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I am just a mother, not a witch

TUMIE MODISE
About six years ago in South Africa a mother did the unthinkable. Fed up with her delinquent son, one early morning when the son was still sleeping, from another night of heavy drinking, she crept to his room then ended his life. In court she said she said she was fed up; itís her story and to this day she is sticking to it.

Quizzed further by journalists after being acquitted, with tears in her eyes she said she was simply saving her son  from his demons.

Through it all, she still mourned her son. Any woman who has ever been to a maternity ward needs no reminder of what goes on in there, even why they went there in the first place.  It doesn’t end there, once you are home with your bundle, this marks the beginning of a life time journey, a bumpy and long road. As a parent, there are times where you find yourself in deep thought, where the realisation that you will forever be stuck with your children through good even bad times, hits you.

Words fail me; I attempted to simplify the bond between parents and their children to people who often mistake other people’s children (young or old) as objects, trees or whatever. Never mind rights, as people, we are fast losing respect for fellow human beings and the sanctity of life.

Just last week the Botswana Government social media page circulated a picture of a lion breast feeding an orphaned baby baboon. It is not clear what became of the mother, but whatever the case was, this lion’s motherly instincts kicked in when it saw the helpless young one and it did what only a mother can do. Because nature has a funny sense of humour, just hours later news broke that a child who had been missing for over month in Gaborone had been found deceased. I didn’t sleep that night. Worse things happen every day, but this particular incident touched me deeply, as it did to many others.

Unfortunately, the issue of step-parenting is once more brought to the fore. But can a man or a woman really love a child that is not theirs? My answer is yes.  Thousands of children continue to be taken into homes by adoptive and foster parents. These selfless parents not only give these children loving homes but also give them the best education and lifetime opportunities. There are many good stories about adopted children and their adoptive families, as there are many happy endings for some step-parents and their step-children. But sadly, there is this other attitude

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where couples cannot stand each other’s children. I do not even how to explain it. I have never experienced myself. All I know is that it’s common to see couples getting into relationships with children, only for the other parties to later turn into Wizards of Oz overnight!

Personally, I do not believe that a person can love their partner’s children at the start of the relationship then somewhere along the way they abruptly stop. It’s devoid of sense and smacks of relationship fraud! Either you loved them from the start or you didn’t. Sadly, the culprits are often women! This is not an attack on women, if it is any justification; I am of the firm belief that as women we should know better. Our instincts should tell us so.

Most mothers tend to neglect their children once they get into new relationships. This isn’t a wild allegation. I have seen women accuse their own children of ‘trying to ruin’ their marriages and relationships, telling the children to their faces. What kind of madness is this? If anybody does not believe me, they should just take time off and visit any local magistrate court on any day, look around for cases involving step-fathers and their step-children, and I bet,  they are likely to see a woman there in tears, not supporting and comforting their child, but holding a lunch box and a packet of cigarettes for the accused tormenters of their children.

That’s how crazy it is! Oh, how I jump at the opportunity of bringing a lunchbox for such a person? I would bring a large one, even two, and smile all the way home as they convulse and vomit their guts out the whole night in prison. I am not a witch, I am just a mother.

Children never ask to be born; it takes two people to bring them to being. If you have ever seen the face of a child when you are about to punish them, how they look at you with terrified little faces, then like me, you don’t want to imagine what abused children really go through when two legged monsters have their way with them.. This world is sick.



Tumy on Monday

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