It will sound like a warning to all women, whether old or young. There is a clear and present need to have a mind set in women everywhere. Certain things that happened have made one begin to ask how people sleep when they retire to their beds with horrible attitudes. It warms the heart that these things are being exposed through social media.
Over the years, we have heard the careless statement that women are enemies to themselves. Even though I disagree with that entirely but there are some extreme cases that you would begin to think twice.
Consider this case involving a woman whose son took home to his parents, a soul mate he wanted to marry. His mother welcomed the lady but was uncomfortable with her heavy make-up (which apparently likened to coating her face with paint). While reminiscing and exchanging greetings, Mama stood up, stepped out and came back with a bowl of water with soap in her hand and a fresh towel hung on her wrist. She asked the lady in question to wash off her make-up because she wanted to see her natural face. Mama suspected that the lady was old for her son and probably covered her wrinkles with layers of powder. What an attitude! Did Mama do well? Absolutely not! She did not do well. She had no business embarrassing the lady, the would-be daughter in-law. She should have respected the lady and allowed her to take her leave before exhibiting whatever attitude.
The next question is: did the lady obey the instruction of a would-be-mother-in-law? No, she did not and from that moment inherited name callings. The environment became tense and it was no longer a palatable visit. The first contact between the man’s mother and the intended spouse ended in a fierce manner instead of a cordial relationship developing.
Of course, the two lovers might go on and allow their relationship continue to blossom, but Mama would, by her ill-advised action, have created a gulf between herself and the lady. If she eventually comes into the family, it will take the grace of God to unify them again. Both Mama and would-be-daughter-in-law are women. This is one of the things a woman should not do to another woman. Christmas is by the corner. Please mothers, your sons will bring fiancées, to introduce them to the family. Assess them with decorum and respect. It is also your right not to like her, but please don’t embarrass her, she is human.
Another daughter-in-law saw the anger in her mother-in-law’s face for wearing her husband’s boxer shorts at home. “Is that the kind of clothes you wear, what are you teaching the children? How to be naked?” thundered the mother-in-law, who came on a short visit at the invitation of her son. The visit was of course okay, but the remark was a case of crossing the boundaries. It was not wrong for lady to wear the husband’s boxer shorts. Really, I think Mama is choking the son’s relationship with his wife because both may be the types that walk around their home in skimpy clothes, but Mama’s presence constricted the expression of this domestic freedom in their own home. Christmas is coming, your children might be visiting during the yuletide, please do not make the home a very uncomfortable place for your daughter-in-law. Remember your own daughters are not perfect – someone is tolerating them. Be strong women together and do not show unnecessary power where it is not needed.
I will again urge women to borrow a leaf from a sister who actually is separated from her husband, but her mother-in-law remains her best friend. From the grapevine, the very accomplished and empowered woman worked herself to become Mama’s friend as the second daughter-in-law. Her marriage was not getting the solution, and eventually hit the rock. But because of her good qualities, her mother-in-law gave her a pet name, ‘my joy.’ Mama knew and agreed that her son was not the best; raising him was a hard knuckle for his parents but with age and education, he looked a bit matured. Both met in the university, fell in love and married. The union produced three children. It was headache all the way until the lady drew the curtain and she walked out with her life intact. Mama having been privy to everything that transpired simply did not blame her daughter-in-law. The two women supported themselves so much so that they became the envy of the family even after she had separated from the son. She practically painted the city red when Mama’s first granddaughter got married. The moment Mama announced the marriage ceremony of her first grand-daughter, the amiable daughter-in-law told her to rest and took over immediately. Both wore the same outfit. She paid and instructed the caterers to prepare food and drinks for Mama’s three hundred guests. It was at the reception that other mothers wished to be this Mama. As the Master of Ceremony introduced her to the high table as the grandmother of the day, daughter in-law danced alongside Mama and both became a cynosure of all eyes. Even the MC coined a phrase ‘mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, scarf to scarf, blouse to blouse, wrapper to wrapper; what a beautiful glorious day.”
This daughter-in-law should be very smart and sow good seeds. A day will come and her own daughter-in-law will celebrate and she will reap the fruits of her labour. I give kudos to women who support fellow women. Many programmes initiated by women to uplift, celebrate and support others have emerged with the futuristic women. It is really interesting to see that women are gradually becoming their own friends, and I mean real friends. Women stood up for each other during the COVID-19 pandemic as they gave cash gifts as well as foodstuff to other women.
Looking back at 2007, one recalls that Dr Sarah Jibril, who contested election as a female presidential candidate in the country, got just one vote. Apparently the vote was the one she cast for herself. Well, my answer is that, there is a second chance. Moreover, trends and events are changing. The society is getting bigger and wider as the day passes by. Recently, United States female senator, Kamala Harris made history with the support of the women, and emerged as the Vice President-elect. In her speech, she declared: “I might be the first woman to become the Vice President of United States of America, but will not be the last.” This is the thinking of a revolutionary and innovative woman.
There have been various scenarios where women stood and held each other’s hands. When a girl or woman is raped, molested, violated, abused, badly treated by whoever, fellow women rise up immediately in their defence. It was not so in the olden days when they were unnecessarily at loggerheads for no reason. To think that two girls met themselves in a boy’s house, instead of fighting, they rather bonded and became friends. They connived and taught the boy how not to disrespect women again.
Women have grown to become their own best friends; it is only a few women who are still showing undue power. But the new generation of ladies are taking their rightful place because mothers-in-law were once daughters-in-law. Things are really taking shape and should be for the better. There was the story of a mother-in-law whose son was imprisoned in a foreign country. When she visited her daughter-in-law and saw her courageous nature, diligence, hard work, sincerity of heart and the effort she was making with the little resources her husband left behind, Mama encouraged her to get a date if she so desired. In her words “If you wish to have a relationship, you are permitted, except you are not interested. You have proved your worth.”
Dear Nigerian women, there has been a big turnaround in life. Unnecessary bickering, argument, gossiping and pull-her-down syndrome has never been beneficial to anyone. It rather destroys and closes doors of progress. Be of good cheer women!