Pamela Nduku, a single mother of two

Single mothers deserve to be treated with great respect. They mould girls and boys into women and men when the father figure is absent. Being a single mother is not easy but these women try to give us their best.

In most cases, single mothers are seen to be promiscuous women but that’s not always the case. Some are divorced, separated, widowed and others are single mothers by choice.

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Well, Pamela Nduku is among the many single mothers out there taking good care of their children. The  43-year-old mother of two girls, who has been a single mother for 11 years, has narrated her struggles raising children on her own.

Pamela Nduku

The single mother says she is planning to write a book about her journey in life, the bad decisions that led to a bad marriage, raising children and career.

Here’s her story

“I’m raising two girls, 18 and 15. I have been a single mother for 11 years now and I can tell you that raising children alone is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Because you are everything and being everything is never enough.

Three years ago I broke down. I couldn’t take it, I was tired of being strong and being everything. I wanted to get away to be alone but I couldn’t afford a holiday. So I called my sister in Canada crying, I wanted to just go somewhere and be weak and to cry and talk to someone who couldn’t judge me.

So I admitted myself in hospital. I was tired of paying bills and raising my children, of thinking about their future and my future and I had ran out of anything to give. I was empty. I cried every day, I slept, I allowed someone to take care of me and listen to my vulnerability. I wallowed in weakness and it felt great.

I spoke to a counselor, a first for me. After a few days, I was discharged and the world became clear. I quit my job where I was a senior brand manager. I joined public service, taking a pay-cut while at it.

I also realized that I wasn’t going to spend my life just raising children. There was more to life. I was a person, I needed to think of myself more. As a single parent you never want to tell your children no, but I now don’t feel guilty when I tell my children no. I don’t feel any lesser as a mother and I expect them not to feel any lesser as my children. We haven’t been on holiday in two years and I don’t feel that I’m failing them. We will go when we go.

I have rid myself of anything in my life that doesn’t bring me joy. My happiness is first, I’m taking care of me.

I want to write a book about my journey in life, the bad decisions that led to me to a bad marriage, raising kids, career, life. It’s going to be a story about standing in weakness, and the courage to step out of it. I want to write a book I would buy.”

Nduku’s story has inspired other single mothers and left many especially those who were raised by single mothers praising these women for being strong. Here are some of the comments from social media

Jeff Kinyanjui: I was raised by a single mother from extreme poverty and I’m glad the tide changed. But she worked extremely hard to ensure I got where I am today, from hawking to selling illicit brews in Kibra and Hamza. No one will ever take my mama`s place. Keep trying

Scooby Ma’Eli Tsonie: No one would understand when a single Mum says “I broke down, i just wanted to be somewhere alone”
That day comes, you feel alone, everything on the south side…you cry, Have migraines… But the beauty of it is how strong and focused you come out of it

Madoff: I am no single parent. I am no high flyer. But I am at that point of weakness. I too am tired of being strong for everybody else. But I don’t know how to stop. Or even whether I should. My responsibilities are modest. But I am at a point where I feel they are overwhelming. I have been a listener for so long I don’t know what it’s like to be the talker. I have been so strong for oh so long I honestly have no idea what weak is anymore.

Thing is, I want to buy that book too. And maybe, just maybe, I can understand a little better what it is that I am going through.

Joyce Nambare: This is exactly what happened to me a month ago. 18 years as a single parent, struggles and laughter, I was broken, my past was visiting me, critics were too sharp and as usual I didn’t have an emotional back up in terms of friends, I went to hospital collapsed at the entrance from a mild heart attack, I stayed in hospital too bitter to forgive myself for my weakness. I woke up, wiped my tears got home and as I recover, I can smile am not yet there but am doing fine. This sounds familiar.

Also, read:

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Sylvia Muthoni: I have learnt…That..just like I take care of my son…I need someone to care take of me too….Raising children alone is a daunting task ..yet when kids are all grown up and gone…Some will even ask you did we ask you to do it?Love you, have me time …Fall in love. . it is never too late to start all over again

Liz Wa Muasya: I have raised 2 kids alone. They are all young adults now. Already moved out. I thank God they turned out very well. It was tough. I had to b very strong because I knew if I break I go down with them. Was not going to let that happen. Worse I was very young and at times very broke. But I had a very strong family support plus 2 very true and gd friends. Now am learning to think about me and my happiness and for sure am enjoying myself. Lesson focus on the kids make yourself as happy as you can. Pray for guidance strength and provision from God. Respect yourself and carry yourself with dignity and when they are all grown up you will look at them and ask yourself how on earth did I do this. Am at a chapter of getting my groove back and am enjoying myself.

Pearl Onderi: The other day I told a friend “..single parents are strong people not because they have to be but because it is all they can be whether they want to or not”.
And often we are strong for everyone else and not ourselves.

Credits: Bikozulu

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