Contributed by Nicholine Akou

Single parenting is a phase that brings about a lot of challenges. Around the 1920s, single parenting usually came about by the loss of a partner or divorce. But nowadays, teenage parenting has become rampant. Besides, some married women still act like single parents despites the presents of their husbands because all responsibilities are shifted to them especially in countries where welfare policies are not effective. Parenting is a bundle of joy but being a single parent especially a teenage single parent is a great challenge to handle. I don’t think it is anybody’s desire to be a teen single parent but once it has happened, you have to accept the situation and move forward. Below are five ways that will mold you as a single teenage parent.

Do not stop pursuing your career:

I agree with you that you had a lot of dreams to accomplish and being a single parent wasn’t one of them. So many things are happening at the same time. You have to manage your finances as there is an extra mouth to feed. Although some teenage parents will probably drop out of school to carter for their kids, it does not mean it is the end of the education. Look for another alternative to keep you busy at the moment if there is no means to go back to school. For sure, you will attain your dreams one day. For the fact that you did not abort the fetus, means you will be up to the task. Stay strong and keep pursuing your dreams.

Cry it out when it is necessary:

Don’t pretend it doesn’t hurt. Cry out your pain each time the memories surrounding the pregnancy come up, cry it out when you feel you have little finance and moral support to carter for your child. For crying is a means to wash away your pain. There will come a time when you wouldn’t be able to cry anymore rather only laughter will surround you. Just be aware that crying is the easiest means to let it go.

Forget what others think of you:

People will mock at you for being a teenager and a single parent and your parents will be so disappointed in you as well. Don’t blame them for they are humans too. Don’t take those things at heart. Just be calm while working hard to surprise them with your success for they will eventually celebrate with you for your achievements. Your success will prove to them that, being a teenage parent doesn’t mean it is the end of your dreams.

Do not blame the child:

Please don’t blame the child for whatever the reason may be. They are times you will be insulted by men, friends and even strangers for being a so-called taboo.Don’t pour your anger on your child for it is just an innocent soul which knows nothing surrounding the circumstances you are caught in. Rather, be truthful to yourself and your kid, then life will definitely go on smoothly.

Show love to your child:

Love heals all wounds. Give the kid your time and support because it is also battling with insults from his peer group. There are times it will be called a bastard simply because it was brought up by a single parent. So always be there to comfort your child and when it grows up, it will reward you bountifully for your endless struggle to give it a better life.

Finally, the five points mentioned above are to mold you to be a successful teenage single parent. But I affirm that it is tough to be a single parent but it is equally enjoyable when you watch your kid grow up and become a successful person. Do not kill yourself if you are found in such a situation. Other people have been there before. Talk to them and they will share with you all the efforts they put in place to be where they are today.  

                                                                                             Edited by Emiliene Alemkeng