An Analysis of mothers’ perceptions of their children from the perspective of Wojtyla’s concept of child as a gift
Maingi, Caroline Shisubili
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In the African context, childbirth is highly valued and child bearing is perceived as a key element in social respect and hierarchy. This paper sought to investigate how mothers’ perceive their own children with regard to their socioeconomic conditions and find out the connection between socioeconomic factors and a mother’s appreciation of her child in the county of Nairobi, Kenya. Since great efforts are made to conceive a child, which manifests an awareness of the fact that to have a child is a gift, does a child still seem as a gift in the face of varying socioeconomic factors. The view of child as gift has significantly changed in modern society. In will further analyze a mother’s appreciation of her child in view of Wojtyla’s concept of person as a gift based on his phenomenological approach. The investigation utilized phenomenological methodology to form descriptive themes. Respondents were selected who self-identified as from three different socioeconomic backgrounds. These were young professional mothers, mothers from low income areas of Nairobi and mothers who have children with physical challenges in Nairobi city. Purposive sampling was used, employing maximum variation sampling method with a sample size of fifteen respondents which aims at capturing and describing the central theme. In-depth interviews were conducted using a set of questions that were applied in a flexible and individual manner. The data was interpreted using a 5 step method that included bracketing, delineating units of meaning, clustering themes, summarizing each interview and extracting general as well as unique themes and finally making a composite summary of the findings. While the results of the connection between a mother’s economic status and her appreciation of her child as a gift were highlighted, the findings revealed that despite the socioeconomic factors prevailing, mothers still considered their children as gift.