What drew me to Embrace – long before I was a member of the hub team – was the chance to find a community of mothers with whom I could share some of the hardest parts of this journey. In the throes of postpartum depression,
As we listened to story after story, a maternal mantra of sorts emerged: mothers need support always, and perhaps now even more so. The question is – how do we get creative in supporting mothers during pregnancy, birth and post-partum without increasing their risk of contracting COVID? I think we’re going to have to get radical about creating a community for mothers – no mother left behind. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it starts with looking out for the mothers around us and asking them what they need. Lack of support for new mothers is not a corona-conundrum, but if it takes a global pandemic to get us seriously thinking up solutions, then perhaps not all has been lost to 2020 after all.
What does this mean for moms? In a sense, the work-life divide has always been a constructed one. No-one is ever just one thing at once. For so long, people – especially mothers – have had to pretend away at least 60% of whom we are for the sake of our professions and our job security. The gift of COVID-19 is that it has stripped away the props we rely on in this pretense: the office, the meetings, the work trips. Without these, we can no longer pretend away crucial parts of our identities.
I’m not the type of woman one would find in a tribe. Years of learning the hard way that girls are my competition, even the girls I love – has built an emotional dam around my fragile heart. I don’t allow people into my personal
It has been 128 days since President Ramaphosa placed South Africa on a national lockdown to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. At the time it was announced, few of us could have imagined that we would still be at home so many months later.
So, in the run up to #MandelaDay, we are using this platform and our voices as the women, mothers, daughters, sisters of victims and survivors of #genderbasedviolence to call for collective action against such violence. #GBV is a social problem and it will never stop until there are social solutions. So we’re going to be sharing ways in which you can help spot and stop GBV in your own community and resources with which which you can support survivors of GBV.
But I hope you, fellow mother, know that you are a part of an incredible community and we see you – ALL of you – and all your struggles and your triumphs and the roaring strength and beauty of what you are achieving each day, against all odds.
Motherhood is everything. To quote Tess Guinery, I am totally ‘into it’ and so ‘over it’, so alive and so tired, so hopeful and so unsure, so brave and so afraid, so confident and so crazy, so purposeful and so aimless, so intentional and so ‘go with the flow’.
Nevertheless, throughout my motherhood journey, I have learned that my daughter Oyisile Murhangeri (whose names loosely translate to victory and leader) moulded me into the person that I was destined to become. She has made me understand the true value of life and taught me how to persevere regardless of challenges, a trait that I could have possibly ignored if she was not here.
If there is one small mercy for mothers as a result of this pandemic, I pray that its’ a deep acknowledgement of the role that mothers and mothering plays in our society. The world hasn’t stopped in lock down. The economy isn’t ruined. It ticks over in the stabilising force of mothers showing up for their families in their homes – doing important, life-affirming work to steady little children who will grow up to do great things.