When I think about my life and the person I have become, I think about how blessed I am to have had the upbringing that I did. My migrant parents laid an excellent foundation for my siblings and I to follow here in Ireland, and it led us to becoming strong and confident individuals. Had they chosen a different brand of parenting, a style that was a closer match for a typical African household, then I genuinely believe I would not be the expressive woman I am today.
My mother in particular has helped create the template I wish to follow when raising my own children in the future. While there were stages in my life when we didn’t have the strongest mother-daughter relationship, there were certainly times when we did. Now that I am of a mature age, I can appreciate any unsolicited advice given by my mother. There is so much truth in every word she speaks and the life lessons she passes on are more value to me now than ever before.
Despite us growing up in different cultures, her African words of sage have proven themselves to be useful here in Ireland and this has made me proud to call myself an African-Irish. Among many other things, I have my African background to thank for a lot of my mannerisms and my nurturing nature. I think it has instilled values in me that I would not have had if I didn’t have African parents, or more particularly, an African mother.
The wise words of an African mother can sometimes seem harsh, but as life has painfully taught me, mama bear knows best. The most valuable piece of advice my mother ever gave me was “Don’t let your flaws get in the way of you going after what you want,” I recite those words every single time without fail in moments of doubt.
On this Mother’s Day, I wanted to celebrate African mothers and spread their words of wisdom. I’ve decided to ask my African-Irish peers to reflect on some of the values instilled in them by their mothers surrounding family, love, life and more. Here are 12 inspirational words of wisdom from the African mothers of Ireland 🙂
Always be on your best behaviour and protect the name of the family you’ve been given.
The river that forgets its source will dry out. You can never forget your mom.
You’ll appreciate your height when you’re older. Tallness is beautiful. Love yourself.
Only talk to men that want to carry you about like an egg, only those men will love you.
On Life Experience & Positivity
No matter how old you are, you will never have more rags than I do.
Be positive. Speak the positive things you want to happen for you and it shall come true.
On Following Dreams
Mommy says ‘as long as you speak the language, anything is possible,’ kind of letting me know that I have the keys or fundamentals to make it with just speaking their language. Combining that with any other skills, I have pretty much the recipes for success.
My mother said I can be whatever I wanted to be and I really believed it.
Never expect anyone to see you as an equal unless you posses the qualities.
Half bread is better than none
The best thing my mom always told us that stuck with me is ‘a thief doesn’t like to be stolen from.’
Also, ‘when your mind makes stupid decisions, it’s the body that pays for it.’
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you twice, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen to your mother!
Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to pass on their mother’s little nuggets of wisdom to me. I hope each of you take away something extra from this blog post! Xx
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