It is part of every Filipino family dynamic to take on some responsibilities for not only our nuclear families but our extended ones as well. To varying degrees, it is normal and understandable for our parents and in-laws to ask for a little bit of help and assistance when there is need for it. What happens though when the in-laws ask for too much? And how much is too much? How do you, as a couple, deal with the dilemma of having in-laws that pass on too many responsibilities to you? Here are some ideas to dealing with this situation.
1. Do a check and balance. Sit down with your partner and discuss the responsibilities you both have to your nuclear family. Remember, taking care of your own family is the priority now. Take into consideration the resources you will be needing to accomplish these responsibilities and try to really find out what expectations each of you has in terms of being a couple and being parents. This allows you to have a clearer picture of what resources (time, money, etc) you need to keep your own family happy and secure, as well as have an idea of how much you can offer to the in-laws and extended family.
Doing a check and balance of your situation as a family allows you to discuss as well the things that are being asked of you by the in-laws from both sides. As a couple, it would be a good idea to open up to each other about the things that each of you feel you need to take on for your parents. This would also be a great time to share how each of you feel about the demands and pressures you have from each one’s parents. Knowing all these details will prevent any unnecessary resentment or conflict between the two of you in the future.