Friday, September 30, 2011

Selfish or taking care of one's self?

So DH has been working pretty long days these past 2 weeks or so...I'm not complaining, I have but I'm not now. There's no point to complain, it's life, at least it's life here in India.

When he works he works in our bedroom, and he can't work without the light on, so the past few days he's been working up until around 5 or 6 at the latest. Well, I have problems sleeping with the light on, go figure!

Last night after I ate alone, because DH wasn't sure when he was coming home, I had laid down, hoping to fall asleep before he came home so I could at **LEAST** get some rest. Well...he came home before I could fall asleep, though not for my lack of trying.

He ate his dinner and his mother asked him if I was sleeping and he said, I don't know, her eyes are closed. His sister made him tea and he came in and worked again until around 5 or 6. Sometime around 3, I think...I fell asleep, but slept horribly because of the light.

Today I got a lecture from my MIL saying that I should have been awake, and I shouldn't have slept until he got home, and how she is old but she still stayed up waiting for him. Somehow me taking care of MYSELF is now being equated with being a bad wife, she didn't say that literally, but I could tell that's what she was saying.

What is it about Indian society that MIL's find their children more important than their DIL or SIL's? I mean, yeah, I've seen this in other cultures, but none so prominent as here.

Am I not allowed to make myself a priority? I do a lot for DH. Am I not allowed to take some well deserved me time?!


  1. Oh yeah the good old Indian spirit of wife/women sacrifice, as a woman you are supposed to just be at the service and care of all before you, this is nut, and it should stop.
    I don't know if you read this blog:

    Sita is apparently the ideal woman every Idnian ladies should attempt to be like, and that notion needs to be challenged once and for all :)

  2. I have experienced these creepy sleep-deprivation expectations from my MIL a little bit as well. If I sleep later than my husband does--even if I didn't sleep at night or if I am ill--my MIL will start opening the bedroom door and peering in at me every few minutes to ensure that I don't get any sleep.

    There is a terrible expectation in many of my friends' families that the wife should be up at least half an hour before the husband, should make his breakfast and pack his lunch, and only then should she get ready for work. Similarly, she should be the last one in bed because she obviously had to cook the whole meal and do all the clean up. If that was MIL's life, no wonder she is downright batty--sleep deprivation affects the brain. No wonder she has aged so badly, too--she's in her mid-sixties but moves like an 85-year old.

  3. If your husband wasn't worried about it, then she doesn't matter. I would be willing to bet she fell asleep or at least got a nap waiting on her husband a time or two when she was younger. And she probably does the same now. Not to mention, it's proven that older people don't sleep for as long at a time as younger people. They literally need less sleep at night and then the naps they take during the day are how their bodies operate. I'm sure she has no idea of that though.

    As for the light, get one of those eye masks. I can't sleep with lights either but I recently covered my head with a black dupatta and fell asleep so now I'm thinking of getting a face mask too. I can't deal with lights. I hate them lol. I live in the dark as much as possible but hubby can't live without them. I bet you can find one in the bath and body works stores.

    You're a good wife. Don't let some old school woman who was raised with a completely different set of values throw you off your game. She just doesn't understand modern living, or you for that matter. No one can live in your shoes but you and I'm certain your hubby has no problem with you resting when you need rest.

  4. DW,

    Come now! thanks to your buddies I now know that you are supposed to go to bed after me and get up before me and make me breakfast and pack my lunch! Good Lord woman! I didn't know I was entitled to all these! And there you are letting me think that endless cups of tea are the only thing i could manage from ya!

    So bad of you wifey!

    the DH

  5. DH,

    Deal with what you got and stop complainin' or I'll just not make you tea or I'll add extra sugar to it :P


  6. Why don't you ask him to work in the other room when you are sleeping? Or maybe you have, I don't know. I just wonder why he doesn't care about keeping you awake all night.

  7. Don't worry too much about what your MIL says. It's her motherly calling to ask you to take care of her son. Only you and DH know what is right for your relationship, what works and what is expected of each other!

  8. This sounds like a problem of not enough space?

  9. This is an eternal power struggle. Only you , internally can make either choice wrong or right and junta will look at you and comment what they want to .

    Is divorce right? Americans seem to think so. Indians think it to be sacrilege. It's , straightaway a derivation of the high amount of self empowerment that Americans have. No two ways about it.

    Self empowerment, makes you stronger and more valuable as a human being. At the same time it makes you less needy of other people and thus your relationships become more brittle.

    No easy answer to this. Hope you make your life work out.


  10. This is so true for most Indian households. In- laws do not treat their DILs the same way they would treat their children. I shudder to think how I will cope if I have to face a MIL who doesn't give me space or someone who thinks I don't have the same rights as her son does.

    As an aside note I just want to say that I came across your blog today and loved it so much that I read all your posts. Even though I am not in the same situation as you are, I can sort of relate to most of them. Just love your style of writing. :)

  11. Hey CNC, I loved reading your posts. I am a Bengali married to a Bengali and yes I have faced all these issues that you have mentioned. But being from the same culture I knew these things are coming and even then I was in for a bad shock! But lady, hats off to you! I would say dont pay attention to what MIL says. Its what you and Hubb decide to do. So not waiting for him, not making him tea...cmon we are not ancient!Take care, follow your heart, and have fun being a Bangali Bou! Take care. Any help/ let me know. Hugs when you feel low