Indian mothers are constantly under a lot of stress about their daughters, whether they are married or not. If they are not married, mothers worry that their daughters are not a typical daughter-in-law material. And if they are married, they worry that whether her daughter is “performing” well in her new home or not. Yes, I used the word PERFORMING, because it is a performance when it comes to being the perfect DIL. Not a single human being on earth is perfect, but somehow the society wants the DILs to be a perfect human being.
And to be honest, our mother’s worries are not totally baseless. It won’t matter how educated, modern, talented or financially independent their daughters are, if they cannot make the perfect round chappati, all these things will not matter. The worth of a DIL in our Indian societies is measured by the roundness of their chappatis or the cleanliness of their houses. And more than the in-laws, the relatives and the neighbours are interested in these things.
I mean, just try to go to a wedding ceremony or any family get together after marriage. You will not find a single person asking you or your husband or your in-laws that what is the package of your DIL or what is the position she holds in her office. NO. Instead questions like “Can she cook food properly?”, or “Does she keep everything spotless at your home?”, or sometimes even “What time she gets up in the morning?” will be asked.
DILs are supposed to have some kind of superpower I guess. They are never allowed to get tired, EVEN AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK!!! They are supposed to be all smiling and ever ready to host relatives. AND God forbid, if it’s a Saturday and they don’t get up at 7 a.m. sharp!! SHE IS SO UNDISCIPLINED!!! She is also expected to know everything….. EVERYTHING! Doesn’t matter if she is just married and doesn’t have 10 or 11 years of experience. It’s like “You are married, you should know this.” NO, we are not supposed to know everything. We have just got married and not done a Doctorate on marriage.
Now there are certain in-laws who are super cool. They are like model houses. They literally do not care how their DIL is leading her life. Nothing but respect and more respect to those in-laws. Now, I agree that there are some things you need to do once you are married, but they should be more of a “WANT TO”, rather than “HAVE TO”.
So here’s what my advice is to the Indian societies, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! It is none of your business what is going on in our home. You have your own family, go and take care of that please. And stop judging us. We are also human beings, and not some alien species from Mars. We also have our own lives and we would very much like to live it on our own terms. Getting married should not be an end to our own happiness.
And to all the DILs and Would-Be DILs out there, if you are uncomfortable with a certain situation or certain rules, SPEAK UP. Talk about it with your husband or, if possible, with your in-laws about it. You are not doing anyone a favour by not talking about what is making you uncomfortable. It is your home now as well and not a hostel that you will be out of in 3 to 4 years. So set certain expectations right from the very beginning. You will be happy and it will make your marriage happier. 🙂