I grew up with a mum who loves fiercely and loyally. Her love surrounded and continues to envelop us wherever we may be. Protectively. Warmly. Firmly. Unwaveringly. I have no words to describe how incredible she is. The sacrifices she has made and continues to make selflessly. I call her my life’s first gift. Being her daughter has been one of life’s greatest privileges.

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As a child, she absolutely terrified me. She raised me until my early teens in the typical Nigerian mum manner. With an iron fist. She held me to almost impossibly high standards. With sometimes unrealistic expectations. Giving little room for mediocrity. I was expected to study hard, learn to cook and do chores. Instructions were given with no explanations and debate was not expected.

In my late teens, her style of motherhood completely changed and I credit our beautiful relationship today to that evolution. As we became adults, she became more understanding and gave more room for dialogue and friendship. It is an evolution that I am thankful for. It’s the reason why I have no secrets from her. Her counsel is always sound and truthful. With our best interests at it’s core. She showed us the concept of accountability. I often see adults who are unable to question parents’ obviously bad behaviour and I find it so disappointing. I can always tell her when I think she has acted wrongly without fear. It’s a lesson I hope to apply in my own relationship with my children.

As a mum now, motherhood scares me. It took a lot of effort for me to become a mother. It was a journey through tears, heartbreaks and uncertainty. I am grateful for being chosen to guide them through this journey of life. I do not take it for granted. I pray daily that I do not mess this mission up. I am very deliberate about motherhood. I hope to create an enabling environment for them to soar.

I hope to be a parent my children will not keep secrets from. I hope to be a mum whose love a child trusts… Whose love keeps them secure… Whose wise counsel they seek in times of uncertainty… Whose home is a safe haven… A place where they are not afraid to cry… In whose presence they can be vulnerable

I hope to teach them to ask questions when they need clarity… To be fearless… To reject physical or mental shackles which society might attempt to put them in …. To never look at their colour, roots or faith as a hindrance… To demonstrate and expect accountability … That word is bond… That they are good enough and deserving of great things

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