Mother’s day


I could see him. His tiny nose, mouth, eyes, and teeny-weeny forehead. That’s a living, breathing human inside of me. He was just five months old and I could see him clearly with this 3D scan. They told me he’ll be handsome and tall. I laughed amidst my drying tears. We went back to the doctor’s office to discuss the details of the scan. And that was where they broke the news to me.

“We found something unusual in his lungs. They may be cysts. We are not sure but it could be dangerous. Let’s watch it for a few weeks but consider aborting this baby if it’s something serious,” the doctor said.

That word, ‘abortion’, rang like a bell in my head. I wasn’t sure I heard the Mandarin-speaking nurse so I said, “Shenme?” (Meaning ‘what’ in Mandarin). My precious doctor, without any hesitation, went ahead to explain the whole thing again and asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep this baby. My lips said, “Yes, of course”, but in my mind, I was screaming, “Bia, are you people normal at all? I just saw my baby’s face for the first time and here you are asking silly questions.”

Mothers day

He’s not even a fetus anymore. Why on earth would I want to abort my baby at this point? She obviously couldn’t read my mind as she went ahead to suggest that I talked over the whole situation with my husband before making any decisions. I was confused. My “confuse“ was also confused because this was a woman so reluctant about motherhood that it took her 5 years, Yes, 5 years after getting married to get pregnant. Believe it or not, the Fear of Motherhood is real.

The Fear of motherhood

I grew up in a typical middle-class Igbo family in the Eastern part of Nigeria. I loved Enugu. I still do. The serene, peaceful, family-friendly ‘come-and-retire-here’ vibe of the city was enchanting. No hustling, bustling, and annoying traffic like in the big cities. The people were mostly traders or civil servants working for the government like my mom. My mom was a teacher and she taught pretty much all her life.

I love teachers. I remember mimicking my mom a lot as a child but as I grew up, I had no desire to be like my mom. I truly love my mom but I didn’t exactly want her life. I wanted something more and I felt like the realities and demands of raising children stole her dreams and ambitions. I looked and I could see traces of this narrative all around me.

Aunties, cousins, neighbors, and friends. It’s as if the journey into motherhood was full of sacrifice and compromise and that scared the hell out of me. It looked like the moment you start having children, that’s the end—it’s over. You have to spend the rest of your life raising them primarily. I know people have different notions and even fears but this was it for me. I was the scared motherhood would lead me to oblivion and so I stalled and masked my fears with the fact that my husband had daunting school work as a medical student and he had to finish medical school first. The truth is that motherhood is not a pause on your dreams. There’s no experience like becoming a mother. It is a door opener, a destiny elevator, a purpose propeller, a mind shifter, and a pathfinder. For me, becoming a mother opened up my life.

Ugonne Ann Okonkwo

Despite all the drama that came with birthing my first child, Zite arrived safely into this world in July, 2019. Because of the complications of having him, I spent 18 months in maternity leave. It was a disruption that i didn’t know i needed until it happened. I got the opportunity to truly step back, evaluate my life and figure out what I truly wanted. That was the season I stepped into life as a visionary woman. I started a YouTube channel, wrote a book and launched it (currently working on my second book), hosted webinars and bootcamps, started a podcast, coached young women and mothers, volunteered, and worked on amazing projects with some of my mentors. Motherhood became my trigger and a game changer.

I’m sharing my story to remind a woman out here that motherhood is a miracle. Instead of thinking of this season of your life as a bad disruption, start to look at it as an enormous opportunity. Motherhood is an opportunity to practice a run-through of a deeply spiritual reality. It’s like a dress rehearsal to fulfilling purpose in grand style.

On this special mothers day, I want you to see motherhood with new eyes and be enamored by its sheer brilliance. Celebrate every kind of mother – the working mom, the stay-at-home mom, the single mom, the diaspora mom, the mom in business, the nursing mom, the career mom, the surrogate mom, the professional mom, the spiritual mom, and the waiting mom. Take some time to celebrate yourself as a mother today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

My Bio

Ugonne Ann Okonkwo is a Nigerian-born writer, educator, coach, and the author of the book,

“The Birthing: How to partner with God for your children, your vision and your Nation”

In less than 18 months after having her first child, Ugonne went from a slow, confused, and overwhelmed mother to a multidimensional visionary woman who is birthing and launching different expressions of her vision as the Lord enables her.

She is on a mission to raise visionary mothers- young women who are partnering with God to birth his vision and purpose for their lives per season.

Ugonne is the creator of the “Ugonne Ann” YouTube channel and the host of the birthing visions podcast, a show dedicated to helping visionaries find and birth their God-given visions.

When she’s not writing, speaking, or teaching, Ugonne enjoys reading a thought-provoking book and catching up on a Nigerian web series. She lives with the love of her life, Dr, Isaac and their sons Zite and Nate, in Shenyang, China where she teaches English as a second language to the most adorable Chinese preschoolers.

You can connect with her through her website- www.ugonneann.com or find her on Instagram and Twitter at @ugonneann

Our lady also doesn’t seem to understand that the woman was widowed when she was barely 33 years of age and had seven children to cater for!Another lady (who lives in the US) tells me that she has often had to go for therapy over there-to enable her deal with what she claimed was her mum’s cruelty to her-as a young girl.

According to her… her mum would always throw her out of the house and ensure she stays hungry for days. She downplays the impression that she was a wild girl, to whom domestic chores is alien. She would rather call on the boys in the neighbourhood to help her shift the furniture in their sitting room for an emergency ‘disco’ session, once her mother steps out of the house. And that’s even on the days that she elected to stay at home, otherwise, she’s known to leave home to wherever ‘it is happening’ for days.

All these were happening in an era when shame would almost kill a mother, whose Ada (first daughter) is not as homely as the other good girls in the neighbourhood.Two sisters, whose parents divorced, are still nursing some deep-seated resentment towards their mother.

According to them, she left them with their dad when they were barely 10 years of age. And she never looked back. The younger one has outrightly refused to deal with her and the older one does so with obvious aloofness. Their angst is understandable but it also helps to spare a thought in the direction of that woman.

I was told that the marriage began to nose-dive when the years began to roll by without any fruits of the womb. And his meddlesome female relative began to dictate what happens in their home. She’s alleged to be the type that, if there was an outing, would send the man’s wife to the back seat of the car-as she occupies the front seat.Things began to deteriorate so much so that by the time the children arrived…it was like “she dared give birth to girls only!”

The marital ‘nose dive’ continued until the extended families decided to divorce them-traditionally. In those days (in some Igbo tradition)…the woman is told to leave her husband’s home with just her clothing.

I suspect that it’s probably in a bid to ‘stay strong,’ without her girls, that she went so far away and tried rebuilding her life. Those who are in the know also said that she was an exceptional mother-to her girls.

Over the years, one has come across a lot of ladies that have unimaginable resentment towards their mothers, for either what they did or failed to do.In their rights, their feelings are justified but it should also occur to us that most of our parents raised us the best way they knew how. If there is anywhere motherhood is sacrifice, it is in this clime!

Nobody sets out to be a bad mother to the best of my knowledge, but circumstances “arm-twist” people. Some of these women had so much on their young shoulders and probably couldn’t be the super-mum that every young girl idealizes.

You can handle this better by resolving to be, to your own children, everything good that your mother is/was not. Not by burdening your soul with resentments. Some people travel abroad and suddenly realise that their mothers didn’t try at all.

Advanced societies have support institutions for the family, but here, the “straightening out” is done with cane, tongue-lashing and maybe…hunger!I remember those days when I would go play without doing any house chores. My mother would use silence and hunger to straighten me out. I would be the one hovering around the woman with lines such as‘’Mama, did you call me?’’ ‘’Mama should I do this or that?”, anything to make the woman have mercy.

My prayer remains that every lady experiences motherhood…if only to realise that it is not easy at all, especially with a ‘handful’ of a child. These are women we know nothing about their emotional issues, who are operating in a culture that has idealised them into super humans.

“Forgive your mother, not because you don’t have a right to be upset about the way she has handled some things in her life and in your life. Forgive your mother because until you do, there will always be a void in your heart-’’ Iyanla Vanzant.

Culled from : Guardian