In-laws (n): Members of a family traditionally given to a bride on her wedding day who provide a lifetime supply of love and support.
We hear endless bytes on mothers and daughter, sisters and friends sharing unconditional love between each other. However there are times when we move away from our favorite cheerleaders. Marriage and setting up a new home brings with it a need to forge friendships with the female members of the new family. Sisters-in-law, aunts, and many other new familial relationships are added into our lives. It is common to resist these forced relationship with women who aren’t chosen as our friends through mutual interests or common experiences.
But I think these new women in our lives are the ones that become our greatest allies. They are our safety net. They have the ability to support us and make our life easier in the new home.We need to resist being pigeonholed into conventional reactions and set aside our qualms about building robust relationships within our family.
Television serials always portray the “bhabhi”, “the mother-in-law”, or the husband’s little sister to be fire-breathing dragons. What they don’t show us is that, the new entrant into the family might look like the dragon slayer too! Mutual fear and trepidation is common when we embark on any new relationship. However, it is very important to not get swayed by these stereotypes. Relationships with our mother-in-law or sister-in-law are very critical to the family system. A strong and loving bond between the womenfolk in the family can help create a peaceful environment where members of the family are free to express themselves.
I see a number of benefits in having in-house cheerleaders rooting for us. The men in our lives will never understand the little things that vex us. Only another woman from the same family can understand our daily struggles and frustrations. All relationships have their highs and lows, and even these new relations will take time and effort to build. Raising kids, running the household, cooking and shopping can bring us closer. A lot of give and take, maturity, empathy, and changes in behavior are perhaps mandatory behavioral adjustments required to establish cordial and filial relationships with the women in the family.
Any new beginning brings with it a myriad of emotions. If we are able to overlook the initial hiccups and allow love to dictate the relationship, it can help discount the differences and bind us together.