I vividly remember my article ‘Lagos Hustle’, where I narrated my daily activities in a bid to paint the picture of how stressful it is to work or live in Lagos. I read the various responses about how I was trying to be a super woman. Some people even called my husband a lazy man who was not helping me in anyway. While I enjoy reading the comments and feedbacks, sometimes I think we are too quick to judge without checking the angles to understand what the writer is trying to say.
I am first a woman, before I became a wife and a mother. As a growing girl, I had dreams, things I hoped to achieve, status I wanted to attain, lives I wanted to touch, and I will still try to achieve those dreams.
This is what drives me. My dreams shouldn’t change because marriage and motherhood happened, no. As much as I would try my best to make a success of my roles as a wife and a mother, I should also try and make a success of my dreams.
The worst thing that can happen to any human is to live an unfulfilled life. I don’t think it’s right to think that marriage or motherhood is enough validation as a human, there has to be more to life. I love my husband and children, but I also love ME and will strive to make ME happy. So every hustle I make is not because I don’t have an option of staying at home to be a good wife and mother, every hustle is because I had my dreams as a girl and I want to make them happen.
It will be total injustice for a girl to endure the stress of getting educated or skilled and then throw them away on the altar of being a wife and mother, well if it works for you, good, but it does not work for me.
And that is why I have a problem with being told plainly without mincing words that my place is in the kitchen and bedroom. I disagree. I don’t think any man would set out to marry a dumb, foolish girl as a wife. What kind of kids would she give you? How would she even be able to take care of your home? Marrying such a woman will be tantamount to inviting unending stress into your life because you will end up doing double roles.
I believe that one of the qualities men look out for when picking a wife is smartness, they need to be assured that God forbid if anything happens to them, their kids and properties will be ably handled and safeguarded by their wives. So they marry smart women. Assuming they have political ambitions, they not only marry smart women they go for the ones that are skilled at communication and winning people to their sides, and they bring out their wives to campaign for them when the need arises. How can you then tell me to my face, after bearing and training your children for you, after giving you both moral, emotional, psychological and financial support (if need be) that I belong to the kitchen, just because I am bold enough to air my opinion?
I remember back then as an undergraduate, I knew someone who would always say he wanted to marry me. I thought he was joking about it then. One day, he came to the house and started again with his usual talk, so I told him to get on his knees and propose to me. It was a joke but he took offence and said, what if he got on his knees and I refused to marry him, how would he get up? That as a titled man it was a taboo for him to kneel for a woman. So I told him that my greatest desire is for my fiancé to propose to me on his knees. That was the end of his marriage proposal, he stopped saying it and even avoided coming to the house if I was around.
America is on the verge of having a woman as its first female president. Will we ever have such achievement with politics in Nigeria, if we are constantly reminded that we belong to the kitchen? So I say so, I don’t belong in the kitchen, I also have a dream and will strive to achieve it, so help me God!
Photo Credit: Moussa Moussa