Where Does A Woman Stand Between A Lifestyle Change & In-Laws?

Last updated 26 Apr 2018 . 1 min read

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For a woman, the world around her changes drastically from the time she gets married. Even if she is lucky enough to have the most understanding, cooperative parents-in-law, she is very much bound by some or the other obligations.

Can we say that getting into a new family or having parents-in-law is the major reason for this change in a girl’s life after marriage? We see women who are staying away from their in-laws and we also know some who stay with them.

The ones who stay away say, “It's the freedom that you enjoy. You don't fear the judgement and neither have to seek approval all the time. You are your own king. But you do miss out a lot in terms of family get-togethers, sharing a camaraderie with mum-in-law and other ladies in the family. You even become more independent, you manage a house, kids all by yourself with minimum or no help. But again, as time passes, you tend to feel the monotony. And when you see the Facebook posts and WhatsApp status of other family members catching up, deep down in your heart you feel the pang of staying away from all the belongingness.”

The others have a totally different story to tell, “It's like a breath of fresh air, similar to when we are on vacation. Every single topic, no matter if it's a saree that you wear or the vegetable that you think to cook for dinner, turns into a discussion. Privacy, at times, is a concern. You can't bring your girls along, you can't house party, you can't directly go to a pub from your place, can't come in very late, have to think and rethink before speaking your mind, you can't fight with your husband - in short, you can't be yourself. You have to be a good ‘sanskari bahu’ all the time. 

But as every coin has two sides, I love staying with my in-laws. They are like a reference book to me. If at any point I am stuck, I ask my mum-in-law and she does give amazing solutions. My father-in-law takes care of light bills, grocery, cleaning of certain unnoticed parts of the house and keeping an extra eye on my maid. After a long day at work, my mom-in-law greets us with lemonade or tea. And while we are hurrying up in the morning for office, my father-in-law helps us with packing our tiffin boxes and gives a small piece of good thought every day. On weekends, we all get together and either watch movies, a laughter show or simply go for a walk. I have started to realise, that freedom is a state of mind and that there are ways to enjoy your life in a joint family too. Amidst all the other problems, I prefer seeing the glass half full.”

After having heard feedback from both the categories, it is clear that life for a girl-turned-bahu is complex in both the scenarios. Unlike the stereotype, only the in-laws are not the change in your life after marriage. It's the lifestyle you start leading.

A girl who was like a princess in her house learns to slog like a glamorous maid later. She eventually matures herself after falling many times during this evolution. She grows so quickly and adapts so swiftly that there's no time for her to feel the things she is missing. She wonders, “When did I grow up so fast? And when was the last time I called my parents? Where is my childhood dream lost? Where are my hobbies? Has family become my sole goal?”

Somedays after completion of all the days work when she lies on her bed, her husband is already asleep.

It is in that moment at night, when you don't want to think about anything. You try hard not to recall the days when you were happier. Not that you are any sadder now. Not that you are having a difficult time now. It's just remembrance of the time when you were a free soul.

You used to be the apple of your parents’ eyes, free from responsibilities, obligations and compromises. You start visualizing your childhood days of playing around the house, wearing your favourite little frock, going to mom and kissing her without any reason, hugging your father but not reaching up to his height, playing quarrelling with siblings like there's a war to win. By this time, tears start rolling down your eyes, but no hands to wipe them. Unable to find the answer while pondering, when did I grow up so fast?

Do you live with your in-laws or away from them? What are your thoughts on this article? Let us know in the comments below.

Sainy Banerjee Pal
An engineer by profession but an ardent writer by heart, Sainy has been writing from the age of 12. She has a huge collection of her handwritten diaries. Her friends call her a therapist for broken hearts and can connect instantly with anyone. She lives with her doting husband who is also her critic for her write ups. Imaginative, spirited and filled with compassion, she always has a lot to say, to those who care to listen.

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