I struggled as a young mother
Posted Saturday, March 9 2013 at 00:00
Having had her first child during her Senior Four vacation, Prossy Musoke Mayanja, a mother of eight, among them popular musician Joseph Mayanja (Dr Chameleone), admits to Stella Nakakande she was unprepared for the task ahead.
I gave birth to my first child, a boy in 1972, when I was only 20 years old. I was not through with school and had only recently finished my Senior Four at City High School. I was not prepared for this child. My husband, Mr Mayanja, was only 24 at the time, working with Coffee Marketing Board.
When I got pregnant during my vacation, my parents, of course, were disappointed but they said if I wanted to, they would take me back to school. When the baby turned one year, I went to Nakawa UCC to study a certificate in Accounts for two years. I had my second child when I was finishing Nakawa.
I had kept in touch with my husband. I was lucky my parents and husband helped out with the baby.
It was not easy keeping jobs
At the time, I had no family planning knowledge, so, I just kept having children, which made having a job difficult. After the second born, I had my third child after two years, the fourth (Chameleon) after another two and another after one year.
I had to take care of the children. It was tedious. The nuns at the time were not so keen on maternity leave, especially when it happened so often. I stopped working in Nsambya Hospital after an incident at home.
At the time we did not have phones, so someone was sent to me to tell me that one of my children (the fourth) while trying to cut down jackfruit from a tree had pierced the younger one with a panga. I quit my job.
We struggled financially
My husband was trading lots of things from rice to sugar in Nairobi. We had come to the realisation that the office job was not enough. So he used to do this over the weekend. It is only after then that our lives improved.
Money was not easy at all. This was the time Idi Amin chased away the Indians. Everything was lost, a mother could not even find a mattress for their child and the salary was not enough. After the five children, I stopped for a while because I had been introduced to family planning.
I stopped for about six years and then I had my sixth child (Weasel) and then the seventh after one year and the last (AK-47) after three years.
Comparing the experiences
At 20, my labour was easy; all my births were easy and normal delivery. I was a natural mother right from the very start because I had always taken care of my siblings. I even do it right now in my old age.
Later on, I went to work in a shop in 2001. I sold jewellery until I also gave this up in 2006, when there was no longer need to hustle.