To be or not to be …… together

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I’ve mostly grown up in metros and had working parents doing equal chores in & outside the house. We’ve had people of all religions, caste, status enjoy a meal at home.. and both me & my sister have been brought up with no special importance given to our MCs. While PC was brought up in a very religious, town home and had the luxury of a stay at home mom.. The equations are very different.

When we got married, I was naïve to think nothing would change. Of course a lot changed, the boyfriend of 5 years turned into a husband, the in laws came into picture. It was new, it was exciting, and it was quite a challenge too. Both of us expected our spouses to behave like how our parents behaved. I think it was natural to expect so. Somewhere along the way we both figured out what works for the two of us… what are the boundaries we should not breach. It helped that my parents & in laws stayed in different cities and our interaction with them was mostly on holidays.

Why am I telling all this?? . Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about them moving in with us sometime in the near future. Of course they would prefer to stay in their town till they are both able to manage on their own. But another 3 years or so and I would also like to have someone elder around lil P & they would like someone younger around them to take care of them.

Now comes the tough part.. MIL is very religious & I am not. It is just not about worshipping.. Its abt not touching anything (including my husband) during MCs.. It’s about treating the servant differently.. It’s about having religion, caste, creed or whether they are veg or non-veg in every conversation.How my parents behave or should behave…. Some simple to adjust.. Some unchangeable!

I know, most D-I-Laws would not be too popular with their MILs but how do you adjust?? How do u ignore the things that irritate you? How do u retain your privacy and yet enjoy the togetherness?? Hmm… maybe only time will tell..

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  1. Hi Shruti,

    Well I am in the same boat as you. My in-laws plan to move with us when my FIL retires. To make matters worse, my parents live in Bangalore and my daughter is very fond of everyone at my mom’s place. Just trying not to think of it. Will cross the bridge when it comes.

    on a seperate note – I had commented on your dress up your walls (on your other blog) do take out time to look at it. thanks

  2. Tough questions , but I think my anwers wont work for you and yours wont work for me. It depends lot on individuals , you , your husbands and your inlaws and each and everyone has to adjust if you all want togetherness. You cannot be a completely different person for them and vice versa. Some times you need to be firm and sometimes flexible. Sometimes do things that please them and sometimes yourself 🙂

  3. I think its rather difficult for elders to change to our ways . And they are hurt because their ‘sons’ or ‘daughters’ have moved out and created a separate world where things are not the same. I have no clue! I struggle even when the in laws visit for a month. And I know they do too 🙁

  4. I don’t have a solution, but I strongly suggest you reading this small story – http://bit.ly/10fby8f. Name of the story is ‘A Room 10 x 8’, after reading your post, I recalled that short story which I had studied as a part of English literature when i was in my high school days.

    After reading the story, you will realize why I pointed you and rest of the people (who have similar situations) to it. I wanted to write more of my opinion, but that is not a good idea. So, ending my comment with that story link and rest is up to you to decide 🙂

  5. @komal : yes the balancing act is tough.. u got to keep every1 happy.. if they don’t take each n everything personally I think we’ll all be ok.
    @swati: very true. I think if both FIL & MIL are together, then it will be much better.. cos on visits MIL usually has no company cos we both work.
    @Meira: ya I know! its so tough for MIL to adjust too. She tries n I do too.. but her son has changed . she needs to accept that.
    @mohan: U r scaring me! .. i can understand what the story is trying to potray. but i’m just trying to find a solution to make our lives a lot happier 🙂

  6. It will depend on a lot of things: How much patience you can show, how much understanding they are of your new life and lifestyle. Oen thing I can say for sure is do not expect them to change their ways drastically. So, it would be lot on you. And I must say, if their son is willing to cooperate, it makes this a lot smoother.
    And I am sure, lil P will enjoy the company of her grand parents.
    Good luck !!

  7. @dil se! u just spoke my thoughts out loud.. Lil P loves her grandparents.. n her health sure has improved since MIL is here.
    I shud just look at the bigger picture n let hubby dearest handle the tricky part. 🙂 thanks guys ur words give me strength.

  8. I have some real life experience. I am not Mr. know it all. But, I can give the following suggestions:

    Don’t disrespect her.
    Whatever you want to tell her, please say it in a soft voice.
    Tell her you are not that familiar in religious stuff.
    Pick your fight. It means on some unimportant issues, let her win.
    Give the feeling that you always listen to her. (I just said give the feeling only).
    Keep your husband informed of all the goings on between the you and your MIL.
    You deal with the situation and don’t let your husband speak on your behalf to your MIL. (Then he will also become a bad boy).
    Finally, don’t ever mistakenly think that she is like your mother. Do not cross the line however cozy the relationship is. For example, you can yell at your mother. She won’t get angry. But if you yell at your MIL, she will not take it kindly.
    If in the unlikely event she becomes ill, please go out of the way to take care of her. (One incident will change her perception about you very favorably. If it is already favorable, it will ensure more favorable for you.)

  9. How much i know you (ofcourse from your blog), i know you will manage it alright 🙂
    And i second SG on this.

  10. A few friends live with their inlaws and have reasonable relationships with them. What they say is that it’s never a perfect relationship (which relationship is perfect for that matter?) but they are willing to overlook as much as possible for the benefits that come from having a support structure.

  11. @EC: *Hugs*
    @SG: Very Very useful tips. spoken with experience, I can see. I will keep your points in mind.. “If in the unlikely event she becomes ill, please go out of the way to take care of her” this point touched my heart.. i mean .. i usually don’t do this. I leave it all to my husband to take care. I’m going to change my attitude rt now.
    @Swati: Wow! cool 🙂 i’m honured. i’ll do the tag soon. I promise.
    @Disha: Th ats sweet of you to say 🙂 But i’m no perfect DIL.. Wise words from SG. I’mgoing to start following a few tips hes given rt now.
    @AJ: yes. A few of my friends are managing quite well. a few had serious trouble with the ILs moving back to their hometown bitter. Its a tough call i suppose. from both sides.

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