Dear MIL, I married your son and not you.
Every lady has a certain set of expectations from her in-laws and post marriage when they aren’t fulfilled, the expectations turn into a suppressed desire of controlling others. Soon, the once suppressed desire starts overpowering and the unaware soul gets to hear -” Ajkal ki ladkiyan (especially Bahu) have no respect left for elders.” According to me, it is not that ajkal ki ladkiyan have no respect for elders but elders too need to respect our choices, the choices of bahus. I, myself have said it in my head a million times, ” If you couldn’t give me my due space, why did you marry me to your son?”
I am sure, every bahu must have thought of this atleast once in her lifetime and a few bold ones would have said it upfront to her mother-in-law that “Your son is your son. You were, you are and you will be the first lady in your son’s life but definitely not the only one. #Period! He will have friends and a wife, if you are ready to give away that required space in his life to her. I have not come with a plot to take your place, rather I intend to create my own niche in this family and a special place in your son’s heart. However if just the idea of a special lady except for yourself in your son’s life is unacceptable, then why marry him off?
The only role of your bahu is not to produce babies ( A vanshaj for you) That isn’t why I married. Marriage is meant to be a commitment for a lifetime, to be with each other and share the joys and sorrows of life. Babies are definitely an important aspect of life but definitely not the end of life. Before having babies, it is very important to develop understanding and mutual respect for each other. Only, when we, as life-partners appreciate each other’s role in the life, would we be able to take up new responsibilities of mom and dad.
Your bahu might bring-in a new perspective: You have a rich experience of 25-30 years of handling a household and have mastered the art of managing your home pretty well. Your lifestyle and standards might be the best in class but however naive, I can bring in a disruptive idea which can prove to be more economical, beneficial and comfortable. Please criticise it with an open mind.
Your son might like something you dislike: If you don’t like it, doesn’t mean your son will also not like it. Most of the times your son’s choices are in tandem with your’s but with changing times his choices may change and everytime I am not the reason behind his change. Every human is different and let’s respect that individuality. Please don’t blame me for everything wrong your son does now.
Bedtime should not be the only permissible personal time: After a long, hectic day, when I am tired like a dead log and wish to sleep, I chose to chat with my husband because that is the only personal time I get with him. I do understand that with ageing you need your family’s time and especially your son’s but even I deserve to spend a nano part of that time with my husband. Once in a blue moon, please permit us to spend a weekend away. If, somehow I manage to grab an opportunity and sit with my husband for a few minutes, please don’t create an issue out of the same. I am not here to snatch away your son. However if you don’t allow me to spend a second more than the sleep time, then I would be forced to.
My dear mother-in-law, I know you are a gem at heart with no hard feelings against me. Even I don’t have any hard feelings against you. We might have difference of opinion but I wholeheartedly take care of you and accept you as my own parents. I have accepted every relation in this new family as my own and do everything possible to do justice to it. I hope you understand that it takes two hands to clap. So instead of just me accepting and adapting to all the changes of the new family, this family should also accept my lifestyle and the changes I bring in. For me, every relation in this home starts with my husband. It is only when I swore the 7 vows with your son, I became your bahu. So, if I won’t be happy as a wife, I won’t be able to make this family happy as a bahu.