Cover Photo: This black and white photograph is of a hand holding a phone and only the phone is in color.
Photograph by Jae Park/Unsplash

I’m Done Listening to My Family About How to Be a “Good” Mother

Their judgment is clear every time, and my aunt is the only one who is bold enough to say it with her chest: I am a bad mom.

Do you talk to your children?When are you coming home?


Haven’t you done enough, given enough, submitted enough?How do I claim it?

Ukamaka Olisakwe grew up in Kano, Nigeria, and now lives in Vermont. She was awarded an honorary fellowship in Writing from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2014, she was chosen as one of Africa’s most promising writers under the age of 40 by the UNESCO World Book Capital. In 2018, she won the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Emerging Writer Scholarship for the MFA in Writing and Publishing program.

Her works have appeared or are forthcoming in the New York Times, Longreads, The Rumpus, Brittle Paper, RattleJalada, and more.