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African mummies can you tell me.....

(7 Posts)
Wottywot Mon 30-May-11 15:30:56

Not sure if I have this correct but it appears to me that usually the men are not really engaged much in the pregnancy or bith in Africa (sorry I know Africa is a big place so I am just generalising) I stayed in Nigeria for a while and it appeared to me this way and that the mothers or MIL were more involved. As you know here usually the partners/husbands go in to the birth and go to the scans etc, would you expect your DH/DP to do this or not?
Do you think they are as supportive of the pregnancy, helping out etc?
If not who would you expect some support from at the birth?

PoppysMom Tue 31-May-11 06:09:41

Hi Wotty
I read your other thread and I am really sorry sad.

From my experience:

I was married to a Ghanaian man (who was born and raised in Ghana) and we never had any children, as I didn't feel he was engaged enough. he always wanted children, but ultimately I felt it was wrong to have children with him, as I'd bring them up myself.

I lived in Ghana for a while and observed that the men don't do much round the house, or he family. They provide the food and that is pretty much that.

I know they can be the most lovely and charming men, but my experience has not been good.

My ex-MIL was a lovely Lady that looked after me and her children very well.

As I was living in the Ghanaian circles I saw a lot of this going on.

In addition, I found that living with somebody that was culturally so different was often difficult. This only dawned on me after I started becoming more independent and wanting to break out of him telling me whom I could be friends with, whom I could talk to, what I could cook, etc.

CHores were always my duty and as said before, he wasn't much around. Always went to see friends, or headed to church.

I am not bitter about my breakup and I value the experience I gained, but I would never ever go out with a man that is so culturally different to me.

I am sorry, as the above is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I thought you should know my experience and what I saw with other Ghanaian families. I know there are probably others out there.


PoppysMom Tue 31-May-11 06:11:18

Sorry, forgot to say...I am not African. I am European

Wottywot Tue 31-May-11 07:23:23

Thanks Poppy, that is really helpful. I think I have been a bit disappointed because he seems so westernised iykim, if he has been more Nigerian minded I think I would have understood a bit more. I actually don't have a problem at all with him going out to work and earning the money and me doing everything at home but it's the lack of time that we spend together or he has for dd and probably the next one. He never wants to eat Nigerian food or has much to do with his family back there, in fact he doesnt even answer calls from them, so it's clear to me that he is not interested in his life back there either.
Did you marry here in the UK?
How did he take the divorce?

The other thing that differs from Africa is the family involvment. When someone has baby there they get help from family members (even if they don't always want it) whereas here in the UK often we live far from family and so end up doing literally everything on our own.

PoppysMom Tue 31-May-11 08:35:35

Mine never wanted to speak to his family either, but was very keen on his chicken and rice and Stews...

Anyhow, I married in Ghana and then brought him to the UK afterwards. It was quite stressful actually.

He didn't take the divorce too well, but I promised I would help him get his Indefinite Leave if he signed on the dotted line. Which he did...after a visit from me to push the boat home a bit.

Anyway, been divorced for over 2 years now and we still deal with the settling. THis does also mean though that we are on ok terms, even though I try to keep contact as minimal as possible.

He only has an old email address I only have him hooked onto, so once all is done I will switch it off.

Yes, you are right about the differences between here and there sad

mamaesi Tue 31-May-11 08:49:04

I am also married to a west african who grew up in london. In his culture the grandmothers and aunties are very involved in the raising of children and form a web of help/support. However, all of his family and mine are no longer in the UK so it is very tough on me. I will say that my husband is very helpful around the house...does all sorts of chores and does all of the cleaning...

but he didnt come to scans and still sees making money and working hard and providing for the family the most important aspect of his life, rather than quality time with the kids..that was how he was brought up.
but he does adore the kids and is very attentive and affectionate when he does get some time with them.

nobody has the perfect set up and I am happy that I have a honest helpful hard working man, even if i wish we had more time together...

Wottywot Tue 31-May-11 08:58:25

Thanks mams (hi again!)
Like I said on the other post I think its an ongoing thing which makes me a bit more irriated with it all. I understand what you mean and where you are coming from and it's their way of making a contribution to the family. I am very happy with that set up and I don't mind him not doing stuff around the house at all as I am a SAHM and thats the way my dad was. The main problem is that he works ALL the time,weekends,eveings we never have any time together so that puts a strain on everything. He has a well paid job and its his decision to work the hours he does.
I think its important for children to spend time with both parents as a family unit, that is, what I perceive to be 'family'

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