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Being a child we always visited our paternal grandparents during summer vacations, now after I am a mother of two kids the saga continues. It is only now I thought the vacation is a vacation for everyone except me i.e. the daughter in law......the same would be true for my mom...
Top 3 reasons why the vacation does not remain so-
1. Person in charge : willingly or unwillingly you are appointed as the person in charge the moment you step in the house. ( The tiredness of journey or the stress at your own home with kids are all nullified).you are expected to take care of the kitchen, house kids and every individuals need as if you had been doing it from eras.
2. Rule Book: the queen of the house (mother in law) would set some rules for you like "ghunghat chadao " (in Indian families the daughter in law is expected to cover her head with a piece of cloth as a sign of respect to elders) , don't go out of the house as people will consider it indecent for the daughter in law, wear a saree( the fact of you being the style icon among your group of friends is again ignored) etc.
3. My son needs a break : this is the tip of the sword. Every indian mother of the son feels her son is slaughtered at work and at home so he needs a break. Hence you see the male counterparts always resting on sofas, beds or anywhere they can stretch "Watching TV". (You may be equally qualified, working and earning almost the same CTC.. ignored.. you are supposed to be a super woman).
Hence to overcome such kind of situations what you can do is :
1. Keep your visit as short as possible 2. Convince your husband to plan trips beyond "his mother's place" for entertainment as well as exposure for your kids. 3. Be in good books of your Mother in law by giving her small gifts(you can call it bribe.. but it works). 4. Plan family outings with your inlaws so that you need not become the unpaid domestic help during your vacation.
I have been following this from last 7 years it works for me..if you have any other ideas or views I would love to know that. In laws are not bad, it's just that the culture that has creeper in from ages the situations get worse for the young generation.
Note: although I don't have kids however my friends with kids have the same story and my vacations also end up at in laws most of the time. Hence this article.