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We the daughters-in-law (present and future ones) would like to clear the air on a few things. We’d truly appreciate it if you would just listen to us and then cooperate with us.
We are aware of the fact that for some reason, some of you may dislike us. It probably would not be so if we weren’t intimate with your sons. You may have liked us or even loved us (maybe) if we had nothing to do with your male children but the thing is: we do and we will because they are either our husbands or husbands- to-be. This is something you need to come to terms with.
Please do not take this too personal or see it as being rude; we are just trying to make you understand a couple things so that we can get along properly—the way it’s supposed to be.
Okay, we know that your sons are your children and we understand how much time, energy and resources you have invested in them but guess what?—they are grown ups now who need to move on and this is the part where we come in.
We would be so grateful if you don’t get in our way while we take care of our men just as we didn’t get in your way while you took care of them. Seriously, think about it. The tongue and the teeth work together but stick to their jobs—there has never been a time when the tongue chewed food while the teeth tasted it. Never has this happened! So here’s what we would love you to consider as we step in as wives:
Allow us to raise our homes ourselves
We completely understand how much you love your sons and we know it may be kind of hard to let go. This is why we will gladly allow you to come and spend sometime in our homes but please do not take this opportunity as a license to take over our homes.
Yes, we may allow you to do a couple of things you want to do and assist you in some ways but what we are saying is simple: do not decide for us.
Do not tell us what to cook for our men, do not tell us how to run our homes, and do not tell us how many kids to have or accuse us of finishing your sons’ money. For goodness sake, we are their wives! If they don’t spend on us, who will?
Do not be partial
Mothers-in-law we beg you not to be partial. If you hear about something we have done wrongly, please listen to our side of the story before you scold us. Don’t bring up that “if you have hurt my son, you have hurt me” attitude. Hear from both sides, judge wisely and lovingly rebuke us as our biological mothers would.
Treat us like your daughters
Make us feel comfortable when you’re around or when we come around. Let us be able to talk to you like we would to our mothers. Give us good advise when you see the need to. Tell us secrets about what your sons love—are there special recipes? Teach us and we will be glad to learn. Are there hilarious stories? Tell us and help us relieve our stress. Are special places or lovely memories that are important to them? Let us in; they may be of help to us in the future.
We are not your enemies; we are just ladies who stole your sons’ hearts away only so they could breathe with us beside them. Is it so hard to help us mold your sons’ into better people? Is it wrong to both complete and compliment them? Is it a taboo for us to be friends? Love us and treat us like daughters.
Try not to make an issue out of nothing
We all make mistakes. If we do, correct us and forget it. There’s no need to shout and scream over little issues as if you’re in the process of being killed.
For instance, you teach us a recipe and then we try it out but don’t get it right, do not begin to scream “Ewo! See me see wahala o! Look at what she’s cooking! Is this the poison my son has been eating? Ah! No wonder he is shrinking. So this is your plan abi? You want to kill my son and go and marry another person. It will not be well with you.”
All those aren’t necessary. A mistake is a mistake, let it go. Encourage us and help us to improve instead of wasting words.
We are women who have wombs not robots who are baby-making machines
Children are gifts from God and we cannot decide for him. Please dear mothers-in-law we humbly appeal that you do not make life more miserable for us if we cannot bear kids when you want us to.
Do not accuse us of removing our wombs or eating up our children. Do not begin to suggest to your sons that they should take other wives or have extra marital affairs.
We will have kids when God decides that we have kids but in the meantime, why not pray for us and encourage us to be strong and hold on? We would be glad if you showed more love, care and concern.
We sincerely do apologize if in the course of making our points known, we stepped on your toes. We just need to get these things off our chests and we hope you will consider them as we work as a team.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
Association of Wives and Girlfriends (AWG)
About Dear Mothers-in-law
This post as seen tackles some of the major issues in many African marriages. This is not to say that all African Mothers-in-law are mean, controlling or are homewreckers. No. Quite frankly, there are many wonderful mothers-in-law of African descent out there but we cannot ignore the fact that there are also those who make it a point of duty to vehemently destroy marriages with their actions.
Though, this may relate to other races, it is written from an African perspective. There are so many tales of pain told by wives whose mothers-in-law have frustrated even out of marriage.
There are cases where such wives go to any length to please some in-laws but are met with hostility. It’s sad and it has to stop. Respect is reciprocal and neither of both parties should be taken for granted.
What do you think? Share your thoughts.