Before I start, let me make clear that I based this blog on a satirical article in a Portugese (!) magazine, about Portugese mothers. But there is always a little truth behind a joke and from own experience I can confirm this little truth myself. I do realise that I'm heading for a danger-zone as it comes to mothers in law. And although I do admit some irritation now and then about interferences with doubtlessly good intentions, this picture above surely can be considered as a hard proof of a healthy love-hate relation with 'a minha sogra', my dear mother in law.
That being said, the main question is what makes Portugese mothers (in law) so different from normal mothers. Did I just say that? No, it wasn't me. It was the header of that particular article, so may I just have covered my back.
They mentioned 20 differences, from which I will summarize a small selection of personally proven facts. Do your favor with it and decide either to embrace it or to escape ;-)
Portugese mothers don't talk about theír children by just mention them by name. They will talk about 'my Filipa' or 'my Tiago', ingnoring the fact that 1) they belong as much to the father as to her, 2) you don't really own children and 3) 'my Tiago' a grown-up is in age of 46, with three children. In case you were thinking that you would have a say in this, your husband always belonged and will belong to her!
A normal mother will tell her children 'not to talk to strangers'. A Portugese mother will do the same, but will be the first one to talk to the hairdresser, the butcher, the neighbour from three blocks away, the stranger at the metro and the girl at the counter. She knows all about it and you couldn't wish for yourself a better news-channel than her.
Portugese mothers will not congratulate you with good notes at school. She doesn't only assume that you will have good notes, she also assumes that next time you will even do better. Not really encouraging, but for sure with best intentions.
Make sure you will have plenty of time when you will answer a call from your Portugese mother in law will. She will have an inexchaustible report about her daily routine, her visit to the doctor, some gossips about people you don't know and a complete irrelevant story about the daughter of her cousin in Switzerland, who will get married with the old neighbour from her brother in France, who also happens to be a lawyer. Doesn't that sound great! Breath in, breath out.
A Portugese mother will always underline that she doesn't want to put her nose in your business ('não quero me meter em nada'). Meanwhile putting her nose in more and less everything you do and don't.
And although I do admit biting my tongue when she gets a bit too much involved, look up to the sky when she claims my husband and counting till ten (thousand) while listening to boring stories about people I don't know, I do embrace her as she is. Because despite of some irritation, friction and here and there a little too much of her opinion, we can laugh together. And that's what it's all about with mothers in law. Wether they are Portugese, Dutch or normal.