By Mrs. Kuti
Honestly, I felt like this was my calling, in so many ways I felt like this life chose me. I remember from a very young age wanting to have the freedom to stay home to nurture my family to their greatest selves, to be fully available to their needs, to always be present. So much so I remember when I turned 15 years old my parents and I were discussing what type of
car I wanted for my sweet 16th birthday and I remember vividly saying I wanted a minivan lol. In my mind, I could get a toyota or honda now and knowing the history with those brands I could have it 20+ years if I took very good care of it.
Plus, I already had my life planned out, married by 25 with three children by 30 years old. And by having my parents purchase my minivan then I
wouldn’t have to purchase one later. I would be able to take our children to and from school and extracurricular activities, bring hubby his surprise lunch so that it’s still piping hot come lunch time, thinking of all of the road trips we would take, glamping adventures, and do all of my grocery shopping with plenty of room to spare.
However, as my husband would say “ish happens”. I left from under my parents’ roof at the tender age of 18 to pursue a college education and nursing career in the big apple, New York City specifically, because I was told that this is what I had to do. That I had to get a job or get out. I had no idea who I was at that age and certainly had no idea who I wanted to be or do, or how to even go about it. But I left and pursued this career because I was being told that this is what happens when you graduate high school.
A year and a few poor decisions later I found myself pregnant with my first child. Needless to say this is not at all turning out like the life I had planned for myself and my future at 15. A year after having my daughter I was a nurse, working full-time, sending her to daycare (although it was my aunt’s daycare but still) I was overworked, over-stressed, overweight, frustrated, exhausted, hardened,and masculine.
A few years passed and I was in an on again off again relationship with my daughters’ father who didn’t offer any support physically, financially, or emotionally. So having to provide for my family became solely my responsibility as he went about the world living his life.
When I looked at myself in comparison to the women I was surrounded by (family and friends) I began to look like a lot of them. Women I swore I would never be like. Aggressive, short-tempered, masculine, overweight, loud, gossipy, overworked, with little energy left to pour into their families and husbands let alone themselves. With no quality time spent nurturing their children, while allowing other people to raise their children with their own thoughts, ideals, and belief systems. And all of this for the sake of making money but look at what we were all losing as a trade-off.
I got to a space in my life where I wanted more, I knew there had to be a better way, and I could no longer continue on living like this. So I decided that I needed to take my life back. The life I dreamed of as a young lady was still very much a part of me, I yearned for that life, I needed that life, just the thought of living out my dreams brought so much joy and happiness. So I left the toxic relationship with my daughters’ father, I distanced myself from the women in my family and friends who did not represent the type of life or exemplified the type of woman I needed to become. I stopped taking advice from women who did not share the same values as I did. I stopped seeking acceptance from those around me.
I was praised for being a hard-working nurse but criticized for wanting to be a housewife/ homemaker. Surrounded by feminists, I was only encouraged to follow the plan that was aligned with their agenda for
women and not my own.
For nearly two years I spent time reconnecting with God, I sought out a family therapist, journaling daily and began the healing process. It was a lot of inner healing that had to happen, self-reflection, discovery, rediscovery, accepting accountability for my actions, forgiving myself for past mistakes, and offering myself the same grace I offered to others. I slowly began feeling secure enough in myself and in what I wanted for my life and what my children deserved in a mother.
Being raised in Atlanta, Ga truly molded my point of view from a very young age but I got away from those teachings and values. So I spent time getting back to who Theresa is at her core and what TRULY makes me happy and whole. I wanted to be a graceful, feminine woman, who is gentle, loving, energetic, patient, inspiring, healthy, valued, appreciated, adored, loved, nurturing, wise, peaceful, and who is free to move about the world on her own accord. I wanted to be the one to raise our children, just not maintain them, I wanted to be the one to teach them, to guide them, to protect them, to nurture them, and be there.
Because I’ve seen and experienced what happens when there is not a full-time caretaker in the home. The results can be devastating.