Couples at times find it difficult taking care of their children, let alone single mothers who have to face it, all alone. And now, the level of hardship in the country at the moment doesn’t help matters, and that makes the situation more unbearable for some single mothers, especially those that are not financially fit for the task.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with some single mothers, as they recounted their heart-touching experiences…
JOSEPHINE BENSON, Casual worker, 1 child
It is not the prayer of any women to be a single mother but when some things happen, you just have to move on. I made a mistake in choosing my man. I am a Urhobo and he is from Rivers state. Initially, he told me not to let his parents know that I am an Urhobo because they won’t support our marriage if they found out. We were able to hide it until when we did introduction and I got pregnant. So there was nothing they could do.
His parents didn’t give me problems. He was the one that started misbehaving. He suddenly stopped working and that was how I started catering for him and our baby. When I couldn’t cope, because he beats me also, I left him when my baby was six months old and I’ve been the only one taking care of him.
It has not been easy at all. I work in a factory, though the terms and conditions there are not favourable, I just have to stay so I can take care of my child’s needs.
I lost my husband in the year 2013. I am a fashion designer. I am not considering remarrying because I believe no man is willing to marry a woman with five children. My husband’s relatives too are trying their best. They took my first child and second one. They are both in higher institution. I am left with the three young ones. My third child is through with secondary school. He’s planning to write JAMB next year.
Catering for them alone has not been easy, but I thank God that my children understand and this has given me the zeal to move every day.
My husband left home the second day we did my last son’s naming ceremony. That was 16 years ago. He had always left home before then. He would spend two to three months before coming back, claiming he went to work in Abuja.
But since the last time he left home 16 years ago till today, I have not set my eyes on him. It was my landlord where we used to live before that saw him in Abuja about 8 years ago. It was the man that gave him his contact and collected his. That was how I was able to contact him, but he has refused to come back to even give us his address. Even his mother does not know his whereabouts. I wasn’t working before he left home because he didn’t allow me. When he would leave home, he always sent money through his younger brother.
But since he left 16 years ago, he has not sent a penny. So, I started domestic work in the neighbourhood. I do laundry, general house cleaning, catering to take care of my children. I thank God my labour is not in vain. My children are doing fine and I am waiting for when that man will show his ugly face to claim the children.
ODUNLAMI OLAPEJU, Businesswoman, 2 children
I left my husband five years ago. We had issues and we had to go our separate ways. He took our first child (a boy) and I’m left with my twin girls. I used to work in a bank before I resigned and started my own business. I have been all alone taking care of my children.
Sometimes, their father would bring their feeding allowance, sometimes he wouldn’t. He is not concerned about their education. I pay their school fees alone and also take care of their general upkeep. The only prayer I do for my children is that they won’t marry their enemies. It’s not east at all.
AJIBOLA HALEEMAT, Trader, 1 child
I left my husband before I discovered that I was pregnant. During our married days, I used to have miscarriages. I have had nothing less than six miscarriages. When the man got tired, he married another wife. That was when the problem started. When I couldn’t cope again, I left. It was the following month I discovered I was pregnant but I couldn’t tell him because I thought the case would be like before, but God was merciful. Though I had a boy who look so much like his father, his troublesome wife wouldn’t allow him take responsibility. That is why I am taking care of him alone and I do not regret it one bit. At least, I have a child of my own. He is now seven years old. It’s not easy bringing up a child all alone, but I still praise God.