This Sunday we celebrate our mamas their mamas and their mama’s mama. That means we must celebrate our first mama – Eve. She who out of boredom (not hunger), munched on the forbidden fruit, making sure that for women to be called mama, they must give birth in pain, sweat, blood and tears. WE LOVE YOU EVE!!
But this being the spinster’s blog, I wish to reflect on some interesting aspects of motherhood vis a vis marriage. Allow me to share a story.
Some years ago, my mother hired the services of a house help. She was a good lady, hard working and respectful. We got along just well and whenever I was home, we would strike up a conversation. It was during one of those conversations that I learned she had a daughter from a previous relationship.
See, I always knew she had two sons since she would sometimes come with them to work. But then she revealed she had a 7 year old daughter who lived upcountry with her grandmother. I asked our help why she didn’t talk much about her daughter and why she couldn’t bring her to Nairobi so they can live together. But she said she couldn’t. Apparently, when she came to Nairobi and met her current husband (the father of the two boys), she never told him that she had a daughter. She figured that if she told him, he would leave her and she would never get married (she always wanted to get married.) So she sacrificed a normal relationship with her daughter to become.., a wife.., and a mother to a different set of children.
I am sure she isn’t the only one. You may have heard of women who have done the the same thing. Mothers who chose marriage over their own children. Mothers who hide their own flesh and blood to be recognized by society as wives. And the relationship these women have with their children is kept alive by a phone call and an M-PESA transaction.
Which takes me back to the question this blog seeks to answer. How important is marriage? How big a deal is it that children should become victims of a
unholy union rather than the fruits of it? Our house help may justify that it was the only way to give her daughter “a better life”. But how is she different from that female CEO who spends her life in the office, has little time for her children, working hard to give them “a better life”?
I know there’s nothing like a perfect mother. I just often think that motherhood is best practiced in close proximity to the child, especially in the child’s younger years. Many women say there’s nothing more fulfilling in this world than being a mother. But beyond the cliche the reality seems to be different.
So pray do tell, which one ranks higher on the scale – marriage or motherhood?
NB: If you’re a fan of my poor attempt at poetry, look out for a Mother’s Day Special tomorrow. I promise, it will be as pathetic as the last.
ION: You can look forward to a similar post in June titled “So You Want to Celebrate Father’s Day?”