Indian culture holds the mother-in-law as one of the most important people in life after marriage. Until recently, as the matriarch of the family, the mother-in-law enjoyed having sway over her children’s lives. While sons-in-law were treated with great respect, daughters-in-law in Indian families didn’t have the same fortune. If this relationship took a wrong turn, it could make your life miserable. From Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to modern web-series, this is a celebrated theme in Indian society.
Fortunately, things have changed as people are learning to be kinder and hold their in-laws more tenderly. If you are a mother-in-law or going to be one soon, and don’t want your relationship to be off to a rocky start, continue reading. We have put together a list of things that you might want to avoid if you don’t want to become a monster-in-law instead of a mother-in-law.
1. Don’t Be Nosy
If you feel tempted to cut in between the private matters of your son’s or daughter’s marriage, think again. Nobody likes a peeping tom. Give them their space and don’t be intrusive. Most importantly, don’t eavesdrop. Don’t drop by unannounced or call on them too often. It is natural to miss your children, but you also have to respect their space.
2. Don’t Be Pushy
You might have more knowledge when it comes to the affairs of life. But that doesn’t give you the freedom to push your children and their spouses around. We learn to live by making mistakes, and each person is entitled to that. There is no perfect marriage and let your children have the opportunity to learn that on their own.
3. Don’t Be A Critic
When it comes to marriage, nothing is more accurate than “to each their own”. Refrain from being a harsh critic even when you see things going wrong. Instead, you can be gentle and try talking to them. Offer suggestions, not criticisms that are based on your judgments.
4. Don’t Be A Judge
When looked from outside, things may seem different than what they really are. That is why you should stop yourself when from making judgments about your child’s marriage. Marriage is not a child’s play. The last thing that a couple needs are your biases and judgments.
5. Don’t Impose Yourself
Sometimes you can’t help but interfere. Even when you are doing it out of love, make sure that you are not imposing yourself on them. It is never ideal when there is a third person or an outsider interfering in a marriage. It is best to be patient and let things take their natural course.
6. Don’t Challenge Their Methods
It is like a pumpkin pie recipe- there are just too many of them. You might have been forced to take care of your spouse or have that rather awkward conversation about your relationship. On the other hand, maybe your kid and their spouse do things differently. They might like to share duties and chores or split the expenses. Or they might not feel comfortable discussing their marriage with you. The fact that they are different doesn’t make them wrong.
7. Don’t Judge Their Lifestyle
Lifestyle is an extremely personal choice. One of the secrets to a successful marriage is how two people join and adjust their different lifestyle to build a life together. Times are changing and so are our lifestyles. Perhaps your kids have more choices to live by than you did. They might seem different, careless, reckless, and even wrong. But you would be doing everyone a favor if you don’t judge their lifestyle.
8. Don’t Criticize Their Parenting Style
Nowadays, life is all about breaking molds. The same is true about parenting. Earlier, the older generations demanded respect and fear; parents these days prefer being friendly and approachable to their children. Since there are too many aspects to factor in, it is impossible to measure which one is better. Then again, there is no one standard way to parent a child. Every child is unique and needs a different approach.
9. Don’t Be The Possessive Mother
Never make your child choose between you and their spouse. It is not healthy for their relationship or yours with your child. It is also one of the most selfish acts a mother can commit. You have to accept that your children have grown up to have a life and family of their own.
All relationships require a certain amount of time and effort. Keep in mind that being compassionate towards each other will always help us make each other’s lives better. What kind of mother-in-law would you like to be? The loving kind or the troubling kind? Let us know in the comments below.