7 Things I learned From My Mom—My Hero, About Love and Relationships

mom-2My mom is my hero in so many ways. The irony though is, I do not remember us ever openly discussing anything about love, marriage and relationships. Surprisingly though, most of my beliefs and views have been shaped by her.

Why?

Because those unspoken words are sometimes louder than the loudest gong. 

And, truth be told, I can't even come close to being my mom, because she is one super woman, with such grace. However, all I can say is that, from being a rebel to exuding some poise, for the most part, it is because of the way I interpret(ed) by mom's life. I am so grateful to have such a strong real woman I call mom in my life. 

Here we go…..

  1. Respect, Love and Compassion for Your Spouse:
    My mother’s respect for her husband was not the kind you would expect from a woman of her generation. She would not quietly take shit. Not even when she very well knew the bitter consequences of speaking out her mind.  Unsurprisingly, she for sure got into trouble for that on several occasions.  With that said however, my mom never forgot her husband’s place in a home. It was evident that she respected my dad and was committed to her companion. Even when we would be starving, my mom made sure that she first served my dad, and  safely kept his share, ignoring the fact that he was indulging in a nearby bar.

    My mother had love, respect and compassion for her husband. She would never rest, knowing that her husband was sleeping somewhere in the woods because he was overpowered by alcohol.  She would have to get him home at all costs. My dad always had clean clothes, even without providing the basic needs. Oh yes, my mom never expected any of us kids to talk back to our dad. Indeed, there are many lessons young people in marriage today can learn from her. 

  2. God Has To Be At The Center:
    My mom knew that relationships could be rocky. I recall countless times when things would be beyond her control and she would retreat to prayer. She knew that human beings—kids, spouses, friends etc are fickle. When everything else failed, there was someone to turn to, her Savior.  She was never without hope. She heavily drew strength from her faith in critical times, like when her marriage became extremely violent, grieving her children, living in extreme poverty etc. I never saw my mom hopeless.  I hope I can grow to demonstrate this love of Christ to my kids.

  3. Never Marry a Drunkard:
    Growing up with an alcoholic dad, I know firsthand the effects of alcoholism. Even today, those effects are alive and well in our lineage. As a result, even at a tender age, I decided that I was never going to get married to an alcoholic, even if it meant becoming a celibate. During my dating years, whenever I learned that my potential suitor would even touch a bottle of alcohol, I would literally run away, no matter how “tall, dark, broad-chested and handsome” he was! God was kind and gracious.  My prince charming, my shining armor fears the effects of alcohol, as much as I do.

  4. Never Stay in A Turbulent Relationship:
    My mother has been married to my dad for over 50 years. Her relationship, for the most part has been a turbulent one. And don’t be quick to judge my dad. If you are to ask me, my dad, is one of the most amazing men on this planet—handsome, great sense of humor, angelic eyes, very proud of his children, faithful to my mom, and I am sure he was a hunk in his good old days—well, even now 🙂  However, when alcohol comes into the equation, it alters everything. And he has for sure tried to quit several times, but for those of you who understand how addiction works, it takes more than trying. The best he has done is to tell his children to never ever taste alcohol. But as you can figure out, this message has not worked for all the children, a complex discussion we need to have another time. 

    I can hear you asking:  "Why didn’t she leave"? The answer is really simple: She did not have many options considering the African society at the time compounded by other factors. She could not really do much with 10 children, no right to inherit land, no education, no home to go back to and of course, the entire stigma and shaming around divorce.  The good news though is, consciously or unconsciously, my mother gave us the tools she lacked. She empowered us so that if we ever had to call it quits, we would not face the barriers she faced.   

  5. Hassle and Support Yourself:
    As they say in the African culture, my mom “probably wore the pants”. Not that my dad was not around, or was not able, but alcohol twisted his thinking. We watched his promising career as an architect go down the drain. My mom did not sit and whine. She hassled. She did everything a mother could think of, and some more to provide for her kids (and hubby). She even ventured into businesses, some of which were against her religious beliefs, like the brewing business because she believed that a mom had to do what she needed to do.

    And God was gracious to her. She brought wonderful people in her life, who loved us and cared for us. We got amazing people to sponsor us in so many ways—food, school fees, handouts etc. If she knew of a place where any of her children could work in holidays or after school to raise some income to supplement school fees, she would not hesitate. From her, I started my venture into the business world. As a young girl of about 7 years, I recall harvesting wild greens and walking around the village selling them, venturing into a "gambling" card business— a hilarious escapade which taught me lessons earlier on in life etc.  All in all, I am thankful for a supportive and hardworking husband, but that does not give me a ticket to sit my ass down and relax.

  6. Have Each Other’s Backs as Family:
    My mom is the most disciplinarian woman I know. Even “simple” crimes like “picking corn” from the neighbor’s garden without permission because you were hungry, or crying that you did not want to share a bed with your sister would land you into BIG trouble. There was never getting away with anything. But we knew that our mom had our backs—at school, around our community, church etc.   You could do and say whatever you wanted, but our mom had our backs. Oh ya, we would dearly pay for our sins behind closed doors 🙂  but that boosted our confidence. It motivated us to try our best and not disappoint her. But as children, we fail.  Even today, she has not given up on us. We still drag her in the mud, but she stands with us. Never seen a love as strong as my mother’s love. I hope my kids (will) feel the same way.

  7. Importance of Education: 
    Even today, my mom probably  does not know how to read or write. I am sure she is not even able to read this tribute. Born from a polygamous family, with her dad having four wives and multiple children but with very limited resources, her chances of going to school were next to none. To make a bad situation even worse, she was a girl, and the last one of 12 siblings. Her best chance at life was being married off to my dad, a promising architect at around 19 years of age. God knows where she would be had she gone to school. She would probably be featured in the Guinness Book of Records! 

    But she understood the critical importance of education, especially for the girl child. She would consistently tell us that she was "blind" but wanted all her children to see. And she purposed to make that happen. While others were encouraging their girls to get married at a tender age, my mother had a different vision. She would spend days without food, she denied herself any luxury and hassled tirelessly  to provide for her kids and their educational needs. She single-handedly educated her five girls (and five boys). She cried and asked for help if she needed to. If you ask around our village, every one knows one Beatrice, aka "Bitureesi",  the woman who slaved for every rich family, to secure a livelihood for her children.  

    Where can you find such a great strong woman?! 

If there is any woman on this planet who deserves a medal, if there is a woman who deserves praise, it is my mom, my unsung hero. Even when her health is failing her, and age is catching up with her, I am so thankful to have someone like her to call mom. Mom, what a treasure you are to us! Because of you, I have a fruitful marriage, and I am not afraid to move on should things ever go sour. You are such a fearless tigress. I thank God for you every single day. 


Well, I could go on and on, because I can never say enough or give my mom the credit she deserves. Now, it is your turn. Tell me about your mother. Tell me about your unsung hero! Let us celebrate all those strong women who have made us who we are.  

 

 

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Love Relationship Advice For Women From Oprah and Michelle: You Are Enough. 

 You are enough! Yes, that my friend is the most meaningful love relationship advice you will ever receive. This, right here is the difference between real women and ordinary women.

There is an incredible video  below from two inspiring ladies, which  is a must watch for all women. Just one minute before we get to it.....  

Over the years, I have seen women search for happiness  from love. Statements  like; "If only I could land my Mr. Right, my happiness would be complete. If only my spouse could do XYZ, I would be a super happy woman. If only my fiance could love me right, I would never be sad again", seem to be common among women. 

This is absurd and regrettable! Why? Because you are enough! 

Don't get me wrong. Love is very important. Having someone to share your life with is a beautiful thing. I personally feel blessed to have my husband, whom I share my life with. 

But let me be explicit here: 


Our quest for happiness as women will never end until we realize that it is not to be found in a man but rather inside of us. You  are enough! You have to belief this fact. That is the best love relationship advice you will ever hear.  


This belief that women are worthless without men has led women to especially stay in dead and violent marriages because they think they need a man to survive. If you are in a sham marriage/relationship— where you are detached and it is clear that your spouse doesn't give a hoot, this is a wake up call for you.

 

I'm not talking about being pompous and taking your spouse as a nobody. I am not talking about women emancipation where women have lost it. That is not what real women do. I do believe in a healthy, loving, relationship where women are a complete package, with an overflowing cup who go into the relationship to bring the best out of their partner. Real women do not take their relationships for granted. However, they know that even without that spouse, that partner, they can still survive.

Most women I know stay in toxic relationships especially for children. And the love relationship advice they receive from society of  "guma', i.e be strong doesn't help much. 

"How will you raise those kids alone? Don't they need a father figure? Do you think you can survive on your own?"Questions such as these keep many women double guessing themselves. 

That is hogwash. Real women always thrive. It can be difficult, depending of women's experiences... but YOU are enough. You will always be okay. 

This is my take about love and  relationships. 

You see, an environment  where love is not modeled for kids, simply teaches them to accept less from their own future relationships and most likely take after their own parents. I speak with authority in this regard. I have lived this experience. I wouldn't want my kids raised in a house without that love and care,  where the parents have no real affection and passion for each other, but they are always after each other's throats, because of fear of being alone.  I'd rather show them a fulfilling and joyful life as a single person or a good marriage. Ya, it is either of the two. That is the solid love relationship advice you will ever need. 

And, I can never put it better than Oprah and Michelle Obama. Yes, you are worthy, and you are enough. Whether you are single, married, divorced, name it. Do not settle for less. 

 

This Amazing video is a must watch. Let me know your thoughts. 

 

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Real Women and Shared Responsibility in A Healthy Love Relationship

Congratulations! You have finally landed someone—a boyfriend, hubby, partner, name it! You are truly in love. But "love" is not ENOUGH. Real women know the true recipe  of a healthy love relationship— not being used, or taken for granted is one of the main ingredients. This article therefore focuses on this shared responsibility in healthy relationships. 

 

 While it is unrealistic to expect partners to play equal roles in healthy love relationships, the problem today is that in many relationships, the sole responsibility is  left to the woman. This is more so in marriage. For most husbands, once they provide for the family, they take the back seat and assume that they have fulfilled their duty.  Yet again, real women understand that there is more to marriage than money. While a bigger check has its place in a healthy love relationship, many men give it too much emphasis. Moreover, even for those men whose wives bring in a bigger check, they expect the wife to do the bulk of the work. That is absurd.  Why must the bulk of the relationship fall on the wife—kids, house chores, well being of spouse, name it. A healthy marriage relationship, like any love relationship  must be two ways, where both partners draw from each other’s strengths to enrich a relationship.

Healthy Love RelationshipSadly, most men are just too bloody lazy to think about other aspects of the relationships, beyond the financial aspect. They might know that something is not right, and needs some immediate attention but they keep hoping that problems will magically go away. They rely on false hope. At worst, they leave the bulk of the work to be done by the lady in lives. They expect the woman to work through it, even when it is clear that the man ought to take the upper hand.

And guess what, when women do what they know best, like complain, the relationship gets worse because they are considered as nags.

Unfortunately, by the time men wake up, it is usually too late. Men might think that they are getting away with such stuff, but that never happens. Real women have their limits. They unswervingly disconnect emotionally and that always comes back to haunt the relationship. In a healthy love relationship, no one should feel used.

Here are some questions for you:
Is the man in your life a real man that strives to make things work and finds ways of resolving issues? Is he work in progress like all real men, or he is an egocentric maniac who thinks that women are created for his service? If you have not commitment yourself to such a man, it is probably time to take a step back and reconsider what you are getting yourself into. If you are already in a committed  marriage relationship, it is time to find ways of setting your limits, before it is too late. And if your gut tells you that yours is not a healthy love relationship,  it probably is not. Seek help.