By Uzma Bawany/Executive Director/Thaakat Foundation
The ultimate “not to look forward to” relationship in Desi culture, so when I got married should I have been scared?
Back in the day, when joint family households were the norm with our parents, we were all quick to notice the tumultuous relationship between the daughter in law and the mother in law. I suppose it makes sense. There can only be one queen bee!
Females have strong personalities. They have a saying in where the tea kettle is stored, how their children are raised, what is brought to the table at dinner time. Though when there are two females in the house, how goes it?
When I first got married, I missed home and I was scared of starting my new life. I was excited but confused. She made me feel right at home! I would be living in a joint family but I didn’t mind the idea because I wanted to spend time to get to know my new family. The first day I arrived, my mother in law arranged to have me taken for grocery shopping, set up my room, made me dinner and hugged me every moment she got.
Six Months Later, every time I leave home for a vacation, I miss my Mother In Law. I feel like I have another mom.
We fight over who gets to wash the dishes, we tag team my husband with jokes and laugh about it, I like to have the kitchen clean when she gets home. We have a mutual respect for one another. No one is vying to be the queen of the household, rather she treats me as her daughter and I treat her as my mother, I mean that’s essentially what it is right?
So what makes things so difficult for everyone else? Why is the term “Saas” so poisonous in desi culture?
A great relationship between the two requires two major things: Have a mutual respect for one another and love each other. My Mother in Law sat me down one day and she said, I want to be remembered as a great mother. I want you to tell your kids that we were great friends. When you talk to your friends, I want them to see how happy you are.
Remember girls, your relationship with your in laws is half what you bring to the table. Keep your hands open to responsibilities and your heart open to a new family. I heart my Saas and couldn’t ask for anything more.