Single Mothers are Fathers Too

Recently on one of the social media sites I belong to there was a debate with regards to how Fathers Day was turning into a day not only to celebrate fathers but also to celebrate single mothers. 

Apparently a group of people were pissed at the women usurping the day for honoring fathers and claimed that women had already had a day dedicated to them and as such didn’t need another day, which wasn’t theirs anyways to take over and overshadow their male counterparts. 

But truth be told don’t these women deserve more than just a mothers day? It’s fast becoming a global phenomenon where there is an increase in single parenthood. This phenomenon has been under study for a while now among other phenomena. It’s has become increasingly apparent that there are more female single parents than there are men. 

Research has tried to find the cause of this increasing phenomenon but the reasons are many and varied. For me, it all boils down to the African proverb that only a mother knows the true father of her child.

Definitely a mother conceives the child and carries it to term in nine months and as such develops that bond with the child. A father is said only to contribute his sperm to the union and he gets to choose whether to be a part of the child’s life or not.

The mother has no choice but to raise the child on her own and by any means necessary. Raising a child alone in this modern world is not going to be easy especially since it’s apparent modern day children are intelligent beyond their years and coupled with the sort of influences they encounter, a parent has an onerous task of trying to mold the child in any particular way.

Talking to a couple of single mothers and listening to their stories shows that it’s not an easy road raising an African child. African children, unlike western children, are raised communally. It’s only recently that the western way of raising children is creeping into the cosmopolitan aspect of our society especially in our capitals. Could this be because of the influence of the returnees and expatriates? That’s not the subject of this write up.

Between rising exorbitant education costs, feeding costs and taking care of the needs of the children, single mothers have to find a means of livelihood to pay these bills whilst taking care of themselves too. It is here that if your support system is not working then a single mother is done in for.

Support system comes usually in the form of maternal relatives usually the child’s retired grandmother who gives care so the mother can go about her daily activities.

One is tempted to ask where the fathers of the children are in such in a situation but then I mentioned earlier that fathers can choose to be part of their children’s lives or not. Some fathers will be concerned about the lives of their children and would want to support whilst others wouldn’t take any interest because they didn’t want the children in the first place (one of the reasons).

So well kudos to those responsible fathers who against all the odds take their responsibilities to their children seriously and also to all the single male parents out there for doing right by their children.

But it is important that we also acknowledge the efforts of the many single mothers who act in the capacity and roles of both mother and father in their children’s lives and even if they have to piggyback on the world day reserved for fathers then so be it.

I believe for their efforts they deserve it and to acknowledge them won’t change their gender into fathers, they are still women and they always have a special place in our hearts.

Africa needs more responsible men and since the family is the basic unit of society, it is important that more and more people own up to their responsibilities in taking up to bringing up our future leaders. African children are a communal responsibility and one person’s child is your child too. We all men are fathers whether biological or not and we all need to pitch in to raise the future leaders.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

#Fathers Arise


2 Responses to “Single Mothers are Fathers Too”

  1. Being a single mother SUCKS! Having to deal with rude behaviour, household chores and earning a decent living really gets me frustrated sometimes! Someone needs to teach some men about RESPONSIBILITY! My unknown pals at C2S agree completely! Check out today!

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