Don't Call me Mama (11) - Let's get real: Your child is not your achievement

This week officially marks the end of this series. If this were a book, then this week's edition is the epilogue which is always as important as the book.

After I had my baby, I debated whether I should tell the world I was now a mother, considering the fact that I never even told anyone I was pregnant neither did I take a picture of me being pregnant. Not only did I blog about having a baby, I went into details about how it went down. Sharing things like this puts you in a vulnerable position, where people can attack you, but in the end, I'm glad I did. Even if it just proved to me that the demanding motherhood role doesn't mean I should drop my writing pen, it was a good thing I did.



This week’s edition is something that some people might not see eye to eye with me on. It might even draw criticism from older women and even some young folks, but this issue has always been a burden on my heart since I was a single lady.

When I said don't call me mama in the prologue of this series, I was very serious. Apart from the fact that I didn't want to become old school, lol, it was mainly because I didn't want to lose my identity.

The origin of women being called "Mama Sade" for example is because in those days, women were being defined by their children, which to be honest, might not really be a bad thing in itself, many women were proud of, and it has continued till this day. My issue with this was


1. Where did that put the women, who for one reason or the other, could not have children?

2. I have seen many women lose a large part of who they are because they are now mothers. They see themselves as mothers first before anything. I see myself as other things first before a mother. Mother is just one of the most important roles God decided to bless me with but I have decided not to let it alter my identity. The women in the first category are not wrong, I am not wrong, that's just the path I have decided to take because I believe that mindset is what will enable me fulfil the purpose God has for me.

The problem with being defined by the identity of your children sometimes is that you begin to see yourself through them. If they are a failure, then you are a failure. If you don't have children, you are a failure, if you have children, you are a success. Some women demand respect from others because they now have children. Some women insult other women because they don't have children.

In Yoruba culture, they call mothers Abiyamo, which in all honesty is just a term to elevate a mother above the barren one. Many times, the ones that are not Abiyamo find it difficult raising their heads among their peers, and even attend family gatherings in shame.

You hear some people say "how dare you treat me like this? Don't you know I have children at home?"

And I say “and so what?”

So because you have children, you should be placed on a higher pedestal

We should respect you because you have children? Not because you have some other achievement in life, not because you invented the cure for AIDS, or stopped Ebola from spreading in Nigeria like Stella Adadevoh, not because you are a problem solver or solution provider, but because you have children?

It is this kind of thinking that makes women sometimes treat their children like their properties and makes it hard for them to release because they see them as their own achievements

In this part of the world, you dare not decide as a couple, not to have children, the world will crash down your roof and call you insane.

In the western world, when Cindy has a child, she remains Cindy. But here, when we have children here in Nigeria, we become Iya Monsura, papa Chukwuma and Mama Hauwa. It's definitely not a world thing and this phenomenon has not made our women better than other women in the world

My prayer is that we would treat children as what they are, not an elevation of our status, but as Gods blessings to us and our families. Children are the tools God has given families to impact this world such that even if we never become presidents, business moguls or famous people, we can contribute our quota by raising our children positively and send them to impact the world

17 comments

  1. Well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

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  2. Awesome!
    Oh you said it so well.
    Thanks again for sharing series with us. It's been lovely.

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    1. And thank you for always coming back to read

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  3. No problemo,I will call you whatever name you want. You are still ailola.😁

    It was an interesting series just like all the others. Well-done.

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    1. Looool. Thank you very much for always finding time to stop by

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  4. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

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  5. Thanks for sharing. You are really brave. God will continue to keep you and your family. This 'mama baby' thing was created by man to show status. I was surprised the day my aunt told me that a lady started behaving like a snub when she learnt that her children were older than my aunt children.

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    1. Really? That's so myopic and petty. Humans can be funny sha.

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  7. Blessings......
    it is worthy to note that we all have a multiplicities of identities of which "mama" is only one for some of us. The truth is you can govern your house/life as you see fit. In my own family on my father's side my cousins called their mother by her name while they called my/their grandmother Mammy. Another close family friend called their mother "Mother". Whatever works for you, ain't no shame in your game, you simply do you, whatever that is.

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    1. Oh, I think you misunderstood the post, which is understandable since you are not Nigerian. In Nigeria, many mothers are referred to by the names of their children, by families and friends, and that tradition is what this post is addressing

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    1. We rebuke you in the name of Jesus!!!!

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  9. It's only my Inlaws that call me mama- and I always remind anyone and everyone that my name is Tomi plix. I was me before and I intend for it to remain that way.

    Thanks for sharing the series with us.

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