Being a human being comes with certain expectations of you but being a woman is even worse. And in my part of the world, being a woman comes with a Manuel of expectations.
Girls become aware of these expectations right from the start. You could not play certain games as a girl child and you had to be in the kitchen to learn cooking skills from mama. But that is ok because those skills would come in handy later in life. This is also a bonding period for mothers and their daughters
I personally loved all the skills that my mother has taken the time to teach me both in and out of the kitchen. I am benefiting enormously from this in my adult life and I know I will always fall on these skills to come in handy every now and then.
Growing up a girl is sent to school and the fear most families have is the girl getting pregnant and dropping out of school and yet sex is not talked about anywhere near the house.
The girl is therefore put through this pressure of avoiding a “mistake” she has not been taught how to. The only advise being drummed into her is ‘’be careful not to get pregnant’’, ‘’don’t come back home if you get pregnant’’, ‘’don’t bring disgrace to the family’’ and so on. It’s almost like both society and the family is waiting to see if she would be able to make it through school without getting pregnant.
A girl is therefore walking around school under this pressure of not knowing so much about sex and yet having to do her best not to get pregnant as well as getting good grades. Usually most girls are able to pull through school without getting pregnant. That is the first hurdle she crosses.
She is now a woman who has a job and another pressure is soon to raise its head. When is she getting married? The pressure mounts so much with the celebration of each birthday. You cannot attend a wedding ceremony without answering at least two questions on when you plan to get married.
Your parents will mount this pressure with the support of the community, friends, colleagues and even enemies (who are mocking you secretly anyway). Most of them will go out of their way to tell you what your problems are; some think you are picky, you look too expensive or you expect too much from love.
When has it become so wrong to wait for a man you think you can create a future with? And this natural clock that is supposed to be in us is also not helping since it ticks away so fast.
Most women are able to escape this and finally settle into the homes of their husbands. Finally they can breathe a sigh of relieve but no wait, they can’t because society expects her to bring forth a child within the first year of marriage. There is nothing like when the woman wants to have children, no! Society won’t hear of it. She is blessed if she has a child within the next two years of marriage if not another pressure would be mounted by the in-laws, friends and even her husband.
The pressure never stops and this is just what being a woman means at least in my part of the world but that does not define who we are because in all of this we radiate through with smiles because at the end of the day we are women. That is how tough we have been created.