Shattered dreams: Single mothers recount tales of rejection, heartbreak

By Maria Famakinwa

Arewa’s dream of becoming a nurse was shattered when she was taken to her grandmother in the village to continue her education due to her mother’s untimely death.

Now grown up, the 30-year-old single mother revealed that she didn’t know her father because her mother was put in the family way while she was in secondary school, and the man that put her in the family refused to accept responsibility for  the pregnancy.

The lady, coincidentally was also impregnated like her mother while living in the village. She lamented that her mother’s fate had befallen her as she was left alone to cater for her nine-year-old child.

She said: “The father of my child abandoned me for five years before he came begging for forgiveness after his wedding to another lady. All my efforts to settle down with a man have not yielded positive results. No man is ready for a serious relationship with me. A friend once connected me with a man, but immediately after he got to know that I had a child, he told me he was no longer interested. This was the same man who had earlier praised me for being a nice lady. I began to wonder if single mothers could find love again. I am saying this because young single mothers I met also shared similar experiences. Being single mothers does not mean we are promiscuous as many think; we are just victims of circumstances. I look forward to a man who will accept my past and shower me with love to forge ahead,” she said.

Many single mothers suffer rejection as soon as they inform their partners that they are already mothers. Some that kept the fact secret from their spouses have terrible tales to tell when their secret becomes exposed.

Also narrating her experience as a single mother and her struggle to find love again, a salary earner, Tayo Olori, explained that she did the conventional traditional wedding with her husband whom she met during her Youth Corps days in 2012. However, the center could no longer hold after their traditional marriage.

Her words: “Three months after our traditional wedding, my husband put up a terrible character that led to unreconciliable differences, but I was about to put to bed then. After I delivered my first child, a boy, my husband begged me to forgive him and promised to turn a new leaf. I forgave him and we continued with the relationship  but not quite long he was promoted and posted to Edo State. “Initially, he was still doing well until after two years when I was carrying the pregnancy of our second child. Most times, my husband would not come to check on me for two months, and if I called his number, a lady would pick it up and warn me to stop calling her husband’s line. I reported the case to my husband’s parents. They tried to caution him  but my husband would not listen. I called to tell him about  the delivery of our second child and he promised to come. I didn’t see him until the day before the naming ceremony.

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“Four months after, he came back accusing me of wasteful spending and started beating me. Our landlord gave us quit notice because of him and I had to go and get a house to live in since he was not ready to pay for any house rent. Since then, I have been taking care of my children with my little salary and support from my family and my husband’s sister who has never supported him. “Separating from the father of my two sons was a wise decision for me. I needed my sanity and life to make exploits. I would not be sincere to say it has been easy, but what other option do I have?

“I have been struggling to survive with my children for the past seven years. Though I want to give love another trial, those who showed interest stopped coming once they noticed that I have kids. Society reads different meanings to single motherhood which makes finding love hard for us. At times, I feel like doing the unthinkable, but for the love I have for my children. My only consolation is that I have a job to take care of my children, though I lack the desired love. I realize that men see single mothers as burdens and cannot give you and your children genuine love. For me, it is better to be single than to endure an abusive marriage,” she stated.

Also sharing her experience with The Hope, a middle-aged woman, simply identified as Ayobami, narrated that being a single mum was challenging, stating that she only tried to put up a smile.

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Worried by her past, Ayobami said, “It was years of loneliness, rejection, unhappiness, bitterness, and pain. Raising my child alone was perplexing, especially when he was younger. I never pictured myself in such a situation. The father of my child beat me black and blue when my baby was six months old and I had to leave because it was a red flag for me. Since then, I have been on this journey alone.

“I started teaching in a nearby private school where I was paid N25,000 per month, with which I managed to care for my child, with the hope of meeting a better man who would give me hope again. After experiencing disappointment twice, I decided to change location, but nothing has changed. I don’t want to lose hope. Though some men don’t like marrying single mothers, some single mothers are happily married.

“I am just 33 years old and still very young. I believe that very soon, the right man will come. The only problem is that most men see single mothers as used and dumped. There is nothing you can do to satisfy them.  Once you are a single mother, you are not considered the best choice. They give different interpretations of your status. Single mothers need to be loved, our status does not make us bad, we are just victims of situations. Finding spouses should not be difficult. The fact that we are single mothers does not make us lesser women. We are ready to give love another shot. We need caring men to give us the denied love and care,” she said.

Also narrating her experience as a single mother, Gift, a 28-year-old mother of one said that she became pregnant after her secondary school education and made an attempt to abort the child before her mother got to know and prevented her from terminating the pregnancy, with the promise that she would take care of the child while she continued with her education. “Though I made my WAEC, i could not process my admission that year because of the pregnancy. After I gave birth to my baby girl, I gained admission the following year.

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“While in school, I was doing fine academically as my mother took care of my child. All my efforts to settle down with the father of my child failed because he said he could not marry a lady who was not from his tribe. I moved on with my life and completed my university education, but finding love has remained my challenge. The guy I dated while on campus told me his parents refused to support our marriage because I am a single mother. Another guy who promised to marry me was a wife-beater. I decided to end it with him when he turned me into a punching bag.

Single mothers face a herculean task in finding true love. The complaint has always been that single mothers are not fully owned by their husbands. That is the society we live in. God willing, I know that Mr right will surely come to me,” she said.

The story is not different for a civil servant, Oluranti, whose husband died after five years of their marriage, leaving her with two children. The woman revealed that she decided to remarry initially but stopped after she discovered that the man was feigning love, because of her late husband’s property.

Her words: “I was advised to remarry because I was young. I took the advice and was looking for a man who would love me and my children like my late husband. I later accepted one of my many suitors who convinced me that he was the best among others, but I was wrong. What I first discovered was that the man saw my children as rivals. He hated and maltreated them and insisted that I should take them to my parents or my late husband’s parents. Besides, he would always come up with one financial need or the other, asking me about my late husband’s property. I immediately concluded that I should forget about him and love my children, so as not to be duped like some desperate single mothers who are now regretting their actions,” she said.

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