As a woman with or without a child I still consider myself a mother and holds all children requires love, care and discipline. This might not be predominant in the Western world as a result of their lifestyle but in most African setting the issue of child discipline has brought about a lot of antagonism amongst women. A child might act naughty or bad and another woman a neighbour perhaps with good faith- why good faith because some also act out of wickedness. But as I was about saying another woman with good faith who witnessed this child’s bad behaviour and decides to either caution the child or impose punishing like smacking the child in case the child’s deed or offence was really cruel. The child then run off home and does not really give the exact account of what really or actually happened. Worst of all if this woman who disciplined this child has no child of her own, then be sure she is in for all kinds of insult and labeled or branded all sort of names like witch, wicked and evil by the other woman.
The child’s mother will instantly go and meet the lady who just disciplined the child, instead of asking for her own version, she begins a quarrel. Some women also have the tendency to shield their children even when they know their children are guilty of what they are accused of. Personally I don’t consider such perception by some mothers as motherly love but the mother is jeopardizing her child’s future by misleading the child.
I know of a story since my childhood I can’t exactly say if it is for real or it was just a story of moralization. Well according to the story, this woman had her son and never questioned his deeds. And will support him at all times, to the extent that he started bring home stolen goods but his mother never bothered to find out where he got those items from knowing fully he is unemployed. One day as they say ninety-nine days for the thief, and one day for the owner, he was finally caught and had to be executed.
So when they asked him what his last wish was, he said he wished to have a word with his mom. They then summoned his mom to come, he asked his mom to come closer for he did not want others to listen to what he was about to tell her. So she brought her ears closer to his mouth and he bit off his mothers’ ear. When asked why he acted in that manner he said, if his mom had warned, directed and showed him the right path then his life wouldn’t have ended in this shameful and tragic manner. So after his death, the ear the mother has lost will always remind her of her negligence in carrying out her duty as a mom.
If I see a child trying to cross the road I will help out, if I see a child crying on the street I will inquire what’s amiss. Like a day I met this lad of about six years old, sprawling and crying on the road, he was even on the middle of a bend where he could have been knocked by a car. I rushed to him to find out if he had lost something and he said he was hungry, he had left for school that morning without food and he had just gone home for break to eat and there was still no food. I took him to a woman selling food and bought him a plate of rice.
The fact is, a woman by nature should have motherly love whether she has children of her own or not and please mothers we should not overreact when some one else try to correct our children in the right manner or inform us of our children’s misdeeds. More over, we should not shelve and conspire with our children’s wrong deeds. If we do, we might just be nurturing and bring up criminals and malicious individuals and this will have a negative impact in our community and our children’s future.