“I don’t worry about terrorism. I was married for two years,” declares Sam Kinison. This is just to whet mothers’ appetite on a rather provocative note as food for thought today! To God be the glory, this is my 20th year in marriage, blessed with four (two boys and two girls) exceptionally brilliant children, among them two award-winning computer science undergraduates. In any spousal relationship, there are bound to be constant disagreements, quarrels (not fights except in bizarre cases) and mutual suspicions of all sorts, particularly adultery.
There is no perfect union of man and woman anywhere no matter how blissful it may appear. Mothers must understand that cash squeeze and inexplicable circumstances make most husbands to be edgy and occasionally bullish, if not beastly. In such situations, what matters most is how a mother painstakingly handles the crises whenever they inevitably arise. Every mother must underscore the fact that her husband is the President and she the V-P in their home. Mothers, prayerfully note that some husbands are just obstreperous!
It is astounding that in this age of global economic downturn that some mothers are housewives! No matter how rich your husband is, you must as a mother be gainfully employed. Total dependence on your husband could be disastrous if anything goes wrong with his finances, employment, businesses or investments. Couples must have multiple streams of income.
Every mother must be an entrepreneur in this dynamic environment with illimitable opportunities. No capital is too small to begin laundry; fostering; small chops, bean cakes, yam, potatoes, plantain frying or roasting; selling of fruits in strategic locations; and bulk purchase of items from specific markets for onward retailing (the profit is unbelievable); amid other engagements like home tutorials; frozen foods; and second-hand clothing. The possibilities are endless. Couples—and indeed everyone—need alternative channels of income now more than ever before as one source of revenue has become insufficient.
The fad is role reversal. This is doing what is traditionally expected of the other person. For instance, events can make a mother to become the bread winner, which is conventionally a husband’s responsibility. This essentially involves rent in case of tenancy, school fees and feeding money. Loss of job or source of regular income can cause this. What happens on such rare occasions is that the woman becomes arrogant, disrespectful and even saucy simply because “levels don change”! This period calls for caution and sensitivity on the mother’s part, not rudeness. The Bible enjoins wives to be holistically submissive to their husbands and respect them—“as to the Lord”—while their husbands reciprocally love them. If the chemistry is not right, tiffs are likely to be perpetual and even affect matrimonial orgy and all other incidentals!
Most wars between nations are caused by wrong communication. Overtime, it has been proved that this, too, causes disaffection in homes. Some mothers have unbridled, acerbic, provocative, caustic, scathing and vitriolic tongues. They employ intemperate language when they are enraged by their husbands or children! Once there are fruits of love in a marriage or, indeed, any family relationship as captured in Ephesians Chapters 5 and 6 (by extrapolation) there cannot be malice, anger, hatred and violent exchange of words/fisticuffs between romantic couples.
Motherhood entails that when upset by anyone within or outside the home there should be restraint, feministic candour and maturity in vocal reaction (speech/utterance/talkback). In cordial times, equally, there should be continual exchange of productive information that would be beneficial to the family—not gossip! A virtuous mother should not curse her husband or children because such an indiscretion has far-reaching, life-long dire consequences that will ultimately haunt the entire family.
Perhaps, one of the worst crimes a mother can commit is to derisively compare her husband with other husbands or men generally. Most mothers, regrettably, are fond of this discord—they always fan its ember at the slightest opportunity. This hurts all self-respecting men who crave spousal loyalty. Mothers, no matter the degree of your anger, bottle up your diatribes and tantrums to foreclose domestic mayhem.
Most marital break-ups have been attributed to poor sexual relationships among couples. A good number of mothers always give excuses when their husbands demand sex. It is either the toll of the day or one “energy-sapping” church programme or another! Some tell their husbands that they are not in the mood—this is laughable.
Mothers, please note that sex is one of the most critical elements of marriage for copious reasons beyond procreation. It is very therapeutic and enhances bonding between the sexes immeasurably more than any other thing. Legal intercourse is not a favour, but an inalienable right of both partners, at any safe time and place. No spouse should be denied of the two-way/reciprocal intimacy even if there are responsibility failures. It is only genuine indisposition (ill-health) that could acceptably stop the passionate urge.
The contraindication of this is that the man or woman may be encouraged to seek carnal pleasure/satisfaction elsewhere with probable fatalistic consequences of infidelity: unwanted mistress pregnancy, contraction of HIV-AIDS and sexually-transmitted infections. COVID-19 could also be on the lustful card!
Above all, there is no romance without finance, conventionally. The greatest danger/fallout is that any or all of these amorous manifestations will subsequently and inevitably visit the recalcitrant/uncaring/unemotional/unresponsive “accomplice” at home—usually the woman! Every mother should always remember that some of her copious “competitors” out there are fetish and could cast a potent spell on your man to get his attention or snatch him possibly at all costs! A mother has a greater role to play in the upbringing of children, particularly the girl-child. Parents—especially mothers—are natural role models to their offspring.
The role modelling in focus is the one with a positive architecture. A mother who wears skimpy dresses, exposes parts of God’s temple, drinks alcohol excessively, smokes and quarrels with neighbours is a negative role model, a bad influence on her children. Our children copy whatever we parents exhibit and they internalize them without departing from them when they attain adulthood. A mother in a constantly changing world must be someone whose behaviour, attitudes, etc. her children try to copy because they admire them. In this our supersonically dynamic world, mothers emphatically should take deep interest in the friends that our children keep because of the deleterious nature of peer pressure. A bad friend, associate, companion, acquaintance, school mate, colleague, co-worker (for those already working) can make your child to derail irredeemably. Belief in faith healing is good when it is not pursued foolishly. God helps those who help themselves. Get medical attention first when ill and follow it up with prayers—do not put the cart before the horse by solely depending on divine healing. It is not efficacious always. Diligently running from one church/ministry to another in pursuit of deliverance, miracles and prosperity is antithetical to profound motherhood. God is everywhere.
A mother in this dynamic world is expected to network with other women. Such associations open windows of opportunities and illimitable possibilities in terms of business leveraging, access to vital information, ideas and prospects that can transform one’s life. It also leads to new contacts that could be beneficial in one way or another. The lofty meetings, too, could result in pooling of resources for bulk purchasing by three or more women in the same neighbourhood, preferably, which guarantees economies of scale that culminate in huge savings and better management of scarce financial resources.
Your career challenges, business engagements, spiritual commitments and other multifarious idiosyncrasies should not be allowed to endanger your God-assigned motherhood. You must strike a balance. Your family comes first. If your husband is spiritually weak, take charge fully by being the priest of the home.
Learn to apologize anytime there is a misunderstanding. “I am sorry” makes a lot of difference during squabbles. It will not remove anything from you—rather it assures you an inestimable peace of mind. Being obstinate (stubborn) will only complicate matters and leave a burden on your heart. Your husband is the ordained Lordship that you see! A mother recently asked me to wit: if her husband is wrong, should she be the one to apologize? In Nigeria, nay Africa, a husband cannot be wrong in all circumstances because of the supremacy of his cultural, “presidential” (as earlier mentioned) and spousal authority. It is the eternal duty of a mother to always apologize to her husband irrespective of who is wrong, if he so desires. Feminism and rights equality as practised elsewhere cannot hold water here on grounds of our generational peculiarities!
May God interminably bless your motherhood and grant you blissful marriage, good children and reasonable, caring and loving husbands. And so shall it be!
Constructive interventions are welcome from both sexes (mothers and husbands). Potential spouses can also contribute.