I visit one Facebook group after another and in response to a frustrated wife’s question on how to handle a bossy, over-demanding and inconsiderate mother-in-law, some people say, “Treat her exactly the way you’ll treat your biological mother. You won’t have any problems”
I disagree, brethren. Sister Chisimchere cannot treat her EXACTLY the way she’ll treat her biological mother.
If my mother arrives my house unannounced at 6pm while I’m singing aloud in the kitchen, clad in my orange-coloured cotton bumshorts, preparing fried rice for my husband and instead of going to have a shower and await her share of my romantic Friday dinner, decides to announce that she arrived with ugu and waterleaf and will rather have pounded yam and vegetable soup for dinner. Two things will happen:
I will lead her by the hand to my bedroom and show her the pink bed sheets with red roses lining the distance from the door to the bed. I’ll point to the scented candles on the bedside and grin broadly. I shall remind her that no (wo)man is to put asunder what God has joined together and that includes disrupting Friday Night Live which must commence at 8 pm, thirty minutes after a dinner of fried rice and grilled chicken.
I will rinse the mortar and pestle and set it in the middle of the kitchen. I’ll be a nice girl and put the washed vegetables in a sieve to drain. I’ll let her know my kitchen will be free for her use in a few minutes time and promise not to interrupt her while she prepares her dinner.
My mother has known me for two decades and counting. She’s aware of the things the daughter she raised can do. She has stubbornness and strong-will running in her veins and knows that a snake can only birth that which is long. She will humble herself and behave well for the house upon which her feet tread is mine, not hers.
Tell me, brethren, how shall I do these things to my mother-in-law without letting all hell loose that night?
So, next time, give better advice. Tell me to tell oga to go and talk some reasoning with his mother. Tell me to politely explain to mama that I am tired from making dinner after a hectic day at work and I need to rest or risk a breakdown. Do not, for the love of peace and family unity, tell me to react exactly the same way I would if it were my biological mother.