Sleeping at your In-Laws place.

Sleeping at your In-Laws place.

The above statement elicits different tastes in people’s mouths depending on where you come from. To some people, sleeping over at their in-law’s place is taboo. To others, there is no big deal about it. After all, is it not a place like any other?

In this festive week, musician Nameless visited with his in-laws and as it is with modern culture, he took a picture while there with a caption that he would not spend the night there. It sparked a whole discussion on sleeping at our in-law’s place, one discussion that is not new and not about to end any time soon.

For instance, where I come from, sleeping at our in-law’s places is akin to a crime. The mere thought of it is ‘punishable.’ If our ancestors woke up today and found the change in the culture, they could not fathom the change and would quickly resort to their sleep of death.

But now that that is not possible, we can only sit and watch as things change further. In a few generations to come, it wouldn’t be any big deal for one to go visiting their in-laws and put up with them for a few days even for my people of whom such a thing was so foreign just a decade and a half ago and perhaps is today.

For my brothers from eastern Kenya, this is a thing they are used to. I have very many friends of mine who have married from eastern Kenya and have had to face the shocker of spending at their in-law’s places and they have had to juggle marriage ties visa vis remaining loyal to the dictates of culture.

Some of them have remained loyal to the cultural code and have never spent a night at their in-law’s places. Others have pointed to civilization which according to them means finding a middle ground on some issues for the sake of perpetuity in family ties.

Another story I got is from central Kenya where the father-in-law can organize a party and invite all his sons together with their wives and his daughters with their husbands. At the party, all and sundry will be invited to the big table and share a meal from it.

Later, drinks will be served and if both parents-in -law do drink booze, then the children with their husbands and wives and parents will get drunk right there without any distinct boundaries. Listening to such stories makes one think they are episodes pulled down right from a Hollywood movie.

What do you think of this subject? As I await your takes in the comments section, I will weigh in briefly on what I think about the subject. Disclaimer though, I may be tempted to base my argument in line with what I believe is acceptable yet still I will allow the aspect of time to play its part as well.

I will begin by telling a short story first. There was this guy who went to visit his in-laws. He was the kind that eats to get tired and not to be satisfied. So, when food was served, he played it cool in a bid to save his image in front of his in-laws.

Later, the time for sleep came. He was ushered into a guest room in the main house. He lay down to sleep for the night. At midnight, hunger pangs woke him up. He had underplayed his system to what it was used to and as such he had to do something drastic if he was to sleep.

Fortunately, he had marked the kitchen door and as such woke up and tip-toed towards it with only his boxers and vest on. Unluckily though, as he closed the sitting room, the mother-in-law was coming downstairs to the same kitchen for a glass of water and the two came face to face with each other. It was such a horrifying situation.

For the sake of maintaining respect and honor, sleeping at in-laws’ places should be avoided, I think. You may end up forgetting and spilling the beans on some things that are better where they are or something may happen that may make you to be disrespected to a very great extent like the case of our guy.

No wonder back in the day, it was necessary to keep instances of interaction with in-laws to acceptable limits only. Otherwise, it could go overboard and you find yourself in a very awkward situation with the highly regarded kin.

Surprisingly, things have changed though. The so-called in-laws have become digital just as the generation of their children and respect is a secondary thing. Respect for that matter has become subjective and so, it is okay to sleep and spend a lot of time with your in-laws casually.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you need to spend over at your in-law’s place, just do the right thing according to your beliefs. Factor in all the points of consideration and just do the right thing supposing the right thing here is objective as opposed to subjective. Hah, I hope you got it right.

Chunga mzizoeane na wakwe zako. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.




Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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