Celebrating mothers


Last Friday I got home to screeches from my daughter asking me to close my eyes and not to peek as she had a huge surprise for me! Well, when your three-year-old daughter asks you to close your eyes and you have had her and her seven-year-old brother water-spraying your LED TV, then a mother cringes.

I, however, obeyed and shut my eyes as I was blindly led to this “surprise”.

When she finally told me to open my eyes, I was moved to tears by her present: Two cards — one with her 10 fingerprints telling me of how special a mother I was and the second one telling me how much a handful she could get and that when the going got tough, I could take the attached tea bag and make a cup of tea to relax. I felt ecstatic and gave both her and her brother huge hugs. Sunday May 10 2015 was Mother’s Day in Zimbabwe and I thought this would be a critical reflecting point as we celebrate womanhood through motherhood.

Tough love

I currently do not have a TV — I did say it was water-sprayed and so as a form of punishment the whole household has to go on TV break — sadly so. The Internet becomes our advanced form of connecting so we remain in touch with the global world for us the adults. Sometimes as a mother one struggles to balance the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mothers love us. They want the very best for each one of us. In the Shona culture they share that one’s womb does not choose what to birth, but instead births all sorts of realities in the form of children brought forth, be it by birth or socialisation. That in itself is the reality of life and mothers have since time immemorial learnt to live with it. The contradiction is how one ought to balance between expectations and reality. It is never an easy one to select, but each and every day of motherhood is marked by choices that leave even the mother in such a contraction of realities she embraces tough love. Depending on a mother’s socialisation, tough love could range from beating, sending a child to a naughty corner, time out and all sorts of punishments that are necessary to bring about discipline.

mother child

The truth though is that it will all be in the spirit of love and with the greatest of looking out for a child. I will not overlook the fact that there could also be some mothers who tend to overdo it and leave their children with scars for life. A mother’s love can indeed be tough.

Sometimes the punishment can even affect the mother herself like this TV break, but it is important to bring about a disciplined child. One that is wholesome and able to cope with life’s pressures plus realities. When mothers forgo tough love, we witness the remnants of their behaviour roaming around the streets in many forms and sometimes despite their efforts, mothers still hurt to see the bad choices their children make and have to live as witnesses to this their whole lives. Tough this love is indeed.

Motherhood is not just about giving birth to a child. Sometimes sisters do not have biological children, but are mothers to many children by many forms. That is motherhood and for me needs to be celebrated greatly. This motherhood is just phenomenal motherhood at its best. I had an aunt who was thrilled to look after children and not have biological children and I still salute her to this day as one of the best mothers I have ever seen.

Forget what the society says about mothering by biological birth, I think it hinges on a myopic view of reality — mothers are not a homogenous group so please just drop it! We celebrate diversity and choice as we talk motherhood always. It thrills me and the children I have at many levels.

From inception, a mother’s body changes to adapt to the needs of a growing fetus inside her womb. I have a friend who is currently pregnant and is sick to the stomach because her pregnancies are tough ones. My heart goes out to this sister as I can sense her struggle through her pregnancy and yet her love for motherhood sees her through.
There are many physiological changes that come with birth and vary from one woman to the other. Mothers also feed and clean not just their children, but even households. Mothers do this with little or no complaint except the special cases like us who will adamantly kick and shove at the pains of motherhood. However, all this is part of being a mother.
Motherhood is not just about a woman having to give birth, but motherhood is about mothering a child, nation, you name it. I will not go into the pains of explaining the various tasks of mothers as I am sure each of us has a different story of mothers that we can relate to.

My mother is undoubtedly the strongest, kindest and hard working person I know and am sure most of us as women can relate to this reality.

However, very few times, if ever, do we get to pause and actually say “thank you mother”. Her job is 24 hours, unpaid, unthanked, misunderstood, painful, tiring, exhausting and yet mothers hold the reins with such grace. Today, we struggle as a nation and yet mothers bear the brunt of these economic hardships.

They wait, pray, chant, sing, dance, deal, trade, hustle, mourn, cry and do whatever they can for you and me. They surely deserve our empathy and love. There can never be a good time or a perfect moment but now to give all mothers of the world, especially African mothers, a standing ovation and tell them how special they are. For who they are, for what they represent, for their energy and for their strength, mothers are important and no one can compare to them. As we celebrate them today, let us not forget that they deserve to be celebrated everyday of our lives no matter what ours and their realities are.

A mother is your strongest critic and yet greatest supporter. Zimbabwe we hold hands today as we celebrate our mothers, seen or unseen, each day, every day with respect, depth and reverence.

Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who has mothered in any way, it could be for a day, a second, a moment, whatever the case, Zimbabwe celebrates you, the world salutes you!

l Grace Chirenje is a citizen of the world and writes in her personal capacity. She would be excited to hear from you. You can contact her on graceruvimbo@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter @graceruvimbo or like her Facebook page Grace Ruvimbo Chirenje. Chat soon.



    A demonstration is going to be held so that we address the welfare of our players and the gaffer Harrison if intrested and you want to be part of this drop your number and we will add you in the group so that you are made aware of when, how, where the protests are going to be held



Comments are closed.