My mother and I had not seen each other for three years. Apart from COVID happening, I had school and work. But in June , she had a program in my city and used the opportunity to visit my new apartment. As a Nigerian mum, she had a lot of things to say. Here’s a list of the ones I wish I had better responses for.
“Wear a bra”
No! Just no. Why? Because it hurts my chest and makes me feel extra bloated. Contrary to your opinion, a woman’s dignity is not in her ability to “package” her breasts well. I’m simply not interested in anyone who is too fixated on whether or not I’m wearing a bra. In my world, that’s a red flag.
“Why are you not in a relationship?”
LMAO. This one is hilarious because all those years of close-marking me to make sure I avoided boy are finally proving themselves useful and you are shocked? Come off it, ma.
“Don’t pierce or tattoo your body again”
No be you go tell me wetin I go do. I know you gave birth to me but the body still belongs to me and I can do with it as I see fit. I know you’ll ask what if I regret it, but the answer remains that the body is still mine. If I regret my decisions, I have myself to blame. Don’t stress.
“Don’t say men your age are stupid”
But they are and I’m not interested in dating them or any man but the real reason for that is a story for another day.
“What do you mean you won’t get married?”
I said what I said and I meant what I said. I’m not interested in following society’s script of a virtuous woman. That includes getting married and having kids. These are tedious roles for someone that doesn’t even want to be alive in the first place.
“Don’t say you won’t have kids”
Please see the point above for one reason I’m not having kids. For the second reason, kids are too volatile for me. They require patience, love and attention. These are resources I’m not equipped to provide at any given chance. I’d rather not have kids than to raise a scarred individual deprived of foundational care, who then goes on to be an emotional menace to all that encounter them. No, thank you. I’m good.
I wish we were more aligned on our choices but there’s plenty of stuff we agree on. For example, how good my cooking is or how we both love small pieces of meat. I love you and we don’t have to always be in agreement for my love to be valid.
If you agreed with my responses to my mother, you’ll like this article on some of the passive-aggressive ways Nigerian mums show care.