Single motherhood


I never imagined I’d be a single mom one day. I grew up believing one day I would marry, stay married  and have kids. Nothing prepared me for this lone parenthood journey. Absolutely Nothng!

Now….that’s not a complain. I have been on this journey for 7 years and I’m getting better at my solo parenting life, taking each day as it comes and intentionally staying happy for myself and my amazing children. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but It’s a job you do with relish and pleasure, and with the understanding that “You are doing your best.”

While I won’t like to go into the context of my lived experience, and why I became a single mom, I don’t wish whatever led me to this journey on my worst enemy. We live in a world where people only ask the “why” questions when they meet a single mother instead of understanding the “how”, they are ready to judge and throw you under the bus even without having the full picture.

If you had to choose between being a single mom or being married to a man who is destroying your soul, you would choose being a single mom every time. I’ve been through some experiences in my life but nothing quite prepared me for my separation.  It hit me hard, it hit me deeply.

Read Also: Esther Ijewere: My Personal Experience With Repressed Emotions

With two children who are just 1 year and 7 months apart, I had to teach my mind to be stronger than my emotions.   I had to learn how to filter my connections and disengage from folks who were bent on misunderstanding my plight.

The Emotional Struggle Of Being A Single Mom

I quickly got used to being a single mom. It wasn’t too difficult. I had been living in an environment where I constantly had to fight to protect myself and my children. The hardest part I think was the emotional torment I was going through which everyone suffers during a messy separation.

When you are a single mom, you don’t always get the luxuries others get.

You can’t ask your partner to watch the kids while you go to the gym or walk around the block.

I am not too much of a social butterfly but I know the importance of socializing, and having support. When I started coming out of my shell to share my story and build a support system, things changed.

Starting From Rock Bottom As A Single Mom

Moving out of my home country was one of the most difficult, yet necessary decisions I had to make.   I had less family support and the responsibility of solo parenting became even greater. I remember how I couldn’t sleep that first night  as a lone parent.

Adapting to single parenting was a little tricky and I sometimes felt like some people don’t  understand how difficult it is. Single parents hardly ever get a break, unless they have a strong support network or family willing to step in but all too often that is not the case.

Financially raising my children on my own is difficult. As a single mother the income was much less than that of a couple with kids and I often felt the pinch on the purse strings. The money goes as fast as it comes, that’s even If it comes at all.

Read Also: Esther Ijewere: Women of Rubies Was Born Out Of My Passion For Humanity

Working As A Single Mother

My plan to dive right back into work was stalled because I wanted to be a present parent. I was so attached to my girls that I almost made a decision to be a stay-at-home mom, but how do we survive If I don’t get up and play my part. The sacrifices I had to make even while working has stalled my career growth.

Sadly, the world would view you as weak or incapable, when In actual fact you are slowing down so your children can fly in the future.

Don’t Judge Single Mothers

The thing is I do think there is a stigma even in today’s society when you are a single parent. Rather than sit and judge it would be better for people to help and support. It’s better to ask questions than assume a woman just woke up and decided to be a single parent.

You never really know how or why they ended up a single parent, so please the next time you see a single parent, let your sense of empathy over-ride your judgement and assumption. There are women who have gone through situations they are still healing from. Don’t judge or nail them to the cross.

Some parents split up, others lose partners to cancer and horrible diseases, others were just unfortunate to meet the wrong partner, and while they can walk away from that person, they won’t do that to children they brought into the world.

I guess the point I am trying to make is we should worry less about why someone is a single parent and think more about what we can do to help and support because single parenting is not easy.

The Loneliness

One thing I really didn’t expect was the intense isolation that comes with being a single mom. When you’re married, you’re often so used to your partner’s constant presence that you can crave having the house to yourself—an evening alone seems like bliss from a distance.

The Mental Stress

This is the part of the journey no one warned me about, but it’s the reality of every single parent. There is one  parent to go around now and my kids definitely feel it. You feel it too. You are constantly on a think and plan mode, what they wear to school, what they eat, making the best decisions for them, putting them first.  It’s alot for one person, and it affects your emotional wellbeing sometimes….

Anyway, I’d rather learn how to de-stress and handle what I can than go back to what broke me.

Vetting Of Potential Partners

With all this independence and empowerment, I’ve become very unwilling to give up or even share my new life with anyone. I’m being cautious. I’m wary of needing someone too much, of leaning on them instead of myself.

Perhaps this is the effect of living with an abusive partner who stressed me mentally and emotionally, and now I don’t want to give up the healed version of me to someone who probably has his emotional baggage too.

I set my dating boundaries from the get-go, It probably makes me come off as a little on the edge. You know what they say about life being a teacher? You learn the hard way, but don’t become hard, be smart. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case for abusive partners, they move on easily.

Read Also: Esther Ijewere: Helpful Tips For Single Parents

When a car hits a person, the accident victim might spend the rest of their life nursing the Injury. The owner of the car probably won’t feel the impact of the accident. He would still live his life and drive round, while the victim nurse the pain. That’s what I tell folks who judge and are quick to say, things like, “Oh, but the person you claim is abusive has moved on”…

In conclusion, before you judge another single mom, remember you didn’t live through their pain, If you don’t have kind words to say to a lone parent, please, don’t say anything at all.

Life is hard for many already, don’t make it harder. We are trying to make lemonades from the lemons life threw at us.

Are you a single mom? Would you like to join a group of for single mothers for financial support and empowerment ? Join Single Moms Ville 


I dedicate this article to all the single moms out there, and to Late Dr. Olabisi Igbalajobi , who was a member of our community, and one of the first women I I spotlighted as a Columnist in Guardian Newspaper. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

Olabisi Igbalajobi
Late Dr. Olabisi Igbalajobi


About the Writer
Esther ijewere Is a multi-award winning Social Activist, Journalist, Writer, Best-selling Author,  Host of the Youtube syndicated show;  #GettalkingwithEsther  and a certified PR expert with over 10 years of experience. Esther has spotlighted over 1000 women across the globe, Interviewed First ladies, A-list celebrities and giants of different industries.  She is the Editor-In-Chief of  Women of Rubies, and other development initiatives recognized globally. Follow her  on Linkedin,  Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For co-parents, the issue of money is often a difficult one to discuss. However, what’s even more difficult is when one parent completely neglects the financial needs of their child leaving the burden on the other parent.

Typically this leads to court and child support orders. The court decides how expenses should be split and how much the non-custodial parent should pay each month to help support their child.

But as many of us have found out, just because you have a child support order doesn’t mean the other parent will pay.

Unpaid child support isn’t something only men do, but it is far more common for men as mothers typically receive primary custody after a divorce or breakup.

Based on a survey in 2011, only 61% of men paid their child support. But the study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family explains that fathers who lack money to make payments try to support their children in other manners.

This may be true for some… But for many others, they shamelessly refuse to pay child support or even play any active role in their child’s life.

In that case, you have to find the proper way to approach them and make sure that they fulfill their responsibilities. As wrong as it is that you have to tell another adult to take care of their responsibilities that’s what the situation has boiled down to.

If you, unfortunately, have this problem with your ex, here are the steps you can take to get them to financially support their child.

1. Try talking to your ex.

This is not an easy thing to do. Especially when your ex is refusing to help you support your child.

This is even more complicated if there was emotional or physical abuse in the relationship.

With these things in mind, having a conversation with your ex about their responsibilities will be without a doubt emotionally strenuous, but it’s the first step you should take.

Let’s face it, court proceedings and lawyers cost money, so trying to talk it out before taking serious legal action is the cheapest route for the both of you.

If you feel uncomfortable talking to your ex for any reason, go with a friend or a family member to give you support. Listen to them and try not to create a hostile environment with accusations and finger pointing before you hear the reasons they aren’t respecting their duties.

They may have lost their job or are facing other financial difficulties.

This doesn’t give them a free pass, but it’s more understandable than “I’m just not going to help financially support our child.”

Having a conversation with them may help you find an agreeable solution for both of you, like paying you in installments or when he becomes financially able to. Whatever the case may be, you will know what your next step is after having a conversation.

2. Have a backup plan to cover the missing child support.

A back up plan  is always a good thing to have in place for anything.

However, when it comes to unpaid child support, it may not be that easy for some.

In most cases, you will have to find an additional job or cut your expenses.

As unfair as this is this is the circumstance for millions of women.

The best way to approach this is by thinking about this possible issue beforehand.

During the divorce or breakup, you should see what are your other options to finance your life if your ex doesn’t pay child support. Also, talk to them even then and try to find some sort of compromise to make it easier.

3. Consult a lawyer about possible options.

Legal consulting isn’t something you should neglect in these situations. Whatever you decide in the end – going to court or not – you should always know your legal rights.

Additionally, going to court will cost you, and you have to know what to expect financially if you choose this option.

Consulting an attorney will give you an idea of what to do next.

If your ex is unemployed or is employed illegally, then you have to know would taking him to court be a good idea for both of you. It all comes down to their willingness to cooperate and make an arrangement with you.

But if they’re uninterested, then, unfortunately, the court may be your only option no matter how hard it seems.

4. Contact your local child support agency.

Government agencies for child support are present in every state and even country. Their job is to collect the money for you if you don’t have the means to finance the case.

Fortunately, they typically do this service for free and apply techniques that may not be available to independent attorneys.

The only problem you may encounter is that they are usually busy and swamped with cases.

So, it may take them a long time to finally address your case, and that means you’ll have to find ways to survive until then.

Before going to them, try to come to an agreement with your ex-partner and see what other options for financial aid you have.

Court proceeding and decision

If you do go to court, know that the decision can affect your ex in several ways.

The payments may be enforced with a court order, they can be held in contempt of court and even serve jail time. You will also need a family law attorney for this in order to plead your case before the judge.

When the proceedings start, you will have to present the evidence to the court of unpaid child support. This means you should collect all the evidence you have to prove your ex is guilty.

The judge can order your ex to pay for your court and attorney expenses, as well.

After this, your ex may start making the payments regularly and come to their senses.


Child support is the responsibility of both parents.

A child shouldn’t go without because one or the other parent neglects them emotionally or financially.

Financial support is one of the things your ex should do without even being asked, along with regular visitation and care for the wellbeing of their children.

You have options and possibilities to resolve this problem with minimum emotional impact on your children and you.

Still, if those don’t work, consider taking serious legal actions and remedies to avoid getting yourself into a hard financial situation.

Source: Blackloveadvice