Angel Moms, Never Been Moms, Heavenly Moms

May 10, 2021

The world celebrated Mother’s Day on the 9th of May. Mothers the world over are appreciated for bringing children into the world and for the loving care they give to them. Gifts are exchanged, beautiful flowers are delivered, and the shopping malls are full of offers for Mother’s Day gifts.

There is, however, another category of Mothers, referred to as Angel Moms. Angel Moms conceived but never got to enjoy the blessing of seeing their children grow. Some of these Moms suffered miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies; others had illnesses that forced them to terminate their pregnancies.

Never Been Moms are women who have failed to conceive despite being married for many years. Again, because of different issues like hormonal imbalance, medical illness, stress and depression, barrenness, these Moms have not been able to hold a baby to call their own in their arms.

In the African context, a woman is considered worthy if she can give birth to many children. The more children an African man has, the more prestigious he is within the community. Infertility robs some couples from bearing children. A home without a child is considered incomplete, empty. The married women in such a home are under a lot of pressure to produce children. The man is never at fault, all fingers point to the woman. 

When a traditional African man is requested to accompany his wife to the hospital for a medical checkup, he scoffs at the thought. Most of these men will just go ahead and marry another woman. When she also fails to conceive, he will marry a third wife. When she, too, does not conceive, he will still blame the women. There are instances where men have been known to ask their trusted friends or brothers to sire children for them. They do not want the “shame” of not being able to bear children.

The women in these situations do not have a say in the matter. Once the decision has been made by the man to conceive a child, she has to cooperate. The man will be heard bragging to the other men that he now has a child. He will be bought a lot of local brew to celebrate the birth. Usually, the amount of alcohol consumed is doubled when the baby is a boy. A boy in a family is king.

Women who cannot conceive go through a lot of heartache. Fostering and adoption are still frowned upon in the African culture. A man who allows an adopted child into his home is frowned upon. Rather than adoption being seen as a benevolent act, it is seen as a weakness. Most men would, therefore, rather marry a second, third or fourth wife than accept the fact that a child does not have to be biological to be called his own.

As we celebrate this Mother’s Day, we remember all these Mothers that have had to endure a lot of pain and misery because they were not able to bear children. People in the community need to come up with a concept of “adopting a Mom.”  Many women in the community are childless, divorced by their husband because they were considered barren. They are shunned in the community, and they live very sad lives. These women are rejected for no fault of their own. If they stay in their marriages, the man will most definitely marry another wife. The woman without a child is expected to cater to the new co-wife. She has to ensure that the new wife is comfortable and must take care of the child when it is born.

The month of October is marked as the Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Awareness month. The month of October is used to spread awareness and acknowledge babies who are no longer here with us.

To all Mothers, Angel Moms, Never Been Moms, Soon to be Moms, we celebrate you. We celebrate your sacrifice and resilience in all you go through.

In a special way we celebrate Moms in Heaven. Always close to our hearts and dearly missed.

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