Recently, after watching an interview – in which Aishwarya Rai talks about her mother-in-law (Jaya Bachchan) like a close friend, my MIL came to me and shared how she always wanted to have a similar friend-like relationship with her daughter-in-law.
She took me by surprise when she shared the need to be my friend. But, after putting a lot of thought into, I realized that we can never be friends.
Before you label me like a toxic person who just wants to have drama in her life, because I have watched too many saas-bahu TV series, let me share with you why I feel that being a friend with my mother-in-law is not only difficult but impossible.
When you become friends with someone, you follow some basic rules of friendship – equality, respect, trust, love, and empathy.
For the time being, most of these basic elements are completely missing in our relationship.
And, if you don’t believe it, I’ve pulled together a list of 7 things that my mother-in-law said to me. Even after reading these, if you feel I am being unrealistic and we can be friends do let me know in the comments below.
1. “Tumhare Ghar Mein Koi Bhi Cheez Time Pe Nahin Milti!”
She came for a week and throughout that week she kept cursing how my husband and I kept our home. She commented on our housecleaning, the way our furniture is disorganized, or even how dirty dishes are visible in the sink.
I wish I could have told her that friends don’t find flaws in each other. They just accept and adjust!
2. “Tum Log Kitna Unhealthy Khatey Ho”
She took multiple digs on my cooking skills. She told me I was failing as a wife because my husband was eating unhealthy food. First of all, the presumption that a 31-year-old man cannot feed himself makes me throw up. And on the cooking side, she enjoys looking down my cooking skills – and I don’t know why?
We can’t be friends because friends don’t look down on each other, they bring us up!
3. “Oh You Have Put On Weight! Thodi Dieting Karlo”
Have you ever had a friend commenting on your weight gain, grey hair, or tired eyes! She told me that I was getting old as my gray hair was just multiplying.
So, we can’t be friends because friends compliment each other, they don’t shame each other!
4. “Tumhari Life Toh Kitni Easy Hai”
Every time she is here, my mother-in-law tells me about how easy my life is. As per her, my life is easy because we can afford a car, house help, washing machine, microwave etc. She thinks I don’t know what real struggle is – because I am born lucky!
She hardly sees how I struggle to maintain a work-life balance so that I can support my husband financially – so that we can give the best to our kids! The things that my husband and I couldn’t get when we were young!
5. “Bhabhi Toh Bahut Sahi Se Ghar Chala Rahi Hai”
“Bhabhi has a long shining hair; why don’t you ask her how she maintains herself. Bhabhi-Bhaiya saves a lot and now they are planning to buy a house. You should also plan!”
She just can’t stop comparing me with my Bhabhi and making sure I end up feeling like a failure in comparison.
Friends don’t compare you against anyone else. They love you and they don’t make you feel any less of you – unlike my mother-in-law.
6. “Maa Toh Maa Hi Hoti Hai”
On one of her trips, she asked me why Rahul did the laundry? I told her that we have divided our responsibilities and we work as a team! The next day I saw her doing it and I asked why was she doing it. It was Rahul’s job.
And, there she made the statement that every woman in this world has heard before – Ma Toh Ma Hi Hoti Hai!
Indirectly, telling me that mother’s love is purer and unconditional than wife’s love!
From my 5 yrs of marriage and my relationship with her, I’ve learned one basic thing – We can never be friends!
Not, only because she doesn’t qualify any of the qualities that I would like to have in my friend, but also because I can’t behave like a friend with her in the first place. So how can I expect her to act like one?
But my question is, WHY do we want to be friends? Why can’t we respect the relationship that we are expected to have?
Why can’t we accept our relationship the way it is!
I don’t complain to her about her behavior, because she is way more supportive, caring and understanding compared to my grandmother or mothers-in-law of my friends!
She is a very good mother-in-law but she is a mother-in-law, not a friend!
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