29th July, 2011
Single parenting is something no sane person wishes to experience, but life has a way of giving us that which we dread most. As a man, you can become a single parent through so many ways;
â€¢Death of spouse
â€¢Separation or divorce
Death, they say, is inevitable. The pain of losing a spouse to death is always too deep that one needs to experience it to understand what we are talking about. Many wonâ€™t understand how it feels waking up one morning to the fact that your loved one is gone, and is gone never to return. It takes the grace of God to recover from such a loss. Women cry out thereby relieving the heart, but men tend to allow the pain pile up within. This has made us to believe that men handle it better. The fact is that men feel the loss more than the women.
What happens when you suddenly find yourself, a man, playing the role of a mother to your children? You used the wake up in the morning to be served breakfast in bed and then off you go to work only to come back to a sumptuous meal later in the evening. The woman, your lovely wife is gone leaving you with the children. How do you handle that?
Divorce is a very painful process especially when you are in love with your spouse. I know Nigerian men now have this mentality that there is always a better woman out there. This leaves you lonely and makes you single again. How do you handle the issue of raising your children the right way?
Unwanted pregnancy is another problem you encounter when you find yourself in a relationship with a girl who is either desperate or naive. This also happens when you lack self-control just like the Nigerian hip-hop artiste with about five children from three women.
Well, I am here today to help you go through this new status of a single parent.
The first mistake men make at the loss of a spouse has to do with women. It is a common knowledge that during the funeral ceremony of a manâ€™s wife, another lady is by the corner taking care of the man. Men, in most cases are ignorant of the devices of these evil ladies. They come in with the attitude that they care so much about the man and want to help cook for him and keep the kids. But the truth is that they know what they want.
When you lose your spouse either through death or divorce, it is never the right thing for you to rush into the arms of another woman who may be there to utterly destroy you and your children. Give yourself at least six months to be able to act with your clear eyes.
A friend who is going through a divorce told me how they brought this lady to him just a month after the wifeâ€™s death. He was pushed by family and friends to get married so as to forget the late wife. He did this without knowing he was digging his own grave. I know your family and friends mean well and they suggest that because they care, but please donâ€™t take that advice.
When your wife dies, take out time to build a stronger relationship with your children and plan together with them for a better future. Spend quality time with them knowing full well that they feel it more. This should be a time of reunion and total devotion to God. Depend on Him to show you the way forward.
Girls are going to come and I know you have blood running in your veins. You will feel like taking her in immediately because she was too nice during the funeral; all that glitters is not gold. I am sure you have family members you trust who can come in to stay with the kids. The best person to stay with your children in the case of death is their maternal grandmother because in the African setting, they are closer to the children. But I wonder how you handle it if they know you are the cause of their daughterâ€™s death.
I see people make the mistake of jumping into a new relationship once they get separated from their spouse. This is very wrong and you can agree with me that a good number of such relationships leave the men or women miserable. Most times, the reason is wrong as it is done to get at the other person and definitely not for love.
When one relationship comes to an end, give yourself some time to recover and discover yourself. Take some months or possibly one year to rediscover yourself. There are some mistakes you made while in that relationship, this is the time to think back and learn. Donâ€™t let any woman take advantage of this period of singleness. You can choose not to be lonely by getting yourself involved with some life building activities like seminars and conferences, community service and more education.
If you have children, I always advise men to let the women have the children in the case of divorce. A motherâ€™s love is incomparable and we all know this is true. There is a gap in your relationship with your kids the moment another woman comes into your life. No matter how much you love them, remember they are not happy with the presence of another woman in the house.
It is also natural for a man to give more attention to his spouse and this happens more where the new woman has no knowledge of what life should be in such a home. The fact is that most women are selfish when it comes to relating with their step children. I have seen fathers turn their back on their children just because one useless woman is by the corner turning his head. I have handled cases of girls running away from their fatherâ€™s house because of their step mother. Some of these girls become prostitutes in the long run. Many of them grow up with some kind of bitterness in their hearts towards their father and that affects their relationship with men later in life.
Our tradition will always kick against the woman staying with the kids but the fact is that no one can train and love a child better than the mother. Please let her keep the children while you visit them occasionally; you can still be friends outside marriage. Your friends are now telling you not to contribute to the upkeep of the children, but by the time you start begging for the kids to come to you, your friends will all turn their back on you. Be wise!!!
I recently advised a friend who is divorced but has a woman living in his house playing the role of madam. I bluntly told him the girl is senseless and has no moral upbringing. His children are all teenagers and they see this shameless girl play the role of their mother and now she is beginning to have issues with them. Why wonâ€™t they hate her when all she does is feed the man with lies against the children? Men, please be careful because those girls that act as saints before you are nothing but devourers in your absence. Stop taking different women into your home, your kids are watching.
The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to build your relationship with the children and make sure you remain friends with their mother even when there is no marriage. When, in the future you decide to remarry, please donâ€™t just look for the girls with curves and co; look for someone with experience and who has the heart of gold, the heart to bring your kids closer to you.
Remember, you cannot do it in your strength alone; it takes God and good friends to carry on. Whatever you do, make sure your children are trained to know God. If the woman is mentally stable and healthy, let her train her children, after all, they still bear your name. But donâ€™t fail to pay their bills because they will grow up someday to ask questions.