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This is a Guest Blog Post by (RED) Ambassador Constance Mudenda

Just a few years ago I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. After losing 3 children to HIV, I knew that my baby Lubona would be with me forever thanks to the life-saving HIV medicine that was readily available in all our health facilities.

When I sit and think about what makes me –and all of us – great mums, I realized something. Your life completely changes when you have children. You completely change too, just as your own mother did. But we also still remain the same person.

Parenthood is a beautiful and fascinating journey, and along the way, we learn so much – not only about our children but about ourselves too.

It is amazing how my relationship, values, beliefs, and qualities I shared with my own mother made me a role model to my own daughter. I still look up to my mom, even since she’s passed, and try to follow the teachings she instilled in me. I never thought I could live up to her parenting skills. She was a very strong woman and I pray I carry along half of her strength and pass it on to my daughter. Here are just a few of the things my mother taught me:

  1. My mother used to say this verse from Proverbs 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children,  but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” I’m grateful for the times my mother reminded me when I was wrong and taught me important lessons.
  2. Devotion to God. My mother never had time to go to Church, but she devoted her Sunday to reading the Bible and singing hymns at home. Her voice was something else, she was always singing off-key, but she never cared – and I think even God didn’t care either!
  3. Respect to all our elders was a must, no matter what.
  4. The ability to speak my mind. She never believed in sugar-coating anything and I’ve never forgotten that.
  5. How to be a fighter. Born into a family of girls, my mum taught me to fight for myself and be independent in this male dominated world.

I have tried to build upon the values that my mother taught me so that my daughter can have guidance in life. Here’s what I hope my daughter learns from me:

  1. Be supportive of the people around her and never to look down on anyone. Instead, provide support, patience, and encouragement.
  2. Always accept people who are different from you. At a very young age, I helped her understand that she will meet children and other people who might look or think differently than her, but that doesn’t mean they should be treated any differently.
  3. Always say NO to things she is not comfortable with.
  4. Respect everyone around her, regardless of their circumstances.
  5. Pray and believe in God in all that she does in life.

And, I hope she will grow to be a better mother than me and will be able to teach her children better values than I taught her.

Photo Credit: Jonx Pillemer/(RED)

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