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words castleReality & TruthsWhat goes through a Mother’s mind? – Bishwajeet Narayan Deb

What goes through a Mother’s mind? – Bishwajeet Narayan Deb

This question holds very critical importance at least in the Indian context. If we go back 2–3 decades the question had a far more significant role to play in the minds of every Indian mother.

The following quote possibly defines the sentiment in the most beautiful way.


I am being more India-specific since even today children staying with their parents after marriage is a common practice here. Though in metro cities it is becoming a declining trend over the last 10–15 years. But in the village and small town, it is still very common or the tradition could be because of affection, compulsion or as its the way of life.

The psychological aspects are distinctly different in both the case where children stay with parents and where children stay separately for whatsoever reason. Indian social and family culture is changing and evolving very fast because of economic development and modernization. I know about a top industrial family, where the husbands and the wives are having separate residential bungalows. No, they are not separate, and neither their marriage is 2nd or 3rd. They are married to the same husband or wife for say last 40–50 years. Well, they are the elitist club, and their lifestyle could be different. Possibly we commoners wouldn’t understand. But what I was talking that social values and psychology are changing. What would have been a stigma or unthinkable 30–40 years back, is no big deal today. The picture varies from small towns to metro cities where living together has become the in-thing today. There are growing incidents of same-sex living together in cities like Mumbai, which has become a kind of fashion. Well, these are still treated as exceptions. But these trends have a great role to play in the parent’s minds and their psychology.

Parents, particularly the mothers are more tenable to accept and recognize the role of their daughters-in-law.

The question has far more intensity on whether the children stay together with their parents after marriage or are expected to stay together. Again the intensity varies from parent to parent. Mothers-in-law who stayed separately from their mothers-in-law for professional reasons or others, particularly if the couples have a strong personal bond in between and a loving relationship would be more comfortable having a far better and warm relationship with their daughters-in-law, provided the daughters-in-law are also inclined to build up cohesive relation.

For a mother, a lot of things go into her mind when she gets her son married and brings her daughter-in-law. It’s a happy moment as well could be a moment of loss. The mother-child relation is the closest relation, bringing and accepting a third person in between, handing over an integral part of her life is never an easy task. The realization that the relationship is not going to be the same again and the tug of war is the essence of transformation from mother to mother-in-law. As such most parents, today have only one or two children, so it’s possible that mothers would be more sentimentally attached to their only child, so to that extent, it could be more difficult a proposition. The tide of emotion that goes inside could be little understood from outside, neither it could be explained.

For the daughter-in-law also the task is not an easier one, settling down in a new and often unknown family. She needs support from her mother-in-law, who is herself going through the transformation process. This delicate state of mind on both sides is also the formative stage of a new relationship, which often goes the wrong way because of failure to tide over the tide of emotion and at times causes irreparable damage to the foundation. And we quite often keep on seeing the battle Panipath I, II, III, and so on. But the best part is that many times these little tug of wars are the sweetest part of their relationship, without which life would be quite dull. Well, there is a darker side to this too.

For families where children are already staying separately or expected to stay separately after marriage because of professional compulsion, the challenge is comparatively smaller. Moms are as such get habituated by physical distance from their sons, so the psychological impact of fear of being separated from their sons after marriage doesn’t weigh that much.

Nowadays the mothers-in-law have to face one more new challenge quite often. Most marriages happen over short distances or in the same city and even if the distance is large, it doesn’t make much of a hassle with an advanced mode of communication. The daughter-in-law can go to her parents’ place “make” quite often as she wishes or on the smallest pretext, so the need to build up a strong & close relationship with her mother-in-law is not felt many times. Plus, the leftover gap is filled by mobile communication. On top of it the sons also start visiting his in law’s place quite often.

Plus, the mothers keep visiting their daughters quite often. So the mother-in-law has to play a reclusive part unless they have a daughter as well to play the same role.

The relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is evolving very fast, where the most modern daughters-in-law are working women or pursuing their goals. They are educated, married at a mature age, having a distinctive identity and independent thought processes. So the approach of both has to be that of love, affection, caring, and mutual respect.

But then I have seen some of the finest relations as depicted above.

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