My husband and I met in our MBA college 10 years back. Both of us were interested in Marketing and during the course, we became interested in each other as well.
I never realized he was serious about the relationship until he asked me to meet his mom.
After a lot of ifs and buts, I agreed to meet his mom.
When I met his mom – If I say it was love at first sight for either one of us, I’d be lying.
Neither his mom nor I felt comfortable around each other. And, after all, why would we?
I had come to take her beloved first-born away and it was natural for her to be guarded, judgemental and cautious of me. I understood her desire to judge me and think if I would be able to keep her son happy. I understood it then and being the mother of two kids now, I understand it even better.
So, when my husband told his mother that I was the one, his mother said those three words that every young man expects his mother to say while sharing such news and they were – “Are You Sure?”
And, I wasn’t surprised at all as she and I were completely opposite to each other – we were poles apart.
She was stylish; I was casual
She was a woman of action; I was laid back.
She was an extrovert; I was a bit reserved.
She was a person who wanted to make an entrance while I was a person who preferred to slip into the room unnoticed.
She was colorful; I was monochromatic.
She loved Pani-Puri and I loved Rasgulla.
As it turned out we were a perfect mismatch. And, I guess after the first meet I felt we were destined to have a lot of clashes.
After my marriage, my mother-in-law said, “Shweta, let me show you how Karan likes his eggs done,” to which I responded, “Let’s show Karan how to do his eggs.” She replied, “I did NOT send my son to IIM to learn to do eggs.”
Well, I had also gone to the same college and I wanted to answer back. But I didn’t. I just smiled. She displayed great joy and enthusiasm while teaching me. And the next day, I demonstrated the same to Karan so that we can share the responsibility.
But surprisingly or shockingly, My mother-in-law and I were both adaptable and we found our way to bear each other. As the years went by, we found a common ground.
Frankly, during the initial years of marriage, I thought a lot of what she said was foolish and stupid. But as I gathered some experience of living with her son, a lot of her advice began to make sense.
And, there is no other better way to find a common ground with your mother-in-law other than raising her grandchildren.
On multiple occasions when I was struggling with motherhood, she used to tell me that I was a good mother; and that I was much more patient with kids than she was.
During those tough moments, that’s what exactly the mother in me wanted to hear. Somehow, her words meant much more than my own mother’s!
I began to understand that the way she manages dinner for 20 people was not at all easy. Her recipes or some easy cooking hacks helped me a lot in becoming a better cook. With time, she opened up and I began to appreciate her character, her optimism, and her soft & tender heart.
Whenever I went to a park for a quick run, she made sure to announce to her friends that I was her daughter in law. She would praise me in front of her friends, who were busy talking about how their daughter-in-law doesn’t take care of them.
She was different, in fact very different from other mothers-in-law.
One of our last interactions was in the hospital. She was admitted because of her severe heart condition. There we were, just two moms. During the last days, talking had become difficult for her.
We sat, mostly in silence, and then with some effort, she said, “You have two wonderful kids.”
“Yes, and you have a wonderful kid as well” I replied back.
“As good as gold” she beamed.
Frankly, I feel Karan is even better than gold. Because even with gold, you cannot buy the kind of devotion he displayed towards his mother. And, his mother deserved every bit of it.
Because in the end, my mother-in-law raised Karan with so much affection and devotion, that Karan had not learned any other way but to reciprocate that devotion.
Mom, you did a fabulous job with Karan. I wish I could have told you this in person.
Now, I can only hope that I would be able to raise my kids to be as good human beings as Karan.
Mom, I miss you.
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