Balanced Wife = Balanced Life????


They say a family would run smooth only if the woman in the family knows to manage well. So I set off to find out how wives are expected to balance the string of family lives.

“For that you need to be a balanced-wife“, says a few. So what is a balanced wife?

If the wife gets up early in the morning, she “always runs away from the bed and puts him in second priority to the house hold”. If the wife doesn’t get up early, she “is too lazy and neglects the family”.

If the wife makes good tea, “it is just her routine”. If the wife doesn’t make good tea or breakfast for one day, she “is a bad cook”.

If the wife has to leave home early for work, she “doesn’t need to earn us a living. Family should be first”. If the wife goes late to work or comes back late from work, she “is a bad manager of time”. If the wife comes back early from work, she “has no big role there at office”.

If the wife buys a shirt for the husband from her salary, she “wastes a lot of money on dress”.

If the wife doesn’t like a dress that her in-laws choose, she “has no dressing sense”.

If the wife reminds you to pay the bill, “I know to do things”. If the payment goes beyond due date, “You should not have forgotten”.

If the wife asks for help in the kitchen, “it is your duty. If you can’t manage with just two of us, how will you manage when we have children?”

If the wife has a back pain and asks for a small massage, “Can’t u see that am busy?”

If the wife argues, she is arrogant. If she does not respond to an argument, she is irritating.

If she questions, she acts too smart.

If she cries, she is over-sentimental. If she cant tell why she did so, she is unreasonable

If the shirt is not ironed on time, “she doesn’t know to do things properly”.

If the clothes are not folded for a day, “she cant keep the house clean”.

If the children get low grades, “she is doesn’t take proper care”.

If her parents does not see his’ during a function, then “they purposefully avoided”. If his parents do the same, “Why should they go to her parents? It is they who should come and pay respect to the guys’?

If her parents give a visit without acknowledgement, “they are so informal”. If his parents do the same but unfortunately there is no one at her home, “they don’t give us importance”.

If her mother’s sister’s daughter’s in-law is getting married, not only his parents, but his father’s sister’s husband’s parents have also to be invited, else “they do not know to treat the guy’s family properly”.

This society who knows only to question, disdain & contempt the girls, wives, daughter-in-laws & mothers and believes that women and her needs could be neglected, compels me to derive at the conclusion that the expectation from the so called balanced wife is this..One who successfully takes care of the family (big or small) the way they want, attend to all their needs, satisfy all of them, follow their rules, be answerable to all their questions, be submissive throughout and accept any mental or physical piercing moment in silence…. Irrespective of whether she slept the previous night, Irrespective of whether she had something for tea, Irrespective of when she has to leave or come back from work, Irrespective of how her day at office was, Irrespective of whether she is healthy or not, Irrespective of whether she is respected or cared for, Irrespective of what she earns, Irrespective of whether her own life is balanced or not….

PRECISELY, A BALANCED WIFE IS ONE WHO IS AWARE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE HUSBAND AND HIS FAMILY. A BALANCED WIFE SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE WIFE AND HER FAMILY.

Huh!!

When will be the time when they lay rules for the men?

When will be the time when they stop blaming and start helping?

When will be the time when they learn that respect is give and take?

When will be the time when they learn to appreciate wives and mothers for what they do?

When will be the time when they learn that a smooth family is the result of teamwork?

When will be the time when they learn that women have to be treated like humans if not equals?

The Diplomacy gene


My diplomacy is quite famous. I rarely argued, but got involved as mediator (I really hate those situations!!) in many arguments. Playing this role is tough and dangerous. I never took sides of an argument. Instead tried convincing each side, why the other side thought or did their way. Sense the danger??? Needless to mention, it has landed me into lot of troubles. But that’s how I am. I choose to remain this way.

However, my diplomacy gained huge popularity after marriage.

When any of Sayf’s relative ask me what kind of husband I used to wish for, I would clear and my throat and politely reply, “I only longed for someone whom I could adjust with, so that he or his family doesn’t have to adjust” 🙂

While going to dinner with in-laws, I try to find out the dishes that they like and order the same.

While playing the conciliator role, with two in-laws on either sides , I could only smile 🙂 Nothing else to be done!!

During pregnancy when people, esp Sayf’s relatives, inquire on what child I need, I go this way, “I would love to have a girl, but I wish I had a boy as he would grow up and be a good help to his father” 🙂 Actually after repeating this conversation for 9 months, I even frogot what I actually wanted in the beginning. It had gone so much into my blood.

These and many such occasions made me the ‘democratic bhabhi’ to my sis-in-law.

And finally when Pari was born, she was a typical ‘Sayf-look-alike’. After the crowd had their conventional comments about how fair she is, how pretty she is, how much she resembles sayf etc etc, I nodded my head, but I was a little jealous.

I am sure that later in life, Sayf would influence her more than me. I really hope that she gets all his good qualities along with the looks. But being a mother and after all the troubles of pregnancy and labour, I deserve some of my gene on her too.. That gives me the reason to be jealous!!

Now that Pari has started talking or rather her own rumble-mumble toddler talks, I tried to indoctrinate the word “Amma”, under the name of developing and sharpening her speaking skills 🙂 With Sayf at Dubai, teaching her to say “Papa” was put as the second priority. Sayf however tried “Papa” over his calls.

And just when I thought she would make me proud, Pari made her first diplomatic move. She said her first word. “APPA”. Amma + Papa = Appa??? 🙂 🙂

Now am happy and proud. Atleast my diplomacy chromosome has been passed on to the ‘generation-next’ 🙂

Dealing with ‘N’ Laws


”Moluuu”… In our custom, ‘Molu’ is a real sweet way of addressing a girl of your daughter’s age. But the minute my mother-in-law calls me this way, I get a lot of “What next?,” Why me?” thoughts. Being blessed with a homely face (Looks are sometimes deceptive),I managed so long.

A friend of mine called yesterday and grieved about the way Mrs.MIL spoiled her weekend plans. The same is the case with me too. But how can the same her or me be happy, when our parents drop in for a weekend, though weekend plans are spoiled? Because parents love you, no matter what you do. You are free to do whatever you want. In-laws are not bound to love you, no matter whatever you do. They are ‘different’. They may accept you, they may not. They may love you, they may not. Their opinion on you keeps changing according to what you do and they judge on all that you do. Most importantly they may not believe in you always.

When you marry someone, you actually marry their family too. Maintaining harmony in the new family may not be easy.  Like someone said, when you choose to stick to your husband, you are stuck with your in-laws too.

I often wonder why the world is designed for the girl to stay at the guys’. If the couple could remain at her parents’ then the would have been a peaceful place. Now that the world is not so, you have to deal with them. And yes, dealing with ‘N’ laws is tough, tactical and tricky.

Me and Sayf are a team, who lets only the most necessary things flow to the  in-laws on both sides. We let them pour their opinions into only what is necessary. We stick to our decisions as long as a real valid reason does not come from either sides, but we do listen to them, appreciate them and at the same time convince them on why we chose to be so. They might not be happy, but at least the ‘she came and took my son away’ feeling will not be there.

Even when I have a real busy schedule at work, I make sure to give them a call at least twice a week. I may not call my parents that frequent, because they do not mind calling this side without complaints. My mobile alerts me incase I forget 🙂 I don’t miss a chance to shop, dine out or sometimes gossip (carefully of course) with my in-laws. I make sure to spend quality time with them when I visit them. A little effort, a little attention from my side, make my in-laws feel that I care for them.

MIL’s  may  usually be over dominating or over sentimental, but with good motives. And as long as I can find that element alive inside her, I can move along with her. They would also be experts with words and tears. When words does not work, they switch to tears, and tears works wonders 🙂 Mine does a lot of emotional black mailing, but I have cleverly developed the act of sincerely listening to everything that she puts across. She is pleased that I do so. But this is not an easy task because you will have to patient enough to hear the same story of “How people used to admire the MIL when she was young”, “How fair she used to be once”, “How her handsome son ended up marrying the me-with-ordinary-looks”, ”Why her daughter could not get a nice MIL as her”, and similar stories over and over.

Point to be noted is that a little observation helps you understand what your  mother in law actually needs from you. If you can’t give the whole cake, give at least a fairly big piece.

It is difficult to talk things straight to the in-laws because we treat them as respectful elders. But you can always speak your mind out to your husband or a very good friend. The minute you share it with another daughter-in-law of hers’, double trouble. She may have tons of her own versions to share and the conversations would eventually lead to the MIL being an ultimate villainess. However if you choose to share it with your husband, please don’t make him chose between you and her. It’s not your way or the highway. She, who has been in his life for a much longer time than you, definitely has a say.

Most of the MILs keeps reign their kitchen. At least mine does so. But only when am at Shebis’. She shoo’s me off from the kitchen and still complain on my ability to handle things on my own. So when she comes to Chennai, I get ready for the in-law invasion 🙂 Prepare menu for the whole week, show her how I manage my home and plan for the weekends. I think she is quite convinced, but she never admits. “My poor son doesn’t get to eat enough” and “I don’t know how he will survive” and “You should see how well my daughter does things” and blah blah blah. Looks like see gets some sadistic pleasure on acclaiming that her daughter is better than her daughter in-laws.

There are obvious times when you will have to really bite your teeth so hard to make sure that your tongue does not move over her protracted whining, esp. in the issues that involve people at my home.

So the most important of all. Follow the two mantras – S-M-I-L-E and I-G-N-O-R-E. If you can’t smile, at least ignore. So now a days whenever she makes unnecessary issues, I just do that. After all, she is the reason for me to have a lovable husband.

With all of the above and more, I still think most of them are harmless. When people get aged, they think different. Most of them feel that they will be left out by their children after marriage. They too would be anxious about the girl who steps into the family as much as your parents are. Like the girls, they also try to find a place in their son’s new life. While doing so, they annoy us but I think it is driven out of love.

As Dr Rebecca Liswood who founded the marriage counselling service in New York puts it, “Sudden love rarely binds the two most important women in a man’s life. But you can slowly evolve into good friends and well-wishers.”

At least give it a chance.