I know I am your sunshine. You ensured that we had an awesome childhood. You were a strict mom but you were and always will be my best friend too. I know I can confide in you at any time. I know how much you have sacrificed for us. I know that you still continue to do so. I crib about the sleepless nights that my children give me.
But even today you spend sleepless nights because I am so far away from you. You spend your nights praying for our wellbeing without complaining about it.
I may live three thousand kilometres away from you. But the first thing you want to do every morning is to listen to my voice. I know you will be waiting for my call with your mobile in your hand – because you don’t want to miss my call. You cannot bear to see me cry even today.
And if by chance you are able to sense my sadness through my voice – I know you will end up spending a gloomy day yourself.
Whenever I am tired or in a bad mood – you ask me to relax. You want me to be happy all the time. You still treat me like a little girl. I know I will always be your baby no matter how much I grow up.
Maa, I wanted you to be with me when my little ones were growing up. You always make me feel so happy and stress-free. You ask me to rest for hours. You cook all my favourite dishes for me. And if I refuse to eat what you have cooked for me so lovingly, you will be least bothered by it because you know that sometimes I am just averse to eating food. You know this is as normal as the craving for food sometimes.
Your grandchildren are your most precious possessions today. You want them to be happy and safe. You know that I will do my best for them. You don’t doubt my parenting skills. In fact, you praise me for doing my chores so well.
We do argue a lot and have several differences of opinion but we also share a strong bond of love. I can’t really thank you enough for everything that you have done for me.
Maa, you are a lady with a golden heart. We know you so well. And now it is your turn to become a ‘mother-in-law’ soon. I am sure you know the art of being a great ‘mother-in-law’ too.
I have seen you over the years. You know how to make everyone feel at home with your affection and love. I am not teaching you anything. But I just want to remind you of something that you keep saying: “The younger generation has a lot to teach to the older generation too.”
So, I am writing this letter to you. I know it will strengthen the bond between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. You already know that the relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law is extremely fragile and delicate.
You cannot expect your daughter-in-law to love you like she loves her mom. Nor will you be able to treat her like your own daughter from the very first day itself. This bond will evolve slowly over time and when you give each other a lot of space to adjust. Please accept her the way she is.
It is not only about you and your daughter-in-law living together under the same roof. It is about ensuring that the relationship that you share with your daughter-in-law is not a bitter one. So it becomes important for you to know where you should give your inputs after your son is married. He may like to focus on taking his wife’s input and you should encourage him to do that as well without making an issue out of it. Ultimately all of us want them to experience a good marital bond.
If you feel you need to advise your daughter-in-law about something, please put it in such a way that you don’t end up criticizing her.
She cannot be like you or me. She is a different individual and the way she is brought up is definitely different.
So her ways of living are bound to differ from ours. Please give her lots of time and let her settle down at her own pace. Please encourage her often – face to face when possible or over the phone too if she is not around you. She will then feel more confident about the bond that both of you share.
You can definitely earn several brownie points here.
Your son will end up having a blessed and a great life if your daughter-in-law is happy. Remember, she is an important part of building a new home and a new family.
Please don’t have so many expectations from them Maa. Things might take a turn for the worse if you have high expectations from them.
Maybe you wish to see your son and daughter-in-law during Diwali. Fine. But first, try to know what their plans are. You can definitely ask them to visit you but you cannot bind them to your expectations.
All festivals lose their charm if no one is happy.
Let them go holidaying if they want to. Let them have a good time. I am sure you will love to see them enjoy…..
If you feel there is really something wrong with your daughter-in-law and you are unable to bear it – please don’t taunt her or insult her. Talk about it together when your son is around. Discussing things and putting your point of view properly will help you all create better bonds in the future.
Let the environment in the house be peaceful. That is the most important thing for the family.
Your daughter-in-law is a member of your family too now. In case you want some advice or opinion from other family members, please take her opinion into consideration too. She is not an outsider and her ideas, advice or opinion is very important to your son too. So don’t overlook her when you have a family discussion – you might end up hurting her.
Please don’t compare your daughter-in-law with me or with yourself. You know how I feel and how I don’t like it when my mother-in-law compares me with anyone. I hate such comparisons. So she too will feel the same way if you compare her with me or with yourself.
Please also teach your son to respect his in-laws and greet them properly. This is very important because they are a part of your family now too.
And last of all Maa – please understand that things will definitely change after your son gets married. Your son will have more responsibilities to shoulder.
He won’t change as an individual. Neither will his wife try to change him. The only thing that will change is ‘Time’. And preferences change over time. The love that he has for you will be the same.
Let him be a man who loves his wife and kids just like you want your son-in-law to love your daughter. Let him be a kind, loving, caring and responsible husband. And then you will start shining with the pride that fills your heart Maa!
With lots of love,
From a well-meaning daughter.