Dear mum, do you sometimes feel like my social life is ruined because of the man you married? I see it in your eyes, whenever you talk about some specific kids my age, the opportunities they get, and how you wish one of your kids will at least catwalk in similar shoes. You want more, I see it but for the most part, you’re scared you would never get it. The entirety of your wanting more is for your kids and you’re too scared to admit that things could have been more bliss but for the glitch in parenting. I know deep down when you have your sober reflections, you cut a larger piece of the blame for yourself. You detest the social awkwardness your children suffer but unfortunately, it is who we are now. Don’t be too hard on yourself mum, or fault the stricken strictness of your husband, I must confess, I’ve grown to enjoy the beauty of my personhood, I’m entertained by my baby steps even in adulthood.
Why worry about my love life mum? Did you expect I would have tied the knot so easy? You did I know, and it’s a shame. How do you plant corn seeds and expect to reap big tubers of yam? Every time you say “Ujunwa you must marry o, onye amuru na amu ibe ya (He that is birthed must birth)”, I get attracted to the frustration that strengthens the tone of your voice and the confused rotation of your eyes. You hate my nonchalance towards marriage I know, hence me making sure my first response is usually “Na so” (a payback maybe). Even though you emphasize my age, I know it’s the least of your worries. You’re scared something is wrong with me psychologically, you regret not creating a bond between us from inception. Well, I used to be a lot in my feelings when I was much younger about this, especially when I hear someone say “My mum is my best friend”, I lowkey hated them for having what I could never have, but along the line, I figured it’s still surreal to have best friends who are not mums.
Hmmm, mum, you mean to tell me that one day, I’ll have to foot the bills of my kids as you and Dad do? Scary shit! I think of you sometimes and I wonder how rich you’ll have become if you didn’t birth any kids. “Mummy this! Mummy that! Mummy this” from every corner of the home even down to the extended family. When I was younger, I was lowkey scared, I thought you needed help psychologically because there was rarely a time I’ll barge into your room and not find you talking to yourself. “Watch mummy, she’s always talking to herself”, I once hinted at my sister frightfully, but the she-goat wasn’t as sensitive. Reminiscing on those moments as an adult, now I can relate. The bills were so overwhelming, I bet you cried your eyes silly sometimes but stupid me always bragged to my friends in high school about how rich my parents are. It’s not my fault, there was not one thing I asked that you didn’t make sure was provided, even when dad reiterated how trivial it was, you made sure I and my siblings got it.
I had never felt so much guilt spending your money until the conversation we had some time last month and you openly said your salary before you retired banking was N120,000. What!! I held myself throughout the gist and amid the laughter, I was breaking inside and that night I suffered a lack of sleep and shed a few tears thinking about you and how much dad’s salary would have been too because he was also a banker. The salary you used in sustaining a home was my first job salary which I considered too small, I still cannot imagine how you were able to send 5 kids to good schools, clothing, feeding, etc. I regret tripling my school fees and money for handouts, I guess I was influenced by my brother who one time said to me “Anything they ask you to pay for in school, better double it, mummy and daddy have money, they’re just pretending”. For some reason, these words stuck with me through university, If I had known how much you were earning I swear I would have been considerate.
The Sex Conversation
Another thing I’ll be shocked to find out is if you still have sex mum. I watch you and sometimes your eyes tell that you’re unhappy for some key reasons yet you run with the bias that “mothers are supposed to keep the home, and not show fragility!” I see how you smile watching your favourite sitcom, ‘The Johnsons’, especially the hilarious lovey-dovey scenes of the couple characters Emu and Lucky. You wish you could share love gestures like that with your husband huh? I know. Do you still have sex? I doubt. I figured you got tired of wanting some things and adjusted, now you’re such a good actor who suffers a romantic awkwardness with her husband. I wish we could have a sex conversation, I long to know your definition of a spark and your fantasies about marriage. It’s glaring there’s a lot you hide in those cupboards locked in your eyes.
I know you’re eager to know if I’m sexually active too but you’re not sure if my answer will break or merry your heart. You could have asked during the Vagina pills conversation, but you blew your shot by feigning ignorance as usual. Well, I suffered genophobia for decent years and all I needed were the words of a mum or better put, my mum, holding my hands and saying summarily to me “It’s not that deep”.
The Death Conversation
I hate how brutally honest you’re with death, although you’re dramatic when you cry over death, yet your move on is superb. When I lost my close friend Blessing and always cried my eyes out and got scared to sleep, I hated how you handled it. “You better stop crying, your friend has left this wicked world and you’ll leave one day too”, despite admitting you’ve never seen me that broken yet you refused me succour. You said the bitter truth though but still…you made me question your tendencies of being heartless especially when I hinted at seeing her in my dream and you quickly rebuked it. I went on to ask if you’ve seen your late father in the dream and with a much covered up hostile tone, you responded “What for? My father is resting peacefully, only dead people who are bad are seen in dreams”. This tops the list of the ignorant things you’ve ever said.
If you die today Mum, I’ll still love to host you in my dreams just to have you echo my name, and annoy me with silly chores like calling me on the phone to help you get something from the fridge even though you’re seated literally at arm’s length from the fridge. I’ll still love to see you for sometime mum. You’re right about the need to move on after death, I just hate your approach in telling it.
A Few Yet Huge Lessons
You are not among the most popular or powerful women in the world, not every mum is. We might not have had any tangible mother-daughter conversation, it doesn’t mean I haven’t learned anything from you. I have learned so much. Ooo boy! You’re a fervent preacher of ‘Savings’, although I somewhat hate how you preach it harshly and remind me of impending sufferings if I do not adhere. I know you think I’m a dummy in this aspect but ever heard of the saying “Never tell your parents how much you’re earning and how much you’ve saved”? Don’t be scared, I have some little saved. And your trenchant wit quote “Not having money is a sin” has become my mantra too, again don’t be scared, I wouldn’t end up poor.
I learned the beauty of “Support being reciprocal” from you. When I observed that sometimes the blended tomatoes in the house is sometimes sour and other times sweet. I asked why and you opened up about rotating two different sellers. I complained that you ditched the bad tomato seller but you told me it wasn’t possible because both women buy from you. You added that support is reciprocal and that even if it meant having to eat not too good tomatoes for a week, you’ll bear it. Since that conversation mum, I make sure to support every friend’s business who reads my blog as much as I can. However, in an attempt to practice rotating among my two cloth vendor friends who are dedicated readers of my blog, like the bad tomato seller, one served me shitty customer service, to date, I have not gotten my dress. My encounter is not to nullify your lesson on support but opens my eyes on the unreliable nature of some folks.
Dear mum, most of the words written here are the conversations I wish we could have or you should know. This should be the right opportunity but unfortunately, you don’t read my blog. No, I’m not pissed, I promise. I only feel it’s a subconscious tit for tat as I hate to unhook your bra on most occasions. No hard feelings, only that you mostly show up when I’m having a not-so-good time.
ABOUT YOUR MUM
Last week was mother’s day and before it, I’ve been asking some close friends when exactly is Mother’s day cause I know there’s usually an established confusion with the dates, all thanks to varying church denominations. I had prepared pointers for this story some months ago and felt having it published on Mother’s Day would be great but how unfortunate, I missed the rapture. I was amused to see “happy mothers day mum”, on almost everyone’s story last Sunday and went on to query my friend Bubu for not keeping me abreast. Her hilarious response via chat was “Who you blame? This one is not acknowledged on Google, they said this one na pentecostal mother’s day, catholic’s own is still coming, then the one that is recognized worldwide is on its way too”.
Hmmmmm, rather than miss the next and even the next, I decided to have this post come up today because there’s every likelihood that I’m gonna be caught unaware the umpteenth time.
Anyway, I want us to talk about our mothers today, not in the cliche way that we’re fond of, for instance “My mum is the best mum in the world”, you know that’s a fallacy right? I want this version of describing mums to be real, vulnerable, and unique. Those little and big bits you’ve observed about your mum, those words you wish you could say, conversations you should have had, let’s talk! Telling some sides of the story will most definitely hurt you, or make you tear up like I did when writing this, but I want you to be vulnerable in telling. If your mother is late or peradventure you were abandoned as a child, I urge you, don’t feel left out, please share. I’m sure you have memories and if not, there are still some things you wish you could say to them. Feel free.
Like you’ve read mine, please leave yours in the comment section so we can all learn. You might not be able to write as long as I did, but I’m sure you can pick an intense part of the narrative to relay. So shall we👇👇.
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