SINGLE AND STRONG

“Are you not a single mother? Should you not be even flattered that I’m asking you to marry me even despite this your burden?”

Had I known being a single mother would require me to deal with so many idiots I may have made different choices.

A little introduction to me, I’m Imoteda, 29 years old and as I’m hoping you’ve realized, a single mother. To be honest being a single mother isn’t as bad as television makes it seem. I lucked out. I have an incredibly supportive family who have been there since Day 1; my mother was beside me while I was in labour and having the baby (she even filmed the whole thing). My brother was there for three years helping me babysit when I needed it. My dad supported us financially when I needed it and still gives us little ‘gifts’ that seem to show up conveniently when I’m struggling.

So yea, all in all, being a single parent isn’t all struggle and food stamps and baby daddy drama. My story isn’t every single mother’s story obviously but for me generally after doing this for 8 years; I can confidently say I have a handle on it.

My daughter and I know each other, some days are more difficult than others and sometimes I wonder what life would be if I had done things differently. But all in all life is good, my daughter is amazing, my family is dope and I am happy. So what’s the hardest part of being a single parent??

Men… and their random asinine assumptions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not ALL MEN and some men are perfectly sensible and I’ve been lucky enough to date one or two normal men but the number of ridiculous statements I have heard from men just makes me want to move to Mars.

Statements like,  “Are you not a single mother? Should you not be even flattered that I’m asking you to marry me even despite this your burden?”

This statement came from a man I JUST MET. Bro, I met you two weeks ago, we’ve spoken twice because you got my phone number by accident (I was giving his friend for business o). You called me then showed up and said “You would make a very good wife. I think we should get married.” Now you’re upset because I said “No thanks I’m working.”

Pele o! Uncle ‘Save-A-Single-Mother’. I didn’t mean to offend your sensibilities. Yes, I understand the huge favour you’re doing me. As a (semi) successful business woman and chef who has managed for over 8 years to raise a beautiful well-mannered, intelligent child I am extremely flattered that you (excuse me what do you do for a living again?) a man clearly in his late 30s or early 40s, never married, barely holding on to the English language, no clear lines of incomes or family ties, are proposing to me. No really I am so very very very very VERY flattered.

ARGH! I can’t deal.

So for the rest of you normal people who may or may not have stereotypes on single mothers, I’m gonna give you three things you should know about us:

  1. We are not all desperate – Forget all the stories you’ve heard about mothers abandoning their kids to be with mediocre men. That is not the norm. Most of us have been through the wringer and if we’re still standing it’s because we are strong. It takes a lot to walk with your head up as a single mum and I haven’t been through all that to fall at the feet of some weak man. You need to be exceptional to walk beside me on my journey.
  2. We actually love our kids – And that love means we are extremely selective about the people we allow around our kids. The screening process is serious. You will never be anything more than a random uncle to my kid. Just ask my daughter. As far as she knows mummy hasn’t had a boyfriend in 5 years and that’s okay by me.
  3. We DON’T OWE YOU! – You want to know what happened between me and my baby daddy; you want to know if I get child support; you want to know if I was loose as a young’un; you want to know if I have regrets; you want to know how much my child costs; you want to know if I date.
    Listen I understand your curiosity, single parent homes are at an all time high but somehow it’s like I’m the only single mom you’ve met and that’s cool. But understand that I don’t owe you an explanation for my life or my past decisions mm’kay? If I decide to share that’s cool but if I choose not to ,you do not have the right to get offended.

Now that you know these three points, I command you to go out into the world with them in your head, doing good with less ignorant statements and gentlemen, the next time you have a conversation with a single mother, remember you have to work twice as hard to get her attention!

On that note, I’m off to have a dance party with my offspring.

Au revoir!


We LOVE to hear your stories so if you would like to share your experience of being single like Imoteda or Ginika, simply send an email to singleingidi@yahoo.com.

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8 thoughts on “SINGLE AND STRONG

  1. Truth telling – as always (I vaguely recall you blogged once upon a time?). Hugely positive, supportive family from what you’ve shared – from the bits and pieces of lives I’m privy to, such support is not a given.. Thumbs up to your folk..

    As to guys, I guess there’ll always be people who can’t take rejection and typically react by trying to say things they think are hurtful – good to know you’re taking it all in your stride. Fist bump (if that’s appropriate)

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  2. Girl,u rock! Thank you for being strong and focused and true. You are a treasure and don’t you dare let anyone make you think otherwise. Anyone who thinks he’s doing you a favor by offering to date or even marry you is someone who deserves a punch to the face. That’s highly disrespectful and shows he has no regard or respect for you as a woman. So what if you’re a single mother? How does that affect the price of crayfish in the market? You deserve the right to fall in love and be with a man you want to grow old with. Forget society or tradition, it is better. To be single and happy than married,frustrated and suicidal. I hope you’ve deleted the dingbat from your contact list? Good riddance to bad rubbish!

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  3. I was raised by a single mum for the first 15 years of my life before she met and got married to the amazing man, who earned the right to be called father by me.
    My mum is my best friend. The love I have for her, ehn. I doubt I could love anyone more. Please enjoy your mummy-daughter time, while you have it now. You have been through way too much to end up with a yeye frog. Your Prince Charming is on the way, to love you the way you need to be loved and complete the areas in your life you didn’t know where incomplete. Please, hang in there.
    I thank God for single moms like you who brave the stereo types, especially when they could have taken several short cuts. I am thankful for the love and support of family you have.
    You may not realize it now, but your daughter worships the ground you walk on. The loyalty she has to you and for you irreplaceable. The bond you two share unbreakable. Thank you for showing your daughter what it means to be a strong independent Nigerian woman. For being a role model to her and embodying the fact that she does not need a man to define her. If my story and those of the other women raised by single moms is any indicator, Your daughter is going to be amazing and incredibly successful. What she has over her peers is empathy and an emotional intelligence beyond her years- character traits that are extremely rare and valuable in this generation.
    I am so proud of you and have so much respect for you already. Miss Gidi, my apologies for flooding the comment section. I am an avid follower of the blog. This is my first time commenting and this story pulled on every string in my heart.
    Being a single mum is no joke, especially within the misogynystic and bigoted Nigerian community. Shout out to all the single moms who hold their own and refuse to let society define them. You are my heroes.

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  4. Keep shining sistah! Ignorant men will always be there. And unfortunately, some struggling single mums out there allow men to maltreat them in the hope of getting the all important MRS degree.
    But remain focused on improving yourself and providing for your angel.
    Soon you will meet a decent man who has enough love in his heart for you and your child.
    You are blessed!

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  5. Couldn’t have said it any better. It definitely takes a strong woman to be able to embrace single motherhood in this society where everyone finds it easy to throw stones even when they live in glass houses. I am glad you pointed out those 3 things because that’s the truth. As a single mum myself, I agree with your point of view & I can’t imagine my life without my son. I won’t marry/date out of desperation or due to my ‘disadvantage’ as it has been called. I love my child and he comes first. I agree with the uncle thing and I use it. Everyone of the opposite sex that comes across my way and meets my son is an uncle.

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  6. You’re my hero! You should be president! This is beautiful! You gave it to them! I see them squirming in their shoes like toddlers who peed their pampers!

    My mum is a single mom, and she rocks! You rock too!

    Bisous

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