My Boyfriend’s Mother Almost Convinced Me To Be A Housewife

I sincerely tried to learn from her wisdom ... but it didn't work.

Woman anxiously debating her decision to move to a new country Simon, dimaberlinphotos, bbstudio_aad | Canva

I’m convinced that the universe gives me everything I need, even when its lessons are hard to learn.

It happened three months ago when I met two women while I was in Australia, who taught me the most about myself and my core values.

On my second day in Melbourne, I met the first woman, Wendy, my boyfriend’s mother. The family invited me to an art exhibition in a typical Melbourne environment.


Beau Monde, fancy drinks, tiny canapés, art in the background, and me — suffering from jet lag after 25 hours of flights and desperately trying to smile. The worst time to meet someone’s parents.

The next two hours were filled with small talk about my flight and how Melbourne and Europe were similar. I didn't see any similarities with Germany or Italy, but the right answer was England. It didn't go too bad — at least, I thought so.

A week later, my boyfriend decided to start saving money by moving in with his parents because, according to him, his parents were the best in the world.


"How should I behave?"

"Relax, they’re great. But you could help my mother in the kitchen."

I quickly realized that one person’s best parents are not the same as another person’s best in-laws. I also learned that my life was now dependent on these people: I lived in their house, ate their food, and didn’t have funds to support myself.

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I had no idea what to cook in Wendy’s perfect kitchen, which she kept clean all the time. I once made pancakes for breakfast and helped her make pumpkin soup. But it felt like a silent expectation.

I could not figure out how to get Wendy to like me while still being myself.


Three weeks full of cooking later, I met Annette, the opposite of Wendy. Annette was a scriptwriter and the leader of a writer’s society. My boyfriend wanted me to go to events and meet new people.

"You’re new. Why did you decide to join us tonight?" Annette asked me in a strict tone.

"I’ve just arrived to reunite with my boyfriend."

I saw her frown when I told her I had flown halfway around the world to do it. I now realize how naïve I must have sounded to her.

"The worst decision ever." She spoke sharply. "I once flew here all the way from America for the same reason. Why are you actually here?"

Sharp, tense, surrounded by geeky male writers, she reminded me of a hawk. I was scared of her.


I didn’t even know why I was there. Because my boyfriend invited me — wasn't that enough?

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After the meeting, I began to ask questions about my opportunities and risks in the country. I lacked a visa, work authorization, a degree, and legal status. Wendy decided to help me at that point.

"How do you picture yourself living with my son?" she asked me while we were sitting on her new leather couch and having tea in her perfectly appointed living room.

"I see it as a partnership in which we share housing, parenting, and other responsibilities," I responded. 

I was wrong.

"Independent women like you only complicate their families’ lives. I dedicated my life to the well-being of my family. And I’m proud of it," Wendy responded.


I panicked.

I had gone so far as to "settle down" somewhere where my boyfriend wanted me, only to be judged for being too independent. Or maybe too smart? Too Ambitious?

Maybe it would be a decent choice, to become a housewife. I was all alone and wished I could rely on someone.

The next time Wendy invited me to tea, she went straight into battle — the battle of showing me the beauty of being a housewife.

"When I got married, my life got better," Wendy said. "I didn't need a boring job. I ate and dressed well. It was a step up for everyone."

"I’d like to understand my opportunities here," I responded.

"Just follow the flow. It will work itself out," Wendy advised.


"Going with the flow" seemed to be the family’s motto.

"Why are you actually here?" Annette's voice echoed in my head.

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During the next month, Wendy kept telling me to follow my "stronger" half wherever he led me. Annette's voice in my head forced me to consider my goals for the country.

Why was I here? What could my life be like?


Annette had a daughter, worked at a theatre, and belonged to the society where we had originally met. Wendy was always vacuuming and washing, expecting me to do the same. She was excited to tell me about house design shows and soap operas because men in her family would never listen. But I never saw her smiling.

Should I stay in this perfect country and carry out the duties of a perfect housewife?

By the end of my second month, I spent most of my time buying groceries and cooking meals, while my boyfriend spent his attending events and parties.

Once, when I asked him to help me with the cooking he said, "You're better at cooking, and I'm better at making money. Let’s both do what we are better at." 


What were my options for making money? I could do basic jobs like work at McDonald's or go to a university and get a local degree. And since his parents were paying for my room and board, I doubted they would pay for my education.

"Why are you actually here?" Annette’s strict voice didn't feel as strict anymore.

She looked strictly at me that night because she wanted me to think smarter about my life and future.

I decided not to choose between McDonald’s and being a housewife. I returned to a place where I could make a living myself. But I'll never stop thinking about Annette and Wendy.

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Maria Kriskovich is a writer, traveler, and B2B marketer. She writes about her quest for life's meaning, which has taken her to 25 countries so far.