Today, when I was waiting to pick my daughter from her school, I heard four ladies discussing their MILs or more commonly known as Mother in Laws. Although I was not part of their gossip session, their thinking, sentiments, and opinions let me thinking for a long time even after reaching back home.
These ladies had more or less the same story. MILs don’t let any helping hand in household chores and on top of that pointing out mistakes and making a mountain out of a molehill. As the popular Hindi teleshow named “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” (Once Mother in Law was also a Daughter in Law) showed the never-ending saga of a mother in law (MIL) and the daughter in law (DIL), where MIL is always planning and plotting against her DIL to show her down. Why is MIL always a subject of jokes all over? Some even term Mother in Law as a Monster in Law.
If we think from a Mil’s perspective, what makes her so problematic and dreadful?
Stone age-old tales of this never-ending tiff.
- Kitchen politics: When a lady becomes a MIL, she has two options, either to save her daughter in law from all the harassment or to take her MILs revenge from her daughter in law. Sadly most of the women choose the second option. As a new lady enters the house as a daughter in law, the MIL finds her territory shaken by this unwanted competitor. As a popular saying goes, there can not be two swords in one sheath so how can there be two rulers in one kitchen.
- Jealousy: I believe the J factor plays an important role in fueling this rivalry. “Why is she happy in her marriage when I was not?” Or “Why is she getting the so and so comfort which I was not entitled to after my marriage?” or “Why is she being appreciated for the food she cooks. Have I not been doing it for the past forty years?”, and the list is never-ending.
- Television serials: you watch any serial, however promising it may be at its beginning. All become the same saas-bahu saga at the end. Cruel saas (MIL) and poor Bahu (DIL) There is a saying in Punjabi, “Saas Hovi te change hove, nahi tah photo te tangi hove”, which means that A MIL should be a kind-hearted lady otherwise she is better as a photo frame (Dead)
- Generation Gap: that will always be a hurdle in creating a healthy relationship.
Some points every new DIL should keep in mind
- Don’t think of your MIL as a baddie of the serial. She is also a human being and has her share of good or bad habits with her.
- She has given life to your husband and brought him into this world. Respect her for that.
- Never lose your patience.
- First-year make or break the relation so try to keep calm and learn about the nature, preferences, and likes of each member of your new family.
- Don’t take offence to everything she says. She wants to share her experience with you.
- Give time to her.
- Remember it is too late for her to change her ways so don’t expect that.
- Give her importance.
- Treat her like your own mother.
Some points every MIL should keep in mind
- Treat her as your own daughter.
- You are elder and experienced, behave like the one.
- Remember your own days of struggling to make a place in this new world (Home) full of strangers, didn’t you wish your MIL to turn into your saviour and a guide?
- Don’t treat your DIL as a domestic help but as a new member of your family.
- Treat her like you want your own daughter to be treated by her in-laws.
Some points both should keep in mind.
- Both of you are the pillars of your house, your family needs both of you.
- Be the support of your family, not the reason for the partition.
- Be appreciative of each other
- Your future generations learn from you.
- Avoid any possible triggers.
- Try thinking from each other’s perspective.
Remember both of you can get a close friend and support system in each other. Revenge and Rivalry don’t end in doing any good to anyone in this world so why not be positive and polite and enjoy the best of this relation?