Thursday, April 25, 2024

Not just child bearing


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“Maternal love is a miraculous fibre embodied in the fabric of a mother” – Elsie E. Vaughan
IN MY VIEW everyone who gives birth to a child cannot be considered a good mother. For to me, by definition, a good mother is someone who loves her child unconditionally and places his/her needs above her own. She seeks to care, nurture, guide, protect, admonish and allow her actions to speak louder than her words.
Most mothers see motherhood as a major aspect of their personal and social identities. Some believe that if they did not have children their lives will not be complete. They see their children as their source of happiness and do everything to provide a stable, nurturing environment for their development.  
These mothers guide their children and discipline them when they are going wrong. If you are that type of mother, I salute you. Conversely, there are others who just happen to be active and by chance became a mother. Whatever the conditions, there are many mothers who fulfill their needs at the expense of the best interest of their children.
Persons fitting this category can be referred to as  “child-bearers” or “incubators”. These are the females who bore children and left them to struggle without providing the correct care and guidance necessary for their holistic development – physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and creative well-being.  
More often than not “child-bearers” neglect their children, passing them on to grannies and aunties to rear them. There are also other cases of neglect where an older sibling is required to stay at home from school to babysit younger siblings. Furthermore, numerous children are left at home to carry out many of the maternal duties like cooking and washing, in short, rearing of self while “mothers” continue to be on the prowl or out working.
Some “child-bearers” even go to the length of “selling out” their children for meager amounts of money to sexual abusers, allowing these perpetrators to go free of criminal charges. Children coming up in a “child-bearer” environment very often are pushed into early prostitution to help support themselves or bring money into the home to feed the family.
Remember children need role models they can emulate. One of the best role models is a mother  – a woman who will instill strong morals, values and principles in their children. Kudos to mothers who have executed their duties effectively. Also special commendation to those females who, even though not biological mothers, still fulfill the role of motherhood.
I take this opportunity to give a special salute to my mom, a woman of strength, determination and courage who has given me love and taught me values. Most of all, she has taught me how to be an independent thinker and stand on principles.
Be a good mother, not just be a child-bearer.  
• Rhonda A. Blackman is an educator, a National Development Scholar and former president of the Early Childhood Association of Barbados Inc. Email:

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