5 Myths About Single Moms

I’ve been a single mom for close to 3 years now and continue to be astonished by the misconceptions many people have about this gig. Complete strangers form detailed conclusions about my life within seconds of learning that I’m a single mother. Some of these false assumptions make me cackle while others might land me in prison for aggravated assault one day.

So to avoid causing bodily harm to anyone and finding myself in a real life setting of Orange Is The New Black, I want to dispel some of these myths. And here they are, some of the top 5 myths about single moms I’ve come across thus far:

 

1.We Detest Our Baby Daddies And Men In General

A random stranger, upon hearing that you are a single mom, will launch into a tirade against “the useless men of today” and immediately start consoling you about how much better off you are without a man in your life. This, having not a clue what the nature of the relationship between you and your baby daddy is! The assumption here is that single mothers, having been abandoned by men and due to a searing hatred of them, would gladly have all men flogged to death.

Well, the truth is, many single moms have wonderful co-parenting relationships with our kids’ biological fathers. For many, the decision to part ways was mutual. We continue to love and respect our baby daddies even though we are no longer romantically involved with them. And yes, there are some douchebag deadbeat dads that may need a good flogging, but we do not judge the entire lot of men for the sins of the few.

 

2. We’re Financially Desperate

Earlier this year, a sleazy older gentleman said to me, “I prefer to hire single mothers because they would do anything to keep their jobs”. I was aghast. Putting aside the disgusting way in which he stressed the word anything, his assumption was that a single mother is never qualified, educated or financially stable enough to quit an unsuitable job position.

Newsflash for you, sleazy old dude: Women have come a loooong way since 1952 when you were in your prime! Single motherhood does not equal destitution.

 

3. We’re Tougher Than Nails

Yes, as single moms, we do hold down the fort by ourselves. Yes, the full responsibility of childcare and financial well-being of our families rests squarely on our shoulders. Yes, life does get tough for us sometimes. But that doesn’t mean we’re the stereotypical angry black women you see in Tyler Perry movies!

Don’t act surprised when we turn out to be soft and mushy marshmallows. We cry unabashedly when we need to, we get our feelings hurt when we shouldn’t, we giggle uncontrollably with girlfriends, we feel. Life may have made us a bit tougher, but not as tough as some of you seem to think.

 

4. We’re Looking For Stepdad

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Please stop assuming that single moms are frantically looking for a man to play daddy to their kids! Just like everyone else, we date with the intention of finding a connection with a suitable partner, NOT with urgent determination to find a stepdad. We don’t show up with our kids on first dates, we won’t ask you to supervise school homework after week two of dating and your bank statements won’t be requested at our 6 month anniversary to determine if you can afford fees at Braeburn.

We’re in no desperate hurry to “escape” single motherhood by throwing every Tom, Dick and Mwaura into the Father role. In any case, “Mwaura” has to prove that he is boyfriend material first before we even get that far.

 

5. We’re Embarrassed About Our Lives

I grew up in a religious household so I know that for many, single motherhood is synonymous with shame. And this may be why it comes as a surprise to some, that there are single moms that chose this life and even for those that didn’t have a choice, they carry no burden of shame having found themselves here! There are single women who have adopted children, mothers who have willfully left toxic relationships with their children’s biological fathers and women who have been abandoned but have moved on triumphantly despite the cards dealt to them.

We don’t shrivel up in embarrassment when meddling folk stick out their bottom lips and use them to point towards our kids then ask, “what happened?” We tell them what happened as matter-of-factly as possible, or casually tell them where they can shove their intrusive questions.

So there’s really no need to whisper “she doesn’t have a husband” to your fellow Chama members when we meet you at church. We’re fine. We’re not ashamed. These are our lives. And we own them.

 

 

23 Comments on 5 Myths About Single Moms

  1. bankelele
    October 21, 2015 at 11:09 am (2 years ago)

    Remembering the speech from Jerry Maguire that Rod gave Jerry about dating a single mum

    Reply
    • Shiko
      October 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Which one is this? I’ll look for it on YouTube!

      Reply
  2. josphine
    October 21, 2015 at 11:39 am (2 years ago)

    Strength of a woman, well put shiko. i get the bashing all the time particularly from married women who think am after their husbands! like am a sex starved human. and the rolling eyes in church, oh annoying. but i thank God my daughters and i are super good. and i do not hate men – the uncles and close male friends are supportive. have you seen the all male facebook group on single mothers haters?

    Reply
    • Shiko
      October 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm (2 years ago)

      Ha! Oh yes, Josphine! I forgot about that one, the women who think we’re after their husbands! That’s definitely another myth – that men are not safe around us!

      Reply
  3. Prou
    October 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm (2 years ago)

    There is one more; that you are sad, deserving of pity and would do anything to get out of your single parent state.

    Then there are those men who feel they are doing you a favor by dating you, since you have been left on the shelf and, consequently, should bend over backwards to accommodate their shenanigans.Not!

    Reply
  4. Anonymous
    October 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm (2 years ago)

    too much stereotyping of single mums..sad

    Reply
  5. shaz
    October 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm (2 years ago)

    so much stereotyping of single mums… sad

    Reply
  6. S
    October 21, 2015 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Married women are the worst when it comes to all the above. Convinced single mums want what they have so so bad. Oh and Number 2 is sickening.Ugh.
    Nice read.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous
    October 21, 2015 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

    Nie reke ngwire! (insert Maina Kageni’s voice)…..the society judges us harshly

    Reply
  8. Samoina (@Samoina)
    October 22, 2015 at 11:32 am (2 years ago)

    Ahaaa! Shiko, well written!! well said!so true!

    Reply
  9. Flawah
    October 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm (2 years ago)

    the challenges are many but the joy makes each one worthwhile…… THUMBS UP TO EVERY WOMAN (or man) DOING DOUBLE-SHIFT… GOD BLESS Y’ALL!!

    Reply
  10. Jazz
    October 22, 2015 at 7:51 pm (2 years ago)

    that was a great read!!!!!!!! thank you for that!!!!!! made me smile just realizing that i am not alone and there are others who understand me out there!!!!

    Reply
  11. Anonymous
    October 22, 2015 at 8:49 pm (2 years ago)

    Good stuff life is a choice ur happiness comes first

    Reply
  12. Tabby
    October 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

    And it is much harsh when your church priest is your ex’s friend. The homily centres around you until your head spins with anger.

    Reply
  13. Mummy Tales
    October 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm (2 years ago)

    I actually don’t understand the profiling of single mums. I seriously don’t. I’ve never understood it.

    Reply
  14. Grace
    October 23, 2015 at 9:23 am (2 years ago)

    hehehe…never understood where the issue is, all parents go through the same and there are mothers out there who would be better off single considering what they and they,re kids are going through. I am happy, content and blessed and if God wills then one day I will allow some man to share in it.

    Reply
  15. maryanne
    October 23, 2015 at 11:28 am (2 years ago)

    I can totally relate to this.it is a beautiful piece.

    Reply
  16. Ma'Madey
    October 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Lovely,Just….Lovely.What saddens me most is when society will become more accepting of us not by the ‘lack of tag’ but by “we are comfortable in our own skins” label

    Reply
  17. Cecilia
    October 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm (2 years ago)

    I am a single mother I I have gone through all what you have listed here but am unashamed. People should know people.Before you judge me walk my path.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous
    October 23, 2015 at 4:13 pm (2 years ago)

    i hate this feeling of being a single mum,

    Reply
  19. XYZ
    October 28, 2015 at 7:59 am (2 years ago)

    Your best blog yet.

    Reply
  20. Nimzzy
    November 17, 2015 at 4:31 pm (2 years ago)

    Hey..juststumbled on your blog and needless to say i have done nothing all afternoon in the office..lol!!!This is so interesting.I am currently 5 months pregnant and yes confused as hell…but your blog just assures me that i will be ok…especially being single and all..Thank you for sharing your journey..i have really laughed.You should write a book.God Bless you and Ella!!

    Reply
  21. Gakii
    February 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm (2 years ago)

    …… Sigh!

    Reply

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