TO ALL THE MEN WHO ARE MARRIED TO THEIR MOTHERS
I went to make my hair yesterday. I had a weave earlier but took it off because the lady that plaited my hair did it so tightly and gave me a boil on my scalp.
After I healed, I went back to the salon to have braids done instead. The lady who plaited the hair was an apprentice and known as Iya Misturah. (forgive my spelling of Misturah if it’s wrong). I playfully told her that she owed me a bottle of malt and she laughed, replying in the same vein that she would buy me a whole carton instead. She washed my hair and dried it while waiting for my hairdresser to finish up with someone else’s hair. We got gisting in the salon and we were on the topic of overbearing mothers-in-law. Iya’s Misturah’s husband’s mother was one of them.
Now, remember that question you probably came across on Twitter or on Facebook where it says:
“What would you do, if you returned home from work or a journey only to find your 3 months old baby re-branded this way by your own mother or mother-in-law from the village?
Well, I never thought I would meet a living example of that question until I met Iya Misturah and her daughter, Misturah.
As the story goes, a short time after Misturah was born, Iya Misturah went to buy some things in the market and returned to find her baby all marked up. Not like the picture above but she was left with three big tribal marks. One on her chin and two each on her cheeks. Iya Misturah, as you guessed, was devastated. Her husband was not in but when he returned and saw what happened to his first born child, he went livid – only for an hour or so. Because his mom drew him to a corner and he came back subdued. He called his wife aside, apologized on his mother’s behalf, telling her it was tradition and that if she loved him she would forgive his mother. Iya Misturah didn’t know what to do. And as much as she was pained and angry, she had to let it pass.
But I asked her, as she told me the story, how do you let that type of thing pass? And she shrugged and said “wetin I wan do? My husband love im mama pass anybody for dis world.”
My hair dresser hissed. “It is you who allowed him to become like that.”
“Aunty, wetin you want make I do? Na so God take dash me my own.”
I was silent for a while. The story shocked me. I had always thought Misturah’s tribal marks came from the hands or consent of her own parents. I couldn’t believe it had been done to her in such a criminal way. I was upset. I mean, if it was me, God knows I wouldn’t be speaking to my mother-in-law till date. And she would never be welcomed in my home. You don’t disfigure my child’s face in my absence, without asking me, and do it so callously and you expect me to welcome you with open arms because my husband came out of your womb. If my own mother did it, her punishment would even be worse. I cannot trust such a person.
So at this point, I voiced my opinion and my hairdresser added a “gbam!”
Another woman there laughed at us (cos she was quite older) and said, we were just talking because we were young and had heady ideas about such situations. She said if it happened to us, we would forget the incidence as the years go by.
“How can I forget when I’m looking at my child’s face every day?” my hairdresser asks. “Aunty forget o. I no fit. Even Jesus sef go understand.”
Later on, Iya Misturah asked me if there was surgery that could be done to correct her daughter’s face. I gave her hope and told her to work hard and earn money for the surgery. Something could be done. Meanwhile I advised that she looked around for other remedies to reduce scarring.
Looking into the mirror, I saw the sadness on her face. Again, I put myself in her shoes and wondered. What if it was my child? How would I have felt? Especially knowing that the criminal who disfigured her face in the name of a barbaric tradition is going around without as much as getting a scolding because I have a husband I love who loves her more?
See, I don’t just get men whose mothers control their lives. Or men who see their mothers as the only specimen of good women out there. I used to know this guy who felt all women were useless and deserved to be controlled by men and equality amongst the sexes was shit. But when you asked about his mother, he would go “she’s an exception”. And yet he was a married man. Made me wonder what his wife was going through.
We see the scenario in Nollywood movies a lot, where mothers-in-law come into homes to wreak havoc. I was in a bus the other morning and a preacher woman, after talking about the fornicators, smokers and adulterers, begged mothers to go easy on their son’s wives. And I was laughing. If the matter has become a topic for preachers, then it’s no joke.
But you can’t help but wonder why it is so. The answer is simple: The sons of these overbearing mothers are to blame. Would a mother-in-law enter a woman’s house and be a source of sadness for her if the woman’s husband had not made that happen either by commission or by omission?
This tweet is a good example of what I’m talking about: “I don’t care how beautiful she is,I can NEVER love a girl even after marriage more than my mother.”
When I read that, I considered the person a kid who was yet to see life or to experience the true meaning of love. But I immediately corrected myself on the ‘kid’ part. Wasn’t the person writing this adult enough to know the difference between a wife and mother? Wasn’t Misturah’s father a grown ass man?
Look, I’m not against a man loving his mother to a fault or having this image of her being guiltless. What I am against is when a man doesn’t know how to take his lips off his mother’s breasts and learn to chew the tough meat of love. He has become comfortable being loved and not caring about loving another person back selflessly. Because a mother’s love is self-sacrificing and openhanded at all times, guys like this have become so spoilt that all they want to do is take and take and if a girl is not giving them like mama does, then she ain’t good enough. You will find out that they are the type of men that demand from their wives and give nothing back other than the basic money. Yes, I said basic because money can like to take the backseat when real, unconditional love shows up. Hence, these men have years of memories in their heads filled with their mothers’ unrestricted loving in their lives and unless their women can go back and double up what their mothers have done, they have no concrete footing in their hearts. Basically, what I’m saying is that they measure their wives on the scale of what their mothers have done. And we all know—you, me, Google and the idiot down there—that these women will always fall short.
For the type of men I mentioned above, I have little respect. I put them right after the category of men who hit and rape women and I have no apologies for that. They always end up hurting their significant others. Their mothers can never do wrong and even when it’s glaring that they have done wrong, they excuse them at the detriment of the woman who deserves their love more.
Are you one of those guys? Please repent. You cannot marry your mother. You cannot have sex with or kids by her. You cannot spend happily ever after with her. And if you do plan to do all these, there’s a nice place in hell for you. So please, repent.
The love of a mother, if it cannot help you grow, is destructive. If loving and being loved by her does not inspire you to get up and be a man, and face flawed women out there in the world, and have your heart broken and torn and your ass cheated and yet still find it somewhere in you to love again, then your mother has not taught you much in life. She has only taught you to ‘run back to mommy’ anytime someone pushes on the playground of life. She has only made you mommy’s boy and it doesn’t matter how old you’ll grow to be, you will always be tied to her apron strings. Even when she dies, she will live on in your head and you will continue to measure yourself by the indelible but caustic marks she has left in you.
In case, you are still having trouble knowing the true role of your mother, let me make it easy.
|MOTHER||WIFE/ FIANCEE/ GIRLFRIEND|
|Related to you by blood||Not related to you by blood|
|She slept with someone else to have you||You sleep with her to have someone else|
|You came out from her vagina||You go into her vagina|
|You sucked her boobs to survive||You suck her boobs for pleasure|
|You might never be wrong in her eyes||You will sometimes be wrong in her eyes|
|You learn from her||Your learn with her|
|She can’t shake her booty for you||She definitely can|
One of the reasons I love my husband is because he respects his mother to death but tells her she is wrong when she is wrong, unflinchingly. And if it concerns me, he still tells her she has been unfair to me if she has; same way he reprimands me when it concerns her. So far, his honesty has not killed his mother. He is still her baby boy but she sees a man when she looks at him and respects him thus. I’m sure she pats herself on the back for raising such a fine specimen. In addition, he has earned me points on her side and these days if she wants to get him to do something or ask anything of him, she goes through me, knowing if all else fails, I am the only one who can get through to him.
Am I not lucky? 😉
Anyways, these are my final thoughts: A good man helps his wife become a mother. Nobody went to mothering school the moment they were born; and it goes the same with fatherhood. So instead of being fixated on your woman becoming like your mother, why not try to be a good father and husband to her? And please, freaking cut the strings off your mother’s apron! If snipping off the umbilical cord didn’t kill either of you at birth, dude you can make it.
Have a great evening!
And before I forget, way to go, Super Eagles!