I love being a mom. Everything in me loves a beautiful family setting. Growing up, I envisioned the family I wanted to have and I looked forward to it. I prayed about my future husband because, with him, we would accomplish the beautiful journey together. When I met my husband 11 years ago at university, we both asked each other,” Where have you been all this time?” Meanwhile, on the other side, my husband had been praying for a girl with scars (how weird). A beautiful girl with beautiful imperfections. By the way, I have a huge scar on my leg from serious burns when I was a child, and a few other scars whose origin I can’t explain - blame it on a very active childhood. We were both engineers and when we left university, looking for a job was the next big thing.
I loved my career, but when a child came into the picture after dating for 6 years, I started questioning whether I had made the right career path. I mean, I had been praying for a family since I was young, and here I am now, married, young, with a family but I have no time for my family. I think sometimes God gets very confused. I had a domestic help who did everything concerning our child because I was in the busy telecom world, working away from morning to evening “making money”. You think you are making money but your bank account is yawning, very broke! Sometimes I would be called into the office in the wee hours of the night for system upgrades or changes, I'm sure any working mom can understand where I'm coming from. In all honesty, I did not know if my child had taken a bath or not, eaten or not, or what food they had eaten. Was it hot or cold? Was it prepared that day or had it been in the fridge for the last 2 days? Did she sleep? For how long? Was she seated in front of a TV the whole day? I did not know because every phone call I made to the help was a “Yes” but I know for sure that’s could not be true, at least not every day.
I was bothered as a mom, and my husband, being the quiet type, was also left in a tricky position. I could see it but no one was talking about it. There was something we as parents were missing. It started with my daughter's continuous cries when we would be leaving for work in the morning, so we would distract her on cartoons and sneak out slowly. Then I noticed a rash all over her back, and got to know that she sweats a lot at night so she does not take a bath in the morning. Then it was stale milk in her bottle or stale food served to her and our baby who was 9 months at that time had a bacterial infection one week after the other. To see the nurses inject her everywhere looking for a vein to fix a canular was sickening to my stomach. This is not a problem of money, because food is bought so I would expect my child to eat good food. On first instinct, one would blame the house help, right? But no, the truth is the blame was all mine. I had failed as a parent. I had placed the thrill and bandwagon of “making money” in front of me and thrown my responsibilities as a mom out of the window. The child is mine, not anyone else’s so I know how best to look after her, not anyone else. That was a huge sign for me to make the decision of a lifetime which was to put a big full stop to formal employment and be a full-time mom.
Am glad I have a husband who saw things my way. We talked and planned at length about finances, as I looked for something flexible to do. I will tell you that it was not easy in the beginning. Days were long, weeks were long. I missed office life, and by this I mean the thrill of waking up in the morning, wearing your nice fancy tight office clothes, and shoes that make you look like you have a million dollars in your account, driving to work, having a monthly paycheck directly to your account and just being like everyone else. I got very many job recommendations but I politely turned them down and each time I did that, I would question if I made the right decision. There was always a battle in my head on whether or not I should go back to formal employment. But as days went by, I had to affirm myself and the decision I had made. “I am doing this for our children”. So, I let go of our house help because it seemed like I had absolutely nothing to do in the house. I made a to-do list for every week and broke it down into small daily tasks. I made weekly menus and would cook delicious meals. I started a small balcony garden where I grew fresh vegetables. Because I love house plants, I filled every corner with fresh plants, I decorated our house and made our home “homely”. Being a certified Financial Literacy Trainer, I was now managing all of our family finances, which in itself requires some good planning. My hands were busy which was good.
One very significant change that happened was that our girl never fell sick again. She had always had constant low weight, am talking about months and months of constant low weight where parents or other people kept questioning what I was feeding my child, any parents with small children can relate. Anyway, now, she was putting on some weight yippee! I kept her off of TV cartoons, and we downloaded for her a whole bunch of educational cartoons and by 2 years 7 months, she knew all her colors, ABCs, counting 1-10, animal sounds and so much more that she was able to join baby class. Our girl thrived and thrived all because her parents refused to let anyone, be it a house help or a caretaker or daycare or even a close relative, be a master for our child. We set the pace for how we want her life to run. We had to take up our position and do what we ought to do, not throw it at someone else because we can afford to do so.
Later, her sister came along. And over time I have found my unique way of living each day determined to bond with them, mentor them, and discipline them in preparation for the world out there.
I have now been out of employment for 3 years, am not looking forward to ever going back there. Am thankful for a very supportive husband, because men like this who give you a platform to thrive and continue cheering you all the way are truly God sent. I now run my father-in-law’s real estate business. My husband and I are commercial farmers so I am the woman on ground. I do most of the nitty-gritty things of the businesses, so I now graduated from a stay home mom to a business lady, how cute! We take our girls everywhere we go, and when we camp at the farm for a few months, we let our children walk bare foot, let them learn where milk and eggs come from, we work with them in gardens, they feed animals, they have fallen in love with nature and they don’t watch TV. We instilled a saving culture in them, so they don’t think that mummy and daddy have to buy things all the time. Our eldest who is 5 just bought herself her very first kids tab from her savings, how delighted she is. We encourage them to live a purposeful life and say it is ok if at 5 you want to be an aeronautic engineer, and at 16 you want to be a doctor, and at 18 you want to be a data security analyst, and at 21 you finally decide to be a mommy just like your parent, its fine.
I encourage all mothers or mothers to be, to spend quality time nurturing their children. They are looking at you and learning a whole lot from you, so you set the pace for their future. They are young for a very short time. They will be independent very soon. Introduce them to a world far beyond their imagination and watch as they thrive and flourish.
About the author
Mrs Nuwagaba Ronah is a wife, mother of two beauties, Engineer, Farmer and Certified Financial Trainer by Bank of Uganda. She loves hot spicy tea and everything that makes her African. Follow her on Twitter and visit her YouTube channel.