Rita Chidinma: Young Mothers, We are Our Own Freedom - a month ago
Before I started my blog on Instagram, I thought I was alone in everything I was going through as a mother. I was lonely. I felt isolated from the world. I felt that each day I woke up and focused on my family, on my kids who are still so young, the world was moving on without me.
I love my kids but I wanted more. I wanted so many other things out of life that didn’t involve marriage and children, and the frustrating part is that I didn’t know how to go about it, because even if I wanted to go in search of a job, where would I leave my children? The daily chores of early motherhood were beginning to feel like a cage to me, a cage which I could only look through the cracks but couldn’t get out of.
I would look at and admire older women who had fulfilling careers and grown-up kids, and I would always ask myself, “Will I ever get to be like them?” “Will I just be stuck here, bearing and raising children?” I am made for so much more!
Then I started my blog and started interacting with lots of young mothers in Nigeria like me and it hit me: I was not alone. The loneliness, the isolation, the resentment, the loss of freedom and independence, the financial dependence was everywhere. It was almost like a pandemic spread across a lot of young mothers in Nigeria. Some had even completely lost their sense of self and individuality in the whole process.
Some had become so physically and mentally tired, that even though they wanted to chase dreams, they no longer had the energy to do so. And – wait for it – some regretted even having kids.
So I set about trying to interact with more and more women, and the more I interacted with them, a solution road map began to form in my head.
We are our own freedom
You read that right. No one is coming to save us. The fulfillment outside the everyday motherhood and/or wife roles, the financial independence, the freedom we so earnestly seek to pursue our destinies lies in our own hands.
Our freedom will not happen because our kids will grow one day and become independent a bit and we will focus on other things. It will not happen because of our husbands, because of our parents, siblings, or family and friends. The freedom we seek will happen because of who we are, because we have decided to break free from that trapping mentality of “a mother sacrifices her life for her children.”
Our freedom will happen because we have decided to become the best version of ourselves no matter the category of motherhood we fall under – be it a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, a work-outside-the-home mom, or a mumpreneur.
Our freedom will happen because of the skills we will acquire and what we’ll bring to the table even while staying at home and, over time, it will also happen because of the relationship capital that we have built. We live in an interesting world, a world that has become even more interesting since the year 2020 when the world literally came to a stand-still. The world we live in today rewards initiative, effort, diligence, and fortitude in specific areas. And all these can be acquired and given from the comfort of the home space.
Your job, every day you wake up as a mother, is to expand your freedom – freedom of independent thoughts, of choice, and of action. Over time, you become your thoughts.
Let go of limiting beliefs and acquire the necessary skills to get this freedom you earnestly seek. Do this by learning to think first, to plan, and then act no matter what happens.
No one is coming to save you, mama. No one is coming to save me either. Our freedom lies in our own hands.