I don't particularly like children. Growing up and envisioning my future, I could see a career, the possibility of a husband but I never could envision some little things running around complaining of hunger or each other. I don't have the patience or the interest to indulge them. But I do not see why one should deny them their childhood either. I had mine. They deserve theirs.
I sometimes feel the emphasis that Nigerian women put on children is not necessarily because they are so loved but because of what motherhood represents and affords the woman. As a "child bearing" woman, she-the mother that is- is certified as "fully functional" and she secures her position in her marital home. And we all know what "marriage" is to the Nigerian woman.
I know that mothers do love their children. My mother would give me her heart right now without batting an eyelid and she would do the same for my brother; so, I am not saying that a there is a lack of love and affection. I am just saying that I feel that some of the ways we define motherhood is not something I aspire to be a part of.
If and when I decide to become selfless and revolve around someone else, I plan to adopt. I cannot understand how when God has created a balance between women seeking children and children seeking mothers, we still have so many children living in deplorable conditions in orphanages. Or women being put through hell because of "their" inability to produce children? Why would I subject myself to midnight sojourns to the riverside and eating odd delicacies like fried tortoises under the moon when I can simply walk into one of such homes and pick one child to give my whole life to?
Some argue that "There is nothing like your own blood. What if the child asks for his/her mother in the future?" Then by all means, let us get a private detective and seek her out; provided she has indicated that she wishes to be found. I am of the mindset that if all I can do is love that child and give the child even half the childhood experience my parents provided me, then I have done a good thing. Imagining that because you nearly ripped apart your insides pushing forth someone into this world is a guarantee that they will love and respect you says to me that your definition of what it is to be a mother is askewed.
I think children ought to be nurtured, cherished, celebrated, disciplined, educated and learned from. It is a huge responsibility to be given the task to help shape the destiny and mindset of another human being. It takes patience, selflessness and a great deal of creativity. Love is secondary. I love kids, I just don't like them.