A Single Mother’s Poem

I didn’t choose to be where I am

If I had a choice, I’d want a happy marriage too

But that’s not all it takes to make your kids happy

To gain some sanity and mental health

They hear my story and interpret it however they want

I am human too, you know

I made mistakes just like you and I might slip again

Perhaps the difference between me any you

Is that I know what and where to fix

I know not to tread the same path

Life forced me to mature at a young age

But I am forever grateful

Because the lessons have been well worth it

Nothing puts me down except when

I don’t see smiles on my children’s faces

Some say I was weak to walk away

Some say I am strong to do it all alone

One thing I see in these two statements is ‘I’

Yes, I made the decision

Because I chose my sanity

Believing that a happy mom equals a happy child

Whether I gathered my strength on the first day

Or picked it along the way,

One thing I know for sure is,

I am strong and being a single mother

Is a title I carry with my head held high

Because that’s what makes me special.

To the New Single Mother

As I sit here watching my 1-year old play, undisturbed and unsure of what’s going on, I thought of you?

How are you feeling? I know it’s tough, especially the first few months. But believe me, it will get better soon. It all depends on you, though. Are you giving up? Do you still have the strength to face every new challenge that comes your way?

See, I know it’s not easy. It was not your plan to be a single mom. Just like me, you dreamt of giving your little one a family with mommy and daddy. A life where he/she would run to dad when you scold him/her. I get it. I dreamt of all those great family outings and dinner as we share and laugh about our hectic day.

I wish I knew you in person so that I can hug you and let you know that things will be okay. Even on those happy days, you may need some reassurance that you are doing it right. You are mom! You are moving in the right direction, and I am proud of you for getting this far.

Don’t give up just yet because it’s about to get better. Being a single mom is hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Wait for the days when he/she will send you a Father’s Day card then you’ll know that being a single mom is just so special. You are a supermom, and you should feel this way.

These first few months will be tough. Spending sleepless nights, cleaning the mess around the house, multitasking, struggling to balance your job and being an extraordinary mom, paying the bills – I understand if you feel tired and frustrated.

You need encouragement and motivation once in a while. It doesn’t mean you are weak or not doing things right. It only means that you are human. I’ve been there, and it’s hard trying to maintain your sanity. 

My advice to you is this:

Don’t put down the man who made you a single mother

It’s easy to do this. And yes you can bad mouth your ex to your best friend, to your mom or me. You can do this, but never to your child. As young as they may be, they still dream of the idea of having a dad. So don’t assume they are too young to notice or understand. Don’t lessen your child’s feelings.

It’s okay to cry

After all, you are not made of stone. Cry in your room or the shower. I’ve done this so many times, and it makes me stronger. A good cry once in a while is awesome.

It’s okay to ask for help

Do you need someone who relates to what you are going through? Call me! Whatever support you need – social, moral, or economic – it’s okay to talk to someone. You will feel frustrated if you don’t do it. Have a network and join social support groups for single moms.

Talk to your child about his/her fears and frustrations

As your child grows, listen to his/her concerns. You will not know how your kid feels unless you talk to him/her.

Let your child spend time with a male role model

No, I don’t mean your new boyfriend. A male role model can be your child’s uncle, grandfather, or a mentor from church.

Believe that you will survive

The first few weeks may feel devastating. It’s normal. Your life has turned upside down, and nothing is like you hoped. Believe that you will survive and that you will be happy. Do your best to find a new normal.

Have a survival plan

You need to make sure you have a way to provide for your child. Have a budget. Cut your expenses and increase your income if it is necessary.

Have some alone time

You need time to take care of yourself – both physically and emotionally. It is okay to reach out to your family for a kid-free day.

So stop feeling like life isn’t fair or wondering why this is happening to you. Whatever you are going through is normal, and lots of moms have been where you are right now. I love that you are a strong phenomenal woman, and you will soon find your way to success. You are not alone and know that I am thinking of you.

Wishing you the best and cheers to many years ahead

Lots of love from ME!

21 Encouraging Bible Verses for Single Mothers

It’s tough being both a mother and a father. Hats off to single parents who make this possible. I’ve been reading my Bible looking for scriptures to see me through tough times. I need this encouragement especially on those days when I feel its too much. I found a few verses that spoke directly to me and my present situation as a single mom.

Here are 21 verses that truly reflected on my life as a single mom. When you feel sad and lonely, and things don’t happen the way you want them to, turn to your Bible and you will find motivation. Welcome the Holy Spirit in your life to hear your message from the Lord. Hopefully, these verses will also give you some encouragement as a single mother.

Isaiah 54:5-6

For your maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit - a wife who married young, only to be rejected, says your God.

Isaiah 62:5

He who formed you will marry you. As a groom is delighted with his bride, so your God will delight in you.

Isaiah 65:23, 24

The work they do will be successful, and their children will not meet with disaster. Even before they finish praying to me, I will answer their prayers.

Deuteronomy 23:14

For the Lord your God moves about to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you.Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

Psalms 118:5-7

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Psalms 68:5

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Hebrews 13:6

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” 

Isaiah 61:7

Your shame and disgrace are ended. You will live in your own land. And your wealth will be doubled; your joy will last forever. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Psalms 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Isaiah 59:1 

Don't think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help!

Psalms 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 41:10

Do not be afraid - I am with you! I am your God - let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Matthew 19:26

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Isaiah 54:10

My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 30:19 

You will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

Isaiah 40:29, 31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

A Letter from a Single Mother to Her Sons

To my handsome boys,

You’ve all grown to mature and responsible young men, and I can never be more proud. Some years have gone by, and I realize you are not boys anymore.
You deserve everything life throws your way, and I know you’ll keep off those that pull you down. Before you get any older, allow me to tell you one thing – I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because up to now I still can’t give you the one thing I know you wish you had. I’m sorry because up to now, you don’t have a man who shows up every day at home to hug you and ask about your day. It’s not easy.

I didn’t set out to be a single mom, but I am. Life, in its own funny way, happened. Things did not go as I had hoped. Things were tough at first. But when I realized I had to play the role of two, I put myself together and stepped into the game. I had to be a stronger woman than I was. I had to choose between failure and taking up the challenge. I chose the latter, and it is a decision I do not regret to date. I am proud of who I am today.

It wasn’t easy then, and it still isn’t easy. Your handsome innocent faces, however, act as a reminder that I need to be the mother you will be proud of. At times I close my door and cry myself to sleep. “Am I doing the right thing?” I’ve asked myself this question on more than one occasion. But I have never given up nor will I ever give up.

I know I have become the mother you wanted. You say you are happy and satisfied. That nothing else matters as long as you have my love. But deep inside I still feel things aren’t as I had hoped. I look into your eyes, and I know that one day you’ll be great men. One day you’ll transform the world.

Some days are tough. Other days things don’t work my way. I wish I could give you everything you deserve. I’m sorry I cant because as much as I am Super Mom to you, I can’t fix everything. I can only do what I know best and let God plan everything else.

  • I can tuck you in bed and give you morning kisses.
  • I can prepare your favorite meals and surprise you with gifts once in a while.
  • I can spend my Saturdays with you at our favorite hang-out in town.
  • I can love you more each day and teach you how to do the same.

You are strong and worthy sons. Someday, I will teach you a woman’s worth. I will teach you how to respect and be kind to others. I will show you how not to be selfish, and I will do my best to show you your self-worth.

Hopefully one day I will share you with someone who will love you as I do. I’ll take my time and not rush into it because I know that any man who comes into my life must understand that you are always in my heart. The truth is, we are the package deal. I have made mistakes. I am not the know-it-all person. One thing I’m sure of is, I love like no other.

I may be sorry that I cant give you everything, but I am grateful because I can give you all you need. I’m happy because tomorrow I will wake up and you’ll be the first people I see. No matter how bumpy this journey is, I am forever thankful that I am your mother and you are my sons.

To the moon and back, I will forever love you, my superheroes.

To my Future Daughter-in-Law

Before my son becomes a man, there are a few things I want you to know. I don’t know you yet, but I love you already. Maybe the time won’t be enough, but I have enough to spare to pass a few things across.

My boy is only two years old, and I can tell you’re not yet born. That’s why I love you. I love you because I know God is molding you to be his perfect masterpiece. No, I don’t want you to be perfect. I just want you to be perfect for him. I love you because someday you’ll love my son like it’s your first time. Someday you’ll be the one to calm him down when he bursts out, wipe his tears when they drop and hug him when he needs someone to tell him it’s okay.

One day you’ll replace me in almost everything, but I want you to know that he will always be mine. There will come a time when won’t open up to me about a few things. There’ll be a day when he’ll feel shy when I peck his cheeks or fix his tie. You’ll have to do it. One day you’ll replace my hands, and you’ll be the one he’ll feel comfortable holding. It’s all okay because you will be the one he shares his dreams with. He’ll kiss you goodnight, hold you tight at night, and you will feel the same heartbeat I feel every night I hold him close to my breast.

Just as he’ll be mine, you have to know that I’ll be his. So don’t get frustrated when he mentions my name all the time. After all, mama was his first words. I was his first. I’ve seen everything you will see. I’ve seen his good side, and I’ve worked through his worst. Don’t feel frustrated when he gets too overprotective. I’m his only one. He knows no one but me. I’ve taught him how to tie his shoes, and I’ll show him how to tie a tie. But before my son becomes a man, I want you to know that he’s everything to me just as you will be to your parents.

My prayer to you is this; I pray that you are nurtured into a strong, loving woman. I pray that your parents teach you how to know and value your worth. I pray that they teach you how to value and respect others. I pray that you will know how to pick the right man and how to treat him as such. Before you become a woman, I pray that he becomes a man first. I want him to take his time to know y0ou. I want him to start with friendship and use it to blossom into something special that will last.

And even though I’ve had my share of mistakes, I want you to know that I’ve done my best. I commit my minutes, hours, days, and weeks thinking about how I can do it right. I’m not perfect, you aren’t either, but I want him to see us as such in his eyes. I am raising him to do right by you. To respect, love, and to honor you. I may not be the reason for all his strengths and flaws, but I want you to understand them as I do. You have to. After all, he will soon be a part of you too. Don’t expect him to complete you. He can’t. But I hope he will bring out the best in you. I hope he will accept you with all your flaws. That’s what I will teach him to do.

The world won’t be easy and kind to him. He’s a single mother’s son, but I am teaching him to be strong and brave. Don’t worry; I’ll also show him the importance of being humble. He’ll know when to ask for help and when to calm down. He will understand his role as a man, and he will protect you. Please don’t take advantage of all his sacrifices. I know he will need you. You’ll have to be on your knees and pray for things to work out. I hope you will understand the power of a praying woman. Support him, pray for him, and build your home with love.

We have a lot of years between us, but I hope I meet you soon. Before then though, let me pray for you because soon you will be my daughter.

Pregnant and Single? Here’s what to Expect

Going solo as a mom-to-be is tough. The next nine months will be full of challenges and days of emotional breakdown.

Pregnancy is one of those experiences that you just can’t hold from the world. All the beautiful memories that come with the little life growing inside you are moments you want to record until the last day.

Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same experience. Sometimes life takes a different turn, especially when you realize you are doing it on your own for the very first time.

My first pregnancy was the best experience, but I can’t say the same about my second. What I went through is an experience I wouldn’t wish on any mom-to-be. There’s nothing worse like being pregnant and single. I was seven days late and dating myself (my relationship just hit rock bottom). 

The first month was tough because I couldn’t stop panicking, and I had no one to share my feelings. Despite the mixed reactions that went through my head, I chose to keep my unborn child, and it is a decision I can never regret. My sons are my joy, and they add meaning to my life.

It was tough breaking the news to my family, but then I found out there was no need to worry. I have the most supportive family, and I would never trade them for anything. My feeling is justified though, being pregnant and single stirs up a feeling from deep within that you wouldn’t expect. Never had I expected to be pregnant and single.

Having a supportive family back at home has made me grow to be the strong single mother I am today. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do it over again, but given a chance, I would choose to have these amazing champs running around my house every day.

If you are going through this tough step in your life – being single and pregnant – here’s what you can expect. I’ve read numerous posts that touch on the same topic, but I realized most of them don’t have the Kenyan touch. So today, I share my experience, the common challenges I went through and hope that I will be able to speak to another single mom-to-be.

The Single Mom with no Help

Don’t spend the better time of your pregnancy trying to bring a man on board in an experience he isn’t interested in being part of. Doing this will stress the hell out of you, and we all know this isn’t good for the baby.

If you are more for keeping the baby than a grown man who decided to walk away, then you need to make sure you stay as healthy as possible for the sake of your unborn child.

I know it is essential for the father to play a role and be present in his child’s life, but what’s the use if you are trying to force it. This won’t turn out well for your unborn child when he/she joins this world, so let him be.

If you are a new mom-to-be, get ready for interrupted sleep without anyone to swap turns with. Be prepared to go for CWC (Child Welfare Clinics) alone and giving birth alone. It’s a bit depressing to think about these things, but it is the reality, and I want to keep it 100 percent real with you, mama.

I went through the same, and I know hundreds of moms share the same experience. While it appears normal these days, there is that feeling of loneliness and the worry of doing everything alone. Instead of thinking about all these and focusing your energy on things that pull you down, let me give you something to distract your mind.

Gather all the information you need

By information, I mean you need to collect data about the most affordable hospitals around you, daycares, and anything in between. Nine months might seem a bit long, but it is not mama. From the months of feeling nauseated to the late months when you eat almost anything, days will move faster than you’d expect.

Hopefully, you are paying your monthly NHIF dues because it will help you nine months down the line. I’m not sure about how the Free Maternity Program works, but I’ve seen a few moms benefit from it.

The government had introduced this program back in 2013, but there were some hiccups with hospitals complaining of late reimbursements. I did a little research on the same in 2016, and I was advised to get an NHIF cover. From the information I collected, pregnant moms would have NHIF cards topped up with 6k that catered for maternity. You can fill me in on this because I never used mine.

Have a plan underway because you never know whether you’ll have a normal delivery or go the cesarean section way. I’d hoped for the normal delivery, but it wasn’t the case. You might want to consider the possibility of asking for child support.

Much as the dad isn’t physically involved, he may be able to help, so don’t let your pride get in the way. This could make things a lot easier, but if you can go without it, by all means, go without. Don’t file for child support out of spite, do it because you genuinely need financial assistance.

It’s okay to be angry

No one will judge you if you are mad that this man wants nothing to do with your unborn child. This is perfectly okay, and I had experienced these feelings so many times when I was pregnant with my second child.

I understand that you feel frustrated because you have to go through parenting alone. Don’t put all your energy on this though because it isn’t good for the baby. There’s nothing good that will come out of your resentment for him except more anger, frustration, and worse off, depression.

While you are busy sulking all day, this man (depending on his nature) is somewhere doing something more productive (I hope). He is not thinking about you, so get your act together and move on.

Spend this time preparing for your child and be ready to give him enough love for two.

Build Your Support Group

While you feel you are entirely alone, I assure you that you are not. Lots of moms are going through the same. I love Facebook Groups because they make it possible to find an active support group. Whether single or not, there are lots of pregnant women who are looking for support groups to celebrate their joys and share their fears.

Of course, your family and closest friends are the best and most supportive people, but it doesn’t hurt to check out and join groups of women going through the same experience as you are. I remember joining The December Babies WhatsApp Group via Pregnant and Nursing Moms Facebook Group.

I loved it because most of us were single moms, and it was so encouraging learning from moms who had been through the same situation more than once. There were days we would complain about our men and days when we would thank them for giving us the best gifts.

Well aside from this, we would talk about shopping (baby clothes of course), the most affordable hospitals in town, and then there were those days when we would talk about the sex cravings. It was a fantastic group.

Before this group, I felt so lonely and depressed 90 percent of the time. I would cry myself to sleep and refuse to get out of bed in the morning. You need such a support group if you want to pull through the next few months.

It’s Time to go Shopping

Don’t worry because I’ll be touching on the most affordable items you’ll need as a new mom. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying second-hand clothes.

Muthurwa and Gikomba have the best yet affordable baby clothes in Nairobi. I’m not sure about other towns, but I was lucky to find some cute Mitumba clothes in Naivasha for my son.

You can also go for the hand-me-down clothes (my mother is so good at keeping baby clothes that my first son was lucky to wear a few of my brother’s hand-me-downs). There are a few items like diapers that you can get a good deal if you consider buying them in bulk.

Here are the Essential Items you will need at the Hospital for you and your newborn baby

  • 2 packets of baby diapers – newborn size (I’d recommend you go for Pampers the first time, but this depends on your budget)
  • Diaper bag
  • Baby powder
  • Vaseline (always good for newborns)
  • Mild baby soap
  • 4 baby vests
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 Baby blanket
  • 3 Baby Shawls
  • 4-6 Rompers
  • 2 baby hats
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of mittens

For you:

  • 2 lesos
  • Cotton wool
  • A few maternity clothes
  • Toiletries

Find Out Your Due Date

You’ll want to make an appointment with your doctor to find out your due date. This is very important because you want to be ready when the time comes. I used My Period Calendar App to track my progress and keep up to date with the current months as my baby grew slowly in my womb.

If you are in good terms with your baby’s father, you can bring him along when the time comes. It’s still okay if you go alone. My family was with me all the time, and I always had someone to help me out.

I went to all my doctor’s appointments alone, and at times I wish I had someone to give me the emotional support I needed or share in my joy as I had my first Ultra Sound or when I first found out my baby’s gender. If you can lean on any family member during these times, please do so.

Don’t Ignore the Common Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a common occurrence amongst most women during pregnancy, and it may be worse if you are pregnant and single. You don’t have to suffer in silence if you are going through a phase. Most women may not even realize if they are suffering from depression. Some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating
  • Feeling of emptiness
  • Lack of energy
  • Suicidal thoughts

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you have these symptoms.

Dealing with “Where is the Dad” Question

I don’t understand why this question comes up a lot. How well can you handle the question? Do you have the right answer for it? Expect to deal with it throughout pregnancy and even as you raise your child.

Here is a pro tip: the more confident you’ll appear, the less likely you’ll hear this question. I read some excellent books on parenting and motivation, including Ryuho Okawa’s Laws of Courage and Wale Akinyemi’s book on Creative Thinking that gave me a boost of confidence as days flew by.

Don’t Struggle to do it all

Parenting is tough, and single parenting is tougher because there are a lot of things you have to do alone. Much as you will be a super mom in your child’s eyes, don’t feel the pressure to play two roles.

Don’t try to be both a mom and dad at the same time. This will only make you feel overworked and overtired. You’ve got a whole village so don’t push away anyone willing to offer a helping hand.

It’s okay to ask for help, and it is equally healthy to recharge once in a while. In the meantime, though, focus on being the best single mom, you can be to your child and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Surviving on a single income

Budgeting is tough, but you have to do it if you want to survive. Be smart, tough, and do your best to get all your finances in order. If you do not rely on any other financial support, then money will stress you out. You have to worry about paying the bills, buying food and saving money.

If you are having a hard time making ends meet, you might want to try out some work-at-home jobs that do not require a lot of money to start. Try to live within your means and cut your expenses as much as you can. Save enough money that will cover your maternity costs and keep away enough to see you in the first few months before you resume work.

Being pregnant and single is tough. There are days when you will feel like giving up. Other days, you will fall into depression, but I know you can do it. Being a single mom isn’t tough if you know what to expect. Things would be a lot easier if he accepted taking this new step with you, but unfortunately, he didn’t. Don’t let this be the end of you – remember you need to keep your stress level in check for the sake of your baby.