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Eloise wants to see project to teach teenage mothers

Eloise wants to see project to teach teenage mothers


Had it not been for the fact that all her children were born by Cesarean section, Eloise Gonsalves would have had more children. “My interest was half a dozen,” she said, admitting that she always had a strong maternal instinct.

Eloise, wife of Prime Minister Dr. The Honorable Ralph Gonsalves, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT recently and reflected on her role as a mother with her own special circumstances. The professional interior decorator described her pregnancies as challenging; during her first pregnancy she had the very dangerous pregnancy related condition, preeclampsia.{{more}}

Mrs. Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT that she always wanted to forget the pain, sleepless nights and other discomforts she went through during her pregnancies. “It is human nature to want to forget that part.”

Describing herself as having a keen sense of confidence now that she is in her 40s the mother of three said that the most important legacy that she wants to leave is that her children would know where they stood in her life. “I want them to know that they were always first priority.” The Gonsalves’ have three children Isis, (which means “Goddess of Love”) 15; Storm, 12 and their younger daughter Soleil, 9.

Prime Minister Gonsalves has two sons from his previous marriage and Eloise said that her role as stepmother has been easy because of the great attitude of her stepsons. “The children get along great with their big brothers,” she noted with pleasure, thankful that their family was able to avoid the trauma that sometimes accompanies families in similar circumstances.

Born in Trinidad, Eloise has lived in the Cameroons, Malawi, Guyana and Bahrain among other places. She told SEARCHLIGHT that unlike a lot of parents she doesn’t worry much about the lifelong choices that her children would make, especially that of choosing spouses.

“I try to instil a moral compass in them and sound judgment so that they would make the right decisions when the time comes,” she said, noting that she cannot live their lives for them.

“Isis hates being driven to school by her father in G 1” stated Mrs. Gonsalves referring to the Prime Minister’s official vehicle. She however added that her youngest daughter Soleil doesn’t mind the attention at all, “She loves it,” she said smiling.

And what about the picong that must come with being the children of such an outspoken and sometimes controversial political figure? Mrs. Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT that her children have proven themselves quite capable of handling themselves.

“We teach them to respect everyone’s views and they are also able to express their views.” She was, however, quick to admit that young Storm is sometimes quite upset when he hears anyone slander his dad.

When asked if she ever wished her husband was in another field, Eloise, who comes from a rich political heritage with her father being a founder of the Dominican Labour Party, and served in the failed Federation Movement among other outstanding achievements, told SEARCHLIGHT that her life had already been prepared for life in politics.

“The children were also part of this with us; they practically grew up in the back of a jeep.”

She told SEARCHLIGHT that she never thought of asking her husband to change careers because as she said, “He is passionate about politics” and so she sees her role as being supportive and holding the fort and looking out for him. This includes insisting that he eats well and gets his rest. “But he doesn’t rest enough and when he is out he messes up his diet,” said the concerned wife who also makes sure that she reminds him to “carve out private time for us.”

The rise in teenage pregnancy and the corresponding lack of parental guidance to the children born to these teenage mothers continue to concern the PM’s wife. She told SEARCHLIGHT that she would like to see a project established to teach teenage mothers “who are children themselves”. “They need guidance and support” ended Mrs. Gonsalves.

Mrs. Gonsalves is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a B.A (honors) in English and French Literature and also holds an Associate Degree in Fashion Design from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is the owner and manager of her interior decorating company “Caribbean Lifestyles”.