Home Column - Tuesday The 4 quadrants of a mother’s relationship, By Ngozi Bell

The 4 quadrants of a mother’s relationship, By Ngozi Bell


Mother’s Day is celebrated in over 40 countries around the world on different dates. I am grateful, we are blessed with this day that highlights who mothers are every day! On Sunday May 8, Mother’s Day 2022 was celebrated in the United States.

Mothers are all that!

Motherhood is universal, yet unique, it is a ministry and an institution. To service motherhood effectively, requires intentionality, diligence and strategy. Motherhood is also multi-faceted and dynamic, requiring numerous complex interactions.  I tend to view its engagements in four quadrants 

A mother’s relationship with: A spouse or co-parent;

A mother’s relationship to her Networks (Fellowship, friends, work, organisations);

A mother’s relationship to her family (nucleus and extended);

A mother’s relationship to her children (biological, adopted, spiritual, foster, etc.).

These dynamics impact, contribute and inform the mother that emerges.


In this short article we will tackle a mother’s relationship to her spouse or co-parent.

This article will deliberately look at the positive relational dynamics of motherhood to a father present in the home as a spouse or away from the home or without the responsibility of simultaneously being a spouse. The intension is that readers find in it reinforcements of their relationship status or inputs that could foster healthier relationships with their parent counterpart.

The dynamics of motherhood are all together emotional and filled with an almost bottomless depth. The wellbeing and welfare of the child can sometimes ride on the health of her relationships. A good mother strives with all her resources both personal and acquired to protect her child or children’s wellbeing. She will fight to ensure that whatever situation she finds herself in, her children are shielded from the bad and exposed to the good. It can be a big balancing act in the quest to create the stability she seeks to guarantee them. Money, opportunity, support, health, wellness all matter. The role, attitude and atmosphere between the parents are a dynamic that have a lot of influence on the type of motherhood that emerges.

In the US 25% of children live in single parent households, this is the highest number globally. The lowest is in Mali with 1%. To be clear while there are many challenges associated with the single parent statistics, the truth is that countless single parents raise healthy happy well-adjusted children. Conversely, not all two parent households are healthy environments for children. What we have found is that healthy mothering is always enhanced by a healthy interaction between parents.

Motherhood benefits tremendously from a mother’s interaction with her co-parent, whether as a spouse or not. Below are some activities that have great potential to make a huge difference. Below are two postures for successful interactions.

Know Your Role (KYR): 

As the mother what is your primary role with your spouse or co-parent as it relates to your child or children. Are you the stable and dependable one? Are you the fun parent that brings light and joy and takes gloom away? Are you the stern one with all the standards and schedules that ensures that things get done? The key thing is knowing your role.

Once you know it, focus on it, work on it and invest in it, become an expert in it. It will make a tremendous impact to your motherhood journey. It creates stability and becomes a distinctive attribute that helps your partner “tell you apart” in important ways. Additionally, it gives your partner a place to go and a place to trust in supporting your motherhood goals. It brings a level of dependability to a key brand of relationships that informs your motherhood. 

So here goes if you are the fun parent build an atmosphere around the father to make you welcome and fun to be around with, bring light and joy often; it builds confidence in him that fun exists for the child or children.

If you are the serious one, then make sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted, it gives your partner the confidence to know that school and work and dependability is assured for the child(ren).

If you are the prayer warrior, filled with fellowship and deep spiritual practice. Then by all means pray often, study The Word of God often, share it often and live it out. It brings assurance that you can be tapped for prayer, encouragement, and spiritual counsel in times of challenges and bring wisdom at other times.

You see over time knowing your role and confidently exercising it to its optimal performance creates a productive consistency that eventually gives you credibility!

Credibility is a currency, and like any other currency it has great value. This means it can be exchanged for several tangible treasures. For example, once you have achieved the credibility state with your spouse or parent partner, you can start leveraging it. You can exchange it for his time, his resources, his meaningful fellowship and time.

 When you are able to do this, you would have simultaneously created an atmosphere that will pay dividends in time and capacity, features very necessary for the healthy exercise of motherhood for a long time.

Tackle issues you can, never flippantly dismiss an issue

Do your best to tackle things that your spouse or partner brings to you, you may not know all the answers but the things that you know share, things you don’t know research it either together or by yourself, the things that you can’t know put it to rest in a way that’s wise to show that you’re mature about it alright. Never dismiss issues flippantly because sometimes issues raise questions that are really opportunities brought to your attention as an indication of something more serious, a nagging concern or an action being considered.

Ask questions to clarify and ensure you fully understand and have been apprised of what is fully known about the issue. Stay alert, interested and perceptive and yet avoid jumping to conclusions. Many times, questions or the relating of an issue contains with it crucial information that just needs further exploration or even as a disguise to inform on a serious matter he is not willing to speak about blatantly. Be careful to not abort material information or data that could be useful later or could be tackled to avoid issues. If you cannot obtain an answer for the issue, then use one of these tactics to create some progress. Get the facts, do the research, get the answer or make sure the foundation of the issues are well mitigated.

About Ngozi Bell

Take a listen to our podcast Say It Skillfully® OUR VOICES – Ngozi & Okezue Bell, Carpe Diem! Tuesday, April 5, 2022 (voiceamerica.com)

Inspiration, Hard Work, Innovation. These three foundational elements anchor Ngozi’s core belief that manifesting the extraordinary is always within reach. Inspired by her mother A.C.Obikwere, a scientist and author, she learned the privilege of living at the edge of important encounters and dedicating herself to robust and perpetual learning. Ngozi’s background is a combination of Physics, Engineering, Venture Capital/Private Equity, regulations, and business where she has managed over $1B in cumulative revenue. Ngozi is a speaker, storyteller, and writer on a diverse set of topics including AI, iDLT, ML, Signal Processing, iOT, women, entrepreneurship and more. She contributes regularly to VOA, has been a TEDx speaker and is published on tech and non-tech platforms. She is a champion of STEM, women, youth, art and the Africa we must engage. Ngozi is an adjunct professor of Physics and management with work

experience in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and North America. She is a founder of a number of a number of enterprises and host of the podcast Stem, Stocks and Stews (https://anchor.fm/stemstocksstews-podcast).

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