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Respect is a two way street. Yes, I am your bahu, but if I am not given respect as an individual, how do you expect me to respect you?
Every lady has a certain set of expectations from her in-laws and post marriage when they aren’t fulfilled, the expectations turn into a suppressed desire of controlling others. Soon, the once suppressed desire becomes overpowering and the unaware soul gets to hear – “Ajkal ki ladkiyan (especially Bahu) have no respect left for elders.”
According to me, it is not that ajkal ki ladkiyan have no respect for elders but elders too need to respect our choices, the choices of bahus. I, myself have said it in my head a million times, “If you cannot give me my due space, why did you get your son married to me?”
I am sure, every bahu must have thought of this at least once in her lifetime and a few bold ones would have said this upfront to her mother-in-law:
Your son is your son. You were, you are and you will be the first lady in your son’s life but definitely not the only one. Period! He will have friends and a wife, if you are ready to give away that required space in his life to her.
I have not come with a plot to take your place, rather I intend to create my own niche in this family and a special place in your son’s heart. However if just the idea of a special lady except for yourself in your son’s life is unacceptable, then why marry him off?
The only role of your bahu is not to produce babies (a vanshaj for you). That isn’t why I married.
Marriage is meant to be a commitment for a lifetime, to be with each other and share the joys and sorrows of life. Babies are definitely an important aspect of life but definitely not the end of life. Before having babies, it is very important to develop understanding and mutual respect for each other. Only, when we, as life-partners appreciate each other’s role in the life, would we be able to take up new responsibilities of mom and dad.
Why not try them out? Maybe they are good?
You have a rich experience of 25-30 years of handling a household and have mastered the art of managing your home pretty well. Your lifestyle and standards might be the best in class. But however naive, I can bring in a disruptive idea which can prove to be more economical, beneficial and comfortable. Please criticise it with an open mind.
If you don’t like it, doesn’t mean your son will also not like it. Most of the times your son’s choices are in tandem with your’s but with changing times his choices may change and every time I am not the reason behind his change.
Every human is different and let’s respect that individuality. Please don’t blame me for everything different or wrong your son does now.
After a long, hectic day, when I am tired like a dead log and wish to sleep, I chose to chat with my husband because that is the only personal time I get with him. I do understand that with ageing you need your family’s time and especially your son’s but even I deserve to spend a nano part of that time with my husband. Once in a while, I would like just the two of us to spend a weekend away.
Also, if, somehow I manage to grab an opportunity and sit with my husband for a few minutes, please don’t create an issue out of the same. I am not here to snatch away your son. However if you don’t allow me to spend a second more than the sleep time, then I would be forced to.
My dear mother-in-law, I know you are a gem at heart with no hard feelings against me. Even I don’t have any hard feelings against you.
We might have a difference of opinion but I wholeheartedly take care of you and accept you as I do my own parents. I have accepted every relation in this new family as my own and do everything possible to do justice to it.
I hope you understand that it takes two hands to clap. So instead of just me accepting and adapting to all the changes of the new family, this family should also accept my lifestyle and the changes I bring in.
For me, every relationship in this home starts with my husband. It is only when I swore the 7 vows with your son, that I became your bahu. So, if I won’t be happy as a wife, I won’t be able to make this family happy as a bahu.
It would be worthwhile to recognize that!
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I am a mother of a baby boy, a management graduate and a multi-faceted professional mom making home a sweeter place to live in. read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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