The TV Wife

The TV Wife

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It’s about midnight and I overslept.

My daughter cradles next to me and I smile as I brush a curl from her face. It was not my intention to share my bed with my daughter, who has a room of her own across the corridor. Nevertheless, she’s seems so happy sleeping with me maybe he’s right, we’ll give her the time she needs to adjust. She needs me.

I long for his touch and ease out of the bed. I move a pillow close to her, she grips it and I hold my breath. “Please don’t wake up,” I whisper, “I need your father now.” She understands and cuddles the pillow and steadies her breathing.

I am off, feet barely touching the ground as I reach the living room and I jump on him. He’s dosing on a mattress in front of the television. I don’t care what he’s watching because I know he’s naked under that towel waiting for me. He laughs as I strip. I’m so hungry for his sweetness and I can barely wait to taste his manhood inside me. The television is turned off as we moan and listen for small cries but she doesn’t get up. Tomorrow is work but I don’t care, he’s so beautiful, I will feast on him until I’m done and I come in an amazing radiance and fall back to earth with a thud.

We lie quietly in each other’s arms and I listen to his heart beat but it doesn’t last. He eases out from under my grip and head to the bathroom. I do the same. I watch the bedroom, she’s sleeping soundly and I go to him again and rest my head on his chest. I want more than sex, I need a hug. Hold me my heart yearns let me lie with you, be more, gave me more.

“Let’s go to bed, there’s more than enough room,” I say.

“You know, I can’t,” he answered. “That bed is too soft for my back; you should go back to her.”

“I’ll stay here then,” I say with a sweet smile.

The television flips back on.

“You know I can’t sleep with the television on,” I groaned, “just a little while longer…”

He’s flipping through the channels and raises the volume. All I get is a dull stare. “Go back to her,” he moans.

My pride cannot ask again and my body shakes as I’m ignored. I move to get up and he pulls me in and kisses my lips. “I’ll see you in the morning,” he grins.

I stare at him; confused and annoyed, I walk away. The corridor seems longer now that I’m walking back and I hold my tears in as I climb into bed and move my face into the pillow. “Move over,” a voice says crossly a minute later.

“Go back to the TV,” I snap.

She jumps and I regret my outburst. He goes to her and holds her close and rocks her back to sleep. He’s a great father and a good man. I chide myself for being so selfish. The things some woman have to endure like smoking, drinking and violence was not my fate, he was just overly preoccupied with the television.

He kisses her gently as he puts her back in bed. I watch him as he moves towards me and kisses me softly once again. This time I kiss back. “I’ll see you in the morning,” he whispers and I nod in agreement and give a faint smile. He walks out of the door and I lay for the next hour watching our daughter and listening to the television. I ask myself over and over what will happen to my marriage when she grows up and out of my bed.

******

My daughter cradles next to me and I move her foot off of my stomach. She follows me around the bed, looking for the warmth. It’s getting to be uncomfortable sharing a bed with a little person who moves and kicks at random but she’s growing well and just started school. She well adjusted the teacher says and far happier than most children. That’s good to know, I guess she gets that from her father he is also far happier than most. He’s married but has his own room and sleeps in front of the television. She moves again and this time I get a hand in my face. I barricade her between three pillows and look for space on the bed to sleep where I wouldn’t wake her but could still dose off.

This master bedroom held so much promise when we first moved in. It was not my intention to share my bed with my daughter, who has a room of her own across the corridor. A room well suited for a child her age, I resolve to try to get her into her own bed once more, with or without her fathers’ help.

I hear footsteps in the corridor and hastily find a spot and close my eyes. My husband walks in and moved towards our daughter and kisses her goodnight. He frowns at the barricade and moves the pillows away. He’s watching me and I know it, but I don’t care, the whore is not on call tonight go screw your television.

In my haste, I’ve moved away from my daughter’s ear and he gets the opportunity to isolate me. He nibbles my ear and kisses my neck. “Come outside,” he whispered and turns me around. I pretend to awake from a deep sleep confused that he’s there and he smiles. Always oblivious to my resentment, could his world be so simple? TV, food, exercise, sex and he’s happy. He smiles as he walks away and I shrug, I should have never opened my eyes.

I walk to the bathroom and stay to long and then walk outside where he’s waiting. I no longer pounce on him with lustful intent; I wait for him to start. I sit quietly and pretend interest in the television. After a while he takes it off and hugs me. The sex is good I never really regret getting up but I leave as soon as we are done. “I’ll see you in the morning,” I say. My heart breaks every time I hear the TV turns back on as I walk away and morns at the thought of how life would have been if we had bonded. If I was able to hear his heart beat with mine all night and breathe with his rhythm. I kiss my daughters forehead as I climb back into bed. Sleep sweet child, I will hold on as long as I can.

******

My daughter cradles her pillow. She’s older now but she still doesn’t want to sleep in her own bed. I’m always stressed and I need to do something about this abhorrence festering in me. I feel like my life is there’s and they will both out live me. Why does being a good mother and wife mean losing me so completely? Look at my husband; he’s practically a bachelor still. He always out, walking, swimming, doing stuff in church and I have become the eternal, keeper of the child. Stueps.

I need to exercise more, to read more; I used to read so much. I wish I could fit into those jeans I brought last year. I don’t even invite friends over anymore. The mattress now resides in the living room and I don’t care to explain why. Life is passing by in this bubble and I morn for it. We don’t talk much at home anymore, just the necessary. We put up a good front when we go out though: the lady and the princess with that handsome man at their side. I am always surprised that even though we dress apart we usually color coordinate. It isn’t deliberate it more of a weird quirk, the universe’s wicked sense of humor saying that we belong when we don’t. We could win the award for the best family on the block, I am sure but when we get home where will we put the trophy? In my room, in my daughter’s room or in his room: there is no family room. Maybe there is no need because there is no family – an illusion of sorts for a woman who doesn’t know her worth.

I’m horny, really horny. I’ve tried cutting my husband off but he’s still in front of the television.  It’s so embarrassing to pick a fight with the TV and lose.

It’s not that late and I curse the clock as I alternate between the moving numbers and the ceiling. The sound of torture echoes into the room as he puts on a movie. It’s a movie I like and if we were on better terms I may have been inclined to go outside and watch it with him. Eat popcorn maybe.

I walk to my closest, so many dresses unworn, so many pieces no longer fit. I wish I had places to where these dresses; to dance with a man who looks deep in my eyes and sing “Mere Cherie Amore.” I start to wonder about the men I didn’t choose, what were they up to? Were they men who slept with their wives or in front of the television? Maybe I could start over; maybe I could explain to the child why daddy doesn’t live here anymore. Maybe I could find myself again. It wasn’t a maybe I had to, soon she would be moving to her room and what would be my excuse then. He isn’t going to sleep with me and I’m not sleeping in front of the TV all night, every night so it was time to prepare for the inevitable.

I take the sexy skinny jeans out of the closet and hang it on the door. It’s time to fit back into this. It is time to prepare to move on. I can’t sleep; the determination to ask for a divorce keeps me awake. When the house quiets I venture out into the corridor, my feet barely touching the ground.  I take the remote and lower the TV which is my nightly routine but today I stand there and I stare at him as he sleeps. I love him, he ignites a fire in me but I can’t understand him. I move to wake him wishing to kiss him, needing his touch. My eyes fall on his phone, and I pick it up quietly and run through the calls and texts. He been calling his exes and everyone but me. I read the texts as he sleeps not caring if he awakes, nothing incriminating, and nothing to warrant my decision. No proof, nothing to strengthen my accord. I place the phone gently back in place but my mind is already changed, I don’t wake him. We are too different, we always were and we will both survive the split.

******

I’m home. I walk through the door and I spot them in the living room watching a kiddy show both perched on that mattress. I’ve started back writing, joined a group and fit perfectly into these skinny jeans which I wore to my writers meeting tonight. I stayed back a little later than needed. I no longer rush out the door to go to church with them as I usually do and I walked idly with the group and accepted compliments as we waited for transportation.

“Your husband normally picks you up?” One questioned as I kept walking with the group. “True,” I replied, “but some days it just feels good to be alone,” I grinned.

I am taking back my life; father and daughter can take care of themselves. I pass them with a smile and reach the delight of my room. I take a bath and look for a book to read until she’s ready to sleep. My life is so busy now and even though I’ve changed around her room to suit her age, she’s still not budging but I’m not making it a problem. By the time I tuck her in and say goodnight, the TV is off and he’s praying.

He’s been praying more these days, and I’ve been praying less. Is it because I already got my answer? I’m not sure but I still say, “I’ll see you in the morning.”

******

My daughter cradles her pillow as I look at her sleeping in her own bed. Nine years, I’m both relieved and lonely.  The first month my sex life improved and it seemed as if I worried all those years for nothing. He held me close and I began to believe once again but after a month I woke to an empty bed.

Now he doesn’t wait until I’m asleep it’s servicing then return to the TV wife, I don’t know how to leave. I endure.

******

She’s no longer in that room. She’s grown and off to college.

I have a new job now, one that takes me out of the country every month and I’ve met someone. It’s someone we both know, even though he’s younger he’s already divorced and I’m ready to ask for one so why not. The sex isn’t as good as my husband, actually it’s rather horrible. I always close my eyes and think of my husband so that I can reach an orgasm but he holds me close after and we sleep together in each other’s arms until the sunrise rises.

It’s what I wanted but not with him. This isn’t the one and I have to figure out how to end this delicately. I can’t be seen to be the one at fault, I say, I need a clean break first and then we can try again. He’s looks taken aback but he nods in agreement and leaves quietly.

It’s like I’ve gone from bad to worse, I have no plans of ever calling him again.

I can’t help but have sex with my husband when I get back home. He does it so well, he stays tonight all night and I wish he had gone back to the TV because I need to cry.

When I get up he was gone. Sunday morning run as usual with his group. He’ll be back before I know it. Something is different, the TV is in the bedroom, it isn’t plugged in and the remote is wrapped in gift paper with my name on it.

I cry, to little to late. Did I even have the sanity to try this again? My heart wondered if I could find a way and I knew that we could.

I hear the car pull up and watch through the window. It was him he was parked outside the house waiting for my husband. I pulled back and peeped through the curtains. He was telling him. I could see my husband’s hand drop from the handshake as he stepped back and floored him. His face was in shock as he turned towards the house. The news pierced his heart; I could see it in his face and grew afraid. All those years in front of the blasted television and he was still surprised that his wife was unhappy with him, stunned that she had turned to his fool for comfort. He had an affair with the television, the running track and the ocean; always leaving to go to her.

I should have run, I should have hidden but I was tired. I didn’t even care to deny it. My entire life I thought too much and said to little.  I should have broken the TV into pieces years ago, hidden the remote, burnt the mattress but I waited until it was too much to take.

I stopped praying and endured what was not mine to endure. I used my daughter as an excuse and left no legacy of what a real relationship should look like. So I got back into bed, which is where I would have been when he returned and turned my back to the door.

When the door flung opened and he shouted, I said nothing.

When the TV crashed to the floor and he screamed, I didn’t move.

He packed his clothes and the car sped off an hour later and I lay quietly praying for my life.

He never came back.

I never brought another television.

There is nothing more to endure.

I have time to read my books.

THE END

This is a short story that I wrote this morning when I considered an alternate reality asking myself: What if I was this woman, how would things work out? or could it work out? Next week I’ll do another one. I hope.

LIKE FACEBOOK PAGE Author Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Mckie/725730184120552?ref=hl

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Who has the time and energy to be Mother Theresa, everyday?

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How do we start to give? Will we be able to maintain the momentum? Are we really ready to open ourselves up to what giving entails?

Many people, including me, hesitate to give the homeless money because we don’t know what they’re going to do it (we ask ourselves why are they homeless, are they on drugs and why can’t they get a job). I would rather give money to a charity, or buy a ticket for a show or something impersonal that does not require forming an attachment to an individual. I’m a good person; I just don’t want to get too involved with goodness.

That’s the lie I’ve been telling myself for a while. I am the type of person whose mind goes into overdrive on approaching a homeless person or beggar and you see the dilemma on my face, take out my wallet or walk faster.  I’ve struggled with giving to strangers because I am afraid that they will follow me home, that they will remember me next time I pass and ask me directly for money or worst case become violent, if I start and then stop giving them. I want to give but I always hesitate.

I would like to become the power of one, to give without hesitation, I rather suspect that giving isn’t only about the people who we give to; it’s also about building our own character. Finding our own personal inner salvation, this isn’t about religion or redemption, but just good living.

Giving isn’t about sympathy, giving is about strength of heart and of mind. The strongest of us give everything they have to move our generation into new levels of thinking, of caring.

Giving has been glamorized over the years but I ask you today to take GIVING back to its rightful place, around the FAMILY TABLE.

You and your family should come together to give, you may be out of pocket of a few dollars but what you create is a life-long memory that your children will take with them, an indelible lesson that will attach itself to your child’s character, which will become a priceless souvenir that will help them understand the true meaning of life.

Making a difference no matter how small brings great returns to your family life. So sit with your family and find an avenue to give, whether it is a charity or a home or a needy family in the neighborhood. Let the entire family as a team volunteer once a year or more to prepare a meal for home, clean up a beach, do a charity walk, and let it be natural. If you like animals work in that area, if you like nature – do something to save the environment. There’s no right or wrong way to give as long as you make it a family effort.

A great charity to support is Charity Water and I have signed up to build a well or two, donate to my campaign today at http://mycharitywater.org/trinidadcarnival2013 and start giving.

It’s time to start

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I dreamt about a Duck with red boots, a frog who didn’t like to eat flies, a hungry caterpillar and a moose who liked to drink juice.

I dreamt about a butterfly, who told stories while sitting on a piece of old wood, of pink skies and mango colored rainbows.

A diamond shattered bracelet, a man who knew how to fix it. A moon so bright beside stars with red lights.

A soucouyant and a banyan tree, a mystery and a robbery.

I dreamt of dreaming and woke up laughing, it’s good to know that you are still there, waiting …

It’s been a while and i neglect to invite you to awake with me,

I promise to put pen to paper another day

Look at how the day has passed.

I’ll dream another dream of dreaming, please don’t think of leaving.

I know I neglect to invite you to come with me, but I promise to put pen to paper today.

Why the Pope’s resignation was the best thing for the Catholic Church.

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I am a Christian and I don’t believe in religion.

That very sentence seems to contradict itself, however I believe that there is a God and I accept the bible to be the ultimate guide, however I see today’s religion as complicating that which is simple; a call for persons to fellowship by forming churches has turned into politics.

I love reading and before I was eighteen, I decided to find the most influential book of all time and read it. This book turned out to be the bible. I would be lying if I said I read it diligently, it took me a year and I still fall asleep through the genealogy chapters like Leviticus.  In reading this book for myself – and not waiting for a Priest/Pastor to dictate it to me over my years – I became fully aware that the book could be taken out of context, chapters read in isolation could mean different things according to different agendas.

Since, I didn’t need someone to explain the bible to me, going to church then became more about fellowship. I joined church groups, I volunteered, I tried out different churches and at every corner I meet a horny unfaithful deacon, a leading family who financially supported the church and received more prayers and accolades than others, the overweight, the ever-faithful, the gossipers, the returning backsliders, the silent parishioners, the uninterested, the unruly children of the parish saints, the old, the poor and the very poor.

If someone was over-weight, I didn’t want to laugh at then when they passed, I wanted to start a fitness class. I noticed children who wore the same clothes every week, but their parents wouldn’t accept hand out because they didn’t want to be at the mercy of the gossipers.  I saw flirtations outside of marriage and people with distant eyes, crying eyes and eyes of hatred. I grew tired of looking at people and seeing sorrow.

So I left, I prayed at home, I lived a fair life and was contented and always blessed.

So why am I writing a blog on the Pope, well today I am married to a Catholic. When our daughter was born he indicated that he wanted her to be baptized in the Catholic faith, I had no problem with it. There is a time for everything under the sun and many paths lead to God, my path is best for me but she would have to choose her own path and with my blood in her veins, I know that she would ask questions and choose what makes her happy when she is an adult. My only cautionary note to my husband was seeing that I was not Catholic, I expected him to take responsibility for her Catholic walk and be an example to her.

In all of our years together my husband has never really asked me to do anything directly, not even to cook but he asked me, especially at this time when our daughter is mimicking her mother, to attend church with him. The deal is if he goes, I go.

So we began our dance, I felt very uncomfortable at first, like if someone had asked me to rob a bank, to do drugs, to strip naked and walk down Main Street. I had left bricks and mortar religion, without a second thought and was comfortable with my relationship with God. However, I comforted myself by reminding myself that I believed that this was the man I would spend my life with. I prayed and God said he was the one. While other women were dealing with drunken, violent husbands, my task was only to go to Church.

I returned home with a headache every single Sunday for six months. Excluding my primary education which was in a Catholic school, I hadn’t spent much time in a Catholic Church. It seemed to quiet, monotonous even. I had heard other preachers refer to the Catholic Church as lacking that spiritual fire; they were lead by men not by the spirit. All of the scripture readings were planned and in a book which ran on a three year cycle, it means that if you are 60 and was born a Catholic, you would have gone over that book 20 times. The Catholic people I knew were also strange for Christians my neighbor who was in church every week taking communion, was having an affair with a married man. Whenever there was a project on work that required ‘manipulation of figures’ it always went to the Catholic, she laughed and said ‘don’t worry, confession and some Hail Mary’s and that will be forgiven’.  I always felt that even if I had to go to church, some day, I wouldn’t be to a Catholic church. Was God testing me?

Nevertheless, my husband flourished. He became a more caring husband and is an excellent father. He joined the men’s group and grew happier, he took charge and got ready on time, he sat in the same pew and owned it, he greeted people and walked all over the church, shaking people hands when it was time to offer people a ‘sign of peace.’ I was in shock; this was defiantly not a passing phase, so I began to do what I did when I didn’t know what to do. I began to pray quietly asking God to help me understand my role and accept it. I figured out a long time ago that I shouldn’t give God a target when it came to matters of the heart and mind; I was just setting myself up for more agony if I fixated on a particular outcome. I had to just be open to what the universe had to offer.

I prayed in the shower, on my way to work, in meetings, in the grocery, all the time asking God to wash away my prejudices and conceptions so that I could enjoy my family now.  I hoped to one day move back into prayer and solitude, but my family life was happening in the present and I wasn’t enjoying it. I couldn’t ask God to change my husband; that is not my right, I could only ask God to change me. I had bad church experiences and preconceived notions, it took months for me to relax. Yes, I did relax and I began having a good church experience.  There are flashbacks from the past but I have meet good people, sincere people and I thank God for showing me that I shouldn’t accept a bad experience as final and just move it to one side of my mind and lock it away.

God wants us to choose the best out of our best experiences. He took my mind’s worst case scenario and turned it around. I am still not sold on religion, but I am allowing myself to be genuinely impressed by what is impressive about it.

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Many Catholics and Christians heard and saw that Pope Benedict XVI resigned from a position that usually required death to come to an end. The world predicted doom and gloom; others felt he made a good decision due to his age while others are still waiting to weight in.  I am sure that there may have been other Popes who were as ill and did not resign and I am confident that the church, which is an empire in itself, would not be shaken to doom anytime soon.

This is a unique time in the history of the Church, I am not even sure people realize how unique it is. The Pope said he prayed and he believed that this was the right step for the church. He broke tradition, he shocked multitudes but he is walking by faith. That is by far the most powerful thing a man of God could say, “He prayed, he understood what God wanted him to do and he moved by faith”. For this I applaud him.

Men, even men of the Pope’s stature do not follow the will of God because of fear of what people will say, of breaking traditions. In a powerfully traditional atmosphere like the Vatican, the Pope said “he is moving by faith.” This is by far the most simple, yet most powerful principle of the Christianity; it’s the overarching theme of the bible.

I smile as I write these words.

A spiritual battle was won; no longer can Catholics be accused of not moving by faith. A battle of this magnitude, almost makes me uneasy but Pope Benedict XVI has set profound precedent and I am happy to be living in such times and look forward to seeing how this story unfolds.

www.marshagomes.com

Support Mom Entrepreneurs

ImageI launched Family Matters this year, and after completing a huge plan, I realized that this plan was leading me back to full-time employment. I felt deep in my bones that going back to the traditional office scenario wouldn’t make the cut for me. I wasn’t going to substitute what I left with some other unfulfilling notion of what my life should look like.

John Lennon said that when he was 5 years old his mother told him that happiness was the key to life. When he went to school, they asked him what I wanted to be when I grew up. He wrote ‘happy.’ They told him that he didn’t understand the assignment. They didn’t understand life.

I’ve read so many inspirational books, gone to too many inspirational speeches, I know that I have the answer, yet I am afraid to ask the hard questions – what will make me happy? (… and can I make a living doing it, yeah this question always sneaks in.) I then asked myself the ultimate question, if you were to die tomorrow which part of this plan would you regret not implementing?

There were three areas and only one was directly part of the magazines’ plan. A few years down the line, I had hope to dedicate my resources to giving mothers the confidence needed to start their own business and to reclaim their families by taking control of their time and finances. I believe that women are economic magicians, a force of nature whose role in building the economy is underestimated. I also believe that a woman provides an emotional glue that stabilizes her household, when you take away her ability to be an effective wife and mother, it has a rippling effect; a door is open to social ills in the society.

We have a society of women who grew up thinking that they have to choose between work and family to prove their worth. We’ve focused so much on the glass ceiling that our reflection is no longer unique. We all know that the women who leave at four every day to see about their families rarely get invited to the boardroom.

You know what I realized, I’m not interested in being invited to the boardroom anymore, I’m going to own the boardroom and I’ll at leave a 2:30. Without apology, I am going to pick up my child from school and make sure she gets home safe. I am going to reduce the odds of mischief, delinquency and waywardness, just like my mother did. You see our generation wasn’t a wiser generation or more well-mannered that this one, it’s just that we were supervised by our mothers in such a way that put the fear of God into us.  We knew very well that if we weren’t home at a certain time, she would be waiting by the corner to beat us straight home.

As a parent, I don’t mind burning the mid-night oil to get work done, I don’t clock off and neither should you. Technology has given us a gift to be able to communicate at any hour, let’s have a Skype meeting at 8:30 pm when our children are asleep to plan the next day.

I am a new age woman and I am ready for the next step, I am screaming for woman to claim the workplace on their terms, when are we going to tear down these imaginary walls of importance and focus on results.

I am not going to choose; I will have this cake and eat it too. I do hope that some people are worried when they read this article. The revolution is coming.

It is inevitable.

Join our FaceBook Group at Support Mom Entrepreneurs as we take the first step.

Support Mum Entrepreneurs (SME’s) is for mothers who want the flexibility to work while being able to care for their children. This group provides a marketing avenue for Mum Entrepreneurs as we share our products, services and events in support of each other. You will also be kept updated with business tips as we expand our reach into a free weekly e-newsletter to reach a larger forum.

The group is also open to friends and family of SME’s and potential SME’s.

No Business is too small or too big, so join us today.

Join our FaceBook Group at Support Mom Entrepreneurs

Are you the perfect parent?

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My daughter is my passion, there is a book entitled “I loved you before you were born’ and that describes my love for her. My husband and I aren’t young parents. Parenthood came in our thirties, at a time when we both were permanently employed, upstanding members of society. We are logical, mature and responsible and we both agreed that being a parent is extraordinary and trumps everything else.

Yet, I would have to say in my three years experience as a mother, I am definitely not in line to get the prize for mother of the year.

I came across a book of few days ago entitled “Sh*tty Moms” and I jumped. No one wants to be a sh*tty mom on purpose, against my indignation I read the description and realized that the name was really a pun of sorts. The book truthfully and openly shed light on the imperfection of the parenting experience, having not read the book myself; I refer you to quote by someone who has: The most inappropriate parenting book I’ve ever read. Loved it. The perfect book for any mother who wants to laugh instead of cry at those cringe-worthy moments and the universal indignities we experience on a daily basis.”

I spent the rest of the day thinking about my sh*tty mom moments which I will share with you. My daughter fell off the bed before she was one month old (and in her three years of life has hit the ground on a number of occasions); actually she fell off the banister just last week. I have used the Television to babysit and have a stash of $10 toys that I use for distraction and bribery, when all else fails Dora the Explorer does the job. I am horrible at discipline, (if it can’t maime her, I’ll probably let her try it). I will allow her to powder the entire house, if it means that I can get half an hour with a book.      

I remember leaving her with the powder one day and she skated straight into the kitchen cupboard (that was the end of the powder). Another day she was packing her tea-set into the oven (yes, the real oven in the kitchen) and somehow the stove fell over on her (that was also the end of playing in the oven).  

My husband has also had his sh*tty dad moment.

One day I was working late and I got a call which more or less went like this;

“Do you have the spare car key on you?”

My answer was yes. 

His reply was “Come now! I just locked Christiana in the car”.

I literally ran out the door. 

It took me 20 minutes to reach the grocery car-park, I was so angry but when I reached my husband was standing in the rain, leaning on the car window, reassuring my daughter that he was still there, trying to stop her from crying because she was safely buckled up in her car-seat. His face was morbid.

I didn’t say a word because I knew nothing I could say could make him feel worst.     

You must be saying by now, this poor child has lunatic parents. We don’t wake up in the morning with deliberate aspirations to screw up her life; I actually pray to be a good mother every single day and my husband prays even more than I do. I listen every morning for her to wake up and greet her with a smile to start the day; days are full of hugs and inhibitions and yet I have my sh*tty mom moments and cringe when I make a mistake.

Bill Cosby noted that “in spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck and, of course courage”.

My husband isn’t the type of man who waits for me to get anything done for our daughter, he cleans diapers, he gives baths, and he baby sits. In addition to that, he inspects, there has never been a scrap, a bounce or a mark on my daughter that has evaded his eyes which usually comes back to me with twenty questions. He isn’t rude about it but he asks. It is his responsibility to ask, his caution is so renowned that my mother usually says to my daughter “don’t do this to fall, for your father to come and ask questions.” 

That is why I cannot understand how a father living in the same house with the child would say he didn’t notice his child was being beaten. Even more heart wrenching is the fact that in the situation I am talking about, the child at age two, met her death at the hands of her own mother.

I have always been a fiercely independent person, very serious, very goal orientated. When I became pregnant my sister noted that it was the first time in all our years that she had ever seen me smile at nothing. As my body grew – my belly swelled and my feet grew a size – there was another kind of growing going on inside me, a deeper more determined growth. My heart was growing, my soul was finding humanity. I became more sympathetic to my co-workers, I started eating in the office kitchen at peak hours, I visited my parent more often, I called my siblings and I became a better wife.

The mere thought of this child brought unimagined joy, and it grew daily. When she was born I stayed awake for the next 48 hours (until I left the hospital), I was afraid that I would close my eyes and she just wouldn’t be there anymore. I love my husband, but this love was different it was fierce, protective, unrelenting, it was as if piece of my heart had walked out of my body into the world. It is only at that moment I truly understood how a man named Jesus could die on a cross for an undeserving world.

My daughter innocently ran out into the main road one evening and I was right behind her, I was perfectly aware that there may be oncoming traffic but I also resolved, in that split second that any traffic would have to hit me first. Motherhood is profound, the joy and sorrow of it is divine. Some of us are great mothers with natural ability, others like me are novices with all heart, who need to take it one day at a time and sad to say, some are so far off the path that the repercussions jolts society. I wish I would never hear about a child being beaten to death again which is the highest form of injustice because the victim has no defense.

I know that wishes without action or any plans usually bring no results. Our society is tearing apart at the level of the family. I would gladly pay more for gas, if it meant more family counselors and more family interventions. I would pay my own school fees if it meant a decrease in domestic violence and cruelty to children.

I don’t have much answers and I didn’t launch this Magazine because I am a guru on family matters but more so because I realized that I needed support and advice. There is so much that I don’t know, and if you know more than I do, then I will accept your help. Margaret Mead said that ‘nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.’ As parents we need to ask for help. Pride continues to be breed and harvested, communities no longer get involved and this has become the norm.

I sometimes wonder how younger mothers make out, who haven’t really grown into their own, who are single, whose parents aren’t still alive. I have a friend who works in Port of Spain and lives in Siparia; she has two children and leaves home at 4:30 a.m. and returns home by 7:00 p.m. I ask myself daily, how are parents and children surviving in Trinidad and Tobago?

Pride and economy is overpowering our convictions.

As a nation, I would like to see more red-flags, more opportunities for reform more family interventions. I am not a perfect mom and for every sh*tty moment I have, I have 10 great ones to replace it.

As parents let us learn to ask for help.

Let us make sure that our family adds value and we are not called upon to account for our children, be it dead or alive.