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Why I'm proud to be a single parent

 
Stop judging single moms, says Masanda Peter.
By Masanda Peter
Article originally in Parent24
Many times people wonder why one is a single mother; how come you didn’t hold it together in the previous relationship and why do you have a child out of wedlock? There are many questions and unfair statements being thrown at single mothers. Some people even see them as being second-grade citizens. As a single mother myself I know that I had not set out to be a single mother. I also dreamed of having a husband, two kids and picket fence but certain things happened in the relationship and I am now single and embracing my situation.

Choice or circumstance?

I asked a few single mothers why they are single mothers. Did they set out to be single mothers or not? These are some of the responses:

Xola, 30 – My partner and I planned to get married and during that lobola negotiation process I got pregnant. I was in a committed relationship. He went to pay lobola and during that process we experienced challenges in the relationship. As family was now involved we tried to work things out but it was just not working. We then went separate ways and I am now a single mother to my beautiful daughter. My ex-fiancé is very much involved in his daughter’s life and we are on speaking terms which is healthy for our daughter. There is no bad blood between us.

Siphiwe, 33 – My child was unplanned, and when I was still pregnant, the father of my child cheated on me. I was unprepared to share him and we went our separate ways. I did have dreams of getting married and never planned to be a single mother.

Thandi, 39 – Our relationship did not work out and there was a personality clash. He never cheated on me but after the baby was born I realised that this is not the man I wanted to be with. He changed and also became verbally abusive. He does come to see his son and they maintain contact but I believe that he could do more. Marriage was also on the cards, it’s just that the baby came first.

No shame in being a single mom

I know that in most cases women are in committed relationships and talk of settling in together does come up, but then things don’t work out. There are many other reasons, such as divorce, as well. Some single mothers feel that they have failed their children, but as a single mother myself, I am really enough for my child and this is the situation we must live with.

One thing I have frowned upon is when someone will say: “Oh shame, she is a single mother”. What shame? I am capable of raising my son alone, and am doing the best I can do. I have made my situation work and so are many single mothers out there. Sex before marriage will also crop up - Well, if a child has been born we need to make life work, and single mothers should not be made to feel horrible about their situation or choices.

To my single mothers out there – you are enough (as Oprah Winfrey puts it).

Do you think a single mom is capable of raising a child?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read more by Masanda Peter

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2014-08-21 14:37

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