“It is very important to teach our daughters how to take care of home; how to take care of their man and how to manage his house and his family!”, my daughter’s mother-in-law made a hurtful comment to let me know how I failed as a parent!
Though she made the comment to make me feel ashamed, hurt and angry. But frankly, I wasn’t. Because she was right. I didn’t teach my daughter to take care of her husband or his family; I rather raised her to take care of herself!
I didn’t raise her to take care of her husband as a child; I raised her to be independent and take care of her needs! I didn’t raise her to be a sanskaari bahu, I raised her to be a woman who give and seek respect; a woman who gives and seeks love; a woman who lives and lets live!
It is heartbreaking how our rules in a society are so different for men and women. Men prioritizing their career over family is seen as driven and achiever; whereas women doing the same are treated as selfish and self-obsessed! Men seeking respect are seen as strong, whereas women seeking respect are rebels or unsanskaari! Men focusing on their dreams are labelled as focused and successful, whereas women focusing on their dreams are shamed and taunted!
Unlike how we were raised to be family-oriented, to be shy and quiet; to be okay with abusive and toxic in-law; I raised my daughter to be different. Yes, my daughter doesn’t fit in the conventional definition of sanskaari bahu.
My daughter is as successful as I ever imagined her to be. She is driven and a successful professional. She gives respect, but demands it too! She speaks and stands for herself! She doesn’t need anyone to do it for her! She doesn’t take abusive or toxic behaviors! She doesn’t believe in treating her husband as her child! She loves her in-laws, but she doesn’t accept abusive and regressive traditions!
I know many may label my daughter as difficult, unsanskaari, rebel or not marriage material type, but I am fine with it. My daughter is what every woman needs to be – strong, independent, full of self-love, pride and courage!
It is a high time that we start raising our daughters as we raise our sons and raise our sons as we raise our daughters! Because in the end, every relationship needs to be equal; our marriage needs to be equal!
So, people shaming my daughter for being strong and independent and calling me a lousy parent, here are two cents for you:
Daughters are not raised to be someone’s wife or daughter-in-law. Daughters are raised to be the women that they want to be! We should stop telling our daughters that they are born to serve someone! Our daughters deserve to fly and we are supposed to be their wings not their cage!
So yes, my daughter isn’t the woman of yesteryears. She is a woman of tomorrow – who demands equality and happiness! If you have a problem, then that’s your problem not mine!