Photo Courtesy||Sai De Silva||

Bottomline: As much as I do not enjoy admitting it, every man growing up requires the presence of a dedicated father in their lives unfortunately, some aren’t lucky enough to enjoy this privilege

Have heard of theories. Scary ones that have shocked my heart wavering my confidence as a single mother but somehow, I have managed to make peace with them. I have heard men contemptuously talk about other men who have been raised by single mums, the kind of demeaning attributes they use to describe them.

Some have said they are weaklings, pansies that are ready to tear up from very slight confrontations. Others have accuse them of being social misfits incapable of exhibiting the dignity that comes with masculinity.

I strongly disagree with these notions by raising claims that not a hundred percent of such men end up being insufficient, not because I am raising my son as a single parent without his biological father in the picture thus I would like to give myself hope, but because I have met a good number of fully-grown matured men who have defied all those stereotypes. Judging from what I know and see everyday, my son is growing up to be a very adequate and capable young man.

Men raised by single mothers have been misjudged for the mere fact of being disadvantaged growing up without a father. As much as I do not enjoy admitting it, every man growing up requires the presence of a dedicated father in their lives unfortunately, some aren’t lucky enough to enjoy this privilege. It might be brought about by a number of circumstances ranging from death, rejection, unpreparedness or just a sheer excuse to evade parental responsibility. It is rarely by choice that one decides to grow up without a father figure in their lives but most of the time single mums often try their best to raise their sons according to what the society deems manly.

Aware of the fact that my son is growing up fast, processing a lot in his young mind. He has begun understanding the possibilities of my late father being his father, as he has been made to believe. Its not in order, so he has begun asking for more convincing answers at just the age of four. Am speculating that very soon he will be demanding to meet his biological dad this is scary enough as am thinking of what will or may erupt when we reach that bridge.

I have been present seeing him through all of his milestones; his first foot steps, his first day in school, his first time wearing down an ice cream, his first words and all his “first times”. I wish my efforts could add up to being enough but sadly, they still say he needs a father figure; to build a story with and to teach him the pertinent ways of handling masculinity.

I have made peace with the fact that most of his early childhood lessons are either going to be self-taught or taught by me. That part is building up pretty well. I hope it gets even better with time. He fixed his shoelaces for the first time today, the result is very encouraging.

Photo ||Annie Odeka||

 

 

As a daughter, I have lots of stories that I shared with my father when he was still alive and those stories have since created an integral part of my being but it saddens me that my son might never be able to find such stories to tell. He might never have good, uplifting stories to tell about his biological father but he sure does have lots to tell about his father figures.

Stories about his late grandfather (dad) on how he played his very first soccer game with him, stories of how he bought him his very first jacket and the one major story about how he helped save his life when he was just 18 months.

He will have stories about his uncles; of how they helped raise him boosting his courage and confidence. Stories of how they became his first buddies and playmates, stories of the toys he “inherited” from them plus the movies they watched together. He will tell stories about the prayers his godfather taught him alongside the guidance offered. He will also have stories of his teachers, his friends and men he meets along the way. Hopefully, he will have interestingly nice stories to tell about his future stepdad too.

I am confident enough that he will have great stories to make with and tell about me too. I play the roles of a friend, a mother, a teacher and that of a father to him, that’s a whole lot of plots to build upon if you ask me.

Most importantly, above all beings, he will have glorious stories to tell about God, the winnings he has achieved in His name. He will walk with him all through his life. He will lead him to safety, prolific grounds and set him free from tribulations. These are the stories he will tell, stories that shall shape his manliness.