Korean mother-in-laws' mantra: Please cook for my son

When Kim Eun Ju got married in 2007, she never expected her mother-in-law would call her every day to ask a particular question: What did you feed my son for breakfast today?

“My mother-in-law would first call me, get my answers and then call my husband to check whether I lied to her or not,” the 39-year-old registered nurse told The Korea Herald. “She would call me every day for the first three months of my marriage - just to make sure I made him homemade breakfast.”

We were talking about living with in-laws to take care of the kids. But if the MIL behaved like this, that’s WW3 material. Never, ever move in with monsters like these…

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Funny that many people have issues with MIL, but I have never heard of anyone having issue with FIL…

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Ah, that’s why I married a woman whose parents are on the other side of the world. They’re up when we are sleeping…:grin:

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That’s an interesting observation. Perhaps it is because a MIL questions her daughter’s ability to be a mother, whereas a FIL is questioning the son’s judgement in a wife.

I retract my statement that calling about breakfast isn’t pretty bad. Now that I’ve slept on it, I can certainly see it being a phone breaker, but I do think there’s a level above that which is much worse which is the MIL questioning how you are raising the (grand)kids. That questions everything about you–your maturity, your intelligence, your judgement, your ability to be a good mother. And the biggest problem is that MILs often have 30 year old information, so they think they’re right, but they don’t know that they’re wrong. Some MILs. Some MILs watch Oprah and talk shows and are full of mainstream opinions which are also wrong, but those kinds of MILs tend to be interested in what you have to say too because they are total info junkies. In fact, my relationship with my own mother has gotten much better because she finally realizes that I have interesting information to share with her.

I don’t think the story represents the life of married working women in Korea.
Most of my friends in Korea work and not a single person complains about household chores.
As a matter of fact, they are all surprised that how much household chores me and my husband do while we are working full time. Labor expense there is still much cheaper than here and there are simply so many services to make your life easy even in the most expensive area in Seoul not to mention live-in nanny.
For example, there are nice breakfast delivery service at very reasonable price.
I wonder why RN in the story accepts unfair situation and has been trying to tolerate it.
During the time of transition, there are always people who try to take advantage of old/new culture as they want.
There are mother-in-laws who treat their daughter-in-laws as new servers of family.
There are daughter-in-laws who expect 1 million luxury condo from parents-in-laws and just take it for granted.
(Yes, it is traditional custom in Korea that man’s family should provide housing for newly wed couple. In Korea, housing is not at all cheap since monthly rental is hardly available. You should pay more than 50% of property value for deposit and then take it back when you move out. Thus, you need large amount of money to just to find a place to live.)
However, I don’t think those two groups are majority of population. They are rather small group of people who try to take advantage of old/new culture during the time of transition.

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My MIL always tells my wife to cook me breakfast…I think it is cute, calling from 11 times zones away everyday…Especially since I am the cook in the house…Although my wife cooks a very good breakfast. .