Gospel musician, Abimbola Adeleye, popularly known as “Graceful B” is a songwriter and a gospel singer.
She narrates her parenting experience to Damilola Akinmolayan of Friday Extravaganza. Excerpts.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Motherhood means a state of being a mother, one experiencing all the processes involved in bringing forth a child, training up the child in the fear of God and in line with acceptable societal norms for that child to grow to become a responsible person in life. Motherhood is not about bringing forth a child into this world alone, it surpasses that.
Would you say that you got married early or late at the time you did?
Well, I will say it’s a bit late by my own standard. I got married at the age of 29. Ab initio, I didn’t plan it that way. What happened was that l didn’t get admission into tertiary institution on time. I spent some time at home writing JAMB examinations. Being a child of a clergyman, my father didn’t believe in cutting corners or lobbying for things and he insisted that merit is the only way. At the end, everything planned out well, l secured admission to study Architecture. In all these, l was determined to graduate with my father’s name on my certificate coupled with my choice of partner.
Was the decision to get married a personal one or was it borne out of societal pressure?
It was my personal decision. When I met the right person after my youth service programme, I got engaged to him after some months. Our courtship lasted for three years, we informed the leadership of the church I was attending and also to his church. We attended all marriage counselling sessions and did all recommended tests for six months, before date was set for our wedding. I do not want to say that the counseling sessions was a waste of time because I learnt a lot in the course of it and our marriage is enjoying its dividends now. I wasn’t under any influence or pressure to get married. It was a perfect time for me
What was the feeling like when you had your first child?
The feeling was great! Some few months after my wedding, l was pregnant. However, I had a miscarriage. I was heart broken, down and l blamed myself for being careless. Thereafter, I made up my mind to register for antenatal on time. When l realized l was pregnant again, l was happy and l followed all the doctors / nurses instructions, so by the time I had my baby, it was with great expectation and joy, more so, l was glad to partake in the grace and privilege of being called a mother.
Can you describe the moment?
As a first time mum, l was full of hope to see what I was carrying for nine months. In the course of the journey, I read so many books, watched so many films, attended all antenatal sessions. I was mentally prepared but when the hour came, nothing could be compared to the pains of child labour. It was a Sunday morning, l went to church, l didn’t see any sign and it wasn’t my EDD date yet but contraction started suddenly and a lady beside me heard my deep groanings and called a matron in my church to help me and I was taken to the hospital. At the hospital, the doctor on duty attended to me and found out that the baby wasn’t coming after carrying out a test on me. I was in the hospital till evening and I was later released to go home. Contraction started again early hours of Monday but hanged on till day break and got to the hospital. The baby eventually arrived and l was so excited.
Did you have an expectation or wished for a particular gender in your first child?
Not at all. I was contented with whatever gender that comes. As I said earlier I had a miscarriage at first, I was all out to experience the joy of motherhood not minding whether it would be a male or female.
Are there lessons that motherhood has taught you?
Yes, motherhood has taught me to be patient in life. If one is not patient, one will not succeed in parenting because mistakes is synonymous to children. You need to be patient with your children otherwise, things could go from bad to worse if some issues are not patiently addressed.
Can you give a specific personal example of one of the things motherhood has taught you or the habits it has changed?
As a young lady, l like travelling a lot more so, l like to travel late at night but now that I have responsibilities, l have discarded that habit.
What would you say is your biggest challenge as a mother?
l will say it’s time management. I am someone that is into so many things by the grace of God. Allocating time to different activities and getting them done within the time frame sometimes can be very hectic. I am a career woman, l have a singing ministry, I run an Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and into business as well, above all, l am a wife and a mother. Therefore, to function across all these responsibilities needs proper planning and time constraint is always inevitable.
How many children do you have?
l am blessed with three wonderful children.
What are the conducts, ethics and morals you teach your children and expect them to exhibit?
Yes, honesty, contentment and godliness are the legacies I would like to leave behind for them.