My younger sister got married last month! I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing a picture!
In the midst of the hectic planning and many errands, I found myself mentally preparing for the insensitive “caring” comments I would face with regards to children.
I played previous short conversations in my head and wondered how I could answer differently. I thought about telling the “aunties” to ‘GET LOST’ and thought about the fact that these comments would most likely be in front of others and, the last thing you can do to a Nigerian auntie is be “rude” to her in front of others. I thought about the lack of concern for my feelings and why the victim (me) was thinking about how to protect the one causing offence….
So, as we’re on day three of National Fertility Awareness Week here in the UK, I thought I’d share some of the conversations I had last month. To give you some context, in many African cultures, anyone older than you (8+ years or so) is your auntie or uncle. You do not call them by name. It’s like the Americans with Sir and Ma’am. We understand that we are not related- There is no confusion.
To really get the feel, you have to read the auntie parts with a Nigerian accent – if you can.
Auntie: Kemi, how are you? Long time!
Kemi: I’m fine thank you. How are you?
Auntie: How many children do you have now?
Auntie: (Shouts) Only one?
Kemi: Yep (Walks away)
Auntie: Kemi! How is my boy doing?
Kemi: Samuel is fine thanks.
Auntie: When are we expecting another one?
Kemi: When God says
Auntie: Yes- amen!
Auntie: Samuel is looking more and more like his dad. You need to have another one so they will look like you.
Kemi: (smiles. Says nothing.)
Auntie: You’ve put in weight. Any news
Kemi: other than living good- no.
Auntie: don’t worry, we will celebrate soon
Kemi: Thank you
Auntie: Samuel is waiting for a sister
Kemi: we all are (smiles and stands there with blank expression)
Auntie: Kemi, you all look so lovely
Kemi: Thank you auntie
Auntie: By His grace, you will have an addition next year
Auntie: Make sure you receive it
Kemi: If it’s Gods will. Thank you auntie, I need to go
Auntie: Kem Kem! Looking so lovely!
Kemi: Thank you aunty!
Auntie: your daughter will look like you next
Kemi: (Says nothing and smiles)
Kemi: Auntie, do you want me to get you anything?
Auntie: No thank you darling. Your are looking so sweet.
Kemi: Thank you. I made Sure I went on a diet for the wedding. (Really feeling myself)
Auntie: Diet ke? You better not diet because we are waiting for the twins!
I could go on with my conversations but wanted to highlight that nothing much has changed since my original ‘Conversations with my Nigerian aunties’ blog in October 2016. The language used is still hurtful and insensitive and the expectation of giving birth from others is still very much there.
Because I’ve found myself in a new realm of the fertility journey, I guess I’m more fired up to provide more education on this topic – especially oncofertility…
And that’s it from me people!
Be Encouraged, Be Expectant