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4 years back when I came to this house, I was not more than a teenager at my heart. I had long way for my 25th birthday and I was very immature back then (I would agree a little filmy too).
I used to share a beautiful relation with my mom, who was till then my best friend with whom I could share anything, trust me anything means anything- my crush etc. also.
So, deep in mind I had an expectation that once married I will share the same relation with my Mother in law and probably mom will no longer hold this position.
Initially it was wonderful, we used to play (you can be little surprised to know that we even played see saw, along with badminton and many other games). I was so happy and so was my husband to see her mom laughing.
But then they say lot about Mother in law and Daughter in law relationships, we were no different. Over the period of time this relationship has seen many ups and downs and I consider myself little experienced now.
So when I think about the normal daily issues we have, along with other people I have talked to, I can list the primary reasons why these things take our peace of mind (when I say our it means Daughter in law as well as Mother in law because they both go through the hard times, in most of the cases).
1. Insecurity: First and foremost, when a girl comes to the house as a bride, the boy pays little more attention towards her, this make mother feel that the boy will now listen to his wife. This, followed by some like incidents, raise her insecurity to the level that she feels if the girl someday want, mother will either be ignored or be forced to live apart.
On the other hand, the boy who has been part of his mother's significant life journey, knows her struggles and expectations. So sometimes gets biased towards her. It's very natural especially when they share a good relation. It's hard for him to accept his mother's insecurities, so the girl feel that boy will never listen to her and won't cater her desires. Result being - an equally insecure daughter in law.
In desperate effort to neglect these in securities, they both try to hold control of boy and mostly command him in opposite directions.
Result: Either of them gets upset. Now ego comes in picture.
2. Ego: Girl thinks she is well educated, well earning- why she should be rigid to the rules. Why she needs to adhere everything they say. She has all the rights to fulfill the dreams and expectations in her marriage. She can enjoy a free life which she has missed in her struggle of education and career or in some cases which she was enjoying earlier but now wants to enjoy with her love of life. (I am not saying all are alike, but we would agree that more or less we thought like this at any point of time.)
While the mother thinks I have made this home a house. I have raised my boy to be a man for her. I have struggled so much. I have done everything so well, she will never be able to do so in her life. She expects that her Daughter in law will take charge of all household chores and cater the needs of all family members. But she is confident that this new era girl will never be able to do as she has done up till now.
3. Generation Gap: We all would agree that this problem we had with our parents as well at any point of time. As well as our in-laws may also had it with their kids.
So it's going to increase only. With the increasing age, they are growing less flexible Vis a Vis we, empowered with youth, just have vivid expectations and dreams.
I am not making a generalized rule or telling every household story but I think many of us can relate.
So now comes the important part, what's the "Solution or best course”.
Though in many cases, the boy can play a crucial role either by avoiding to interfere between the two and sometimes leveraging the things in a tricky way. But here I am suggesting solutions from the point of view of a daughter in law.
You must be wondering why I am suggesting only Daughter in law not Mother in law, see we can't change anybody else but ourselves. Probably seeing the changed behavior, they can change. Also, till now I am only a Daughter in law so I guess I can better tell from the perspective of a Daughter in law.
I know I am no one to tell anybody what or how to do and I am not sure how your relationship stands now. But as far as my experience is considered, it helped me, hope it helps you too:
1. Give Space: Give them their space- be it letting them (your husband and Mother in law) have a word without you sometimes.
In initial days they won't be comfortable sharing each and every thing with you. Though with passing time, you definitely have the right to be part of family discussions.
It is not necessary that you can be part of any conversation immediately, once the situation is better perhaps your husband will tell you.
Maybe she wants to share her insecurity about you with her son, let her be. If your husband knows that you are helping him in addressing the issues, he will be relieved.
Trust me stressed minds tend to fight more. If you are lucky he will tell you in a day or two and seek help to overcome the problem.
Let her also enjoy some alone time with her son after all she is the one who nurtured him up till now. She will feel content. It will help in overcoming insecurities.
2. Grab Space: So ideally she should give you space. Even if she doesn't, you have full right to ask. Once you give them their personal time, you can ask your husband rightfully to give you your time.
And if he doesn't give you, then you know what to do. Just kidding!! ;-)
I hope in 2-3 attempts, he will understand.
3. Don't expect: I know we hear it quite often but it's true. I regret that I understood it a little later. How can I expect to be a daughter for her, I will never be. How can I expect her to be my mother, she will never be. (Though few people share that relationship but they are less in number). Every mother and daughter share a different relation, probably we shouldn't mess with it -either be mine or her.
For example : If she doesn't praise for a dish well cooked, it's ok, after spending a few months with her, you can see it on her face. “Words may ditch but expressions won't and expressions are always priceless.”
You have to be little tricky for yourself. Many a times, when someone doesn't acknowledge my cooking, I can tell their liking by the number of servings they take. :-P
4. Maturity: So talking about maturity, maturity deals with ego. I know it doesn't come in one day, it takes a good amount of time. But if we deal with maturity, I think many problems can get solved.
For example if you are upset with something, it can be a mood swing or any other thing, try to stay away and be quiet. Because in a bad mood, you can ruin the things.
Try to divert yourself that time. If someone complains you for ignorance, you can make them understand. If they don't understand - then ignore. Don't spoil your mood. Expect initially that they won't understand.
5. Responsibilities: Never run away from your responsibilities. You agree or not, you owe this. They are getting old and sick, they need to be taken care of. Sometimes the sourness in their attitude can be attributable to their health, their frustration or the era they lived in, which made them believe of all the wrong expectations or there can be any other reason.
If you don't wish don't talk to them but I know you have a care deep inside.Don't let your anger or frustration ruin that care. Probably that small care means a lot to them.
6. Communication: It's important to communicate, you better know the language of communication- love, respect, request, sarcasm or laughter. You are the best judge. If you are tired, then tell, "I am going to rest, I can't do this. May be I can do it one hour later or something." It's up to them how they take it and be ready for whatever comes.
7. Let it be: Last and most important, in my husband's words, "You can't solve every issue, sometimes letting it go without solving goes long way. Time sometimes solve things we never thought it would."
PS: In the end I would like to say, I didn't intend to hurt anyone's feelings. It's purely my experience along with the ones I have heard of. You can have different case altogether. You may agree to disagree or you may add some more points.
Please let me know if you find it helpful.