Not every house is a living hell for ‘bahus’. Some daughters-in-law, do appreciate the presence of saas susar in their lives. These beautiful relationships of saas, susar, nand, dewar, dewerani, jaith, jethani can be very precious if taken positively. Entering into a new family with a negative sentiment towards susral will always lead to unhappiness and discomfort among the members of the family. Unfortunately, this cannot be understood by anyone but those families who live isolated lives, far away from their homes, yearning to make a conversation, even if it is to a grumpy saas.
From the perspective of an overseas Pakistani Bahu, I can quote with great evidence that in the families with grandparents or aunts and uncles in the family unit, the parents have to have one less worry of bringing up their children in a foreign land. The pressures of settling in as an immigrant with a family, away from home, culture, people, and every memory of one’s life is not an easy task. Where meeting ends is a big challenge, support of these intimate relations helps to bring up kids so as not to lose their identity, values, religion, and norms that make the very fabric of our Pakistani society. For parents, the life stresses can be abated by seeing their children being raised in a secure and loving environment.
Usually, grandparents have a big impact on the upbringing of children in the family. Always remember that the values that the members of a family can give are incomparable to those given by a house helper or daycare centers. Like drops of water that slowly make a hole in a rock, the religious and moral education that the grandparents impart from time to time leaves a lasting impression that positively molds the lives of the children by constant reminders given to them from early childhood.
My family friend moved to Australia with her in-laws soon after her marriage. Gradually, the entire Susral ended up living with them. This did not hurt anyone; rather the children were raised in the loving care of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Trust me it’s not easy to keep your children away from the menace of these societies. Family support made the children value the family bonds. In the open culture of these countries, the kids were raised to be humble, loving, and religiously aware individuals under the watchful eyes of their grandparents and affectionate care of other members of the family. They didn’t have to find a company out of the family.
I often think of my life overseas and reflect that though I raised my kids as best as I could, the presence of grandparents would have made a huge difference in their personalities.
We can find many examples of how many Susralis have contributed to the upbringing of children in various non-Muslim foreign countries so that many doctors, engineers, businessmen, and workers can get hold of their lives and progress peacefully.