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I am uncomfortable with my MIL and brother-in-law's wife. Confused whether to join job or not?

Asked by female, 26 yrs, married
After having have completed my B.E and shifted to different place in search of a job, I got married. Conditions from my in-laws was that I need to leave my company as it had night shift and they promised my mom to get me job after 3 months of my marriage till then I need to be at home. As per promise they allowed me to work. Our husband wife plan was that we need to work and simultaneously have one child because our mother in law wants a grandson/daughter. I was pregnant after working 2 months in a company. My mom told me to quit my job because of the pregnancy. I stayed at home then on. My mother in law is very orthodox and narrow minded. I stay along with my brother-in-laws family. My brother-in-laws wife feels jealous of me and always tries put me down and dominate me. Knowing that I am pregnant she too became pregnant in order to prevent household works. Now I am mother of baby boy. After I got a baby every ones point of view changed. Every one in my in-laws family want me to be a house wife and work only when children start going to school. My husband knows my dream. I don't want to work for private job after getting a baby. I want a govt job 9 am-6 pm one. So I took bank coaching. My husband is very good. I have no issues with him only I have with my mother-in-law and more with brother-in-laws wife. But my husband loves and supports his family and sometimes more than me. But he told me he wants me to be a bank PO. And told that he will arrange even a maid to take care of baby. I spoke about this issue with my brothers big sis. She to advised same that I should work hard and they will support me if I get selected. But still I don't believe my in-laws. I can believe my husband. It hurts me a lot that I being broad minded and very modern thinking kind of person got a narrow minded villagers family and they are poor sometimes my mom tells me I deserved a good family but God put me in a poor villagers family. It hurts me a lot.. Being a new mom sometimes even I feel why should I do job let me do when children go to school. But if I stay at home my service is lost also my brother-in-laws wife is ruling over MW putting me down and snatching my peace. I can't even separate from them because if I separate my in-laws will tell being an educated girl she separated two brothers and their families. I am confused to take decision on should be house wife or should believe them that they will support me if I get selected.
Answer
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Garima
Counseling Psychologist

You seem to have a lot going on, with a baby and your in-laws and the nuances of a joint family life. From what I gather, you seem to have a supportive husband which can work in your favor as far as your job is concerned.
Your idea of going in for a government job seems like a good option. It gives you enough time away from home, where nobody seems to understand your ambitions and also enough time to be able to spend it with your husband and child. Take up your husband's offer of getting a helping hand with the baby, after comprehensive background checking so that you can trust that you've left your baby in trusting hands while your away at work. Your education has taken a lot of effort and I think you should fuel it by going ahead and working in a place that helps you grow.

On the other hand about your family feuds, it seems like a situation that needs boundaries. It can be tricky but extremely effective once you have managed to set them with your sister- in-law and mother-in-law. You'll have to accept that there are a few things you have no control over, such as their mindset or behavior. What you can control is your reaction to these things. Let your mother-in-law know that you understand her thoughts about working women and jobs and appreciate her concern for you and your child, however your mindset is a little different and that you would like to have a career and family , well-balanced and that's what would make you happy. Ask for your husband's support in this conversation. It doesn't have to be a bitter talk, it just has to be you establishing your thoughts and needs in your family so choose your words and tone of voice well.

With your sister-in-law as well, when she makes a comment about you that you dislike, let her know on the spot, gently. Something like " I don't now what you mean to imply with that comment, but I didn't like it." You don't have to get into a full blown argument about it, you have to let her know that it's not okay to put you down. It might take a few tries but once she sees that you're not one to take a bashing quietly, she may stop voicing her thoughts so openly.

These are a few ways in which you can handle your in-laws. But the most important thing to remember is that you have ambitions and goals and you should be able to fulfill them with or without someone's approval. Your in-laws are a significant part of your life, no doubt, but don't let some comments take away from your goals. Put on the blinkers and start walking!

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