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Ladies, we’ve decoded everything about your mothers-in-law! Love them or hate them, there’s no escaping them, but here are some practical ways to deal with your dear Mother-in-law. Plus, some real Bahus have told us exactly how they feel about their MILs and have shared tips to strengthen this relationship!
Yeah, we’re progressing as a nation, and more and more of us can finally choose our own husbands (or wives) but there’s still one thing we don’t realise till we’re in too deep (in love, that is)! We don’t realise that with our hubby dearest comes along his mother dearest. Yeah, we’re progressing as a nation, and more and more of us can finally choose our own husbands (or wives) but there’s still one thing we don’t realise till we’re in too deep (in love, that is)! We don’t realise that with our hubby dearest comes along his mother dearest.
And his mother dearest will definitely have her own set of characteristics, quirks and moods that take some getting used to, no?
But worry not, we’re here to decode your mother-in-law, so you can learn how to deal with her better…promise!
Before you read about our light-hearted (and probably exaggerated) take on Indian Moms-in-law, watch what Counsellor Ajanta De has to say about living with In-laws
6 Types of Indian Mothers-in-law and How To Deal With Them
1. The Sky-High Expectations MIL
She think you aren’t good enough for her son and she makes no effort to hide this belief from you. Any chance she gets she will talk about the proposals her darling son got from all the affluent family friends and pseudo-celebs and then sadly shake her head. If she is a notch further, she will even talk about this in front of guests and other family members!
How You Could Tackle This: Ask her politely why she believes you aren’t good enough for her son. Tell her that he is happy with you and the choice to spend forever together was mutual. If her son is so valuable to her, then his choice of a partner should be equally valuable. Let her see just why you both are so perfect together.
Bahu Speak: “Deal with it. You may have given birth to the perfect boy but I am his soulmate for life now and he picked me. It would only be easier if you accepted this fact graciously”
2. Mrs. Perfect
The challenge with dealing with a perfectionist as a mom-in-law is that you might be the opposite. You may be laid-back and you know that won’t go down well with her. She may itch to comment on how to dress-up (or down), how you should do your hair, how you must chop veggies … on virtually everything you do! You’re in a constant state of stress from all the pressure that is coming from her and might dread walking out of the room just to avoid her
How You Could Tackle This: Try as much as possible to be ‘you’ around her. Let her learn your ways and gradually accept them. Do not worry about filling the large shoes she expects you to but be open to her suggestions, after all she is an expert at making your husband happy. Talk to her about how you feel, and tell her while there are some things that you’d love to learn from her, there are some that you cannot. Introduce her to the art of relaxing. Who knows, you could have a future spa-buddy in her!
Bahu Speak: “Dearest MIL, I have no background in housekeeping or cooking but I am trying my BEST. Let’s go back to when you were younger and have a little more empathy, shall we?”
3. The Jealous One
It’s a constant tug-of-war for your husband’s affections and the poor man is getting caught in between the two women in his life.
How You Could Tackle This: Understand that the reason she may be feeling or acting this way is because she feels like she has lost her son to you. It isn’t easy for a mom to let go of her baby. Praise her on how well she has raised her son and appreciate her for the good values that drew you to him in the first place. Tell her that you’d love for her grandkids to imbibe the same values and watch her beam with pride.
Bahu Speak: “My mother-in-law is super-understanding about giving me and my hubby our space. Somedays though she forgets he isn’t a little baby anymore but I completely get that. My husband is thankfully able to tackle her emotions and mine both, I guess I got lucky, eh?”
4. The Nosy Parker
Boundaries, ever heard of them? Everything you and hubby do as a couple, is her business… right down to babymaking! *Cringe*. She will keep asking you details about everything and will even give you suggestions on how to go about life better. It doesn’t stop at this, it even goes on to more personal things like – do you still shave down there?
How You Could Tackle This: Talk to your husband about this first. If he agrees that his mother’s questions can get uncomfortable, let him speak to her about boundaries that need to be respected. These problems can cause quite a build-up if not tackled early.
Bahu Speak: “It took 4 years of us having to keep our bedroom doors unlocked and ajar at all times, answering questions about our personal decisions and having no time alone before my husband and I finally moved to our own apartment. I can finally feel married now that I am out of that prison! Now my mother-in-law’s questions are actually welcome and we don’t mind them as we don’t get to see her every waking moment.”
5. The Bossy One
She has set ways and rules and makes no room for adjustments. Her speech usually contains orders on what you should do and what you cannot. You feel like you are in the military around her and it puts a strain on your everyday life.
How You Could Tackle This: Tell her that although she is right in her ways, you like certain things in a certain way too and that as adults you are entitled to make your own choices. Tell her it is making you unhappy and you’d love to do as she says when you agree with her. Of course, do this politely; this type may be over-sensitive.
Bahu Speak: “I understand that my MIL finds it tough to share the role of a homemaker with me. I value her expertise and adapt to it when I genuinely do not understand something. However, I’d like for her to do the same.”
6. The Perfect Saasuma
She does not exist. Neither does a perfect daughter in law. But the closest you can get to perfection is when your relationship is relatively smooth-sailing, and you are blessed with an understanding mom-in-law. Love and treasure her. She may not interfere in your space but do sit down and talk to her once in a while. Perhaps spend time dicussing your husband’s childhood, all moms-in-law love this! Perhaps you could ask her to help you out with the baby or a dish you are trying out for the first time. All these things will help you get closer in the years to come.
Relationships grow over time and while no one can replace your actual ma and pa, your in-laws are equally important too. True, you may require a lot more patience, a lot of adapting and a lot of forgiveness, but that is a part and parcel of marriage. You did the same for your husband, so why not for the woman who bore and raised him into the man of your dreams?