ALL THE SINGLE MUMS
When a woman gets the itch for motherhood, nothing in the world can ever stop it. It is about the only itch that's so exciting, and which leaves you with a tingling feeling that only a woman that has experienced it can truly describe. It is simply lovely. All over the world, thousands of women have been responding to this particular itch like crazy.
Being a single mother is also gradually becoming commonplace. You would hardly find anybody frowning at a woman who opts to become a single mom rather than abort a would-be-precious baby fathered by a man whose head is screwed on wrong, and is reluctant to settle down and be a responsible father. That's why today, a growing number Nigerian upwardly mobile ladies (yummies) who feel they can take care of a child no longer care about waiting endlessly for a man to walk them down the aisle before they begin experiencing the joys or rising to the challenges of motherhood.
Take the case of Ebun (not her real name), a deputy manager in a leading advertising agency who dated a banking executive. Ebun's 'sweetheart' had promised marriage and along the line, she got pregnant, after a particularly raunchy Valentine weekend. Soon as he heard the 'P' word, Mr. Loverboy told her to terminate the pregnancy. At 34, that was quite a tall order for Ebun. She weighed the options and told Loverboy to take a hike, which he gladly did and the relationship ended. Ebun dusted off the disappointment and became a single mother.
Like a two-sided coin, single motherhood comes with its challenges. It is a story best told by women who are single mother. Excerpts…
Stella Monye – Musician
What of widows, do we call them single women? Widows have lost their husbands. You have women that are married yet they are the ones doing everything in the house. They are semi-single married women. Life is very complicated. Single motherhood is what people make out of it. These days, single motherhood comes in different shapes. If you are a full-grown person whether you are single or married, if you have Jesus in your life you are covered. That is my own strong belief. How many very positive marriages do we have?
Sometimes, whenever I'm alone depending on how you enjoy yourself, if you are alone you are quick to perform because the men become the shore in their own world. Some women say they don't have someone to talk to every night or someone cuddling them in bed, it is not everybody that likes people hopping into their bed. Like I have always said, if I get married today, my husband is going to have his own room. I won't have him coming to jump on my bed every night. It depends on the individual really. Single motherhood is bad for some people and it's okay for some but those who are reasonable, those who have good jobs or good means of livelihood know how to go about it. If you were a widow, how would you take care of your child alone? Everything is based on the grace of God.
Coping financially is by the grace of God. Grace is everything, if you hang your trust on Jesus Christ you'll be fulfilled all round. Once you are sitting on the laps of Jesus you won't have any problem. I know a lot of married women in my area who come to ask for assistance from me. Some of them ask for their children's school fees or foodstuff and they are living with a man as a married couple.
Life is very complicated, there is nothing like single motherhood. Single motherhood is what people make out of it. Some are single and fulfilled and you can be married and still not be fulfilled, so life is all encompassing. If you are earning well, you can take care of yourself, go to wherever you want to go, do whatever you want to do, so what the heck. It actually depends on what you call single motherhood.
Emotionally, it depends on what you make out of it; maybe you want somebody jumping into your bed anytime or maybe you need a husband figure that can talk to your children so that they can become better people. When you were born God put a divine pointer. It doesn't matter whether you and your husband are doting on the boy or the boy loving you that will make him to become a better person. I have seen children of reverend pastors becoming armed robbers. As for me, I am having a good time, I don't know about other people. I wake up the time I want to wake up; I go wherever I want to go and all that. If I have a guy in my life and he is not doing anything, not paying the bills and I'm the one paying his bills what difference does it make?
Bola Awosika – Businesswoman
In Nigeria, fortunately for the Yoruba it's really no big deal but for the Ibo, I don't think it is part of their culture. I think as a single parent they have some cultural things they do - the man has to pay your dowry for the child to bear his name. For the Hausa, single motherhood is an abomination. In the south, I would say it is something that has been in existence for a long time. Different people get to become single parents because of different reasons, so I won't go into why I am a single parent. It has the beautiful and the difficult parts. Every child needs a father and a mother. It is an experience I love. I love my daughter dearly, and I will do it all over again. I think that is the situation with most single parents. Really in life you have the sweet and the bitter part, sometimes it will be bitter, sometimes it will be sweet. Life generally is like that. So I'm a single parent, I hope to settle down in the very nearest future.
Azuka Ogujiuba- Journalist
I don't know about any other person, but my own child does not lack anything financially. The only thing is that I'm not married to the father of my child. But I give God the glory because God has been faithful to me. My daughter has never lacked anything. Whatever it takes to make a child happy, I can tell that I am providing it to make life comfortable for my daughter. She talks to her father on the phone because her dad is not around here. Initially I was sad about the pregnancy; it was a shock to me because I was thinking of what people would say, and what my immediate family members would say, the condemnation and all that. But I was very lucky that everybody accepted me. I mean, I'm a catholic and my religion forbids abortion.
Oluwatosin Adeyemi - Media Practitioner
I didn't actually set out to become a single mother but death made me one. I had my child (son) and one year and five months after, I became a single mother, even when the child could barely recognise his father. Every member of the man's family was practically concerned about what he left behind and in fact asked me to choose one thing that I cherished the most. I chose my son and from that day, he became my responsibility. The boy is now almost 20 years.
He went to one of the best schools, Abiola International, without any help from his father's relatives. Though it wasn't easy to make ends meet, but with God, I was able to fend for him till 10 years after that I remarried. Marriage was initially not easy for any guy that came my way. I always flaunted the card that I had had a son before, so that he could prepare his mind to either accept me and my son or forget about me. This, never worked well with my relationship yet, I refused to hide my son because he wasn't a plague. At last, I got a man who was willing to take my son as his own. In fact, he became the father figure, which my son hardly had. He took over his responsibility.
Dayo Babatunde, ex-Model and designer
I'm single and I have a son. I'm working on a programme called single parenting. I'm a single parent and I know what single parents are going through. I have decided on my own to do a TV talk show on single parenting. It is not easy what single parents are going through. I want to use the medium to correct issues and get organizations to support single parenting.