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Dear Mother-in-Law, I Will No Longer Wear A Smiling Mask Despite All That Happens

Posted: April 8, 2019

A married woman in her 40s writes an open letter to her mother in law, telling her that it is time she be able to live life as herself, than just as a daughter in law. 

I’m nearing the completion of two decades as a married woman.

Yes, the feeling of being married has now become part of my personality. I am far more a daughter in law than a daughter. I am more a wife, I am more a mother, I am more everything rather than ME.

I am not complaining at all. I am happy juggling every aspect of my life, with a smiling face! Just that, the smile is fake sometimes.

Yes, I guess we all have a fake part of ourselves. We handle some situations with our fake self as the real self is too adamant and ready to revolt, which might create ripples in the otherwise peaceful world of ours.

So, the fake self, armoured with a fake smile, a “Yes sir” attitude, and of course “no brain of own” comes to the rescue. Ta da🎵🎵🎵

Expectations about dress

I usually dress up according to my mood, it might be a sari or a Capri or a dress. I am not very fond of the traditional bindi and churi, and of course the lovely nine yards. Although I love to wear them occasionally, it’s only on the days I feel like pampering myself by dressing up, but not daily!

I feel trapped in the compulsion of wearing them when you visit.

I am sorry to say this but I wish you go back early so that I can get back into my dresses and comfy tees and tracks!

PS: Your son enjoys all this freedom when my mother visits.

Expectations about cooking

I love to cook. I feel happy when my son boasts of how his tiffin is fought for in school as all friends relish my cooking. I lovingly spend hours in serving our traditional dishes and whip up a grand affair on festivals too.

But I need a break occasionally. I want to lie down without thinking about what to cook or just pass an afternoon with sandwich coffee and wafers! And that too un-apologetically…

Your parenting v/s my parenting

You had your time when your kids were young and you managed them and raised them into a sensible human beings. Sincerely, kudos to your motherhood.

I am a mother now. I have a different equation of parenting with my kids which is different from yours, and in fact, even my own mother’s parenting.

I am not perfect; I am making mistakes and learning too. You have all the rights to interfere and point out if something is going haywire. But a humble request, do not question my parenting skills at a drop of the hat!

Dealing with guests – you v/s me

I am ready to perform all my duties and would be dedicated to making every visiting guest comfortable in our home. They are a guest and should be treated nicely with warm compassion, and of course lot of belongingness!

This, however, doesn’t mean that we start discussing with them every problem in our home. It is more a piece of news to them than a problem.

PS: These guest include my parents and relatives too.

The man who connects us

Lastly, let us make peace with our lives and the one man we both are connected to. He is all yours as a son; I really do not want an extra motherhood responsibility!

And whether anyone likes or not, I am an integral of the family just as you are. Won’t go long on this point as it can be a topic of altogether another blog!

I hope things will remain pleasant, even after no mask of mine.

PS: Don’t know about love but I respect you a lot and expect the same from you.

PPS: If you are carrying any mask, get rid of it too. Let’s live for ourselves too, without mask!

Do like share and comment, if you too are wearing a mask sometimes.

A version of this was first published here.

Image source: stills from the movie 2 States

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