Shakespeare to Horatio: ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’. Hamlet Act 1, scene 5
I was met this morning by the smile of young mother Annet, in office early, after she’d just had a baby girl named Kwera.
I then thought about my colleague Lilian, who’d just had baby Ineza too and who’ll be coming back to office one of these mornings, and Stella, who is here already, working, for IPAR after having baby Ngabo.
Then I thought of that Shakespeare’s quote: what can be so important in IPAR, in heaven and on earth, that would make these mothers leave their little angels at home and spend their days here?
I am seated next to Annet and she is on her phone, calling to find out if baby Kwera was bathed, if baby Kwera was fed. I can hear the emotions in her voice, and the sigh of a reassured mother, informed by the nanny that her three months baby is ok, but wishing she would rather be there, rather than here.
Indeed there is nothing to heaven and earth, nothing at all, than the baby at home…
In a perfect world, in a perfect Rwanda, a place where I am contemplating having babies of my own shortly… We would have baby rooms – crèches if you may; small corners where there’ll be a mini-cattle, a small bed and a small fridge, where baby Kwera can play with baby Ineza and baby Ngabo, as their nannies take turns to watch them;
So that their mothers; Stella, Lilian and Annet too, can play (work) with each other and with us all day, reassured.
So that their trips to breastfeeding can be more frequent, but less lengthy and tiresome;
so that their mind can be at peace, all day as they deliver for us too.
So that we, the uncles can take turns to change dippers, warm the milk and be sensitized about parenthood;
So that this world of men, can be fit for mothers and children, and not the other way round…