Growing up was very interesting for me. In the early years, I was terrified of my mother. Her word was law. I was so grateful for my father because he was my light at the end of the tunnel. We didn’t use to run and hide when my father came, we were so happy to see him. My mother on the hand was another story, we didn’t run and hide but in your best interests, everything had better be spic and span. There was one time when I packed my bags ready to leave home, so sure that my mother wasn’t my biological mother, someone else had to have given birth to me or else why was she so mean?
But as time went by, things changed, through university and even till now, my mother is one of the few people that I can trust with my life. I’m certain that if it is within her power, she will provide me with whatever I need to succeed even if she needs to sell her arm. She has become my friend and my confidante, a pillar of support and an oasis of wisdom.
So what happened in those early years? She was my parent and when I had gotten to a place of maturity, she became my friend. There was a statement she said to me: “The first born is a mother’s best friend.” It carries a deeper meaning in the Yoruba language.
I’m sure you’re wondering what led to all of this. I think in our generation we are putting the cart before the horse. In parenting, friendship is earned. You’re a parent first. I’m not saying our kids should be terrified of us, I’m saying that they should know who is in charge.
Those were the thoughts that crossed my mind as I faced my son in a battle of wills. It was very interesting to watch. I had given him an instruction. He really thought that I wasn’t serious so he was fooling around. You see, being a mum is tiring sometimes and I really was in no mood to ensure that he did what I said. I needed him to learn his numbers and get them right. He didn’t think I was serious and he was just having fun at my expense.
At that point in time, a part of me just wanted to let it go but another part of me remembered something. I’m the parent. I’m in charge. My word is law. So I turned to my little son and told him he better settle down and learn his numbers or he was in trouble big time.
He didn’t give up without a fight. He went into tears. I stuck to my guns. He had to learn his numbers. What I wanted was for his good, after all, I already knew my numbers. In the end, we reached a compromise, he got serious and I cut him some slack. But tell me, who is in charge? I am.
For now, I’m the parent, it is my responsibility to ensure that my children become all they were born and created to be. I have a duty to present them before God as whole people. Therefore, I may not always be liked but I’m a parent and when my children have established some level of maturity, we become friends.
Because you see, I didn’t always like my mum, but I turned out right because of those things she did that I didn’t like. She was a parent and now we are friends.
Thank you mum.
Contributed by Sola Agudah