Is it hard being a Somali single mother in a western society? Hmmm…..for me, it’s hard being a single mother raising kids solo not matter what kind of society you live in or what your ethnicity might be period! But if we are referring to the hardships Somali women face as single mothers in dealing with people in our community, then yes.
As sad as it is for me to say this, being a single mother in our community comes with a stigma and a lot of gossip. For example, a child misbehaves or is acting out, it’s because he is being raised by a single mother. Nobody cares about how hard his mother has worked to make sure he is getting well educated, taking him to different types of activities just to ensure he stays out of trouble….etc, it’s still going to end up her fault…..but if that very same boy’s mother and father are still together and married then it’s “oh, poor so and so, this western society has ruined their child” or “poor so and so, he started hanging out with the wrong friends”. Did you note how there is no parent blaming?
I remember when I was going through my divorce, a male distant relative of mine had the audacity to actually approach me and tell me “once your children, especially boys, start acting out and turn ‘bad’, don’t come running to me for help”….boy! He must have been a fortune teller because he seems to be predicting, indirectly, what is in store for me in the near future 🙄
The actual fact that the minute you become a single mother has everyone predicting how “bad” your children will turn out without their father’s presence has me fuming 😤
Oh, and let’s not forget about how married women whom you used hit the dance floor with at weddings all of a sudden keep you on the distances because they are worried you will come for their husbands 😩 Like girl bye, I ain’t that desperate yet!
If these people aren’t busy predicting your children’s future or protecting their husbands from you, they are out there feeling sorry for you like your out living in the streets with your kids and getting your daily meals from rubbish bins. Like N to the O, NO GIRLFRIEND, I don’t need your fake ass sympathies! My kids and I have a roof above our heads, fridge full of delicious food you would wish you can get your hands on and wearing clean clothes!! So what exactly are you feeling sorry about now? I definitely know you ain’t feeling sorry because I’m raising my kids solo ‘coz honey, let’s be real!, you are doing just about the same despite being married! Your husband is either working, sleeping or sitting at a coffee shop somewhere discussing Somali politics amongst other “husbands”! Which leaves you with raising the kids solo too 💁🏽
Being a single mother is hard in general, no matter where you live but what makes it even harder for us Somali mothers is the stigma, dirty looks and talks we receive from the people in our community. I think it’s about time all the Somali single mothers got together and did something to create an awareness regarding these issues…..one of the main reasons I started this blog, clearly quoting that I’m a single mother of 4.
Read this article on this topic from another fellow Somali single mothers point of view.
Until next time mommas and friends, ma’salaama 🤗 And just on a side note, I’m not generalising, there are heaps of amazing people in our community whom I’m pretty sure don’t fit in this criteria 🙂 Peace ✌️