IF some mothers could see the future, they would want to turn back the hands of time to repair their mistakes; but they only get one chance. Some make a good impression, others, not so good. However, when children become adults carrying around pain, or negative memories from their childhood, there is nothing a mother can say, do or rectify.
MOTHER NUMBER ONE
My son has never been one on the ‘bright’ side. I was a single mother who raised him alone. One thing I can say though, he is a hard worker. I was impressed when he invested in a house and gave me a room. In his late twenties, my son had three children with a lady, and his son, Ronnie, came to live with us. His children grew up quickly, and soon his eldest girl, Donna, had two children.
As a great grandmother, I was happy to care for one of Donna’s children when she left for the States. Two-year-old Gracie would stay with us until her mother sent for her. I may have been old, but I loved Gracie like she was my daughter. I bathe that child and anoint her down with oil, I put her on my lap and sang her to sleep, I took her to school, and cared for her.
When Ronnie left for work, he’d say to me, ‘Don’t give Gracie food’. But as soon as his back was turned, I’d say, ’come child’ and give Gracie half of my dinner. During her late teens, Gracie’s mother sent for her. By then Gracie had two children. I am bedridden and very old, but I love when Gracie writes to say she is doing well.
MOTHER NUMBER TWO
My mother and father were married in their twenties, and before long, they had three children. Dad paid for mom to attend hairdressing school so she could have a career, and she graduated with honours. After that, and while my siblings and I were in primary school, things began to change.
We’d heard our parents quarrel before, but now it was consistent. As children, we didn’t realise the factors at play, or why their relationship seemed to be heading downstream. Mom went out more and came home late, and dad started reading the bible and carrying it around; and we children felt unprotected, unloved and unsure of the future.
As they quarrelled one night, Mom screamed at Dad, she was leaving and taking the children. Dad shouted back, no single man would take in a woman and her three children, but he was wrong. Mom’s new partner, an ex-policeman, had a big house. He took us in and treated us fairly well. My heart, however, was with my father. He had worked hard to provide for us and helped our mother to stand on her feet, and she took us away from him.
Eventually, our parents divorced, and after 8 years or so, Mom left her partner. My sibling and I grew up living between Dad, our Mom, and whatever situation she was in at the time, and with extended stays at our granny’s house.
The first decade of my life had structure, routine and meaning. I felt safe and sure of the future. Both my parents were in my life every day; that meant more to me than either of them could ever know, and then – the rug was pulled out from under my feet.
As an adult, I still feel bitter towards my Mom for the choices she made and how it has impacted our lives. Her decision robbed us of our home, our security, and a proper relationship with our Dad. Adults who fall out of love and wish to go their separate ways must first put sensible measures in place for the provision and welfare of their children.
When I get married, there must have the understanding that if we are blessed with children, their welfare comes first. They must always have a safe, stable environment with a healthy, balanced ambience. If we can’t produce that much, for them, then we are not fit to be parents.
MOTHER NUMBER THREE
My husband Mike and I have four children, a nice house and good jobs. But things were not always so organised in our lives. We met when I was 13; I had my first child at 14, but I always knew I could be more than just a mother. Mike was studying engineering, so I started studying too. Unplanned however we had our second child, baby Solomon. Soon after, my mother sent for me and the children to join her in New York, which we did, and eventually, I applied for Mike. Six months after his arrival, we married, and later, had two more children. After 4 decades of marriage, I can tell you this; it has been a bumpy ride. My husband hasn’t always been faithful, and I’ve lived through some heart-wrenching times. What keeps me going and what I will never forget is the love instilled in me as a child. My great grandmother in Guyana loved me so much, she nurtured me and cared for me in a priceless way. She made me into the person I am today. Her kindness and devotion empowered me to persevere, despite the odds being stacked against me.
As a mother, what would you do to ensure your children have the worthwhile, fulfilling upbringing they deserve? We must think about their future, we must put children first.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child call the CPA hotline on 227 0979 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHILDCARE AND PROTECTION AGENCY,
MINISTRY OF HUMAN SERVICES AND SOCIAL SECURITY