The Hand that Rocks the Cradle


It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. This idiom translates to mean that women have the most influence on how children turn out at adulthood. In my own opinion it means that great powers rest in the hands of women which when properly harnessed will yield a great harvest for the society. Just how do you as a woman use your power/opportunities?

Mother in-laws have the power to rock families of their children especially when it is a son. Why do we continually have power tussles between mother in-laws and daughter in-laws? Some say it’s a fight for the love of the only man between the women. He possesses the privilege of being a son and a husband to them, which are very dear positions. Some mother in-laws are a night mare to their daughter in-laws while some others are heaven sent.

Well the woman we are celebrating this month happens to be a mother in-law made in heaven. Many years ago the birth of her first grandchild and grandson took her to help nurse the baby. Her daughter in-law had a very eventful birth experience which gave cause for having a surgery done. She was not physically fit to take care of her baby and herself as expected. This woman gave all of herself to help her son and his wife. The young couple didn’t have much but instead of complaining she managed whatever she was given. A number of times she helped her daughter in-law to cook. And while she was still feeble because of the birth experience she helped a lot with the washing of the baby’s cloths. The young couple didn’t have enough resources to engage the help of a house help. Now in some culture this help acts might not be strange but in the African culture it is considered disrespect to a mother in-law. There were days when food was scarce in the house; her son and his wife would feel terrible that mama could not be given proper nourishment which her aging body badly needed. One painful episode was the day when the only food available was gari in the house, mama looked at the sad face of her daughter in-law and said, “Yesterday we eat fish, today we drink gari and tomorrow will be eating chicken”. Her words touched her daughter in-laws heart deeply. Now I have heard of mother in-laws who raise hell simply because they were given only one meat and not two to eat their food!


This woman helped to nurse her grandson for a whole full year before biding her good byes. After that hard work of love she goes back to her home town to nurse her aged sick mother. She sacrificed many years to see the peaceful passage of her mum at a hundred years plus old. What makes this worthy of praise was that she left every other personal pursuit to do this. Today I celebrate Faramade Juliana Falola Adetunji, my mother in-law worth many rubies.

Celebrate your mother in-law and daughter in-law. There is really no reason for the power tussle! Show some love, we all need each other so let’s pull together instead of tearing at each other.

Word Glossary:

Gari: Cassava flakes

Yesterday we eat fish, today we drink gari and tomorrow will be eating chicken: No condition is permanent

Adebisi Adetunji


6 thoughts on “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

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