Gospel star Benita Okojie talks about her journey to motherhood
Nigerian gospel artiste Benita Okojie was recently featured in an interview where she spoke about motherhood and how the journey has been for her.
Benita Okojie became a bona fide star when she released her evergreen track Osamudiamen in the 1990s.
In a recent interview, the Edo state born singer spoke on motherhood, challenges and various lessons that appeal to mums of all age.
When she was asked, What was it like becoming a mother?. She said,I think the early stage of course was overwhelming, I knew that my life had changed forever for good. I had to share my time with the new baby. It wasn’t easy because it was not something I was used to, it was a new experience for me and I thank God for the Joy of being a mother. It can be also be challenging and I understand why people have post partum depression because if you don’t have people there with you the feeling might be overwhelming for some people.
When asked about labour, she answered
My mum and my sister were there with me during labour. My husband was also there but had to go get some items. I don’t even want to talk about labour.I was just really glad when the baby came out because I was there for 17 hours. I looked at my baby and I was like that huge guy came out of me but I thank God for counting us worthy of such a great blessing and having our families supporting us with prayers meant a lot. There were times the reality of being a new mother set in and I would go quiet. My mum would say baby blues and smile. I’m grateful for an amazing family system. Every one was helpful one way or the other. Thank God, baby A and I have grown since then.
What are some of the processes that helped you as a new mum?
My mother understood the dangers of not allowing a new mother have people around her because she may slip into depression .So she knew how important it was to have people around me. That did me a lot of good and I knew that it was easy for me to start feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I also tried as much as possible to talk when I wasn’t feeling good and I realized the more I talked about it the better I felt. There were times I realized I had to pray about these things and having people around me who supported me and prayed for me and friends who kept checking up on me and made me feel better. I kept telling myself this is a blessing, this child is a blessing so get over it and celebrate this gift so I eventually started talking to myself and I got better.
So you didn’t slip into post-partum depression?
I didn’t, that’s why it’s important to have people around you. There were moments where I had people around me and I’ll go quiet for a while and when they asked what was wrong with me I’d tell them nothing. Then I didn’t really feel like talking because I felt when they are done gisting I’ll go back inside and face my own joy and at the same time the challenges that come with it. But because I had people around me those quiet moments didn’t last.
So who were your support system?
My mother in-law, my mum, my sister and my sister in-laws. I just had so many people around me.
What can you say really prepared you for motherhood?
I don’t think anything prepared me for motherhood, honestly, the pregnancy stage was a process for me; there were days where I felt very good and there were days I was nauseous. I remember I bought lots of books; I would read and do almost all they said in the books and they’ll be like enjoy this time of pregnancy because by the time the baby comes out you wouldn’t have time to yourself and I am like what do they mean by that. They were actually right because after the baby came,I had less time for myself…it was all about the baby.