Matters of the heart 24 October 3013

Too many visitors

Dear Aunty Lisa

My wife does not like my relatives. She is moody and uptight each time they visit us. She has been acting all nice and friendly during the first days of our marriage. Now we have been together for just six months she is beginning to show her true colours. Many of my relatives live in the same area as us and they are always coming and checking on us. But my wife seems to no longer want visitors in our home. I don’t understand how she thinks we can live without the love of other people. How do I help her open up to them? – J.J

Dear J.J

If my assumption is right, your relatives have been coming to your home almost on a daily basis. There is nothing wrong in seeing that as love and concern. But your folks need to understand that you are a young couple who have just married. It is important to have some quality time together. Your wife is “moody and uptight” because she misses being with you alone. It is important to have your space early in your marriage so that you continue to learn and appreciate each other more, as well as strengthen the bond you share.

Do not get me wrong. Yes, your relatives are doing all this out of love and concern. You mentioned that your wife was welcoming and friendly during the first days, which is not a very long time ago. If they are frequently visiting, she is now fed up; she has just lost the patience. You two need your space for a while that is the reason why newly-weds go for a honeymoon away from home. She yearns for your touch when you are back from work and she feels far apart from you during that time because there is a “crowd.” Spend more time with your wife alone and she will start to cheer up and be the young lady you know her to be. – Aunty Lisa

Big tummy

Dear Aunty Lisa

I am a woman aged 24, I recently had a baby and I need your help on advice of how to get my body in shape especially my tummy. It is still as big as if I was five months pregnant. – Mai Tadiwa

Dear Mai Tadiwa

Be patient! When you give birth your tummy will not go back to its previous size automatically. Remember, it has been stretching for nine months. You need to use an exercise belt or something comfortable to tie it. Do not leave it untied as it will end up loose and will keep that shape for some time. After birth you can work the muscles back into good shape through exercise. It is not easy though, you will experience some pain and discomfort during the process – but nothing good comes easy.

Doing a programme of regular sit-ups – or abdominal crunches – done properly will trim it back into shape. You will lose a bit of baby fat but I will not tell you that you will get back to your slim body before you were pregnant, especially if you are breast-feeding. This is something you cannot avoid because you need to be well-nourished to produce milk for your little one. Those are part of the bittersweet joys of motherhood. Take it easy, you need to take care of your baby and once you are fit and you have all recovered from labour you can then start exercising. – Aunty Lisa

A bad mother?

Dear Aunty Lisa

I am having a problem in convincing my daughter that teaching as a profession is less remunerating. She has always wanted to be a teacher and I hoped she would change. She has passed her ‘A’ Levels with good points that can earn her a respectable degree programme at the University of Zimbabwe. Am I being a bad mother to tell her that she is setting low goals for herself? – Alice

Dear Alice

You are not necessarily a bad mother by trying to shift you child’s attention elsewhere. You are doing all this out of love. However, you need to realise that your daughter has her own dreams and you can’t stop her from following them. We can advise our children on what is good for them, but we have to let them decide their own future.

But really, being a classroom practitioner is not as bad as you make it sound. Yes, it may be less remunerating when compared to other professions, but at the end of the day a person needs to venture into an industry he or she is passionate about. Being driven by money is not the best way to choose a job. Having a passion for that job is the key. You need to support your daughter and make sure she is following her dreams not yours. Besides, I am convinced the low salaries paid to vital professionals in key sectors like education and health, will be at some stage a thing of the past. – Aunty Lisa

Love potion?

Dear Aunty Lisa

My husband loves his kids so much. He will do anything for them even if it means taking turns with me to bath them and change diapers. People have seen him playing with our youngest baby and carrying her around in the neighbourhood. Now the word is spreading that I gave home some sort of love potion to blind him into doing everything for me. My husband is now seen as a fool and I just do not understand it. What is wrong with my husband doing all that? – D. Shumba

Dear D. Shumba

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your husband doing what he is doing. He is being a great husband and father, a great family man and neither you nor he should be ashamed of that. People will always be people. They want others to live their lives according to their expectations. Well I say tough luck for them! There are couples like you who defy the ‘norm’ for the good of humanity. Your husband should actually be admired as a gentleman who knows that he has a role to play in the upbringing of his children.

The idea that the mother takes care of the children while the father goes out to work and does nothing around the home is just as bad as giving your children an unbalanced diet. Children need to grow up socialised to both parents so that they learn from them. Do not be apologetic or feel embarrassed about how you and your husband run your family. What is important is understanding each other and doing the best for your kids, not being understood by society. – Aunty Lisa

Post published in: Lifestyle

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