My Husband And I Came Back To India To Take Care Of My In-Laws: I'll Never Forget How They Reacted

Anonymous Anonymous in Culture Shock on 1 July, 2017

There are enough ‘horror’ stories out in the world, where sons and daughters-in-law are accused of mistreating the parents and not looking after them. Or leaving their home, shifting to a new country and leaving them behind. Well, do I have a story for you! 

Now picture this.

Since I was ready to get married, I knew that I wanted to stay in a joint family. I wanted my children to grow up with their grand parents, amongst their cousins and other loving family members. I wanted them to understand that we are a family, that it means much more than just us and their parents.

I got married. And soon enough, my husband’s work took us abroad. It was before we left that we decided that we won’t stay there forever. That we'll work hard for a few years and then come back to India, with a stable future for our family and great work experience.

All of this happened sooner than we had expected. My husband lost his job within two years of us leaving home. I was expecting our first child and had to leave my job to take care of my baby soon. We decided that it was time to come back to India. We were thrilled to be going back home, thought that we would be met with the same excitement. And how mistaken was I!

My in-laws were furious that we had returned. They wanted to know when we’d be ready to leave their house and why if I had this great ‘education’, I couldn’t manage to keep a steady job. They insulted us, in front of our family, reminding us that we couldn’t keep a job that paid us well and had come back to earn a few thousands and enjoy what they had saved up over these years.

When my husband replied saying that one of our reasons to come back was them, they threw their research of high-end old-age homes at us. They would rather spend time with people their own age in a fully-equipped facility that catered to the needs of the elderly.

Before we could even reply to this, they went on about how they wished they would have chosen an illiterate daughter-in-law with no ego, who would have readily cleaned homes abroad instead of coming back to her in-laws.

Not long after this incident, my husband, daughter and I shifted out of their house and out of the country. We got two great jobs and have bought our own place. Life is going better than I had imagined. Of course we both miss home, and my daughter misses her grand parents but they do come to visit us in the summers, and we all do have great time together. When we meet other relatives, they ask why their only son doesn’t go back to India and stay with them, especially since they have such a big home. They smile and tell them, that if the kids are happy, then we are happy- it’s their decision we have to follow.

I always try not to burst out laughing when I hear this, if only our relatives knew, that it’s not just a big home that you need, you need to have a big heart too.
Author's Note:

Next time you hear in-laws say something like this, sneak a quick glance at their children, you’ll realize the truth in an instant!