Jamaican Mommies by Shanoy Coombs: From Jamaica; for the world


Pickney Nah Hold yuh down

Pickney (Child/Children)nah hold yuh dung
Nuh man cawn tie yuh dung
– Beenie Man, Gimme Likkle

Before, you get to thinking I’m about to be on the bandwagon with the rhyhtm/vibe/words of this song, get that out of your mind. Now let’s get to business. Don’t get me wrong, I have a certain appreciation for Beenie man as a perfomer, but the words of his song “Gimme Likkle” as outlined above has been met with much displeasure from my end. Prior to this, I’ve heard that song continuously but never paid it much attention, until recently when my sisters and I hit the road for a girl’s night out.

Here we are on our Ladies Night out (My Darling husband opted to Babysit)

But back to the point. While out, I saw a fellow schoolmate who’s first words to me were “What? Pickney nah hold yuh down”..I smiled out of courtesy but actually didn’t find it funny,amusing or encouraging.

I know in this age where younger moms are always trying to prove that they can still have a life (which is more often than not linked to being a partyholic), it becomes almost deafening as moms repeat over and over that “pickney nah hold them down”. But come on guys, no one is saying that life as you know it stops when you become a mom. Sure you can still be the multitasker who makes proper arrangements for your little one or ones so you can still shower them with love and make enough time to have single and couple fun. But what I want to know though is if it’s such a bad thing when your ‘pickney’ actually holds you down.

You may not get where I’m going just yet, but if a pickney holding you down means that your child’s well being is at all times put before your own, don’t you want your pickney to actually hold you down? If it means that you may have to miss Reggae Sum fest, ATI, Sting and the countless other parties held locally, Is it such a bad thing for your pickney to hold you down? If your plans for a romantic or casual dinner has been foiled because you couldn’t find an apt babysitter, does this mean that your pickney is holding you down?

Now I know that many may choose to disagree with my line of reasoning (which is fine and I welcome your thoughts nonetheless) but when one makes the choice to become a mother, it automatically means that some, if not most elements of your life need to be altered (I deliberately chose not to use change since it suggests a drastic digression from what in essence makes you..YOU). But get this A major part of this ‘life altering’ move has a lot to do with making responsible choices that at ALL times ensures that your child or children are safe and well taken care of in your abscence (reasonable enough huh?)

So now you see exactly what i’ve been tooting about. Quintessentially, your child holding you down doesn’t have to be ascribed the negative connotation that songs such as Beenie Man’s would want you to believe. After all, every day we are bombarded by stories of young moms deserting their children and at the root of this is a belief that the child is stopping them dead in their tracks and ‘holding them down’. What this view says to us is 1. These persons were not ready to become parents 2. Their support mechanisms are poor 3. They aren’t coping too well with minding a baby while their friends have fun. This may sound harsh, but there’s really no easy way to say this..once your child is here….HE OR SHE BECOMES YOUR BEST INTEREST/NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. I know it may be hard, but instead of doing drastic things such as tying you child in a cemetery to go to a party (remember that story about the young mom who wanted to go to Sting) speak to a counsellor about your challenges (Many churches offer free counselling), try to engage responsible family members to assist in properly caring for the child so you can get some ME time. and most of all in whatever you do, remember that your child did not choose to be here, hence please don’t treat the child as an enemy.

So now you know, if it means that I can only have outdoors fun 5 out of 365 days for the year, then I’m cool with my pickney holding me down, because at the end of the day, seeing this little face light up in love an appreciation makes me know whatever i have been doing is truly worth it. So let us know? How are you coping as a mother? Are you viewing motherhood as a reward or is it holding you down?

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
Thomas Jefferson
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0 thought on Pickney Nah Hold yuh down

  1. Dianne says:

    Lol…I love it..and this is so true…Parents need to be more responsible and ease off the hype bout pickney nah hold them down..SMH

  2. Natalie says:

    Love it, Love it, abosulutely love it, I couldnt said this any better. Every last word is true, and as a mother, I more than understand and agree with your point of reasoning.

  3. Annalisa says:

    I sooo love this….i've always thought that song wz for immature persons. Motherhood is a reasponsibilty, so one just has to adjust

  4. Just to clear the air guys, if you like the song its no big deal…I just think generally too much emphasis is being placed on 'proving that one can still go EVERYwhere' with no regard for their child/ren. Parents should just strive for balance and make enough time for self and their loved ones (including children).

  5. Anonymous says:

    After having my kids..i felt this immense pressure to be back on the social scene because of that statement in that song..lol..and the ever common jamaican one.."from she have d baby she jus mash up"..but u r right shan..i jus preferred to stay home with theminstead of hitting the road again…..oh ATI how i will miss u again this year..lol

  6. marsh says:

    great words of inspiration. mothers really need to be more mature and take responsibility for their action.

  7. Anonymous..you hit the nail on the head..pressure to be back on the social scene it is. I guess at times we may even internalize the words of many songs simply because we think others are using those same word to judge us. But that's when the true test comes along and we should prove to ourselves that we are beyond the mold in which others want to fit us. We need to set the standards for our selves sometimes and rule our lives by love and not by every view that society and people who are not parents have.

  8. What an adorable baby you have.

    Thanks for stopping by itssoverycheri. I hope you'll become a follower and check back often

  9. Thank you Cheri..I love your blog too and will become a follower 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Shanoy I am proud of you Girl. I'm not yet a mom (maybe sometime in the next couple years), but I couldn't agree with you more. Congrats on the arrival of your baby and all the best to your husband.


  11. kimmiB says:

    Shan! I'm so glad to see you on blogger! This was really great – you're a great writer and everyone can see how much love you have for your daughter.

    Thanks a mil for stopping by Iliana.I.Am 🙂 i'll pass through here often.

  12. Thanks for coming by Kimmi. I love your blog too. Very inspirational actually. I love your dependence on the Lord in all areas of your life 🙂 Great going 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    I so agree with you Shan, I must admit I sometimes prefer the company of my kids to others. I rather enjoy being at home with them than going out to party. I love being "hold down" by my "pickney". They have become my entertainment….

  14. Diy Yardi says:

    Hey Shan,

    I'm soo late to this post ….but "I TOTALLY GET YOU'. It’s been three years (being a mom) and I’m not even remotely back on the social scene. I'm sure some of my friends tink mi dash dem weh. But there are something’s that are definitely worth the sacrifice in this world and my child is one of them.


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