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