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Yes, daughters should support parents. But daughters are human too. How will they do this if their husbands and in laws make life difficult for her?
“You cannot shirk your responsibilities, Beta! It has been two weeks since you visited us. We would not bother otherwise. But, you know you being a doctor understand these things better and we want you to come along for your mum’s check up.”
“Ok, Papa. I will come.”
And she kept her phone down.
Even her own parents did not understand her now.
“Mummy, I am hungry. Give me dinner.” Her son walked in.
“Yes, My sweetheart.” And she wore back her customary smile.
Neha had been a strong independent woman. She was always considered the ‘son’ of her parents and to make them proud she had become a doctor. She still remembered each word of the conversation when her parents had put forth the alliance for her marriage.
“I do not want to get married, Papa.”
“No, my dear child. This is the norm of society. Girls have to get married and go their husband’s home. You want us to live in shame? What will our relatives say!”
“I am not bothered by anyone, Ma. I earn a good salary. I am happy with you both. Who will take care of you, when I go.” She had pleaded.
“We both are there, for each other. Do not worry about us. You go and be a good wife and a good daughter in law.”
Thus, the discussion had ended.
Eight years back, she had got married to a doctor son in law chosen by her parents. The very next day, she had known what it meant to be a daughter in law cum maid cum working woman.
A few months later, she was pregnant. It would become difficult for her to cope with all the roles she had to fulfil. This had led to a tiff with her mother in law, and she was thrown out of the house even when she was pregnant.
And she had been that good daughter, who had wilfully stayed in her hospital’s hostel alone during her entire pregnancy because she did not want her parents to bear society’s torture.
After giving them the heir of the family, her in-laws had accepted her back into the family. (But of course!)
Her spineless husband had never even stood by her, and she just lived now for her son. She still lived with her husband and in-laws, bore everything so that her son could get the love of all.
Four months back, her mother had an episode of bleeding from the nose, which would not stop. She had to be admitted and it was then that they had found out that she suffered from a severe bleeding disorder.
Her elder sister had taken parents to her home and cared for them till mother was better. She had gone and been with them for the consultations. Once they knew it was a lifelong treatment and they had to follow up every week, she had ensured and arranged everything. But she could not go as frequently as they expected.
Her husband never even offered to accompany her once, nor had he even ever enquired about them. Her in-laws had some urgent work every time she could manage to go, and she had a job and a son.
But her parents who had raised her as a son, but expected her to be a daughter, now wanted her to be a son again.
What could she do? She didn’t have an answer!
Do you all have an answer? Girls and Boys are equal. We raise our girls with this notion and then marry them off expecting them to be the good wives, mothers, daughter in laws and also do good professionally. Still, we expect them to come back and stand by us, every time we need them. Isn’t it too much to expect from a person?
As wives, we are expected to take good care of our in-laws, and society cries foul every time one daughter in law is not able to. What about husbands, are they not supposed to take care of wives’ parents? Why selective morals?
What about couples who do not have a son? We come up with legislations that a daughter is equally responsible, but have we ever gone beyond the law and seen how difficult a situation is where neither the in laws nor husbands support her? Yes, a daughter is responsible for well being of her parents but how far will she be able to stretch where sons are not taught that they have also two sets of parents.
Isn’t it a responsibility of the married couple to take care of both sets of parents?
Let us teach our sons the same morals we teach our daughters.
Image source: By Gori Girl [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons, for representational purposes only.
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