Some say that there’s no bond thicker than blood, but for Payal, Priyanka, and Vandana Patel that isn’t necessarily the case. Married to a trio of brothers, these ladies have proven that family isn’t always awarded at birth, but can be found. For them, it’s not genes, but quality conversation and an unwavering support system that makes a family.
What are some valuable traits of the other ladies that make them such an integral part of your support system?
Payal: They are understanding. They always offer a listening ear if I want to talk, and consistently provide me with solid advice.
Priyanka: My sisters-in-law are so helpful. Anytime I need assistance, they are always willing to lend a helping hand.
Vandana: Having these two women in my corner when I
need emotional support has been great. And on top of that, I’m just happier when I’m around them!
Why do you think it’s necessary to have a support system in place?
Payal: Especially when marrying into a new family that is so close-knit and moving into a new city, it is important to have women you can trust to help you navigate all the big changes. My sisters-in-law have guided me as a new member of this family, helping me adjust to all the new people and ways of living. It’s also so important to have a support system in an unfamiliar city to help make a new place feel like home.
Priyanka: It is hard to go through life without having people who understand you. They make life easier to handle and deal with.
What’s the most important thing you’ve taught each other since meeting?
Payal: I think the most important thing we have taught each other is just to be more open-minded to everyone’s way of doing things. You never know when you may learn something new like a new way to make a recipe or experience something you typically wouldn’t have.
Priyanka: We have taught each other patience and the true meaning of family. When you’re sick, when you’re celebrating something, when you just need someone to listen, through it all, fate brought us together, and we have become a true family despite our different upbringings and backgrounds.
Vandana: We all have different educational experiences so we inherently learn a lot from each other in that sense, but in general, when you have family members with different backgrounds, there’s a lot of information sharing that can take place.
How has your relationship changed through the years? What does it look like now vs. when you first met?
Payal: When we all first met, it was during my engagement, and we had a nice polite relationship. We were all still trying to get to know each other, and new relationships are always a bit intimidating. We have all gotten so close over the last two years, and it really does feel like we are all sisters.
Priyanka: Since we are all married to brothers, our first relationship was as sisters-in-law. We were family by marriage but friends and confidantes by choice. We have only gotten closer as time has gone by.
Vandana: The more time has passed the more trust we have in each other. Our relationship has grown like many relationships do in that we have much more depth and knowledge about each other now.
How do you approach wellness, both separately and as a group?
Payal: For me, wellness includes not only physical wellness but mental as well. I enjoy taking time for myself to mentally decompress. We are a large family, so it’s important to make sure that I make time to just be alone. As a group, we definitely have an emphasis on physical wellness. We always go for walks together or play badminton multiple times throughout the week.
Priyanka: Individually I practice wellness through yoga. I also really enjoy walking. Sometimes that is a solo endeavor but sometimes we also walk as a group, not just for our physical health but our mental health as well.
What are your favorite ways to bond and lift each other up?
Payal: Our favorite way to lift each other up is by just listening and acknowledging how each other is feeling. We are supportive of each other’s goals and strive to help each other reach them. We are always all helping out with the kids and our in-laws and picking up where the other leaves off to make sure each of us gets a break.
Priyanka: Our favorite ways to bond are just talking and laughing even if it’s while working in the kitchen. We are also there for each other when each other needs it.
Vandana: I really enjoy our conversation. Having an open line of communication, whether it’s light and fun topics or something a little heavier, brings us together as a family.