A man left his wife in the hospital when she was in labour to go eat Isi ewu (goat head) at a joint. He said he was chilling with his guys when his wife called him to say she was delivered of a baby girl. She told him to come and carry his daughter. The man said he was so happy that he couldn’t eat the Isi ewu delicacy he ordered, he told them to pack it for him as take away. He even said he almost burst his tyre while parking in the hospital be- cause of excitement.
A man tweeted this recently to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday. He called her a star and wished her many things. Pause. One thing I don’t understand is why a man would openly reveal how uncaring he is on his daughter’s birthday. Why would a man leave a woman between life and death to go and eat Isi ewu with his friends? What if he was needed at the hospital for an emergency? What happened to being by his wife’s side, praying for her and encouraging her with loving and kind words?
Growing up, I knew a man who abandoned his wife at the hospital be-cause she gave birth to twin girls. According to him, his wife lied to him that she was expecting twin boys. He said that paying for hospital bills was waste of money. Even after the doctor told him that the delivery was complicated and his wife almost died having twins through vaginal birth at her age, he didn’t care. He left her with the girls in the hospital for almost a week before her brothers paid for her bills and brought her home back to him.
This man didn’t care that his brothers-in-law brought their sister back to him after he treated her badly. He refused to name the girls. He called them bastards. He refused to carry them, buy them clothes or even provide money for food so that his breastfeeding wife can feed them well. This woman and her daughters survived on the money well wishers and family members gave her. She begged this man to stop treating the girls like non human beings but he refused. He even started beating her for giving birth to girls.
Do I blame this man or others like him? No. I don’t blame them for being so wicked, heartless and inhumane. I blame Nigerian women who want to prove they are super women all the time and downplay the pain they go through bringing children into this world. Every woman who has carried a pregnancy to term and given birth has stories to tell of how she survived. It’s a life and death situation. During delivery, there’s a 50 percent chance that something might go wrong and a woman might die. So, I don’t know why Nigerian men think it’s a walk in the park.
There’s another story of a man who came home from work and met his wife writhing in pain. He asked her what was going on and she told him she was in labour. He asked her why she didn’t go to the hospital yet and she said she wanted him to accompany her. He hissed, removed him clothes and started watching TV. According to him, his wife is a drama queen who just wanted him to go with her to the hospital because she wanted to show everybody that she was controlling him. He said his mother had seven of them without their father being present and he didn’t understand why he should accompany a woman who is in labour to the hospital.
This woman left the house heartbroken. She realized she was alone. She needed her husband to be with her at a crucial time in her life but he denied her that pleasure. The sad thing was that this woman was an orphan and she thought she had a friend in her husband. He was home watching television while she was groaning alone in a hospital room to bring his child into this world. Is that not wickedness? If this woman abandons her husband during surgery in the hospital to stay home watching television or go hanging out with the girls, won’t this society crucify her?
I know another man who claims that men don’t have to be in the labour room with their wives because they are not strong enough to with- stand the pain these women are going through. This is hogwash. If you can- not withstand the pain your wife is going through while bringing your child into the world, don’t get her pregnant. It’s that simple. If you cannot be with your wife offering her your support when she’s dangling between life and death, you are a very heartless human being. The funny thing is that men who leave their wives alone during child-birth want to be cared for and nursed by these same women when they have malaria. Such selfish beings!
There are exceptions though. I have seen men dance with their wives in labour, hold their hands, pray for them, rub their backs, clean their sweat and even insist on being in the labour room when their children are born. These men are the real deal. They are the ones who should be called husbands not the ones who go to eat Isi ewu with the boys while expecting their wonder women wives to do their thing alone as if these women impregnated them- selves.
The fact that some people don’t see anything wrong with what that Isi ewu man did reveals how a lot of Nigerians were raised. They were raised without love, compassion and care. They grew up in toxic families and have come to normalize bad behavior. The sad thing is that it is even women who are saying he didn’t have to be in the hospital while his wife was about to give birth to their child. These women have been so abused and treated without love that they think irresponsible behavior is okay. It is sad that it is women who are supporting men to treat other women badly.
Some men also said that it’s not a must for a husband to be in the hospital when his wife is in labour. I hope it is also not a must for a woman to be in the hospital when her husband is undergoing surgery. I hope she gets to go have fun while the man is on the operating table without blinking.
If she tweets that she is chilling with her girls eating Isi ewu and waiting for the man to call her that the surgery was successful, I hope you people will applaud her. I hope you people will understand that it’s her own way of dealing with the tension. I hope all these excuses won’t transform to insults when we flip the script. I just hope so.
Dear Nigerian men, the fact that your fathers treated your mothers without love and understanding doesn’t mean that you should continue in their foot- steps. You should unlearn bad behaviour and stop justifying wickedness. It doesn’t make sense. Treat your wives with love and respect just like you expect them to do the same. Love and care for your wives. Be present during your children’s births. Stop leaving your wives alone to bring your children into this world, it’s not fair.