“I am tempted to ask- does she mean girls who have no brothers should send money to their parents as well?”
But why just girls who have no brothers? That implies that brothers are the primary budhape ka sahara, while married daughters might be allowed to contribute if there is no male child. (also implies that, unlike a married son, whatever a married daughter earns rightfully belongs to her in laws, and the only way for a daughter to support her parents is to not get married.)
Only when all the children – sons or daughters are provided equal opportunities for self reliance and are expected to be equally responsible for care giving (etc), would Indian parents (and hence the society and the legal system) begin to view girl children as individuals and equal citizens with rights and responsibilities.
Sharing an email.
To Move Out or Not to Move Out
I am a young, urban Indian woman, married to the man of her dreams and living in a big city at his parents’ home.
My husband and I are well settled in our careers, having got our education from the best institutes in the country.
My in-laws are nice people. They never tell me what to wear & what not to. If I tell them I’m going to meet a friend, they never ask me which friend. They have no problems with my husband & me partying late into the night on weekends, sleeping in till late the next day etc. My MIL doesn’t expect me to enter the kitchen as she herself hates to cook. They have no problem with me visiting my parents’ house (they too live in the same city and my visits are not too frequent- probably once a month for 3-4 days of stay).
When I got married, I had been living in an apartment in a big city for 3 years. My flat mates & I used to run the house like our own. We were in-charge of things- grocery, bills, maids, daily menu, having friends over, house parties etc.
We were both very clear that we do not want to stay with his parents. But as luck would have it, we had to move to his parents’ city soon after our marriage.
Though everything seems picture perfect and easy, there’s something amiss.
My wavelength doesn’t match with my in-laws. They are preachy; they hail boys who send money to their parents and sons & daughters-in-law who live with their parents.
An incident which someone may deem small has changed the way I look at my mother-in-law. Soon after our marriage, my husband and I told my in-laws that we will split all the household bills with them.
To which, my mum-in-law said that my husband can transfer her the monthly HRA component of his salary for which she would give him slips and he can claim tax benefit. And let me assure you, that is a LOT of money. A lot more than what we would be spending if we had simply split the bill. We could easily live in a rented apartment & pay bills in that much money.
She added, “Children should have the habit of giving some part of their salary to their parents”, something which she has repeated several times after that.
I was disgusted more than hurt at her asking for that much money. We had just started our life together.
My in-laws are financially sound people- the sorts who take foreign trips every year.
We are two daughters- me and my sister and I know my parents don’t expect any sort of monetary support from us until and unless in case of an emergency. They have never asked me what I make or what my husband makes- it is if we have told them that they got to know. My sister & I have been raised as ferociously independent and free-thinking women.
My MIL is very keen on knowing our (and the entire neighborhood’s) salary packages- keeps asking us when we receive our hikes & what’s our ‘salary package’ now. Whenever my salary gets revised, she wants to see the salary breakup. In our initial days of marriage, she had told us to open a joint account with her so she can control our spending. I was appalled!
I have realized that I just don’t get along well with my MIL and never will, as we are so different. Her patriarchal views infuriate me. I can’t have a long conversation with her, as things she says make no sense to my rational mind. After work, I avoid talking to them and hence sit in my room, pretending to work or go for yoga/ run. It’s like I am a guest in this house- how can I feel at home and completely happy when there are two people in the house I would rather not talk to.
I also feel my MIL is abnormally curious about how much we make.
All things said, I miss being on my own. Something as simple as deciding the menu when guests come over to no one questioning me the amount of shopping I do with my money. Having a glass of wine after a long day at work, to deciding to skip family dinners just because I’m in no mood for it!
My husband understands my feelings. He agrees that the way his mom thinks is pathetic at times.
He also knows I will never get along well with her and doesn’t expect me to. The thing is, we feel we can’t even separate from them because, well, there is nothing wrong! It’s not like we had an argument or a clash with his parents.
I just wrote this piece as I am sure there would be more women out there who feel the same way and I would love to hear what they have to say.