Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mama Somebody


I had earlier written an International Women's Day tribute on this blog to a lady I know titled The Unnamed Market Woman. I got some emails chiding me for not knowing her name, so I decided to ask.
She said, "Call me Mama Emeka." I said "Okay, but what is your own name?" She looked offended by the question but grunted a quiet 'Lucy." I smiled a thank you at her.

I don't understand the transition from Lucy to mama somebody. I never have. I have seen it happen again and again. It is not the change in nomenclature that bothers me, it is the partial|complete loss of identity or the adoption of an entirely new one after childbirth. One that inextricably defines the mother by the child(ren). For these women, their very existence becomes governed by the needs, wants and aspirations of their child(ren) so much so that sometimes, it creates  friction in the home; and if for any reason the woman is separated from her child(ren), she struggles with self definition. 

Something even more worrisome occurs, passion and ambition give way to a sated complacency. I have seen women stay in marriages where death is guaranteed and when you ask why they tell you "Because of my children." And I wonder, so who takes care of the children when he finally kills you? I have seen some give up everything but life itself and they attribute that decision to - the children.

I understand that not all of us will end up in the boardroom, slugging it out with the guys, breaking that over-hyped glass ceiling and paving the way for future generations. It is okay if you want to be a home maker. Let no one make you feel inferior for not having a 9-5 or owning a business. My concern is with purpose beyond what seems apparent; it is being able to function, to have a life that revolves around but also beyond husband and child(ren) except if that is what you have always wanted. Whatever you decide, I hope your children have not become the perfect excuse. I hope you know that you can be everything you want to be and still be a good mother. I hope you know it is not an either or situation.

This may just be the rantings of a single lady who has no clue how utterly life transforming childbirth is, or maybe, it is indeed worth thinking about...

©Naomi Lucas
Image credit: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSEEmoqhv0jD2QK-l782PJZCd0aSvz7XmRLhNE1htfbXknOgkQAOQ

4 comments:

Tessa Doghor said...

I totally get you.

BUt society might not

Say: Do you mind doing a guest post for me?

tessadoghor@gmail.com

Naomi Lucas said...

Hi Tessa. I know right...

Er..guest post on what platform?

Anonymous said...

This story resonates something true and deep inside of me where I constantly try to find the difference between me (lets say I am Clara)and being mother to my daughter Gift.
Before there was Gift there was Clara: she had a very strong personality, very driven, focused, big dreamer...... and now Mama Gift!!!!
Make no mistake I love Gift with all that I am, so much that I love her even more than myself most times!!!!
A lot of the time however I struggle to remember who I am while I am trying to be wife to my husband
- cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing others!!! and caring for my daughter changing diapers, feeding, playing with her that there is little or no time to even remember that Clara exists!!!!
It happens so often that before you know it 1yr has gone by and Clara is almost nothing but wife and mama Gift!

Where was I! who am I now!
Im trying to get back on track with all the dreams and aspirations. Get back to live the life that I had always dreamed to be all to the utmost possible Clara first, Wife then Mum......

Naomi Lucas said...

Hmm. All the best with your journey of self rediscovery anon...