Thursday, January 28, 2016

Expat Talk: Sometimes, You Just Need a Little TLC


I hate it when John travels for work. Hate. It. You'd think I wouldn't mind, since 2.5 years of our relationship were spent over two different continents. But I do. I mind.

Last week, he was in Geneva and Zurich. This week, he's in the U.S. Next week, he's ... I can't actually remember (and I don't know how he does).

Don't get me wrong: European travel is fine. We FaceTime at bedtime, fall asleep while talking, and wake each other up with mutual duvet rustling. And sometimes, I even tag along.

The U.S. travel is a killer. When he's in New York or Boston, the 5-hour time difference doesn't bother me that much, but when he's on the West Coast (which is, ironically, where I'm from), the 8-hour time difference is noticeable. Very.

So what did I do? Called my mother-in-law. Asked her to stay with me for a while. And she did.

Not only did she stay over: she had piping hot, home-cooked meals ready for me as soon as I walked in the door from work, made me cups of tea in the morning, de-scaled my kettle (what is it with parents and de-scaling kettles? My parents do it every time they come over!), stayed up watching crappy TV shows with me, and cleaned everything while I was at work. I'd creep past the guest room in the morning, trying not to make a sound, only to hear her chirp, "Good morning!"

It was so nice to be looked after - especially when I still felt residual sadness over my parents leaving after Christmas. My mother-in-law's visit reminded me that, even as an adult, sometimes you just need a little TLC. And that it's okay to ask for it when you need it.

It also reminded that I hit the jackpot when it comes to mother-in-laws! So thankful.

Do you visit your parents or in-laws when you're in need of some TLC?
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28 comments

  1. My husband travels to the US or somewhere in Europe most weeks and I do on the weeks he isn't... I always miss him but I also love the time at home, we are lucky though it rarely encroaches on weekend!

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    1. That's a lot of travel points between the two of you, Anna! It's nice that you have a routine together - maybe I feel it a bit more/differently as I don't travel for work at all! I used to find it nice to have a little me-time at home, but now I just get bored! I also try to line up a lot of friend-dates while he's away :)

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  2. I hated it when Mr S travelled for work (he doesn't so much any more) once he was away for five weeks and the work load was so intensive we could hardly talk to each other. I did go and stay with him for a long weekend but only managed to see him for one day!

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    1. I'm glad you can relate, Angie! Luckily, the most John is away for is a week at a time, and he only has intense periods like this every so often, but still - I miss him! Maybe I just need a lot of attention haha!

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  3. Haha Jaime, the bf does similar travel locations to John - Geneva, and currently in U.S. I love his usa trips despite the fact we barely talk for the week, but it means there's always a package from Williams Sonoma in his suitcase for me! ;o)

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    1. Lucky YOU, Annmaree! I actually had a Sephora wishlist for NY as I knew that his hotel was near a Sephora, but I felt bad asking because, you know, blizzard and all. :D

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  4. I can totally relate! My fiancé rarely travels for work, but when I do get really homesick and miss my family, it's really nice having my future Mother-in-Law to talk to. She's always there when i've had a bad day with a bottle of wine and we just sit around the table and chat. It's really comforting to have supportive In-laws! It makes a world of difference during the hard times.

    Lots of love,
    Colleen xx

    blondecrossthepond.com

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    1. That is so, so lovely, Colleen! It *does* make the world of difference to have support in-laws. My mother-in-law has been there for me on countless occasions when my own mom couldn't - I am so grateful for her! xx

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  5. I'm glad my husband doesn't travel a lot for work. If I had to spend any significant time with my MIL, one of us would likely end up dead. She uses the "language barrier" to just be a rude cow. I had hoped that I would get lucky with the in laws, since my family isn't close but alas, no such luck.

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    1. Oh no, Jen - that sounds awful! I'm sorry. I do think that I would have really thought hard about living here if I wasn't so close to my mother-in-law (my father-in-law is very nice too, but we're close in the same way!). She treats me the same way now as she did when John and I started dating 11 years ago. But then again, she's an exception! She's just generally a very, very kind and generous person. I'm glad your husband doesn't have to travel a lot! You can focus on the two of you :)

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  6. Homesickness is rough. I don't get homesick very easily, but when I do it hits HARD. That's nice that your mother-in-law helped you out, everyone no matter how old or young they are need some TLC.
    Blue Jazzmin

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    1. I'm kind of like you, Farrah! Most of the time, I'm okay, but once in a while, it hits me really hard. I'm really glad I could call my MIL to come over!

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  7. Love this! So important to ask for help when you need it - not only for you, but also for the person you ask, because then they know it's okay to ask YOU when they need it. Glad you've got such a lovely mum in law! Mine is great too but unfortunately doesn't live close by x

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  8. That is such a clever idea to have the mother-in-law stay over and definitely helps when your other half is away most of the time. As expats, we have been independent since such a young age, sometimes we tend to forget that it's OK to need TLC x L

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    1. Yes! You hit the nail on the head, Laurie :) xo

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  9. We all need some TLC sometimes in life. Sounds like you have a wonderful mother-in-law :)

    K.

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  10. Ah mate, sending the loves!

    I feel your pain. My boyf and I did the long distance thing at the beginning of our relationship and dealing with the crappy stuff that comes with distance is what prompted my move to the Netherlands. But now I swap missing him for missing my family.

    Although it really is only a stones throw away, it still hits hard. So yup, I'm all for a little TLC in times of need! And I'm super happy that you have people around you that can stand in when a hug or just a little company is in order : )

    Gemma
    www.fadedwindmills.com

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    1. Haha, thanks! Hey - distance is distance, no matter how great/small that gap is! I'm glad that you can relate.

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  11. A lovely mother-in-law is worth her weight in rubies..

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  12. How lovely! It's so great that you have her especially with your family being so far away. :)

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    1. I don't know what I would do without her, Sorcha. I honestly don't. She's very much been a safety net for me while I've lived here in England; looking after me when I've had operations in hospital, always making herself available if I needed company either on the phone or in person ... and I think she's always been sensitive to the fact that I live so, so far away from my own family.

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  13. Your mother in law sounds lovely! x

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  14. Ok this was a little spooky to read Jaime because I had the exact same scenario not so long ago! My hubby went to San Francisco for a conference for a week in October so I asked both my father and mum in law to stay with me and they did, they had lovely meals prepared for me when I got back from work AND - she descaled my kettle!!!

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    1. HAHA - no way!!! The similarities are uncanny - right down to the kettle de-scaling!!! So glad that you have such lovely, supportive in-laws. xx

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