As I sat there brooding and worrying about my son, a lady of about my age walked up to me. She said she had been watching me from afar and that it looked to her that I am in deep pains. I smiled at her and thanked her for showing concern and then told her that I was ok.  I expected her to leave but instead, she sat down by me touched me and said “You can Share. A problem shared is a problem half solved”

That was not the first time I heard a statement like that but in some way I felt lighter within me and was comfortable with discussing with this lady. So I told her that I was thinking of my son and that I was really confused on what to do. This time she drew closer to me, nodded and told me to go on. I sighed and after about three minutes, I began to narrate it all to her…..
2 years ago my son got married to his lovely wife. After their wedding they moved to western Nigeria because his wife got a lecturing job in one of the universities there; the same university my last son attends.
Because of my love for them whenever my last son leaves for school I’d buy lots and lots of food stuffs for him to take to them. This went on for about a year and 8 months until one faithful day when my son called me from school. He was lamenting heavily, begging me to please send him money.  I was very surprised because he had only left for school 3 days ago and I had settled him as usual. So I asked what the problem was. Hhhmmmm that was when the poor boy narrated to me all that had been happening for the past 1year and 8 months…..
“Mummy!” …he said.
Do you know that every time I go to school with those loads and many food items, I end up using all the money you gave me for personal keeps to settle the additional transportation charges on the loads? I do that hoping that senior bro would settle me but when I arrive, he and his wife would only thank me and give me nothing. 
I often leave to school hungry with little or no cash and left to beg others for about a month when you’d send something. I’d been bearing this because I know how you are struggling and I don’t want to cause issues between you and them.
Now I left 2 days ago and the same thing happened. I can’t bear hunger this time. I have tried. What baffles me the most is that I still go through all the registration stress and other stressful protocols that students who know Someone or have lecturer friends don’t go through. Time without number I have begged my brother’s wife to help me. She’d tell me no problem. But before i know it I’d get a call from senior brother warning me that…..

… warning me to stop disturbing his wife and that I am old enough to care for myself. Even when I had an issue with my result, the same thing happened. I can’t bear this anymore so please send me money…” …. he lamented.

I was shocked to hear this. I was mute for some minutes and then I promised to send him the last money on me the next day.
I love my son’s wife so much that you needed to see the way I genuinely adore her. I always call her sweet names and whenever she comes to visit I don’t allow her do any chores. It is my love for her that makes me sacrifice so much in sending foodstuffs and cooked food to her.
So after the call from my younger son I called my son’s wife. I praised her, joked with her etc and then begged her not to get angry with what I wanted to tell her. Her response was cheerful. So I went ahead to tell her what my younger son had told me.
I pleaded with her and told her that I saw her as my representative there to help me guide and care for this boy. I told her to take him like her son. I told her to please do what she knew I would do for him over there. After I was done she thanked me and told me she’ll adjust. I was very glad at her response so I called my younger son to calm down and to tell him that the issue has been solved.
4 hours later the older son called me. He greeted me and then asked me what I did to his wife.  He said he came back from work to meet his wife in a very moody state and after inquiring on the cause of her moodiness she told him what I said. Then he began to scream at me saying…
“leave my wife alone! Don’t ever cause trouble in my home again! Efe is old enough to take care of himself! My wife has done nothing wrong! Don’t ever hurt her again!” and then hung up on me.
I was shocked and then moved to tears. I couldn’t believe it was my son talking to me like that after all I had done for him and his wife. After giving it all a thought I resolved to stop sending them foudstuffs.
But, 2 months later, Efe sent me an urgent text in the middle of the night. I just didn’t know what to at all. The text read thus…
“Mummy, I came to senior bro’s house for the weekend so that I could settle down to do a very tasking assignment we were given by a lecturer at school. But to my surprise this morning, I developed a very serious tooth ache and headache that I couldn’t even get up from the bed so I didn’t wash his car.
His wife asked me what the problem was since I didn’t wash the overnight dishes so, I told her what was wrong with me. She smiled and left the room just to hear senior bro’s voice at the door of the room 30 mins. later. He was dressed and set for work. As soon as he entered the room he began to scold me for not washing the car and dishes and when I tried to inform him of my terrible tooth ache, he gave me a very dirty slap and left. Mummy, I have been left in the room all day. No food! No money! No care!
I’m in pains. I can’t talk. That’s why I’m texting you. I just don’t know what to do” … his text read.
In fact, I peed in my pants after reading his text. I got up packed a few things and got ready to leave to the West, first thing in the morning.
I kept praying all through the journey and when I arrived there, I saw the truth for myself. My boy was still in that room groaning in pains. I didn’t mind any of them I just went straight to my boy and took him to the hospital. That was when they realized that he was saying the truth and that he wasn’t pretending at all. So, they joined me to the hospital.
I stayed there with him for about a week before returning home. Before I returned home I called my son and his wife to speak with them. After saying what I had to say, they didn’t say a word. They just kept staring at me in the face. I left with great sadness.
I returned yesterday and I’m really depressed. What have I done wrong?
What really is the problem? Why is my son treating us like this?” I concluded.
Then this lady who have been listening to my story began to speak. I was really shocked to hear the things she said to me….
“Well, I have heard all you said. What your son is doing is good but not done right. From what you said it seems they married recently and it’s very possible that they feel it’s too early to be bothered. In short they want to be alone.
 Whenever you want to do something good for newly weds it’s wise to ask them first in regards to the food stuffs and cooked food you were sending over to them. 
Do you know that the things you have been sending might have been making his wife feel you don’t trust her to take good care of your son? Do you know she might have been seeing your gifts as a means of trying to control her home?
It’s true you were doing it with good intentions but it’s a wise thing to ask them first to avoid assumptions and jumping to conclusions.
Again, I feel she refused to help your younger son because she might have thought she was been taken advantage of. I have observed that Young New wives always want respect accorded to them. They hate it when they are been forced to be loyal. Love her, respect her decisions, give her space and she’d be loyal to you more than you can ever imagine.
It’s a sure fact that by default new wives are always very careful with mother in laws so they don’t get taken for granted.
I would also want to draw your attention to the manner of approach of your younger son when asking her for help or talking to her. It’s possible that he may have been acting “IT’S MY BROTHER’S HOUSE….YOU ARE OUR WIFE….”
Finally, it’s good to be friendly with your daughter in law but please allow the relationship to grow over time with mutual respect.” She ended.
Trust me, I didn’t like her advice but I just decided to follow it since I didn’t have any thing in mind to do about the situation. That same day I called my younger son and spoke to him to respect and honor his senior brother’s wife like his elder sister.
From that day I formed the habit of always seeking her opinion before sending things to them. And every time I wante to send them things She always made me reduce the items I intended to send and always never hesitated to send the lion share of the money to purchase them. She often appreciated me for saving her from the stress of going to market and have happily invited me over a couple of times to spend time with them. Aside that she now flows well with my younger son.
After following that lady’s advice and after seeing its results I had a personal observation that I’d love to share….
“Indeed when a man marries, he leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife. His wife is automatically in control. Never be offended because he is still your son. Just sincerely embrace his wife with respect and she’ll loose him for you but whenever she senses a threat to her authority and right, she’ll hold him back.”
I am glad I have my son back to care for me but not for me to control him. I only suggest and respect with everything in me, his wife’s decisions whether good or bad because I know and honor her as the mother of his home. Thank you!


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