In the past few weeks, we shared Amaka’s story. The question that comes to mind is that what if Amaka’s father and mother had aborted the pregnancy instead? Thankfully, they did not. they have a grandson who would soon become a lawyer. Hmmm….. I don’t even want to imagine the kind of terrible words that Amaka’s mother must have used on her for those years repeatedly. I am so sure those words must have been used so much that Amaka too has begun to define herself by those words at some point. A lot of women have found themselves in Amaka’s shoes. These set of women are victims of circumstances. They did not beg to find themselves in such situations, they did not ask for it and they did not walk into it either. They were either abused by a close family member or as seen in Amaka’s case raped. I salute Amaka’s Auntie who did not give up on her. Our society needs more people like her. People who will not call you by your mistakes but understand that you are human enough to make mistakes and encourages you to live past your mistakes. People who encourage you to see your scars as a sign that you are a warrior who has a beautiful story to share. The story you are alive to tell. People who will not judge you by the stories they have heard about you or the labels you have been given.
Sadly the world we live in today is such that people live a lie to please the world. Let us imagine a scenario here…. Amaka’s parents discover that she is pregnant and takes her to the hospital to get rid of the pregnancy and then life goes back to normal, nobody except Amaka’s immediate family members ( her father and mother only)would have known what happened and she would not have been tagged wayward.
Another scenario….. Amaka is already an undergraduate, let’s say she is in her second year in school. She has a boyfriend who gets her pregnant and he convinces her not to tell her parents instead he takes her for an abortion and this probably happens two or three more times before she graduates. Society will not tag/ label her wayward after all nobody knew that she was pregnant. Amaka will be called a good girl who made her parents proud by waiting to get married before getting pregnant. Sadly, this is happening around us today. A lot of ladies today have walked this imagined scenario and a lot more are still walking it. Hurting themselves just to present an image to the world, an image people will accept.
Why do we always want the perfect story and not the truth?
Why do we celebrate hypocrisy?
Why are we quick to judge other people over situations we mostly don’t know how it happened?
Why would we rather displease God and please human beings?
Why would we condemn today what we will turn around to celebrate tomorrow?
It’s only humans that expect perfection from other humans apart from themselves. God understands that as humans we can make mistakes and He never judges us, He never casts us out. That is why I would advise that as a single Mum draw your strength from God.
Single Mums with Amaka’s kind of experience will tell you it hasn’t been a jolly ride. society labels them before even hearing their story. This set of Mums are called “WAYWARD”. Some of these mums desire to get married someday. Society has given them all sorts of names “tokunbo” and “after one” to mention a few. Some meet wonderful men who are ready to marry them till family members begin to say things like ‘My son can never marry after one” or “My brother can never marry a “tokunbo”. the most painful part of this is that women are usually the first to antagonise without even knowing the true story.
That’s why some go as far as hiding that they have a child. I don’t support women who lie that they have a child or children as the case may be. I am not saying it’s okay to lie either but the society is teaching us to look for the perfect story instead of the truth.
Amaka just like most single mums is at crossroads in her life. After losing out on chances to get married twice she is beginning to contemplate lying about the fact that she has a son. She feels stuck.
Dear reader, anytime you see a single mum who got pregnant as a teenager or slightly older. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you jump to conclusion that she got pregnant out of wedlock because she was wayward? How about we start seeing them from a different point of view?
Instead of condemning them, see their strength.
instead of labelling them as wayward, see the fact that they chose to birth a child instead of killing one.
Instead of pushing them to hide their offspring, encourage them to show them off.
Celebrate them for owning their mistakes.
Celebrate them for not committing murder.
Dear Single Mum,
You have done a good job so far, be proud of your child(ren). Let any man coming into your life know of your offspring. A man who feels he needs you in his life will accept you the way you are even if you had ten children.