Kyunki……Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not here to discuss the tear-jerker soap opera which brought a revolution in the history of Indian Television with its twists and turns, melodrama, infidelity, year leaps but never losing its focus on the Title song.

Today my focus is on a very complex relationship which every married woman goes through, the relationship between Mother in Law (naughty naughty don’t read too much between the lines, I didn’t mean Monster in Law, although I love the movie and Jane Fonda specially) and Daughter in Law.

I spend few sleepless nights because I did not know how I should start. I don’t like preaching and giving sermons so I will not go into that area of do’s and don’ts to both the parties concerned here. I will try and summarize what I feel about this relationship without being unbiased.

This relationship can be sweet n sour both at the same time; it depends on how you treat it. It needs little bit of tact, diplomacy and affection to let the relationship grow and thrive. You both can be good friends or sworn enemies; it all depends on you and your handling of the relationship. First of all please keep your expectations at ZERO LEVEL, DO NOT AND I REPEAT DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP INITIALLY. While a Girl gets married and comes to stay with her in laws, it is but natural she comes with lots of expectations and dreams, not only from her husband but from everybody, especially her Mom in Law. So girls please wake up, bring down your barometer of expectations to ZERO level, it will only help you to cope and adjust without getting hurt. People will tell you that from now on Mom in Law is your mother and you should treat her with same love and respect. This is again an illusion we all create, she is NOT your mother, a small IN LAW is attached to it. So don’t expect she will tolerate your tantrums, mood swings, waking up late on weekends, not cleaning your room, staying in that odd yet comfortable pajama and tee whole day, taking bath at weird hours, talking over phone with friends losing sense of time and all these things which our Moms tolerate. So do I mean your independence is going for a tumble toss once you are married? NO. You can enjoy all these things once you learn how to handle HER and situations at home.

The Mother of a son goes through this psychology that her son is being taken away from her, once he is married and this very thought does not let her love the daughter in law with an open mind. But hello, A MOTHER WILL ALWAYS REMAIN A MOTHER, irrespective of whether the son is married or not. Yes, He will have someone in his life to share his journey with, the various ups and downs, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, movie or dinner dates, eventually becoming parents to a new life. But will that deter your son from loving or respecting you? No, if you have brought him up well. You will always be loved and respected in the same way, even if he comes and greets his wife first after coming back from office or a tour, you will always be HIS MOM, and nobody can take that away.

And dear Daughters in Law, this is not a competition where you are vying to win the Best Wife Trophy. So please don’t involve yourself in this power play “My Son First” or “My Husband First”, turning your Man into a sandwich between Mom and Wife. Learn to give first and then expect to get, and this is applicable to both the ladies in question here. For example I have come across a section of Moms in Law who say they did not enjoy many privileges under their strict and stern Mothers in Laws, and they try to do the same to their Daughters in Laws, but is it fair to pass on this legacy which creates a wedge in your relationship which could have been friendlier and warm? And I have heard many Moms in laws saying, “I have been through this unfairness, I will not let my daughter in law go through this” and now that’s what I call being tactful and diplomatic. This is not a legacy of great pride to pass on, trust me. She can never be your daughter, again like you can never be her mom, but nevertheless you can treat other as two individual women.

You can be great friends, support each other if one of you have had a fight with the better half.Hey moms in laws, support her for once instead of your son and you have own her confidence forever, a small gesture showing you care. And if you can’t bring yourself up at all to support her in place of your son, then kindly don’t interfere; they are adults enough to sort out their marital squabble. You remain neutral. And this is for you the junior, don’t compare her with your own mom. “My Mom does this, she doesnot,My mom’s dressing sense is much better, My mom is a much better cook, My mom’s taste in choosing home décor is more classier” stop doing this AT ONCE. You are not only being mean and unfair, you are exhibiting a poor show of your own culture. Stop finding faults within her and try and list the virtues she has, learn from her experiences, she is much more seasoned than you are. If you don’t respect her for what she is, then you too will taste the dose of your own medicine, you too will be compared  and believe me when I say this, IT HURTS BADLY TO BE COMPARED. Don’t inflict this pain on her and on yourself in the process.

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Relationships are like mirrors, you see exactly what you show.

Both of you will obviously not like everything about each other but try and find out that common ground where you can gel. Make that extra effort. And when you notice that effort in each other, don’t forget to appreciate because we all want our efforts to be validated. Like we have raises and promotions in our work places after your performance is appraised, here your performance will also be appraised and the raise and promotion or no-raise or demotion will be according to your performance.

Mutual Respect I believe is a very important factor in this relationship. It makes things lot easier. And it all depends on how you handle yourself to earn that respect.

Criticism is banned, you can tell each other, because all of us don’t know everything in the world. But don’t criticize each other to the public; they will enjoy the Saas Bahu Drama at the cost of your dwindling relationship.

Always asking the Man, to judge every disagreement that both of you have had is juvenile. He doesn’t have to know everything domestic, sort it out youselves.Dont play tug of war with the poor man.

Will go little more in depth, wait till then.

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Soumi Bhattacharya

About the Author

Soumi Bhattacharya

An avid reader, love travelling to places where history has left its foot prints, composing words comes to me naturally as I love observing and communicating with people....in short I love Life and its essence and I live in each moment.

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