How to Win Over An East European Mama?

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
2111 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

FIs roommate in college was Serbian. Granted his mother was from Croatia, but regardless, she was really sweet whenever I saw her. They came by a couple times a month and always engaged us in some sort of conversation. The one thing I remember was that she always brought him food. Like, frozen weeks worth of food and directions on how to reheat it. She definitely hovered a bit. Not like “helicopter mom,” but more “If I don’t bring him food, he’ll sit on his computer for weeks without eating.” A valid concern. Obviously, I never dated him or had to win her approval, but that was my general impression. She also only had boys. Also, they were very old school. The man provides for the family, the woman cooks/cleans/takes care of kids. Maybe when you go over make dessert? Show that you are capable of taking care of her son. Ask if she can teach you how to make his favorite dish?

Post # 4
Member
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@ChicFoodist:  I hope he tells his mother that you are Asian and not Serbian. I would not want to witness a bad reaction if there was one.

My FH and I have a large age gap. I made sure that before I met his mother that he explained this. I did not want to walk into her home and witness a gasp. Geeeez!

Post # 6
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Okay, so I’m Eastern European, and I cannot overstate this enough: bring home made food!!! Think home baking, comfort food, desset,  etc. Don’t do perogies or anything overly eastern European because she might think your trying too hard the first time you meet.

Be polite. Also can’t stress this enough. I think Eastern European parents are very similar to Asian parents and Middle eastern parents in terms of culture, especialy for women. So, don’t wear anything too flashy but dress nicely, perhaps act a little more reserved the first time you meet her, show a lot of respect to elders, etc.

In terms of you being Asian, I don’t think this will be a big problem. My sis married an Asian dude and it was fine even though my parents are quite traditional.

Don’t take it personaly if she seems grumpy or a bit standoffish. In my experience with EU parents, they are either very friendly, give you lots of hugs , etc, or standoffish and hard to read.

Overall, I’m sure you will be totaly fine!

 

Post # 7
Member
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My mom’s eastern european. Whenever I hear about outsiders dating eastern european men, my usual thought is “RUN” and my second thought is “GOOD LUCK”, haha. Eastern european mothers have an odd mix of jewish mother and italian mother in them, multiplied by 1000.

Some tips- always bring food or alcohol if you’re visiting. Coming with empty hands is a sign of disrespect. Always be put together, eastern european women don’t understand sneakers and sweatpants and they look down on women that wear those things, even to the grocery store. If your man says something, even if you disagree with it, don’t argue with him in front of other people or in front of her. So in a nutshell, bring food, bring booze, dress nicely, behave politely, dote on your guy in front of his mom. And be prepared that she might never warm up to you 100%. haha.

Post # 8
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@atlbride2013:  hahaha “an odd mix of jewish mother and italian mother in them multiplied by 1000”  SO TRUE 

 

@ChicFoodist:  Yeah I think you could relate to the Greek/Italian mama but not so touchy-feely-squishy in my experience.  DH mom is Ukranian married to Italian and I’m part Polish/Ukranian – the culture is very similar.  Traditional roles, respectful towards elders, spoils the kids, importance of food… probably alot of similar values to Asian parents, it comes down to tradition I think.

I’d be polite and warm but don’t try too hard – dress nicely as PP said, perhaps a nice dress and stockings (bare legs are kind of seen as “naked”) – bring food and flowers, DONT try to compete for the role of importance in your FI’s life – let her be dominant if she is asserting herself that way.  Compliment her cooking, offer to help serve and do dishes.  There may be a separation between the men and women at the table or gathering if it is a large family setting… just roll with it.  Ask her to teach you something FI loves to eat or tips with I dunno, cleaning… If she is coming to your house make sure it is CLEAN.  When you meet her ask her what you should call her – first name, Mrs. ____, whatever she says.  I’m sure you know how to be respectful.  I’d say the major thing to not be too casual and show that you can fill the traditionally “female” role.  And make sure you eat at dinner.

Things with DH’s family are VERY different than how we live our daily lives in terms of gender roles etc, we have had the conversation that that’s how it is when we are with the family and it is different at our house.  The whole male-female split at the dinner table blew me away the first time – his family is MUCH more traditional than mine.

 

 

Post # 10
Member
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

If Serbs are anything like us Russians, OFFER TO HELP IN THE KITCHEN.

This is kind of a hazing ritual and there’s a 50% chance that you will be asked to peel and chop 78 pounds of onions with a dull knife, but at least in my experience any girl who doesn’t offer her help in the kitchen before the meal and then help with cleanup after the meal will be considered rude! Plus it will give her a chance to have some one-on-one time with you.

 

Post # 11
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@cranraspberry:  

“there’s a 50% chance that you will be asked to peel and chop 78 pounds of onions  with a dull knife “

lmao, yes!!! or potatoes :p

Post # 12
Member
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@peaseblossom:  oh trust me, I *know* what the potato pain feels like… Peeling them with one of those dull Soviet-era knives was nothing short of torture, ha.
I actually at some point started bringing a knife and pair of rubber gloves (for helping out with the dishes) with me any time I attended any family gathering. That made it somewhat easier.

 

Post # 13
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@ChicFoodist:  A lot of great advice on this board!  Just a few points to drive home about meal time: EAT.  Try everything.  Have seconds.  Then it’s ok to stop.  When people wouldn’t eat something my grandmother would serve, she would later get upset and say she was cursed + throw in some Yiddish-isms.

Help out in the kitchen, but don’t overstep.  Ask to help, but don’t start whisking/chopping/dicing unless you’re invited to do so.

Maintain “Mr.” and “Mrs.” throughout the evening.  

Oh, and it’s possible your FMIL might want you to take your shoes off.  Annnnd, if she asks if you want to see photos from the village/old country/wherever, say yes!

Post # 14
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@cranraspberry:  Hahaha, yes!  That’s great!  One of the “best” Friday night dinners I’ve had ended in shelling peas for a couple hours.

Post # 15
Member
372 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@ChicFoodist:  bring her some sweets, gifts, maybe sth handmade… show her you can be  a good wife, you can clean, cook. Just be yourself

Post # 16
Member
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

SO DIFFICULT! You girls are scaring me and my husband is american!

Leave a comment


Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors