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Overcoming the fear of being a single parent

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[Music] thank you so you just told me about you know growing up with the stigma of a single parent even though it's accepted right now but you had you were you know having a hard time speaking out about it why was it was it like a party or upbringing or like tell share a little bit about like why was such a stigma of being a single parent thank you very much for having me it is a great honor to spend this few minutes with you single parenting is one of those things that are not talked about growing up in fact it is a taboo where I came from I was born and raised in Nigeria in the Igbo tribe and one thing we pride ourselves about is um the mothers being raising their daughters to be a very loyal um of you know married married and be loyal to the to the family they are married into that is usually the biggest Mother's Pride the race you show you how to take good care of your husband and your husband's family so that if you go there misbehave or complain that you're being mistreated or talked back to your husband or something like that the husband siblings or relatives close about they can gang up and beat you up and if you continue to complain this is during my time things have changed now if you continue to complain they will actually take you back to the family where you came from because obviously your mother haven't done a very good job in raising you and they're not just going to take you back they will put a jar of wine the local wine and you carry it home they will turn you back your parents have to go back and take you back and plead with them and pay fine or whatever the requirement is to for them to have you back then they will take your children away from you as well so because of that stigma and the mothers being held accountable for the sins quote unquote the sense of their daughters right and the mother will also be penalized in the church the church will stop them from receiving Holy Communion like Mia mccarthic and because again mother is being held accountable for the actions of the dollar and so that's kind of um when I grew up finished Secondary School and came to America to go to school my the one thing my mother told me to not to do is to bring Shem to the family while I'm here because so that made me when I become a single parent it was like I did to it every inch of your body that nobody finds out and the message goes home there is a different component to it another component to it which is American System considering that I am black I can't hide it I have an accent an American System have this stigma about children uh raised in a in a in a a single parent term a broken home and not only do I have to fear about my brand being a single parent about protecting my mother for being penalized in the church back home I also have to fear about my children because I don't want the society to add them into the statistics of parents on the ground kind of a thing and he's out in the on the streets doing drugs and doing all those kind of stuff and carrying on so that was my biggest Sofia and that's why it was for the longest time in fact he was up until 2012. [Music] 2020 my oldest son is 27 years old it wasn't until 2003 that I can proudly and boldly States I'm a single parent and I was fine with it that is quite an amazing story right like the the upbringing and you know you really got validation when your son said that right like and you've done a great job as a mother like we talk a little bit about raising really successful three children and despite all the stigma and all the pressures of the society and how you were feeling you still did a great job as a mother I'm so proud of you thank you yeah do you have any suggestions about people when they're going through this right like based on the upbringing and what the pressures they're putting on themselves what could they do this person is different and in the current generation uh like what he was when I was growing up in Nigeria is not what it is today yeah and the current generation people can actually do is still a don't ask don't tell kind of a thing people can still slowly revote those ones that have a higher education it will not happen in The Villages but the people in the in the other environments like in the Western World um being a single parent is not a sin yeah being a single parent is not that you did something wrong yeah we all make decisions about at the moment what we think is in the best interest of our hearts and ourselves yes and those times when you make those decisions maybe a year later into six months later when the reality really comes in then you can balance what you can handle compared to what you may not be able to handle yeah so based on those two moving parts what is important and sometimes it's for you to look yourself in the mirror and said if it's just you then you can make a decision based on the next steps for you so you can be happy and have a fulfilled life because life is short yeah but if there is a child involved you also have to now balance you plus the child's interest so what I did in my situation when I realized the married life is not going to work out my children better are raised in a single parent to give them all that I can and all that I have done being a toxic environment and being degraded all the time right when I did that I made that commitment and I made sure that my children are put in a situation where they will be successful yeah no I'm so glad that you could find the courage to speak about it to the person when you were doing your education and it really helps that one time that you speak up and my manager has been incredible incredibly wonderful with me I mean if I say you know my son is Syracuse I walk from home don't show up and if I said oh he's doing sports he was like well what time do you need to take a break because I know what what is important is the the people you surround yourself because sometimes people don't quit their job they quit a bad manager yeah and I've had so many years of having a bad manager and walking hoping that nobody noticed that I work on eggshells I finally had that manager who believe in me yeah that's right and we believe in my capabilities and who says it's okay to be you it's okay to have an accent in fact it's okay for you to be black it's even better that you're a woman yeah and my manager is a male that's so good to have a supportive manager right then you really thrive yeah yeah now I have confidence I can post this and I can be proud of who I am of my accomplishment and I can't tell anybody oh my son is this successful my other son is doing this well and I don't have anything in fact I'm proud because I can state that I raise these children one source of income they only help I had was my job and the daycare yeah and you did a wonderful job thank you yeah thank you Tina so much for sharing your story with our cause absolutely thank you so much for giving me the opportunity [Music]

More Information

The stigma and acceptance of a single mother in a culture that doesn’t support single parenthood. Single parenthood, though more accepted in the Western world, is not the case in many third-world countries. In this story, a single mother shares what it was like growing up in her culture. Women are raised to behave a certain acceptable way, she says. You are supposed to respect your husband and his family. If this custom is not followed, his family might beat you and/or send you back to your parents, claiming that your mother did not train you correctly for the role and responsibilities of a wife and mother. Because of this, in her culture, being a single mother has a stigma associated with her. It can be lonely being a single parent in less progressive and unaccepting cultures. Because there is a stigma associated with being a single parent, one would probably experience challenges in keeping relationships with others. For example, married couples may accuse the single parent of being a bad influence and feel their status in society might be affected by keeping a relationship with them. RCOZ.us offers an outlet for those who are having challenges and experiencing loneliness. Viewing relatable short video stories on the platform can help combat loneliness, and make one feel that they are not alone in their journey. May is mental health awareness month and RCOZ would like to be a part of making an impact on people who are experiencing mental challenges.

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