A Modern Woman’s Guide to Living With The In-Laws
In modern India, we live in a 2 BHK flat with little cute things to do in a small kitchen, and sometimes, a huge family to live with. Work, a new marriage, family, responsibilities, and other societal norms put on a new bahu can be scary. It only adds to her tension when knowing the in-laws doesn’t seem to be a wonderful experience. But, like most other things, we can change that.
Now, if you’re still wondering whether you need to have a good and healthy relationship with your spouse’s parents and family, let me tell you, your spouse’s parents have raised your spouse and your husband probably shares fond memories and deep bonds with his family members. You disrupting that because of a few disagreements might strain your relationship with your husband. If you have children, this effect will continue. If you go to extremes, your husband and children are going to have to choose between you and them. And that’s not a good sign.
In Indian society, respect for elders goes a long way. Everyone loves a woman who knows how to respect her elders and teach the same to her children. Our family life and raising our kids to be good people overpower the everyday hassles we might face with the in-laws. In-laws aren’t that bad anyway. There’s probably a stereotype that stems from daily soap, showing how cruel they are. Getting to know your in-laws and developing a healthy relationship with them can become a great asset in the long run. The real problem is that they’re getting old, and they’re just behaving according to their whims. You can’t reason or fight with them. All you need is love, patience, and respect. Read Modern Woman’s Guide to Living With The In-Laws
Here are a few ways you can start bonding with your in-laws.
Be at home more Often
I know you have work, friends, errands, and if you’re ‘modern,’ you might laugh at this, but for real.But naturally, spending your whole day outside and coming home only for dinner will leave you with zero time to connect, help and get to know your in-laws.
It would be best if you manage your time and work-life to do this. Try to reserve weekends to be at home with your family, or plan something fun to do with the family that will refresh everyone for the next few weeks.
Ask for help from your Husband:
If you don’t feel comfortable or there might be a possibility that they are ill-treating you, talk freely to your spouse. You don’t have to feel guilty about telling your husband not-so-good things about them. It is advisable not to speak ill of your in-laws anywhere outside. People love good family gossip, and more than helping, they will make it worse. Don’t go around telling everyone about the problems you’re facing with your in-laws. It will be tough for them to accept you after they come to know that you’re going about telling other people bad things about them.
If there’s a serious problem, talk to them or your husband, not some curious Aunty.
Start doing things Together
Your mother-in-law will love it if you ask her about her age-old recipes. If you decide to reserve a Sunday afternoon for that yummy dish, you can cook together, and it will help in creating new bonds. Usually, it’s just a matter of time before you and your mother-in-law become best friends!
Also Read: Prioritize and Simplify Your Life
Communicate with Respect
You might be surprised what would happen if you started speaking to your in-laws, irrespective of how they speak to you. Ask for their advice if you need anything.
Tell them about your day at work. Dine, pray, sit together.
It will increase the chances of conversation with them, and eventually, they will get to know the person you indeed are. (Especially if they hate you)
Be Kind and Polite
Being kind and polite goes a long way, and your respect for them will shine out even when they are not behaving like ideal in-laws.
Let go. Start a new. Keep forgiving
There will be times when you might anger them. Or maybe, say hurting words. Yelling back at them might be your first instinct, but don’t do that. Keep your cool because it will work wonders.
Constant taunts and hurts from your in-laws can leave you deeply hurt. Nonetheless, forgive them. Let it go.
Playing it back on them will take away your time and energy. Don’t keep any grudges against them. Forgive and try to start anew.
Set your clear Boundaries
It would help if you were clear with what you can do and what you cannot. If your in-laws need you to cook dinner every night and it’s not possible, tell them that. You will be damaging your health, working excessively, and eventually harming all your relationships if you don’t express your limitations.
There is room for your feelings. You don’t have to go to hardcore levels to please your in-laws. Communicate to them and your husband about some things that won’t go according to how your in-laws want it.
Take away all false expectations and accept them: See the good in them. Appreciate that.
This one’s good for your soul; trying to change them will gain you nothing, so accept the person they are. It’s not going to be like a movie- we are real, complicated human beings. If you are living With In-Laws, by now, you know their flaws, good points, and weaknesses too. Just accept all that and pull down the false expectation of how an Ideal mother-in-law or a father-in-law should be. It will be much easier to see the good in them.
In the end, there will always be fights and quarrels- irrespective of having the best in-laws in the world.It is a fun adventure. Embrace it deeply and love it as much as you can. You possibly won’t get to live as a young wife struggling with in-laws after some years. So while you can, enjoy it. Fights and arguments can be pretty fun if you change your perspective and decide to love. It’s all part of this wonderful thing we call family.
It will not be easy, but it will be worth it.