This is going to be quite a sensitive subject.
Consistent with our Chinese roots, culture and customs, in a matrimony, the woman/ bride/ wife, will be married ‘into’ the man/ groom/ husband’s family. She will take on the man’s surname, and well, become part of the man’s family. So she is, in effect, a ‘loss’ to her parents. Which is why traditionally, Chinese parents prefer baby boys, so as to carry on the family ‘lineage’ and bloodlines. Socially speaking, the wife should be closer to the husband’s side of the family, now that she is married into the family.
More often than not, It is a vice versa situation.
Let’s face it, I’m a guy, I’m a son to my parents. Is my wife, your mother, close to my parents? Wait, am I close to my parents?
Straight answer: No.
Am I closer to my wife, your mother’s parents and relatives? Yes.
It appears that I am not the only one, your mum had conversation with her peers (fellow mummies/ wives) they too came up with the same observations. The husbands seem to be closer to the wives’ side of the family than the other way around. So it give a very sweeping observation that although the woman takes on the man’s surname in a marriage, but socially, the man becomes closer to the woman’s side of the family.
In that very sweeping observation, every case of this happening is unique. Let’s start with me. My parents are divorced, since then, things between me and my elder brother (yes, you boys have a very little mentioned uncle from the paternal side) has been very distant at best, violently hostile more often, it is very much the same with my mum. As for my dad? He has since remarried, and he seems to be only interested in my money, and my brother’s money. Not the happy bunch of paternal side I’d like to expose the both of you to. Sorry boys.
Your mum’s side? Well, I’m very close to them, for meritocratic reasons, for the fair of a fair argument. They have been your primary caretakers, other than your parents. They take you boys on holidays. You boys have stay-overs at their place. You boys have tonnes, I mean tonnes of photographs with them. But with your paternal grandparents? Zilch.
Frankly, personally, it is a case of attraction. Your mum’s parents, The Grands did more, love you boys more, supported my marriage more, helped us more; and of course, created less problems for your dad. We are all attracted to good, kind and nice people and deeds.
Your dad’s side of the family is simply too emotionally taxing and complicated for me to introduce to you boys. Sans your dad’s Aunt (you grand-aunt), she is the only saving grace as a decent relative from your dad’s mum’s side (its getting complicated) She loves and dotes on the both of you like crazy, so much so she is more like a paternal grandmother to you boys, than the actual paternal grandmother, who you boys have only met, less than 5 occasions in your lifetime!
It is a choice I made towards the best interest of my marriage and having the best memories for the both of you boys. I cannot keep hanging around people, and relatives who have little or no interest in my children’s well being, it is not the healthiest thing to do.
That is my case, in specific, I can’t say the same for the rest of the fathers, husbands and guys out there. But both of you, being boys, I’m facing the odds.
As men, we all will become our own Alpha in the family, like how I am, in mine. What can I do when you boys become your own Alpha? You will want your own independence, will you both come back to this home, to your dad, to your old Alpha? You boys will get married, have a wife, and perhaps, get closer to the wife’s side of the family too. I cannot stop that from happening, but here is part of my plan. This blog.
to be the bestest dad ever…
The other part of my plan, the biggest part; is to be the bestest dad ever, show your boys, what it is to be a dad, a father, and a husband, and when you boys settle down, be the best dad-in-law to your spouse. I will be that pillar you build your family on, a constant source of wisdom, culture, experience that you boys can keep coming back to. That means, I have to stay relevant in you life, stay relevant to life, and in doing so, continue to bring value into this family, so that you can continue to see value in coming back.