Enene Ejembi : Mummy persevere!

Today we are quite fortunate to have the cerebral and very beautiful Enene as our guest blogger. This Harvard alumna who also has a masters in English from the University of Dundee is a passionate Managing Consultant. She also happens to be raising her beloved son as a single Mum. Read on and remember that whether you and your husband are together or your are roughing it out on your own God is always with you!

In a sense, every Mom is a new Mom, because no matter how long you’ve had children, you have never been the Mom of this child at this age. Motherhood is not static – it requires different things of us at each new phase.
She probably got pregnant the week after her wedding – because exactly 40 weeks after she was in labour. Pregnancy was relatively easy, she gained loads of weight and couldn’t stand most perfumes, but other than that, she rolled with it (quite literally). It might have been a gene or heritage thing – her mother had four kids in six years and never took a day off while pregnant.
Labour was a different story! It lasted 14 hours and ended with excruciating pain from being cut and stitched up. She was exhausted, drained and oh so happy – she had just seen him for the 1st time. They named him John, after Jesus’ beloved friend and disciple.
They took baby John home and the days turned into months, before you knew it, a couple of years had rolled by. But not without event, their marriage that had started out beautiful soon grew difficult – eventually they parted.
Now she was not only a young Mom, she was a single one.
She had never bargained for this!
In the early days, it was bewildering trying to figure out her identity. Did she have one anymore? Did she want the identity others seemed to nudge her way? If she was no longer a wife she was absolutely determined to be a good mother. But what did that look like? Surely a marriage is one of the covers a mother gives her children. If she was no longer married, then did what they have still constitute a home? A young woman without a husband, living with one little boy, who had no siblings. It felt awfully lonely to a woman who had grown up in a six-person home. Oh, how she analyzed and idealized, ruminated and conceptualized – a way to be a great Mom, who has no marriage cocoon for her baby.
And all the while John was growing.
He grew taller and bigger and he grew kinder and wiser. It did not take her long to realize that while she was figuring out how to mother him, he was deciphering how to be her son. She was 1st confronted by it when he came into her room on a particularly difficult day, sat beside her in silence and after a few moments said, “Mommy persevere.”
“What did you say Johnny?” She responded.
“Mommy persevere…persevere means don’t give up”. He replied.
He was 3 and a half years old.
Pretty soon, she was no longer winging it. She knew how she wanted to mother! She focused on his social development, spiritual learning, academic fundamentals (especially reading and Math) and dedication and responsibility.


Social development:
As a natural loner, I was fine with living alone, but soon understood I needed John to experience sharing and teamwork and connection with family and friends. Over the years I have opened our home to brothers, cousins and domestic help. Single Moms and smaller families need to take care to responsibly expose kids to the realities of living with others.
From day one, I kept whatever unpleasantness there was between Johns father and I to myself. John loves his father and his father spends time with him and is involved in his development. I also deliberately kept relationships with his grandfather (now of blessed memory) and with several members of my ex-husbands family. While this has required wisdom and not every relationship could be nurtured, I am supportive friends with several aunts, uncles and cousins – this way John has “friends” on both sides of the family.
Spiritual learning:
Going through a separation and divorce is tough enough but being a Christian going through a divorce is particularly excruciating and confusing. During the early years my faith took a huge bashing. In those years I tried to pay attention to my responsibility to raise John in the ways of God – which is awkward when you yourself are in a spiritual funk. I committed to a church with a fantastic kids’ ministry and enrolled him in a Christian school. The inputs of Sunday school and godly teachers was an enormous help in those years. I am forever grateful to Johns teachers. I encourage single Moms to expose their kids to a network of people who believe in righteous living and a life of love so that they form godly character in their youth.
Academic fundamentals:
I have a postgraduate degree in English literature and love to read. I bought John his 1st box set of 24 books before he was born! We have always read together and he was reading ok on his own by the time he was 4. I never quite got Math’s – so this inspired me to get him Math tutors from an early age to ensure he has no learning gaps and could perform well in Math. He also had a French tutor for many years as he clearly had a knack for languages.


Dedication and responsibility:
I love comfort, so cuddles and hugs are my thing and John has always had a healthy dose of them. On the surface I may appear to be an indulgent mother. On the other hand, I believe in consistent effort and diligent work and I expect diligence from him. I believe in dreaming and having the grit and focus to work the dreams out in reality. I provide for John and do not appreciate any waste. He has had chores from an early age and now at 10 years old he can make breakfast, wash the car and helps the domestic staff around the house.
Being a “single” mother has been one of the most rewarding opportunities of my life. It has enabled me grow in ways that make me unrecognizable to myself of 10 years ago. I find strength I never knew I had and have seen grace, provision and love come from startling places. I just call myself a Mom because I have definitely not come this far singlehandedly. God has covered us with a community of family, friends, colleagues, bosses, teachers, neighbors and even strangers whose input into Johns life we may only know in eternity.

As I end this I want you to read this beautiful poem by Mark Harris, and I pray it blesses you as much as it has blessed me!

 Find Your Wings
It’s only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you, will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I’ll pray, for all that you might do
But most of all I’ll want to know, if you’re walking in the truth
And If I never told you, I want you to know
As I watch you grow…
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage, to dare to do great things
I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots, and help you find your wings.

You’re not living if you don’t reach for the sky
I’ll have tears as you take off, but I’ll cheer as you fly!
May passion be the wind, that leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong, and guide you on your way
May there be many moments, that make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories…
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage, to dare to do great things
I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots, and help you find your wings.

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5 Comments

  1. Wow amazing Enene. I will always be proud of you and all that you do. You remind me of my favorite quote interestingly its my quote …#IBlossomInAdversity Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story…your story. I draw strength also from it knowing fully well that we all have our own fair share of challenges. #Persevere is the word #Nevergiveup. Thank you lord for raising a beautiful mother to an adorable son . May their lives continually testify that you are a good God and as long as we have you we call do all things irrespective….

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