Yesterday was one of those days again. I could see that you were tired after a long day’s work and needed to rest. But you just realized that the little one had a school project due, so you got busy again. I could see the mild frustration on your face as you gathered the paints and the papers, so I suggested that we keep it simple and finish it quick. The advice was not taken well, so I didn’t insist further. But it could be seen that you were pushing yourself, yet again.
I knew I had to reach out to you because I knew what exactly was going on through your mind. But, I also knew that it wasn’t the right time. So, I have reached out indirectly, through this letter, to give you some seasoned advice, because dear daughter-in-law, I worry for you.
Don’t feel surprised or skeptical. Just give it a read.
I’m anxious that you will burn yourself out
Parenting today is so complicated. In our time, we did look out our children but did not bother about so many minute things like whether they were getting micronutrients or whether they needed to be stimulated. Today, which so much information and technology, awareness has improved but I feel concerned that it constantly makes you feel that you should be an ‘on-your-toes mom.’
Let others’ achievements not bog you down
I see the mums of today feel pressurized to do better than one another, constantly. As a result, motherhood becomes more of a competition than an experience. I know you’re an achiever, and I secretly admire that in you. But sometimes, you don’t know when to stop. And for that, dear daughter-in-law, I worry for you. Try to respect your limits. There will always be people who will seem better. Trust your instincts.
I’m not as evil as I look
I nag, point out mistakes, sometimes tell you things you don’t want to hear. But all that stems from insecurity and fear. I’m no evil saas from the saas-bahu sitcoms. I hate watching them as much as you do. So, when I nag, hear me out, as it is my concern that is speaking. If you do not agree with me, then let’s agree to disagree or let’s meet midway.
Let’s lookout for the family, together
I know it is hard to adjust and agree to the new ways of this house. I also know that it irks you when I ask you to look out for my son, your husband. But I am his mother, and it’s hard for me to stop caring for him. But now since you’re his partner, my expectations turn to you. We, women, are better nurturers and need to keep the family strong. But that does not mean that my son should not share the load.
Sometimes you might find it hard to believe, but I do care
After all, you have married my child and are like my own child. I will find it hard to accept change, but I am willing to adapt. I might take time, as I belong to an era quite different from yours. But the truth is – dear daughter-in-law, I worry for you. That worry and care, it is genuine, as I see myself in you. I was you not long back, wanting to be the best at everything. Now my hair is silver (under all that hair dye) so all I can hope for, is a happy, confident woman that you need to be.
Can you relate to this letter? If yes, do share this post with your Daughters-in-law/Daughters/Mothers-in-law/ Mothers. Also, feel free to share your thoughts in comments.
Contributory post by Rhituparna Mitra