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Single motherhood: Choice or chance?

“I do not have problem with a woman wanting to be a single parent, but I do have some major issues when it is without…

“I do not have problem with a woman wanting to be a single parent, but I do have some major issues when it is without the notification of the other person involved. I have been a victim of such a situation before and I did not find it funny as I was later told that the child looked exactly like me. When I confronted her about the whole thing, she said she did not want me involved; that she just needed a child and wanted to be a single mother without a man to boss her around.

“In my opinion, I feel that is stupidity, because one day, the child will definitely pop up the big question “where or who is my father”? I tried to make her see sense in bringing a child up with both parents but, she insisted that being a single mother was her desire in life. I would have gone to court but it would have made the life of the child worse as it would only expose him to more disasters that I was trying to avoid,” said Mr. Dennis Banjo.

There are many instances where men are victimised by women who get pregnant but have nothing to do with the man afterwards until child support becomes the issue.

“I applaud women who decide to give children the gift of life by getting pregnant in the first place, but the other gift every child deserves is the gift of a family comprising a dedicated father and mother. Every child wants more than a single parent as each plays different and unique roles in the life of the child. So deciding to be a single mother is just like cutting off the better existence of his or her life,” says Mrs Biodun Bello, an educationist.

With this growing trend, one wonders what has happened to the African adage, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’ Studies and observations show that children who have both parents fare better in the society than children of single parents, especially single mothers. No parent is perfect in the best of homes, but a father and mother do much better than a single parent.

“As a single mother by choice, I have to disagree with some of the arguments that you need a man in your life to be able to raise a child. Having a child takes more than money and emotional support; it takes time.

Time spent with your child is so much more precious than any financial security the man can provide. Time with your child is a true investment, as it will give your child emotional security and a healthy self-esteem because your child will know that she is a priority. But when you are in a family setting with a man in it, your time is split into many parts and your child only gets scraps,” says Nkiruka Udeh, a single mother.

For single mothers, motherhood is like two sides of a coin. While you have the joy and bliss of being around your child, you cannot run away from the difficulties and stress associated with it as it is very difficult to play the role of both parents. We have to put it at the back of our mind that the child needs love, care, concern, attention and adoration from both parents. Having a child is far more than satisfying a biological urge; it is about bringing a human being to the world. What does she hope to contribute by bringing a child into a fatherless family or society?