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Mothers do things for you out of love, so please treat them with respect and dignity at your home, especially in front of your in laws, and ask your in laws to share responsibilities.
Motherhood isn’t just a word. It’s a world in itself…of love, labor and commitment that goes beyond a lifetime, when we don’t really have a concept of flying the nest and mothers are required to be battle ready to shoulder every responsibility at any age.
As a new mom I too had my share of struggles like every woman, and reached out to my mom for help. Sadly, since she had health issues of her own she agreed reluctantly and was uneasy throughout her stay, which disappointed me. Only later did I know that she had suffered from serious menopausal problems that made her edgy and nervous in difficult situations, and it left me with a sense of regret of not taking the effort of understanding her troubles.
As I grew older, I saw women being judged unfairly as mothers by their families despite giving their all.
Isha requested her mom to come over for her pregnancy and postnatal care. Her mother agreed, afraid to disappoint her despite knowing how difficult it was to be.
And the situation soon unfolded – a son-in-law who refused to fetch for himself even a glass of water and demanded to be pampered with special dishes, knowing well the pressures of having to attend to a newborn baby and a recuperating mom. He never bothered to buy any provisions or groceries, or pay the medical bills for Isha or the baby as he felt it was a “customary practice for the wife’s family to bear the expenses of childbirth and confinement.”
Isha’s mom had a harrowing time trying to maintain peace, a state of affairs that left her distraught at the end of her stay. But, the saddest part was when Isha felt her mom should’ve done more.
Mira was told to come over for her daughter’s delivery by the in-laws as they weren’t inclined to do what was considered to be a ‘mother’s job’. Their house was small and not large enough to accommodate an additional member, but as demanded of a ‘dutiful mother’ Mira came over and did everything from traditional kashayams and lehyams to specially cooked meals and other preparations to make her her daughter comfortable.
However, the hostility she faced from her daughter’s in-laws was unbearable. Apparently, they were unhappy with the gifts, jewellery and dowry received in marriage, and had decided to amp up the pressure when chips were down.
Mira cooked and cleaned, bearing it all for her daughter as she didn’t want to complicate matters. Mira’s husband, of course, was noncommittal and refused to be drawn into their daughter’s marriage problems, which is an easy way out for most men.
Finally, Mira returned home traumatized by the experience, and despite her pains, her daughter felt that she should have complied with her in-laws.
Mitali messaged her mum to come over to UK to help her manage home and kids as she was planning to resume work. Sadly, her mum had other responsibilities that she could not avoid – of looking after her own aged parents – and had to decline her daughter’s request.
As expected the mother and daughter had serious differences, and weren’t on talking terms for quite some time. If only Mitali had taken the time and effort to know what it meant for her mother to be a daughter herself, at the other end…
Priya was angry when her mom decided to share the family heirloom jewels with her daughter in law. Priya felt she had a greater right over it being the daughter of the family, and refused to see her mother’s viewpoint. It was her mum’s gesture of thanking her daughter in law for caring for her through her illness- kind of reposing trust and faith she owed.
Unfortunately, it only distanced her from her daughter, which was sad, having to choose between the daughter and daughter in law.
Divya demanded her share of property immediately after her marriage. However, her mother felt it was unwise to make any hasty decision in the matter as it was clearly an outright dowry demand.
Divya and her husband were angered, and relations cooled off between Divya and her mom, and she didn’t visit her mother for quite some time until her pregnancy. Her in-laws, however, were persistent with their demands, and Divya’s mother finally gave in.
Some pointers for daughters towards a healthy relationship with their mothers, when we say a daughter must wear her mom’s shoe to know how motherhood hurts…
And for the moms – please learn to say NO; there’s no need to put up with disrespect or unreasonable demands from anyone just because they happen to be your children.
Image source: a still from Bhai Vyakti ki Valli
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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