“Why can’t the girls of these days be like their mothers? Why is the current generation of women not acting and behaving like their mothers or grandmothers?..”
When I hear someone say the above or whenever I read things with the above phrase, I simply feel sad for that person.
Let me share something with us.
There was this picture that was trending last year during mother’s day. It was a woman carrying a child at the back, holding another in her right hand, carrying luggages on her head and also carrying some more in her hands. She was overwhelmed but people kept praising the strength of the woman and how sacrificial she was. Blah blah blah.
That image is stamped in my heart and it saddens me. What makes it okay to appropriate suffering as sacrifice especially for women?
Yes, being a (mother) parent demands sacrifice but to the detriment of self and health?
I see young men complain that the ladies of these days are nothing like their mothers. This saddens me. I don’t want to generalise but a lot of us grew up seeing our mothers overwork themselves with no assistance or help. They woke up first. Slept last. Ate last. They engaged in every trade to provide and sustain the family. Cooked and cleaned everywhere. Catered to all needs except theirs. And when they fell ill, the house came to a halt. And we think that is okay?
A lot of our mothers smiled while suffering and enduring a lot. They toiled and suffered to please everyone except themselves. Some made no demands. On one hand, that looks beautiful, on another hand that’s a terrible way to exist. No human should go through that.
The concept of partnership in marriage scares a lot of us because that will demand accountability and the highest form of consideration, inclusion and involvement in the home. And so when I see a young man complain, I simply feel pity for him.
Some of our mothers worked and died in silence. They went through so much without saying anything. That’s not something we want to replicate. Some were depressed and that’s why a lot resorted to prayer houses for spiritual consolation. Just something to buffer their pains. Some used us (the children) as excuses to remain in saddening conditions and homes.
There is nothing noble in suffering.
Let me share an inside joke. My mom randomly wakes up and tells us at home, “if I break down today and die, life continues and all of you will move on”. And that’s the truth. Yes she sacrifices for me and everybody else, but she also gets selfish with her time and resources and I love her for it. She can say, “I’m traveling tomorrow for one week or I’m doing this for me” and I wholeheartedly get happy seeing her do it.
The narrative that this generation must continue with what was before is something I am here to challenge.
We are going to demand assistance from our partners and family. We will not suit ourselves up to become a one woman army. We will not burn ourselves out taking on tasks not fit for one person to handle. We will not suffer in silence and trick ourselves into thinking it is the better, more admirable decision. Who said virtuous? We will make self care and personal happiness priority. We will ask questions and make things better. Yes we will.
I am my mother’s daughter. I wear that badge with honour and pride but I am also here to improve upon what she had and left for me.
I will erect a statue and write a thousand ballad for our mothers but I won’t glorify the needless suffering and pain they bore silently as sacrifice or something to emulate.
So, No. We are doing things afresh, beautifully so. Thank you.
[author image=”http://hypestationng.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ew.jpg” ]Barr. Enwongo C. Cleopas is a Woman in Love and here to make a dent in the universe. [/author]