Friday, January 29, 2010

A victim Of Repetitive disorder - that's me!!

Those of you who feel that I tend to be repetitive remember that I AM AGEING!!

I keep worrying about the kind of mother in law I’d make. Oh, yes I am already mother in law to two fine young men but mother in lawing a daughter in law would be different or so I am led to believe. Long back my mother’s friend told her in my presence that it was easy to deal with a son in law. The retired husband could be at his service, talk about politics and other such stuff while all one needed to do was to supply regular doses of coffee speak of a few sentences from behind the curtain and depute the daughter to take care of things. She of course talks of the 1960’s scenario. Things have changed now to the extent that we MILs do not address the sons in law from behind curtains and doors but we still cannot take things for granted the way one can with a daughter in law.

‘Really??’ I can almost hear my daughter number one ask. ‘High hopes mummy!’

I suppose the ‘Tu, tu, main, main’ of Sachin’s brilliant tele - serial is meant to be laughed off and forgotten. I loved the serial and adored the MIL – DIL duo. I truly wish to have a DIL like her to make life spicy. I promise to add more spice to it. Okay, okay I’ll try to do my best. So here are some of my specifications-

My daughter in law should be a third daughter to me. She has my permission to gang up with my daughters to pull my legs and tease me to death if she wants to. I wouldn’t be able to deal with too much politeness and formality. I am just not used to it.

She can feel free to cook any kind of exotic dishes as long as they are vegetarian. I am game to all forms of trial and error being tried out in my kitchen. My own mother in law was an excellent house - keeper and cook. I learnt a lot from her and now I plan to learn more from my daughter in law too. So dear unknown daughter in law - simply go ahead you have my support!

I’d love it if my DIL loved books. We could have lively discussions on the plot and characters. And hopefully she’d be sensitive to social issues. I have a group of friends who are just that.

I would feel very uncomfortable if I got a decked up doll for a daughter in law. The kind that keep worrying about make up and matching accessories. She’d be equally disappointed with my casual dress sense. We may end up complaining to our respective husbands who would not know how to deal with the situation and support the wrong person. I can bet on the fact that my husband would do just that and it is quite possible that my son would take after him. It was a mutual agreement with my own MIL that we’d pull out each other’s hair if need be, but never involve our husbands.

But wait; are not these liberties the priority of a daughter? So I suppose that I am actually looking out for a daughter in my daughter in law and hope that she tries to see her mother in me.

Okay that was meant to be funny. A look around me tells a different tale. I see quite a few daughters in law who has become part of the family they married into and the affection they shower on their parents in law is often extended to me. Not all of them are part of a joint family but I can see that a bond has been struck and the comfort level in the relationship is good. Money, or the lack of it, hardly seems to matter. In fact I have often seen that a certain amount of interdependence actually helps people bond.

There are other families where the daughter in law has been married for 30 years but is yet to consider her mother in law an important member of the family. A lady I know is financially sound and in reasonably good health. She is well read and at the age of 80 she passes her time reading the day’s newspaper and solving cross - word puzzles. She is mild mannered and cannot harm a fly let alone other fellow human beings. Her only fault is perhaps the fact that she is far too self respecting and insists on paying a fixed amount every month for her upkeep. She feels that since she is in a position to pay she would not want to burden her children. Is it any wonder that she is treated like a tenant in their homes? Not wanting to burden the children is fine but I do feel that one does not have to carry it too far. One can always camouflage the amount as a gift on a special occasion or a surprise holiday package for the son and his family or some such thing. My own parent in law had exhausted their financial resources even before I entered the scene. But it was clear from day one that they headed the family and we were expected to take over. Even before I realized it I became one among them and once I started working my father in law’s presence in the house was actually a boon. He took care of practically everything including the children’s homework and the launderer’s account. A certain amount of interdependence as well as the will to bond is perhaps required for any relationship to thrive.

There can however be no generalization in the matter. Each case is different and every equation is unique and it is only the persons concerned that have work on whatever is best for them. There is no magic formula that can be safely applied to all

10 comments:

Ugich Konitari said...

HHG, What you say is so true. Each case is different and we all need to find our own comfort levels/spaces so to speak. I didnt really realize that I had found mine, till the time my f-in-law was in hospital, and i would be there full time on holidays and evenings (I worked) as we all took turns chipping in to help, and someone actually asked my m-in-law if I was the daughter...

Haddock said...

Yep.....each case is different and don't keep worrying about the future.
(for all you know you may be a great hit with your daughter in law)

Sri said...

HHG,I wish i werent married!!;)

You would have been such a cool MIL to me..

Sorry to say this but my MIL doesnt care if i love books and she feels i dont dress up enough for functions(which means wear too much jewellery)

Srijith Unni said...

HHGranma, you know what I wouldn't disagree that you often repeat yourself, but what has it got to do with age. I also keep repeating my ideas and thoughts. I believe it is these repetitive ideas that ultimately mark our roots and it's so good to see you hold on to them, in every post of yours.

I wish you find a best friend in your DIL, as for your DIL, I already know she has the best possible MIL. :)

Have Fun, Take Care and God Bless!
With Best Regards,
Srijith.

dipali said...

May your son and his future, as yet unknown wife be harmonious souls together- and I'm sure you will get along well! You and she may even gang up against your son on occasion:)

Hip Grandma said...

Hi all,
Why do you think I blog on this topic over and over again? I love being told by you guys that i'd make a great mother in law the kind that my young, unmarried/newly married readers would like to have *wink, wink*!!It kind of reassures me that i am not that bad and all is not lost - at least not yet.

Jokes apart, I feel really sorry for women/men who have lost their life partners and their children have no time for them. Money is not a concern but somehow they are not able to fit in an ageing parent in their schedule. It is difficult to pin the blame on any one person. Lack of open communication could be a reason. Being assertive without being high handed and domineering does not come to all people. This is a topic close to my heart and i do wish that a solution could be found wherein a balance is struck and peace prevails. Mental torture hurts more than physical torture and if my observation is correct the situation is easier when the concerned persons are left free to work out a method for adjusting with each other.

preetischronicle said...

You'd make an awesome MIL and if you have been blogging about the same topic again...we dont mind commenting the same way again!

oh how I wish I had someone to read books along with me and discuss the plot ..the characters ..the twists..aah!

R's Mom said...

Awesome....you would make an amazingly cool MIL....your DIL is one lucky girl !!!!

The Inquisitive Akka said...

You would be a great MIL!I am thinking of suitable girls for your son now :)

WhatsInAName said...

:) I am sure you will be a lovely MIL. Lucky girl!
I wish my MIL was as cool as you. Or like you mentioned, lack of openness, has led to a gap between us. :( its a different story altogether.