Dr Otiko Afisah Djaba, a former Minister, the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, has cautioned mothers against giving their motherhood roles to house-helps with excuses of demanding work environment and other activities.
“Busy mothers, especially working mothers like yourselves must make time to know, talk to and listen to your children so that you can better understand them, and be there for them. Make it easy for your children to find it easy to talk to you.
“Are you an absentee mother? Or are you a part-time mother? Are you using your job as an excuse to pass on your role as a mother to house help, nanny, or extra class’ teacher or is some relative now performing your motherly duties? she asked.
Dr Djabah who gave the caution at a programme for the GBC Ladies Association in honour of the Mothers’ Day celebration, said no child ever asked to be born, therefore, it was unworthy for parents to make up excuses for their absence, negligence, and abandonment of their children.
“Today’s mother, the professional mother, and the illiterate mother are faced with many competing needs; getting educated, marriage, the biological clock ticking, a demanding job, promotions against child-rearing, television, the internet, migration from our hometowns, peer pressure, wifely duties, and social media.
“It’s like you are juggling with too many things, always fighting for time. One duty suffers and you will feel guilty and berate yourself when you fail at either one,” she said.
Dr Djabah said: “These negatives can impact a child negatively for life. Busy mothers, you must prioritize and make quality time for your children to instill in them values, integrity, discipline, cleanliness, personal hygiene, important customs and traditions, respect, confidence, teamwork, conflict resolution, sharing, and dignity.
“Childhood is so short and children grow up so fast and in the twinkle of an eye they are adults and you ask yourself where the years have flown by.”
She noted that it was not easy to be a mother as there was no manual, school or rehearsal for preparation for motherhood, however, they achieved amazing feats as a beacon of hope for their children.
Mothers, she said, were on duty 24/7, as the backbone, washing machine, financier, escort, companion, friend, supporter, motivator, advisor, and the ones who wiped away the tears, and made their children laugh and feel good.
“They are also engines of growth with their inspiration. Indeed, a good mother is worth celebrating because she is a miracle, an angel who is able to meet all these expectations,” she added.
Although motherhood was challenging, Dr Djabah asked women to learn to multitask, be great teachers and be good managers of their children, home and work.
Dr Djabah said motherhood did not mean mothers were inhuman and perfect and asked them to let their children know that they ‘bled’, ‘got worried’, ‘cried’, and ‘made mistakes’.
She also admonished children and husbands to be there for mothers, accept them unconditionally, and provide a support mechanism for them.
“Children don’t fail your mothers, and mothers don’t fail your children. I encourage all mothers to make a serious effort and commitment to be happy themselves. Remember, you don’t stop being you because you are a mother. Children are to bring you joy and not to make you miserable.
“Raise your children to learn how to be responsible for themselves and for you, to be supportive of you, to take care of you when you are sick, tired, old, or incapable, and to know how to make you happy,” she advised.