Yes I do, and before you chastise me and bombard me with insults, hear why I hate my mother. She did some good things but I still hate her for those things she did to me. She would rush from her office to my school anytime I got sick at school. I don’t remember ever going to school without food in my lunch box. She always made sure I had my inhaler in my school bag.
She organized parties for me on my birthday each year. Each time I refused to eat before bed, she would make sure there was some ‘koko’ (porridge), bread or biscuits in the house. How can I ever forget the hug she gave me each time I run back to her after fighting with my friends and how she could fan me till I fell asleep each time the lights went off.
I spent most of my time with her, the only time I had with my dad was the time we spent together in his car to and from school. My dad also took me out on weekends when he returned from his business trips but I realized that I couldn’t open up to him like I did with my mother. Despite her busy work schedule, my mum took time to visit my school to talk to my teachers about my performance. She helped me with my homework each time I came home with one.
My mother did not escape any of my questions, both the useless and important ones. She had answers for all of them. I remember the thousand and one questions I asked her when I realized her tummy was protruding at some point. She told me God had hidden my sister in there. I was only six when my sister was born.
I got a little jealous of her as she had the whole family’s attention but my mother made sure the love was balanced. She taught me how to take care of my sister in her absence. I sang songs and played with her whenever she cried. We grew up like twins, most people who did not know our ages thought we were twins.
Like every other child, I was very stubborn. I have done so many bad things but my mother still loves me. I remember one time after she served me with my favourite rice and tomato sauce, I added a little sugar to the food and I stirred it. I sat by the food and started eating, and guess how it tasted?
My mother, who was already dressed up for a church meeting walked in, saw me sitting behind my food with a sad face. She found it normal because I wore that face each time I was eating but upon a second thought, she took a few steps back and asked ‘I thought this was your favourite, why is your face like this?’ I couldn’t tell her what I had done, I took in one spoonful and I nearly threw up.
She pulled a stool and sat next to me, touched me gently and asked if I was okay. She took the food and started to feed me. After I took in a few spoonfuls, I started coughing, thinking she would stop but she didn’t. One more went in and everything came out. Her cloth was not spared. She carried me to the bathroom and bathed me. She changed into something casual, carried me on her lap and gave me a spoonful of paracetamol syrup.
She couldn’t attend the church meeting that night and she stayed awake almost all night. She would come to my bed and feel my body temperature from time to time. The next day, she did not allow me go to school because she wanted to take me to the hospital. I was terrified with the mere mention of ‘hospital’ because I had needle phobia.
With tears flooding my eyes, I went to her in her room and told her that I added sugar to the food she gave me. She looked at me and saw the fear and tears in my eyes; took me in and wiped the tears.
Throughout my primary school and junior high school days, my mother was my closest friend. I shared all my secrets with her. I wanted to attend a day senior high school but my parents convinced me to go to the boarding house to learn how to live away from home. There wasn’t a single visiting day that my mother did not visit me.
I hated her on days that she scolded me; I also hated her for not allowing me to drink the whole tin of milk and to mix ‘koko’ (porridge) with the amount of sugar I wanted. And ah! I so hate her for giving away my favourite dress because it had faded a little. She denied me of my right to roam and play with my friends after 6pm, and I hate her for that also.
But can the love of a mother be compared to any other on earth? The fights they have with fathers over their children’s welfare; the countless moments that they defend their children in public even when the child is wrong; that unconditional love and care mothers show to their children from birth through adolescence to adulthood, and the thousand sacrifices they make for them are the reasons I love my mother so much that I hate the way I love her sometimes.
I am matured enough to know that not everybody may have enjoyed a mother’s love like I did. So to all of you whose mothers abandoned you for certain reasons, it might be hard but you have to forgive them; not because they deserve your forgiveness but because you deserve peace. And finally, to all those who plan to abandon their babies because they feel they are not fully prepared to take care of them, think again. None of the mothers being celebrated had it easy.
I will never stop praying for long life for my mum; she deserves to live long enough to enjoy the fruit of her labour. To all the good mothers out there, the fathers, sisters, aunties and step mothers who have played motherly roles for people, we say thank you and Ayekoo!
To those who have lost their mothers, may their souls find perfect rest till you meet again. It is not all over; you can still show love to any good mother out there.