The name itself says that it is her parent’s house, not hers. A home where she was born, brought up, grew up from childhood to adulthood is not hers. Once the Indian daughter is married off, she is supposed to think of her husband’s house as her own. But, mind the term, “husband’s house”. If she gets married off to a house where the husband lives with his parents, it is the parents’ house. So, basically, she has no house to call her own.
Anyway, the daughter gets married and starts living with her in-laws. She leaves behind her bed she slept on all her life. The bathroom she was familiar with changes. The kitchen she used to work in “whenever she wanted to” changes. It is almost like starting a new life – literally. If the person she gets married to lives in another town or city or village altogether, then, she has to leave her friends behind as well. All she has for her is the faith that everything is going to be alright.
But it is not an easy task at any level. Still, the girl does it with grace. She accepts the reality of the situation and tries to adjust and make the most of her situation. Because, she is married now.
Sooner or later, she has children of her own. She takes the lion’s share of the responsibility in bringing them up. Physically she has to go through unimaginable adjustments with her own body. But she does it nevertheless. But all these silently do take a toll on her physical and mental health. People hardly realise that.
Here comes the importance of her parent’s place. Even though her parents are prone to think that marrying off their daughter was the last responsibility they had for their child, it is not. Parenthood is a lifelong responsibility. It is important for them to still keep their daughter’s bed or her room intact. Because, once her married life takes a toll on her and she needs a break to get away even for just two days, she would need that space. It is therapeutically important. It works as a breather.
Even if she is lucky enough to have a loving post-marital home, she would still need the parental home. If her husband’s home (now regarded as hers) is not a peaceful home for her, she will need her space even more. Parents of all daughters should understand this. Their daughter is not a stray dog (pardon my metaphor) to just give away to someone to get rid of the responsibility. Because, if as a daughter her responsibility towards her parents is expected to continue, the same applies for her parents.
Here is an example of one of my friends that prompted me to write this article. I teach Revati Pranayama and Meditation online. She lives in New Delhi with her husband, in-laws and her two adorable daughters. After guiding her for almost a month, she went to her parent’s place in Gurugram. And I was surprised to see the heightened receptivity in her during the classes that she took from there. She was more relaxed, more focused and more into all the kriyas I was guiding her through. I could clearly see that she needed that break to get away for few days.
Her mother suffered from Covid19 and was hospitalised. She was released and was to live under good care. Revati’s parents immediately called for her and she was there to take care of her mother. Perhaps a good excuse for Revati too to take the much-needed break that she had been wanting. She never told me that she wanted a break, but signs were everywhere.
She kept bringing this up that she was very happy in Delhi with her in-laws. She also said “you have to keep your own peace because you cannot change other people”. I knew she was referring to her orthodox in-laws. She wasn’t judging or complaining. She often says, “This is the life I chose, so I have to be happy living in it”. At times, it felt as if she was not telling me that, she was actually telling herself that. Perhaps to make herself peaceful.
But clearly the changes I saw in taking her class in these two different places spoke louder than her words. But that is when I realised how important it is for the parents of daughters to keep her space in their homes intact.
To all parents, please keep your daughter’s space intact in your homes. Even if it is just her bed. Because, that is her solace to go back to. That tiny little spot in your home is her sacred space to get in touch with her true happy self. That part of your home is her heaven. She will need it, treasure it, draw reassurance from it regardless of how old and wise she grows.