In the home of Khalsa I marry my child and I by following in the steps of Mata Tripta Ji I become the proper mother-in-law. In this day and age mother-in-laws are famous for not getting along with daughter-in-laws. We are often questioned ‘why a woman is a woman’s biggest enemy?’ We can make people eat their words by becoming best friends with our daughter-in-laws; all we have to do is look up to Mata Tripta Ji. Mata Tripta Ji helped her daughter-in-law adjust into the new family, helped with the kids and never undermined her daughter-in-law.
The kind of relationship that a mother-in-law will share with her daughter-in-law can be determined almost immediately. If the mother-in-law feels insecure about the new daughter-in-law joining the family, there will almost always be animosity between the two. If the mother-in-law is secure about the daughter-in-law, she will become like a mother and teach her little tricks to make the family happy to fit in quicker. That’s how Mata Ji was; she treated Mata Sulakhni Ji as a daughter, not a daughter-in-law. Growing up Guru Nanak Dev Ji was different from the other children, as a husband he was different then the norm. It was a huge adjustment for Mata Sulakhni Ji to quickly learn about Guru Ji and the whole family before things get off on the wrong foot. Mata Tripta Ji no doubt told Mata Sulakhni Ji details about every family member, so she would have a little help making everyone happy. Imagine, if Mata Tripta Ji was insecure and left Mata Sulakhni Ji to fend for herself in a new family, which is nothing like she had imagined? Mata Sulakhni Ji and Guru Nanak Dev Ji might not have had the great understanding they had. Mata Tripta Ji was the kindof mother-in-law we should all be, more of a mother and less worried about if our actions are within the law.
Mata Tripta Ji not only was a mother to her daughter-in-law, she also helped her raise the children. As much as daughter-in-laws might act like super women, becoming a mother is always a new experience and they need help. And as much as mother-in-laws might know everything, it is useless unless her relationship with daughter-in-law is such that the help is welcomed. When a mother-in-law becomes a mother, she earns the right to become a grandmother. With Guru Nanak Dev Ji gone for long periods of time, Mata Tripta Ji was able to help Mata Sulakhni Ji raise the kids because of the great relationship they shared. Mata Tripta Ji was always there to lend a helping hand to Mata Sulakhni Ji. Mata Tripta Ji teaches all the mother-in-laws today that being a mother-in-law does not mean you retire because you just brought home a maid or that you become the maid for your daughter-in-law; it’s about finding a balance.
Part of finding that balance, is not undermining your daughter-in-laws authority or her undermining yours. One would imagine life was a bit complicated in Mata Tripta Ji’s home with Guru Nanak Dev Ji gone on his travels, Saints stopping by the house and two children that need to be reared. A lot of decisions needed to be made by the ladies of the household. Mata Tripta Ji kept the peace in the family by not undermining any decisions made by Mata Sulakhni Ji and Mata Sulakhni Ji followed her lead. In today’s households we are so busy trying to prove ourselves right that we forget sometimes if best not to be right, if it keeps the peace in the family. I am sure there were instantance when Mata Tripta Ji and Mata Sulakhni Ji might not have agreed but they never made it a public affair and talked in private to sort things out, so they don’t happen again. Today we are so worried about making ourselves look good and right in front of others that we forget the effect this public display will have on our family life. We need to learn from Mata Tripta Ji on how to find a balance and be a good mother-in-law.
Balance of powers is every important in Sikh household with a joint family, without balance, one can’t be a good mother-in-law. In a joint household there well almost always be two women in power and you’ll see a slow transaction of power from a mother-in-law to the daughter-in-law as the mother-in-law becomes more of a mother. This transaction comes during the initial adjustment of life with a daughter-in-law, becoming more involved with the grandkids instead of house work and then finally as you allow the daughter-in-law to make more and more of the decisions without your public input. It is the mother-in-law that raises us from a wife to a mother and then helps us prepare to become a mother-in-law ourselves. Let us become like Mata Tripta Ji and become more of a mother then a mother-in-law.