The Biblical Eve was a lucky woman. She didn’t have to suffer a mother-in-law, those nasty, spiteful, hefty, headscarf-wearing mamas who drive us women up the wall. Instead of people disturbing us with a referendum about executive prime ministers and armchair presidents, what we should be thinking about is a law that forbids mother-in-laws from ever stepping into their sons’ houses.
Men, if you really love your wife, then kindly book your mothers in distant hotels (preferably near their daughters’ homes) when they insist on visiting you in the city. Their chicken, potatoes and arrowroots are welcome, of course, but do they really have to deliver them in person? They can send them by courier, thank you. If at all there is need for them to meet your wives, say once a year during year the annual Christmas lunch ritual, ensure that there is a glass panel separating the two, okay?
I don’t understand why these mamas think daughters-in-law should kiss their feet. Yes, you carried your son in your womb and walked far and wide to cater for him. But that was your responsibility, after all, it is you who chose to have unprotected sex with your husband. And sorry, Mama. Your screaming bundle of joy is now a grown-ass man and there is a woman struggling under that annoying thing you created and delivered at Pumwani. The least you could, as a fellow woman, is sympathise with her seeing as your son inherited your husband’s worst habits – like cheating left, right and centre.
But no, the moment you get into your daughter-in-law’s house (get that right – it is her house, not your son’s) all you do is cause trouble. Sliding fingers across furniture to inspect for dust like a government proclaimed public health official, sneering over meals and offering parental advice when it’s not even needed. It is like you are desperate to find the slightest mistake so that you have an excuse to screech “I-told-you-not-to-marry-this-useless-girl!” for the umpteenth time. Like her own daughters, including the one who has been divorced a record seven times, are angels.
Problem is her son believes she is perfect – the best thing God created. But what he does not know is that when he is not around, sweet Mama turns into a monster. The prayerful queen you left in the morning discards her saintly robes for a hate-filled crown. She doesn’t want you married. Hell, she just wants a future where she is the only woman you worship. And for that, she is capable of shedding tears and making false accusations – anything to make you turn against your wife.
Any house with the mother-in-law under the same roof isn’t any different from a blown-out estrogen party with two grown women behaving like hormonal teenagers fighting for the boy next door…well, except one cannot sexually nourish the boy. Your wife obviously carries the advantage of pleading her case to you in the nude, and your mother knows this so she applies very combative tactics.
She starts making snide comments about your wife from her physical looks, womb misfortunes to her culinary abilities; all to kill her self-esteem. She even brings up those prettier old girlfriends of yours in conversation or actually brings them around the house to hammer that last nail in the coffin.
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But because your wife wants to be a bit cordial towards her, she carries all that pressure inside her, and believe me; you will be on the receiving end of it. Soon enough, sex dries out in the house and bickering becomes part of your day to day lives. Try moaning during lovemaking and she will be knocking on the door to ask if her son is alright. It’s enough to drive a girl insane!
Now get this right, men. Mama is mama, but you will never suckle her breasts again. Learn to respect the one who presently gives you nyonyo.