By Bisi Olominu
The Bible, the book of wisdom from God says, “What God has joined together, no man should put asunder”, but quite a pity nowadays that many mothers are putting the relationship between them and their husbands asunder when their daughters put to bed by spending many months to help with the care of the new baby.
Some mothers even go overseas to help their daughters take care of their children while fathers stay at home to cook, wash and do the house chores for several months especially where the remaining children are in boarding schools or in universities across the land.
In some cases, their absence has led to deaths of many husbands due to lack of care and loneliness.
Some mothers have destroyed their homes as husbands that could not bear with their actions decide to marry other wives, while others have turned to concubines for pleasure or completely sending the wives packing from their homes.
How many months should a mother take to help with the care of her daughter’s children? Should a mother just limit herself to the first child? Should the father also go along with the mother?
Speaking on the issue, a parent, Mrs. Odunayo Adeyemi said that a mother, if the house is in order, can spend at least one year to help her daughter to take care of the first baby.
According to her, “So far the new mother does not have the experience and is new to the technique of nurturing a new born baby, it is good for such a mother to teach her daughter on how to manage the new baby.
“If there are other children at home that can take care of the husband or a good house help, the mother can take the opportunity to teach the new mother techniques of bathing and handling the new born baby. It is not easy for a new mother as she needs assistance of an experienced mother to tutor her on how to handle things. We have seen a situation where a new born mother mistakenly killed the new born baby when feeding it.
“To go for that length of time, you must have the consent of your husband. Both of you must agree and if he says that you should use just two or three months with your daughter, such a woman should comply with her husband’s decision.”
When asked if the husband too can join in taking care of the new born, Mrs. Adeyemi said it is not a good idea. According to her, it is a sign of broken home adding that both husband and wife should not embark on such thing as it would send a bad signal to the in-law that the home was not settled.
Also speaking, the Olu of Abusoro, Chief Olajide Adeoye Adaramola posited that there is nothing wrong for a mother to help her daughter to take care of her first child. He however frowned at the excesses of some mothers that abandoned their husbands for several months and even a year.
According to him, “Some women if you give them some miles, they will continue to ask for more. If your agreement is for two or three months, if the place they are is rosy, they will continue to extend the time until you are fed up with their action.
“Yes a new mother needs proper attention, but it should not be at the detriment of the husband. If the woman is staying too much at her daughter’s house to wean a baby, such a daughter should respectively tell her mother to go home to look after her husband.
“This issue has destroyed many homes and has scattered many homes as some mothers have the belief that only they own their daughters and they should enjoy the fruits of their labour. But they forget the husbands trained the children to be somebody in life. If they have gone for few months, they should contemplate to come home to look after their husbands”.
In her opinion, Mrs. Grace Achebe said that a good mother should not use more than two or three months to help her daughter take care of her first child. According to her subsequent children should be allowed to be weaned by the daughter herself.
“Any sensible mother will not allow her husband to suffer just because she is going to help her daughter care for her first child. But many wives are now using that opportunity to neglect their husbands by going for subsequent children born by their daughters.
“It is not a good idea for you to go for a long time to take care of your daughter’s first child while neglecting your husband at home. Before your daughter, there had been your husband and if both of you have not trained her, will she be somebody today?”
Mr. Temitope Sunday said that the issue should not be over flogged as he would not allow his wife to spend ‘eternity’ with their in-law just to take care of her daughter’s children. To him, anything more than a month, his wife should just forget about it. He added that a good mother should not overspend her time as this often results in insult and abuse of privilege.
He said further that when a woman abuses the privilege of staying it sometimes infringes on the privacy of the family and staying too much by mothers in houses can create tension and put their daughters’ marriage in jeopardy.
“As far I am concerned, my wife cannot stay more than three weeks or a month”.
Mrs. Olufunmi Monica asserted that it is always a thing of joy for one to see one’s granddaughter or grandson but this should not be to diminish the supremacy of one’s husband. She said further that mothers should not overstay they should just help for some weeks or a month, teach their daughters the nitty-gritty of handling new born babies and depart when the ovation is loudest.
“There’s time for everything under the face of the earth. When a mother has been with her daughter for just a month, it is enough to go back home and be with her husband that’s her first love. When it is done more than a month, it is an excess”.
To help one’s daughter to take care of her child is a good thing and a great joy, according to Pa Reuben Ajileye but there must be moderation in it. He said that the welfare of the husband must be paramount and the wife should not agree for just a month with her husband and later change it to five months.