GUEST BLOGGER: @Lee_Lurv on "Being a single, young Mom in Joburg"
Carrying a child at 20 years of age was both exciting and confusingly stressful. I didn’t really have full knowledge of what may arise and I fed off the fact that this child was blessing from God, yet it was confusingly stressful, because my life was changing drastically.
The excitement for me was motivated by both the arrival of my new bundle of joy and the love and support I received from the father of my child. I couldn't wait to meet her, love her and just be the best mother I could be.
This time was not without its challenges though, I felt like I was disappointing my mother. She was a Single mother of six, financially strained, and had high hopes for me. Also my body was changing drastically daily, I gained weight and friends were getting fewer and fewer by the day. It was hard to juggle between the unfortunate bump, school and work. I was missing my life before the bump, modeling, going out and just being able to sleep on my tummy lol. However I made it through and my baby was born in November of 2007.
Unfortunately her father and I broke up in January 2008, irreconcilable differences. He is now happily married and living with his wife in Johannesburg.
I had to leave my baby in Kimberley with my mother and return to Johannesburg to pursue a career in order to care for my child. Thankfully though, her father was always active in her life and is still very supportive and maintaining his child well, in fact he does even more than I envisaged or even expected of him; he really adores her.
The challenges of being a Single Young Mother in Johannesburg vary woman to woman, mine really stemmed from having to live far away from my child, and she was 600km away, very young and yearning for motherly-love. I'm forever grateful to my mother for having being there and loving my child like her own. But back in Joburg I was struggling, unemployed and staying with friends.
Eventually God answered and blessed me with a great job. I was now able to properly look after my child and visit her as often as possible. Her father and me developed a civil relationship for the sake of the child and we now get along well.
Things did however became difficult when he lost his job in 2010 and I had to foot the bill for our child alone and still maintain myself, while at the same time still juggling work.
It's during this time that I decided to live with my daughter, enrolled her into a creche close to where I stayed, so I could drive her to school daily without a hassle.
Mornings were a mess for a good three months because I was not used to caring for a child and myself, it had always just been me. I made to-do-lists on the daily, struggling to juggle between home, her and work. Most times I would forget to even take care of myself. So I'd wake up at 05:00, take a bath and get myself ready, wake her up at 06:00 and get her ready, then pack her bag and make us breakfast. Drive to school and then to work, optimize my time at work, sometimes I'd have to work late and ask the creche to drop her off with the special transport, then ask my roommate to please feed and bath her while I was still slaving away.
And I knew something had to give at some point, so I sent Mosa (my daughter) back home again in 2010 and she has been staying with Mama ever since. What I learnt from my experience was not to rush into love and life, or you may find yourself in a compromising situation that could be really difficult to navigate. In love and life there are endless uncertainties, one will never really know what's coming ahead - trust God and remain Faithful to His will and word. Parenting is hard but much more difficult for a young single mother in Johannesburg, due to financial demands and other pressures.
My daughter Mosa`s recollection of this time will be different from mine. For her it was memorable spending time with mommy more than anything, simple things like mommy bathing her, sitting and eating together, chatting and her telling mommy all her stories was a marvel to watch and she always had a spark in her eyes.
My daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, she motivates and drives me to be greater than what I believe I could be, she is that extra step when I can't carry on. I have an awesome job now; thankfully it pays well and isn't demanding of my time. In 2017 January, Mosa will be staying with her mommy, and will have her own room, mommy will be able to drop her off at school without a hassle, she will attend extra murals and mommy will be able to pick her up diligently after school and we will spend great times at home together. She will also spend two weeks of the month with her dad, which gives mommy a little more time to do what she needs to do. Co-parenting has certainly made life much easier for a single young mother, like me.
Facebook: Lerato Mothibi