The season of travel is here and we are about to see mothers and their brood carrying the whole of their house to the village. As a mother, nothing eats into our time and energy like ensuring we pack everything we might need in the village, especially if we are traveling with young children.
Before I became a mother, I travelled very light. I would even go to the village for a month with just a small bag. However, when my baby came on board, things changed. The first time I travelled with her to the village, I lost count of the number of bags I carried. Anyone watching me probably thought I was travelling with 12 children, each with their own bag.
No mother wants to be the reason things go wrong on a journey. That’s why you will find a mother waking up at 3am on the day of travel because she suddenly remembered that she did not pack a pair of shorts for her baby. One minute you are done packing and the next you feel like you aren’t even halfway. In a mother's eyes, everything looks like something that the baby cannot do without. You end up packing all toys and shoes. You will even turn the house upside down looking for that one toy you think is perfect for village games.
Then comes the medication. You will start with a simple pain killer and, before you know it, you have put a whole pharmacy in your bag. From a thermometer all the way to an arm sling because, in our creative minds, we mothers imagine that our children might break their arms. I am sure, if we had a choice, some of us would pack anaesthesia and anti-venom to counter snake bites and surgeries. We might look okay but deep down in our hearts, we wish to travel with our children’s paediatrician to be on standby just in case.
Then comes the food. Again, it’s hectic when you are travelling with children who are poor feeders and would need something to entice them to eat. That’s when our brains stop working and our emotions check in. Imagine packing mangoes, apples, potatoes, pawpaws and so on yet these things are imported into the city from the village. We, however, imagine that those in the village do not have enough nutrients like the ones we will carry. Some of us even carry cups and plates for their children because they apparently love those specific utensils.
You have not seen the other side of motherhood in the city if you have never contemplated carrying electronics to the village for the holidays. This is where the blender and the food warmer come in. Even after all this, we will still stop enroute to the village to buy one or two things that we forgot to pack.
If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the cars that will get into your compounds this festive season. I mean family cars with children. You will see them carefully driving into the compound with the bottom almost touching the uneven ground meaning the cars and heavily loaded. You will be forgiven for thinking that the occupants of the vehicle are 32 only for two adults and a breastfeeding child to alight. Then begins the offloading of the car. The boot and the passenger seat are always full while the back seat has been utilised such that the mother sits in a tiny space carrying the child. All the other space is filled by the baby’s stuff.
Next time you plan to hike a lift to the village from a young family, think twice because there will be little or no space for you in the car. Of course unless you plan to carry the dismantled baby cot on your lap all through the journey. Merry Christmas to all the mothers in the house!
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