Monday, August 28, 2006

My Mother-in-Law

When I write about my mom, I cannot but write about the other mother in my life - my mother-in-law (I call her Mamoni).
She is a dear. Very well read and articulate and also ahead of her times. She is a mother-in-law all women should have. My respect for her and her attitude was established right when my wedding was arranged.
We had an arranged marriage and The Husband was living and working out of Calcutta. That being his home town, he lived with his parents. Coming from a household where we lived with my Thakuma, I naturally expected to move in with my in-laws.
But Mamoni was very clear. She told me that the husband and I could live next door if we wanted to, but not with them. She said this would maintain cordial relations between the family. Despite my protests she argued that she was used to her space and i was used to mine, both of us got along... so why upset the peace and harmony? We could see each other as often as we wished and do things our own way and still be best of friends.
At that time i was upset, thinking that my mother-in-law wasn't even going to give me a chance. But in retrospect, she was just being wise and intelligent.
I remember that just before the wedding, The Husband changed jobs and moved to a new city. I asked Mamoni if she was going to go and help him set up his new home before the wedding. And she surprised me by asking my mother to send me instead (which, in traditional arranged marriages, would be a complete no-no) as it was going to be my home and I should do it up the way i wanted to and not be forced to live with the choices she had made for me.

Over the years, we have come to share a wonderful relationship. I look at The Husband and see how wonderful he is and understanding and different from the normal mould of men we all have in our families, especially the previous generation. And I realise that I owe my mother-in-law a big hug and thank you for making him the way he is.

It reminds me of something a friend wrote in her blog about making our sons sensitive and understanding so that they can be responsible men of the future and not grow up to be MCPs. So true. I am seeing an example in front of me.
The past few months of pregnancy have been quite trying and The Husband has been travelling on and off. Mamoni seems to share some kind of telepathy with me. Whenever I feel depressed or low, I seem to get a call from her on my cell. Just seeing her name buzzing on the phone is reassuring.
I have to also thank her for giving me a set of grandparents (The Husband's grandparents) who are loving and always cheering me on. According to the husband, I have a fan following in them.
I am now waiting for Mamoni and Bapi (The Husband's dad) to arrive and be with us when the li'l bundle arrives. I am sure they are as excited as we are. After all they are going to grandparents for the first time as well. And as my mum says, grandparents share a special relationship with their grandchildren and that relationship cannot be defined.

Both The Husband and I are determined to let that relationship flourish. Like ours did with our grandparents, who spoilt us rotten.
I am sure we shall be there to discipline our kids the way our parents did... And well, we turned out alright - didn't we?
Dad, Ma, Mamoni and Bapi - I hope that we are able to bring up our children the way you did yours...


the mad momma said...

and perhaps the biggest blessing are your in-laws!!!! you lucky, lucky girl.... Go down on your knees and thank the good Lord for them everyday.... having bad in-laws can cast a shadow on your marriage that it is hard to deal with....

Bapi said...

I am suitably impressed. You want to bring up your chidren the way I (not mamoni) did? I can assure you of landing up with spoiled brat(s), more spoilt than me!! But the spoiled ones are loving and caring too.

Veena said...

Very Good Perspective. Glad to know about such a positive relationship with MIL. God bless all..