Around the time I was 7 years old, I was super keen on extra-curricular activities. I wanted to do karate because it was so cool, I wanted to play an instrument, either the piano or violin,so that one day when I was older I could host parties and play for my guests. And I wanted to learn a language, because well I don’t speak no other languages.
I never got to do any of that at the time. I was a child of a single parent. I had to be happy with what I got; that I had a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and a school to go to. I had to park all those ambitions because they came with a hefty price tag.
So that motivated me. I was going to be successful. I was going to make as much money that no one would stop me from any dream I wanted. At 10 years old, I had decided I would go to the best university within reach. I knew a good varsity, especially one world renown, would help push my goals into reality.
I could dream about going to an ivy league but those would cripple us financially and I honestly didn’t think I was bright enough to get a scholarship. By the time I was 17, I had planned out my life well into my 80s. Phase 1 of the plan was to get my undergrad with exceptional results.
In phase 2, I would do my master’s in Asia and then work for 10 years honing in on my craft. With phase 3, I would start my own business in either construction or manufacturing. Once that was established and thriving, I would move into phase 4.
Phase 4 would find me in tinsel town, either writing, directing or producing. Movies and TV have had a huge influence on me, so I figured I might as well learn the business too. For phase 5, I would return to Zambia and invest heavily in my home country and the continent as a whole. With all the experience from across the globe, no one could question my expertise or vision, because by then I would be a big deal.
In the final phase, I would be doing further studies and get my PhD at an ivy league school. There would be no reason for me not to go.
I had my whole life planned and I thought of everything. Well….. except…
You’re missing something
Oh yeah, right! I totally forgot. At some point I want to be married. That’s it….. right?!
Right, a child. Apparently since I have a uterus I have to use it at some point. I had completely forgotten about having children. I would fantasize about a phase and there would be not trace of children. They didn’t fit in my grand plan especially since there was a short biological clock timed for 24 – 34 years old. I always felt like I had to choose between pushing a baby out or building an empire.
Children are not my priority. The only reason I am even aware of them is because other people would bring them up because I’m a woman. But there is nothing that terrifies me more than motherhood (except failure).
Let’s analyse this for a second.
They are basically financial parasites that only get bigger with time. And aside from the fact that children are expensive AF, the responsibility of being a mother is perhaps one of the greatest on earth. My Cousin YellowBone, joked one day that being a dad is simple, you could even tap out when your kid hit 18. But being a mother! You are a mum for life. Your kid can be 50, fuck up and still call their mummy to help.
I am not emotionally equipped to dedicate my life to this other person. There are so many variables with a human life that I haven’t even dealt with myself.
Then there is the little thing of identity. What culture do I teach them? What will be their mother tongue? I am so many things, and nothing all at the same time. The latter because I am constantly asked,
“Where are you from?” and “Are you Zambian?”
It is a horrible feeling, feeling like you don’t belong. And with my child it would only get worse there’s no way to purify my bloodline.
Plus there are so many gaps in my history that I physically cannot share because it has not been declassified to me.
How do I bring this person into this world, a place that does more harm than good? How do I teach my child about good and bad? The world works in reverse by rewarding the bad and demolishing the good because it doesn’t want to change the status quo. No thanks!
Do I have the fuel to be a mother? To constantly be on and ready to fight. What if my child Is different; they may be mixed race, trans, queer, disabled , and everything in between. I would love them whole heartily, but the world will come on them harder than Haley’s comet. Would I be strong enough to protect them, even if they were “normal?”
No! But what if I hate mine. Postpartum depression could be a thing. What if I decided to have children against my better judgment and find out I was right all along. It isn’t for me but now I have a whole human life to take care of. Worst still, what if I provide for my children physically but not mentally, emotionally or spiritually. What if I give them everything they want and not what they need? What if I create a monster, an individual that leaves a dark spot in their community, or worse in history? Even ISIS members have moms.
Could I handle that I did all the things, read all the books got them the best and still failed. Hypothetical, what if my child raped or killed someone. Could I handle the inevitable flood of questions I would ask myself that all stem from “where did I go wrong?”
Clearly, I do not take this lightly. I play no games when it comes to other people’s lives even if they aren’t born yet.