Mensah is in real trouble.
“My two daughters cannot stick their stepmother for a minute,” he laments. According to him, since he divorced Kate, his wife of 17 years, he had never experienced peace with any woman he brought into the house. “As long as my daughters are with me, every woman in my life is seen as an intruder. Unfortunately for me, their mother conceded their custody to me and only pays visits once in every month. I almost told my lawyer to file a suit against Kate’s visit but he warned that she has a right to see them. So, every month, she comes, plants evil seeds in their teenage minds and they behave as if I am the devil in their lives. Bimbo, my new wife, came in two years ago. Gentle and unassuming, Bimbo was a widow and had two boys, who are studying abroad. Imagine the bile in my daughters when I introduced their ‘new mummy’ to them. My 16-year-old first daughter simply walked into her room and never came out until the next day! Her younger sister refused taking any dish prepared by my wife and she kept on asking when their mother would visit them. But Bimbo knew how to handle them and was never angry at whatever they did or said. At a point, I saw their mother’s hands in all they were doing and decided calling her to let my wife be! Again, her daughters made everything difficult for their stepmother. Just two weeks ago, my daughter gained admission into a university to study medicine but she never told anyone at home. Rather, she called her mother, who now instructed her not to tell her stepmother! I am thinking of relocating these children to Kate but she is so irresponsible and I would not want my kids to start hopping from one man to the other just as their mother does.”
Ambrose would have had same experience but his wife is different. “I remarried less than two years back but Linda, their stepmother would complain about everything including my late wife, who died three years ago, leaving me with two boys and a girl (12,10 and 8 years old respectively). Though stubborn kids, they would do anything my new wife instructed them on. To her, these kids were not well trained and she feels she would do the job. I started observing a certain withdrawal in my daughter, who used to be very cheerful. I asked her what went wrong and she said her step-mother told her to stop behaving like a clown! To my sons, who she describes as too stubborn, she beats them and assigns strenuous chores to them. Though she does not have kids yet, she just got pregnant and we have both agreed that she would have two. I have told her several times to make the home a happier environment by befriending the kids but she would not budge. She takes delight in beating them and shouting like an old witch. My two boys don’t take to her and they disobey most of her instructions. What do I do? My house has been turned to a war zone and I have started having a rise in my blood pressure,” he says.
When a change occurs this way in any home, the man, who is the father, must rise up to his responsibility of maintaining order because most children obey and have a certain fear of their father. Moreover, he should be able to talk to his wife, who happens to be a stepmother to his kids. Not all kids can cope with the fact that their mother no longer lives in a place they have always seen as home. It takes patience on the part of the stepmother to win them over. Mind you, every woman in such shoes should know that it is not an easy pill to swallow having another woman as your mother. Psychologically, physically and socially, the lives of the children would change and they tend to vent out whatever emotions they have on the ‘intruder’ their father married as their mother’s replacement. Peace can be achieved as long as such women learn to endure and firmly make them realize that she has come to play her part in that home and to not wage war.