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Omo Remilekun: To My Mother on Valentine’s Day

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A few days ago, I read Kenneth Onuh’s piece, “A Mother’s Love – Pure and Endless” on BellaNaija. {Click here to read} It came at the very same time I was considering writing a (hopefully cathartic) piece about my mother too. You see, her birthday is February 14. So I’m here to say Happy Birthday; but I’m also really here to say I’m sorry.
Mummy I’m sorry you got married earlier than you would have preferred and that you had your first child at age 20, when your age mates were still enjoying the engaging freedom of singlehood.

I’m sorry you had your three kids in quick succession which must have made the burden even more significant.
I’m sorry that you had to choose between chasing your career aspirations and being there for me, your only daughter to notice and act on my years of sexual abuse by your own brother and a string of house-helps which lasted from when I turned five till I turned nine.

I’m sorry about your palpable and vocal disappointment during my teenage years in which I was quite the unattractive tomboy with severe acne and a markedly underdeveloped body; when you would have liked me to be more like you, curvy, stunning, fashionable, sociable and popular.

I’m sorry that even now as I have outgrown my teenage awkwardness and even become what a lot of people have termed beautiful, and I do make an extra effort whenever we see, you never seem to be satisfied with the way I look and instead insist on calling me “thick”.

I’m sorry you said I only ever called you for money when I was in university. I naïvely thought I was doing a good job by constantly rallying the family to make sure calls were made especially on birthdays and anniversaries; and I also idealistically assumed buying you little gifts of appreciation from the pocket money you gave me made a difference.

I’m sorry you thought the best way to “train” me was to ensure I voiced out as few opinions as possible so I won’t “disgrace you in [my] husband’s house”. And I’m sorry that because of this, almost all conversations between you and I have been subdued and limited, and as such we never established a bond.
I’m sorry I developed an agonizing blood abnormality in my 20s which was inconvenient for you as you had too many things on your mind at the time.

I’m sorry that now that I have my own children and my husband and I are trying our best with God’s help to raise them to be solid, dependable citizens of their time, you still find fault in their upbringing. I’m also sorry you think every single health or slight behavioural issue they had in their infant and toddler years had to be due to something I did or didn’t do right when I was pregnant.

I’m sorry that every time I try to talk to you about how I feel, you dismiss it quickly and put it down to some sort of persecution complex I have. I’m sorry for all the years I spent hoping my prayers might just make you change our relationship for the better.

I’m sorry I’m not duplicating Kenneth Onuh’s glowing tribute to his mother… To be honest I’m sorry for so many things but this is the list that comes to mind as I write. Most of all, I am sorry…BUT I am done trying to be this perfect daughter you wish I was.

So this February 14 2014, I say to you dear mummy…Happy Birthday. And I’m sorry. And…I love you.

Photo Credit: quoteko.com
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Omo Remilekun is in legal practice and lives a simple life with her husband and kids in the UK. She likes to write but just for personal enjoyment. She is involved in charities locally and hopes to positively impact her world one day at a time.

98 Comments

  1. ebrufles

    February 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    WOW

  2. wakawaka

    February 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Wow…speechless! Relationships can be and are often complex, no doubt! Kudos to you for your bravery in writing this piece. You showcase the fact that not all parent child relationships are as perfect as we want to believe they are.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks so much dear. I’m not sure if it’s bravery because the truth is while I was typing this, my heart was thumping with something I can only attribute to a weird fear.

      I’m hoping for some healing to come someday, somehow.

  3. Ayo

    February 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I love this piece. You can’t please everyone successfully, even your blood relatives.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Thanks Ayo. You’re too right.

  4. X Factor

    February 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I need my mum to see this
    I feel you all the way……..
    I gave up on her a year ago and I have found peace since then….I still lover her deeply but i’m enjoying the distance

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Word! Sometimes loving from afar is just the more kosher option.

    • Ada Nnewi

      February 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Taught I was the only one that felt this way about my relationship with my mum…I love her but I am largely unaffected by her actions anymore, i’ve become largely indifferent to her…:(

    • Ada Nnewi

      March 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thought…Just saw this typo..extremely aghast!

  5. soum

    February 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Yes not all parent child relationships are perfect,i can relate to this article.

  6. BB

    February 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Tears 🙁

  7. ccmag

    February 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for doing this Omo Remilekun. I salute your courage. Our society places parents on such a high pedestal that it is almost impossible to tell the real truth about what some of them really are. I know so many people who have been so traumatized by their parents but they have no outlet for their pain. In our culture, parents are always right, even when they are so disastrously wrong. It says a lot that you live in the UK. It will be difficult for someone living in Nigeria to do what you did. I really salute your courage. Well done!

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you ccmag. It just felt like the right time to let it out.

  8. I'll be honest

    February 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    This is DEEP! Though,my mum is the complete opposite.
    Thanks for spitting out the truth,and sorry you did not have the best mother-daughter relationship.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Awwww God bless your mum with long life to bountifully reap the love she has sown.

  9. sideyeblankstare

    February 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Many Nigerian parents love to recite Eph 6:1-3 but conveniently delete verse 4. To them Col 3:21 doesn’t exist.
    Wishing the writer God’s grace and guidance in motherhood and all other aspects of life.

    • adelegirl

      February 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      God bless you for this comment. Some parents blackmail their children with bible passages conveniently forgetting passages that admonish them in their duties and responsibilities as parents. Omo Remilekun, I honestly pray that you find complete healing, peace and forgiveness in your relationship with your mother.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you both. Your comments ring true because yes, I do get the Bible quotes all the time. Especially the honouring of father and mother bit. God help us to be true disciples of His Word…ALL of it!

  10. why

    February 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    THANKS! THANKS!!THANKS!!! Thank you for loving her regardless.

    As ccmag said,it is not about being a parent, it is about being a good person first and foremost.

    WELL DONE!

  11. Iris

    February 15, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    O this is a hot mess. I pray you can get your mum to read this so she can hopefully understand why your relationship is the way it is. My mother and I weren’t close when I was growing up and neither of us are comfortable with outward affection, but we’ve gotten a lot closer -still not fans of public outpourings of love and affection, but we understand that’s not the kind of people we are and that’s okay. Because of that it always breaks my heart to hear stories like this. I have a few friends with mother issues too and in my heart I keep thinking it has to be about communication in the end. It may not happen immediately and your mother will probably have to shelve that “I am your mother and I know it all” pride for it to work though. I feel like as long as there’s life there’s hope, but above all I’m soooo happy you don’t seem to be taking out your frustrations on your children. I also know people whose mothers have transferred their childhood bitterness onto their children. I really pray you get to work things out with her eventually now that you’ve been able to get this off your chest and (dare I say) started the healing process.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Thank you Iris. I will copy and paste your words in my little book of encouragement. They mean a whole lot!

  12. why

    February 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    THANK YOU! I SALUTE YOUR COURAGE!!

    I THINK PEOPLE NEED A LICENSE TO HAVE CHILDREN: emotional, psychological, etc preparations just like you need a license for marriage or a car or a business.

    Children are more important than a car , a business or a marriage andtrainingjust one child the wrong way can destroy a whole nation.

    THANKS AGAIN, DARLING!!!

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      Lol @ the licence. It make a lot of sense though. There should be tests, exams, practicals, the whole nine yards 🙂

      But I may not have passed, as I have been doing this parenting thing under His Grace. E no easy

      Thanks for your kind words hun

  13. Dera

    February 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Oh dear, dis is DEEP,u even wrote ur name. My dear evrytin u xperienced, I experienced all of it and more. I am d only girl my mum has but we don’t have a cordial relatnshp. She gets angry easily dat I can’t play wit her.telling her personal tins is usually awkward and after tellin her, she drops a bombshell dat aches my heart and sumtyms we don’t talk 4as long as it can go on. Me not bin married is anoda problem and bcos of dat I told her I will neva show her a guy I am dating. Out of anger, I told her I wished she was neva my mother.weneva I had problems dat I shud naturally ask my mum, I do tell my boss at work. She evn had 2see a pastor on my behalf bcos she tot I was possesed. The pastor on d oda hand,added salt to the injury. He told her I am angry wit her bcos she sent all my brodas outside the country and left only I in nigeria bcos I wasn’t married. The day my brother(d last one that was in nigeria) was leavin the country, I was in tears,becos my confidante was leavin me wit a stranger(my mum) in that lonely house. HOW DID I RECONCILE WITH MY MUM? No I didn’t. All I did was to let go the anger and pain. I had to look at the good things about her,I called her frequently and wen I was home, I acted as her husband.wen shez sad, I had words to strenghthen her, we gisted abt boys n sex and we laffed over d silly tins men and gradually, we opened up to each other and I give her a listening ear and this made her do same with me. All dis was a gradual process but the result was worth it. My dear omo Remilekun, mothers can be annoying most times but beneath that anger lies a caring woman n mother who wants the best 4u. I know sumtyms shez wrong, but hunny u have to adopt a pattern of communication that will suit u and ur mum and will also make u both happy. With this, I hope I blessed a heart. Thank you for reading. Xoxo DERA

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Dera our stories are uncannily similar. I was married at 25 but mum still gave me a bit of a hard time before then because she thought I was getting too old…lol.

      I can only hope the similarity in our stories follows through to the end. It will be so nice to have my mum as my friend. Thank you Dera for sharing, plenty cyber hugs xxx

  14. I I

    February 15, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Awwww….nice.bella Naija pls I also have a story to tell.how can I submit it

    • Atoke

      February 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Hi, please send an email to features (at) bellanaija (dot) com.
      Someone will send you a response.

  15. Tola

    February 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. It reminds me of my older sister’s relationship with my dad. Not quite sure what happened when she was younger but he found it difficult to love and accept her. For the longest time she was angry with the world, she would end relationship after relationship because she couldn’t handle being loved. She began seeing a psychologist and I keep praying for her. Parents can damage their kids more than they know.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Oh dear. I feel your sister’s pain. And it’s amazing how people don’t believe the psychological trauma can happen, after all “we be naija, nothin do us”. Whereas abuse can very easily turn into a cycle.

      I will remember her in my prayers Tola. Thanks for sharing.

  16. frances

    February 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    thoughts from the heart turned words. only true bravery could have done this. Omo, you will heal indeed someday, soon and I know you are an uber-awesome mother to your kids..
    I do pray mumsi reads this and knows…that she simply just knows…..and that is enough.

    http://imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Frances. Thanks so much!
      I went to your blog and seriously how fantastic are your blog posts? The one on doing something different this month of love, I needed that reminder…

      Plus you’re in the legal family. What’s not to love about you eh?

    • frances

      February 18, 2014 at 12:02 am

      me I tres love your courage already. saying a prayer for you tonight, I know your healing process has started already..*smiles.hugs*

  17. jinkelele

    February 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    took a lot of guts to write this

    • why

      February 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      I thank God for her and her guts. To Him be the glory.

      I’ve said a lot already but babes, you try!

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      @why…with all your comments here, I feel like you’re my very own personal cheerleader 🙂

      Mucho gracias m’dear. God bless you

  18. Marvel

    February 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Mothering is a hard job. If your mum was a westerner, she would probably not have any children or waited until the time felt right to her but that just doesn’t work in Nigeria. Strangely enough, there was no mention of your dad but you have your husband’s support today. As for the abuse part, when the government starts throwing mothers in jail for neglect, maybe they will sit up and be a lot more careful.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Marvel, I totally agree with you. I’ve always said she wouldn’t have had kids if she was from the West.

      As for Dad, hmmm BN can’t give me enough space to write about him. Let’s just say he was a super strict disciplinarian. Best manners, best grades. Nothing else mattered.
      I’m conscious not to start a pity party here. We lost him to a stroke in 1999, his last words to me were “Thank you”. Somehow that was enough for me.

      As for my husband, he is my absolute reward. Been married 9years, yet he behaves like a “toaster”:) God bless that dude for me abeg!

    • Mamajay

      February 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      What you just said, you have no idea how much it has touched me and the sort of hope it gives me. My mum and i dont have a good relationship and i always worry that it would affect me when i get married and try to keep a marriage but just heAring that you have been happily married for 9yrs truly gives me hope cuz i know whatever negative vibes or curses from her will not rub off on my relationship with my future hubby. It just gives me hope really. God bless u for this piece. Feels like i wrote it myself

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      @Mamajay…here’s the thing…it’s YOU who have helped me here. Seeing that you’ve got all this hope from my writing, you have no idea how much I’m smiling now; I feel like my job here is done. God bless you loads!

  19. my wife is Fiiiine!!

    February 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Wow, this is really touching. I am not sure what to say other than to Pray Pray Pray. Life is a cycle, do your utmost best and leave the rest to God. God will judge you for your mistakes and your mum for hers, so go on and keep loving her; it is well with your soul. And may God give you the grace and wisdom to form a bond with your daughters that you couldnt with your own mum in Jesus name, Amen.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Amen and thank you. No daughters. Just sons but yes I will keep doing my best for them and I have big plans to love their wives fiercely by God’s grace 🙂

      PS: your user name is too cool!

  20. peyton

    February 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    This hurts me. I lost my mum at during my adolescent years and I no day goes by I don’t wish she was still alive.I dnt know if to say sorry I hate that. But am happy you wrote this it releases you.please forgive your mum, pray for her too. Someday she will come around.if you can write a long letter pouring out how you feel I suggest a letter because she would read it without having to brush your words away.and I think (I could be wrong) that your mum may also have experience same with her mum.there is this book her mothers dream by francine rivers. I think you should read it.GOD loves you dearly.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much. I have tried the letter approach, everything but a town crier really.

      I will look out for this book you recommend. I know of Francine River but not this particular book. Thanks again.

  21. babygiwa

    February 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Tears n more tears. Dear Ayo, God loves u!!!

  22. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    February 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I was not expecting this. I need to think for a moment.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Awwww…this is a first…you really must have been caught off guard because you usually have detailed, interesting comments on BN. Waiting for you to come back and talk to me oh 🙂

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Frankly, I was not interested in clicking on this because I thought it was going to be another (glowing) tribute to one more mother. Not that there is anything wrong with those, just that I have had my fill. In fact, when I saw the word “cathartic” I thought your mum was dead and you were writing the piece to let go.

      You are beautiful. This is not a compliment, it is a statement. Your eyes have got that added “thing” you don’t get through genes but through the hard knocks of life. It gave your face character; you look fragile, yet strong. Instinctively, I knew it was the face of the writer and that was what made me click on the story.

      I may be wrong, but your mother’s actions/noise is a smoke screen, a cry for help. Your mother is haunted by fear: Fear that she has failed you as a mother since you were a child. The more she feels and suppresses the fear, the more verbal, antagonistic and virulent she becomes. It is far easier for her to put you on the defensive forever than to face up to what may have been a genuine mistake on her part. Her constant antagonisms are symptoms. You may have to look into the past for the root. I think you know where to look.

      Now lets talk about you. How much has your relationship with your mother affected your life? You are far too good to let this color your existence. In making your decisions concerning your children, in your relationships with people, has your relationship with your mother being the benchmark? The rules against which your do’s and don’ts an your principles about life have been set?

      Lady, you have got power in your hands I feel it and you know it too. It is finally time to let yourself experience it. You wrote this, didn’t you? Time to live beyond WWMT (What Would Mummy Think?) to WWORD (figure that out).

      I feel honored and humbled to have met such a person as you. Thank you.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      And Bobosteke has spoken. It was worth the wait. Huge, massive appreciation for your advice and encouragement.

      XOXO

  23. cindy

    February 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Wow,so intense n touching……….

    • why

      February 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      AS IN!

  24. babygiwa

    February 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    *Omo

  25. toluh

    February 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    after reading this, i guess i don’t appreciate my mum the way i should. Iya mi, Orisa mi

  26. why

    February 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    “Mothering is a hard job. If your mum was a westerner, she would probably not have any children or waited until the time felt right to her but that just doesn’t work in Nigeria. ”

    GBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Grrrrrrrrrtttttfg

    February 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I think your mum is autistic and suffers from Aspergers. But you know niaja now. Unless you are running round unclad, then you have a mental defect. You seem well exposed so you need to look up names of behavioural problems that affect people. Just pity her as someone who is not well and make sure you smile everyday. Abi is someone who constantly puts someone down well? It is a serious issue though.

  28. anseey

    February 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I can relate with what u went thru.my mum was worse she told me she hated me several times .dat I she dies I shouldn’t bother to attend her burial.I can go on and on.but I started having true happiness when I decided to forgive her.when she came visiting when I had my 1st child she felt so uncomfortable I had to tell her to relaxa I ‘ve forgiven her.cos she knew was she did and said to as a child and even as an adult.my dear forgiveness gives freedom.today all she does is pay for me .I found freedom too can .

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Forgiveness certainly brings freedom. You lie not. Thanks for your comment.

  29. Ada

    February 15, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Dear Omo,

    I really did not want to read this post as I assumed it was likely to be another glowing tribute to a mum( nothing wrong with those by the way) but something made me scroll back up and click on the link and I’m glad and thankful I did. Words fail me….and that rarely happens but I must say a few words to you.
    I am honestly touched by your words, your experiences, your bravery and your oh so obvious loving soul. I cannot claim to know what you went through because I have been fortunate to have a blessed relationship with my mum but I can only imagine the heartache. You’ve been clearly blessed with a great life now. Keep cherishing it and yes, leave the window open for some hopeful reconciliation but don’t be sad if that never happens. It is all always clear to God who knows all things and you can only do your best. May God bless her for giving you life. May he also bless you and yours and may he give you those amazing daughters in law that will enrich your life even more.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Love your outlook Ada. Thanks and Amen to your prayers.

  30. Stephanie

    February 16, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Deep piece…very true
    blogsvila.blogspot.com

  31. Chioma Nnani

    February 16, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Omo Remilekun, I don’t even know what to say. I got to the end of your piece, to discover that I’d been holding my breath all through.

    ps: Do you have a blog?

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Chioma, no blog oh. 🙂

  32. FP.

    February 16, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Well. This is so nice. It hurts to see someone u love bn heartless. I’m experiencing same with my dad. I’ve bn crying. Cried few mins ago. Everything just hurts.

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      You will cry. There would be outburst and there would be soft tears. But hold in your heart the truth: that a father’s love should be unconditional. It is not to be solicited, gained or grudgingly given. That the absence of that love will not mar your life. It would have been nice to have but it is not all you need. Look in the mirror, what do you see? The apple of God’s eye smiling back. Be strong.

    • FP.

      February 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks. I will try

  33. Tunde

    February 16, 2014 at 1:44 am

    This babe is stunning. Beautiful. I have not read the article. Just commenting on your stunning beauty

  34. MamaT

    February 16, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Life is what it is… full of imperfect human beings that can only try. Your mum may not be your ideal, but it’s best to assume she did the best she could in her own way. Bearing in mind, that no matter how good a mother you imagine yourself to be, your own children may not see it that way. My mother has her shortcomings, but I look upon her the same way I would like my own children to look upon me. Parenting is not easy and one can only do their best. Good writing, but saying you are sorry, for no fault of yours, comes across as patronising. I wish you the grace to heal and do your best where your children are concerned…whether that’ll be enough for them at the end of the day, is left for them to decide. All the best.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Hi MamaT, no dear…not patronising…I studied literature and we were taught to write using different styles. Paradox. That’s what this is called.

      And you say it’s best to assume she did her best…and then what? Suck it up and implode? I wish I could take the hard stance you do but no I do not wish my kids will look upon me the way I look upon her. I’m far from being the best mum, as in my sister everyday is a struggle BUT my boys know one thing, the channels of communication are forever open. For me this is most important so whenever they feel I have erred (and trust me as young as they are they aren’t afraid to tell me albeit politely) we can talk about it openly.
      MamaT, this is a beautiful thing. I will make my mistakes but I will listen and I will learn.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • MamaT

      February 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      No my dear, not sock it up and implode… instead take the good, learn from the bad and strive to be a ‘better’ parent to your own children. That way, hopefully the generation tide will keep changing for the better. While it is in your right to have wanted a more fulfilling relationship with your mother, it is only fair for you to also consider where your mother might be coming from; her childhood experiences etc, that might have in some way made her the way she is… No-one sets out to scar their children and I bet that was never your mother’s intention. For every ‘wrong’ thing your mother did, there must have been some ‘right’ ones she did. The best thing we can all do as mothers is accept our mothers for what they are, reconcile ourselves with their shortcomings and the positives, make our peace with them (in whatever little way possible), and strive to be better to our own children.

      Life has turned out ok for you. Let go of the hurt, forgive your mother and find the grace to heal. Remember parents aren’t Saints. All the best dear and I sincerely wish you well.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Your particular brand of wishing me well sounds a whole lot like a Judge I used to work with. He would sentence an accused to imprisonment…and then use kind(ish) words to wish them well on their way to jail.

      In any case, I’ve sieved the wheat and I hear the necessaries in what you’re saying. Thanks again.

    • Ada

      February 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      I totally agree with MamaT. Omo Remilekun, the accused you mentioned could hardly be set free, simply because the Judge wishes him well. Sometimes the truth needs to be told, and fairness and a balanced-perspective, given some consideration, inspite of how upset or affected we might be. I know exactly how you feel, but having said that, i also feel your mother deserves some slack. If she knew better and could have done better, you will be surprised that she would have been different. Like Mikhael said, honour your father and mother, inspite of what they are. If some parents knowingly or unknowingly exasperate their children, that is for them to answer to someday, but that hardly gives the child an excuse to dishonour them. If the safest way to succeed at honouring them is to put some distance between you and them, so be it. But don’t be too critical of them, especially not publicly. Take your pain to your mother, explain to her how she made you feel all those years, get it all off your chest and free yourself. She might be able to explain things from her own perspective.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 18, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Hi Ada Thanks a lot but regarding your advice for me to go speak to her, perhaps you can read my article again. And I have not dishonoured her “publicly”. Omo Remilekun is an alias. I needed an outlet. And I shared my story. Most people here identify with me. It you don’t, that’s fine but please dear, don’t throw darts at a dartboard you don’t understand.

    • Ada

      February 18, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      I thought the whole point of writing for public consumption, was so diverse opinions and perspectives can be aired. Some will relate with your writing, others will point out a perspective that might be overlooked by your readers. Why share your story with the public if you cannot accommodate diverse perspectives?

    • BB

      February 19, 2014 at 12:54 am

      Ada and MamaT you people should leave this babe . It’s people like you that nobody wants to come to talk about their problems because all you will do is judge and give already obvious advice from your high horse. @Omo you shouldn’t even be replying them, they will never be satisfied.

      My father has hated me since I can remember, even my mother has given up on the issue. The things he has said and done to me are too long a story. If you’ve not been thru this kind of thing, you will be shocked what it can do to your mind.
      This babe is obviously intelligent and not a child so I’m sure she must have thought well and exhausted options before she writing.

      Please carry your oversabi elsewhere let those of us who understand share out our stories. Hiss

    • Neo

      February 19, 2014 at 10:56 am

      @Ada, perspective kwa? I hope you know what you’re saying isn’t that different from what others are saying, except you and MamaT have judgemental tones. Can’t you see the part where she says she has tried to talk to mumsi but gets dismissed? Can’t you see other people are gaining something from this write up?
      So if a child is born from an egg donor or sperm donor, should the child still honor them? Being a parent is more than being a vessel or carrier for the child, I will honour the person that is a mother or father figure in my life.
      Omo, it will be well, just keep praying, it never fails.Trust me, God’s time to answer is best.

  35. sigh

    February 16, 2014 at 3:08 am

    It’s so great that someone has finally opened up about what happens in our community.
    I have experienced some of what you have, and the worst part that makes reasoning with my mother really difficult is religion and “culture”. She had a wayyyy worse mother so I know she’s only doing what she knows is right but she always says sending her children abroad has made us attack her, etc, playing the blame game. Sad thing is, she doesn’t treat our brother like this so I wonder if this is a woman thing…
    Omo, I am just soooo proud of you. PLEASE I BEG YOU, listen to your children and their emotions and don’t always think your ways for them are always right, this is the beginning unnecessary power and abuse that causes our parents to behave in the ways you have described.
    I am so happy you want to dote on their wives/”legit” girlfriends since you have only boys. That’s adorable.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Sigh thank you so so much. I can identify with the “abroad” part and your wondering if it’s a woman thing as well. And I will most definitely heed your advice regarding listening to my children and not assuming I’m always right. God bless you! Muah!

  36. myzone

    February 16, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I love my mum & family in general but hold her responsible for being single @ my age. She never tot me anything about being a woman & how time waits for no woman. My father gives me whatever I needed & all I focus on was education & career. I tot I could settle down and have kids when I like, but my bad. Wish she told me a lot of things about being a woman as an only daughter.

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Awww, your good man will find you irrespective of your background. I wish we could talk, I feel like we could TALK…you know…?

  37. FFO

    February 16, 2014 at 10:04 am

    This is deep omo, wow. My mum and I never had a relationship i am the only child and female. I cut her off 2012 for peace of mind i just couldnt mentally take n e more of what she kept dishing out to me. I now have peace and the best husband as a reward. My husband is perfect and i tank God everyday for him. I no longer talk to my mum and make she continue cursing i no send because i have a very big God. Having a child is not a right it is a previlage and i refuse to worship any parent, i will never expect my kids to worship me but to worship God. My mum grew up in a stable home with her mother and father. With me she was a single parent and passed on her bitterness towards my dad onto me is that fair. Omo this write up is too close to home i will stop here. God will continue to bless our homes and marriages because it is our only reward for having rubbish parents & traumatising childhoods.

    • Manboobs

      February 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Amen

    • MamaZ

      February 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      FFO you speak the truth! Having a child is not a right but a privilege! I relate to Omo’s story so well as I read I keep wondering if I told her my story. Like you, I am cutting my mother out of my life for peace of mind and for fear that if I allow her near me in would destroy my family.

      I pray for everyone of us going through this, that we find a way to turn this evil into good and bring love and happiness to our families especially out children.

  38. Mikhael

    February 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you Omo for this beautiful insight into child-parent dynamics, which is more universal than one may like to think. I am writing this from a Jewish angle, using the Jewish Bible, and precisely Exodus 20,12 as a starting point, with the 5th Statement : “Honour your father & mother, that you may long endure on the land that YHVH your God is assigning to you”.
    This can be read as a strange precept: love your parents, no matter what… Let’s go to the original version of the commandment, and look into the Hebrew word kabed, usually translated in ‘respect’ or ‘honour’. The Hebrew language gives another –key- meaning to kabed, which is “to give weight”. Reading the statement with this common acception, one should read the Statement as “Give weight to your father & mother…”. Interesting to note that the opposite of heavy in Hebrew is qal, very close to qlala, insult. As if insulting was to deny giving enough weight to somebody.
    In other words, what Omo is hinting with powerful insight to is that we must give weight to the personal story of our parents in order not to repeat it ourselves, to give them enough weight to keep them at a distance. What do we mean by that? An invitation not to suffer for what our parents have been, or may not been able to be. When a mother (or a father) did not have enough weight to trace her furrow, the child is not any lighter. The risk is that we children may bear the weight our parents lacked. And by doing so that we shorten our own lives trying to mend what our parents did, or were not able to do. What are we then invited to do? The invitation of a Jewish reading of the Torah is to give weight to the life and story our parents might have lived, as imperfect as they might have been.
    And the statement is for us, children of our parents, to long endure, rather than shorten our lives… By giving weight to the abusive mother (or reproachful father) we give weight, we give consistency to the role model they were unable to be, we give credit to the transmission they failed to achieve.
    We may need to ask our parents to tell their story, in order for us to live our own. Honour and respect and give weigh to your parents says the Torah. We might be invited to give weight to their own life, for they too have been children, and they too had to live with the (absence of) weight of their parents. By honouring the children they had to be, we may be honoured to live our own time, without “wasting our life” repeating or repairing theirs…
    Mikhael

    • Omo Remilekun

      February 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      MFM! I will read your comment again in complete silence. There’s a lot to take in.

      Merci beaucoup mon ami 😉

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      February 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Let me here and now endorse this comment. I mean I almost gave a standing ovation after reading it. Your mind is absolutely awesome.

  39. 9jamom

    February 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Love the heartfelt honesty! And while you apologize Omoremilekun, let me apologize on behalf of Nigerian mothers out there who perpetuate this behavior and an innate entitlement to “train” their children to place public opinion over personal comfort or to impose the crazy idea that children are nothing more than retirement plans.

    Hope you find peace in knowing your knowledge will allow you make changes in how you raise your children thus changing the face of modern Nigerian parenting

    9jamom.com

  40. Ade

    February 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Bless you Omo Remilekun… I have a relatively good relationship with my mum. But I sort of feel she’s closer to my brother and that leaves me out of the clique once he’s around. my grandma hid my almost raped case by my uncle from my mum and up till date she doesn’t know anything about. Recently, i sent her a 4 paged SMS telling her how i felt and she’s gradually changing and i’m loving her more. I guess talking just helps any situation really. Please get your mum to see your note, that may open her eyes to the hurt she’s caused you. well done and all the best.

  41. ms_dee

    February 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    This is going to be the first time i’ll comment on any article on here. however this got to me such that i couldnt close this page without commenting.
    i must confess, my self and remilekun kinda have the same experiences.
    i and my mum have come to the stage of exchanging words and there i told her i will never tell her anything pertaining my life. i’m all closed up and we dont talk. she wasnt dre for me at all, plus i still feel she loves my siblings over me. my years of trying to impress her are over. im living my life perfectly shutting her off the details of my personal life.
    the only thing i feel i owe her is never to make her suffer and love, asides from that im okay not bulding any deeper relationship.
    as for my daughters and sons, i hope to be more than a mother to them. we gonna be pals and we will make the world jealous of our mother-child relationship.
    stay strong Remi and enjoy ur matrimoial homes. Strive to be the mother your mum wasnt.

  42. Abiha

    February 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    This touched me….sorry you did’nt have the best mother-daughter relationship….its never too late though,hopefully she’ll come around if she see’s this…my case is different,my mum is my closest friend,we talk about everything and nothing she even tells me things I don’t think she should be saying,we could talk for hours and still not run out of what to say,I pray God keep us for each other.

  43. chi-e-z

    February 18, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Wow…so glad I called my mom on Valentine day b/c with all the mistakes we both have made in life we have been each other’s biggest rock and I love my mom till death and beyond and I hope you and your mom can come to a resolution in your relationship (please do) b/c we are not on earth forever. There is no love like a mother’s love b/c everytime I cry my mom cries twice as hard as me and sometimes we are both sobbing and I’m like “no mommy, why are you crying?” . What I’m saying is there are different ways of expressing love and eventhough to you her constant criticism is the worst in a twisted way she is doing it out of love not b/c she wants you perfect but to have the perfection she wishes she could have been for you.I know it’s weird but maybe you’ll understand eventually (maybe when you have teen kids hopefully not over rebellious).

  44. chi-e-z

    February 18, 2014 at 4:28 am

    P.S. my mom and I haven’t always known each other so there was a period in my life when I just felt like “this woman just shows up out of nowhere and now expects me to call her mom?” – my words(in my preteens). menh I know that had to hurt her and I feel sad I ever said that and if me and my mom can come from our twisted relationship to being best friends trust me it is never too late or too complicated to try.

  45. Mrs Nwosu

    February 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

    A very interesting piece. Hmmm my mum can be that annoying. However, i decided long ago to just do the right thing irrespective of what she thinks. I love her nontheless even with all the craziness. Thanks Omo.

  46. babe

    February 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    the best part is you married someone who loves you ,as for me my mom left me wen i was four grew up wth my dad,first found love when i was 21 got abused by that first love and nw my husband doesnt love me becoz i wsnt a virgin ,life can be like tht

    • sigh

      February 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      ur husband sounds like a douchebag. is he God and was he a virgin himself? Didn’t he know you weren’t one before marrying u? hiss

  47. c'est moi

    February 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Hi Omo,
    When I first read your article, I didn’t know what to say hence I did not comment. That’s because I have a totally opposite relationship with my mum. It was difficult trying to understand your experience because you sound deeply hurt there’s so much you feel you’ve lost out on when it comes to mother-daughter relationships. Some years back in Nigeria, I went to braid my hair as preparation to return to the UK, there was this very smart little girl. She was so smart and adorable you can’t help but fall in love with her. I asked her mum, why she isn’t in school. She said her father abandoned the both of them etc etc. She sounded really nonchalant like, if her Father has rejected her, what’s my own? I told her, ‘shebi as I enter here, na Aunty u call me, (mind you I am 20-25 age bracket and this was some 3 years back). My mum sold fried rice at Mile 1 for me to go to the best schools and I attended the best. Like say my Mama no send me go school, you no go call me Aunty today. Make I tell you, before ever I will buy myself a car in this world, I will first buy for my mother so take this your daughter, and make her great’.
    My dear, you sound very intelligent and well read, and for that I say kudos to your Mum.
    I know parenting is more than provision but we are all humans and have our short comings. Some parents feel that being all negative and firm they bring out the best in their kids and believe it or not, some mothers don’t know how to build relationships with their daughters. Your Mum has loved you the best way she knows how to. Is it right, maybe not. All I see in her complaints are a terrible way of showing love, some call it tough love. Has your Mum ever encouraged you to steal or prostitute? Has she with-held school fees from you? Has she taught you to lie or be disrespectful? Has she locked you outside the house or publicly disgraced you in a dehumanising way? If your answers to these are no and trust me, there are women like these, then please, don’t stay away from her. Love her in ways she hasn’t loved you. Show her you are a better version of her and if nothing, she’s shown you a sample of the mother not-to-be. Your Mum needs you more than she cares to admit, and you might think you know all she’s gone through, trying to keep her head above water, but my dear it will shock you. Women don’t have it easy especially our mothers! Forgive her for her short comings and love her even more for believing that you can be better than what you are at every stage of your life. Don’t wait for when it is too late. What different will you be from her whaen you are to her like you feel she’s been to you. Even the Bible says, if you love only those who love you, what different are you from those of the world. I hope you are patient to read this and I hope you understand where I am coming from. Cheers and keep being the best Mother you can be.

  48. OhhMyLade

    February 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you for this article. It is vital that Nigerians realize everyone doesn’t have perfect relationships with “Mummy and Daddy.” Many of us bear psychological scars of what our parents didn’t provide. To say one one end, “Well at least she didn’t tell you to sell yourself” trivializes the depth of your pain and experience. Kudos for having the grace and strength to be honest with yourself. Also, thank you for shining the light on sexual abuse/incest which is another unfortunate facet of the life experience of many Nigerian women (as well as women worldwide).

  49. Interesting

    February 26, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I find it very intersting how people focused more on what she said about her mum and quickly forgot her hurt from sexual abuse. This will also impact the way she sees her mum because at a very young age you expect your mum to protect you. If as a child you tell your mum that something as horendous as being sexually abused occurred and nothing was done or said about it there are bound to be problems. Please not all mothers have a right to be mothers and Omo has a right to her pain. Please do not invalidate that, she is obviously trying to heal and maybe this will go out as warning to others who think because they are parents you have a right to treat your child as you wish.

  50. tracy chuks

    March 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Omo….m speechless,if I were an angel would have whispered in ur mom’s ears whilst she sleeps @ night…..ama say to her…..“U v got a treasure,a daughter every mother wishes for…..so go back to her…for she deserves better….”..my mom and I aint exactly best of friends,she loves me no doubt,buh dang she keeps comparing me to my late sis….it sucks though cause no matter how hard I try to please her..shez gonna say I wish u were ur late sis,oh how I miss her…in my next world I pray she comes back to me.., am like mom wot d hell shez gone,I aint trying to fill her spot,m jst trying to make u proud..I virtually had to stay off relationships till I was 21,reason z because my mom said ur late sis was a virgin before she died..if only u can emulate her..By heaven she aint christ..so y should I emulate her..truth z am done trying to be d perfect daughter,so I host motivational shows once in a while,n I talk to youths my age..help them find themselves..

  51. Ada Nnewi

    March 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Thought…Just saw this typo..extremely aghast!

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