By Lakhram Bhagirat
The world is celebrating Mother’s Day today by honouring mothers and their contribution to the development of their children. That is being done in different ways and for Keisha Vincent, there is no better way to honour her mother than imparting the lessons she learnt to her children.
Vincent, by using the lessons taught by her mother, is honouring her daily and according to her, those lessons have shaped her style of parenting.
The mother of three was born in Kamarang, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) to an extremely large family. She has seven siblings and is the fifth child of her parents.
“I grew up with my mom and seven other siblings. My mom, despite the various challenges our family faced kept us all together. Growing up in a large family has several positive impacts in my life, from learning to share to being taught the importance of responsibility and honesty,” she said.
Being from a hinterland village allowed Vincent to enjoy the simple things in life. Her childhood involved all sorts of exciting games with her sibling. Their mother always ensured that they got along since they “were plenty and don’t need to go out and find people to play with.”
Her mother was the pillar of strength in her life. Vincent remembered her mother working really hard to ensure that she and her siblings had a relatively easy time growing up. There were big pots of cook-up rice and unfiltered conversations about life. The channel of communication was clear so that Vincent and her siblings understood some of the challenges that awaited them when they entered the world.
“One of my fondest memory of my mom is her staying up late with me while I was preparing to write Common Entrance Exam with a ‘flambo’ lit for illumination. On the day of the exam, she dressed me up with the whitest of all the socks, ribbon fitted neatly and uniform neatly pressed to the seam. I was extremely nervous because I really wanted to make my parents and siblings proud. On the day of the exam, despite the fact that she worked the night before, my mom walked me to school and as I entered the compound looked me in the eye and comfortingly said to me ‘go do your best, I know you will do well.’ Those comforting words as simple as they may seem calmed my nerves instantly. I went into the exam room that day filled with confidence. I was able to score the highest mark of the class that year,” Vincent remembered.
Now a mother herself to three children – Keiana, Florynell and Floyd – Vincent is ensuring that her children experience the same level of support as she and her siblings did.
The 33-year-old became a mother for the first time when she was just 19.
“Becoming a mom for the first time had a series of emotions and feelings attached to it. When I saw my baby for the first time it was love at first sight. My life at that moment, when I held her in my arms, became about her. I knew at that moment that every decision I make would affect her. I pledged to be the best mom I could to that baby on the 16th of December, 2006. I basically went from worrying about myself, thinking about myself, planning for myself to planning for this little person who needed me for everything,” the mother said.
For Vincent, being a mom means raising her kids to be self-sufficient and good responsible individuals. She believes that it is her responsibility to ensure that her children are the better version of herself.
“One of the best part of being a mom, you can have a really bad day and then you come home and awaiting you is the loving arms of an amazing six-year-old or a smirking sarcastic fourteen-year-old who still comes to me for her forehead kisses then there is the teddy bear hugs from my ‘Bella’.”
Vincent works with the Municipality of Lethem as its Town Clerk, which is a very taxing post. She finds balancing motherhood and work to be a challenge but with her children, it is easier. She sets routines for them and ensures they are followed.
“Most of what I’ve learnt or been taught by my mother in terms of the morals we see are not so prevalent among this generation, so I incorporate some of the teachings of my mom in bringing up my children. For example, she would always say never rob a child of their childhood, allow them to experience their childhood to the fullest and education is the key and that being humble is one of the greatest attitudes you can exhibit.”
She advised mothers to make wise decisions when it comes to their time and love their children wholeheartedly.
“Be a role model for your children. Love yourself and be confident always remembering that time and love has no substitutes.” (This article was first published in the Guyana Times)