We have often come across this layman saying – God sent an angel in the form of a Mother and a devil in the form of a Mother-in-Law… I mean no offense to the latter set of parent however, there are times that this particular saying makes me wonder- why are we unbiased in so many ways to our mom-in-laws… For many of us the reasons are obvious – they are biased towards us, since we are daughter-in-laws.. But isn’t it vice versa because they are a mom-in-laws!!
A note to both sets-
One side of the 1st coin- Mom-in-Laws/ MIL’s/ Mother-in-Laws whatever you are addressed as… Let me begin by telling you that you are a pillar of strength to our husbands and your sons. You are a pillar of strength to your husbands, daughters and the extended family in general. You are like a shining beacon in their lives who hails in the most superior form of God itself… Then why do you suddenly change sides on the arrival of a daughter-in-law!! Are they different human beings??? Do they have cruelty, son-snatching claws written all over their face!! I do not think so, but still why do they suddenly become that outsider who has invaded your so-called privacy?
A majority of the Indian population still gets married in an arranged set-up; that means that the daughter-in-laws are also chosen very precisely by you!! You are the ones who approve the new entrant in the family (literally) to ensure that you son is blessed with a good wife and a great life!! Then, why are you the one to cause all the strife in a relationship that is yet to bloom? Why do you become a Bindu from Ghar Ho Toh Aisa (for people outside India she was the most famous female in a negative role in Indian Movies) and torture the daughter-in-law who means nothing but good for You and her new found family.
I have come across many households (will not disclose any details about anyone) where the daughter in laws are mentally and emotionally tortured to leave very hard-hitting scars on their mind. They cannot leave the house nor can they stay in the house. Don’t you think, as mother-in-laws with daughters, you have a responsibility towards your daughter-in-law too!!
You have a daughter who has been married into another family and is probably blessed with very understanding mom-in-laws… You go all out and praise the family and how lucky your daughter is!! Why in this goddamn world can’t YOU do the same with your daughter-in-law! She has also entered your home with a certain expectation in mind from You and your son. She needs to be treated with equal respect that your daughter is being treated in another household. If your daughter is precious to You, your daughter-in-law is also precious to Her parents; they entrusted their daughter in your able hands for a reason. Understand This Basic Principle!!!!
Now I also know of women who give a lame excuse that I was tortured by my mom-in-law and hence I have become like this… Please listen to yourself, does it even make any sense? In that respect, you should offer more respite to your daughter-in-law and make sure she does not feel the same angst that you felt when you entered Your Husbands’ household! Although I realize this is a sensitive topic and probably a never ending one, there are few aspects that every mom-in-law Should pay attention too especially if you have a Daughter or just simply out of the sensibility that God bestowed upon You years ago…
Now the other side of the coin- Daughter-in-laws/ DIL’s/ Dot-in-law whatever you are addressed as… Let me now begin by saying you are great support to your own family, your kith and kin as well as the society at large. You are considered so generous and loving by all the family members and your friends, then why do you change when you get married! Has anyone give you a potion of notion that mom-in-laws are those evil-set of beings with their claws stretching as far as your neck!!! Just a point away from scratching it??? Probably that is the reason you behave the way you do…
I have also come across daughter-in-laws who are cribbers for no reason. Please understand that your mom-in-law is also a human being, they also have a life of their own that they have a right to live in all totality. You cannot have the cake and eat it too! Not always anyway! If you think they are made of stone, without any heart, you are mistaken too! You need to understand that
** If it is a big adjustment for you, it is a big adjustment for her too
** If they are going to adjust to your little nuances, you need to adjust to theirs too
** If you expect them to have patience while you settle in, You need to have patience with them too
** If you expect them to be in control of their emotions every time, You need to do this too
** If you think they need to steer a little away from your personal life, You need to include them in your lives to be able to do that
** If you expect great respect, Kindly learn to Respect them
Your husbands are their Sons and You need to keep this in mind always. Do not expect to waltz in the house and not care a shit what your mom-in-law thinks. (Trust me the Husband is also trying to balance it out and in many cases He simply leaves the feuds between the two of you.) It is for the best, since you both would deal with each other in your own way.
But do not in anyway treat your Mom-in-law like that punching bag since she is like your Mom too. If you expect your Bhabhi (Sister-in-law or wife of your brother) to treat your Mom well, You have equal responsibility towards your Own household.
Get the facts clear before proceeding…
Now another coin- We also have a great set of mom-in-laws who genuinely feel that their daughter-in-laws are absolutely amazing and vice versa. They give equal respect to the new entrants in the family and do not see them as a Threat to her or her Son. These are women who are pillars of strength to not only their kids but the daughter-in-law also, because of her sheer niceness of heart and genuine efforts to make this new relationship work. (I am blessed with one of these… ) They take interest in your lives, regard your work and life equally important as their kids and also go that extra mile to ensure you are comfortable. THEY have probably gone through a lot of strife in their relationship in their in-laws house or through the society for some reason or another. Their lessons taught them not to ever do that to anyone else, let alone their own daughter-in-laws. There may be a little (tiny-winy bit) bias between the kids and you but trust me it is as good as negligible since they will not really make you feel that…
God bless such souls!
A Parting note to the Sons / Husbands-
** Take a stand where you need to
** Do not take any side without listening to the other completely
** Weigh both the arguments before out-rightly proclaiming that your Wife or Mom is at fault
** Do not act like those wussies who cannot go against the Mother just because she is your Mother
** If you have brought your wife home in your own home, learn to respect her wishes too
** You are the one that both parties rely on, please balance it out before proceeding
As you Sow, so shall you Reap… What you do, comes unto you someday… Life’s too Short to Mull Over Anger and Regret
To all the Mom-in-Laws out there- Daughter-in-laws are not bad people…
To all the Daughter-in-Laws out there- Mom-in-laws are not bad people either…
(I may stir a little controversy with this article but please keep in mind this is my point of view and not being forced on any One individual at all)
(Pic “Reluctantly Related” courtesy: Google image by Dr. Deanna Brann of http://www.drdeannabran.com)