The Concept of In-Laws

In-Laws! Hmm, dreaded word for some and ‘One big happy family’ for others, but what is it for most? My first article about how marriage is orchestrated in the East, received a lot of support. Thank you very much ! The second article was about the concept of love in the West from my viewpoint as an Eastern person.

As a single girl, many moons ago, an uncanny pattern started to appear in every in-law situation I observed. Every Single One. We insist on living with battered and toxic family relationships after highly praising a girl on her ‘Chai making‘ skills, only to end up despising the same girl in your hearts because she is married to your son? More on that, in later articles.

In-Laws, Face it !

Desi’s, you measure a girl’s success by how domesticated she is. This goes for the parents and the in-laws! If your Daughter-In-Law runs your son’s home or your home for that matter, like a well-oiled machine, she has passed the test and God forbid if she doesn’t, the poor girl will never hear the end of it. Micro movements are scrutinized. A charge sheet starts building up and resentments start to grow. What changes, why and when does it happen? Up until the ‘Qabool hai‘ in a wedding, the parents go around asserting and advertising that they have managed to found a gem who has won your heart.

Her beautiful features and Gora rung are emphasized. “Her complexion is like milk”.

The family background is highly praised. “Did you know, her father owns that huge jewellery store?”

Her education is mentioned. “She is a Doctor”.

Her cooking skills are revealed like a “Wow factor”. “She makes the best Haleem in the world, without using Shan masala.”

Not to mention religion, “Did you know she memorized the whole Quran! Her mother has trained her well”

In-laws nodding for approval

Ayi hai, Heera hai”. (She is a Diamond)

That’s where she won your heart. Parents want that approval from every member of the family that their choice for their son was right. You will even defend her against those who express their displeasure in your choice. Sadly, after only a few days the gloves come off for many.

I went to a wedding once, where an auntie was trying to justify her son choosing to marry a girl of his own choice (God knows why people still think its a bad thing, but whatever). She went on to say “She’s very different because she was raised in Canada, she doesn’t have the same values as us. She wants to work for a while, but I told my son, that I need to train her according to my ways, and then we will see.” This woman has three daughters who are all educated. Mash’Allah!

Two things :

1- Train her ??? Is she a monkey? She is smart enough to get a Master’s degree but so stupid when it comes to running a household ?
2- We will see??? Ohhhh, we all know what that means.

In-law love

The Guarantee

Having in-laws does not guarantee that a daughter-in-law will only then, under their supervision and training will become a good wife and a homemaker. There are so many girls who come from privileged families, lived alone with their husbands and managed to learn everything from zero. Sure, they made mistakes. They burnt the rice and missed that spot but so what ? Everything in life has a learning curve. You have to pull back and let them stumble so they can learn.

A kid who goes through thirteen years of schooling does not understand the practical implications until he does not enter into his real life. Do parents still hover around their children telling them how to be an engineer, or an architect? No, because you assume, you have done your job by sending them to a good school and now they are on their own. Why is marriage any different?

A child does not choose to learn how to walk, he has a natural ability to do that when the time is right. When their body has the physical capability to stand up, they start walking. Everything in life has a process and everyone has to go through it, even you did when you were someone’s daughter-in-law. As parents, we give our children the time and patience to grow and learn. We make exceptions for them, we overlook their mistakes every single day. They even get away with being rude to us! We make excuses for them and we condone their behaviours. But we cannot, just cannot make the same exceptions for our daughter-in-laws because they are someone else’s child? Something to think about.

To be continued,

Until next time, Take care.

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