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Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
And I know you feel for the woman who might marry into this family a few years later, and in teaching your son to be a responsible human being, your heart is in the right place.
However, this caption is disturbing to me as the mother of a girl who is teaching her to reach out for the skies and who is careful not to let her feel that the kitchen is an indispensable part of her responsibility.
I would like to point out that I am not making her domestically challenged, but I am letting her see and understand that hygiene, cleanliness, cooking, and organisation are life skills that are going to help her become a disciplined and self-reliant adult and not the “marital skills” (that make a boy or a girl most eligible in the marriage market).
I am apologising to her whenever I am being rude to her so that it is ingrained in her self-concept that disrespect and abuse are not to be tolerated and so that she understands when someone manipulates and gaslights her. Furthermore, I am careful about letting her know that bullying someone is wrong, but I have also taught her to punch when someone tries to bully her.
I am not raising a so-called “Spoilt Papa ki Pari” who is ungrateful and entitled, but a WARRIOR who earns a title. Along with many others, have already been deemed the “witches” of our generation for going against societal norms, but we witches are raising the GODDESSES—those who are invited with respect and devotion, revered with surrender, and served with gratitude and love before they slay (that is, before she succeeds in all her ventures).
Furthermore, I am not raising an insipid girl, but one who has a loud voice and strong opinions. I am instilling in her the values of a fully functional adult, and if at all she feels the need to accept a man (perhaps your son) as a partner, she must not feel the need to be thankful towards you for raising your son as a self-reliant, fully functional adult.
You should be proud of your parenting because you are raising men as they should be and not as undiagnosed cripples who cannot move around their own house to make a cup of tea for themselves or to warm up their own dinner even when they have fully functioning limbs.
Furthermore, you should be proud of yourself that you saved your sons from the emotional trauma of having to be insensitive and hardened, as they will have a better understanding of their emotions and will not be reluctant to ask for help when they need it.
Not only that, but you should be happy that you will raise an adult with better mental health than other men in your life have had.
However, my daughter does not need to feel grateful to you for that because I am also teaching her how to safeguard her mental health and never let toxic people and relationships damage her inner sanctum. I am teaching her self-care as an essential part of her life. I am teaching her how to apply masks to her face only to extract and dispose of toxins (and toxic people) from her life.
Furthermore, I am teaching her how to call out and walk away from abuse. Likewise, I am not teaching her to ignore but to retaliate.
I am not teaching her to be shy or ashamed, for we women have long been that way, and it hasn’t helped us much. I am teaching her to be unabashed, to be fiery, and to be a WINNER.
Yes, I am teaching her to be competitive, but not for some state-funded or society-sanctioned exam. I am training her to be competitive along the lines of Darwin’s survival of the fittest to ensure that she endures, survives, and evolves.
When you ask my (or any) daughter to be thankful to you for raising your son as a human being who can evolve further on his own instead of regressing into a man-child, you are not only delimiting the expanse of my daughter’s (or your daughter-in-law’s) dreams to your home and your son, but you are also discrediting your own parenting as you are being nothing but an evolved sugar-coated version of your mother-in-law, “Who has raised the world’s best son and has been the world’s best mommy.”
My best wishes are always with you for raising a great adult, but my daughter must not be asked to feel grateful about it because I am teaching her not to!
Image source: CanvaPro
Dr. Nishtha Mishra is an internationally published author. She is a Doctorate in English Literature from one of the reputed Central Universities. She has been an all round topper and has 5 gold medals to read more...
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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