When I was young I always wanted to be a part of the Kenya judicial system. I will not get into the real reasons for this desire, but I will say this, the fact that I like expressing myself was among the least of them. As time went by, this desire evolved from wanting to become the first female chief justice in Kenya to settling on being a lawyer (nothing bad about being a lawyer ?).
To date some of my family members and close friends still refer to me as chief justice or lawyer. One of the people who fondly called me lawyer was my late grandmother Sarah Wanjiku: she had actually saved my phone number under that name, may she continue to rest in peace.
So, after my not very successful performance at the end of primary school I realized that I could not be a judge leave alone be the first female chief justice in Kenya. I began to pursue law as a career option and so in high school history become my favourite subject. English and Christian Education also featured prominently. However, blame it on the foolishness of youth, I did not perform as expected in the final high school exams and so did not qualify for public university. I paid dearly for my foolishness, spent the next five years of my life ‘slaving away’ at home and feeling very miserable about it.
By God’s grace and His providence my dad took my sisters and I to private university. Here, I settled on Business administration and marketing studies. The folly of youth was behind me now and I really tried very hard to excel in the exams. After graduation, I got a job and worked for a few years. Due to failing health and two very traumatic miscarriages, with the blessing of my husband, I quit work in May 2011. It was the last time I was to be formally employed (to date).
In the same year that I quit my job, I enrolled for graduate school and four years later I graduated with four degrees, two papers and two living: a master in Biblical Studies, a post graduate diploma in education, my first living child ? and pregnant with my second living child ?. These two children have changed the course of my life forever: I am now a housewife/stay at home mum. Ok, and I blog about both and a couple of other stuff ? ?.
If you had told me twenty years ago that I would be a blogging housewife/stay at home mum I would have laughed you off. I had a plan, a solid plan. I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: until I grew up and chose to be a wife and a mum. No wonder, I don’t get ticked off when my mum tells me that she is praying for me to get a job. As far she is concerned, I don’t work: I need prayers to get a job. But I have a job, I work at home as a mother.
But is motherhood a job? Really?
I am convinced that it is, else why do career women pay nannies/ daycare facilities to take care of their children (I dare not say raise up their children) while they work?
I am not out for blood, or to fuel the ever ranging war between stay at home mums and career mum: because as far as I am concerned, we all work just in different locations.
So why is the choice to stay home and take care of children so shamed and looked down upon in our society today? Why is the value and self-worth of women attached to pay checks and not quality of children raised?
How did we even get here? Where choosing to stay home and raise your own children is even a choice and not the natural order of things.
Remember this proverb: apparently its African. Can you believe it? ? not the proverb but the source
I was born in a family of four girls: my father believed in this proverb. So you can imagine the disappointment I am to my parents, my friends and extended family and the thoughts that go through their minds as concerns my choice to be a stay at home mum. I see it in their eyes, I hear it in their voices, I hear it in the lengthy prayers, I hear the quake in their voice when anyone asks my parents where I work.
It makes me feel bad, honestly, but it has never once made me doubt the path I am convinced God has charted for me. My heart goes out to them. But I lack words to explain myself anymore.
Did my parents and the many unnamed people who gave financially towards my studies educate me to become a housewife/stay at home mum? Or to influence a generation?
Am I not influencing a generation by being a housewife/stay at home mum? Or is the influence only valid and legitimate when I am employed and have a title, a salary and benefits?
I have a daughter you know; would I want her to grow up and become a housewife/stay at home mum? The answer is a resounding yes! And no, I am not imposing myself on her, but anything short of that, and honestly I somehow would feel like I failed.
To be continued . . .