Repeat after me ladies.
- “Men are NOT children.”
- “My spouse is a fully grown man. NOT an infant.”
- “Husband NOT child!”
Everywhere I look it’s the same theme. Whether it’s the television commercial that shows the inept father that somehow manages to wrap his baby in a diaper made of moin moin leaves, or the 50th article entitled “How to train your man” in the numerous magazines my wife likes to buy on the weekend, the message that your spouse is nothing but an overgrown toddler in need of your guidance never changes.
I know they’ve taught you these things from a very young age. Those laughter filled conversations between your aunties as they sat around a meal to discuss the latest wrongs their husbands had committed. No matter the problem that “Baba Risikat” had caused that day, it was always met with this advice, “Just leave him jo. Don’t you know men are like children?” or “You have to treat him like a baby! Pet him! Cook his favorite dish and make sure it is properly digested before you approach any topic with him! Don’t you know all men are looking for is a wife who will mother them?”
I’ve overheard these conversations before and I usually just shake my head at the idea that men need to be pampered, cosseted, bribed with sweets and manipulated in order to accomplish anything. But I didn’t realize that my wife must have been regularly hiding underneath the table as a child and listening in on those well meaning aunties and taking notes until the following conversation ensued.
NW: “NH, have you brushed your teeth?”
NW: “Okay. Good boy.”
Me: “What did you just call me?!?”
A “good boy”??!! I think if she’d been closer to me at the time she might even have patted me on the head as a reward…and if I hadn’t brushed my teeth I might have gotten a spanking.
It didn’t stop there. Whenever we traveled together, NaijaWife would make it a point to have the following conversation with me, within hearing of every other passenger on the plane.
NW: “Have you gone to pee?”
NW: “Why not?”
Me: “I don’t need to.”
NW: “But you should do it now. Don’t disturb me later that you need to go to the bathroom.”
Me: “Why would that disturb you?! Are you the one following me to the toilet?!”
NW: “There’s no need to snap oh. I’m just looking out for you!”
I was amused really. Who did she think was managing my urination and teeth brushing schedule before she came along? But then it started bordering on the bizarre…especially when she began insisting that she had to be the one to apply lotion to my body in the mornings because I couldn’t be trusted to do it myself.
Now, every morning, as I come out of the bathroom, she gazes at me expectantly. Her eyes are pinned to me, not because she’s excited to see what’s underneath the towel, but because she’s excited to see if I’ll dutifully apply lotion to my (admittedly) ashy limbs. If I fail to impress her she will, inevitably, speak her mind.
NW: “NH Come back here.”
NW: “You didn’t put any cream on your back. Do you want to start scratching yourself in the office?”
Me: “I’m in a rush dear, just leave it...”
But before I can protest, she will have grabbed the bottle from my hands and started rubbing.
I’ll confess that sometimes I do it deliberately. Who wouldn’t want a rub down from his beautiful wife in the mornings? But soon I began to wonder…what did she see when she looked at me?
But what really amuses me about this treatment is that my wife will not find it funny if I try something similar with her. One Sunday, while headed to church…
NW: “Wait for me please, I have to run to the bathroom.”
Me: “Ok.” I said…and then I realized my chance had come (I just couldn’t miss this opportunity) “Darling wait…”
Me: “Make sure you wipe yourself carefully.”
Me: “Yes. Front to back. Don’t come and complain to me later if the thing starts scratching you.”
Luckily she saw the humour in it and since then has promised to do better in replacing her maternal instincts with more spousal instincts.
I know that there are indeed some men who behave like children, just as there are women who behave like children. But your ex-boyfriend who struggled to understand why exactly you couldn’t provide extravagant meals 3 times a day “just like his mother did”, and your 40 year old cousin who still sucks his thumb are not representatives of the entire male gender.
While I’m on the topic of “Husband Not Child” let me throw another one in there. Husband Not Father.
This is very important. Please understand that, along with those stereotypes about your husband being a child, are the ones about your husband being “a father” to you.
Be very honest with yourself. Do you want to have relations with your father?
Well if you say you do, then at least you are honest. Incestuous….but honest.
However, the way I see it, that desire to find a man who treats you like a daughter might stem from the same group of lies these meddling “aunties” liked to tell you, such as: “Older men are more mature. That’s why you should marry an older man” (They forgot to tell you that “maturity” is often just a code word for “more money”), “Older men can protect you better” (Protect you with what exactly? Their walking stick?), “Older men are more confident.” (They’re not more confident. They’re just non-chalant because they have bigger things to worry about e.g. their declining bladder, their retirement plan, the 10 different pills they have to take every morning, afternoon and night etc.)
But even I must concede that the most valid reason I’ve heard is “Older men are more financially secure.” Yes…I certainly have to agree with that. Pensions are very regular. Hence the feeling of security.
I could go on and on about the stereotypes and misconceptions that our society encourages us to believe about men (and very soon I’ll address another popular myth such as “All men cheat“) but I’ll stop here for now. Especially because my wife wants me to spend some time writing a “Wife Not Mother” post (though I can’t imagine why she thinks that’s necessary).
Gentlemen it’s time we took a stand for our own dignity. Husband not child. Husband not father.
Husband is Husband.
drum roll…welcome back. I’ve missed you so
Hilarious post! Thought Provoking, laced with tonnes of wit pertinent to the issue at hand as always. Welcome back NH!!
Hayyyy. You always get me cracking! Happy New year NH and NW.
Husband is husband! Very apt. I totally learnt and truth is I am guilty even though I am not married yet. I just have grown up with the mindset that all men are children. I will try and be better.
I love this! Major food for thought! A lot of ladies also think acting this way will endear them to their man more. I do not agree with the ‘all men are children’ thing but I once found myself coddling a man (unconsciously though, which shows how much this mentality is ingrained in us) but that did not make him head over heels in love with me. Ladies, let’s learn from this.
Choi… Have missed you guys deeply..
Actually leaving this comment before i get an actual read of the new article. You guys are fantastic 🙂
I’m not sure it’s something women were taught, at least not all women were taught to believe this. I think it’s just the motherly instinct in us, and it comes out in full force when we’re in love. I actually enjoy pampering and babying my man, i enjoy taking care of him, we’re not married yet, i hope it doesn’t get worse when we do…i think I’ll tone it down a bit now after reading this.
I think you should tone it down only if he doesn’t enjoy it. The mothering thing equates love for some men. So feel him out first. If he enjoys it, continue. I have an ex who expects me to still treat him like i did when we were dating *rolling my eyes*
Welcome back, Naija Husband! Happy New Year.
This article is an eye opener. I’ve been subjected to such treatment from exes, but I’ve never really thought she might see me as a ‘child’ to take care of. This particular ex that I’m friendly with, still occasionally calls to check up on me. Have you eaten? What did you eat? Good boy.
I’ve always taken it to mean she still cares about me and/or is teasing me.
I do ask some similar questions to some ladies too, but not in a way that insinuates she’s a kid (well, except when guiding her through some computer/gadget/techy process).
Anyway thanks for this article. I’m eagerly awaiting the one about “all men cheat”.
My regards to NaijaWife. Cheers!
Lol…I can relate wif this. Guess its the mother instincts in us.
Hahaha! Interesting read. #HusbandisHusband!
I missed you guys sooooooooo much. You can tell, right? Lol
This men are babies mentality affects some men too. Which is why they expect to be waited on hand and foot and ‘taken care of’ even in the most basic things. Recently someone told me, ‘you don’t know how to pet somebody sef. Won’t you ask if I’ve eaten?’ Imagine. Don’t eat na. Wait for me, your bear bear will sweep third mainland bridge.
I do however believe that men have simple needs. Doesn’t make them children though. Just less complicated than women.
Yes that’s the trouble with stereotypes. Eventually, even the people affected by them begin to buy into it. Same way so many women buy into that “men are ATMs” myth and expect to have their every material wish catered for by the men in their lives, rather than work for it themselves.
Sorry about the generalization but…just one bald-headed man in Ado led to the generalization of (all) Ado men as bald…hope that made a little bit of sense.
Welcome back, wish you and NW a very happy and prosperous 2015.
I wish I can respond to this because it has been forever but oh well… I am a single 20 something guy and can’t relate. Still, welcome back!!!
Bahaha, hilarious as usual!! Welcome back guys!!! So good to have you back!
Welcome back NH! Hahaha. I’m so guilty. I do the lotion thing everyday. Wishing you and NW a prosperous 2015!
Wow…and I’ve been so sure that I don’t mother my husband…so guilty of this, Lol!
NH! NW! Why did you do this to us? Disappear for eons! I almost booked a flight from Kenya to come and look for you guys! Loved the blog as always. Devoured it with my eyes. God bless.
*sigh of relief and joy* – You are back!! Yayyyy!!!!
Do you know how glad I am that this article was written by a man? I have been confused for so long as to whether to treat my man like a ‘baby’ (oh by the way I loath that term of endearment because I think it is partially responsible for men acting like that – power in the name per’aps?? hehe).
But to be fair, like Enajyte, many men like to be baby-ed.. “Have you eaten?” “Did you take your drugs yet?” Baby, have you called your mum?” “Bay-byyy, you forgot to set your alarm and now you’re late! tut tut!… Here’s your packed lunch!” 😀
… What’s a girl to do?! What do men really want? And they say women are the complicated ones.. -__-
Thanks for stopping by 1+. Perhaps the easiest answer to that question is to pose a different question. Instead of asking “what do men want”…you could ask “what does MY man want?” Then see what he says. I learnt that lesson the hard way when I thought my wife had to be treated the way I thought all women wanted to be treated, rather than asking her directly how she, as an individual, wanted to be treated.
Nice one: “what does MY spouse want?” … very important!!!
Okay good point here
1 plus admits she has a man!!! I haven’t been on your blog in ages. need to visit now. Things have been happening! Love ya babe!
Humourously interesting post..
So this friend of mine told me I wasn’t pampering my fiancé enough years ago. She said she had come home to him (he came to visit her) and he announced gleefully that he had killed a COCKROACH! I asked what she said and she said she congratulated him.
“That’s my baby! So brave! ” Hian!
Rotfl!!!! Brave ke? What then happens when he kills a snake????
Hahaha! I doubt he can kill a snake
Lol. Good reminder from the male perspectives. We get those messages so much and then wonder why men don’t act like men! If society stopped calling them babies and permitting the accompanying behaviour, fewer men would BE immature.
I am not even allowed to call the hubster “babe/baby” let alone treat him like one.
Just do what Cakes does and respond, “Yes mummy.”
That should stop any woman immediately… or for the time being :p
Welcome back NH and NW. We missed you both. I missed you both.
On to the matter, i think subconsciously, we teach our sons that women are there to mother them and cater to their every need. “Make sure his food is ready and warm just the way he likes it; give him sex on demand, make sure your house is clean and tidy, pick up after him, work around his temperament, do this, do that”. The rules are endless. We hardly ever teach our sons to make their beds, we assume that boys will be untidy. We don’t teach them to blend pepper, especially when there are daughters in the house. We teach our daughters to be mothers and our sons to be babies.
We pick up after our children and we pick up after our husbands. He bathes and leaves the towel on the bed, the Mrs gets to hang it up. He tosses his dirty clothes and boxers into a corner, the Mrs has to put them in the laundry basket and wash them or load the washing machine or liaise with the “alagbafo”. He eats and leave the dirty plates – sometimes leaving them on the dining table – the Mrs. has to wash up the plates.
If most of us will look at the way our parents raised us, we’d see that they subconsciously set us up to be mothers and babies-depending on gender.
It’s time to let go of those lessons. All in favour of le hubs picking up after me and making my meals say Aye!
@ Aibee – aye! You spoke my mind. Truly, girls are usually brought up with the mentality that men are to be baby-ed and taken care of especially with regard to domestic chores. That motherly instinct grows up with girls. Happy new year, NH and NW and welcome back!
Very good points. And if we’re all just following the way we were raised, then perhaps it’s the actual mothers who hold the power to end the cycle?
For what it’s worth, I’m the number one plate washer in the house, so NW gets to hear me shout if plates are left on the table 🙂
wish i could like your comment! almost every societal disfunctionality and stereotype starts and can only be fixed by the family and those in a position to influence younger ones. I dont really need him to pick up after me, he should pick up after himself! nobody is a child, so everybody behave!
“Older men can protect you better” (Protect you with what exactly? Their walking stick?), “Older men are more confident.” (They’re not more confident. They’re just non-chalant because they have bigger things to worry about e.g. their declining bladder, their retirement plan, the 10 different pills they have to take every morning, afternoon and night etc.)
Buhaha.. I laughed all through your (oh so valid) points. Thankfully I did not grow up hearing this mess but recently (this January actually) that’s all I’ve heard! First heard it from a mother advising her soon to be a bride daughter, I am sorry but I shrugged in my seat. UGH, no “these men are (NOT) babies” stop it, just stop it. And don’t even get me started with the “all men cheat” poopshit.
Happy New Year y’all! It’s been a minute but welcome welcome back… do checkout my blog and let me know what you think. Smooches
Very well written! Now off to share with my friends.
I’ve had more than my fair share of laughter for the day. Now I’m going to be gracious and share on FB. Bless you NH.
Hahahahahahahahahaa!!! God, I’ve missed NH’s particular mix of humour and realism. i’m not married, but I get the stereotypes about men. There’s those for women as well. It’s society’s need to put everything into conformity, i guess.
Thanks for this very interesting post, NH.
I enjoyed reading this. It’s also a bit serious cos many boys resent being controlled by their mothers and being married for them is the chance to look mama in the eye and say I’m a man now! Ladies are quick to dismiss guys who pander to their mothers’ wishes as mama’s boys (perhaps because they hope to occupy that position as prima donna). I think this was a nice way to draw our attention to how resentment can build up when one experiences in marriage what one thought had been escaped from parenthood.
I’m also glad you were able to identify this, let alone voice this out. Your communication is really top notch. Blessings
This is quite interesting and hilarious.there are lot of issues rised which most women are guilt of.
Awesome read, as always!
And I’m with you NH; Husband is Husband!
(now let the Meme begin*** Peace)
I am a silent reader, but I couldn’t help it today, I had to leave a comment. My lord! People thought Account Reconciliation was making me go crazy at work, they kept checking on me.. lol. You did Justice to this, I have always wondered why people keep saying men are like children like seriously who was wiping his butt before we met? nice one, and welcome back.. looking forward to your next one about “all men are cheat” we all know that’s not true.. Its just one of those excuses to live in denial. If all men are cheat then all women are after money.. oh! well, lets wait for you to do justice to the topic.
Very glad we were able to end your silence with this post 🙂
1st time posting anything on here too……
My mum was an oddity when we were growing up. Boys pounded yam, took turns with ALL cleaning chores just like the girls and cooked. Till date (any pounded yam for more than 2 people) I don’t pound.
Unfortunately, My ex’s were all the “baby-me” type, gues that’s why they’re ex’s.
Mr aspiring-to-be-the-one is like my siblings, so we take turns with everything.
Thumbs up on this NH, happy new year
LOL. another lovely post. Men do act like kids though! Have you seen a grown ass man ill with ORDINARY flu? Nigga b acting like a baby! But women would be up and running around even if they have cancer!! YES!! Lol.
I love this,I always love your posts.But let’s be very realistic NH most men act like babies,growing up I thought all the men around me didn’t act too differently from their own kids.
Still a lovely post tho
We missed you (no homo).
Well written, as always.
I do not know if it’s just me, but the articles end just when I’m enjoying them.
Happy New Year to you and Naija Wife! 🙂
NH! Happy New Year!! Welcome back – We missed you!!
NH!! Welcome back!! We missed u!!!
I just stumbled on your blog and absolutely love this article I just read! Women una hear!!! Your husband is not a child or a baby but a full grown man! It irks me no end when I hear women say men are babies and should be treated as such. Why on earth would I (or any other woman for that matter) marry a baby???
A man has said it so let us advise ourselves and treat these men like the culpable adults they are or should be!!
interesting read, NH, NW please don’t be strangers…
we’ve all missed you terribly… sniff
Funny how I received super wisdom from a family friend a month ago.
telling me that your man did not marry his mum so you don’t have to play her part.
it gets irritating in the long run and your marriage loses the thrill
she told me to think of it this way…. if being a good wife was about being domesticated and mummyrised
then why do some men still cheat on so called good wives?
as naija husband has said: study and ask bae how he wants to be treated… he is your man and not ‘men’!!
“Husband not child, Husband not Father, Husband is Husband”
Fantastic post! 😉
Oh My God, its been ages. Can you pleaseeeee post a little more regularly? We miss you!
as funny as this post may seem.i act the exact same way towards my husband.lol!!will ask him if he finds it ok cos he just might not have a probem with it.
LOL!!!.. so funny!. i laughed so much my boss looked at me strangely!!!!!..
the truth however is that most husbands want to be mothered, or even love to be mothered and treated like children, if not, they should do their laundry themselves, cook their meals themselves (if some of them can find their way round a kitchen). do house chores etc.. then i guess the motherly instinct in the wife might be downplayed if she didn’t really have to actually take care of his basic needs…
Now, this is the blog of all blogs! my first time visit…Thanks, i can hear you welcoming me already….lol
I somehow found your page when i searched on google; pre engagement counseling in Abuja. And I’m super glad i did. Alot of helpful things here. Please you should write more often. God bless you and your wife.