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How modern mothers are coping

Discussion in 'Mahusiano, mapenzi, urafiki' started by BAK, May 10, 2010.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    May 10, 2010
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    How modern mothers are coping

    [​IMG]By Erick Mchome and Sharifa Kalokola

    The mother figure has evolved over the years – from the dutiful, unassertive housewife to the career woman competing with men for top posts in the corporate world. But she has remained the symbol of care and affection, the source of nurture and support.

    In her quintessential nature, she is still the loving, warm and long-suffering woman, who carries the huge responsibility of sacrifice and selflessness to raise her children and take care of her husband.

    Every year, on the second Sunday of May, this incomparable yardstick of love is celebrated and honoured by children all over the world.

    As we mark Mother’s Day, three modern women, who juggle the two roles of wife and mother with top-notch careers, share their experiences MRS MARGARETH KATO – BANKER For the 36-year-old mother of two, getting married to the man she loved was a dream come true.

    Mrs Kato recalls that since her teenage days, she had always fancied the idea of having her own family. Her wish was fulfilled in 1996, when she tied the knot with Johnson Kato, a sales consultant and business advisor with the National Bank of Commerce (NBC).

    “We are blessed with two daughters, Jacqueline and Joyceline,” says Mrs Kato, who works with CRDB in Dar es Salaam. Hers is a mixture of the modern and traditional when it comes to family.

    She is the contemporary career woman, but she has not lost touch with the concept of family, as it was known back then.

    As such, the couple respects the idea of extended family. Though they have two children, the whole family staying at their Mbezi Beach home in Dar es Salaam totals seven. So, how does she handle being a wife, mother and employee at the same time?

    “I used to work even before I got married, and I still believe in being an independent woman, I mean one who doesn’t beg for money from her husband always,” she says. Being a wife and mother who is financially independent is what completes a woman and gives her honour in the family, says the banker.

    Bears the brunt However, Mrs Kato admits that being that kind of a multi-tasker is no easy feat. She suggests that the modern woman is by no means weaker.

    “It’s not that simple, more so in a place like Tanzania, one needs to be strong and determined, otherwise the family falls apart,” she says, adding that when everything around the family crumbles, it is usually the mother who is often blamed and bears the brunt.

    That is why Mrs Kato doesn’t compromise when it comes to handling her family duties. To her, the family comes first. “In the morning before I leave for work, I make sure that everything is settled in the house,” she explains.

    This includes giving instructions to the housekeeper on what food to cook, preparing her children for school and getting her husband dressed up appropriately for the office. To accomplish all this, it means she has to be the first to wake up every morning.

    In the evening, after working for an average nine hours daily, she gets back home to first, prepare a cup of tea for her husband, then check on the girls and other family members, ensure everything in the home is settled, and prepare supper before retiring to sleep.

    At work, the corporate world keeps evolving, and she does not want to be left out. So, she has to read now and then to update her skills. At the same time, to keep her mind and physical body healthy, she has to engage in other social activities. A real woman But Mrs Kato does not regret anything.

    In fact, she says she enjoys the tight schedule. “This makes me a real woman, that’s what it means to be one, it makes me stronger, it’s what I wish my girls will be when they grow up,” she says. And she is not the only one.

    ANITA MSANGI RWEHUMBIZA - GENERAL MANAGER Although she never imagined that she could get satisfaction in raising kids, Mrs Rwehumbiza, a general manager with Pearson, says being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to her. The 37-year-old mom got married in 2002.

    She gave birth to her firstborn two years, and her second child in 2007. “It took me long to decide to have children, and everyone was questioning why I was waiting for too long. At first I was not the type of woman who fancied being a mother,” she says.

    “But after I gave birth to my firstborn, I learned that being a mother is the most wonderful choice I have ever made in my life,” she adds. “When Brian came into my life, he showed me who I really was, and that there is much more to life than having a good career.”

    The experience has also taught her to respect her mother. That is why despite her demanding job, which requires a lot of travelling, she uses any free time she gets to be with them.

    “I often spend weekends with my family alone. I love to watch my kids play,” says Mrs Rwehumbiza, who, like most modern moms, juggles her motherhood with a demanding career.

    Maintained traditional roles To her, being a modern mother does not entail abandoning the old responsibilities of the conventional mother figure.

    “I have maintained the traditional roles of a mother. I respect my husband, teach my children household chores, and attend church every Sunday,” she explains.

    “This way, I have managed to keep my children and family together, despite the fact that I face many challenges both at work and home,” she adds.

    But Mrs Rwehumbiza does not take all the credit. She is quick to point out that her husband, housemaid, and her children’s teachers have been very supportive, and play an important role in ensuring she manages to handle her multi-tasks successfully.

    “I especially appreciate the role my husband plays, he is a responsible father, the person I look up to,” she explains, adding that, “He helps a lot on shopping and with the children’s homework. Actually, he has made me a better mother.

    However, Mrs Rwehumbiza wishes she could spend more time with her children. Because her job requires a lot of travelling, and sometimes working late, she does not have the opportunity to see every part of her children’s development.

    But every Friday evening, she tries to make up to the family. “I love dancing, so, on Friday evenings, we all go out, my kids and husband, to hang out and have fun with my girlfriends,” she says.

    LORA MKUNDE – CORPORATE SALES COORDINATOR Yet while the juggling modern mother enjoys the joys of motherhood and a rewarding career, the situation is a bit different for a single mother.

    “The burden can be overwhelming because you carry the whole financial burden alone,” says Ms Lora Mkunde, a corporate sales coordinator with mobile provider Zain. “You have to raise the children without the help of a companion, and provide for them financially,” she adds.

    But the experience of single motherhood has not pulled down the 27-year-old. In fact, she says it has paved the way for her to work hard and achieve her goals for her twin boys.

    “Since I got my twin boys, I have become more focused, determined and responsible,” says Lora, who gave birth to the twins in 2004 while studying for her first degree in the UK.

    It would have been harder for Lora to be a good mother, raising her children while studying at the same time. But thanks to the support she received from her parents, she managed to complete her studies, and started on her career path.

    Criticism She recalls that her first major challenge was the criticism she got from her society for getting pregnant while studying. “They felt it wasn’t right for me, but I kept my head high and moved on because my love for my children was stronger than their comments,” she says.

    Being a mother has made her discover herself, she notes, adding that she has since “reset my priorities”. One of the things she has had to forgo is spending unnecessarily on social life to be able to provide the best for her children.

    She worked as an airhostess with Precision Air before joining Zain. The youthful mother is also studying for a master’s degree with the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (Esami). And she is happy with the way things have turned out for her.

    “I am contented with my life, it’s only a matter of time before one balances career and family,” she says, adding that she has managed to send her kids to “the best schools around”.

    On Mother’s Day she plans to visit her mother and spend time with the woman she thanks for raising her to be a good mother
  2. Masikini_Jeuri

    Masikini_Jeuri JF-Expert Member

    May 11, 2010
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