Oprah gave marriage and motherhood a pass because, in her words, she didn’t think she could cope with the demands of her career and that of a family and do both well. Yes, she had a phenomenal career, touched lives and became a super influence to generations of women and men but leaving out marriage and being a mother is such a huge sacrifice to make in my opinion. I am yet to meet a full-fledged African woman that made all that sacrifice for a career.
I understand marriage and motherhood not happening for some women, but the average African woman would have craved it and then let it slide when it did not happen and chose her career instead. These are few and far in between. Most women, especially from the continent of Africa, try to do it all; be a spouse, mother and have a career as well. Women with children are sometimes even the breadwinners in their families, responsible for feeding the man of the house. We never sacrifice marriage or motherhood and our source of livelihood.
I, for one, happen to be into a lot of things, but how do I make a success of all these without having to sacrifice something as basic as motherhood? How do we have it all and still be successful in all? How do we play the role of wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and combine all that with an impacting career and do all well???
I have worked consistently from the time I was 19; first, as a barista, a server in a restaurant, a door to door marketer, a stocker in a pharmacy, an events usher before finally graduating and working as a public servant. I have always loved the world of work. I love the purpose and independence that earning a living gives one; I preach self-reliance all the time. Anyone with some sense and limbs should be adding his or her quota to the economy and to humanity and making some difference I always say.
Within six years of public service and dealing with bureaucracy, I knew I had to start planning an escape because I needed one. Right about that time, I was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and so my blogging life started and from that to a fashion label – Keem Harun, then I became a mother. With ZZZ arrival, most people would switch off or reduce their workload but not me; I certainly revved things up as the kids inspired some other endeavours. TheZZZLife and all its different areas started and then there is a tech startup I had always wanted to do is in the offing. So right now I have as my chief task and in order of priority - ZZZ, my family, career, my blogs, my fashion label and the tech startup. I call myself the Jill of many trades and rightfully so. How do I manage all these??? Most importantly, how do I make a success of all these? Some people will say I should just concentrate on motherhood and family and leave all other things till the kids are grown. That would only make me consistently feel a deep sense of loss, like I have become some wasteland. I am a happier person when I am passionately working on something, creating value and trying to make a difference. Solely being a mother is not me, even with all the money in the world.
I am certainly no superwoman and employ the services of two nannies (I need one more) but I am hands-on when it comes to my children and there’s hardly anything anyone does that is more satisfying unless I do it by myself. My husband is also a strong ally. I believe many mothers feel like this, you want to do everything but it is truly overwhelming, so having it all too has its drawbacks - total burn out. I am still determined to make a success of motherhood and also of my business endeavours. In my ideal life, I will have a big home office very close to the nursery or play area or an office next door to my home where everything I do happens.
There is need to make a phenomenal success of everything I lay my hands on, being a mum is number one. So help me God.