Motherhood And Its Cost

By Modupe Akinyemi

The cycle of an average African woman’s life ends in motherhood. As a girl, you’re to grow, get educated (whatever form), mature, marry, and voila! Make babies. You’re a fulfilled woman only when you start having and training children. How funny right?

Motherhood is a unique journey peculiar to every woman differently. But one thing that’s for sure is the fact that the journey never ends once it starts. Motherhood is the only full-time job with no pay that takes everything. It takes relentless, consistent, patient, and selfless service.

Being a mother is the most beautiful decision anyone can ever make; bringing to life another being. However, child and home care consume so much time and effort. Unfortunately, many young women jump into it without realizing the expectation differs from reality. Especially with the pressure of an ‘expiring biological clock’ the older they get.

Motherhood comes easy for some women however some others have to undergo tough and ‘waiting’ moments to have children, and none is easy in both cases. The mental preparation involved from the moment a woman says ‘yes I am having a child or want to have a child’ in itself is the beginning of motherhood and being a mother is a big change in one’s life.

Mothers invest so much emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, and even spiritually to ensure their children are great.

Being a mother may cost a woman her health. Physically, motherhood transforms the woman’s body. From the signs and symptoms during pregnancy such as weight gain and loss, stretch marks, enlarged breasts, etc to post-pregnancy(postnatal/postpartum) events such as loss of libido, hair loss, insomnia, haemorrhage, etc. A woman may feel less physically attractive than she was before childbirth.

Many women usually get depressed after childbirth(postpartum depression). Mood swings (baby blues), which occurs a few days to some weeks after childbirth are normal in most women, they are usually attributed to hormonal changes. However, this could get prolonged and result in major depression issues. Anxiety also may result from thoughts arising from the possibility of being unable to mother the child as required, feeling less attractive as before childbirth, and fear of not having control over one’s life anymore.

For mothers who have paid employment (job), motherhood may mean forgoing a thriving career. It is quite unfortunate that many organizations are unsympathetic towards motherhood. Mothering is believed to make a woman unstable therefore unfit to do certain things. This makes motherhood frustrating for women who want to pursue their goals, visions, and ambitions in multinational companies. Most are placed in positions to choose between their children and their careers. But these two don’t have the same positions. They are not equal, neither can one be placed over another. Women who put in the extra efforts to balance their career by maybe having nannies to cater for their kids while they focus on their jobs are usually condemned for neglecting their children and allowing another person to take up their responsibility. Some women can pull through with this and majority cannot.

A mother practically gives all she has to be one. At the appearance of the child comes also the disappearance of the luxury of time she ever had. Mothers have to stay up both day and night to ensure their children are asleep at night and awake during the day. Nights of spiritual consultation in places of prayers to ensure the protection, preservation, and wellness of their children when they can be having sound sleep too.

One major thing motherhood cost that is usually ignored is life. The risk and possibility of losing one’s life before, during, and after childbirth also exist. In Nigeria for example, the Maternal Mortality Rate is estimated to 814 per 100,000 live birth according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Motherhood sure does cost a lot.

Unfortunately, no system exists yet to measure and quantify exactly how much motherhood cost. If at all we try to analyze how much mothers risk and put at stake for their children at their own cost, we would understand that it isn’t an easy job. Just when the mother finally decides to retire (when her children start their own lives and families), her status gets upgraded instead- from mother to grandmother to great grandmother, etc. The upgrade never ends so far you’re alive.

Perhaps things will get better and easier when society stops assuming the role of superhuman who has it all together and can get it all done alone to women. Yes! Women are superhuman with all they do, but they are humans with so much extra to do and could use the help and appreciation of the next person. So when next you see a mother or mother-to-be, be sure to say thank you and well done to her, it’s not easy to live with craving boli (roasted plantain) at 2 am in the night.

Source: Above Whispers

Sign up for Updates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of new posts by email.