“Aai, I am leaving for work.” This is always followed by “Have you taken your tiffin, mobile, money, id card and spectacles?” This is the regular weekday morning checklist. Sunday morning 7 am starts off with cajoles, “Eat your breakfast. Carry something to eat. You would be home only by 2:00 pm from college.” Very few married women are blessed to have such a wonderful start to their day. I suppose you must have guessed it right. This is the daily routine of me and my mother-in-law. This relationship has matured over time.
This daughter-in-law and mother-in-law journey started off 10 years ago with insecurity, distrust and jealousy. Typical, isn’t it?
How she expected me to be the stereotype daughter-in-law with green bangles and bindis and how I craved to run into my mother’s arms and cry my heart out. I wanted her to be my mother, my confidante. I longed to put my head in her lap and sleep. The root of the strained relationship was space in my marital home.
Yes, this is one of the major reasons why many relationships and marriages go kaput. House hunting started off with my hubby and me zeroing on 2 BHK and 3 BHK houses.
Our family was kept informed that a bigger place meant we were staying together. With two years into our marriage and us planning for a baby, it was not going to be easy on our pockets. Finally, we moved into a 3 BHK. Initially, it was just my husband and me. With us going the family way, my mother-in-law and father-in-law moved in with us. My son was just 6 months old and I had exhausted all my maternity leaves and work from home options.
“Don’t worry. You work. You pursue your career. He is my grandchild. I will look after him.”
This continues to remain the assurance for the past 7 years. I do not don the green bangles and bindis, save for Vata Savitri. But I still get to sleep in her lap. I do cook her favourite fish curry on Saturdays when I am at home and she manages the show for all six days of the week. I insist on her presence in all our trips and outings.
Her birthdays are special for me. When my son cut his seventh birthday cake, I just could not hold back my tears and my gratitude for the main woman in my life.