Were any of you like me? You always thought that your mother was a bit crazy, over dramatic, and couldn’t possibly be right all those times (no reference to this movie, by the way). I wasn’t an out there rebellious child, but I definitely had my moments as a teenager, I tell you. That said, most of the time I tried to think the best of my mum even though I struggled with my head often, arguing that there was just no (no!) way she knew what she was talking about all those times.
I think I held such thoughts until I arrived at early adulthood. I think by that point one has experienced a bit more of life to feel like a good number of what one’s mother had always said did in fact make sense. That was me. I still had my doubts regarding other things she said, but, let’s just say that was the start of my coming around.
Then I got married. At that point, my mum and I were close enough and I had enough wisdom by then to truly start applying a lot of things she’d always advised my sisters and I over the years. I saw them start playing out and making sense as a young wife. I loved my hubby and so wanted to please him (no, feminists, not in a not-being-my-own-person kind of way) that I was willing to learn all I could, just to be a blessing to him. He was being the best best husband I could ever imagine as well, so girls, you know what all that does to our hearts. That’s literally what made me just want to give him my all. Well, do you know it was at that point I found myself doing a lot of things in a very “natural” manner? I discovered that making meals was not so strange or new, and keeping home wasn’t difficult at all. In other words, I discovered, and was grateful to find, that I wasn’t truly starting off at a disadvantage. There were key moments as a young wife (or “iyawo”, as the Nigerian tribe Yoruba people would refer to me at that time) that I found myself silently thanking my mother for the years of preparation and patience she’d given and shown me.
I was probably one of the most difficult people to prepare for such a lifestyle. I had always indeed loved a clean place, and keeping a place clean was relatively less work for me than the idea of being in the kitchen cooking or thinking up meals. Ugggh! My mum tried and tried but I hated the idea of all that stuff. Well, being married and being so far away from her (continents apart, actually), I found that at that point I knew just what to do in so many tricky situations. An example? Figuring out to do when you’re cooking and you realize you’re out of a particular ingredient. Knowing the right substitute is not simply magic. It is a cultivated thing.
Ok, fast forward to when I myself then became a mother. The best way to explain when it really hit me across my skull that not only was I a mother but that I now was her, was when I came across the following meme:
Do you know? I literally paused. I think my heart gasped and I could hear it through my ears. Why, you wonder? I realized that was now my life story. I realized that I did indeed think the worst when I couldn’t hear my toddler in the next room. If I’d been hearing her incessantly babbling to herself in babyspeak and then there was sudden silence for a few moments, I shudder to tell you all the thoughts that would immediately flood my mind. I often times have had to dash into the other room (before the thoughts overtake me) to see what she’s up to. It’s then I find that my child, much like me, is a pensive soul. She studies objects, turns them over and over, and starts forming thoughts about them. Those are the reasons for the silence. Phew. When I arrive in the room and see her silently holding an object, deep in thought, I find myself thanking God that I didn’t make a great noise with my entrance. It’s in those moments I can imagine her as a teenager looking up at me quizzically, wondering why the heck her mom is crazy, over dramatic, and…get the point?
In short, I need to chill. No, really. Except I don’t think I know how. I think that’s a key way I can tell you that I can now better understand my mum. I literally think something switches on when one becomes a mother – and that that thing happens to tie all mothers together.
Yea. You thought I’d say something deeper than that eh? But, that’s really all it is.
Bottom line: become a mother, and I guarantee that you’ll celebrate Mother’s day a little differently than you did all your life prior. 🙂