Talking to my mum whilst on a business trip, in the usual “how is it going” banter, I mentioned my global head (female) was in town as well to which she instinctively responded “you too will be a director soon in Jesus’ name”. I casually mentioned I have no interest in the corporate ladder I want the money not the responsibility. Alas confrontation follows “I thought you wanted to be a career woman?”, “how old are you that you already want to stop chasing your career?”. My first reaction: “I never said I want to be a career woman” but as she insisted on banging on I quickly deflected by mentioning this director had no kids and has no intention to have any which was naturally followed by a series of “God forbid”, “what sort of life is that” which thankfully ended the conversation about my lack of appetite for the corporate ladder (though only started a suggestion that I have more kids …sigh)
I genuinely don’t believe there’s a problem with choosing not to have kids, neither do I believe there’s a trade off between kids and career (though certain phases may call for prioritising or compromising) in fact I am ashamed of myself for using this as a deflection as it went against my core beliefs on the topic but it got me thinking…
- I never mentioned a desire to be a career person it just happened to be what my family always said would suit me because to them I had no business acumen and seemed better fit for the corporate world and going through life I have found myself believing what others thought of my abilities.
- What paths have we chosen out of own interested or discovered skills and which have been thrust to us in inceptions we have carried on following even though it defiled our logic? Marriage? Having kids? Which career path is shameful and which is noble? What things do we want so badly in our lives but inceptions of old make us feel guilty to even think about? And then there’s the question where do you draw the line? What desires are unrealistic youthful exuberance with selfish, untamed longings and who really decides this boundaries? Society? Religion? Self?
Ah well! Still on a journey to figure life out…
As females, society has often decided what is acceptable for us to say, do or even think. We are told how (and when!) to feel, what to want, and what to prioritise with no explanation beyond because “you are female”.
While feminism has enabled us some progress in political and economical equality, socially we still seem to lag behind because at the very least our mothers will tell us, no matter who you are outside the home, once you are home drop all that at the door and still be everything – a mother, a wife, a cook, a cleaner, the least goes on! Because you still remain primarily responsible to keep your home…and if you’re the main earner? (total abomination to repeat that in public). Quite honestly we have been so hard wired that even we feel somewhat uncomfortable owning that in public (I’ll save that for a different day before I digress).
But no world, because I am who I am I shall feel what I feel in the moment I do, I will aspire to greatness as far as my mind lets me. I shall do what agrees with my conscience, and speak as my spirit leads. Oh when home? I shall expect my partner to pull his weight in all aspects of our life because hell he is not with an average person and he is getting a damn good deal. Oh before I forget, sorry in advance because I will not be sorry for simply being me (sigh looks like the hard wiring still got me apologising…baby steps ladies we will make it).
I had been told all about the joys of motherhood; how magically the pain of childbirth disappears the moment you hold your little one, the excitement of each process from watching the first steps to the sprout of the first tooth, and how the toothless smiles makes every effort worth it (the list goes on!). And yes each of this I have felt and I still feel as I watch my little one blossom. But no one told me…
No one told me on my return to work I will struggle (though mostly internal struggles) to find a balance between being a mum and still chasing a career. No one told me I would lose my identity because people would only identify me as a mum with an expectation my existence will solely revolve around my child. Why didn’t anyone tell me about the hormone driven night sweats, hair loss and the consistent feeling of being drained that I fear to tag depression?
No one told me the strain this would put on my marriage or that a full night sleep is over till further notice. No one told me I’d hate my own reflection because even 10 months after, my body is nothing like I’ve ever known it (4th Trimester!).
Because no one told me, I’ll tell you.
I was married for a couple of years but it didn’t work out. Marriage did not work for me. So after about a year of trying to make it work, things finally came to an end.
Now the question I get asked the most is “So are you single now?”. Some people ask out of genuine curiosity, others ask for personal interest (boys will be boys).
I’m still not sure how to answer this question. My entire adult life I’ve only had to deal with “single” or “in a relationship”. When I got married it wasn’t that difficult to adjust to the status of “married” because in essence it’s still “in a relationship”. But now having to consider things like “separated” or “divorced” is a whole new thing.
Socially, I think there should only be two relationship statuses (this word sounds weird). You’re either single or in a relationship. I say that, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to say it out loud yet.
So yeah, relationship status for now – unclear.
(Yes, I notice my contradictions. Never claimed to have it all figured out. *shrug*)
We’ve all been watching the King Women series – they’re amazing.
After watching all the interviews I noticed most of these women have something in common, great partners. They all talked about how supportive their partners are and how it played a huge part in their success.
This really got me thinking…
Is it the same qualities that contributed to the women’s success that guided them to picking the right men? The right men for them.
Did they have such strong personalities and intelligence that it earned them the respect of their men?
Are men more supportive of women who are focused and strong-willed?
Do men only see women as partners or equals when they are “financially successful”?
Is there an element of luck?
Is there a religious aspect?
Were they picked specifically for this interview to suit the Nigerian audience because they are the successful women that also have the family balance?
Or in the end are they just like most Nigerian women that hide the struggles of relationships?
Honestly, I hope its the first point.