IT TAKES SO MUCH BREVITY TO BE A SINGLE MOTHER

Juliet Owitti
Posted November 10, 2015 from Kenya

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, her husband 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 the Natasha 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 her 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 I’m I not doing right? What happened to the man I fell in love with? I’m I not beautiful anymore? I’m 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 she gives Natasha all she needs if not all she wants, she rushes home from work to her daughter and helps her do her homework, eats with her and finally says a prayer with her before taking her to bed.

She is a different person who 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. 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 and finally she was happy again.

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 no pay thus support from the other parent is needed. However, at times circumstances push you 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!

Baraka!

owittijthoughts.wordpress.com

Comments 13

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Paul Frank
Nov 11, 2015
Nov 11, 2015

I didn't know what 'Baraka' meant so I did a search to look it up.  I didn't find a dictionary definition, but I did find this description:

"Baraka is an ancient Sufi word, which can be translated as 'a blessing, or as the breath, or essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds.' "

How perfect!  You have acted as a voice for the ordinary woman who navigates her woman's life as "tears roll down her cheeks."  Thank you for inviting me into this world.  Thank you for speaking for women in this story and in your blog.  Thank you reporter for laying bare a woman's experience for the men and women of the world, thereby changing ever so slightly the grand social narrative that too often ends in bruises -- both physical and emotional -- and families torn apart.  Drop by drop, word by word may you -- may we all -- create a kinder narrative that meets everybody's needs instead of nobody's needs.

Thank you "essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds."

Baraka!

PS--With your permission I would like to share some of your blogs on my social media.  PF

Juliet Owitti
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Hi Paul! Baraka is a swahili word meaning blessings. Thanks for taking your time to read my post, I appreciate. Yes, we have some women who suffer in silence out here and I am willing to share their stories and inspire others. Yes, you can repost my post, share and share and share. Asante (thank you)

Baraka! owittijthoughts.wordpress.com

Paul Frank
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Hi Owitti Juliet,  (Please tell me how to respectfully address you.)

Thanks for letting me share.  Have you thought about being a writer?  The first thing you need is a heart with interest in people, and you have that.  As far as the words part of it you can spend lifetimes working on that and still have much to learn.

Thanks for following me on Wordpress.  I am not very active there now, though you might enjoy this if you are interested in people and writing:  https://theahamkaraproject.wordpress.com/  I would also be happy to engage with you on any social media you are active on.  See my profile page.  Are you interested in connecting with . . . writers?  anything else?

Keep on writing and sharing women's worlds.

Baraka!

Paul

PS--I just noticed that Barak (Obama) is a shortened form of 'Baraka'.

Juliet Owitti
Nov 15, 2015
Nov 15, 2015

Hi Paul,

Trust you are well.

You can address me as Miss (Ms) that is fine by me.

I find myself being interested in people and ask a lot of questions concerning their lives then put pen to paper, with that I can definitely consider writing.

I would want to grow and get new ideas from other people, so why not connect with you! I believe I could learn something from you.

Baraka!

Paul Frank
Nov 26, 2015
Nov 26, 2015

Hello Miss Owitti (or Miss Juliet or Miss Owitti Juliet or Miss or???),

Sorry to take so long.  We had an electrical storm  on my mountain which knocked out the local wireless transmitter.  Actually I still have a couple more days waiting for a new antenna with the right frequency, but I found a local Internet cafe that is up now.

Ask away.  I do not think I have any interesting secrets, but even if I do I do not think my neighbors know your neighbors.

I look forward to your questions.  The biggest thing I remember about Kenya is I do not want to kill a goat if I get married there.

Baraka!

Paul

Juliet Owitti
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Hi Paul! Baraka is a swahili word meaning blessings. Thanks for taking your time to read my post, I appreciate. Yes, we have some women who suffer in silence out here and I am willing to share their stories and inspire others. Yes, you can repost my post, share and share and share. Asante (thank you)

Baraka!

Emily Garcia
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Hi Owitti Juliet!

Wanted to let you know that to reply to Paul directly (so that he receives an email notification alerting him to your comment) you can click the dialogue button on the bottom of his comment. Otherwise he might miss your reply!

Hope this helps!

Emily

Juliet Owitti
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Great! Thanks for that.

Emily Garcia
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

You're welcome! I think we need to make that button stand out a bit more. I actually frequently forget to use it and I'm on this site almost every day! ;)

Juliet Owitti
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

I've done the right thing now right? Yes, it should stand out otherwise one might think their comment was ignored. Thanks a lot Emily I appreciate.

Paul Frank
Nov 12, 2015
Nov 12, 2015

Thanks Emily!

Kristina M
Nov 29, 2015
Nov 29, 2015

Dear Owitti Juliet,

Thank you for sharing this wonderfully written story.  I especially liked how you included what the women was thinking before and after she left her husband.  While I also agree having two parents raise a child is more ideal, sometimes being the single parent is the only option.  It is too bad we place so much judgement on others without knowing their story.  I know that being less judgemental is something I have been working on.

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 21, 2016
Feb 21, 2016

Dear Owitti Juliet,

Thank you for writing about single mothers. When we first began to look closely at numbers here in Canada in the 1970's it was discovered that at least 1/3 of families were being cared for by single mothers, and that number has remained steady. Given how true this is globally, that is a lot of women unfairly judged in so many different ways! Thanks for shedding realistic and compassionate light.

In sisterhood,

Tam