My First Lessons From My Mother

Mothers, you think they know everything, especially when you become a mother yourself.

My first lesson; children

My mum knows everything there is to know about having babies I mean she had four of us back to back. But that was then. She might know how not to be afraid and how to keep going when the going gets tough. But a lot of things have changed in terms of child care since then.

Children don’t take adult panado for example no matter how sick they can get. Children are not only cared for by their mummies — dads can help us too now. And my favourite — spoil a child and spare the rod that is the ultimate motto for parents in my mothering generation. Mummy’s words are the exact opposite. Medicate the child so it falls into a coma of a sleep, daddy’s are money makers so mummies have to do the hard parts like wake up at night all the time, and of course don’t spare the rod; teach them now so they fear the living daylights out of you.

My second lesson; helpers (nannies)

These days my husband works from home. Mummy says I cannot leave him there with our helper because he will sleep with her. Ridiculous right? Sure. As ridiculous as it might seem she is justified in an arbitrary way.

In her days husbands went to work and mummies stayed at home so there was no way husband would cheat with the help. Oh but it happened a lot too. My husband being white does not really help me because she thinks it will or would be easier to sleep with her because she is black too. Oh mummies words.

My third lesson; husbands and wives

Mummy says that a woman should absolutely make their men happy. Sexually, mentally and of course physically (look good for them). Women should do this, mummy says, otherwise he might leave you “don’t give him a reason to leave you my child, do everything right so that when he does decide to leave it was not because of you”.  Strong words, great words but they can be way too much, and hurtful, when told to you every second day.

Mummy’s words, yes they are wise but sometimes I think it is a case of mistaken identity. Mistaken because I’m not her and she isn’t me. We look alike and sound alike, have had children at the same age and husbands who love us. The difference? Daddy left her and we hated her.

Mummy’s words, they are advice, from one woman to another and should be treated as such. She is just a woman who has gone through things but she doesn’t know everything.

Her lessons are mine to pass on.

3 thoughts on “My First Lessons From My Mother

  1. So true. I love generation gaps, they make life so interesting. My grandparents refused to pay for my mother to study anything other than teaching, because it was the only acceptable “women’s job”. When suddenly she became a high-powered business woman (when I was about 10) my grandmother said it’s a miracle my father doesn’t leave her; and who does she expect to cook dinner & look after the children?? (Actually, my mother has continued to cook dinner in spite of late nights and early mornings).


  2. I feel sorry for your mummy, she does not sound happy and should be told that you must make your own choices as she made hers. You obviously dont want to hurt her by telling her to mind her own business and it sounds as if you have learnt to laugh her “well-meant” advice off. Maybe she is just jealous that you are happy and she is not.


  3. I think so many mother-daughter relationships are like this…..due to a generation gap and, in my case, a religion-gap. I love my mum and she has wisdom decades beyond mine, but some of her view points on marriage, sexuality and the roles of the sexes infuriate me! She always harps on about ‘the natural order of things’ – whereby the man is the head of the household and the woman the one to nurture, cook and clean. Drives me mental. Makes you wonder – what will our daughters be writing / saying about us in the next generation?!


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