In an era in which love, marriage and baby carriages are coming later in life across all tribes and backgrounds, many women in their 30s and 40s are becoming mothers later in life, and the single ones among them are opting to be single mothers if they have not found the right partner. In this article, we examine some of the challenges of being a single mother.
Society sometimes thinks that single mothers as loose women who just have babies out of wedlock. I don’t think they consider mothers who are single:
- because they want a baby before their biological clock runs out;
- due to divorce;
- as a result of the death of a spouse;
- as a result of a long-term relationship which ended.
The way one is perceived is one of the challenges a single mother has to contend with.
When a woman has no children, dating a man does not involve taking into consideration how your love life affects your child or children. For single mothers, there are many issues that have to be considered, and like it or not there are plenty of wrong turns and mistakes that can be made:
When choosing the right man, the single mother has to ask:
- Would he mind that I have a child or children?
- Will he get on with my child or children?
- Would he feel that they are more important to me than him, and I pay them more attention?
How do you navigate spending time with your man alone, or the night at his place or your place? How will the children take it?
When you have children you can feel out of sync with other singles, as they do not have to take into consideration what you have to consider or contend with. Furthermore, you may lose interest in dating due to the various considerations, and decide that you may just live your life taking care of your child or children.
Most eligible men you are likely to meet may be at the age where they are interested in serious relationships, but not with someone with a ready-made family. Some married men may have the misconception that since you are already a single mum you may be okay with having an affair with them. Some attached men may also think that you are “game”, not to mention young men in their 20s looking for sugar mummies.
Apart from dating challenges some of which are highlighted above, the issue of coping with children in terms of their upkeep and discipline are some of the issues that a single mother has to deal with.
It is definitely not an easy journey for single mothers.
In next week’s article, we examine some of the ways one can deal with these challenges in our article – Coping With Some of the Challenges of being a Single Mother.