I never desired to have kids immediately I got married and although I had always seen myself with two children, a girl and a boy in that order, I wanted to wait at least two years before getting pregnant mainly because I wanted to prepare myself for the role of motherhood, it being a life-long journey and also because I wanted to enjoy my life a bit before the children came.
However, Mr Aisi was not of the same persuasion. He wanted kids as soon as possible and though we had earlier agreed to wait, I knew I couldn’t deny him the pleasure of being a father for as long as planned especially after catching him looking longingly at other people’s children.
So, I got pregnant and started my life’s journey down the path of motherhood. I remember that when I started to show, I was very self-conscious of the fact that everyone would know for certain what I had been up to, but after a while I shrugged it off reminding myself that I had both the legal and moral right to sleep with a man and there was nothing to be ashamed of.
Pregnancy was mostly a breeze, my mother’s admonition that it was the easiest part of being a mother made me determined to enjoy it while it lasted. The whispered stories about childbirth didn’t really scare me because I thought that if everyone I had known went through labor and survived, my case wasn’t going to be any different. But nothing prepares you for the pain and miracle of giving birth and alas, my first attempt at having a child ended up in grief due to medical negligence but that’s a story for another day.
I finally became a mother and promptly discovered that no matter how much you prepare, nothing really prepares you for motherhood. Nothing prepares you for the range of emotions you will feel in one day, the changes you will go through, the sacrifices you will be called upon to make, the person you will become. You will discover that you are expected to know what to do without having been taught or told, you wonder severally if you are doing the right things, having the right balance, saying what needs to be said at the right time, you can only pray that you are not repeating the mistakes of the previous generations, several times you find yourself floundering but trudging on.
You begin to appreciate your own mother and wonder at how she survived especially during your turbulent teenage years as you find yourself doing things you had promised yourself that you wouldn’t do, things that you disliked when growing up like insisting a child ate a particular meal or finished their portion. You find yourself repeating her sayings- my favorite being “I didn’t kill my mother you wouldn’t kill me”. In so many ways you discover how much like your mother you have become.
Motherhood- it is the joys of being rewarded with a smile from your baby, of having tiny people who believe that you are the most beautiful person, an excellent cook, superwoman.
Motherhood- it’s the pride you feel at your child’s achievements, their good decisions and actions, their honor and success and good behavior.
Motherhood- it’s the exasperation you feel on the days that child willfully disobeys you, when you have to constantly remind them of the things they have been taught that you thought they had imbibed.
Motherhood – it’s the fear and apprehension you have when that child goes to school for the first time, when they travel alone, make wrong choices or decisions, become exposed to life and its ugliness.
Motherhood- it’s the frustration you feel when your once cute baby talks back at you, when they are naughty, obnoxious or just plain irresponsible, when you find out that you can’t force your decisions on them and that they must walk their own path either for good or for ill.
Motherhood – it’s the satisfaction of being able to comfort a crying toddler, a self-conscious teen, an adult who has been hurt by their world.
Motherhood- it’s the wonder of looking at your children all grown and towering above you and confirming to yourself that indeed you were the one who gave birth and nurtured them.
Motherhood is a job we don’t have any operating manual for but we do based on our instincts and God’s wisdom and grace. It’s a role we play from the day we have the child till the day we die because even though our children grow and leave our homes, we will always carry them close to our hearts, worry about them and all that concerns them. It’s a process that we all go through whether or not we physically birth a child so far as we are the nurturers.
A mother’s work is never done and is not fully appreciated until one has child/children. A mother’s job is very unique in that more than anyone else she has the opportunity to mound a person from scratch, she has the privilege of giving the child a unique background, interests, outlook and approach to life.
I am a glad recipient of my mother’s grooming. She gave me the love I have for reading, ethnic clothing and culture, the arts, fairs/ shows and music- we had several albums spanning several genres and the first thing you saw when you came into her house was a big poster of FELA. Though she holds strong views, she is very unconventional in her approach and has always believed a child should live their age so whilst growing up I had the freedom to be myself and challenge the norm and till today I am never afraid of being true to myself.
So, having said all I hope I have made a very good case why mothers should be celebrated every day of the year and answered the questions of those who dare to wonder why she is celebrated twice a year.
Thanks Mrs Y!