Much is written about relationship with in-laws and advice is doled out by the dozen to the new brides about the dos and dont’s of being in a new space. How about exploring the other side of the equation for a change? Can in-laws change with the evolving society? Are they willing to examine and refine their actions, as they welcome a daughter-in-law into the fold? Women Planet lines some thoughts!
- Prioritize her privacy
Your daughter-in-law is the new member in the family and even if she has been a part of the family for many years, still she might crave her own space, every now and then. Let her know that her need for her own space is heard, received and valued. Be it giving her an hour of solitude when she comes home from work or ensuring that she speeds an hour for her exercise every day, these small gestures will go a long way to cement the bond of respect. Perhaps for the older generation in India sorely missed out on cultivating such deep bonds with their in-laws, it’s time to bring in the change, one small step at a time.
- Drop the comparisons
Your daughter-in-law may not be a pro in the kitchen, but she may excel in financial matters. Drop the comparisons. No two people are alike and comparing and complaining about your daughter-in-law is simply unhealthy and in poor taste. Let your expectations be known and be realistic as to how far can it be honored by your daughter-in-law. When you celebrate the differences, you can perspective in life. Any change achieved at the cost of heartache and bitterness is just not worth it!
- Value her individuality
You daughter-in-law, like your kids is just who she is. Much like you love the quirks of your kids, so is she to be valued for hers. She may not be perfect, but she sure is amazing and awesome. Does she love her coffee more than tea? Is she obsessed with rom-coms? Does she love to read? Can she speak 4 languages? Is she a pro at street shopping? Give her quirks a space in your heart.
- Honor her dreams
I have seen many women let go of their dreams and aspirations to honor their family commitments. Women today are far luckier in terms of life and career choices. Be the crucible to hold and honor the dreams of your daughter-in-law. She is a woman first and she will have her own desire to make a mark in this world. Honor her choices and support her with kind words and a gentle guidance. She may benefit tremendously from your wisdom, along the way.
- Respect her ideas and choices
She may not like the décor you love, she may drink green tea over the usual chai Or she may be a loner, preferring her solitude over garrulous gossip. When you respect her ideas and choices, you also give yourself a chance to be heard and respected. It is not always easy, but then every relationship stands a chance when it is cemented by respect first. Welcome the change she brings in and she will accept the rules you live by!
- Create and maintain realistic boundaries
Too often, a daughter-in-law is expected to be all and do well. Sure, compromises and adjustments are part and parcel of every relationship and the one between a daughter-in-law and her in-laws is no exception. Boundaries are those non-negotiables that reflect our needs. When boundaries are disregarded, relationships crumble and wither with bitterness and a lack of appreciation. Honor yourself and your daughter-in-law by respecting those boundaries.
- Treat her to small surprises
I bet she’s love to have that unplanned pizza treat or a new bag, her favorite perfume or maybe just having her folks over. A little gesture goes a long way. Imagine the happiness she would feel when she realizes that she is loved by her in-laws the same way she is loved by her own family. Who knows, maybe her in-laws surpass her parents!
- Cut her some slack
Yes, the work can wait and the world won’t collapse. Do with a few more laughs, or just chill. Yours and hers ME TIME is worth it.
- Share responsibilities
Easier said than done, but try to do it consciously. If you have a daughter–in-law balancing career with home, respect her efforts. A little goes a long way. When she feels appreciated and protected, she will reciprocate the same way.
- Cherish her presence
She is there, an anchor holding your family together. Every day may not be great, but it need not be bad either. We all want validation and nothing is more precious than being fully present with somebody. Time and attention are limited reserves. She deserves some, if not all.
- Help her preserve your legacy
Teach her your signature recipe. Share your childhood story with her. Don’t hold back your wisdom from her. Head the phrase “Joy doubles with sharing”. A lot of what you learnt will live with her. Give her the baton with pride.
It’s time to bring in the change!
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