The time has come where we welcome in a brand new year, which means we’ve survived another year as parent and children. Hopefully, we all have become slightly wiser too. It’s been a wonderful journey being your mother, and I hope I will continue to watch you both grow and blossom into beautiful young women.
So, before we end 2015, I just wanted to talk to you a little bit about men. 20 years from now, you will probably meet someone. Someone who will sweep you off your feet, someone who will take your breath away. And then before I know it, you’d probably be telling me you want to get married, which comes to the first point I want to make. If the guy doesn’t even bother seeking permission from us before asking your hand in marriage, don’t marry him. Call me old fashion, but that’s how it should be done. It shows courage (that he’s brave enough to face your daddy who will be holding a rifle) and respect (that your then old woman has had to put in so much love and effort into raising you). But let’s talk about what you should look for in a man, before you even think about getting hitched.
In all honesty, I can’t tell you what is the perfect man, because what is perfect for me, may not be suitable for you. But I know what qualities a man SHOULDN’T have, and if you notice any of the points below, then please just head to the other direction sweetie.
- If a man talks about himself more than he talks about you both as a couple, then smile and thank him, and WALK AWAY. Because he’s just given you a glimpse of how your future would look like – him being all about himself and you’d just be, well, you. Total separate entities.
- If you do get to talk about the future, about having children, and you get the hint that he thinks women should do all the work raising a child, WALK AWAY. Parenting is teamwork. If a man is not man enough to change diapers or cradle the baby to sleep, he’s not man enough to be a father. No man should ever tell you he’s not born to be part of parenting. And believe me, I personally know men who are like that.
- If a man constantly needs to have the last say, WALK AWAY. You are an educated grown woman who has a good head on her shoulders, you don’t need a male chauvinistic pig to burden you for the rest of your life. Marriage or life as a couple is to be comfortable enough to not have the last say. You should value laughter and happiness over being right. That’s how marriages last.
- If you get the feeling as if you’re a maid when the man is around, then you probably are becoming one. In this case, RUN. I didn’t raise you to be slave. I’m not saying that house chores should be shared equally between man and woman, I’m saying that a man should be comfortable doing SOME chores. In my humble opinion, women should still be handling most of the operations at home, but if done right and being showed appreciation accordingly by your man, you shouldn’t feel as if you’re slaving yourself away. Your daddy has always been hands on with everything that goes on in our lives – parenting, house chores, business, etc. And we ALWAYS get things done TOGETHER. The key word here is together. If you’re going to be a couple, you need to work like one.
- If a man gives you even a tiny hint that you need improvement in any way, accept his criticism and go to your room. Sit down in a quiet corner and ponder on what he said. Why or what is he telling you to change? Perhaps it’s your temper or bossiness, if so then it’s probably a good sign that he’s trying to bring out the better side of you. Perhaps it’s your boobs that are not big enough, or that you’re not thin enough, in that case you should probably thank him, and then kick him out of the house. Because what happens when 20 years down the road, you go out of shape after giving birth to your children? Is he going to constantly remind you how in need of improvement you are? A genuine man will only try to improve you mentally and emotionally, and give you the necessary support to self-improve physically if you should wish to. God knows how much effort your daddy has had to put in to fix me mentally and emotionally, and I’m forever grateful that he was willing to be with me through every step of my self improvement.
- Make sure he treats you well, but don’t let him fuss too much over you. You’re not a tofu, you’re not made of glass. Be independent, but at the same time, let him take care of you. Never let him substitute presents for presence. A Tiffany ring means nothing if he’s never present in your life, especially after you have children. Simple gestures such as peeling the prawn for you, saving the best part of a dish, helping you with the dishes, cooking supper for you, making you hot chocolate milk at 2am in the morning, taking the kids off your hands so that you can have some “me” time, etc tells you how much you matter to him. Yes, your daddy did all those, and more. And if you ever have kids, that’s the best way to show your kids what kind of gentleman to look for when it’s their turn to fall in love. Some of us never had any good examples to benchmark with, but you have had the privilege of watching and feeling first hand how a man should treat a woman, never let yourself be taken for granted. You’re worth more than that.
Well, enough said about men, talking about them takes a lot of energy away from me, and there’s too many to list in one article. Now I would like to also give you some advice, from one woman to another woman. You might agree with some, and not agree with others, and that’s okay. Because what is right for me, might not be totally right for you. You work out which ones resonates and makes sense to you.
- Never ever degrade or complain about your other half in public. You may talk it out with him in the privacy of your own room, but never in the eyes and ears of the public. Why? Because doing so, not only tells others that he’s a jerk, you’re also indirectly telling others that you’ve been stupid enough to fall for a jerk. Internet memes such as this one, “Dear Mother-in-law, don’t teach me how to handle my children, I’m living with one of yours and he needs a lot of improvement” is just plain foolishness. You can’t choose your family, but you can definitely choose your spouse. So if you are telling the world that you’re living with someone who “needs improvement”, you’re basically telling the world that your husband is not good enough. So then, why marry him in the first place?
- Value laughter and happiness over being right. Women tend to nag and find faults in men. Doing so won’t bring you any closer, in fact, it will only push the men further away until they find some other woman who will show them smiles and laughters. I see too many divorces happening because the minute the man steps into the house from a stressful day at work, the first thing he sees is a sour-faced woman, and the first thing he hears is an earful of complains. Always smile, because it’s always the smile that leads us to fall in love in the first place. The rest (complains) can wait, at least until a few hours later.
- Life as a couple will never always be smooth sailing. But if you are lucky to meet your soul mate, then the journey will be a lot easier and enjoyable.
- Be happy. Happy wives equals happy husbands and happy kids. Make parenting a joyful thing for your spouse. Make them look forward to spending time with the kids. Tell them how wonderful the kids are. Teach the kids to make something heartfelt for their daddies – be it a simple drawing, some cupcakes, a lego creation. Always tell them how awesome their daddy is because that’s how it should be. Never argue or fight in front of your kids. They need to see a united front in order for them to grow up positively. Save the arguments for the bedroom.
- Always know that you have a second home with us, no matter what or when. When you marry someone in the future, your home will always be where your husband is. It is expected that at some point of time (and if you marry the right person) you will be more comfortable with your husband than your parents, because that’s who you chose to spend the rest of your life with. You can’t choose your parents or siblings (so we must accept the fact that not all family members get along), but you can definitely choose your other half, so choose wisely. Take your time. Live in together for awhile pre marriage, and please use the necessary precautions. At least then, you get to see each other’s true colours before signing the papers, because courtship is very different to marriage. Your first love might not be your last, but that’s perfectly okay because if you’ve never been through a few, how would you know that you’ve found the right one? Go ahead, and test the waters.
Anyway, I think this letter is long enough for now. I need to go catch some sleep before you both wake up from your slumber, otherwise you’d probably won’t be able to recognise your zombie of a mother. Having said so, please be prepared for another letter sometime in the future my darlings. Mommy and daddy loves you to the moon and back.