My husband and I are a young couple. I am twenty-seven, and he is twenty-nine. We met four years ago and we just knew that we belonged together. I got pregnant while we were dating so we hastened our plans for marriage. It was something we both wanted so we were happy. Our love thrived, and so did our finances. I invested some of my money in a provision (grocery) shop, and put my mother in charge of it. Aside from that, my husband and I made big investments with Menzgold and GN bank. We thought we were protecting our finances when we did that. But along the line, Menzgold turned out to be a Ponzi scheme, and GN bank also got shut down. Needless to say that we lost our investments. After those losses, we both lost our jobs.
At the time all of this happened, our rent was about to expire. It felt as if a money-eating deity was living with us and working against us. Our only consolation was the shop my mother was taking care of. When I opened it, I never took a dime from the proceeds. I allowed her to be the only person who benefited from it. But when our finances went south, I made a move to take over it and manage it myself. A decision that didn’t sit well with her. She opposed me, “You may have been the one to start this shop but it’s mine now. And I refuse to hand it over to you.” I asked her, “So how do you expect me and my family to survive without any money?” This annoyed her, “What about me? Am I not your family too? How do you expect me to survive when you take this shop from me?” That day we ended up having a heated argument. The next time the topic of the shop came up, we argued again. And we continued to argue in the days that followed.
“I think you should stop fighting with your mother over the shop. Let her have it.” My husband advised. I listened to him and left everything for her. After a few months, my mother ran the shop into the ground. She mismanaged the money she got from making sales until there was nothing left. The best thing I could do was to sell the shop and use the money to rent a cheaper apartment than what we were living in. By then I was seven months along with my pregnancy. When my mother found out I was selling the shop she tried to stop me. “You are doing this because of the shame that has befallen you and your husband. You cannot cover the shame by selling the shop.” She taunted. This time I did not let her win. I turned a deaf ear to her insults and went ahead to seal the deal.
After selling the shop, I gave her a percentage of the money and advised her to start a business with it. My husband and I used the rest to rent our new place. Things became more difficult for us during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most organizations were downsizing so getting a job proved twice as challenging as it used to be. My mother on the other hand spent the money I gave her instead of starting a business like I expected her to. Her reason was, “God has called me to do his work so I cannot do any other work. My only job now is to preach to lost souls and bring them to the Kingdom.” I reminded her about our finances, “You know that things are not going well for me and my husband. We don’t have money to provide for you. Please find something to do before your rent expires.” She replied, “When my rent expires and I get evicted, I will sleep in the church. It’s even better because who will sack me from God’s house?”
Now she has been evicted from the room I rented for her a few years ago. True to her words, she sleeps in the church. When she gets tired, she sleeps at my uncle’s place but most of the time she stays at my place. She spends so many weeks with me and I suspect that was her plan all along. I don’t complain because she helps me with my baby when she’s around. My husband has also gotten the opportunity to travel outside the country for work. He hasn’t left yet but my mum is already making plans to move in with me when he leaves. I told her that I don’t have a problem with that. My problem is how we are going to cope with the bills. We are both unemployed and there’s the baby too. My husband has given me an amount of money to cover me and the baby’s expenses until he gets settled enough to start sending us money. But I don’t think adding my mother’s needs to that money will be prudent.
Another problem is that I have applied to go to nursing school. This means that I will have to leave the baby with her when I start school. I offered to give her GHC2000 so that she can sell something. That way she will have money to take care of herself while we take care of the baby. She refused, “If you want me to take care of the child while you go to school, then you have to give me a monthly allowance. There’s no way I am going to start a business with the baby in my care.” I tried explaining things to her, “My husband is the one going to pay my school fees and provide upkeep for us. It will be too much of a burden to ask him to give you a monthly allowance.” Somehow my explanation didn’t change her mind. How can she expect my husband to support my schooling, and also our son’s schooling, give us upkeep money, and give her also upkeep money? .
I feel my mom is doing all this because she knows I really want to go back to school and I will need someone to take care of my son. She is feeding off my desperation knowing that I don’t have other options. My husband’s parents are deceased, and so is my dad. She is the only surviving parent we have. So it seems I have to either give in to her demands or put my schooling on hold and take care of my son. I am so confused right now. What do I do?