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What do you do when you miss your mother-in-law?

By Bunmi  Sofola

Reload and shoot again!

As newly weds become more enlightened with ‘sophisticated’ mothers -in-law, one would have thought that the dragon image of the old mum-in law would disappear.

It hasn’t unfortunately-not to a significant extent it seems the never ending effort for the mother -in-law, to up stage her son’s wife by proving that the poor man will always be a mama’s boy will not just go away. Right from the day of the wedding, she’s all over the place with her array of friends in ridiculously expensive ‘aso-ebi’ showing the bride’s family the stuff she’s made of.

And in the next few weeks after the wedding-years if the frustrated bride should stick it out long-she shall be arriving on the new couple’s doorstep unannounced and uninvited to remind the new wife how lucky she was to land a ‘perfect’ husband like this lovely boy she has nurtured.

She’s not alone unfortunately, according to a recent survey, more than a third of wives blame mothers like her for passing on bad habits to their sons such a laziness, selfishness and poor hygiene. In a poll of four hundred wives, nine out of ten believed that their husbands had been ruined by their mother. As a result, 15 percent felt only one emotion to their mothers -in-law hatred. 0uid it doesn’t matter how educated or otherwise the mother-in-law is the fact that she has a son to wreak the havoc she’s had to condone in her marriage on, makes her intoxicated with power. As one potential mum-in-law puts it, “I’d had two daughters, with my husband anxiously anticipating the gift of a son during my third pregnancy when God answered our prayers. I was relieved and elated, please that now my husband’s family name would be carried on. From then on, I was potty in my son’s hands. One whimper from him and 1 was all over the place -his smile melted, my heart, his cries made me anxious: “Are you all right, darling. Do you want another sweet, chocolate? You don’t like that toy? Which one should mummy fetch?

My daughters were clearly exasperated by this careful manipulation even from his cradle. They were right of course but I just couldn’t stop myself, I mean, just look at him! Being the mother of such a clever boy is wonderful, handsome to boot, he told me he loved me and called me the beautifulest mother in the world. When he stared dating and discarding girlfriends like used tissues, ! was secretly pleased when he admitted what s the problem  was, ‘I’ll never find any woman as great as my mother, ‘he bragged.

And where would he find such a woman? My eyes were finally opened the day 1 went to my sister’s for a wedding in another State; she is a mother of daughters and two sons. Her daughters were away in colleges but the ‘boys’ stayed home ‘awaiting admission’. I hadn’t seen her for a while and was shocked when she opened the door. She’d aged considerably and I soon discovered why. Her boys, whom I’d seen some years ago, had change .Gone was their well groomed image of happy and well -behaved kids. In their place were two lanky, lazy, sulky brutes who lolled on chairs and sprawled in front of the T.V. They’d grown up alright, but my poor sister hadn’t noticed. She still treated them the same way she always had. Every now and then, she’d flit into the living room like a mother hen to the brats cuckoons on the sofa. ‘Are you alright boys? Have you eaten? Do you have any laundry?. …”All through  my stay, these over pampered idiots, didn’t lift a finger to help their mum, in spite of the fact they saw her all over the place frazzled from  too much work.

“Her husband has clearly given up on having a say about the children’s discipline. ‘Whatever laws I laid down were quickly overturned as soon as I turned my back,’ ‘he said sadly,’ They’ve never done anything for themselves and they never will. I feel sorry for any woman who ends up with them The poor man had inadvertently hit the nail squarely on the head. The problem with idolizing someone is that they get used to it. And being worshipped and adored is a hard habit to break.

“As I left my sister’s, I knew I was as bad as she was. But I had a choice. Do I want to send that son of mine into the world as a selfish, demanding demigod or do I want him to grow up knowing how to treat all the women in his life with respect? I grudgingly admitted my mother-in-law did a better job raising his four sons. My husband is a good cook, thinks nothing of ironing a shirt when he needs to and tries to whip our son into shape, but I’d always been resentful of that. Hopefully, all that will change. My fear is that I might be too late so I’ve cleverly solicited the help of our mutual ‘enemy’, his dad. What he says now is law and there are changes in our ‘only son’ as he arrogantly called himself. Hopefully, he’ll turn out to be the husband any mother would be proud to raise and  a future mother-in-law from heaven -instead of from hell!”


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