A few weeks ago, I got an email that contained an invite to be a part of the Cerelac Junior brunch that would take place in Lagos. That night, as I stared at my phone screen, my first thought was “well, too bad I can’t make it”. I’ll not even bore you with all the “legit” reasons I had.
On a second thought though, I left my room to go seek out my hubby where he was watching football. I showed him the mail and the invite I had downloaded by then, and to be honest, I was just there waiting for him to give me an excuse to hang on to, something good enough to send as a reply to the mail.
But my oga said it was such a good thing, why did I want to decline? That I should just wait till the following morning to call the number provided for more details.
I called the following morning, got the details, informed my hubby and he was still saying the same thing: “plan yourself and go for it”. I started looking for the discouragement I was unconsciously anticipating and didn’t get from my husband, from my sisters. I called my younger sister and she was just saying “ah Chidi you have to go”, called the elder one and she was saying the same thing.
I then became confused; like can you people not see that I’m a mother and motherhood is in the way? You want me to travel to Lagos? Eh? How will I do it?
Then I started giving myself a truck load of excuses: my son was still recovering from mumps and I needed to observe his siblings for symptoms; I already checked airlines and couldn’t get a flight at such a short notice, festive period and all; the insecurity in the country; my hubby also had commitments outside our state of residence that same weekend that the brunch will hold; my mom and siblings lived in a different state, so how I wan take do am; Who will watch the kids?
I was still toying with all these in my head when my hubby who had travelled by then called, saying that he would return and travel again with the kids on friday after their Christmas party, so that I could travel first thing Saturday morning.
Omo! That was when it dawned on me that I was afraid. I finally realised that I had been battling with a feeling I couldn’t name all week – fear. So I started speaking words of affirmation out loud to myself round the clock. It’s not that serious, you may think, but a young mother who has spent all her time since she got married birthing and raising little kids, whose days, weeks and years are completely saturated with motherhood in all of its glory, can definitely relate to this fear: the fear of not knowing if you’re actually good enough for something else, besides motherhood.
I decided to hang on to the confidence of my hubby and sisters, while working to give mine a booster shot, hehe. My hubby eventually came to get the kids. As I was shouting “Love youuuu!!” to them as they were leaving, It dawned on me that making this trip to Lagos will be bring me immense joy, why was I afraid?
I don’t know why that fear was there exactly, but it was how I felt, looking all around me and realizing that the only person holding me back was – me! Not the “but I’m a mother” and “who will look after my kids?” anthem I had going on my head for the longest time.
The fear of happiness in young mothers is a real thing. Not everyone will experience it, but a lot of young mothers will. As we begin a new year in just a few weeks, I want you to critically look at the things you believe are holding you back, and find out whether they’re really there or they’re just a smokescreen masking your fear for change or to push yourself to reach your full potential.
Do you have any experience with fear of happiness in motherhood?
By the way, the brunch was great! I had the opportunity to meet and network with a lot of creators in my niche and I’m very grateful to Cerelac Junior for the invite!