I’m Minding My Womb…..

Sometime last year I came across an article aptly titled ‘Mind Your own Womb’ by Nadirah Angail. In the article Nadirah describes the relationship between society and the woman who is of a child bearing age. She speaks of different scenarios where people make assumptions or ask questions about when a woman will decide to have children or why a woman hasn’t had children. She also delves into the criticisms that society bestow upon women who decide to have more than the national average of two children. In both cases Nadirah beautifully describes the feelings of these women, their emotions, their tears and their heartache behind the reasons why they’ve had children so late or why they’ve still not been able to biologically birth a child. The article is beautiful and extremely moving. 

The article got me thinking alot! It got me thinking about my cultural background and the insensitivity of some African mothers, aunties, grandmothers, sisters, cousins and dare I say it mother-in-laws. 

Personally, I didn’t leave it long enough to experience such insensitivity and abuse because I became pregnant five months after my husband and I got married. I can actually only remember one time that my mother-in-law mentioned having children  (besides the standard grandchildren prayers) she asked me to ‘go home and convince my husband’. Ironically I had done my 4th positive pregnancy test that morning so I was 100% up the duff by then. In actual fact our (my husband and I) plan was to wait two years before we had a baby, however Dr. Google convinced me that it’ll take six to nine months before the contraceptive I was using at the time left my system. So, not being sure how long and kind of hoping that it’ll take a year to conceive, I came off my contraceptive and fast forward exactly a month after my last period two blue lines appeared on that white stick. The tears flowed as I wasn’t mentally prepared for a baby. My husband on the hand was ecstatic and excited to become a father. So there I was pregnant with only five months of marriage under my belt! The comments that came after I kind of expected…I mean I surround myself with Africans I didn’t expect anything less from them. “Wait you’re pregnant? Didn’t you just get married yesterday?” No actually we got married five months, ten days and nineteen hours ago but anywhooo (my mental response). “Oh Congratulations, you guys didn’t waste anytime boi”. Errrrmmmm we’re married, married people have sex, it was going to happen eventually….congratulations on its own would have sufficed (I’m screwing my face at this point and rolling my eyes). I soon realised that people always had something to say regardless. Mind Your own Womb or you wife’s Womb! Leave mine alone! 

I’ve often heard stories of mother-in-laws or family members who insensitively pressure their daughters/daughter-in-laws to get pregnant immediately after getting married and for some odd reason will place the inability of conception as the woman’s fault and not the man’s. News Flash!! Men can also have fertility issues! 

For the Africans reading this post, we have all seen the Nollywood films where the man and woman have been married for years and yet they have no children. Conception seems to be difficult for them and hence the strain of such pressures can be seen in their marriage. Then along comes mama Ade who makes things worse by abusing her daughter-in-law by professing that she is barren and insists on calling her ‘Barren Woman’ instead of her first name. Mama Ade doesn’t stop there though..she takes it a step further and encourages her son to find another woman and impregnate her, which foolish Ade does. Ade then finds a young little miss and does exactly what his mama advised him to do (at this point I’ll like to encourage all single ladies NEVER marry a mummy’s boy! You’ll thank me later) and Little Miss is pregnant. The day Ade tells his wife about little Miss and her pregnancy…his wife tells him that she too is three months pregnant! Chineke! That’s some real life stuffs. 

Although I’ve made light of this issue the truth is many women go through this torrent of abuse daily, monthly, yearly. Their pain is so real, so raw, so deep. The feeling of being made to feel inadequate because of no fault of your own. Being made to feel less of a woman because you may have chosen not to have children. Being made to feel less of a wife because your body cannot physically cope with carrying a child. Even being made to feel like some sort of irresponsible sex addict because you chose to have more than two children. The thing is it’s your womb, your business! Not any one else’s. 

So to finish this post of I’d like to say…

To the women who are waiting to have children…take your time and have children when you’re ready. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman because you chose to have a child at 38 instead of 28. Remember you’re the one that has to do the nightly feeds and the nappy changes….no one else. 

To the women who have more than two children..there’s a reason why you have the amount of children you do. They all have a purpose in life. Remember that. God will give you the grace and the tools to raise the amount of children he blesses you with.

Finally to the women who are trying for a baby to no avail, or who have been told not to have children due to health issues or even that they can’t have children…DON’T LOSE HOPE! A very close friend of mine was told (when she was 15) that she couldn’t have any children. Fast forward twelve years later at twenty six years old and two months before her twenty seventh birthday..she defied doctors as she gave birth to her first born…a bouncing baby boy! Then there was another friend who was told that pregnancy would kill her, her local hospital refused to treat her because they had advised her against the pregnancy. Fast forward nine months…then along came that baby boy who doctors thought wouldn’t survive, healthy and very much alive! Oh and the mother who doctors thought would die during pregnancy is also very much alive and is probably changing nappies as you read this post. You don’t have to believe in God to believe in miracles because miracles really do happen to any one! Keep believing and one day you too will be holding your bouncing baby boy or your graceful gorgeous girl. 

I apologise because this may not be your conventional Mother’s Day blog post but I thought it was a message that needed to be passed on. Let’s be sensitive and loving this Mother’s Day because we never know what other women are going through when it comes to their womb.

Happy Mother’s day to every single woman out there! 

As Always….

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You 

Love Mabs xx 

Seriously, Specifically and Strategically Shifting Focus.

I’m back!! Sorry I took some time away..I was at a crossroads in my life (‘Crossroads’, I’m so dramatic) and I needed time away to reflect and regroup! I won’t call my ‘time away’ a sabbatical because I was still writing however alot of the pieces I wrote came from a place of anger and hurt and would require a lot of editing before I post them, I ever do…. I guess you’re all wondering what I was going through…..well it was mostly centred around my relationship with God and my faith.

During February and March I felt angry with God, I felt as though He wasn’t fulfilling the promises He had made to me. I felt that God was moving slowly and generally felt abandoned by Him. Due to all these feelings I did what Mabs does best! I dis-attached myself from Him and everything that concerned him. I stopped going to church and I realised that I started questioning and critiquing everything concerning Him and church. My focus shifted from Him (God) to things I don’t like about church and institutionalised religion. I found myself focusing on all the negatives and blaming others rather than trying to figure out how I could be the change that I wanted to see in church.

Then I started reading Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. That’s when my perspective changed….okay let me be honest…my perspective is changing….

The book is split into ten strategies she believes that our prayer life should focus on and encourages us to write down strategic prayers after every strategy. I’ve found that having to write down my prayer points works for me and it has been very, very helpful because it  focuses my prayers on specific areas in my life.

In the book Ms Shirer speaks about the relationship we have with the devil…actually his obsession with us and how he would do anything to steal our joy and shift our focus from what’s really important. She explains that the devil’s main aim is to steal our passion and shift our focus away from God which in turn leaves us questioning God’s love for us. WOW! WOW! WOW! What a revelation!! That statement hit me like a tonne of bricks! In my head I equated my relationship with God with that of my relationship with my husband and therefore pictured the devil as a side-chick.

(In a Wendy Williams voice)…In my head….My husband and I are living happily, having fun, going on holiday, doing what married people do and we’re falling deeper in love and our union is getting stronger. Then along comes Buki with the good hair (sorry to all Buki’s out there), the big booty and big breasts who has been observing my relationship with my husband and insists that she too wants a slice of the yellow Nigerian pie; what do you think her first mission is going to be? Yeap that’s right! She’s going to make my husband believe that she is the best thing since fried plantain and that whatever she has to offer it will be a lot better than whatever I was giving him (shifting his focus). Buki, will also try and encourage my husband to invest in her and whatever else she wants to persevere in (stealing his passion, which was once me and his family). Buki, would do all these things in different ways she doesn’t necessarily have to sleep with him, she could just be sowing little seeds of doubt in his head by making him focus on all my negative points and encouraging him to forget my positives. I, on the other hand, will still be loving up on him and doing everything I am supposed to be doing for him as a wife (Just like God does for us). In my head my relationship with my husband has never changed because I (the wife ) have never changed because I chose to love my husband unconditionally (the way God loves us).

Once I played that scenario out in my head (Nollywood style) I started to think about the spirit behind my actions and the actions of others and that in relation to God. God will forever be God, He doesn’t change, He never has or never will! God will be the same whether we worshipped in big lavish buildings in the middle of a buzzing city  or in a hut in the middle of a village in Africa! However the spirit of the devil makes us lose sight of God’s never ending love for us. I lost sight of God’s never ending love for me. I let Buki with the good hair, big booty and breasts sow seeds of doubt and despair in my head. Now I cannot put all the blame on Buki, I have to take some responsibility also. I made myself available mentally. I wasn’t prayerful enough, I allowed the physical actions of others to determine my spiritual being therefore leaving a gap for Buki to come in and play her part.

So “gurl bye” to the Buki with the good hair, big booty and big breasts! Your services are no longer needed and wanted here because me, myself and I are seriously working towards specifically and strategically shifting focus from the things that do not matter to the things that DO matter. Those things are firstly my relationship with God, my family and friends, my career and my Men for Mentoring scheme!

I’m back with a VENGEANCE!!

I cannot recommend the book enough! I suggest you grab one asap!! It definitely puts a lot into perspective. Here is the link to the book:

As always

Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You!

Love Mabs x