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Mother & Daughter Minus The Law!

Posted: March 11, 2014

With the changing times, many mothers-in-law want to be more supportive of their daughters-in-law, but still fear, “What will people say?”

A girl that is an acquaintance is very cool with her in-laws, so cool in fact that when she got married she decided to call them Uncle and Aunty rather than the popular norm of calling in-laws as ‘mummy ji or papa ji’.

She does not hesitate to address them this way, whether in public or private and is very clear on the subject. Her husband is also totally cool with it; understanding the discomfort or disconnect she feels. Can’t say how happy her MIL is with her decision but I guess since her son is fine with it, so must be the MIL.

Any self respecting Mother-in-law (MIL/Saas) in India would rather gag than admit that even though she calls her Daughter-in-law (DIL/Bahu) a Daughter (Beti), she also tells her that she has to behave like a Bahu and not follow the Beti of the house.
Do not wear clothes like her,
Do not shop like her;
Do not party like her;
Do not live like her;
Do not work like her;
Your work is not important enough; my daughter is doing a very important one.

The ever increasing pressure is being felt by the MIL (Mother-in-law) also and she constantly reminds her DIL (Daughter-in-law) that ‘we never had it so easy and relaxed’. As if she is trying to justify her relaxed behavior a bit grudgingly and is not totally cool with it. More often than not the MILs suffer due to the comparison and discussion with their friends and the tips they get from them. They feel guilty if they are being helpful and supportive of the DIL and angry if others point it out.

A rather popular poem has been doing rounds on the Internet and Whatsapp which propelled me to pen my thoughts……….

Mother vs. Mother-In-Law (MIL):
Mothers are upset if their call wakes you up;
MILs are upset if they find you sleeping,
Mothers ask what you’ll have for breakfast;
MILs ask what you’ll make for breakfast;
Mothers will hide your faults;
MILs will tell them to all;
Mothers will first ask about you;
MILs will ask about everything but not about you.
Mothers are great at doing things for you;
MILs are great at delegating things to you.
Mothers will appreciate the little you do;
MILS will complain about the little that’s left to do.
Mothers are happy when you buy something new;
MILS will frown at every expense you do.
Phir kehti hain, mujhe Mummy bulao… (Then they say, call me mummy.)

The time to embrace a daughter-in-law as the most important member of the house is now; the changing times and all the progress, freedom and options available to a woman can benefit us only if we strive to work together.

Often it is a woman who causes rifts and arguments in the house and it is she who can repair it. To rise above the famous, “what will people say?” and to just follow her heart. To soar to uncharted avenues, ace the difficulties and take her family along. After all she is the lady of the house and the Dil (heart) of the house.

Pic credit: Bill Dickinson (Used under a Creative Commons license)

Freelance Fiction and non-fiction editor, author and book bee. Also a blogger and a

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  1. This change will come when we become mil…….how gud u become u r still the outsider. ………

  2. Good writing, time will charge by the time your own time comes. Well done, keep up the good work.

  3. Thank you, both your views are correct, “we have to be the change, we want to see”.
    Hopefully we are getting the message across slowly but steadily.

  4. A women in her life time has got varied roles to play viz mother, sister, daughter, wife, daughter – in – law and so on and so forth. Each role definitely demands a different behaviour and maturity, which she experiences while going through that specific role. Suffice to say that both behaviour and maturity evolves with experience. Experience comes with time. Therefore, it’s imperative for everyone to understand the same and give some time for each relation to stabilise.

    • Harsh,
      Thank you for your wise words. If only the women also realised it and work towards it.
      So true – all relationships need time and understanding.
      Very wise words indeed!
      Thanks a ton.

  5. Many MILs are having rough relation with their son’s because of how she behaves with his wife….finally such MILs are the looser because of their attitude..I have heard many Mom’s feeling secure to have a girl child for they feel having a girl will keep such MIL-DIL issue away…now that more and more guys are seeing their wifes equal and respectfully., if MILs don’t change their attitude they will suffer

    • I agree Debdatta, Attitudes need to change and remembering that a daughter-in-law is also someone’s daughter should help. Thankyou for sharing.

  6. So true, Inderpreet! I hope this will change when the daughters-in-law of this generation become mothers-in-law.

    • So true Uma, Hope we are helping in bringing this change.
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks Arunima, I am sure we all shall be in the forefront bringing this change. A lot has changes from the time of our mothers and hope the technology and education brings more change faster.
      Thank you for stopping by.

  7. What a great article. I’m fortunate enough that my future in-laws consider me as their daughter. It is a wonderful feeling of acceptance to be myself.

  8. It will take a whole generation for this change to come about. Women of our generation who are more socially aware will hopefully be more accommodating and understanding MILs. However within our generation as well there are women who accept this inequality. For such families change will come much later.
    Good article!

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