Quite recently, I was walking with a friend on a busy street and suddenly, a woman passed by. There was nothing extra ordinary about the woman. However, a few meters behind her was a small child, around 3 or 4 years of age whom I believe, was her child.
I remember reacting immediately with shock at the sight of a mother leaving such a small child to follow her behind, on a busy street teeming with humanity, vehicles, tuktuks and motorcycles, all the while seeming oblivious to the danger that posed to her child.
What if some reckless driver or rider hit the child? What if the child lost sight of her mother and got lost? My friend, who obviously has since gotten used to such scenarios of careless mothers, assured me that this was not an isolated case. So I let it slip. But not for long as I’m still recounting this tale, several days later, to you my readers.
I mean, even elephants take better care of their offspring!! They do not leave them behind to be attacked and mauled by predators while the elephant mothers stroll breezily ahead.
I am reminded of how my own mother raised me back then when I was still a small child. If we were walking in town, she would always say, “Pita mbele yangu ndio nikuone, ukikaa huko nyuma sitakuona” (go ahead of me where I can see you, if you lag behind, I can’t see you). She was a fast walker and I always seemed to be dragging my feet and complaining quickly of fatigue.
One day I did not heed her instructions. We were heading somewhere and with her fast walking nature, as soon as she turned the corner, I lost sight of her. As absurd and hilarious as it may seem, I got lost. I simply could not tell where my mum had disappeared to down the corner. For some minutes, I walked back and forth, obviously in the wrong direction, trying to figure out where she had gone to.
Eventually, almost on the verge of tears, I gave up and ended up standing by the street with some male strangers, who seemed genuinely concerned I was lost. My mother must have realized that I was nowhere to be found because in less than an hour, she was back on the same street and found me standing with the good Samaritans.
If she had initially been worried sick by my brief disappearance, she did a very good job not to show it by instead laughing it off. Then warning me afterward sternly to always walk ahead of her. I had learnt my lesson so now I knew better not to lag behind.
This particular memory came flooding back to me the minute I saw that woman breezily walking ahead while her small daughter followed behind. I’m not a mother yet but I already have full knowledge that a mother needs to be careful.
In one of the recent issues of The Nairobian, there is an article of a woman being arraigned in court for sexually abusing her own daughter. Apparently, her daughter’s crime was going out unattended to borrow a book. And this insane woman decided to insert her fingers into her daughter’s private parts, injuring her in the process, as punishment for such a petty issue.
Well, we can dismiss her as a deranged bar maid for that is her profession but I beg to differ. I have full knowledge that even mothers engaging in prostitution would not let their daughters enter the same profession. It is ingrained in mothers to always want better and the best for their children.
So if this so called disgrace to feminism, wanted to prove a point to her daughter, that there are sex pests out there who can do just the same to her if she goes out unattended, I think she ended up missing the whole point and acting like a child molester herself.
As per my knowledge, motherhood is a choice.
It does not matter whether it was a one night of drunken passion that got you pregnant, if the father chose to stay in his child’s life or not or if you are struggling to raise those children and barely making it. The minute you made a conscious decision to keep the pregnancy and not to abort it, then it automatically became a lifetime choice. A choice that needs to be embraced whole heartedly.
Therefore mothers who take out their frustrations in life on their children are actually hardened monsters who have failed dismally at parenting. Remember, a child does not choose to be born. A child is totally innocent irregardless of whether the parents concerned are getting along or not.
As much as religion clearly states that children should be disciplined, there also happens to be a limit to the kind of discipline that parents met out on their children. Nowhere in the Holy Books has been written “thou shall douse thy child in paraffin and burn him or her alive for stealing or for disobedience.”
Instead there are instructions as to how a parent shall bring up a child.
If there is a mother out there concluding that her own children are her source of misery, then she probably has an underlying psychological problem that needs medical or spiritual intervention. Mothers are supposed to love, nurture, support and guide their children.
It is the reason why God gave us the necessary threshold for pain while bringing forth life. He knew that despite the intensity of labor pains, we would still have that ability to unconditionally love our children. For a woman to give birth to a baby only to later damage that child, shows that a section of mothers got confused along the way.
They forgot about their responsibilities or were simply looking for scapegoats to blame for their denial to be responsible. If we truly want to be good examples of feminism, then we better start with how we parent our own children as mothers.
Motherhood is not an unpleasant chore – Borrowed Quote