KWEZI AND I: Reflecting on Mother’s Day

This past weekend was Mother’s Day and the internet was awash with photos of beautiful women who have sacrificed a lot to raise children, sometimes singlehandedly. One by one, people shared with us stories of bravery, patience, resilience and abundant love.

I spent mine in bed, watching movies, eating and consuming copious amounts of black ginger tea. I also spent it thinking about my mother. A woman who words cannot even begin to describe with accuracy.

I thought about many things but one thing really stood out for me. How did they do it? In particular, how did my mother manage?

I am always amazed by how our parents did so much and complained so rarely. I have one child only but there are times when I feel like I am raising 10.

My mother gave birth to seven children but she has been a mother to double that number. I don’t remember a day when our house was empty. There was always a cousin, an aunt, an uncle who she was raising. I sometimes look back and wonder how we all fit into a house of only four rooms, how we managed to eat, go to school and have clothes on our backs.

I have had this conversation with friends on several occasions and we always conclude that life then was easier. But was it?

Well, I was recently lamenting to my mother how hard life seems these days. The bills are unending and the salary stands at the same it was four years ago. She listened intently, and when I was done, she asked me, “How do you think all of you made it through school?”.  Not one to mince her words, she went on to explain that our generation has all the tools that we need to prosper but what we lack is proper planning.

She also told me that our generation does not have a saving culture and we tend to spend a chunk of our money on unnecessary things.

She, for instance, explained that if we started depositing small amounts of money from the time we pay tuition for the last term, we would not feel the pressure that we feel when it’s time to think about tuition for the next term.

I did not utter a word because she was making very good points.

Was life much more easier then or our mothers were a different breed of women? I will not answer that question but I think what we need to do on Mother’s Day is not to go to social media and tell the world how much we love our mothers only. Instead, for those of us who are lucky to still have our mothers, we need to go and visit them and fetch from their wells of wisdom. For those whose mothers have sadly passed on, there must be a mother figure in your life. There are no better teachers than these women.

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