Marcia, while working on her documentary on – SINGLE MOTHERHOOD, CAUSES, PAINS, GAINS AND EFFECTS – happened on the realisation that outside of widowhood and divorce, an appreciable number of single mothers exist as a matter of choice. The choice is often a result of experiences and with the kind permission of three such successful ladies, she shares their stories.
Nadu grew up in a middle-class home where her father was the typical Alpha male, Lording it over the family and more specifically, his wife. The emotional and sometimes physical abuse was palpable and Nadu grew up believing, she would never be found near an Alpha male. When she was thirteen, a pretty girl who looked more mature than her age was sexually assaulted and raped at a school friend’s house. As is typical with most rape victims, she was too ashamed to report the incident. Besides, who would she tell and to what intent? Her father whom she feared and expected would blame her and increase the trauma, or her mother who was already battling with her own trauma from her marriage? Why increase her pain? She decided to bottle up the pain and deepen her resolve to sideline the masculine gender. She had formed an undesirable opinion about that. However, fresh out of the University at age 22, she came across Benji who swept her off her feet. Her resolve to keep away from men was cast aside and she fell in love building the sentimental fairy tale of getting married and living happily ever after. Benji continued to goad her and lead her on in that dream but the dream was rudely shattered when she learnt, two years down the road, that he was getting married to her friend – Kas. The shock was the final stab that severed all thought of marriage but she desired a child. She then decided she would use a sperm bank as she did not want anything to do with men anymore and would rather not have physical contact with the father of her child. She ends her story with “what you do not know does not hurt you”.
Eli on the other hand was at the point of marriage when disaster struck. A life-changing disaster that shaped her future. It was her wedding day and Quashie had called her to reassure her of his undying love and that he would be waiting for her at the Cathedral. Knowing her penchant for lateness, he pleaded with her to be on time and ended the conversation with his usual “I love you die”. She hurried up with her dress and arrived at the church on time. After a one-hour uncomfortable wait in which she constantly chimed “something must have happened to Quashie” she was taken into an anteroom and sedated. When she woke up, she was informed that Quashie’s car had been involved in an accident and he was in critical condition in the Emergency room of the teaching hospital. Without changing her clothes, she hurried to the hospital in her wedding gown and managed to express her undying love to him before he closed his eyes in death. Shortly after, she realised she was pregnant and vowed to take care of their love child without any interference. She decided to raise Kobina alone.
Efe on her part was from a financially disadvantaged background and struggled to see herself through school. While in the University, she came across Chief, a married businessman who helped sponsor her education. In the course of their relationship, she fell in love with him but Chief had told her that his marriage was sacrosanct and could not be disturbed. She agreed to honour his wishes by remaining in the background. That has worked out for her.
It is important to note that the reasons for single parenting are as varied as the experiences and circumstances in which individuals find themselves and no single cap fits all. Regardless of the reason or cause for becoming a single parent the reality is that society has a significant number of single mothers and their roles, concerns, challenges and contributions should be acknowledged and accepted. The status of single mothers should not be viewed in a derogatory light but rather, appreciated especially as a number of them have distinguished themselves and continue to play a laudable role in both society and the lives of the children they raise. It is important to note that we are shaped by and are products of our environment, our experiences and our values.
2 thoughts on “SINGLE PARENTING – THE BANE, THE PAIN AND THE GAIN”
Very interesting perspectives on single parenthood. For many, The attraction of Single parenting may be that the parent involved has no stress of coping with another individual. Life however was never meant to be lived in a vaccum. We are all required to develop survival skills to be able to be successful in all spheres in a highly competitive world. The reality is that Children grow up from being adorable babies to teens and adults with peculiar challenges. and so one must prepare for the challenges of the different stages. Nadu in particular would need to prepare herself for the ruthless interrogation and judgement of the teen years, Best Regards
Thanks ma. Very frank comment because from the perspective of the children, questions will be asked.