The Sunday Mail
DEAR amai, how are you? I am a 38-year-old woman and I am happily married. I have three kids. We have an elderly couple that we get along with and they live next door. We treat each other like family. When they did not have a maid, we would lend them ours for a few hours. As a result, we would pay the maid double and she did not seem to mind this arrangement. Recently, our maid said she was retiring and going back to her rural home to assist her parents who are now old. We gave her a good farewell hamper and let her leave. Not more than a week elapsed and she is now back working next door. We do not know what to make of it. Must we say we want our hamper back or must we confront the neighbours? My husband and I are disappointed, to say the least.
I am very well and thanks for asking. Everything was going along great until your maid decided to conspire against you. I do not believe she was really retiring and I do not know why she opted to go next door. Perhaps the workload was less and the remuneration was better. Either way, she owed you and your husband the truth, or at the very least she should have tried to negotiate better terms before doing what she did. It is water under the bridge now, even if she returns the hamper, it will not change what has happened. Approach this elderly couple and inform them of what transpired and whether they knew this is what your maid did to you. You never know what she told them. Express how this has saddened you and affected your good relations with them. Give them a chance to respond. If they were in on it all along, then it may be time to stop treating them like family because of this. In future, avoid lending people your employees. It will save you a lot of heartaches.
Parents are ruining my big day
I am a 27-year-old guy. I am planning on tying the knot this year. But due to Covid-19, there are restrictions that are in place. I need to invite 25 people from my side of the family and my wife has been told to do the same. My parents are focused on inviting a lot of people from church, yet I just want my close friends and family on the day. They are saying if I refuse to budge, they will not attend. Simply put, I do not know what to do. How can I help them come to their senses? It is supposed to be my big day, but they are treating it like theirs.
As you rightly stated, it is your big day. Try and get other people like your pastor and relatives to back you up. I think since they respect the church so much it would make more sense coming from the pastor. We are living in a new normal, and as such, we need to try and make the most of it. Fifty guests are not a lot. For now, try and come up with a guest list that makes you and your wife happy. As a suggestion for the future, tell them that once the situation improves you can have a celebratory dinner and invite a larger number of people. They must not let their wants steal the spotlight from your big day. These threats of not showing up for the wedding are shameful and must be stopped right away. This is a good time to start standing your ground otherwise you risk becoming a yes man even after you are married.
What’s in a name?
I am a Ndebele woman married to a Shona guy. I am pregnant. We are happy and excited about our first child. The problem is that we are fighting intensely over the child’s name. His family wants a Shona name and my family wants a Ndebele name. Both our families insist they will call the child by the respective names they have already assigned to the unborn baby. What must we do? The baby is expected to arrive in July?
When you got married, you became one entity. You must embrace the cultural diversity in your family as husband and wife. The child is yours and yours alone. The naming of the baby must be your sole responsibility. Give the child a Shona and a Ndebele name since he is of mixed heritage. You can even give the child an English name as well as Shona and Ndebele ones. Focus on the delivery and magical moments leading up to the child’s birth. Inform both your families to stop being petty. If they accepted your union, they must accept your name choices as husband and wife. Talk to your husband and explain how this is stressing you out during pregnancy. Try and rope in a marriage counsellor as well. I hope once you realise starting a family is bigger than yourself and your husband you will focus on the things that matter the most, which is bringing this child up in a loving home.