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    Life and work >Relationships
    for Toddlers
    01 September 2015

    Questions I Want to Ask my In-Laws, Parents and Husband

    Astha Bhatia Reddy
    WOM Score 1
    I am from South West Delhi, India.
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    While growing up, an Indian male is taught his duties towards his parents, extended family and relatives. He is told how he has the responsibility towards his siblings (studies, support and marriage), taking care of his parents in old age, giving due respect to all extended family like uncles, aunts and cousins. However, rarely if ever have I seen or heard parents teaching Indian males how to be good husbands in the future.

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    My list of questions to all Indian in laws


    Why do you not teach your sons to be better husbands?
    While growing up, an Indian male is taught his duties towards his parents, extended family and relatives. He is told how he has the responsibility towards his younger siblings (studies, support and marriage), taking care of his parents in old age, giving due respect to all extended family like uncles, aunts and cousins. However, rarely if ever have I seen or heard parents teaching Indian males how to be good husbands in the future. No discussion is done about how to understand your wife’s needs, feelings and ensure that you are not the reason for her loneliness and misery. On the other hand, a female is trained from a certain age to be a ‘good and ideal wife’ (learning to cook, make rotis, cleaning up, putting husband’s and kid’s needs before hers, etc.)


    Why is the mother of my children so dispensable whereas her children are your precious gems?
    Why is it that when the baby was in my womb for nine months, I was never cherished or given importance? However, as soon as the baby left my body (not to mention left it wounded and scarred, never to return to the same as before) and came out into this world, he/she became the apple of your eyes and you demanded access to the baby irrespective of the mother’s feelings? And when you didn’t get 24X7 access you used guilt as a weapon to arm twist your son into agreeing to all your whims and fancies? Where was that guilt when the baby was inside my body? Am I that dispensable? Am I a machine with no feelings who was meant to be a carrier of your son’s genes? When you (Mrs. Mother-in-law) can decide who is good for your kids and who is not, why don’t I have the same authority in life for my own kids?


    Why are you so hypocritical?
    Why is it that if a daughter-in-law speaks her mind, is intelligent and doesn’t play a damsel in distress in front of you, you call her rude, arrogant and disrespectful? However, your own daughter can get away with murder and will still be an innocent fawn and the apple of your eyes. Why is it that if any arguments exist between your son and daughter-in-law, you blame the daughter-in-law completely without knowing the complete picture whereas if something similar happens to your own daughter, you call her terms like “poor innocent thing”?


    Why is it that if your husband or son-in-law takes care of your and your daughter’s needs (respectively), you call them ideal husbands whereas if your son does the same, you call your daughter-in-law dominating and your son spineless?


    Why is it that your daughter stays your daughter even after she gets married but a daughter-in-law is looked down upon if she is too attached to her own family and parents?


    Why is it that your daughter-in-law is the same age as you are or may be a competitor too, whereas your own daughter will always stay an overgrown baby for you? Why is it that all bitter words come out of your mouth when your daughter-in-law is alone with you and they get twisted very carefully in front of your son if need arises?


    Why it that your son is not allowed to live the same kind of life that you lived?
    Why do Indian parents use guilt as a weapon to arm twist their sons into putting their needs as a priority in his domestic life? Let me remind you, the in-laws who usually do this are the ones who have lived their own life on their own terms with no interference from anyone. The mother-in-laws in these households have been the prima donnas who are used to constant pampering by their husbands and children, but unwilling to see the same treatment being meted to another ‘outsider’ to the family. Why is it Mrs. Mother-in-law that your children were allowed to be so close to your side of the family (maternal grandmom, granddad, aunts, cousins etc.) whereas if your son’s kids do the same, you start making your sons guilty about that? Why do you not check your family dynamics before pointing the finger?


    My list of questions to all Indian parents


    Why do you teach your daughters to compromise and adjust throughout life?


    Why is a daughter always taught to let go of her favorite chocolate ice cream for her brother? Why is she then told to let go of the same for her husband? Why is it that at least once in her life, she is not told to stand up for her rights? Why is it that every daughter after marriage feels alienated at least once in her life with no one to call her own?


    Why is it that after marriage your son-in-law becomes your son but you don’t bother if your daughter is given the same treatment by her in laws? Why is it that you take pride in calling and treating your son in laws as your own sons with them taking a priority over your own daughters at times but you never bother that your own daughter is still treated as an outsider by her own in laws?


    And finally husbands who claim to be a life partner or better half


    Why is it that whatever you promise before marriage to a woman, you forget completely after marriage (sometimes even a day before marriage)? Why is it that it was so easy for you to share your frustrations about your family with your girlfriend before marriage but it is tough for you to hear the same frustrations which your wife now has with your family? Why is it that the moment she changed her last name to yours, she lost the power to make herself understood and heard to you? Why can your father/sister/mother treat you the way they do and you don’t see it but everything your wife does is blown out of proportion and hurts your ego?


    Why is it that your wife who makes tiny sacrifices for you every day (without telling you) are taken for granted but the parents who don’t leave a chance to boast of how they sacrificed for you are never taken for granted? Why is it that you forget all that your wife has lost in the process of being a wife and a mother but you never forget what your parents have lost in the process of raising you? Why is it that arrogance and chauvinism come in the way of you accepting that your wife is right and then supporting her? Why do you have to make motherhood tougher for your wife by laying down the rules and undermining her rights as the wronged mother of her children?


    Lastly, I think Indian males are taught from the time they attain marriageable age that a wife is an acquisition and the relations of blood can never be overtaken by this new relation. The in-laws' insecurity starts seeping in the moment the talks of their son’s marriage start. The mothers start storing up tears to use the moment they feel they are losing control of the situation. Fathers start taking promises over rounds of alcohol from their sons how they will never turn their backs on their innocent siblings and do their ‘duties’.


    Daughter-in-law is pretty much put in her place in the initial days to make her realize that she should not even try to ‘steal’ the son from them. And God forbid if the daughter-in-law is smart enough to realize the drama, tag her as arrogant and of cantankerous nature and become the victim. The whole point is how to subdue the daughter-in-laws feelings and make your son realize how she is the bad guy.


    Picture Via Shutterstock

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    Comments

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    Mariyam Abdullah
    Wow!! I literally cried when I read this post 17 February 2017
    5
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    Deepti Dani
    Why is it that you as elders claim complete attention almost at par with the baby of the house, but you don't care for the feelings of the other people in the house? Is it only our duty to care for your emotions as you are growing old, isn't it your duty to care for our emotions and excuse some of our mistakes - after all, you do see us struggling with a lot of things at a time. Yeah sure you also did the same thing when it was your time. But get this - each generation has different challenges. If we didn't face your challenges, you are also not facing our challenges. We have our own struggles, so instead of criticising us, support us, pamper us. 29 September 2015
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