By Raywattie Deonarine
Mother’s Day is the special time of year when you get to celebrate your first best friend and the person you always turn to when you need advice.
A mother’s love is extremely important for the healthy emotional outcome of her children and even though she goes through a lot in life, mothers are always their child’s best friend and strongest supporter.
Mothers are a pivotal part of the family. They act as a father, provider, nurturer, and in many cases even a best friend.
My own mother is the very foundation of our family. She is the strongest person I know and my closest confidante.
My mother, 37-year-old Lilwantie Jaigobin, known as ‘Natasha’ of Capoey, Essequibo Coast mothers not only us but also many in the community. She emulates grace and is soft spoken.
While it may come of as being biased, my mother is the strongest woman I know. She has been both mother and father to my siblings and I. She raises my brother, sisters and I without the help of a husband.
She works as a cook at Imam Bacchus and Sons Ltd. To us, she is loving, caring, funny, brave, smart, strong, good-hearted, hardworking, and understanding. She always tries to make people happy and with everything she has been through, she always tries to keep a smile on her face.
When I ask my mother, what being a mother means to her, without hesitation, she said, “It means unconditional love. Motherhood is linked to the role of the woman in society and womanhood in general. We easily compare ourselves to others, and the fear of being marked as a bad mother prevents us from speaking about the whole spectrum of emotions.
“Being a mom is the ultimate sacrifice. It is undeniably the biggest sacrifice a mother can endure for the sake of her children. We can only imagine what they are going through. In the eyes of other people, this is not the ideal way on how to raise our children. But, for a mother who risked her own life to ensure her kid’s future, to raise them into a person that I can be proud of and to make sure my kids will have everything a mother could wish for, one can never question whether I am a good mother or not.”
Mommy spent her younger years as a cook and a sales representative and looking back at some of the parenting decisions she made, said that although she had such a job, she still always made the time to be with us. With quiet conviction, she said she placed great emphasis on prayer and seeking guidance from God as it relates to raising us without their father.
She stated that she did feel torn when she had to leave her eldest child at home to carry out the caretaking duties with her small daughter.
“She was only about three years old, and I had to leave my kids home to go to work in the Caribbean to send my daughters and son to school, and I felt a little sad to leave them, but I had my mother who made herself available to assist in looking after my children when I had to worked for days.”
Mommy tells me that she learned throughout the years that a mother must uphold, encourage, maintain, protect and help their children, and she worked to ensure that she exhibited these traits and continues to exhibit them. She said that as a mother, she always made sure that whenever she lectured us she provided an explanation on where we went wrong.
“I worked along with my daughter towards the achievements of her CSEC results. Although all the stress and anxiety my second daughter (me) struggled, she managed to cop eleven subjects at the CSEC Examination. I was so proud and overjoyed with her performance in school. However, she always made me proud throughout her secondary level of education and I didn’t regret the sacrifice I made for her schooling. Not only my second child but also the other three also made me proud.”
Despite the struggle, mommy managed to raise us alone and facilitate us with an education to be better individuals that will make her proud in the future.
When asked what piece of advice she would give to other mothers, mommy said “I would advise them to first ask God for guidance, allow yourself to have an open relationship with your child or children, and remember that each child comes with their own personality and that you have to work to ensure that you provide for them and protect them. Motherhood is unconditional love and I would encourage them to love unconditionally.” (This article was first published in the Guyana Times)