On Sunday, we will be celebrating Mothers Day, an important day that seeks to honour mothers and celebrate motherhood and the influence of mothers in society.
Susan Catherine Keter is a mother of six: three young men and three young women. Only one is below the age of 18 and is currently in high school. At some point, she battled depression, which runs in her family, but came out stronger. Her second child was also at some point diagnosed with depression. The mother of six walked through this journey with a lot of courage and looking back, she is thankful to God for the far that He has brought them. Here is her story.
“I got married when I was totally inexperienced in as far as dealing with children was concerned, being the last born in our family. I learnt about parenting on the job. I must say that it was challenging to chart my own way as a parent since I encountered a lot of criticism from others who were more experienced than I was. However, I chose to soldier on.
Becoming a mother totally changed me. I was a perfectionist, meaning that things had to be done according to my standards or there would be trouble. But when the children came and things could no longer be done my way, I learnt to adjust and become flexible.
I slowly transformed into a champion for the rights of mothers and children.
After quitting my job to raise my children, I became aware of the issues that affect children. I came to learn and appreciate that little children don’t have the capacity to reason like an adult; consequently, I speak out strongly against punishing children simply for being children. As an adult, you understand that such a situation is dangerous but a child does not know that. Children have to be trained and not punished for what they don’t even understand.
I was a stay-at-home mum for 12 years— a decision my husband and I prayed over and had faith that we could make it work.
When I quit my job, we had a thriving first born daughter and I was expecting my second born. God was faithful because every new baby was accompanied by a promotion for my husband. We started our marriage with prayer and that is what has sustained us through the years. I believe that it is important to listen to God for He knows what is best.
In my motherhood journey, one of the most fulfilling moments is holding my newborn in my arms for the first time. Nothing compares to that feeling. Witnessing a child’s milestones such as when they take their first steps or get the first tooth is also special.
I have enjoyed watching my children grow into responsible adults. They are all taller than me now. However, I have had my fair share of challenges as a young mother.
My firstborn daughter was a hyperactive child, often destroying things. I would be criticised for spoiling her. I didn’t know anything about hyperactivity so I would punish her to make her like ‘other children’. Because of this, my daughter and I both got frustrated because things were really not working out well.
We were able to cope thanks to therapy, which happened when she was in high school.
My children had health complications, starting with the second born who ended up with challenges after a difficult delivery. The baby was born with a birth defect and had to undergo life-saving surgery five days later. A mother watching her sick and suffering child is very painful. I have shed tears because of the suffering of my children. But today, I am truly grateful to Almighty God that they are all in good health. I believe that God put the burden in me to desire to be at home with the children for a reason.
A mother passes on values to her children both knowingly and unknowingly. I do see some of my values in my children. One is the need to think outside the box in terms of employment. I blog about financial independence, and I am very passionate about thinking beyond formal employment. I see this reflected in my children. My first born daughter started her first business in university. She is still running it until today.
Another thing is that life is not a straight line and one often tries out a number of things before finding the right path. I truly believe that it is perfectly okay for young people to try out different things and change their minds as they become more enlightened. They need to exercise their decision-making capabilities and make mistakes as they learn. Importantly, every human being is unique and needs permission to be oneself, free from being unfairly compared to someone else or being put under pressure to be like any other person.
On the joys of motherhood, I am always delighted to witness the achievements of my children, especially when they set goals and achieve them. Completing studies, making it to the team (my two sons play rugby), and completing a project among others make me very excited. The children have grown and we enjoy a very good relationship. We are tight.”
What You Can Gift Your Mom On This Mother’s Day
- A Card: during special occasions, one can never go wrong with a beautiful well-designed greeting card. You can choose to gift your mum with a lovely card that has a beautiful message and she could choose to hang it somewhere and will always remember you for it.
- Greetabl Mother’s Day Box: choose an adorable Mother’s Day pattern, select a small gift for your mum, choose photos from your computer and then write a short message-it’s the perfect, personalised gift for mum.
- A Box of chocolates: you can choose to add a chocolate bar to your mom’s mother’s day gift basket to make it more colourful and attractive. Choose from a variety of flavours including almond coconut, lemon, honey, vanilla etc.
- Jewellery: earrings, necklace, bracelet or other jewellery she will love.
- A fluffy nightgown and slippers.
- A bunch of flowers
- A new handbag or purse.
- A picture frame with a picture of the children.
- Personalised mug or calendar
- A beautiful warm sweater
- A fancy teacup and teapot
- Hair treatment at the salon or spa treat