Motherhood is like the first day of school, you’re the new kid and you have to navigate your way around it. There are different cliques that you have to choose from. Except that in motherhood, you don’t choose the clique, the clique chooses you. We have, just to mention a few;
- The single mothers
- The divorcees’
- The older mommies
- The married mothers
Even though you have 9 months to prepare, one can never really be fully prepared for motherhood; it’s kind of like jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool and NOT drowning. We, as mothers, are put on a very high pedestal. We’re ALL occupations shoved in one. In all 24 hours of the day, we fully exhaust our duties as doctor, teacher, counselor, mediator, cook, you name it. You then go to bed and reset again for the next day. It’s an exhausting and wonderful never ending cycle.
I’m a single mother. It feels like I’m going against the norm by bringing a little human into this world. I think Botswana’s society believes that for one to have a child you should be married. I personally have had to deal with this.
My pregnancy was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Growing up I never imagined I would be a mother, or a single one at the age of 21. Instead of throwing a 21st birthday party like most of my friends, I had a baby shower.
I went through a series of emotions. I was just kid, having a kid. What kind of mother was I going to be? How was I going to raise my child? Here I am almost 5 years later and I still have no clue about what I am doing, but doing the very best I could do. And I think that’s the answer to every mommy question you could possibly ask,
Do the very best you can do.
The End Of An Era And The Start Of Something New
I was in labour for over 30 hours. My contractions started on Saturday 7th June and I was with my grandmother at the time. I didn’t want to alarm her and did not want her to make a big deal. My mother came the next day, Sunday, and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I declined because I was scared of hospitals. I’d a different picture in mind of how labour would go. I thought my water would break and I run to the hospital and be handed my baby like in the movies. Again, nobody warns you about these things.
I finally went to the hospital on Monday after my mother’s friend (who is a nurse) convinced me to. Although I was admitted Monday afternoon but only gave birth Tuesday 10th June 2014 at 0053 hours. I like to say that my life ended and began on that day.
Taking Care Of My Baby Daughter
I had a pretty decent pregnancy, no morning sickness. However the taking care of a new born baby was the hardest obstacle I had to overcome. My daughter never slept and cried all the time. I was still recovering from child birth and was always tired. Night time was the worst. My mother couldn’t stay up with me all night to soothe the baby because she had work in the morning and my grandmother was ill. But we all made it work. My sister and I took turns in the wee hours of the morning to calm my baby.
The first 6 months were my most stressful. I couldn’t go anywhere and was confined to the house taking care of my baby. Sometimes she would cry for hours and I wouldn’t know what to do and I would just sit there and cry with her. I would wish that she could sleep even for 10 minutes so I could rest. However the minute she fell asleep I would just look and admire her because I missed her.
My advice is you just have to go with the flow and hope for the best.
One thing that really amazes me about babies is that, one minute you’re holding them in your arms for the first time and next thing they’re already crawling.Then learning to walk and then you’re dropping them off at their first day of kindergarten. Time flies and every moment needs to be cherished and of course documented. Nothing beats looking at your child’s baby pictures. It gives you a certain explainable fulfillment.
However if you’re struggling with having a little one to look after, reach out to friends, family or go to places for advice. Try Cuppa Love, it’s a free coffee morning for Mothers and mums to be.
My Take On Parenting
Doing this as a single parent is the hardest thing I have ever done. People think that taking care of children means spending money or buying clothes or toys, but it is way more than that. A child needs LOVE. My daughter doesn’t care whether I have money or not because what I lack in finances I make up in an infinite amount of love. I tell her that every morning when she wakes and every night when she goes to bed. Children need assurance that you will always be there no matter what. A loved child is a happy child.
We do what we have to do as mothers to take care of our children. I salute each every mother and father out there that is doing what they have to do to take care of their children. Be it a mom who’s working an extra shift at work just so she could buy that bike her kid has been asking for. Or the dad who’s driving all the way from Gaborone to Kasane just so he could go and see his son.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the numerous amounts of help I got from my parents, sisters and friends. Most people are not really a single parent in the literal sense. There is always that one person you can always count on to help even if it’s with the little things and those are the people we need to thank the most. And of course, the love of my life and soul mate, Naimh Loapi Eatametse, my darling daughter, who is the reason of my entire existence.
Are you a single parent, I’d love to hear your experience. Please leave a comment and let me know your challenges.