There is widespread belief in society that stepmothers are agents from hell. So many cases of these women mistreating their stepchildren or even killing them have been reported across the country.
However, Mary Wairimu is an indication that not all are wicked Victor Kinuthia has nothing, but praise for his stepmother. In fact, growing up, he would hear his friends who had stepmothers tell their horrible experiences of how they were being mistreated. He would silently thank God that his situation was different.
He lost his mother when he was only seven years old. At this age, he was too young to comprehend what the death of his mother meant. His sister, Phyllis Nyanjiru, was barely three years old.
Their father, Moses Maina, was heartbroken. He had been married for only eight years. The thought of raising the two children all by himself was overwhelming. Though he got support from his close relatives, this could not replace a mother’s or wife’s love.
After struggling to raise them for two years, Maina decided to get another wife who would help him raise the two children. He married Mary Wairimu whom he introduced to the children as another ’mum’. “I didn’t want my children to grow without a mother,” Maina adds.
Wairimu says when Maina approached her with the intention to marry her, she was in a dilemma. But after soul-searching she agreed to marry him.
At first, this was confusing to the children because they knew their biological mother though she had been ‘absent’ for too long.
However, yearning for the motherly love, the two were quick to embrace her and the daughter she had brought along. She showered them with so much love that they forgot all the sad memories of losing their mother.
“She treated us the way she treated her daughter. There was no discrimination. There was no single moment that I shed tears for being mistreated by my stepmother,” says Kinuthia.
His father also played a role in helping the children and step-mum interact, and in no time the bond between them grew stronger day by day.
“Anytime I asked my dad to get me something, he would send me to my stepmother. This helped us bond,” he recalls.
Wairimu was aware that people around her would talk about her marriage and mostly watch closely how she would treat the two children left behind by their mother. She prayed God to help her raise them as if they were her own.
She, however, says it was not a smooth ride and she had to strike a delicate balance between loving and disciplining them. “Whenever they were on the wrong, I would discipline all of them, including my daughter. I would then report to my husband when he got home. Their father was supportive and never at anytime did he complain that I was mistreating them,” she adds.
“I never saw Wairimu mistreat the children and this gave me comfort that they were in safe hands,” Maina says.
Despite the challenges, Warimu has never regretted. “Gong to bed every night knowing that you are loved by children who aren’t biologically yours is a great feeling,” she says.
Wairimu promised to support them achieve their dreams in life and she put all the efforts to make it happen. Kinuthia was passionate about singing, a talent his stepmother encouraged and nurtured.
Out of the love for his stepmother, Kinuthia has done a song for her to appreciate her. “The song, Maitu Munderi is dedicated to my stepmother for her angelic love she gave us from the time we were young until now,” he reveals.
“She is an outstanding woman with a golden heart and I believe she came to our lives with a purpose,” he adds.
He says this should also serve as a lesson to the stepmothers who mistreat stepchildren adding that no one chooses to lose their mother.
“It’s the desire of every child to be raised by their biological mother. But in the event that she dies, the other person who comes in to raise them should treat them well,” he concludes.