This past weekend was my mother’s 55th birthday and gifts were flowing into the house left, right and center. As usual, we opened one of the gifts and in that beautiful wrap were a set of plates, and cups; and I asked my sister, “Why is it that when people buy gifts for mothers, it is mostly what can be used in the kitchen”. My sister responded by saying, “What is wrong with buying kitchen utensils for women, after all, that’s what women also buy when shopping”.
Most mothers I have noticed will shop for the house, their children or their husbands first before buying anything for themselves. As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of something closely related to this that I have been pondering about. It is the issue of sacrifice and mothers.
Women most especially mothers have been known to give up their lives for their children. Some give up their careers, dreams, or needs for their children and husband. But at what point does these choices cross the boundaries of sacrifice? At what point does the Mother begin to live her live through her children? Is this the reason a lot of our mothers are unhappy? They’ve given up things they ordinarily would have loved for their families. Should the responsibility of taking care of the house rest on the Mother or the Father or both?
I am not yet a mother, but sacrifice is not alien to me. I can never forget the time I gave up attending a course, just so the money can be used to buy provisions for my sister’s visiting. At the time I didn’t think too much of it, but I can’t help asking myself the difference that course would have made in my life.
Is motherhood really about sacrifice as some say or about making choices? You made a choice to have a child right? One thing I am very sure of is that once you become a Mother everything about you changes, whether you like it or not.
There is a school of thought that says Good Mothers are the ones who make sacrifices? But what are these sacrifices? If I may ask.
While doing research for this topic, I came across the story of the unnecessary sacrifice. In it, I was reminded of a statement I always hear, even my father has told me before. “That every man is a baby”. Back in the day, I use to agree with it, but not anymore.
We have made out Nigerian men to be babies that need constant babysitting. Regardless of whatever he does, we swallow it without complaining. He cheats, you must rub his back and thank God he still came home, he doesn’t help out at home? He’s a king that must always be attended to. In order to be the best wife, you must wash his clothes, cook his meals every time, regardless of how stressed you are, have sex with him on the regular, else he will look elsewhere. Funny thing is, wives are not only mothers to their children, but also to their husbands.
Sometimes in fulfilling all these roles, some women have lost the essence of their lives. Don’t get me wrong; whilst there are some women who are fulfilled when they have thriving careers, others are fulfilled when they have homes; so the demarcation has to be made.
I read a quote somewhere that says, “Children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so you can have the life you want. You make sacrifices so your children can have the life they deserve”. But I dare ask, what about the life you deserve? You take care of everyone else, but who takes care of you? Is this the reason a lot of mothers guilt trap their children because they’ve given up so much of their lives for their kids, that nothing of them is left. Do not guilt trap your children of robbing you of your life.
It would interest you to know that a lot of mothers have lost the spark in their marriages because immediately they had kids, nothing else mattered, including their husbands. After the children have all grown up and left the house, how will the relationship between Father and Mother be? Hope it won’t be a matter of intimate strangers. They’ve sacrificed the relationships with their husbands because of their kids.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not against mothers sacrificing for the sake of their families, I am only saying while doing that, do not lose the essence of who you are. Dear Mothers and Mothers-to-be, by all means… do all you can for your family, but while at it; please do not lose the essence of who you are; because if you do, not only would your pursue a highly frustrated life but one day your children will wake up one morning and not know YOU.