There is no doubt that some, if not most, of us, have grown to be what we are at the very hands of the people that made sure we were fed, bathed, clothed and kept warm on a rainy day or freezing cold winter. Undoubtedly the modern way of living has put most parents in a position where they have very little or no time to spend with their children due to long working and commuting hours. Most children grow up only seeing their parents early in the morning when they are dropped off at school or after hours – while some only get to see them on weekends because they have to leave in the early hours of the morning only to return late in the evening when the children have already gone to dreamland. Guess who spends the rest of the time with them then? - Of course, the unsung heroine, the housemaid. And for respect’s sake and lack of a better word, their role should rather be referred to as Caretakers.
They wake up from as early as 3 in the morning to prepare breakfast, lunch boxes and drag the kids out of bed for a warm bath. On top of that they are also expected to iron and prepare breakfast for their ‘’ masters’’ – Just to mention a few. And for sure, we can imagine what the rest of their day may look like as, in many cases; the working hours are not even specified.
The aforementioned may seem pretty obvious, though, and for that could be the reason the role of caretakers is treated with such triviality – with very little attention paid at the impact and significance it has on the lives of many. Of course, we know there are some caretakers who may not be worthy of this glorification – although they are far less and in between. But right here and right now, this may not only be a tribute but also a voice for the ones who diligently do their duties with kind and loving hearts for they know the task at hand will have far-reaching effects on the wellness of future generations. They know and understand that how you treat a child today will also determine how they treat you when you are older. And maybe the same can also be said that how a caretaker is treated may have an influence on how they will treat the child left in their care. Therefore, a caring parent would then be mindful of how they would treat the caretaker for they know well what it can translate into and they may indirectly be causing harm to their own child.
There is no doubt that a happy caretaker will nurse a happy child, nor is there any doubt that a caretaker who is well treated by their “boss” would return the favor. But the same could also be said for the opposite – as in some cases, if not many, caretakers are often shouted at, insulted, humiliated and treated inhumanely.
With that said, though, the aforementioned should never be misinterpreted as condoning any unbecoming behaviour from the side of the caretakers towards their employers. The aim is to raise awareness of issues that we must address to harness relationships of mutual respect and understanding between caretakers, their employers and most importantly those beautiful young souls whose wellbeing they are entrusted with. Therefore, let’s make the year 2020 the year of not only introspection but also the beginning of our healing from wounds of our past and for better physical, mental and spiritual well-being for us all and our children.
OSHIMWENYO will be published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.
2020-03-06 10:53:25 | 4 months ago