Motherhood: the biggest on-the-job training programme

Dear Editor,

This article is being dedicated to the unsung graduates of the second oldest profession—Motherhood. Surely, we do not need to wait for a special day to become the recipients of greeting cards with our virtues set to prose. It is a day like any other day to reflect on the status quo. Most of us have laboured our way into motherhood, with no previous experience (not even having raised a pet) , and yet we are called upon, after having given birth to inelegantly pull ourselves up onto the pedestal provided.  Let’s face it, motherhood could safely lay claim to being the biggest on-the job training programme in existence today. It is an art, and mothers are forced to spend x number of years with the child and emerge from it all with an A rating.

Note that whenever a child, or even grown adults display behaviours that run counter to expected or societal norm, the flag of despair is immediately raised, and the maternal input in his upbringing questioned.  Paradoxically, motherhood has not been known in any way, shape or form to question or challenge—age, citizenship, political affiliation, religious preference and least of all marital status. Mothers are not affiliated with any Union; they have no spokesperson, and no legal right to strike. Consider for one moment if mothers were to be paid an hourly minimum wage for the work they carry out in any average day, some families would not be able to afford a mother. Yet again think of the daily roles played – laundry woman, picker–upper, mobile answering service, pre and post school educator, chauffeur, knowledge bank, advisor, athlete, doctor, nurse, and the list goes on ad infinitum, with Mother surviving most times on  cold coffee and leftovers, having fallen a victim to time.  Thankfully, good mothers place a high priority on the intangible rewards of being a good provider.

 So to all mothers Happy Mother’s Day. It is one of the (rare) days when your children will be giving instead of receiving. Some will give you the sincerest form of flattery by emulating what you would do for them. In reality every day should be Mother’s Day for when the tally is done, there is no cost for a mother’s love. Every day can be Mother’s Day.

Who knows one of these days there will be a school that will elevate the profession to an academic level and give the graduates their earned degrees.

The struggle continues.

Yours faithfully,

Yvonne Sam

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