My last major fight with my Mother

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I grew up in a house ruled by fear!

Well, that could be considered an exaggeration.

What I meant to say is that the fear of my mum was the beginning of wisdom. Being a school teacher who would later go ahead to work with my dad in his company, it was no surprise that she was a strict disciplinarian. She made it her life's mission to make sure that her children were 'not spoilt'

Caning, spanking and painful punishments were regular guests in the house that sometimes stayed for days on end.

There were advantages to the way my mum raised us but of course there were several disadvantages. The pros included raising disciplined children, who got to learn values very early in life and so much more.

One of the cons is that you will probably not be very close to your parents I.e. You won't be able to open up to them or give them intimate details about your life. This would most likely linger into adulthood.

Another con was that you tend to fear your parents very early in life. This means that you do the right things mostly out of fear, like “I dare not disobey mum or else I'm dead”

And then you grow up to the point where you have to make your own decisions. You are no longer motivated by fear of your mum. It's at this point that some kids choose to rebel. After all, what can mummy do to me? All she would do is shout and shut up. Kids always grow up to be immune to shouting and threatening parents.

Now the danger is if there was no other motivation to do the right things apart from the fear of your parents, you would most likely not do the right things when that fear fizzles out

In my own case, it played out in a funny way.
Apart from the fact that I was raised by a strong disciplinarian, I've always been a strong willed and upright-ish person. I just always wanted to do the right things so there was little tendency for me to stray.

However, when the fear of mum left because the era of caning was over, and we were now immune to shouts, her discipline metamorphosed into making statements like "is that what you will go and do in your husband's house???"

This became my mother's new cane, only that it was verbal this time.
Once you are deemed to have misbehaved, you will hear "is that how you are going to act in your husband's house... your in laws will say you were not trained... God knows I trained you."

This went on for years and years that I even mentioned it in one of my radio interviews that mothers need to start giving their daughters other reasons to behave well apart from ‘the fear of what in-laws will say.’  A woman should have a good character, not because she's been trained to be a good wife material, but because it's good to have a good character and you will be more useful to yourself and society at large with a good character.

Anyway, as we kept growing, we kept hearing "is that what you would go and do in your husband's house?" The annoying part is that the issue being tackled might not even have had anything to do with marriage or character

The irony of it all was that the husband didn't come. We remained as unmarried as hell. 23, 24,25,26,27,28... we still remained unmarried

Anyway, one day, my mum's uncle died and she called me to inform me. I can't remember what exactly happened but I think I was in the middle of something important when she called me. She told me her distant uncle died and I said I knew cos I saw it on my cousins DP, and then I said a half-hearted sorry before proceeding to run away to go and continue my work. Truth is my mum wasn't close to this man or his family. So she called me back and accused me of not showing sympathy and went straight for me saying, "so that's how I will go and behave in my husband's house, to my in-laws, etc."

At this point, I was just tired of everything so I replied her and said...

“And what if I never marry??”

She was shocked to the point of speechlessness. She later gained herself and asked what I meant by that

I said what if I never marry, and I don't go to any husband's house ?

She almost went crazy, going for my jugular, telling me about how I'm the owner of my life, and will live the consequences of my choices. If I like, I should keep acting this way, always being into myself, talking about how there was a woman who was single and lived alone. When she died, no one knew she was dead until months later because she was always into herself, with no friends and no husband.

My mum kept talking and talking. She was really pissed. When she was done, she asked me to leave her sight, which I gladly did without apologies.

I didn't think I did anything wrong. I just asked her a simple question "what if I never get married?"

Funny enough, the next day, when she came back from work, I greeted her and she responded well to me. And that was the end of the fight.

In hindsight, I now know that my mum herself was always driven by fear, to raise us the way she did. She didn't want to be a failure as a mother or raise children that would disgrace her outside.

I got married a year later, but that was the last major fight I can remember

What of you? What is that thing that always causes friction between you and your parents? What was your last fight about?

5 comments

  1. Sighs.

    Our generation is somewhat different in the way we relate to children, ours or loved ones. We are more affectionate and willing to dialogue like adults. I remember my caning episodes too and how I developed immunity to the pains. Those days...
    The last fight with my mum isn't something I am exactly happy about. Some over-the-phone altercation regarding my sister's falling out with her husband. I told her to go see sis and SIL to help settle dispute. She never made it back home. She tripped on her way back and that was it. She was hypertensive.

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    1. Oh my gosh. I'm so so sorry about your loss. I hope you have been able to work out any regrets that might have crept up as a result. Hugs and kisses.

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  2. First off, your statement to your Mom was rude but you were also possibly voicing her silent fear that her daughter will never marry. It's not over yet, now that you are married the parental worry continues...baby in the first year, no divorce, etc. If she didn't love you, she would not care.

    On the discipline thing, I think some people take it too far and resentment starts to build in the child. Others do not balance it with some love, and by love, I do not mean the smothering that we do today. Just simply having interactions with their children that do not involve shouting or beating. The good old escourt me to the bustop, cooking egusi without leaf because you know its the child's favorite, you know, the little things that made childhood special. Children also have different personalities. I know people who's parents seemed lackadaisical and some of them (the kids) turned out alright while others did not. On the other hand, all the dan iska people I have ever met came from scarf tying, strict curfew, fire spitting parents, no nonsense homes.

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    1. Aww, now I feel bad, lol. I've never really been accused of being rude. Mehhnn, being a parent is not beans ooo. It's now that I'm understanding some of my mother's actions.

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  3. My mum and I are always fighting. She has used that line plenty but now she fears I might not marry ever.

    Now she just says, "why are you so stubborn, you never listen but I have sha told you my own."

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