Sorry Ma, I will spend Christmas with my hubby and kids

14 December 2018 - 14:01
By Kwanele Ndlovu
Makoti informs mother-in-law she won't be a  holidays slave./123RF
Makoti informs mother-in-law she won't be a holidays slave./123RF

Dear Mother-in-law

You have been incessantly asking about when are we coming up for the holidays. I see my husband has been mumbling unclear responses in a bid to not upset you. If I were allowed to be brutally honest with you Ma, I would simply tell you: "Asizi! - We're not coming."

First of all Ma, we do not have the money. Your home is a whole five hours from us, plus toll gates and car service costs before the trip. We have just deposited the last instalment of your Stokvel. And the loan you had advanced from them was quiet a surprise, but we paid it off. I still do not understand how you unilaterally committed my husband to a debt repayable at 40% interest.

Ma keeps saying that the family always spends the festive holidays together, at home. But your son, my husband, has his own family. We have a home, where our own children want to create their own Christmas memories and celebrate the dawn of a new year.

And I am not sure how Ma understands the purpose of festive holidays - but I know being at your home is no holiday. I can never get any rest.

I only have 10 days of leave at work this year, and have no desire to spend all of them spring-cleaning your home. Actually, if I have to ever wake up at dawn and cook porridge for 13 people this coming week, I swear I will have a nervous breakdown. Sadly, I cannot afford the breakdown either because all funds in my medical aid are exhausted.

But honestly, for the life of me I cannot understand how a wedding ring qualifies me to be the only cook in a household with so many people? Sometimes I feel like I am being punished for taking your family surname. It would seem everybody forgets that I have domestic help back in my home because I hate washing dishes.

Yet Ma expects me to volunteer to do the family's laundry? No. I am not available for domestic slavery this year. Anyway, I am not even married to your favourite son. I am not keen on seeing my husband being reduced to an underachiever at the sight of his brother's SUV. And all that talk that he should just go and work for his brother instead of being comfortable with a lousy salary does make me homicidal.

His lousy salary has afforded you a beautiful kitchen and a lounge suite, a monthly allowance and some meat in your freezer.

Strange that nobody ever complains when all that your rich son contributes during the holidays is a collection of expensive whiskey and wines to cater to his sophisticated guests on Christmas Day.

Yet I will be asked to make five salads and expected to purchase all the ingredients needed.

In fact, we will probably be spending our first festive season happy.

Free of unsolicited advice and safe from constant comparison and criticism. Worse when coming from your daughters, who seem to know exactly how my marriage should work while the closest they've been to matrimony was catching a ravaged bouquet from the bride.

Eh, of course, I cannot tell you all these truths Ma - lest I am hauled into a family meeting, another event we cannot afford to attend.

So I will let your son spin this one.