Buckle up this was always going to be a bumpy ride.
My relationship with my Croatian family didn't start on a high note (you can read more about that here)
I was foreign, no Croatian background at all, I didn't speak Croatian, almost 5 years older than my husband put me in the "OVER 30" possibly EXPIRED GOODS category.
Then there was the problem of me wanting to get married in Australia. I was always a dad's girl, so when he asked me to get married at home, I just said yes.
I didn´t realise until later that Nikša being the eldest son, meant being married at home was important to his family.
Another problem, I am not Catholic, being married in the Catholic Church was really important to Nikša. Fortunately, my parents understood this and made arrangements with the Croatian Centre in Perth so that we could be married by a Croatian Priest in the local Mandurah Church.
After our wedding, our life continued back out at sea. Where we would live hadn´t really come to mind. Nikša had shown me plans for the house he had always wanted to build, so I assumed we would be building and living in our own home.
I had left home at 18, taking my first full-time job 400kms away from my family. The thought of living within my husbands family home never occurred to me.
I didn't want to live in the family home, another problem.
Not exactly high on the family totem pole, but, on the positive side, I also had nowhere to go but UP. Over time I climbed up a rung or two, it's not something I worked on, I guess they just got used to me.
I do believe I have brought some positive things into the family, they may not agree though.
My crowning achievement was to bring 2 healthy, happy and intelligent males into the flock.
I have introduced the family to "good" instant coffee to compensate for being the "worst" at cooked coffee. I could never convert them to vegemite but they love TimTams.
I am very straight forward, I never agree to something if I can't fulfil it, I do not gossip and if it does not affect me or my boys negatively then I´m on board.
I laugh at myself and my social gaffs constantly, especially my crap Croatian but I continue to try. I am certainly not a traditional daughter-in-law but I think my mother-in-law has come to accept my differences because I love my boys and I am a great mum. I love my husband and in April 2021 we will be married for 25 years so I can't have been that big of a mistake.......