By Michael Awe
The rate at which our young women are becoming single mothers is increasingly alarming. Apart from widows, it’s like we are having single moms almost at equal proportion to married women. And this unpleasant situation is a consequence of men and their irascible moral attitude. Many of them chose to be irresponsible, philandering and uncaring fathers.
I can’t count the number of single moms whose husbands just disappeared from home not because of any serious acrimony or domestic violence but because they wanted to explore their masculine potentials in a wrong way.
There are men who operate on-and-off schedule in their matrimonial homes. They stay away for days or weeks, lurking for free and available women with less or nil responsibilities to bear. Some of such men have initiated ‘secret’ family life with other women elsewhere while telling their wives they are in pursuit of business opportunities or on official tour of duty. These are men on the fringes of abandoning their homes.
Surprisingly, many of these runaway dads abandoned their homes leaving their wives with the burden of taking sole responsibility for their children. They do so with callous disposition as if it’s the right thing to do. They stopped paying the rent. They are not concerned about their children’s schooling, feeding, clothing and medicare. Any man relishing in this kind of unfatherly attitude won’t be blessed at the instance of the children.
Let’s agree they have issues with their wives and they opted out of the marriage unofficially, must they extend their grievances to the innocent children? Supposed the man is suspecting or questioning the paternity of the children, can’t he go for DNA to authenticate his claim? Leaving women alone to shoulder the heavy burden of paying the bills is very unfair, wicked and ungodly.
Some men might have different stories to tell on why they quit, it’s very possible but I insist it is sheer callousness to abandon the children. Some men have told me about their move to have the children live with them without their moms. I told them it’s pretty difficult especially if the children are still of school age. No woman would trust a ‘strange woman’ enough to occupy her space for her children while she is alive.
The way and manner some men quit the home on the pretext of prospecting for business or official trips wouldn’t encourage the women to trust them with their children. Some men had accused their wives of ‘trapping’ them with pregnancies even when they had no plans to marry at all. They might have tenable grouses with their women, yet, it’s no justifiable reason to burden the women with the sole responsibility of caring for the children.
A stock in trade with such runaway dads is that they tell lies a lot. A clearing and forwarding business magnate abandoned his wife and two children barely six years into the marriage and went on philandering. When this incident happened in 2007, he was enjoying a big boom in his business. He rented houses for a number of his girlfriends, bought expensive gifts for many of them. While the financial honeymoon lasted, he didn’t erect any building for himself. He lavished millions of naira on social life and emptiness. As you read this article, his first daughter is preparing for admission into the university while the boy is also in SS2. He couldn’t send a dime for their school fees or upkeep in the last five years. This leaves his legitimate wife stranded, struggling to cope. Meanwhile, he is hibernating in a two-bedroom apartment with an older woman who also have two children for him apart from children from other women. From this man alone, our society has five single moms who are now struggling with life issues on their own. He lied to each of them to put them in the family way.
A network marketer was abandoned by her husband shortly after she delivered her fifth child. Barely three months later, he returned home to pick some of his personal effects and left the next day. He told his bewildered wife that “your mates are out there taking good care of their men. They even appreciate the fact that they are lucky to have men around them who make them feel good. All you know is to ‘breed’ children like a pig.”
When I contacted the man, his response was so weird and funny. Hear him: “Oga, I don tire for dat woman joor. I wan enjoy ma life small. With five children, wetin I go do to feed them? I dey where I dey enjoy. You don hear am before say man dey collect money for enjoyment? Na dat kind level I dey so.”
At a relationship forum in July (Every Woman Listen! by Miahwra Miahwra), I advised parents to start grooming their boys to becoming men and from men to becoming loving, caring husbands and responsible fathers. It is not women alone that should be molded; men, too, need proper mentoring and grooming for future life. A well-groomed man won’t abuse or harm his wife. He will always have a sense of caution in his indulgences. It is then we can have a decent society that has value for home (grooming place for future leaders) and consequently reduce the spiraling incidence of young women becoming single mothers.