In her essay 7 Survival Tips for Single Parents, freelance writer Evonne Lack notes that raising a child is like an ocean voyage – full of raging storms, rough waves, and occasional sunny tranquility. “It’s hard enough with a partner, but when you’re doing it alone, the difficulty rises to a whole new level.” The Nairobian looks at common trends and behavious among city’s single mothers.
1. Bold and beautiful
A good number of single mums in Nairobi are endowed with exceptional beauty compared to their village counterparts. In fact, study has it that a number of them tend to surpass their prenatal beauty. And we celebrate your frankness. No beating about the bush.
2. Off the race
Though they may not be out of the dating game completely, motherhood matures women. They no long hop from one party to another and ‘competitive’ dating takes a back seat. They are more responsible and focused – at least most are.
3. Still Miss Independent
Whether single by choice or circumstance, some toto mamas opt for a hardliner’s stand in life and wear the Miss Independent badge with honour. They are the type that brook no nonsense. Sadly, sometimes the Miss Independent game has no medals.
4. Clinging to bitterness
Bitterness can be her middle name as she might become rancorous at everything and everyone. But that ‘pig’ or ‘dog’ as they call them, would have moved on. Sweetie, please let go and live your life.
It’s a given that you are easy to date, responsible and mature. But please, please we beg; don’t lie about how you got the brat. And we know you are not being honest when you say you don’t envy the happily married. Why then do some of you try to pinch other people’s hubbies?
6. Kids as ATM cards
It’s sad when the kid has to be a meal ticket, a pawn in a game whose only objective is to milk the baby daddy of as much cash as possible. And when all fails, the Children’s Court card is played, or a threat to storm the man’s HR office and have his salary attached is issued. Yes, the father must take responsibility, but you don’t have to extort him.
7. Out of bounds
You must have heard the “I don’t allow men into my son’s life” sad story. Fair enough sister, but why are you stalking the men, some of them with kids too. Or you don’t mind ‘being allowed’ in those kids’ lives?
8. The desperate one
You may revel in your independence, but we know you get desperate and panic at times. You know, those times when you silently sniffle in your bedroom during trying financial times and worries of the future and upbringing of the kid into a responsible adult. Then there are those lonely nights, yes, those long, cold and dark nights.