July 27, 2020

Motherhood is the most rewarding job; every woman can attest to that fact. But it comes with many responsibilities that can be a challenge especially to a first-time mother. The fear of not knowing what to expect every single day on this journey can really affect your own personal judgment. This is because friends and family who have already experienced motherhood can give different opinions on raising a child while forgetting that every child is different and unique. Though some advice might be good, it is okay to trust your instincts and learn from mistakes each day.

Most families consider the girl child as the flag bearer of the family’s reputation in the society. Respect of the family is mainly gauged by how well-mannered the daughters are, how many degrees they have attained, and most importantly, the daughters not becoming pregnant outside of a marriage set up. If married, divorce cases are highly disapproved of in the family. These set of rules can become a heavy burden for daughters to bear; the harsh scrutiny from outside leads to the girls being under a great deal of pressure. The daughters often feel that they have a duty to protect the family’s reputation despite their own choices and fulfillment.

We sat down with some of our girls and their friends one afternoon and started talking about the challenges and tribulations of motherhood. Some of these young girls are married and others are single mothers doing everything in their power to provide food for their children.  As I listened, I realized that on a certain level, we all go through our own share of the same challenges- from not getting enough sleep, to questioning our discipline methods, and sometimes fighting our inner selves not to lose our own identity as we often tend to concentrate on the well-being of the child at our own expense. As we talked, we tried giving ourselves credit for the challenges we all face in child-rearing, acknowledging that children must be given top priority for their benefit and as they give us strength to fight whatever comes our way for their behalf.

A mother tills the land with a baby on her back; she has to balance both roles without complaining.

The inspiring and sometimes, heated discussion, also made us realize it is high time we appreciate our selves more and get back our own identity, create more time for ourselves and unwind. Several who spoke up were married before and had to be strong enough to share that they were forced to say no to domestic violence. They were forced to make the decision to stand up for their physical safety, often thereafter, becoming the sole care giver for their children. These young women had to create a new peaceful environment for their children. Others spoke about getting pregnant and how the men responsible for their pregnancies allowed their fears to get the better of them and fled their responsibilities. This forced the girls to be the sole provider for the family as there is no strict laws in our country that forces men to provide child support. They can choose to deny the child and live normal lives as though nothing has happened. Most African men are not good at taking charge of their responsibilities. They often choose to abandon their parental responsibility rather than face it.  They forget that women also have their own fears; the only difference being the mother has no choice but to live through their fears and conquer them. More often than not, the instant a woman discovers she is pregnant, her world changes automatically; even her thinking changes. She matures.

A mother falls asleep as she hawks fruits; she did not get enough sleep most probably from nursing her child at night.

The mental aspect and the love a mother holds for her child in her heart, prepares a woman to accept the situation of motherhood and learn to love and appreciate her new world and thrive to succeed within it, no matter the challenges.  With a strong supportive system from both friends and family, her world can be a place to smile in again. Salute to all mothers, especially independent single mothers, who work hard to better their children’s lives.

 A mother bonding with her baby.

Comments are closed.

Go Back
WordPress Image Lightbox Plugin