The Role Called 'Mother'


#RandomTots from #NYSC

Episode Three.

Yesterday, I looked at my bag and realized I’ve even forgotten I brought some things to camp, and perhaps, might not even use, or exhaust some of them.

Sincerely, mothers are an awesome lot. I think they occupy a special place in the universe. A place that is extremely important and crucial for our well-being. Yet, I’m scared the next generation might miss out of this beauty. The beauty of that role called ‘mother’.

Today, any dividing gender lines are being blurred. And anything that associates any gender, especially in the context of marriage, to any role, responsibility, or uniqueness, are being erased. People don’t just want to hear any thing about a traditional women responsibility. And I understand that. I understand that many of these peculiarities have been used against them.

Now, there’s the argument of “how did mothers come about their ability and inclination to nurture, keep, groom etc”. A school of thoughts, citing history and evidences in animal life, attributes such qualities to nature. It is a woman’s natural instinct to be the homemaker. Another believes mothers show such aptitude because they were raised to be that. They are a result of a psycho-social script passed on from one generation to the other. And if men were given that same training and social expectation, the result would have being a reverse of the current norm.

And I’m not sure where I currently stand in this argument.

But when I look at my mum, I’m amazed at her instinct to nurture. And how it is expressed.

As I prepared for camp, I decided to stop by at Akure to say hi to mom before proceding. That was my undoing.

She had heard several stories of how difficult camp life can be, and she was prepared to change the narrative for this her son. She didn’t have much, but she made everything in her house useful. I wanted to tell her I wasn’t a kid anymore. At a point I didn’t want to keep saying ‘ẹ má worry, kò need’ (don’t worry, it’s not needed), so I just nodded in the affirmative.

You won’t believe she woke up like 5am on my departure day to fry a whole branch of plantain for me to add as snacks. She pilled a bowl of oranges and added it. She was even going to follow me to the park, that was when I had to insist.

As a younger person, basking in the euphoria of independence, I would have resisted all these. But growing older, and gradually staring family life in the eyes, I’m beginning to understand it is fulfillment for her. She derives joy from seeing her children comfortable.

And I told myself never to deny her that joy again.

Maybe the next generation of mothers will be so advanced, and so neutral to this gender role, that they will know nothing of this kind of intrinsic nurture-nature of mothers.

Maybe it will have been a well established crime for a women to enjoy cooking good meals for, or take special attention to groom her family.

Maybe the role of nurture would have been entirely shifted to the men.

I’m not sure.

But today, I’m greatful to all the women in my mum’s generation, and the ones in mine, who occupy, and are looking up to the role of ‘mother’, who birth, groom, and nurture their families through thick and thin, lack and plenty, and good and bad.

Who create the needed balance in the father-mother and husband-wife equation.

You forever remain Heros.

This is to you Mum,
I Love you for all you do, and all you have done.

I am @theimisiOluwa; and I recognize that role called ‘mother’.