Q: I am 26 years old and pregnant with my first child and I’m a fulltime university student in Gauteng. My baby is due end November and I will have to leave her at home in Limpopo next year for my final year at university. How do I make sure that my baby is well taken care of and how do I promote a mother-and-child bond from such a distance and with school work as well? There has to be a way. Please help!
A: Tina says: Unfortunately there is no easy answer to your question. Do you have family in Limpopo that you trust to take good care of your baby? Leaving your baby in the care of someone else is hard, because it feels as if no one can look after your baby as well as you can. Whenever you can, get back to Limpopo to visit your child so that she know you and remembers you. Leave photographs of yourself for your family to show her and keep a photo of her with you. This is going to be a tremendous challenge for you and you must make sure you work hard so that you pass your exams and make a better life for yourself and your child. Don’t feel alone – women all over the world feel like you do and they manage to raise wonderful children who appreciate the many sacrifices that their mothers make in order to forge a better life path for their families. It sounds as if you are one of those strong, caring women who want to make a difference in this world. There is always going to be a trade-off with certain situations in your life. Getting an education is your ticket to a better life, but your trade-off now means that you will be away from your daughter for periods of time. Write to her, phone her when she gets bigger and see her whenever you can.