Motherhood is, without doubt, the most joyous and altering experience in my life and the life of almost all mothers. Of all the achievements and pleasures we enjoy in life, none makes a woman more proud than her role as a mother. It is the most wearing, thrilling and remarkable journey and as we approach Mother’s Day on the 12th of May, I would like to take the opportunity to exemplify the unique challenges and delights of motherhood, reveal its deep significance and in doing that wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

My daughter is the first person I speak to every morning when I wake up and the last person I speak to before I go to sleep at night and as I watch her grow into a very special, beautiful, bright, brilliant, pious and virtuous young lady, together with all my other children, I realize that one of the greatest aspects of motherhood is the appreciation of my mother that I have learnt just by being a mother myself.

Children will always have a special place in their mother’s hearts and mothers will always have a unique place in their children’s lives. The connection between mother and child that begins when the woman is pregnant with her child and progresses through  to adulthood will always be the most special and remarkable bond of life. The feature that sets mothers apart is her everlasting love for her children and that love transforms into a unique, emotional, unconditional and telepathic relationship because their understanding of the deep love they have for each other need never be spoken.
Mothers are amazing and apart from literally bearing their children, they are ready to bear adversity; liability and hope for their children but at the same time carry pleasure, adoration, compassion, understanding and ideals.

A mother, with her out of control emotions, can exhibit the most bizarre display. She smiles instead of cries in front of her children so as not to alarm them, sings instead of screams so as not to scare them. When she is happy for her children she cries for joy instead of laughing. A mother is always ready to fight to the ends of the earth in order to stand up for her children. She is prepared to go without, so that her children can go with. A mother always shows strength for her children even when she realises that there is no strength left. She knows that a reassuring smile, a hug or a kiss can heal her children’s broken hearts.

The one common feature of every mother is her Olympic winning ability to worry profusely. For most of her life a mother worries. She worries that she has not done her best for her children; she worries about how the world will treat them. She is scared about what their past was and about the secrets the future holds for them. She is petrified about absolutely everything to do with her children and about absolutely nothing, as long as it has to do with them. When things don’t go right in her children’s lives, when the world seems against them, a mother always has the magic touch of making them feel better. A mother always puts the needs of her children before hers, no matter the price she has to pay. She is always ready to give the unconditional love her children need, even when they make a mess of their lives and no matter the amount of bad choices they make. At the times when her children fail to show their appreciation for all she means to them, or the times when their actions threaten the fabric of their lives, a mother’s love will always overshadow every possible wrong in her children’s lives. When her children are ill, even if she is ill herself, a mother is always ready to take care of her babies. A mother will always nurture her children throughout their lives, tolerate their attitude and misbehaviour, and will always be there to encourage them. A mother will do all this and more because, that is what mothers do.

Often, being a mother is an exacting job, one which exposes us to several moments of anguish before our children grow up and that anguish doesn’t disappear even when they are grown up. Mothering is a learning process and a mother is only human and as such very able to make mistakes. Even though most of us have a visual of our mothers as being perfect, especially during childhood, no woman is perfect and no mother can perform her job of mothering flawlessly. All mothers are capable of right and wrong, committing gaffs, missing the mark, but despite the mistakes she makes, we still must appreciate her because she is still our beloved mother.

Mothers are the most special people in this world and motherhood is the most special gift. For all of us whose mothers are living today, we should show her gratitude for all of our battles she has fought, we should make every day the most wonderful day of her life. Sometimes the demands of everyday take over and we may loose sight of the most imperative facet of life; the act of loving people around us, especially our mothers. Even when we speak and see our mothers regularly, we don't always get a chance or take the opportunity to tell them how much we love and appreciate all they are and have been in our lives. For all of us whose mothers are no longer with us, we should pray for them constantly, thank God for giving us the blessing of knowing them and using them to help us experience the wonderful love we had of being their children. We must continue to spread and teach the message of love that they taught us.

In the past two years, I had been very ill and spent the vast majority of that time in hospital. And through that challenge of pain and uncertainty, one face, one voice, one beacon of support stood head and shoulders above all others; that of my mother Hajia Ladi Musawa. From the start of my illness right to the point when I stood up and became healthy again, my mother never wavered in her support to the extent that the staff at the hospital used to make fun of her. She was always there at my bedside with an unfaltering determination, courage and, of course, a beautiful smile. She prayed for me, sang for me, bathed me and cradled me in the same way she probably did when I was a little girl.

During some of my very dark moments, at the time of my illness, I often doubted whether I could have pulled through had I not had her constant encouragement, her spiritual and physical support, and her undying love. And every time I lost hope, every time I felt drained, it only took a glance at the reassuring face of my mother and the whisper of her prayers for me to have the strength to fight on.

Anyone who knows my mother, Hajia Ladi Musawa, will be aware of what a difficult task it is for me to attempt to find the words to describe her. A role model to all who know and love her, my mother lives her life with great humility and her selflessness and kindness to others knows no bounds. She is a fantastic person who has been blessed with a sense of humour, a kind nature, and an unassuming ability to make all those around her feel special and loved.

My mother has affected me and her five other children for the rest of our lives. Her great character and her view on life have inspired us to try and be better people. She has always pushed us to look at people on the inside and not their appearance or identity. She never judges but always connects with people by their hearts and their values to see if they are good people, and that has always made us want to do so too. Because of my mother when I walk into a room I see people for who they are on the inside, and not the outside. She is my inspiration in life, and the one who I look at as a perfect person. She has impacted me in so many ways, and I will never really be able to thank her enough.

A mother is invariably where life itself begins and in her heart is where the magic of life lives. And on this Mother’s day and every other day, I thank God for my mother and all mothers. I give honour to every Nigerian woman who plays the role of a mother because as mothers, we are deserving of praise and so much more.

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