An Open letter from every Indian Mother-in-law?

FS shared this link, written by a daughter in law.

An Open letter from every Indian Mother-in-law?

What do you think? Does the letter apply to all Indian mothers in law?
Who does it not apply to? How do those it does not apply to cope with becoming mothers in law?
Do take a look at some of the points:
1. My whole world and only source of strength are my children.
IHM:  Should be ‘male children’. (Which is why male children are prayed and fasted for, and sex selected).
What is the source of strength for women who do not have male children?
How do mothers of married daughters handle becoming mothers in law?
If the male children are ‘the whole world’ for one spouse, where are the non-male children and the spouse in the picture?
2. I may appear dominating; but deep down, I only take hold of things only to lessen your burden.
IHM: A sincere effort to ‘lessen the burden’ would ensure that the effort is not becoming a burden, and also is not in anyway unwelcome.
3I may appear intrusive; but deep down, I am actually protective and concerned for you.
 IHM:  Adult children deserve to be treated with more respect than this. Insecurity and a desire to control sound like more likely reasons.
Indian women need a break from with Concern and Protective instinct. Expressed very well in this video meant for Indian men. I think it applies to the entire Indian society.

4. I may be appear obsessive of your husband; but deep down, its the motherly instinct that nature gave me.
IHM: Not mother nature but Patriarchy given ‘instinct’ or else all the mothers of married daughters in traditional families would also possess this instinct.
5. I may appear stiff and stubborn; but please don’t judge a book by its cover. I am willing to adapt.
IHM: What’s needed is not ‘adapting’ and ‘adjusting’ but,
Having a life of one’s own,
Respecting personal boundaries.
Related Posts:

Daughter-in-law should not be treated as domestic help, says Supreme Court

To an Anonymous DIL

An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’An email from a Mother in law.“My Mother in law is very patient towards all the doings of the Males in the family.”I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

If I made Baghban.

“When there are guests I don’t get to talk to them because I am in the kitchen all the time …even wearing a Nighty is considered indecent.”

“Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.”

‘And if you are unlucky, you will get an American daughter-in-law.’

Tag – Mothers in law in Patriarchal Societies.


30 thoughts on “An Open letter from every Indian Mother-in-law?

  1. Emotional letters are like this are bound to get shared mindlessly.

    Moving on, I do not think this letter comes from or applies to all MIL in India.

    Relationships go both ways. DILs shouldn’t enter a relationship with their MILs with pre conceived notions on how she is going to be a monster in law. So should MILs – they cannot expect servile maids of their DILs. Yes, if they have any issues, they should talk it out openly like adults but how many MILs will listen with humility and try to change and how many are gonna do saas ka drama and abuse their position of power?

    And let’s not forget the son/husband in this case. Why do we assume all men are stupid puppets with no views or opinions constantly being bran washed either by their wives or their mothers. Why do we absolve grown men of their actions and the way they deal with stuff?

    If the MIL has an issue with her son being distant with her after marriage, she should address it with him on how they can have a healthy relationship rather than explaining to her DIL the rationale behind her behavior and on how she feels jealous and blah blah.

    The first step is awareness. Second is to act on it, don’t behave like a jerk when you can clearly see that you are acting like one.

    And Indian MILs, not like nobody loves their kids like you. You have to learn to let them go and get your own interests at least now.


    • Its funny how the same mother-in -law never rues over, or appears possessive of her other “child”, the daughter after her marriage. Nor is she ever jealous of her son-in-law.


  2. “I am not the *terrible* 1960s mother in law” => All women think their mothers in law are terrible! Because of things they experienced while being a daughter in law. They change the things they think were terrible / regressive in their mothers in law. How many spare thought as to what the daughter in law wants to do?! Really ironical.

    I bet if the 1960s daughters in law spoke, they’ll say 1940s mothers in law were terrible and they were only protecting the golden Indian culture!


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  4. “I may appear a little jealous; but deep down, I am only scared and insecure.”
    That’s possibly the most honest thing on ‘An Open letter from every Indian Mother-in-law?‘
    Dear MILs & anyone else over 12 yrs of age suffering pangs of jealousy, irrational fears & deep seated insecurities- that it is YOUR personal responsibility to deal with these issues in a mature, rational, constructive manner & that venting them on DIL’s (or other targets) is ultimately destructive & immature.
    Sorry if that was a bit brusque, but Ive born the brunt of way too many tantrums & histrionics of adults who should really know better.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The ” mother is law” in this letter is not benign at all. ” Traditional”Indian mothers have an odd relationship with their sons, which is reflected in this letter. They usually have not had a loving relationship with their husbands, and the son is most likely the first male in their lives that they feel is truly their own.
    Such mothers have a very hard time letting go, which is why such pitiful statements as ” My dear child, as a last word of the letter, I want to tell you that my son is my biggest weakness and my biggest strength. Being away from him is my biggest misery.”
    Despite all her protestations, the letter writer is seeing the daughter in law as taking her place, as in ” You have taken the responsibility of loving my son unconditionally.”
    I can understand why such a mother would feel ” scared and insecure.” However, it is the responsibility of every parent to grow up emotionally as their children grow. A significant part of this growing up is understanding that our children are not our possessions ,but are independent humans who deserve our respect, and have a right to lead their lives as they want. The same goes for the person they choose to share their lives with.
    I found the letter to be very passive aggressive. The pitiful begging for “understanding” by the daughter in law for future bad behavior on the part of the mother in law, the emotional immaturity, the clinginess and the narcissism, were astounding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “my dear child”…

      It really creeps me out when an adult calls another adult who they barely make an effort to know “my dear child”. It’s infantalizing them and showing their place on the totem pole.


  6. my mil actually reversed the damage, Her MIL was a pain my MIL was the ONLY child of loving parents her MIL was the mom of 10 who treated her eldest DIl as a maid , till my MIL luckily managed to get away thanks to my FILs job.. She uses that lesson and story as Gospel.
    she told me i’m not very educated maybe i dont know whats right, but whatever my MIL did im doing the opposite 🙂
    Non interfearing, nonjudgemental and simply wants her space. lives in her house with her husband and is very happy when we visit .. has her hoies, her temple, her stuff and is a pleasent normal loving mom who does whatever her kids ask if it’s possible. 🙂 so simple

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha ha….So much hypocrisy..what about the mothers of female children? Don’t they have any motherly instinct GIVEN by nature? I find it impossible to look at this letter in a strongly positive way..I just can’t accept…


  8. “I may appear dominating; but deep down, I only take hold of things only to lessen your burden.”

    When you do something to someone that they specifically do not want you to do, you are not doing it FOR them but TO them. If it’s not a burden to someone else and you insist on taking over, you are peeing in their litter box. That’s aggressive, and wrong.

    Also, why is it the DIL’s “burden” she’s trying to lessen? Not the precious son’s? ‘Cos she’s assuming that all the cooking and cleaning and laundry that she likes to “oversee” and “guide” the DIL about is women’s work. This MIL needs a life and some hobbies. Imagine a FIL writing a letter to his son-in-law.

    “When I come over and rearrange your tools in the garage, sit at your computer and rearrange all your work files in different folders and peek under the hood of your car to tell you how you should be doing things differently, I’m only trying to help.”

    That would go down with a lead balloon. Why is it okay for some MILs to think they can behave like needy spoilt brats for their whole lives? ‘Cos we live in a culture where no one calls them out on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! Ha! Ha!

    I wonder if this was written by a womona at all…This MIL is dangerous – she’s exactly like the MILs shown on TV…

    IHM, daughters can also be a source of strength but most mothers of daughters manage to restrain from interfering and dominating because of society…


    • The husband in this letter is the poor soul trapped between two women who love him unconditionally and presumably need the same level of emotional intimacy with him. If anything, he needs our sympathy. He’s not an enabler at all!

      Honestly, I heard some similar crap from my colleague recently – if a mother sees her helping his wife, she gets upset. We men can’t do household chores for this reason.

      These guys who are too gutless to take a stand while knowing right from wrong anger me so much more than the run-of-the-mill misogynists.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gaaah!! Who writes these things??!!
    What irritates me is that these kind of letters, while pretending to humanize a person, are also justifying bad behaviour. It’s as if all those stupid explanations should qualify as some sort of criteria for accepting a horrible social construct.

    Next we’ll have ” An open letter from an Indian rapist”
    “Dear slaves (women)
    I have been so horribly mistreated in Indian society simply because I do what is natural to me…it’s all this western influence…just imagine how I feel when you all get together on blogs and say I should be jailed…am I not a human being?Do I not deserve the right to assault anyone however ,whenever and wherever I please..?”.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Right I wonder how many women who are now Daughter in laws .. WILL make sure that when they become mother in laws .. Wont behave like that ..

    I dont know why we keep talking of people like that I am sure there are Umpteen good stories where a MIL and DIL actually live in harmony. I see my sister and her MIL having a BALL OF A TIME , all the Time..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exceptions prove the rule. I hope that women who are in their 20s, 30s and 40s will make better mothers-in-law because they have more education and more opportunities for self-fulfillment.

      One of the reason that my mother-in-law is bitter and nasty is because she feels cheated by life. She wanted to study, did not want to marry young but was forced into marriage at the age of 18.

      She has spent her entire life tending to others, trying to fit into the Ideal Indian Woman mould.

      A lifetime of suppressing her desires and doing things that she did not choose has made her bitter.

      When I look at my mother-in-law, I see a woman who was forced to be somebody she never was.

      As a person, she did not actively wish to be married, or to bear kids. She was never given the chance to explore other alternatives.

      There are many sides to a human being. Unfortunately, in India, women are imprisoned by domesticity, marriage and children. Women are never given the option of choosing something else.

      Not every woman wants marriage, motherhood and fifty years of domestic drudgery.

      A part of me also pities my mother-in-law. She was forced to marry at 18, became a mother at 19 and was denied an education, something she dearly wanted.

      She’s bitter, vindictive and cold. Years of regrets fester inside her.

      Inside every vicious mother-in-law, lives a woman who had her dreams, aspiration and freedom taken away from her.


  12. I completely agree with your points. I personally know many people (and myself have experienced) mothers-in-law who, like this woman, try to mask their controlling and manipulative nature as soft-hearted and well-meaning. This letter angered me so much that I actually ended up writing a response letter back to this author on my own blog (which went ignored). I think that every mother, whether it be a daughter or a son, should be held to the same standard. Hopefully husbands these days are more understanding that spouses should be each other’s first priorities, over all others – and that goes both ways.


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  14. Parents are beyond criticism…. If you think our society is wrong with patriarchy (or whatever it is) and needs a change, start the change from yours and the next generation. Dont try to bend or change the past generation who are already exhausted in bringing you up in the best of ways, even if it means sacrificing their own aspirations and wishes. If they had wished for their own personal space and boundary and moved on with those goals, you may not have gotten educated or you many have not even owned a cellphone or a laptop in your life. So, respect those sacrifices of the past generation and Try and keep them happy as long as they are going to be around. DO WHATEVER CHANGE YOU WANT TO DO FROM YOUR GENERATION!!!


  15. @Antony : So you are implying to accept all sort of abuses from past generation i.e more specifically from abusive mother in laws, just because she made sacrifices for her son? Is that wat you are implying?


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