When we get married and enter a new family, we have mixed feelings. Emotions of love, new beginnings, togetherness. Emotions of apprehension and anxiety. But we do our best to settle into the new household and form a good bond with our new family members. But what really happens? Do we really become a part of the family? Kirti, a mom from Indore, has shared with us a brutally honest picture of an average day for an Indian daughter-in-law. It will hit you in the gut…
“Saas-bahu” fights may strike us as TV-serial-ish or an exaggeration. However, for many of us, it continues to be the reality. No matter how hard we try, some of us daughters-in-law are still treated as different and expected to meet unrealistic commitments. Even those of us who live separately or share cordial relations with our in-laws have come across friends and relatives struggling with “in-laws trouble”. This interferes with our mental peace, our marital life and even in the way we bring up our children.
Kirti Sharma, a mom from Indore, shared with us her feelings about how daughters-in-law are treated in India. Sometimes it seems as if we think bahus are from a different species altogether – or aliens! Her story is hard-hitting but true! When a girl enters her new family, she is not aware of the fact that she has enrolled for an exam which is never ending. I wonder, when it comes to bahus, why does everyone start judging her? Being a daughter-in-law, you seem to become a different species!
1. The Bahu Must Be a Perfect Cook
Everyone – even the neighbours – are interested to see if you can do cooking and other household stuff. Be prepared for a difficult exam. If you are working, it’s your fault. It does not matter how educated you are and how much you are earning. You have to be presentable all the times with a smile on your face. You should know not only cooking but all cuisines. You should know everything that exists in the world.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself With Your Sister-in-Law
Even if your sister in law is almost of your age and she doesn’t know household chores, it is okay for her. But not acceptable from you because you are a rare species! Similarly, if your married sister-in-law comes to visit her home, it is so nice because she misses her family. But at the same time, if this rare species (you) has thought about visiting her home, she needs reason and permission.
3. Bahus Must Never Argue or Answer Back
Every family member or relative can make fun of you or your choices. But you are not supposed to answer back. If you do, you are not a good bahu and you should get ready for worst results.
4. Going Out To Work Is a ‘Party’ For Bahus
If you are leaving for office, it must be realised by you that there are lots of stuff to be managed at home. It is just like you are getting ready and going out for a party. At the end of the day, everybody can be tired but you cannot. You should still have that smile on your face. No one will ask you about your day. And if you are at home by chance, you have to answer what you did for the full day. You may get a phone call from your married sister In-law to know why you were at home and what you did.
5. Bahus Must Consult The MIL For Everything
Finally, you have to consult your mother in law for every tiny thing. But she can fully ignore you in important family decisions. The daughter-in-law also wishes to be accepted as a family member and she also has the right to get desired love and respect. But this judgement for bahus keeps on moving like a clock.I believe these are some of the important reasons we have so many nuclear families, although no one can deny the benefits to be part of a joint family. I request everyone to please stop judging your bahu because she too is a normal human being. She is not from a different planet!
Kirti’s story throws light on the problems many Indian daughters-in-law struggle with on a daily basis. They do their best to keep the family members happy but somehow, it is never enough. These problems are not restricted to those of us who live in joint families. Many of us have experienced excessive interference from our in-laws even when they live separately or in a different city. While it is good to be a close-knit family and be there for each other through thick and thin, this involvement should NEVER border on interference, judgement or plain criticism of everything the daughter-in-law does.
Amidst all this, some of us are really lucky to have loving in-laws who treat us as part of their family. When you share a strong bond with your in-laws, everything becomes simpler: settling into a new family, household chores, looking after the child, and ensuring that the kids grow up with love and affection from the grandparents.It is high time that people stop judging daughters-in-law and expecting them to be perfect or fulfil impossible commitments – just like, as Kirti said, members of a ‘different species’! Sorry, we too are just ordinary human beings.