My life as a single mum has been quite busy, joyful but crazy too. I have had my share of lows and highs. I became a mum July 19 2008 to my precious Hamlet. A true Blessing. And raising him as a single parent has been quite interesting.
To begin with, in my culture, being un-married and with a kid is not without its hiccups. It was hard at first. I cared so much how people were going to perceive me. In my family, I was a shame. I had humiliated my family.
I was also very mad at myself for getting into this predicament. That is not how I had pictured myself. As a teenager, I had dreamed of meeting a good young man and getting married; big fat wedding and having kids. Living happily ever after :) Just like in all the books with "perfect love stories" I had read. Nope! That was not how it had happened. I had skipped a few steps and landed where I had not imagined.
Everyone pitied my mom. They kept murmuring and going about in whispers, "poor woman, her daughter is pregnant". I was sorry for me too. I practically hid from people. Once Hamlet was born, the first few months were not bearable. Everyone wanted to know where my son's dad was. I sometimes was not so nice in my responses to them.
The other cost of me being a single parent was the fact that I was now totally responsible for someone. I did not know what i was going to do. It was really hard. Aside from all the prejudice around me, it was difficult for me especially logistically taking on all responsibility single-handed.
Even as i think about these things, I have to state that having Hamlet was the most beautiful thing that had happened to me. He is a Joy.
Coming back to the cultural perspective, as a single mum there is so much I have had to deal with. My dad asked me why i did not take my son to the grand mom so that I could increase my chances of finding a mate. Apparently to him, Hamlet is the reason I never get time to meet possible suitors or the reason guys are afraid to approach me. My uncle made even a more ridiculous suggestion. That I should leave Hamlet with the grandma and when I meet a good guy willing to marry me, I do not disclose that I have a kid until we are married and then I tell him. Where do people get such thoughts??? My son is a Blessing. He is not a hindrance to me in any way. I had to tell both my dad and Uncle that whatever they thought was crazy.
But that is the world we live in. As a single mum, there is always going to be someone that thinks less of you. I just had to accept who I am. It is not easy but God has shown me daily that I matter to him even now as a single mom.
A friend (who is a Christian) told me that he could never marry a woman with a kid. That he wouldn't take on another person's responsibility. Even in the church, there is prejudice!
When all is said and done, being a single mum is truly a learning journey for me. God has taught me a lot. I have learned to rely and depend on him. Through sleepless nights, through scarcity, frustrations, I have learned to depend on him. I have also learned that if God picks a good man for me, it won’t matter to him that I have a kid.
The challenges are still present, but it is easier now that I gave my life to Christ (4 months after Hamlet was born). It keeps getting easier.