Thursday, February 11, 2010

Story 4 : In-law does not understand the situation and so is Husband

Following question was asked by a dear friend...
I am a stay at home mom and have two kids with a gap of 2 yrs. I had C-Sections both the times. I did not gain much weight after my first delivery and was pretty active, healthy and was in perfect shape too. But things changed completely when my baby was 9 months. We realized that I was pregnant again and was both happy and confused about it. After a lot of thinking and analyzing we decided to go ahead with the baby. But it was not as I though it would be. I was surprised to see the reaction from all my in-laws, they were more like cant you guys wait for some time before the second baby. I thought things would change in the due course of time but I waited to see the worst. During the later part of my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with GD and was suggested some rest due to my Blood Pressure. It was becoming really difficult for me to take care of my daughter and my self and do all the cooking.

I was totally frustrated by the attitude of my in-laws towards me. They would always call up my husband and tell them stories of some xyz person in India who managed well with a similar situation like me, but they never were ready to understand my medical condition and the fact that I don’t have any one else to help me here. Listening to their words my husband’s attitude towards me was changing gradually. He started complaining and shouting at me that I should be more active and was putting on more weight than needed. This was too much for me to take in with the entire mood I was during the pregnancy. To add to all this my parents could not get a visa to help me here and we had to ask my in-laws to come over to help me. I was both happy and scared by this. I was happy to know that once they see my condition here they will understand what I am going through in a much better way and scared obviously as they are “IN-LAWS”.  As I expected life became all the more difficult with my in-laws being here. I was suggested bed rest by my gynecologist and my in-laws would think I was simply making up to sleep all day. They wanted to visit all the near by places before my delivery and would say once they baby was there they will not get any time to go out again. I used to get so irritated and frustrated by this attitude of theirs. I used to do all the cooking for them and still would get to here some or the other complaint from them, and that too directly to my husband soon after he is back from office.

By gods grace I had my baby boy as decided and it was again a c-section needless to say my second c-section with a short gap. And after my second delivery I did put on weight and was drained totally out of energy. In the mean time my sister-in-law was planning to visit us soon. My mother-in-law expects me to take good care of my sister-in-law and her two kids and I know she does not care if I get a sleep of only 2 hrs in a full day. If at all I used to lie down for some time when the baby slept then she would be all ready to fill my husbands ears that I was sleeping the whole day and she was tired of doing all the house work.

Now all my husbands’ side family are here and “THEY” are having a good time. No one is bothered to ask me how my health was doing, any ways I was not expecting them too ask either. My main problem now is I am not able to bear the comments from my sisters-in-law and in-laws. They may be suggesting me for my good health but for me it’s very embarrassing and frustrating. My in-laws kind of have a check on what ever I eat, drink and do. Even my husband started doing that in front of everybody. No one is ready to understand my mental status and physical strength. I am kind of getting exhausted by the end of the day with cooking and looking after my daughter and the baby. To add to all this my doctor suggested me to wait for four to six months before I start heavy exercises due to the two c-sections. I feel so helpless and frustrated that I want to leave every one and run away. I wanted to share my story with some one so that I can make my self little strong.

Some notes on the issue :
  • As said in the previous posts (HR1 and HR2), it is indeed a very very sad part that many don't learn from their past experiences. Every person goes through similar (if not the same) phases in life and they all forget the golden rule "Do not do to others what you would not like to be done to you".
  • It is very difficult to say what happens with many (as everyone has an Unique situation), but it always helps to have an "OPEN" communication with In-laws and Spouse. Sometimes, unconsciously and unknowingly, we skip some conversations, which will lead to misunderstandings.
  • As it is always the case that the older generation tend to have a basic or straight communication. This means their way of speaking seems to be bit rough and on the face. But, in many cases they don't really mean it. It's just the way of they talk.  Again, many women are able to take it positively when her own Mother says something but if the same sentence is uttered by Mother-in-law, they get angry on them. 
  • Mother-in-law != Mother (for Husband and/or Wife); However, please be considerate.
  • Some sister-in-laws may want to impose same (similar) restrictions that they had. This is rather very unfortunate and the only way out is to educate and forgive these "poor souls". Another reason for the weird behavior is the "power game" (they may not have enough love or power at their own home. So, they want to show the power where they can). 
  • This situation is similar to the ragging in colleges. A junior knows what it takes to undergo the ragging. He knows how much he cried on the night when the seniors slapped him all the while. But, the inexplicable human brain repeats the same mistake. When he becomes senior, he would want to take the same sadistic pleasure that his seniors had from him. Of course, there are some nice seniors who would understand what they went through and STOP being sadistic.
  • The main person who should understand the situation is "Husband/Head of the Family". In the above situation, many (wifes) would not care if there is some sort of support from Husband. But if he does not understand then there is a real problem. It's the time to educate him. e.g. explaining him that, "India has a huge family support system", "in USA we need to do everything without help", "no maid servents in USA", etc.. Yes, even though all these are very basic and need to be understood, sometimes you need to explain a lot in detail for some people.
  • There is only one Mantra ... "Communicate", "Communicate", "Communicate".

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