This is not about me, or about you. This is about millions of women who wish that their mother-in-laws would be just amicable enough to live with. Yeah, not every mother-in-law is a blood-sucking monster, but mine sure is, and from what I gather, she’s got company of many. These sensible women with all their experiences tend to be so judgemental and rude to their own daughter-in-laws.
Why cannot a mother-in-law welcome a daughter-in-law joyously, with good intentions, and a non-meddling nature? So the other day when I met some friends for lunch and the ladies bitching session started, I knew I had to pour my heart out, not just for myself, but for many others. I hope all mom-in-laws read this, and understand that there is no competition; we daughter-in-laws are no control freaks, and we humbly accept to be imperfect. God damn it, we are perfect in our own imperfections. Why can’t you just see that?
Top 8 Things A Daughter-In-Law Wishes To Tell her Mother-In-Law
- Communicate clearly: This is the first thing on the list as most women whom we spoke to said that there is often a difference between what is said, what is understood, and ultimately what is done. These gaps create unnecessary hassles and widen with time. If your mother in law has given a chore, make sure she tells you how to go about it. Similarly, of you have asked her to help you out, make sure she knows what you are expecting. A lot of misunderstandings could be saved only if both parties “declare” their expectations before a chore is complete
- Let me be a friend: Okay, maybe that’s too much. Essentially, what we mean here is that it would be nice if you’d let me in your struggles, your dreams and your hard times. As a family, we are there to support each other, and unlike you, I can’t read your (or even mine) mind. Talk to me. Make me feel home. If I have offended you, let me know. Let’s resolve things constructively, and with mutual respect for each other. Likewise, when I say I felt hurt at something, do not go on to tell me how silly that is! Maybe I am sensitive, maybe I did not take it in that fun spirit, and maybe it would be nice of you stopped explaining yourself. Just accept. Acknowledge. That’s it
- I am a good wife, if not great as you: So you do everything for dear father-in-law. That is nice. Your bond is an inspiration to many, including us. The way you are always by his side, tending to things, cooking, washing, cleaning, reminding about medicines, drying the towels that have been hung at the bedside post, etc. with ease and finesse. But I love the fact that your son is more independent and he does his share of work by himself. I like the way he takes care if his own things, and that makes me love and respect him even more. That said, trust me, I am all by his side, thinking and working towards his happiness, taking care of nitty gritties and being with him every step of the way. And your son loves me back, just the way I am
- I know how to handle my kids: You raised your kids fine, and so will I. The modern parenting is nothing but just a new way to raise responsible, intelligent, gentle and better individuals. I may seem strict to you, or at times you may find me vulnerable, but I am doing everything in my capacity for their and our family. I know when I indulge, and when I stifle, but that is not only what parenting is about. I love my kids to bits, yes I do. Yes, I make mistakes, and learn on the go. We, as parents, are going through this experience and we are loving every bit of it. Of course, I do not mind your occasional advice, in friendly tones, but when I will be in a fix, sailing through a dilemma I will come to you for advice, on my own!
- Respect our goals: We know we sound absolutely crazy when we were planning the vacation to London. Yes, that stupid but expensive dishwasher was a mistake. But guess what? We are growing and learning everyday as we are making mistakes. Even if that vacation is extravagant, we loved every bit of bit. I know it may not be a wise decision, but why not just flow with the tide? Why not participate in our dreams and life? Why not just encourage us to explore more? Even if you think we are going crazy, (which we probably are), participate and show some interest. It is not necessary that we should do things just the way you do them, even if we seem wacky or different, please love and respect us anyway!
- Respect my boundaries: In this respect, the first thing to do is to create and define your boundaries: Yes, this one is very, very important. You know, when you are a new bride, you are on this “job” of keeping everyone happy and taking everything in your stride. A month long and you have lost all your energy and willingness to entertain and take care of everyone around. And that is where the real problems set in. When you set other’s expectations too high by either keeping “mum” or maintaining a “yeah, I can handle this” approach, your chances of feeling dissatisfied with – first yourself and then others are very, very high. Instead, if you would set boundaries, it would be far easier for you – you may not come across as the perfect “bahu” but at least you do not have unnecessary pressure. Once you have created the boundaries, make sure that you “enforce” them. Ask your mother-in-law very clearly to respect those demarcations. Ask her to define her limitations as well, and ensure you stay well behind the line
- Cultivate a relationship with your daughter-in-law: Yes, one-on-one. We are women, we have the same set of challenges and triumphs. We can sure be friends, and be good at it, if we shed our egos and not try to score which side your son is on. Why not give each other an independent chance to be ‘persons’ first rather than being ‘wife’ or ‘mother’? Why not spend some quality time with each other? Let’s not be superficial to each other but try and develop a true friendship. View me as a person, not as just your son’s wife
- Compliment and appreciate: No one is perfect, and neither am I. But I am doing my best, and with the best of intentions. Yes, things do go wrong, one may trip and fall and fail miserably. But do not criticize as yet. No one expects you to be perfect either. Let’s just be comfortable with each other, appreciate and complement each other for we know that we have done a lot for our families given the limitations. Make effort to applaud and appreciate, even if you feel that you have done more, more and much more
Okay, mothers-in-law, there’s the list. What are we going to do about it?