“There’s no way I can pay you back/But the plan is to show you that I understand/You’re appreciated” – Tupac (Dear Mama)
“What would you be sacrificing if we got married?“
While making a list of questions to ask her on our first date, I added this.
Don’t ask me why I had a list of questions for a date in the first place.
It’s easier for people like you to talk to women unprepared. Shy people like us have to prepare for weeks ahead of the D-Day.
But why would you even bring up marriage on a first date?
Aren’t first dates supposed to be an opportunity for you to just enjoy each other’s company?
I truly have no idea. I guess shy people are stupid sometimes.
Yesterday, I saw an excerpt from Michelle Obama’s Becoming about motherhood and aspirations.
In her own words:
“Something had to give — and it was my aspirations and dreams. I made that concession not because he said ‘you have to quit your job,’ but it felt like, ‘I can’t do all of this so I have to tone down my aspirations, I have to dial it back.“
I felt uneasy the first time I saw it. I won’t even lie.
The idea that you might have a disagreement with your mother one day, and she’d say your existence was the reason why she never achieved all her ambitions is a bit unsettling.
I don’t know how many children will be comfortable hearing this.
But I kept thinking about it.
I kept going over it in my mind and I think she’s right.
I’ve lived by the maxim ‘Is it really sacrifices if you have to brag about it one day?’ for some time now.
Helps me whenever I start feeling entitled to someone’s time, attention or money just because of sacrifices I’ve made for them in the past.
But love is built on a foundation of sacrifices.
And the sacrifices of millions of mothers transcends financial, corporate, entrepreneurial or personal ambitions. It’s never just that.
Many women have had to stay in unfruitful, adulterous and even abusive and violent marriages for the sake of their children.
For some housewives, inadequate financial resources weren’t their only reason for staying.
Most couldn’t stomach the idea of some other woman coming in to raise their children.
Others didn’t want their children growing up in a divided household, a la broken families.
I’ve heard countless stories like this, and it’s deeply unsettling.
I don’t live in Obama’s household and so I can’t claim to understand the power dynamics or structure of their relationship.
But if there’s one thing I know, many sacrifices have to be made for ambitions to be achieved.
Any worthwhile ambition at all.
And being the wife of the President of the United States of America would have required a ton.
People have had different takes on this topic since yesterday, but whatever way you look at it, motherhood is really a bedrock of pure unadulterated sacrifices.
A litany of unpayable debts.
And if your mother had to make any sacrifices for you to get to where you are today, then fuck it! She has a right to brag about it.
After all, there’s a long list of women who’d rather die childless than go through the mental rigours of being a parent.
And it’s not because they are not good people. Everyone just has their own choices.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to every mother out there making sacrifices for their families.
In the famous words of the late Tupac Amaru Shakur, you’re appreciated!