Growing up in an African home, it almost always seems like your parents are doing you a favor by providing your basic needs…(something they are actually responsible for) for example sending you to a good school, ensuring you are well fed, clothed, sheltered, emotionally, psychologically and physically great.
I am not yet a parent but when eventually, I become, it must come from a place whereby I am ready to bear all the responsibilities that come with it because trust me I know parenting can be hard. Growing up especially in school, I saw my parents, pay school fees, buy clothes and other accessories, money for upkeep, books, travel among others. I mean there was a LOT OF SPENDING. Of course, I am not the only child but even if I was, that is still a lot of money being invested in me. I appreciate my parents for all the sacrifices because trust me it may sometimes be hard for them but they made sure I never lacked anything…
However, I am sure before considering bringing me into this world, they must have thought it through and considered the costs associated with raising a child. Not just the money aspect but being emotionally, psychologically and even physically prepared to bring another human into the world. I mean that is the wisest thing to do, right?
My parents have done an amazing job of raising me, however, sometimes I am a little concerned with some of the things they say especially when I needed something from them. I have had conversations with friends and apparently, it is like that almost in every home. You hear things like ‘When I was your age, I used to go to the farm before going to school’ or ‘I used to walk barefooted or wear tattered shoes to school’, or ‘I used to eat once a day and drink lots of water and that was it’ and all sorts of things that make you feel that perhaps it was your fault they had a not so appealing childhood life or you are being done a huge favour for not having to go through the same things that they went through. Of course, it is an unfortunate thing which I sympathize with them but when it sounds like you are always rubbing it in, then it begins to sound like a broken record!…. Like….yeah…there we go again!
Not that our parents lie because I understand that in those days, many families had to struggle to make ends meet and most of our parents had to help by either going to the farm before going to school and then come back and help sell some of the produce in the market after school or during the weekend. My mum will tell me of how she used to sell items all throughout her schooling with some sort of support from her parents, grandparents and some extended family members. When I compare, my childhood to hers, of course, I had a better one than she did.
However, one thing I always say is that though my parents did well in providing for me, I will make sure my children have a better experience than I did…and also try not to make it sound like ‘You do not deserve it but I will provide for you anyways’…
So, Dear African Parents (especially). we appreciate your support throughout all these years and we sympathize with the rough childhood experience most of you seemed to have had, however, please do not take the blame on us…we have just been fortunate to not have been through that experience which of course is NO fault of ours…You probably had to go through that so that we may have better experiences. However, this does not take the fact away that you are RESPONSIBLE for our needs (unless we reach an adult stage where we start taking care of our own needs)…so I know it can be hard looking at what we are getting or got compared to what you got, but please do not take the frustration on us… 😦
We wish it was just like ours or even better but there is nothing that can be done about it.
As your children, we, of course, appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for us because we understand your struggles in performing your duties as parents…but I guess that is one of the crosses you have to bear for bringing us into this very tough world. Especially as there are some parents who do not even make an effort to provide for their children thus leaving them to fend for themselves….Those are the ones who probably see parenting as a HUGE FAVOUR or better still BURDEN which they were not ready for. Sigh!
In a nutshell, Parenting is TOUGH…It is a responsibility on its own, a HUGE ONE. And only those who are READY for it should start thinking of having children (whether married or unmarried) but in the case where you are ready or aren’t, is a choice to be made. Eventually, when the responsibilities kick off, just be ready to face it…The children are innocent and should not be blamed for anything at all…They can only be grateful and appreciate that they are parents are being RESPONSIBLE…an attribute they can learn from, hence doing same when they also become parents.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post. Stay tuned for more. Happy new month everyone! May this new month bring answers to all your prayers and may the other half of the year exceed all your expectations.