Florida Uzoaru, a Nigerian lady who describes herself as a ”bitter feminist”, has taken to Twitter to narrate how marriage and becoming a mother almost deviated her life long ambition of being a successful career woman. Taking to a Twitter thread, Florida stated that her dream for a very long time was to become one of the most successful women but marriage and child bearing almost stopped her from going after her goals.
She recounted how she met her husband and then got pregnant immediately after their wedding, a decision she said she regretted at the time. According to her, her husband has come to terms with the fact that she is an ambitious woman who must pursue her dreams alongside holding on to her marriage. Read her story below;
I knew I was a career-driven woman! I knew I wasn’t all that excited about getting married. I knew children weren’t my favorable thing on earth. But building a career I wanted seemed to take too long & I was impatient. I wasn’t going to get married.
Then I met Le Boo & only fell in love. This was the first time in my life I was liking a man who liked me more than I liked him. I generally go for unavailable men, men who aren’t sure of me etc. If a man “loves me too much”, he’s not challenging & so I didn’t want him.
I got married & immediately wanted a child, cos that’s the natural progression, isn’t it. Had my baby and almost immediately regretted it. Actually I started regretting it from the time I got pregnant. It was if I temporarily lost my marbles. Regardless, I made the decision. This was not an unplanned pregnancy. I wanted the child.
I did everything I could to get the child, and now I have him. Thus, I was going to be the very best mother I could for this child, who didn’t beg me to have him. As for my marriage, I love my husband like kilode, but I’d be the first to tell you he’s the one holding the marriage down!
If my husband hasn’t been stubbornly refusing to let go, marriage would have ended a long time ago. I am flighty! Do me small thing, & I’m ready to leave. But the man held on, like “you’re not going anywhere!” I’m grateful to him for doing that. But i still know, deep down, I shouldn’t have married/had a child when I did. At 30, it was like I snapped out of my “temporary foolishness”.
And said “Florida, this is not the life you wanted for yourself. This life of being known mostly as someone’s wife and someone’s mother”. I started applying to UK universities for masters w/o a word to Le Boo. Got admitted, saved up the £10,000 tuition money & told Le Boo that I’m leaving for UK for this masters whether he liked it or not! What followed was months of fights. He wanted us to be talking about having another child, not masters! I said “thunder fire you! I already feel shackled enough with 1, you want to add to it? This man threatened me, “it’s either we have another child now or we forget having another child entirely”,
I was like , see Christmas present! We are getting it, we are so forgetting it, cos if I’d be thinking properly I wouldn’t have had 1 child talk less of 2! I went to the UK. Le Boo thought I’d refuse to come back. When I started talking PhD, he started his nonsense again “what about the family?” Ehen, what about it??? What about me? I started looking into divorce proceedings. I felt I would always meet resistance from this man every time I do something for the sake of pursuing a career, & what kind of life is that?? That ain’t the marriage I wanted, so better to end it now. My mom panicked. But there’s nothing wrong with your husband na! He’s perfect. He’s nothing like your father, just like I prayed for.
Why are you doing this??? I was heartbroken, I will say. I still loved him very much. I’d never stopped. But I didn’t want to keep fighting with him, cos this is who I am. I don’t take my identity from being a wife & mother. Those are my jara! If i had to chose between a family life & a successful career, I will chose the latter any goddem day! I remember one day, I was crying on the phone with Le Boo. “I’m sorry I’m not the kind of wife you wanted. The wife content with an unchallenging job, so she could spend as much time ‘building’ her home.
That’s not me, & it cannot be me”. Mister Man didn’t know that this was me signing out! I had made up my mind that that junction that the marriage wasn’t working & it was time to face reality. I was going to file for divorce, and I wasn’t going to discuss it with him. Then December 10th 2013, I went to the airport to pick him up. He’d come to London for my graduation (not knowing his wife had at this point was all set to leave him). I went to the airport, saw him & started crying again. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t leave him. I haven’t loved anyone the way I love this man. I couldn’t live without this man.
I immediately filed away the divorce idea & decided to give the marriage another go. I suppose it helped that none of my PhD applications went through. So I went back to Nigeria & did my best to give the marriage all I got! Le Boo who used to resist me working outside Lagos, because “the family should be together” even though the field I worked it thrived more in Abuja, dropped all that. If it was Antarctica I wanted to go, I should go! So long as we were still married, he didn’t mind. So long as I’d come back to him, I can.
I don’t want any more children? No problem! We will stop with this one. It’s not like people take kids with them to the afterlife. And when the PhD opportunity came, not one “you’re leaving me here alone yet again” did I hear. I came here with my son, cos that’s what I do. I go with my son everywhere! It’s not even a question – maybe it’s guilt. Guilt that I regretted having him.
Guilt that I always go “I shouldn’t have married or had a child! I wish I knew growing up that it was an option to have! That not everyone should marry & have children”. Maybe because of that guilt, or maybe it’s just pure mother’s love, I’d inconvenience myself to make his life better. I’d do everything to give him the childhood I believe he deserves. On occasions, I’d even put him b4 my career.
Like right now, I’ve decided post-PhD, I wasn’t going to aim to be the Facebook COO (what’s that her name) until my son is 16-18. I’d slow down, and then resume again when he’s less dependent on me. Bottom line, if I knew myself better, I wouldn’t have gotten married or most definitely wouldn’t have had a child. But it’s already happened, and I’d be damned if I don’t make the best of it. Regardless, I’m reminded that those were decisions I shouldn’t have taken!