Family is overwhelming me | The Sunday Mail

The Sunday Mail

AMAI, I hope I find you well. I am happily married but my husband’s family is beginning to get on my nerves. My husband is the eldest in his family, he has two brothers and two sisters.

Some of our children are within the same age range and they play their hearts out whenever we are gathered as family. The problem is every holiday the kids are being sent to our place under the guise that they enjoy playing together with our kids.

They send groceries but that is not helping much, having six kids for an entire holiday is both frustrating and overwhelming. They need someone who watches them all day long to avoid freaky accidents, surely they cannot expect one maid to do everything. I told my husband that we should rotate so that everyone understands how it feels.

I do not know why he did not communicate that message to them. Please do not get me wrong, I have nothing against the kids, it is just something I cannot handle. In the end, I do not see or enjoy time with the children instead, I only see the inconvenience. Please help. How do I get a breakthrough here without being misunderstood?


Hello and thanks for writing in. I am very well. Your case is not unique but needs to be handled with care. On one hand, it is great that the family is fond of each other and the younger siblings get to spend time at their brother’s home. As you rightly stated, it can be overwhelming. To ease some of the burden, the idea of rotating seems great and you must push your husband to suggest that. However, you need to take into consideration how that would play out. Is there enough room at his parents’ house to accommodate all the kids? You do not want to create an uncomfortable environment for the kids. If there is, then I think a 50/50 split of the holidays will work well. Your in-laws have already shown commitment by providing groceries. Others would just send the kids on holiday with nothing. You may even pitch the idea of pulling resources together to get a second maid when the kids are around to assist. I think if you put it across well, a solution can be found. Tread carefully. You would not want to dismantle the love and aura of happiness that the children and rest of the family are enjoying.



Forbidden love turns into marriage proposal

Ten years ago, I had a very bad fall out with my neighbour. Up to now we do not talk or even smile at each other when we meet outside our gates. I know this is not good but that is what it is. The only positive thing we did was not to get our children involved in this cold war.

They communicate normally. Some even went to the same schools. Tete, my sister came to visit us last week to tell us that our eldest daughter has been dating my neighbour’s son and they would want to get married in October if we are ok with the proposal. We did not know about this. She never shared this information with us. Where do we start? How can this be?


They say forbidden love is exciting and your children seem to have proven that assumption right. Ten years is a long time to hold a grudge. You did not even mention what the grudge is about. You seem to be over it. In all fairness, the only thing in your way is your pride and ego. The kids have maintained a good relationship over the years and that is a good thing. I think you and your husband must be the bigger couple and extend the olive branch.

This does present a perfect opportunity to bury the hatchet. You can also be involved in your daughter’s marriage if you so wish. Tete informing you of what is going on is a good cultural courtesy. However, bear in mind that they are majors and even if you try to stand in their way, they may end up doing what they wish without you. You would then not be alienating just your neighbour, but your daughter too. Have a heart to heart with your daughter and find out how long this courtship has been going and what qualities she admires in this young man. Do not waste any more time. I wish you all the best.



Mother-in-law is splitting the family apart

I am a married mother of four. My husband and I were brought up in the church and we did the same for our children. My mother-in-law has not been feeling well for the past year. She used to be the family’s prayer warrior but that has sadly changed. She has made a complete U-turn.

She now believes in fortune tellers and these self-proclaimed prophets. If we do not monitor her, she does not take her hospital medication preferring other unorthodox remedies. She now expects her Christian children to take her to these dark places. She thinks we are all tired of her ill health and that is why people are not cooperating. Last week she called her brother to report what she is going through and sekuru gave a few threats. How do we convince her now that the hospital is the only way to go?


I think your mother-in-law is desperate. Desperation brings about a new side in others. She has done a complete 180. I think she needs counselling. She needs to accept her condition and the options available to try to mitigate her illness. Fortunately, there are many Christian based counsellors available these days. She needs a professional to remind her of her relationship with God as well as the fact that being a Christian does not make one immune to trials and setbacks such as illness. She needs to re-adjust her mindset and work on trying to get better. I personally believe there is nothing wrong with being both a Christian and firm believer in western medication.

Clinically tested drugs and proven methods really do work. As you rightfully stated some of the remedies she is receiving are unorthodox and unproven and may thus be ineffective. The family needs to come together, stage an intervention, and help her get back on track. The task ahead will not be easy because people tend to accept God more when the going is good. I wish you all the best.



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