We get numerous messages on WhatsApp on how many roles a woman plays and cheer her for the same. She is a daughter, a wife, a daughter in law and of course a mother, besides the many other roles. I often feel is this something we must celebrate or is it something that stresses her as she is torn between these relationships. A perfect woman is one who will manage all these roles perfectly, but trust me in making one happy, the other one for sure gets affected.
When a girl is married, she is expected to change overnight and change herself as per the new family. She should do everything as per the ‘rules’ of the new house. There is no support system for her and she has to adapt herself. Why is a woman expected to forget all that she learnt and did for so many years and do what others want her to do? She has to forget what her parents taught her and learn what the in laws want to teach her. Yes, one thing she has to remember, this is her house and now she has to do what they like her to do. Eat, drink, sleep and of course, live as per the new house. What happens to the house where she was born? Why is that also not her house now?
A daughter in law should fulfil all her duties but what about the duties she has towards her parents. They are at the same stage in life as the in laws, and they need same level of attention. She has an option to go for her parents’ birthdays, but does the same choice exist when it comes to the in laws. It is not acceptable if she misses something in the in laws side of the family. She must celebrate all festivals in the new house, but why do her parents need to celebrate them alone. Why can she not enjoy them in both places?
In the talks of women rights and feminism, I wonder what will change. Even the most educated families in the country have a different perspective of a boy and a girl. A son is expected to take care of his parents but what about the girl’s parents. Forget the boy making an effort, her parents also would not let her do the same.
And it does not stop at the in laws and parents, it goes on to the extended families. Does a boy have the same responsibility towards the girl’s family as his wife has towards his? Not many women, I think, will stand up against these norms the society has created, because, no one will support them; not even their parents.
Rules for a man and a woman are different in our society and this will not change. A husband can give more importance to his work than to his wife, but if the wife has a priority apart from him, it is not acceptable. In many households, a woman’s work is given importance in proportion to the money she earns. It is not about her work satisfaction but about what she earns.
The tussle does not stop between the parents and the in laws. It continues to several other relationships. She has to choose between home and work, husband and child, a daughter and a wife, besides the others. At every step she has to prove her love and loyalty versus the other. I think in giving her so much responsibility, we have just burdened with the pressure of her relationships.
A woman spends most of her life managing various relationships of her life. We have to appreciate the efforts she puts in to each one of them. We all must help her in this journey and not force her to make choices. Let her enjoy being a daughter, a daughter in law, a wife and a mother. She deserves the love and the support.