05/09/2013 at 6:27 pm #2898
The Lazy 9ja MomKeymaster
August 2, 2011 at 2:50pm
In a recent conversation with a guy who isn’t married, he was curious about how most women handled the extended visits by the Mothers-in-law after the baby’s birth. For those who don’t know or haven’t experienced it, in most of the Naija cultures, the husband’s gives the baby’s first bath so typically there is an automatic expectation that she comes around after baby’s birth to assist the wife …
Now it’s really easy for there to be friction since a lot of the parents are opinionated and are quick to ‘impose’ (or at least attempt to) their parenting styles. How do most women handle this?
There is also the flip side of the woman’s mom coming down and the husband having to deal with his wife’s mom being around for an extended period. Any tips for the men?
IMHO, I think the latter scenario is easier since the wife’s mom almost automatically accords a certain level of respect to the husband and watches her behavior around him. I don’t think this is necessarily the case with the husband’s mom though as there might be a sense of entitlement coming in with the opinion that it’s ‘her son’s house’…
How have you handled this???05/09/2013 at 6:29 pm #2899
August 3, 2011 at 5:01am
The issue of Mother in law(MIL) is one that needs great tact.
When I had my daughter, My Mum(MM) came over the next day cuz we live in the same city. It was easy to manage her because she is my mum, i understand her better and even when we had differences as regards certain things, i could communicate with her and it was not like i am being stubborn.
Case in point: In the eastern part of Naija, it is believed that for a period of about two weeks to a month after child birth, the new mum should be given a bathe by her mum or any other elderly person. Also, she should take hot pepper soup meals frequently, to flush out the blood in the womb.
My sistas, I bluntly refused. In fact, as soon as i was out of the delivery room, i asked for ice cream, then chicken and chips. I told my mum that i was capable of bathing myself. I dont like pepper soup, so i stuck to my regular meals.
When MIL came about some weeks later, she tried to get me to do those things but i stuck my grounds politely. Luckily, my husband was on my side. there were a few issues as regards care of the newborn that i had to insist on cuz this is the 21st century. It was not easy but with time, everyone understood without feeling insulted that it was my home. My husband also really helped as he made sure that his mum was not domineering, while i did same with my mum.
once my daughter was about 8 weeks old, We said goodbye to both Mothers, Subsequent visits, do not exceed two weeks maximum.. It was not very easy but we managed and got some peace. We also learnt a lot and I am sure with the next baby, we may need little or no assistance.
I believe that before the arrival of a baby, the couple should discuss this extensively and be in one accord when the mums arrive.
Hope this helps.05/09/2013 at 6:30 pm #2900
The Lazy 9ja MomKeymaster
August 7, 2011 at 4:57pm
Thx for sharing Emem, you couldn’t have said it any better! I never heard abt the bathing the wife thing before sha, LOL at the thought!05/09/2013 at 6:31 pm #2901
August 16, 2011 at 5:53am
I have an adorable 8 month old baby boy who was born 10weeks premature. After spending 4 weeks in the hospital my fragile bundle of joy was brought home and i needed all the help i could get. MM came in from out of town (State) as it really is and stayed with me even though for the next month or so i cared for my son but she was there to care for me and i enjoyed every bit of her stay. As a working mom in Lagos, i needed to go back to work and she to her sweet hubby in another state. I currently enjoy my MIL who stays in another part of lagos but comes in weekly to care for the baby. She stayes wit hus Mon – Fri and even some weekends as well. I am lucky to have them both and wont trade the huge help my MIL is for any creche or nanny.
My baby is her grandson and she does the best for him. I am firm on what I want for my son and stands my ground of every issue. I love her and show her in more ways than one so she has no issues with me. I like the way that when i offend her (not so often as when my hubby does. lol), she calls the two of us and report us to ourselves and that is the end.
One cannot overstate the fact that blood is thicker than water, and my experience shows that some MIL are really angels.05/09/2013 at 6:32 pm #2902
August 21, 2011 at 12:15am
Well..My mother-in-law died in Nigeria before i got a chance to meet her. But my husband has to contend with my ‘opinionated’ mom who we see occasionally..(every 2-3 months.) I was fiercely protective of my mom and defended her like a mama bear, but I have learned to see my husband’s side and try to make it clear to my mother that /i have to live with the father of my children(boys)the rest of my life,even after she’s gone.. to help raise them in this corrupt US society..
If parents realize that both partners are on the same page then I think the ‘mother-in-law’ tension will eventually subside..05/09/2013 at 6:36 pm #2903
August 24, 2011 at 5:47am
but in a case where the MIL will not discussed anything with you until her son comes back and she will still be treating u as if u are a stranger after about 4 years of getting married to her son, what can be done?05/09/2013 at 6:38 pm #2904
August 28, 2011 at 2:23am
Well ,in my honest opinion she doesnt need to be at your house.Isn’t her presence supposed to help alleviate the pressures of caring for a newborn? You don’t need all that tension and added emotional stress….Is this the first child?. Does your husband know how she acts towards you?. Maybe talking to her in his presence will help her understand how you feel
.. Otherwise reduce your stress and let her stay home and send your Egusi and Edikang Ikong soup by mail..05/09/2013 at 6:39 pm #2905
September 2, 2011 at 7:02am
thanks Natly, dis is the second child o and she is still behaving the same way but her son is not always around and the worse part she will be taking some of my things and she will not tell me or her son but her son thought that she is helping me whenever she comes around, should i let her son knows dat she is not helping me ?05/09/2013 at 6:40 pm #2906
September 2, 2011 at 7:28am
Bimbo, I feel you on this one. Its a very sensitive issue but you will have to tell your husband about it. The approach matters and you will need wisdom from God to handle this.
This is my fifth year in marriage and its just recently that my husband got to understand my own point of view of this extended family thing. MIL visits occasionally but SIL(sister inlaw) and niece drop in at will and stays for as long as they feel. our upbringing is different, I don’t have a househelp. So i have to contend with 2 adults, who feel that they can do what they like and If i complain, I am the “difficult” person. each visit caused a major strain in our relationship but i kept telling my husband that there needed to be adjustments on both sides. most times, it did not go well with him but i kept speaking and praying about it.
Just last weekend, the niece left after 4 weeks of stay. I was surprised when my husband told me that he finally understood my point of view and was willing to make amends. The result is that : for the next one year, no extended family(on both sides) will spend more that two days in our house. He said he thinks its about time, we focus on ourselves and let others live their lives outside.
So my dear, pls tell your husband and some day ( very soon), this will be a thing of the past. LOL05/09/2013 at 6:42 pm #2907
September 2, 2011 at 7:39am
thanks emen,u really understand what am saying, have 2 kids and no househelp and even when i just delivered my in-laws especially my Brother in law will come and will not help in fact the last time it happened and i talk about it, my husband said i hate his brother and dat he is going 2 tell him not 2 come 2 our house again,whenever, any of my in-laws visited, my husband will not be comfortable with whatever am doing and he will be doing as if i hate all of them.
i dont know what 2 do05/09/2013 at 6:43 pm #2908
September 4, 2011 at 2:27pm
Bimbo dear, You will just have to take it easy.
when we choose to marry someone, the inlaws are part of the package. As much as we may not admit it, they are a part of our spouse. Something I had to learn over time, was to try to see things from my husband’s point of view. No one would like to hear that their folks are a problem and we have to consider the differences in culture, upbringing, values etc.
I also had to do a whole lot of adjustments too and that i can say, was not too easy.
So pls tell ur husband not to stop his brothers from coming, you will have to exercise a lot of patience. With wisdom and at appropriate moments, chip in some things you will like to change but also express your willingness to shift grounds. Soon, things will work out just fine.
Above all, try very hard to keep your joy.
LOL05/09/2013 at 6:43 pm #2909
September 13, 2011 at 3:46am
thanks dear Emem, i really appreciate u, God bless u,bt am being under monitor whenever any of my inlaws are around by my husband, he will be looking at the way am going 2 react to them, bt i know that God will help me.thanks all the same my sister.05/09/2013 at 6:45 pm #2910
September 6, 2011 at 2:45am
It is well, Bimbola. You need to apply wisdom when you deal with your in-laws as it is obvious they are yet to come to terms with your presence in their son/brother’s life which is quite unfortunate after 2 kids. Look, patience will cok a stone as my dad normally say. If need be and you can afford it, get a nanny. Don;t look for help where none is coming as that would only hurt you when you expect them to help and they dont. If you complain to your hubby he may see it as nagging but let him observe what they do whenever he is around. God will keep your home secured and you will enjoy your marriage.05/09/2013 at 6:47 pm #2911
September 13, 2011 at 3:50am
thanks ibinodd, u are a darling, bt do u know the worst part, they will act very well whenever their brother is around, bt not even helping me even when they finished eating the food i served them, they will still sit down waiting for me to come and pack the plates and wash,that is how they do even in the presence of their brother and he does not see any bad thing in it, dats why it is being difficult for me to mention it to him 2.05/09/2013 at 6:48 pm #2912
September 13, 2011 at 4:14am
My dear Bimbo, Hmmmm……From this post, the main issue here is the your husband’s family culture. they were apparently brought up that way and have grown up with that, thats why your husband does not see a problem with it.
You will have to gradually stop some of the not very nice behaviours and let it start when your husband is around but try and be polite about it. You dont have to beg them, just be firm but polite. Your husband may not like it initially but when both of you are alone, gently explain to him why somethings must change. let him understand that it is for the good of the brothers. if they dont learn now, they will learn later and that maybe under unpleasureable circumstances.
God is your strength.
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