There are two reasons why I fell in love with Amos. The first time he came to me, I looked at him and didn’t like his height. I said, “No I can’t be your girlfriend. I’m already talking to someone else. We are far advanced and I may fall in love with him soon.” He said, “If that’s the reason, then you can add me to him and compare the two. I will prove myself worthier than him.” I answered, “No, I can’t be emotionally invested in two people at the same time. I don’t treat matters of the heart this way. One person at a time.”
I was lying. I wasn’t speaking to anyone. I just didn’t like his height and that was all. He didn’t stop coming. He would see me on the street and run after me. He’ll talk to me for a while and in the end ask me, “How did it go? Did you say yes to him? Did he prove himself worthy of your love?” Mostly I will tell him something just to get him off my back. He kept coming and asking the same question. I fell in love with his persistence. He was too short for me but wasn’t short in persistence. I told myself, “What’s in the heart matters more than what’s on the inside. We determine what to do with our hearts but we don’t determine our heights. Let me give him a chance and see how it goes.”
I was only giving him a chance but allowing myself to look elsewhere when another opportunity arises. When I said yes to him he said, “I will do everything to make things right. The aim is to get married before the rooster crows three times.” I was looking at him. I mostly looked out for what I didn’t like. He was doing everything right but my mind was on the negative. I wanted something to hold on to and say, “This is the reason why I don’t like short people. This is the reason why I can’t spend a quarter of my life with him. We did one year, and I didn’t find any reason to dislike him. Instead, I fell deeper in love with the way he always came to my rescue.
He was a helping hand. If there was something I needed and he didn’t have it, he would ask me, “What can we do to have it?” Mostly I will open my arms and shrug my shoulder. He would tell me, “Give me a few days, I will sort things out.” He always had them sorted so I fell deeper in love with him. It was his persistence that drew me in but he later drowned me with the way he always came to my rescue. I found myself building every block of my life around him. When I didn’t see him I got worried. When he didn’t call, I got scared.
I said two reasons, right? Actually, there’s another reason. That makes it three reasons why I fell in love with him—his parents.
The way his parents embraced me and gave me love was something I’d never found anywhere. The first day he introduced me to them, his father said, “You’re indeed my son. We don’t go for what’s our size. We pick the tall ones so there would always be something to look up to.” His father is short, just like Amos. But his mother is thick and tall. When she stands, she looks twice as tall as his father because of her size. His sisters took after their mother so they are taller. Amos, the only man in the midst of three girls took after his father.
We dated for two years and he asked if I was ready to marry him. I answered, “If I’m not ready to marry you, who would I be ready for?” We got married half a year later. I thought I knew everything about my husband until we started living together. I knew he was helpful because he proved that to me every now and then during our dating period. After marriage, he took it a step up. He won’t let me do anything in the house. He would wake up very early and clean the house and set our life in motion. At first, I was the one preparing meals. He was always in the kitchen with me helping. By the time I realized, he was the one doing the meals. It didn’t bother me but when we got visitors and they saw him doing all that, it got to me somehow.
Before we bought a washing machine, we were doing the laundry together. Six months after marriage, he came home with the washing machine. I asked him, “How do you operate this thing?” He answered, “It’s a little bit hard. I don’t know how to do it myself. I will learn it and show you, just be patient.” He never did. I had to do it with force and get it wrong often times before he decided to show me. He will tell me, “I don’t like a tired wife. I don’t want a situation where we would go to bed at night and it’s time for action and you’ll tell me you’re tired. We are only two people here, allow me to handle what I can handle. We’ll be fine.”
You’ll assume he would be on top of me all night but no. He’ll rather go to bed tired and unable to do anything. So we talked about sharing duties. That was the only way to get him to leave things for me. We’ve been married for two years now and currently, God has blessed us with a child. It was his mother who came home with us from the hospital. She came home to help me take care of the child but in the end, she was helping her son to rather take care of our baby.
I was too tired to do anything so on the very first day when we came home and it was time to bathe the baby, she called Amos to come and observe. I was sleeping but I heard everything that was going on. She was teaching him how to hold a baby, and how to bathe a baby the right way. He was asking questions and she was answering him. The following day, he was the one sitting down there bathing the baby. My heart was beating faster than normal. I was scared he might drop him or break his back. I got up from the bed and said, “No, let me do it.” His mother said, “No, just rest. He has to learn it today so I wouldn’t have to come back here when you deliver again.”
I’m not new to taking care of babies. I’m the eldest of four children. I bathed and catered for my younger siblings so I know how to handle this but his mother wouldn’t allow me. I should enjoy it but the way they do everything in this house and sideline me makes me feel useless. I’m not the type who is used to being served. I loved to serve and be somewhere closer to the action but these two don’t want me to do anything. They treat me like being a new mother is a sickness. I have to beg to bathe my own child or feed him or even change him. The only thing I currently do in this house is breastfeeding my baby. I’m not complaining but it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I cornered my husband and talked to him about it; “You two are ganging up against me. I’m not sick. I’m just a nursing mother and that’s no stroke. These hands can do everything so why won’t you allow me?” He laughed about it as if I were a clown on a gig. He said, “You worry too much. She’ll soon leave and we’ll be the ones to suffer. While she’s here, let’s use her.” “I’m not talking about her and you know it. I’m talking about you in particular.” I said.
My baby is six months old. I’ve resumed work and his mother is still with us. I still don’t do anything apart from eating and washing the dish. It makes me feel useless. Like I’m good for nothing. I’ve spoken to people about it. I wasn’t complaining to them. I was only discussing it with them to see if how I feel is normal. They all laugh at me. They call me lucky. They call me blessed. They say I have no reason to moan. My own mother told me, “If your father and his family treated me like that, do you think I will be this weak at my age? Enjoy it while it lasts. Someday, they will leave everything to you and you’ll be the same person complaining.”
I wouldn’t love to be the one who does everything but I also don’t love to be the one who does nothing. That’s the reason I’m sharing my story. Do you all think I should count it as a blessing and relax? Or I should reach out to my in-law and negotiate for my cut in the duties around here? Currently, I don’t enjoy what is going on around here. I wasn’t raised this way but if everyone tells me it’s normal, then I’ll learn to put one leg on top of the other and enjoy as they work themselves to death.