It was early morning in the courtroom. Three lawyers were chatting as the business of the day has not commenced. One of them was sharing his experience how he had been coping since his wife relocated abroad to take care of their newly born grandchild. He seemed bitter over his wife prolonged stay overseas as he disclosed to his friends that he had a mistress whom he stayed with whenever his wife travelled. They all described as insensitive the habit of some mothers that spend a long period of time at their children’s homes. SUNMOLA OLOWOOKERE speaks with men on how long they could allow their wives to stay away from home to take care of their grandchildren. Excerpts :
It is just a normal norm in Nigeria most especially in Yoruba race. But this act always affect we men. To be sincere, imagine a man between 65-75 years of age in that situation.
He would find it difficult to have what he likes to eat at appropriate time. As for me, I will not say she must not go but within 3-5 weeks, she must come back to stay with her first love.
There is no problem if a woman like my aged wife goes to take care of our grandchild particularly if the child is inexperienced in taking care of a new born baby. But to me, the duration has to be restricted to a certain period of time. The time should not exceed six months.
This is my personal experience. I lost my parents over two decades ago to a ghastly motor accident the same day. As I was growing up, I planned to move my mother in law to stay in my house when I got married.
Immediately we got married, she moved in with us and for over five years she was living with us. And honestly she is truly a mother. However it got to a point that my wife’s siblings stylishly came to move mama away.
Although she was not happy about it, but there was nothing she could do as she was moved overseas. She is a widow anyway.
For those that stayed too long at their children’s place, I think that may not be good enough particularly if their place is not spacious enough and her husband is still alive.
Well, concerning the number of months a woman should stay with her child who has just given birth, I feel that it is not ideal for a woman to leave her husband because one of the marriage vows they both made is that they will stay together till death do them part, in sickness or health and in any other condition.
But these days things have changed. Women now behave the way they like. They leave their husbands to live in their children houses.
The man you are leaving behind, how do you expect him to cope? Like a 65 year old man who is retired and without any househelp, how do you want him to cope? Do you want him to be looking for young girls and boys in the streets to help him buy food? It is not normal.
It is an abnormality which we have developed and which should not be. But you know women, they like to be free and do things as they like even if it’s not right.
I have even heard of instances of some of these women who left their matrimonial homes getting into abnormal relationships with their sons in law. This is part of the problems that crops up when we do what we should not do at all.
The longest period I can allow my wife to go and stay with our kids is three months. For those months, I will have to manage because my wife is my friend, my companion, in fact, my everything.
Even for that three months, I will have to stretch myself and I can only agree on the condition that I will be able to talk to her whenever I want.
As for those women that abandon their husbands, they are not serious in their marriage and are taking it for granted. Also love to me, is a strong factor. Where there is love in the union, any of the spouses will not be comfortable living without the other, even the children will already be on the known of this and will not be willing to allow any of them stay longer than necessary.
I agree that taking care of our grandchildren is very important, so I can allow my wife to spend up to a month outside the home. This is because the new mother might not have enough experience to handle the new born baby.
In case she is needed more at our children houses, the maximum I can tolerate her to stay there is three months. By then, I expect our child to have gotten the hang of it.
As for women that spend too long in their children houses, I don’t see the reason why you should stay beyond your welcome if there are no ailments. Your children needs privacy. When you stay too long, you start seeing things you should not see.
There are times they might want to get naughty with each other. They might get angry with each other and may want to express themselves but your presence in the house might an hindrance.
If you live in the same vicinity, there is no need for you to go and stay there. The mother can be going from home and coming to bathe the baby in the morning.
If my wife is going to help our daughter take care of her new born baby, one month within Nigeria is okay. I can allow her to spend two months at the maximum if it’s first issue or there is medical issue involved. Also, two months outside Nigeria or 3 months maximum is okay.
I’m not in support of some women that abandoned their husbands to stay for a long period in their children houses.
The children as couple have their own life to live and family to take care of.