25 January, 2014

Finding your way into a full household.

I had recently read Jayanthi Padmanaban's blogpost on joint family. I love it thoroughly and wanted to a write a little of my own chronicles of living in a joint family for over 3 years now.

It takes a lot of effort to adjust into living in a joint family. I'm definitely not suggesting living in one but for those who haven't found the humor in being in one can just find inspiration. If u can. Mostly, I ignored seeing the perks of it. But when I complained on and on, my husband one day said, 'just look at it like a joke.' At that moment it didn't dawn on me what he was trying to say but slowly it sunk in.

The first thing to do is learn to 'not react'. One is bound to get so many suggestions/advice/comments (definitely no compliments) on parenting and sometimes even on being a wife. Almost all of them irritate to the bone, so slowly once you learn to not react, it's just blissful. You remain the same and the comment goes unnoticed and the nobody gets hurt. When my husband asked me to look at it like a joke.. Most things weren't funny. But for those that actually were funny, turned out hilarious.

As a daughter in law, as a new mother, I got so much advice about avoiding using a diaper for my son. I was asked to stitch cloth diapers and use organic soap to wash them. I was always for a big no no for cloth diapers. One, it is a lot of work. Two, there actually is no harm. Three, in a joint family with three children within the ages of 4, no one has the time to wipe urine off the floor every time babies says 'onnu'. Everyone tells you that it produces a lot of heat and creates rashes. I haven't faced any of that so far and my son is fine. So I just learned to stick to my decision. When things go the way you thought was right, your actions speak louder than words. I'm not proud about proving my diaper point here but just saying, it's a lot easier to just nod your head, listen and then go do whatever the hell you want.

Potatoes are only for poori and not for any sabji. Why? Because my mother in law said so. So just go with it. Don't ever try to persuade anyone into trying a new dish cause you'll bear the brunt if it is wasted at the end of day and you will never be complimented even if it is yummy as hell. If you want to introduce something pick the day you are left alone at home to cook for the entire family. That way your reason can be, 'I found it easier to cook something that I know to.' Everyone eats without a word. There are definitely 2/9 complaining about not liking the food. Say you had to stick to the menu. So you did.

It's wonderful to enter a home with three babies walking towards you even before you've opened the door. Whether you are a baby's person or not, hug them, kiss them and love them. They are going to know it forever. Teach kids to share their toys at home, they have absolutely no problem in school. Growing up with kids their own age is fun. One baby does one cute thing, another one learns it too. The fun thing abt home is, when one baby does something new, we all clap every single time. They love it. They repeat it so much and clap along.

With a full household, going for a late night movie is a big luxury. It's been ages I set my foot in a theatre. I've made my peace with it, but you please don't. Demand for a movie or an outing once in a while cause otherwise your husband will learn the words 'Download and watch.' And when you do that you will be helping movie piracy online. Don't. If you want to watch a movie, get someone to babysit. And go. Don't download. Cause later you will never have a story to tell people when they ask you 'what movie did you see first after your wedding'. Mine always is 'just the one'. If you can get someone to babysit, just do it.  You need 3 hours to lose yourself in a theatre filled with real people and reel people.

I've heard and seen many complaining about how they can never pursue their interests after their wedding. Just, find a way, pls. I still am.

I loved Jayanthi's mention about how there is never savings in a joint family. It's true mostly. No one is ever aware of the financial status of the family. It takes a while to figure out how to handle your personal finances. I'd just say 'stick to dealing with it through your husband'. No one else. If there is an open invitation to help run the family business, go ahead if you want to. In proper words, don't meddle with the finances and the family business. If you want to talk about it, just talk with your husband. It's just safe.

Even with so much said, so much adjustment, do not give up on who you are. Stand for what is right. Bring your children up the way you want to. Consider ideas from inputs but the final decision is yours.

If you want to be happy, find your way. I've found mine. The complaining graph is way lower now. Stick it out. There is definitely a home somewhere that is waiting to be yours. Waiting to be furnished your way and run your way. Somewhere.

Back to the grind

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