A mother is someone who can never be forgotten in life. She is the first point of contact, one who agrees to make her body a home for the vulnerable to grow through nausea, fever, weakness and all the pain associated with pregnancy. She is prepared to go through the most painful ordeal to see to one’s birth. There is nothing that beats this gesture. It is a worldwide thing. I would now zoom into my comfort zone and talk about mothers in Africa, specifically Ghana.
Most people celebrate their mothers in Ghana because of many reasons. Even mothers who are housewives are preferred to bread winning fathers simply because the mothers suffer to get most of the things the children need. It is a customary law that women thank the fathers of their children no matter how small they contribute for their upkeep.
So no matter how much a woman invests in her children, the little the man brings supersedes hers and she is expected to thank the man profoundly for it. According to elders, that is to show respect and sustain the interest of the man in his children. Imagine a woman who feels the pain of neglect and the horror of going through all the hurdles to take care of her children having to bow or kneel to a man who does absolutely next to nothing for the children. The humiliation and bitterness that must be swallowed is nothing that needs to be taken lightly. So their children see, sympathise with their mothers and acknowledge their sacrifices. It is very common to hear the sentence “Go to your mother” when a request is made by children to their fathers.
Again, most men abandon sickly and disabled children blaming their mothers for their state. Men are free to accuse their women of witchcraft or bad behaviour and making sure the women suffer to see the children through. And society does nothing to help such women. So such women fight their internal battles, the societal taunts, and work to keep their children well and alive. Why won’t they get the most part of the love?
Also, children depend on their mothers for almost everything; from their meals, to their clothes, fees and emotional healing. The father, if he is so at post, just comes from work; if he has any, and sits with his legs crossed waiting to be fed and pampered until his bed calls. After toiling the whole day to get the house to work well, the woman readily helps her husband without complaints. Why won’t mothers be gold while fathers struggle for bronze?
The modern Africa even makes the suffering of mothers more obvious. Women who have their own vocations are left to take care of the financial, educational, social welfare of the children, while men go around planting their seeds like reckless farmers. So a child will only be told of the existence of his uncaring father or see him in passing. Why will such a child feel anything more than a passing gratitude for such a father?
Also, most men, because of their greed, seek more wives with the aid of traditions and religious quotations which they interpret to suit themselves. In a polygamous relationship, it behoves on the mother to ensure the safety and security of her children. The man, with divided attention, cannot attend to most needs of the children. Most times, some men get more wives with limited financial resources. In such cases, the men flee in times of trouble leaving all the burdens on their women. Children are future adults and see all these things and come to understand who loves enough and who is there for being there sake. They hold the former like their egg and give the latter taste of their own medicine. Who can blame them?
It is mostly men who are capable of disappointing most families big time; running away, becoming alcoholics, asking for divorce, maltreating their women, etc. I am not saying that women do not do these things but those women are few. Need I add that statements like “Have you seen chicks following a cock before?” makes it justifiable for a mother to be pampered.
A mother does it all, feels the pain of her children, prays always for their welfare, will let go of her dignity and pride just to make sure her children are alright. Many are those who sell their valuables just to make sure their children are safe and well, in school or well settled. Their endurance and faith know no bounds. In short, children are the heartbeats of their mothers, and they are ready to die for them at any time. I know there are few bad nuts, but mothers in Africa will rule in the kingdom of their children for as long as things remain the way they are. Mothers all over the world will rule no matter how bad they are because nothing beats the pain of childbirth.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016
Photo Credit: Samuel Owusu Sefa