Cos the house does not belong to them and they scare that you will throw them out if they quarrelled with you.

Maybe when we are old like them, we will think the same way. Well, I guess they don't mind living with you for a temp period, but not to stay for prem under the same roof. That's what my parents think.

So how is Mrs and the twins?
Any Scan photos to show us?
Hope Mrs is doing great and healthy. How is Isaac? He is really cute and adorable.

Take gd care and keep us up dated.

Ed and Family

A Husband's Voice said...

Hey Ed, my favourite male reader!!

Ya I guess some parents think like that so there will be some very happy daughters-in-law. Hahahaha

The Mrs and the twins are all doing fine except the Mrs is having problem finding a position to sleep each night.

There were old scans done from last time but same story no time to go home and have them scanned so I can post. I promise I will try and do it soon.

Meantime the Mrs is busy thinking and preparing for Isaac's birthday party.

I had this crazy idea to invite all you readers but since it is on Christmas Day I dont think many will turn up. Hmmmm....... maybe I will set up a poll and see the response.

You take care too of your little one and your Mrs.


F A I T H said...

Hi Dylan

My MIL must have felt the same when she stayed over on weekdays to help me with my twins before my maid came. Even to date, she never felt at home when she's at my place. And I don't think I will feel at home over at her place too. I guess its the same for most of us. :)

Have you decided on the names of your twins yet? You already know their gender, so what have you and your Mrs decided in the end?


Anonymous said...

Having lived apart from my parents for over a decade, I don't think either party could stomach the idea of living together again!

And when we talk "living together" plans with my MIL, it's really to live nearby instead, like maybe in the same block, maybe same floor, or just same estate.

Having rented my own apartment for 7 years before I got married, sometimes I even find lack of personal space in my home now, so to me, it's really a case of the less the merrier.


nomadic notions said...

I don't think I know your current situation, but it must be hard to be caught inbetween.

Your situation reminds me of my dad's words, he likes to say 'everyone got different standard, thats why there are so many words to describe the same colour.' Heh...


Anonymous said...


Nicole said...

That reminds me of my situation with my mum back then!

As my mum has been living solo for many many years, she's totally not used to staying with anyone else.

Whereby for me, I've never really get to stay with her since I know stuffs(complicated family background,what can I say) and hence, it's my wish to be able to stay with her one day. So when derrick and I bought our flat, my choice had been very clear cut. To stay where my mum is staying. And it's literally just next block of her rented unit.

And yet, when we invited her to move in with us, she rejected and still continue to stay in her rented flat but will come over to our place everyday.

Guess what?? I'm glad that my mum didn't move in with us and she's probably even happier that we didn't managed her to stay with us. We'll probably kill each other in less than 1 week! Cause everyone of us have our own living habit and it's not difficult to see that my mum totally cannot stand our living habits.. so enough said. Haha!

Anonymous said...

hi What you'd shared made me retink about what had happened to my own household . . . except that perhaps my in-laws had taken it to the extreme. Anyway, not sharing the details here to bore anyone.

I do agree with most of your points, but from my observations, there seems to be less problems when the family stays with the wife's parents instead , at least that's what I see from many people around me, what do u think?

Anonymous said...

Think parents like this one leh, my own dad and me also dun get along too well.. it's pretty sad when I used to adore him as a kiddo.. Anyway, he has his own beliefs and refuses to listen to us kids,.. to him we never grow up, which is infuriating..

however, i stay with g and his parents but they'r cool and leave us quite alone..

But i guess the best would be to each have their own homes, since we'll all start our own family aka procreate n all..



Mrs Chew

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Faith,

It is only through this experience that made me realise that. I guess it never cross my mind as an issue since I was brought up and stayed with my parents for years.

I understand that it is different now because it is no longer just me but my family and most importantly it is the different ways of doing things in different household.

As for the names, it seems like we have decided on Hayley and 天恩. We are still deciding on the boy's name. I have to say IHL is still in my mind. Thanks for that!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi E,

Truth be told I was rather confident that you will comment on this post.

I know you are one who really appreciate your own space and I knew you have stayed on your own for a while.

We are current living near my folks but I believe when we move next distance will not be such a big consideration.

p.s. I am still waiting for you to get back to me on 14th Dec ya?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jes,

Actually I think you are one of those that don't quite fit my readers profile along with 2 other ladies and I do appreciate your coming back.

It is actually not so hard for the Mrs and I. It is just a little uncomfortable. It is poor Ani that suffers the most. Anyway it is only for another 3 months more I think.

Your dad sounds like a wise man!


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Charlene,

My mum's exact same words!!

So how are you and your baby? Another 2 months only right?

Take great care and don't let my negative post affect you ok?

Keep me updated on your status.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

Sounds like your mum really prefer to have her own personal space and she probably doesn't want to impose on you and Derrick too.

As you said, I am sure things worked out much better now since she is just across and pops in everyday to play with her granddaughters.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

Being the busybody that I am, I honestly am quite interested in what happened. It is actually your choice of word "extreme" that got me curious.

However I am not asking you to pour out your family secrets here of course.

Actually I think the Mrs might agree with you but I do have my reservations. Not that my MIL will not welcome us with open arms but from what I can see she has her way of doing things which is rather different from the Mrs.

I think my MIL is most particular about her cooking and kitchen so I still see problem.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jolin,

I understand what you are saying especially on the we never grow up bit.

What irritates me the most is they tend to listen to their friends more than their children. When we say something they will have reservations but when their friends say the same thing they will accept readily.

Nice to see that you are getting on fine with your ILs. It is important since G is away most of the time.

About keeping fingers crossed, for you I am keeping my toes and hair crossed as well!!

Good luck in New Zealand ya?! And dont forget to let me know when I can uncross my fingers, toes and hair.

You have fun!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dylan,
Not trying to be a wet blanket here… but see no matter how good the relationship between ur parents n u and the Mrs are… things will turn downhill at one point or other… just a matter of time and how it is being triggered. So best is to close 2 eyes, cover 2 ears…. Act blur is the best policy. (at least for my own case)
I am staying with my in-law (not by choice) because my hb wants to be the 25hrs goody good boy to his parents… I have since learnt to accept my faith and learn to accept my ILs… not easy in the beginning… but I am learning. Learning how to block the things I don’t want to hear… learning how to accept the way that they are.

Yes you have been staying with your parents for the longest time. But now you are staying with them as a Husband, a dad and a son status… no more just a son status. So things will definitely change. You for one your expectation and thinking may have changed since your single days. You will definitely put Mrs and Isaac in first position now right? This already is a big change from the last time. So you cannot say, why last time can now cannot?

I stayed with my parents during both my confinement and I am so glad that it was only for one month… my HB is ok with them coz most of the time he was at work… but me.. I cannot even stand my own parents!!! Haha

Going to visit the parents once/twice a week is very different from staying with them 7 days a week… you have tried that and it “failed” so be glad that you have a place of your own that you can hide out at the end of the day ok…

Don’t fret too much… its just a few more months to go… hang in there

p.s: thanks me n tricia better now.. but i think i spread the virus in the office! haha

Anonymous said...

Heh very clever! I will normally reserve comments for posts that are likelier to receive less feedback. Of course, for you, "less" can still mean almost 30 comments! But yeah, living arrangements is also a pet topic of mine. :-)

Dec 14: Yeap! My sis-in-law is aware, and I have asked her to be the contact person from now on, because she's the most impt person in the equation, plans may change on her end, and there could be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing if I'm the middleman.

She will likely get in touch with you soon, with an alternate suggestion if Dec 14 is not feasible for her.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

Wow!! That is a mighty long comment. From the content I can tell this is probably something that is close to your heart.

I agree with what you said and after this experience I know it will be hard to live together permanently.

My initial thought was the Mrs and I actually stayed with my parents for a while before we got our own place so this time round it should not be too difficult. However I did not take into consideration that there is a maid and a baby involved plus after having our own place for 6 six years we have our developed our own system of doing things.

Although I may sound like I am complaining but really it is not that bad for us.

We are definitely looking to moving back after all there is no place like home where I am King of the castle right?!?! Hahaha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi E,

Actually the 30 plus comments probably include my own responses to each comment hence there are probably only about 15 or so in reality. Hee Hee

Understand that Josephine will be contacting me directly. Thanks for being the middle person for the time being.


Anonymous said...

haha, din know SO LONG le.. typed in outlook n copy n paste!!! TGIF mood lah

yes.. King and Queen of the palace with the Princes and Princess :)

shysta said...

Hi Dylan,

Somehow I have a feeling its quite different for Malays/Indians.

I'm malay in case yew didn't know. And my hubby is Indian muslim.

(pls note that it is not my intention to be racist. these are just my personal observations within the Malay/Indian families)

My indian muslim inlaws on the other hand, is the other way round. FIL wants us all to stay under one roof so that we can rent out our newly own place to earn some extra cash (he was just looking out for us). But my hubby didn't fancy the idea at all cos he read in book titled 'almost conflict free marriage' (or something like that) that having ones own place after marriage is important.

My relationship with my in laws are pleasant and easy going. They are not evil in laws like some stories i've read in SMH forum. However they do have their quirks and idiosyncrasies (like all of us).

I guess if anyone decides to stay with parents, and wish to live in peace and harmony together, we've all got to learn to accept and adapt.

My MIL and my own Mom even, lurrrrves to rearrange the things in my home for aesthetics reasons they say. And they come over quite often. Tastes of a 50 - 60 year old is very different from a mid 20 year old leh. I just kept putting the things back to their original place till they got tired of it. lol

My hubby said...If yew can't chg around them!


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

It is ok to leave long comments. No problem with me.

Actually I was just thinking of me so only King of the castle! Hahaha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Shysta,

Thanks for sharing for I didn't know what it is like for other race.

I'm glad that your relationship with your in-laws is good. Actually I do not think there are too many "evil" in-laws out there unless I am clueless with the real situation out there.

I think to live with anyone not just the parents will require one to adapt, accept and adjust. This in many cases apply to husbands and wives as well.

I can't imagine people coming over to my place and start arranging them as they deemed pleased. That is just weird (no offense meant).

Good luck in the meantime and you have not updated your blog for a while now.


Anonymous said...

hi, mine is a pretty sad case lar. Let's just leave it as that.

But my baby brings me so much joy and clings to me like a bear.... so much so that I think I'll be really really sad if she said she cannot stand living with me next time. haha i'm a pessimist lar... i guess as we grow older we want more personal space.

shysta said...

Hi dylan,

True true. My hubby totally agrees with what yew said. Husband and wive gotta adapt, accept and adjust.

Yup my case of the neglected blog. Hai. Haven't had the time since I started selling baby crochet stuff online.

No offence taken! I guess my parents & inlaws tend to impose on us (from how to bring up our little misha to which painting to hang up on our wall). Hmmm maybe we're too wishy-washy with them. But i guess after so long, all is still well and manageble. Till the day they start invading our bedroom! *cracks knuckles*

Anonymous said...

Hey, yah.. WAH same lah, guess I am not alone, yah my parents also like that... we say ah, doesn't weigh a thing, friends say only listen hook line and sinker.. My mom's simple, so she listens to my dad.. who thinks we talk crap all the time and their friends the best. Honestly, like take of eg i tell them we paint our house 1.5k whole house, include doors they say their friend can do it..end up paid much much more, and doors also not painted..

then when I say anything, my dad will say, when he started renovating our homes n all, i not born yet.. Say like this.. i mean.. "win lor" LOL

Anyway can uncross whatever already

Mission Hongkong failed terribly terribly...

I think i going to adopt already


mrs chew who will never be a mother forever and ever...

Aces Family said...

hi Dylan,

I believe many parents would prefer their children to have their own roof because eventually, it is their family.

Conflicts are inevitable because of different expectations.

I believe your helper,Ani, is doing her best to cope with the different instructions and hopefully she can overcome all odds. Because from your description, she sounds like a good helper. : )

Now that Mrs is in a more stable situation, what is the chance of moving home? This may helps to cool off the tension for the moment.

I believe when the twins arr, all the kiddos will be at yr parents place during the day, with your helper along? So now it may be good to let your parents regain a bit of THEIR Space and time.

Hope things will be fine, after all these are parts and parcel of life.

Angie said...

those of us who had lived with our ILs will know how it feels to be like guests. at least you are very sensitive and handled the situation well. some husbands are not even aware that there is tension in the household!

PositiveSpunky/ Mrs T said...

Hi Dylan,

I think the issue is due to "women". My MIL shared the same thought. A positive note, she explained that she prefers not to stay with us because she respects our privacy. Actually, it is because of "territory". She is not comfortable living at our territory. But I can feel that your Mrs is very sporting and supportive in working with you to solve the complicated "family" issues. Send my regards to her, cute Issac and the twins! Take care.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bebe,

I understand your reason for not sharing. No worries.

We all grow up wanting our own space for sure but I also feel that our generation will probably grow to be closer to our children compared to our parents so who knows she may want to stay with you in the future after all.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Shysta,

The Mrs says she thinks she knows who you are from the SMH forum. You are doing very well with the baby crochet stuffs right? Good on you! But cannot neglect your blog ya?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jolin,

Guess our parents are alike in certain ways. I have learnt to live with the fact that they listen more to their friends long ago.

However they tend to listen to the Mrs more than me so sometimes I will get her to tell them instead of doing it myself.

As for the crossings of every parts of my body, I am still doing it since you're going for yet another vacation soon. Hopefully it will happen this time. Made in New Zealand - NICE!!

Before adopting maybe you should try IVF first. Who knows you may get twins!!

Good Luck!!!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Astee,

I agree with you on what you said.

Ani is indeed a good helper so far and I am glad to announce that things between her and my dad is almost back to normal now. Give them another day or two and who know?

Will not consider moving back for the time being since we will have to move back again during confinement. Anyway the tension is not that great between us and my parents.

No need to worry for us. We will cope and everything will turn out ok.


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Angie,

Actually although I mentioned that we feel like guests living under my parents' roof, I also said that they will feel likewise if they were to move in with us so this is actually works both ways.

I also think that most if not all husbands know about tensions back home. It is just that they rather act blur since they do not want to get caught in the middle.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Mrs T,

Yes, the women's territory does play a part especially the kitchen. Being the lady of the house everyone has their own way of doing and placing things hence it will never be easy even with their own daughters.

The Mrs has indeed been a trooper. When I am at work she will keep a lookout at home to try and keep conflict to non existence.

Thanks for your regards. I will certainly pass it on to them.

You take care too!!

Anonymous said...

Wah lau, how can suggest IVF?? onnly unless really cannot then IVF lah, i wan natural u know.. au naturel???? hahaa

well the dates dun really tally for nz but who cares.. I really dun wanna think so much abt it anymore..

Sigh older folks are always like this i guess.. I think for me, i didn't really realised it that soon? Since right after school i got into S@ and wasn't home much of the time anyway.. it was only after I quit that things got jarring..Oh well, i do what i can, sometimes i do your tactic too, ask G to tell them, easier.. yep..


Mrs Chew

shysta said...

alamak. cover blown! *sheepish smile*

Hello Mrs.

Things didn't turn out as smoothly as I had wanted them to at first. But things are definitely alot better now! =) ready stock is the key to less cock ups!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jolin,

I didn't mean to jinx you but that was just an alternative. I understand from some Gynaes that IVF are not looked upon as a last resort these days anymore hence the suggestions.

However I forgot you are still young so of course you should try naturally for a while more.

Same advice, don't dwell on it too much and relax. Apparently it helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dylan,

Ur blog has some how make me have a serious thinking of having my in laws move in with us when we change to a bigger house.
Now that we are having a house by ourselves and live just 2 blocks away....we get to see our kids everyday at night and then it will be home sweet home for us.(kids will be back with us on Weekends)

Recently my MIL has been hinting us (serious hinting I meant..haha)to get a bigger house and move in with us together. Of cos my hubby is ok cos he also want to play a filial son to his elderly parents. But it was me having second thoughts. Now tat i am so used to be in my OWN nest. I am sure living together will have some conflicts. I am still thinking.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Shysta,

It is good to learn that your business is doing well now. And I must say your stuffs look good too!

Keep it up and good luck ya?!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Linda,

Oh dear!! I hope my post did not have any ill effect on you and your plans.

What happened was really only in my household but after reading the comments from some of the other readers I can say that more conflicts will definitely occur. One simple reason is you will see more of each other.

I guess the only advice I can give you right now is the both of you (you and your husband) must agree to moving in together and by agreeing you two must know that you have to face whatever conflicts in the future together and you must learn to adapt, accept and adjust with your in-laws.

Good Luck and do keep me posted on your decision and outcome.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dylan,

I'll rather not stay with my ILs, not even with my own parents. I want my own space, space for my own family & my own style of living... hehe... For now, i m happy & contended that ILs' place is only 7 mins walk away fm our place.

BTW, i rem we were advised to stay on our own, during the marriage counselling too. =)

Irene said...

sometimes not staying together with the parents or ILs is better :(

mummy yio said...

Before getting married, hb and i both cannot 'stand' each other's parents already. Not literally dislike but more like we cannot agree with them. He cannot agree with my parents, i also cannot agree with his parents. So we agreed that after marriage, we will need to live on our own but as luck would have it. He was posted to China and we went there for 3yr. So the first 3yrs of our marriage was really rosy n nice as we had our own place and could do anything we want however the prob started when we moved back to SG as we didn't have our own place yet. Staying with them and my sil is tacky. My hb sums it up in one statement "You are like a time bomb waiting to explode' Though now we are on our own but the bumps r there already so now everyone thread with caution.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nana,

At least you are fair because it is a 'No' to both sets of parents.

I think staying near the parents like in your case is probably the best thing to do for most couples. You are near each other and yet you have your own space to run your own family. We live about 5 mins drive from my parents' place as well.

Never did go for any pre-marriage counseling so I have no idea if the norm is for them to recommend couples to stay on their own.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Irene,

It is easier for us here in Singapore to buy a HDB flat near our parents so we live close to each other but not in each other's face.

What about Malaysia? Is it common to buy a house a few streets away from your parents too?

I am guessing you are staying with your in-laws?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Amy,

So how long have you two been back in Singapore? Since your return have you been on the lookout to buy your own place be it a HDB or private?

I wonder if it will be hard to tell your in-laws that you are looking at moving out.

Since you are a time bomb waiting to explode and everyone is threading with caution at home then I would imagine that it is high time to find your own place and move out before things get ugly.

Good Luck!!

mummy yio said...

We have been back for nearly 2 years. And have also moved out from my in laws place since Jan this year.

Breaking the news to them was relatively easy coz they were not expecting us to stay with them. Only condition is that we r not supposed to move too far.

But relationship with my parent in laws and sil r still tricky. Personally i feel if the conflict is due to a single incident, its easier to clear up and move on but if the conflict is due to many small incidents that keep rubbing at you, it gets to a point that it really erks you yet you can't do much about it. So like what my friend advised me, as long as its not a life and death matter then can close one eye close. if can close other eye, even better...

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Amy,

So you have moved out already and only January this year?! Nice. It must feel very good for you now to be living under your own roof and setting your own rules.

I have always felt that dealing with people is really an art. It is really not easy and I do admire those that come out confront what bothers them. This way if there was any misunderstanding then it gets cleared up right away.