A big part of living in a multigenerational household is the need to communicate. Its tough enough sometimes communicating within your own nuclear family. Factor in age, generational differences, and cultural differences to the mix and you have a whole new challenge.
The other day, after coming home from work. My FIL made a suggestion that we just have leftovers for dinner. I said thats perfect! My husband and I had been thinking exactly the same thing earlier that day. The conversation ended and we continued on with the evening.
I fixed Arya dinner. My husband, Jae Sang went to go workout and would be back in a few hours. While Are was eating, I heated up some leftovers for myself and she hung out on my lap while I ate. She got a bath, brushed her teeth and went to bed.
As I was working on my laptop, my MIL came up, after dropping off some cereal bowls at the sink, and asked where Jae Sang was.
I told her he was not home and out.
She wanted to know where.
I just said he was out.
She wouldn’t leave it at that and and asked if he was shopping,
I said sure – he’s shopping (he wasn’t but I don’t need to answer to anyone else where my husband’s exact location is).
She then asked if I had dinner.
Without us (her and FIL)? Yeah….
The whole conversation was rather difficult and felt not nice. I didn’t understand what was with all the questions. I talked to FIL about dinner earlier so there should be no issue!
The next morning, I mentioned my conversation with MIL to FIL. Apparently, they were expecting us to heat up the leftovers and call them over for dinner…. Did they say that? Nope. Did they come and ask when dinner would be ready? Nope. Did they ask if I wanted cereal? Nope.
I explained to FIL that to me, leftovers me you help yourself to what you want. That means you pick what you want and heat it up yourself. There aren’t enough leftovers from one single meal for another whole family meal so I don’t know what each person would prefer. From different leftovers, there is enough for everyone but first come first serve!
A big obstacle is there is not a lot said to each other in general. So people tend to say what they need to and leave it at that. Or my FIL hands my husband a house bill – not saying anything but expecting it to get paid…. I can’t fix a families style of communicating but need to definitely try to be more specific myself so expectations are clear.