I am a single Mom.Not by choice.If I had my way,I would have my children brought up in a nice,cosy family set up where Mum and Dad and kids live happily ever after.Fact or fiction?For ages, single parents have been blamed for a lot of things that go wrong in society.Children brought up by single mothers are said to be culprits in almost every wrong done.Crime rate goes up..oh yeah blame it on the kids down the street with no known father.They must be the ones!A husband with a roving eye winks at the single mother next door,by all means, knock down her door with a group of chama women and tell her in no uncertain terms to lay off your darling ‘hubbies’.Being single automatically labels you as the husband snatcher because clearly you ain’t got no man of your own, you gotta be desperate..huh?
Reminds me of an incident few months ago which I shared with a couple of my girlfriends and we had a good laugh about it..but after it had annoyed me to no end.So I love cooking and my pal Yvonne, her Mom and I were actually thinking of setting up an outside catering thingy.We’d been doing a few stints here and there and we’d get referrals to friends.So those who know me, know I am well endowed(*whispers conspiratorially* I am still investigating my ethnicity *wink*) and so we get these stints, do them really well and the mamas are happy..or so we think.So one day they just stop.Yvonne’s Mom wonders what’s going on and since they are her pals and she knows for a fact they still have functions that they should be asking us to cook for.So she asks around and one Mama pulls her aside and tells her,
“Mama Yvonne, these Mamas are afraid.”
“Afraid?Of what?exclaims Mama Yvonne
Afraid of that partner of yours with the big hips.”she whispers in her ear
“Wha…what???Why?How?What did she do? This is very puzzling indeed!”
“Its not what she did,but what she MIGHT do,”comes the reply
Mama Yvonne is now getting rather pissed off.
“Could you just tell me what in God’s name you are talking about?”
The lady coughs and looks away,embarrassed.
“Well,she IS single and the rest of the ladies agreed that she is a threat.She keeps coming round to our houses,our husbands are bound to see her and we are done for.We can’t compete with those hips…you are a woman,you know how it is…” she stops talking when she sees the look on Mama Yvonne’s face.
And thus the mystery was solved!I was livid is to understate it a bit.
I have a raging temper and do not suffer fools gladly.I wanted to find that Mama, give her a piece of my mind and then some, then tell her to relay a message..”Y’all can go jump off the nearest cliff” and throw in a quote from Mark Twain for good measure(Ok I am just being vain)”Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please” Haha anyway…
Bless Yvonne and her Mum,because clearly I am not a very level headed person when angry and after I calmed down, it was actually really funny that a bunch of Mamas could be so insecure as to try and shield their husbands from what they termed as ‘temptation.’And so I wondered,why blame me for something I have no control over?I cannot control how I look,neither can I control their husbands from looking..and neither can they…not unless they blind the poor men or at best, imprison them, so the only recourse they have?Blame those darn single women!Darn them to hell!accuse them of every wrong that happens in your marriage.Blame her for being the MWK(Mpango wa Kando aka concubine aka kept woman) Blame her for taking better(in which case better is relative) care of your husband and spending his money better!By all means blame her for your receding hairline,your expanding waistline, your cholesterol level.Blame that single woman for just about every ill in the society.Heck, blame her even for global warming and poverty while at it! Don’t apportion blame to your angelic husband at all.He of: “It wasn’t my fault,she seduced me,” or “The devil tempted me”Go on ahead and take him to church for deliverance, but you need to also pray for yours while at it- deliverance from being an egotistical,bigot who needs a wake up call to reality.
The reality is, that man you are trying so hard to smother and ‘protect’ may one day decide to take off and abandon you and your kids,or worst case scenario..he may die and leave you a widow.That technically makes you single.What was that again you said about single women? Methinks today’s society is too judgmental and as Confucius, the famous Chinese Philosopher said “It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.”Little wonder then,people love hating on others,but methinks people hate what they do not understand.
Many women stay in abusive marriages for the sake of appearances,preferring to bring up children in less than ideal circumstances for the sake of putting up a united front,yet in the cover of darkness and behind closed doors they are suffering and crying bitterly.Their kids grow up traumatised and almost by default, the boys most often than not grow into abusers and the girls get abused in their relationships.This is not always the case though and I have great respect for single parents,majority being women,but we have the occasional fathers bringing up their kids singlehandedly and I applaud them.I have two girls,not so bad because I can relate with their issues.The biggest problems for me as a single mother bringing up a son are: how do I bring up my son to be a man to be reckoned with?I can teach him to respect women and every other conceivable thing about life,but how do I teach him to be a man?How do I teach him about things I have no idea about?
When he asks abut girls and sex when he is of age,what do I know about those things from a man’s perspective?I may read about them, but can never fully grasp the true meaning because I can never experience them,and the same goes to that single father raising a daughter.We cannot control what our kids do when they fly the coop.We can only impart our knowledge and instill good values and pray that what you taught them is enough for them to survive out there, and for single parents its especially hard.We are harder on our kids and push them more.I have to be both the father and mother so I have to up my game.I had a rough time with my girls,but I am proud to say I did it!I have been judge,jury executioner,friend and foe.We have laughed,cried and danced.I am the hip mom (pun definitely not intended)who allows them to experiment within reason,teaches them to follow their heart and we are happy with things as they are. Kudos to all single parents out there.The journey is long and the road narrow,but in the face of insurmountable odds,we forge ahead and do what needs to be done.And for those ostracizing us for being single,some are single by choice, others through no fault of their own.Spare a thought for that woman struggling to bring up four kids because her husband decided he no longer has time for them,spare a thought for that Dad struggling to dress his girl for school because the house help fled or does not want to work for a single man.In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” The task must be achieved! Aluta continua!
“Your children are not your children,they are the sons & daughter’s of life’s longing for itself.They come through you but not from you..and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts,for they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,which you cannot visit,not even in your dreams…” Khalil Gibran