Mamas and Papas

Where did the year go? Why are we losing our children on our roads? Every week comes with its own shocking number?

Suddenly it’s September and soon it will be December again as we realise that we started in January with giant strides and within the blink of an eye, 2011 will be on its back.

This year was one of difficulties and challenges – nothing was easy. A global economic meltdown made working mamas and papas review their monthly expenses in all seriousness. Children lost their lives on public transport and women and children became daily casualties of civil wars, cancer and HIV-Aids. This should teach and serve as a reminder to many of us about “the imperatives of greatness”.

Friends from the Mamas & Papas magazine’s circle as well as some general readers (especially those who run their own businesses) shared with us some exciting insights. The recession was a financial management and savings crash course for them and their spouses.

My discussion with a few moms and dads who are expecting said it never stopped them from doing recreational activities. Some said recession or no recession, they wanted babies and would keep on trying. Some dads raised concerns around the issue of public school transport and private school transport.

I attended several birthday parties at the weekend and one of the burning concerns among parents was that of transporting children to school. One dad had to move his little four-year-old boy from a crowded Toyota Conquest that was transporting seven children to school every day as part of a lift club. The small ones were packed like sardines, with no safety belts or car seats. What does this say about us as parents and as society exposing our children to a dangerous situation? What happened to our conscience? What happened to law enforcement? Where are the school governing bodies? Where are the parents?

He decided to deal with the situation himself, but it’s not possible for all parents to go this route. It, therefore, is imperative that parents who can’t personally transport their children to school be certain and informed about the transport their kids use. It is the right of parents to scrutinise and demand to have access to registration documents and the status of the transport used.

For me, the fact that parents are contributing something towards the lift club to school is significant. There should be legislation around public school lifts and lift clubs, don’t you think? Surely all drivers of public and private school transport should have professional driving permits (PrDP). Have you discussed this with your school lift club friends, drivers and au pairs?

I’m one of those involved and worrying moms who check and double-check everything. It is always difficult for working parents. Some parents strive to create safe surroundings for their little ones. We are all they have to provide a net of safety for them. I refuse to compromise safety of children. Recession drove moms and dads to opt to work from home and this is the best way of ensuring that you take your own children to school.

The escalating road accidents compel us to start reflecting and engaging as society on the gaps and challenges of our roads and safety policy. Sometimes when you plan your life, you don’t think of any obstacles that might hinder you along the way, but this should not scare us from making a wish list for the looming festive season.

Law enforcement officers cannot be everywhere, hence the call to the public to take responsibility and work with the government and private sector in the effort to eradicate the road carnage.

Do you know the status of your child’s transport? Does your au pair have the PrDP?

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