She wakes up as early as 5:30am and heads to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for her husband, as he takes a bath, she removes a suit for the day, irons his shirt and places it on the bed. Thirty minutes later, he goes downstairs, puts on his shoes and picks his car keys…
“Aren’t you taking breakfast? I have prepared your favorite fresh mango juice with Spanish eggs,” she says.
“ I’ll have breakfast in the office, take care of Natasha(not her real name) and the house, “he replies as he walks out of the door to his car.
Tears roll down her cheeks as she is left wondering why he no longer eats the breakfast she takes time to prepare, why he no longer bids her goodbye in a loving manner.
She removes the untouched breakfast from the dining table to the kitchen. Quickly she starts doing house chores before her daughter Natasha wakes up.
By 10:00am she is done mopping the floor, dusting the furniture, cleaning the dishes, laundering her husband’s clothes, preparing her two-year old daughter’s breakfast and showered. Few minutes later Natasha is up, she prays with her, feeds her cereals, plays with her later on cleans her.
By 1:30 pm Natasha has had her lunch and is ready to have her afternoon sleep. She leaves her asleep and rushes to the market to buy fresh vegetables for dinner.
On her husband’s arrival, she serves him evening tea with toast bread and a banana. As he eats she sits next to him and asks to know how his day was, the challenges he faced and achievements he made.
By 7pm it is usually tricky for her as she has to prepare dinner while Natasha pulls her legs, whines and asks to be carried, being the strong woman she is she still manages to serve her husband dinner, thereafter her husband goes to bed.
Clearly, she rarely holds a conversation with her husband, anytime she starts one, he would say he is tired and doesn’t want to hear any noise, anytime she raises her concerns he dismisses her, he abuses her emotionally sometimes physically with no apologies to make, her self-worth and esteem is lost, she no longer interacts with people as she stays in her own cocoon.
He has turned her into his slave; she literally worships the ground he walks on, she has no say in that house, nothing she does is appreciated instead it is criticized.
What am I not doing right? What happened to the man I fell in love with? Am I not beautiful anymore? Am I just a ceremonial wife? Is he doing this because I depend on him? She questions herself every single day as her husband’s attitude towards her completely changed.
It gets to a point where she is no longer moved by his insults and beatings, she is numb to them all. Situation turns awry and she decides to walk out of an abusive home not leaving her daughter behind.
Three years down the line, she is the mother and father, the nurse, the cook, the security guard, the teacher, the adviser, the disciplinarian, the prayer partner, the play-mate and the friend to Natasha, a single mother.
She ensures Natasha gets all she needs if not wants, she rushes home from work to her daughter to help her do her homework, eats with her and finally they say a prayer with before going to bed.
She is a different person as she came to understand her values and measure her worth. Her efforts to save her marriage bore no fruits, this is to mean she became a single mother not by her own wish but circumstances pushed her to do so. Natasha’s mother was an angel to her husband who forgot angels also draw swords when it’s time for war, that is exactly what she did.
I am a believer of both parents’ presence in their children’s life as raising up a child is very challenging, a job that has no leave days and pay thus support from the other parent is needed. However, at times circumstances push one to become a single-parent; It could be the man responsible for the pregnancy abandoned her on her first trimester, she could be a widower, she could be a rape victim who conceived after the inhuman act, she could have walked out of an abusive marriage, truth is, there must be a reason behind it.
It is saddening that some people slut-shame single mothers, as they are believed to have failed in managing their homes, they are seen as women who are there to break other people’s homes, women who got children out-of-wedlock, little do they know their stories.
It takes so much strength and brevity to be one, salute them.
They had their story, make yours too!