Shower mums with praises more often, not once a year

Encouragement is the fuel that keeps them going in thankless job

In Summary

• Often overworked and underappreciated, mothers deserve a regular pat on the back

African mother and child
African mother and child

As mums, we slog by every day, doing the necessary to take care of our families with hardly any encouragement or praise. It’s not that we have to, but somebody needs to make sure things run smoothly in the home. More often than not, that job falls on the shoulders of the mothers/wives. Over time, our contribution towards the households becomes cemented as a duty and obligation and not the job it really is.

Being the main caregiver in a family is a daunting task. We are often overworked and underappreciated. I often remind my husband that while he can clock out of work, I do not. I often engage with my daycare while undertaking my own personal tasks. When my son coughs or cries in his sleep at odd hours in the night, it is my sleep that is interrupted.

My husband doesn’t know when the sheets were last changed. My son doesn't care that I just walked in from school, he cares to eat and be taken care of. And I provide all the necessary care for my family because I want to. Because I am at peace when I know everyone’s needs have been met.

You will find that most mothers feel the same way. We love taking care of our families but we are not particularly fond of our ‘job’ being taken advantage of. I find myself reminding my husband that I, too, am someone’s precious child, and in my parent’s house, I was well taken care of. That this role is somewhat new and tiring. It’s exhausting to have a 24-7 job without pay or appreciation.

Our children do ordinary things that other people have done before, but because it is their first time or it is a challenge to them, we shower them with encouragement and praise to keep them motivated and to make them feel good about their achievements. That way, they can keep challenging themselves and grow into confident young people.

Mums are simple creatures. We do not want a lot. A break here and there is good for our mental health. Being showered with appreciation elevates our moods, and praises make us want to keep doing more. As mothers and wives, we give so much that there is nothing left. For a plant to grow and bear fruit, we need to not only water it but weed it and nurture it so it can grow into the strongest fruit bearer.

Mums are women. Mums are daughters. Mums are human. Whatever a human feels, a mum can feel. Most of the time, we look like we cannot feel much because we are so good at burying our emotions. The main thing is we shouldn't have. We are not made of concrete and stone, we are flesh and blood. We hurt and bleed just like everyone else. Just because we can doesn't mean that we should, but if we do, at least thank us for it. 

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