"There’s Nothing I Cannot Move Out Of The Way For The Sake Of My Kids And For My Own Peace Of Mind' By Joy Isi Bewaji

I don’t drink nor smoke. More than 10 years as a single parent, I’ve never brought a man to my house in the presence of my children. I make good decisions for the sake of my kids. There’s nothing I cannot move out of the way for the sake of my kids and for my own peace of mind.

I invest daily in their mental, emotional health. When we walk into a mall, I am that parent who buys the best quality everything for her kids. I buy bras for my daughter from the same high-end store where I get mine. When religion became a headache, I stopped them from attending to that sham. I buy them books and books and more books. Read everything. Get a sense of purpose. Develop your mind to know what is wrong and right without being influenced or manipulated by things that are not seen. Use your formative years to comprehend what you can see.

We talk about everything. I am a mother and a friend. I run on flexible metre, but then I am firm. When I stand, I stand. You can't be pushing me around. I do not give anyone power over my happiness. My kids can ask me anything. I show empathy. I know when one of them is cranky because she is probably experiencing PMS at 12. I know when the other one is tired of solving an assignment and doesn’t want to play.

Every week, I ask the quiet one if there’s any kind of abuse I should attend to – beating, verbal abuse, sexual abuse. When they would have male teachers for a term, I was a hawk to ensure everything is as it should be. Our life together is quiet and beautiful.

So, it is very important that you do not tumble over yourself when you need to advise me on parenting. I am doing better than many people living and breathing on this social media space. This might be very arrogant, but except I seek your advice, don’t give me one regarding parenting. How am I sure you didn’t trade good education for an SUV. Like one acquaintance I know – three SUVs and the kids are attending a school from a bungalow with a Nigerian flag hanging from the balcony. The kind of institution where one kid has a cough, every kid gets that cough. Poor ventilation amongst other woes. I have delayed many international trips because I was always at that place where a decision had to be made – fly to Houston OR buy this for the kids. The kids usually win.

I have people whom I respect and trust, when i talk to them my day is made. If I am not reaching out to you for advice do not position yourself as an authority in my life, I will pull that rug from underneath your feet. You can’t be trying some nonsense with me.
Save your advice for your neighbour who kept her kids at home for an entire term. I had a neighbour like that once, and even I didn’t go asking her any questions. Save your advice for those who drive their kids into a room so they can frolic with some boyfriend freely around the house – dude in boxers, walking around, acting like he owns the fucking place. Mothers who allow their children to shrink because there’s a new man in her life. My kids walk tall. Nobody takes up their space. So save your yada-yada for bad parents, not me. I am made of gold. Even my mistakes are still better than your best parenting decision.

How about you save that advice for the parents of 5 year old kids who trek to school alone and have to cross major roads with okadas speeding like death? Or probably save that advise for parents of kids in torn uniforms, heading to school, looking like they haven't had a bath in years. Or advise that mother who has made her child the perfect bait to taunt and annoy a baby daddy.

I am none of these. So don't you dare.

See, just incase you don’t know, I am that parent who may stall education for an entire year so my kids can go learn how to code. Nigerian education is appalling anyway, what are you really missing out on? After secondary school, I’ll like them to go grab a few professional courses, learn a few trade, get curious about ICT, and then hopefully I have enough money to get them out of this shithole where people pay for certificates and lecturers lay students on their tables for sex (because I will kill someone, and I mean it).

I am a very confident parent. It is something that I know I got right. We will make mistakes, and we will glow even in our fleeting errors… because 100 out of 101 times, we get it right.

I am proud of my latest decision as a parent. As a matter of fact, I am sad it is coming now. I should have made this decision last year, or the year before, for the sake of one of them. You can't be trying to lord shit over me in the pretext of getting me to be humble. Humble for what? I detest that word in the Nigerian context. I kept two children for TEN years in ONE school, paying through my nose without ever complaining or begging for more time to meet the fees. How can you possibly think that I am flippant? Parents have come and gone, I stayed faithful to all the responsibilities they asked of me. There's nothing flippant about me.

I am not that parent scampering around looking for a man to play daddy in their lives. I got this.

If speaking out and standing for what I believe in is my error, I will bask in that error 'til I die!

Don’t come to me. I know the people I need to talk to when I need counseling. I don’t go looking for random advice; I think very little of a lot of people. You don’t matter to me. I see your life, and I am rolling my eyes. I am judging you.

Firstly, report the paedophilia happening right under your nose with a niece and an uncle. Then tell a few mothers to stop using their children's school fees to buy weaves and Louboutin.

With all this trouble in Nigeria - children accused of witchcraft, aunties attacking 6 year old children, leaving marks all over the body. for eating an extra meat from a pot of soup... how can you possibly think I fit into any of this kind of narrative to deserve some Nigerian advice?

On this side of reasoning, we don't make daft decisions. We are doing pretty well. Our lives are easy peasy lemon squeezy. Why? Because I work hard. No excuses.

Find something else to wail about. Nobody is making bad Nigerian decisions here.
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