Expectations from daughters in law and the judgment parameters, how can one escape from them? We are taught not to expect much and live a stress-free life, but how do we escape from the expectation of laden baggage?
Daughters in law are a mix of everything which leads to sheer expectations, that too of high-level. Perfection, obedience, sincerity, hard-working, unconditional, sacrificing, adjusting and the list could go on and on.
In this blog, let us discuss a few expectations from daughters in law and how we can stay stress-free even if we are not able to fulfill all of them.
Expectations From Daughters in Law and How It Affects Her
We are the by-product of such a society wherein we have pre-defined labels and set parameters as the benchmark to certify humans on each role they play. A daughter in law is expected to forget about her own family, her parents, and her past life and get into the role of a daughter in law who can selflessly devote her entire life serving her in laws.
These were the customs which prevailed decades ago and to date, no matter how much educated the in laws are they expect the same, no matter how much they show off their elegance and class but they’re nasty at the core of their heart. In the majority of the cases, the daughters in law are not treated fairly. Then expecting her to treat her in laws well and fair and not even complain, isn’t this unfair?
17 Expectations From Daughters in Law
I am writing this blog amid the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, and for once we as humans are at the same level of suffering and mental turbulence this pandemic is leading to. I have been observing how daughters in law are slogging at home with no domestic help, joint family, abusive partner, abusive in laws and a lot of work to do. With the rising number of reported cases of abuse and violence, but one thing is clear, women lack support and are treated like “unpaid caregivers” who should work tirelessly without complaining.
I am not a therapist or counselor, I am like many of you and one among you. It breaks my heart when I see how a woman belittles another woman and on the other hand, we are building sisterhood tribes, we talk about women empowerment and what about the woman you treat disrespectfully in your own house? How about starting from your own house? Being ignorant toward how your daughter in law feels will only lead to misunderstandings and never-ending grudges. I am pointing some 17 expectations from daughters in law, in laws have and society has and can we save some sanity for ourselves amidst fulfilling our duties.
|1.) Expected not to expect|
|2.) Expected to be perfect|
|3.) Expected to be adjusting|
|4.) Expected to be sacrificing|
|5.) Expected to forget her parents|
|6.) Expected to be an excellent cook|
|7.) Expected to be a great home managers|
|8.) Expected to be a great parent|
|9.) Expected to support everything|
|10.) Expected to bear abuse|
|11.) Expected to stay quiet|
|12.) Expected to glorify|
|13.) Expected to bring fortune|
|14.) Expected to be deaf, dumb, and blind|
|15.) Expected to work tirelessly|
|16.) Expected to suffer in silence|
|17.) Expected to stay strong|
1.) Expected not to expect
Your in laws will expect you to learn and be a part of their life-style learn their language, eat what they eat and behave how they expect you to behave but you are not expected to expect any kindness in return. You are expected to be polite even if they cause problems for you.
2.) Expected to be perfect
Perfect in everything you do and say. No mistakes and no pardon. If you fail then your parents will be blamed for not upbringing you wisely and instilling good skills in you. You are constantly judged and criticized and yet you are expected to one perfect.
3.) Expected to be adjusting
Adjust with the societal norms and adjust with each and every member of the family, please them, seek validation from them otherwise how will you become a perfect daughter in laws? How will you win hearts, if ever you could win hearts? I don’t want to sound like a pessimist but I have hardly seen hearts melting. I have never seen a toxic mother in law turn into a loving one.
4.) Expected to be sacrificing
You are expected to sacrifice your share of food, you are expected to sacrifice your beloved dresses, your favorite pieces of stuff, and even your happiness. Family first, as we are taught, and of course we all put our family first but not at the expense of our sanity.
5.) Expected to forget her parents
Expectations from daughters in law are such that as soon as you get married and enter the in law house you are expected to treat them as your parent, right from day one you call them mom dad, you search for meanings and try to form relations same as you had in your maternal side, then how can one forget the very basis of their existence? This is not only wrong but unethical.
6.) Expected to be an excellent cook
It is said that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, but what if you suck at cooking? Does that mean you will never be able to make your in laws happy? We as daughters in law are expected to be a perfect cook from day one and honestly not every girl is a good cook, it takes time, there are many girls who don’t know how to make chapatis but they are expected to come prepared, come learned from their house.
7.) Expected to be a great home managers
Right from managing groceries, bills, finances, even though the husband is the sole source of learning bu the onus of smooth operation of the daily chores in the house lies on the responsible shoulders of the wife. She can fail too, she can be imperfect too, she can also take wrong decisions but she is not expected to do that.
8.) Expected to be a great parent
Great parenting comes from experience and we as parents learn from our children, we all make mistakes and wrong choices while we are raising our kids but you will not be spared if something wrong happens just because of your decision. You will be blamed and criticized which will give a massage to their ego but the problem will remain as it is, which again you will be expected to solve as you messed it up.
9.) Expected to support everything
You are expected to say yes and do things as per your in laws direction. When you start using your brain and question or reason, you are not welcomed. You are supposed to support yourself selflessly and your rude mother in law will never appreciate you. You will feel hurt and end up feeling frustrated.
10.) Expected to bear abuse
If you are in an abusive relationship, and you try to tell your in laws they will blame you for not making things work between you and your spouse, here we are not talking about physical abuse only, but mental abuse also counts for a marriage to bloom. But again you are expected to take care of your problems, nobody helps.
11.) Expected to stay quiet
Stay quiet and see nothing. If there is anything wrong happening in the house and you are not happy with it, you are expected to stay quiet. You do no hold the honor to speak against anything or anyone.
12.) Expected to glorify
Even if you are tired mentally and physically exhausted you cannot complain, you have to present this perfect family picture. You have to speak good about your family members, they are free to talk about you behind your back and even taunt you in from of other relatives. But you cannot share anything with anyone.
13.) Expected to bring fortune
The ghar ki lakshmi tag, the goddess of fortune as considered in India. When a daughter in law enters the new family and something bad happens then she is the one who is blamed and she is continuously expected to pray for the prosperity of the house. Ignoring the fact that she is very much part of the house now.
14.) Expected to be deaf, dumb, and blind
She is expected to do household work, take care of every family member, forget her identity and existence. Stop upgrading herself and selflessly care about the family and say nothing in return.
15.) Expected to work tirelessly
If you have a daughter in law at the house you retire from household duties, you don’t pass the love, affection, and power to make decisions for the house but you pass on all the responsibilities and care-taking part to her, so that you can sit back, read and pin-point her mistakes all the time.
16.) Expected to suffer in silence
One of the biggest expectations from daughters in law is to suffer in silence. They suffer violence, abuse and all the bad behavior of in laws and her husband and say nothing. The majority of the daughters in law give up on their dreams, careers, and aspirations just after their marriage but who cares?
17.) Expected to stay strong
The toxic positivity which kills you from inside, you are not allowed to cry, to make mistakes. You cannot stay low or dull, you can’t fall sick as you have to take care of your family and kids. You are expected to stay strong and manage everything cheerfully.
All this and a lot more, we can certainly not control the way our in laws or others think about us or try to control us but we should be a little lenient towards our own self. If no one is taking care of you, if no one is understanding you, you need to take charge of your life. Allow yourself to make mistakes, allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
Give yourself the space to make mistakes and learn from them, do not fall for the perfectionist, it is a myth. Every mother does best for her child within her capacity, every daughter in law tries to fit in the new family in the best way possible, remember all the relations are two ways, it doesn’t work if one side has lost track and going in some other direction.
So the onus of making everybody happy is not your sole duty but yes maintain a peaceful environment is. for yourself and for others, so do not get into unnecessary stress, take charge of your mental health and stay sane.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.