Motherhood is one of the hardest things many women will ever do, but it can be especially harder for single women who have to raise their adorable ones on their own, with little or no support from the father of their children.
In celebration of the Mother’s Day, we asked some single mothers how they raise their adorable ones despite the challenges.
In a chat with Sola Abe for woman.ng, these three single mothers speak on the challenges they face and how they overcome them.
My name is Wendy Ohene-Karikari. I am a single mother to an adorable 2 year old. My baby’s name is Nhyira, which means, Blessing. I named her Blessing because that is exactly what she has been to me.
Her dad walked out of our lives because I refused to abort her and God has been our provider and he has been amazing. I have the world’s best supportive mother and extremely wonderful family members who have been there for my daughter and I.
I found out I was pregnant during my final semester in the university. At first, when I told my baby’s dad, his response was that if the pregnancy is confirmed, we would keep the baby and raise it together. But after it was confirmed, it was a different story all together. He insisted I aborted it but I refused and he walked out on us.
I must say it wasn’t easy being in my final year, doing my final project and also my youth service and being pregnant at the same time. My relationship with my mom wasn’t that okay and I couldn’t confide in my dad who lives abroad with my step- mom. I had to keep everything to myself and hoped for the best. I had the biggest smile yet my pillow was always soaked with tears every evening.
So many days I had to go hungry so I could save enough for my hospital bills. I came open to my parents in my fifth month and my mom broke down because I looked so disturbed and unkempt. It took my dad several months to come to terms with what I told him. I went through so much depression that I had my baby before time.
First of all, the little gossips from people around is enough to kill you emotionally. The way people look at you when you are pregnant and not being married is like you committed the world’s biggest crime. Even though pre-marital sex is widely talked against, the harm has already been done and you are about giving life to a human being .
Also being a single mother is emotionally draining. You will mostly have to dedicate all your time to your little one and with that forget totally about yourself. Like my mom always says no one can take care of your child the way you would. In my case, my daughter had a problem with eating. You would have to sing all the songs you can think of and trust me, no one will have that much time for her.
It’s financially draining unlike having both parents who take part in providing for the child.
Your social life also comes to a halt. I have a child who falls sick whenever she is surrounded with many people so I have no other option than to stay home.
It’s amazing how men think because you are a single mom they can misbehave towards you and you should still stay with them because you are privileged to have them. I remember one of my conversations with my child’s father after my delivery I got angry with him for not taking responsibilities to father his baby and he told me if I needed him around I should mind the way I talk to him. I was like really? I’d never beg a man to take up his responsibilities.
It took a lot of effort, strength and counselling to get through everything. I had the love and support of my family. I also stumbled upon a meme that read “You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.” I realized that this is my situation and I had to stay strong for my little one because I am all she has.
Also, my mum’s friend who had been married for 10 years without an issue spoke to me and made me know how blessed I was, she had been paying huge amounts of money on fertility treatments I didn’t have to pay anything, God gave it to me freely.
Also during my pregnancy I realized so many things about myself that I didn’t know existed. I realized it was a wake up call for me that I had to take extra good care of myself and also sensitize people about so many things that exists in our body.
I made myself understand that I was going through all this because someday one young lady will need me to be there for her so I needed to go through all the stress and pain so I could hold their hands and tell them to count on me.
My God is amazing. He gave me so much strength I didn’t even know I had. I was going through so much yet I had the biggest smile. My close friends were asking me how come you are going through so much yet you smile. I always tell them its God.
My name is Gold Onunyere. I’m a single mother of a 10 year old boy. I am an entrepreneur. I sell hair extensions and hair products. I also produce some myself. I am into catering and making plans to add fashion to my list of “hand work”.
The number one challenge I face, even now, is raising a child all alone. It is not easy at all especially as the child grows older, your expenses increases.
My parents help me sometimes, but, it’s still not enough, because raising a child comprises of your financial capability.
Yes! Everything is about money
As an entrepreneur, the cash flow isn’t constant. Sometimes, you make good sales and sometimes, there is “bad market”. At that point, I get depressed because I have already made a list of what the money will be used for,which brings set back if it doesn’t work out.
Secondly, no matter how strong we claim to be, we also need someone to share our emotions with. What I’m trying to say is, when there is no one who has a shoulder you can lean on except your pillow, its sometimes depressing.
I didn’t have my own life until my son was 6years old. Zero social life, zero support it was just all about him all through. Even if I was invited for any thing I need to take him along, never had “Gold time”.
First, I will say God’s Grace. Because honestly, I haven’t fully recovered. I am always happy and encouraged to move further when I look at my son and his hyperactive life.
I keep learning new things, both physical and online training to improve myself in my current business and also new business (s) I may want to venture into.
And of course, when you know there is someone looking up to you for everything, I can’t fold my arms doing nothing, so I push more to improve more and achieve more.
The challenge of having a partner will be sorted out by God himself. I can’t do that by myself.
I am Olaide Kofoworola , I’m a fashion Enthusiast (Designer) and my son’s name is Oluwajomiloju, a three-year old.
hmm… I’d just say with God , I won’t address this as challenges.. but if I’m to go into this question, I’d talk about the fact that sometimes you can be financial troubled, or cases where you wonder if you can actually get a single guy to understand not all single moms had a bad past.
Overcoming the challenges
It’s simple .. I focus on myself and my son, more on my work and how to be a better person.. every other thing will follow.