Tue | Jul 23, 2019

Tracey-Ann Wilson is a mother, educator, head cook and bottle washer

Published:Saturday | May 25, 2019 | 12:17 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Tracey Ann-Wilson with her daughter, Abigail; son, Aaron; and husband, David.
Tracey Ann-Wilson with her daughter, Abigail; son, Aaron; and husband, David.

Mandeville, Manchester:

The elder of twins by just 15 minutes, Tracey-Ann Wilson came into the world powerfully 44 years ago and has not lost an ounce of spark since.

The mother of two and educator for 21 years describes herself as the housekeeper, painter, decorator, mason, groundsman and all-around ‘head cook and bottle washer’ who knew it best to have her children seven years apart so she could function at her best.

“I have been a working mother for all of my years in the teaching profession. I had my first child after three years of teaching and my second child after 10 years. So I have always been a teacher and a mother. The balancing act has been a lifelong task and one that so many mothers have embraced and have committed to being the best for their children at home and at school,” she said.

Having begun in private tutoring, Wilson, over the years, was able to enter into both secondary and primary education.

“In the secondary-school system, I taught for 19 years. During this time, I was a diploma-trained teacher. I was later accepted to Northern Caribbean University, where I completed my degree in secondary education with honours. This was accomplished while working and being there for my husband and children. I also completed a bachelors’ degree in primary education at The University of the West Indies in 2018. I am now a teacher of the primary education for two years and counting.

“This unique skill in being a trained secondary and primary teacher has allowed me to see the differences and similarities with both aspects of education.”

Strength of character

Believing that strength of character is determined by the everyday miracles of sharing one’s time, love and even resources with others, particularly family, Wilson says organisation, inspiration from God and an attitude of ‘stick-to-itiveness’ make her life possible.

“Every day, there is the usual 4 a.m. wake-up for personal devotion. This provides the fuel to tackle the day. After [that], there is cooking, which is often breakfast and lunch. My husband and I live a pescatarian/vegetarian lifestyle, so in order to eat healthily and economically, it is prudent to prepare our meals. We then have family worship, and everyone then prepares for the day. On the days I exercise, I wake up at 3:30 a.m. in the morning to fit it in after my personal devotions. Then I am usually out of the house by 6:30 a.m. I have a 30-minute commute to work, where I usually catch up with my son and just take some time to think.”

These activities precede her challenging job as a teacher and weekends that are filled with just as many activities.

“Key to being a working mother is organisation; tasks cannot be left to the appointed time. There must be a plan days or weeks before the task is required. If lesson plans should go in by Monday morning of every week, they must be written by Thursday of the previous week. Outfits for the upcoming week, such as uniforms and clothing for Sabbath worship, must be prepared. Planning and organisation are necessary as the home responsibilities are carried out by myself, my husband and my daughter.

“I am involved in church and outreach activities, which helps in giving my life meaning and purpose. The feeling that you receive by helping someone who is down and out is truly transformational. I simply make time for family, work and other activities because in contributing, I can live a full and meaningful life.”

But when does Wilson make time for herself?

“I like to read spiritual books or motivational materials. I read during break time, lunchtime, while travelling on public transportation, and before bed. I like to visit the beach with family and friends, and I like to travel and visit new places, whether locally or overseas. If I were to choose one thing that I consistently do for fun and relaxation, that would be watching something interesting on the Internet, especially with my children. I know most of the animated movies for children, and we have fun laughing and watching these movies together.”

Wilson holds firm to the idea that time lost cannot be regained, and so she treasures the time she has with loved ones.

“Time is a valuable and necessary resource, and with the recent passing of my mother, I have realised quite vividly how we should make time to enjoy life, time to contribute, and foremost, time to serve God. The days, weeks and even years of being there for my children will never be repeated as they are growing older – and so am I. I have learnt to take chances and be willing to give my all and value the persons who I love and care about.”