I have some saving tips from a single mother who is in her 40’s. I think everyone will benefit from this post and I took this pretty seriously because she clearly has more years experience on raising a child single-handedly. Take out your pen and paper…
Cut your hair, imagine the amount of money you are spending on hairdos that you could be saving for better use for you and your child.
Live within your means.
Do not compare yourself with people who are married, they have a double income you only have one, stay in your lane.
Save some money each month, it doesn’t matter how little, trust me it will go a long way.
Do not buy on credit, especially clothes, save to pay everything with cash.
Take a lunchbox to work with healthy home made meals or sandwiches.
Make friends with women in a similar situation who understand your struggles better.
Do what works for you, do not try to please anyone.
Set targets for yourself and make sure you reach them, it might take time but eventually you will get there.
Learn how to sew, simple things like replacing a button and hemming your pants will go a long way for your pocket.
If you live by most of these rules you might actually get round to going for that holiday you have been dying for!
Believe me when I tell you that the universe pays attention when you speak. Many moons ago I wished for a tall, good looking man who dressed up nice and would shower me with flowers; I have a serious weakness for them it’s insane. I used to tell my colleagues almost everyday how my handsome prince would come for me and guess what, months down the line I was in a relationship with a guy who fit those specifications to a tee. Like how was that even possible?
I remember this one time I tagged along when my friend when she was going to court. I was heavily pregnant at the time and when I saw the women standing in line for Child Maintenance issues I said; “One day I will be standing in line too given the drama we are always going through with the father of my child”. Again I tell you, the universe pays attention, I was in that exact same line 5 years later going through the most. I spoke this into existence and I don’t even know why I was surprised when it actually happened.
Thankfully, there are some pretty good things that have happened. The one time I was going through pictures on the internet and wishing for a holiday. Something about the Christmas holiday makes me feel like travelling. I had my eyes on Cape Town and told myself it was going to happen and it did! My sister is the best for making it happen and you should find yourself a sister just like her!
From my experience when it comes to self talk, the more positive things you say to yourself the better your experience outcomes. When I started my fitness journey I was outspoken; most people didn’t understand how a “big” woman could have so much self love but they were never ready for the extra confidence that would come once I lost the weight. I used to go for my runs without music just to have a chance to speak to myself and encourage myself throughout the run. I would tell myself things like:
You’ve got this, just one more kilometer to go
Wait till you do your weigh in tomorrow and see how much work you have put in
They are not ready for the after run photo I am going to post on Instagram
Who would have thought I would ever run 10K
The way I am smashing that cellulite on my thighs right now though
Girl you are on fire did you hear that pace on the voice over!
You see, all that self talk got me to push myself and my body to the limit. Imagine if I had been telling myself negative things. This body would have never come to life, it’s a pity I can’t show it to you, it’s still illegal to walk around naked this part of the world.
I have a whole list of other positive things that I have asked the universe to grant me after I realised she actually pays attention. No more random negative thoughts because I certainly don’t want to end up in situations I will dearly regret. Lately I ask for good health, success, financial security, a whole Land Rover Discovery (in red of course), to be the first Nike Woman in Zimbabwe and a rich husband. Speak things into existence people!!
In whatever you do, be good to yourself. Speak of all the beautiful things about yourself and those around you and the universe will also respond positively.
What are some of the things you speak into existence? Have any of them come to life, care to share?
I realised last weekend that the only activity I manage to do with Miss Kupsy when I go home for the weekend in Marondera is go and grab a bite. We usually settle for pizza and icecream because that is the ONLY take out place in the whole town. When I bring her to Harare that is a completely different case because the options of things to do are countless.
However, today my main concern is the lack of outdoor play areas for children in my hometown. When I was growing up there was a functional swimming pool, a video game centre, a movie house, a tennis court, a basketball court and a park which actually had swings, slides the works! Ask me what has happened to these play areas? Well, the swimming pool since stopped working years ago, the video game centre is not used for that anymore, I am still to find out what is going on there, the movie house was turned into a bar, the tennis court now has people setting up stalls to sell second hand clothes, the basketball court is being used as an area to line laundry and the park… oh well; just another dump in town with no swings at all and a lot of litter.
It annoys me that whoever is responsible for town planning does not take the children in the community into consideration. Where in the world are they supposed to play? I mean, they can’t possibly stay indoors all day long, or play on the streets or around their house till kingdom come. They obviously get tired just like everyone else and need a break and need to socialise with children their age. And if you ask me this should be something that can be done without having to fork out a lot of money if any at all. Imagine if all they are going to be exposed to is eating unhealthy take out? I can just picture a whole bunch of adults suffering for weight issues in the near future…
The following points are (based on Wardle, 1996-2003) describe the main reasons why outdoor play is critical for the healthy development of young children. I took a few points from the article.
Physical Exercise Children need to develop large motor and small motor skills and cardiovascular endurance.
Enjoyment of the Outdoors Outdoor play is one of the things that characterize childhood. And as Lord Nuffield once said, the best preparation for adulthood is to have a full and enjoyable childhood.
Learning about the World Outdoor play enables young children to learn lots and lots and lots of things about the world. How does ice feel and sound? Can sticks stand up in sand? How do plants grow? How does mud feel?
Learning about Self and the Environment To learn about their own physical and emotional capabilities, children must push their limits. Health Everyone who works with young children in early childhood programs and schools knows how quickly bacteria and viruses spread in these environments. One way to reduce the spread of infection is through lots and lots of fresh air.
Then you wonder why I am thoroughly upset with Marondera Town Council? Do you see all those benefits of outdoor fun for children? It seems those in the powers that be do not have children as a part of their programme because if they did surely there would be at least ONE play area where children can just have a grand time.
Miss Kupsy loves the outdoors and I feel bad that the only open space she has to play is at home. I hope someone addresses this issue and something is done about it. When I think back to my own childhood, some of their fondest memories are of outdoor places and activities I got up to (I will never forget the first time I fell off a tree trying to climb to the top) I hope Miss Kupsy and all the other children in the community do not get deprived of that opportunity. All children have the right to basic childhood needs…jumping, running, climbing, swinging, racing, yelling, rolling, hiding, and making a big mess,it is what childhood is all about!
In a thousand words, I will touch a potentially sensitive subject in modern day Zimbabwe. This subject is about, single mothers whom we as Zimbabwean society have called M1’s or M2’s. The 1 or 2 suffix being the number of children they have. M1 is basically mother of one, but in Zimbabwe it generally points only to single mothers. However, a married mother of one is not referred to by that label.
Once again our plastic republic has put these women in a category, so that they can treat them differently or judge them. Automatically if I were to have a relationship with an “M1’, my friends and family would discourage me from so doing and speak so much evils about the group. Family may dis-own me. Yes, we have seen this happen. The question is; are they really less worthy than single girls with no children? Do childless girls necessarily make better wives than single mothers? I ask because a lot of girls in modern Zimbabwe are already indulging in sex outside marriage, they just haven’t got pregnant yet. They might escape it before marriage too but many are also doing it. So, society is going to condemn the ones that made a mistake one-day and got pregnant?
In modern Zimbabwe, a girl not having a child is not consistent with her being decent and Holy. Having a child does not make her evil either. Have you ever thought that an “M1” you condemn so much has done less damage than the “K1”. What do I mean by “K1”? “K1”- is a term I am using to say “Killer Of One”. While society and families are dumping garbage talk on the strong queens that decided to keep their babies, despite their fathers bailing out, there are those that seem not to have children because they did abortions. So Mr. I Judge M1’s before you go around judging single mothers and feeling special about your girlfriend not having a child. I want to tell you that in modern Zimbabwe, there is a possibility of your girl having had an abortion at one time especially if you found her already sexually active. (I am not saying she had one either, but it’s possible)
So here’s scenario 1; Janet is having a sexual relationship with Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She aborts the child, so by the time I meet Janet; she’s not an M1 to me. I have no idea what happened. Deep inside only she knows what happened. She doesn’t hope to do it again, but she could do it again.
Scenario 2: Alice is dating Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She refuses to abort and Jack says he wants nothing to do with the baby or her. He says uncalculated cruel statements like, “Kana ariwangu murutse undipe,” (If the child is mine, vomit him/her and give me). She is hurt but keeps her baby. I meet that girl and think she has an amazing personality (you must have an amazing personality to keep your child in a judgmental society).
However society will not agree that she is amazing because she has a baby. Society will try and make me see Janet and say, “Why don’t you choose Janet instead? Do you not see that Alice is an M1?” The decision making is made harder for me now, because society is armed with daggers. There’s also a father out there whose child I have to carry the cross for. Let me say, to all those man, that have taken this load upon then, may there be increase in your daily work. To the men that refuse to sustain their own seed and further pressure our queens, if the law does not catch up with you, may you lose out on all the money you refuse to pay for the welfare of your child.
“Did you just curse them Michael?” Oh so someone is going to see the evil in my curse to them, but they do not see the evil in society making girls that kept their children feel unworthy?
I applaud all the women that are the mothers and fathers of their children but hang on, work hard and have changed their perspective of life. Except for a few single mothers, those are some of the most hardworking women I’ve known. The family throws piles or verbal rot onto them daily behind closed doors. They silently cry and wake up knowing no one else seems to love their children and only they can go out there to get bread for the children. They have drama with the father over taking care of his own child in some instances; they still take that torture, get up and work hard.
This plastic society pressures girls that are already pregnant, to opt for “K1”. She is going to pay an unethical doctor large sums of money with the aid of the father, who is not ashamed to perform this act. They destroy that child’s life. Now all the activists that support abortion, hide behind the “what if she was raped” excuse, yet the average abortion happening in Zimbabwe is a product of sex given by consent. No matter how many daggers society will stab you with for having that child out of wedlock don’t be pressured to take your child’s life. Life is at conception. The only proven way to escape the trouble is abstinence before marriage, which most of you ridicule. It holds no regrets though in this type of society.
If there is a single mother in your immediate community whom you have been holding judgmental daggers to, may that attitude change from henceforth. In fact go an extra mile in appreciating her to compensate for the life sentence she has been given by society and her own relatives. If you’re a man and you think she’s a good woman, regardless her past, marry her.
Let’s have this conversation on Twitter, follow me @Mcpotar
Sometimes I feel our culture expects too much from a woman. We are taught to accept certain things as “normal” and not question them. Take infidelity for example. The moment a wife finds out her husband is cheating or has a small house trying to confide in his or her relatives can prove to be fruitless because most times she is told that’s what men do. Today I will touch on relationships in our society.
There are so many different cases of unimaginable things happening around Zimbabwe lately. One of the articles that I read recently shocked the lights out of me. A woman killed her husband over a text message. If you read the story at first glance you just tell yourself this woman be crazy! But when you really think about it; it was probably not about the messages. I would like to think there is a story behind this story; you just don’t wake up and decide today I am going to kill my husband for no reason. Chances are her spirit had been broken beyond repair because of issues that hadn’t been dealt with within the marriage and a whole lot of bullshit she had to endure as a woman. Remember I told you that our culture just tells you to accept things that a man does and go with the flow; now see where that kind of thinking leads to? A man will cheat, he will beat up his partner, he will have a love child and even bring the child to his matrimonial home, he will leave his family for another woman and what is the woman told?? SHINGA NDOZVAVANOITA VARUME!! (be strong that’s what men do).
I asked a few people whose names will obviously remain anonymous why they chose to stay in abusive relationships even though they could see they were in an unhealthy relationship.
They were promised heaven on earth
They had low self esteem
They enjoyed the attention they got from their partner even though it was the wrong kind of attention
They thought he will change and become a better person
He promised he would never do it again
They stayed because that’s what they knew and were used to
Their partner threatened to commit suicide if they decided to leave
They stayed because of the children involved in the union
They stayed because they worried about what people would think
They stayed because they did not want to be alone
I have been in a toxic relationship before and trust me at the time chances are you don’t see that this person is actually abusing you especially if it’s emotional abuse. Do not even ask me about the process of reporting to the police after an abusive incident, what a joke! I ended up feeling like I was the one who committed the crime. Then I tried to go to Musasa Project to try and get some counselling but the queues were long and I waited for half a day on both occasions I tried to go there until I just gave up. I ended up dealing with the abuse on my own because clearly there was nowhere else to turn to…
Okay, back to the story at hand. It’s only after you leave that you realise things could have gone pretty bad if you had decided to soldier on. I learnt my lesson though, I know that the moment I see any signs of abuse I will walk out and fast I won’t even second guess my decision. I remember the night my then boyfriend beat the life out of me like it happened yesterday…I stay at a flat with 30 units and even though I screamed and cried for help not a single person came to my rescue. Do you see another worrisome thing in our society? Our society does not want people interfering in things that don’t concern them so someone will probably get beaten to death and the neighbours wont say a word or intervene because “it’s none of their business.”
The people who contributed to this post also had a few lessons to share.
He taught me that staying with an abuser is just letting them know it’s okay to get angry and lash out with physical violence they won’t stop. Your best bet is to leave before something worse happens.
The moment three or four people highlight that your partner is abusive take a step back and look at your relationship from their point of view. Sometimes outsiders see what you are going through with clear eyes.
People must at least try to intervene when they see a problem.
“Being strong” is not the answer to every problem, people need to sit down and talk about their issues and concerns.
A few weeks ago I noticed that Njabulo wrote a status on Facebook asking why women do not leave abusive relationships. You can read more from here.
After all is said and done all I can say is we are all human beings and we should always consider how our actions will affect the next person. Do not go around doing things that will hurt the next person just because you know society will allow you to get away with it.
Being a woman, Being a black woman, Being a black woman in Zimbabawe – MaKupsy 2017
Good morning my darlings, this is a post from last year that I feel needs to be read by anyone who missed it. Below, a Zimbabwean woman shared her story.
From the onset please note that this is an account of my experiences and does not in any way speak for all single mothers in Zimbabwe. I had my first baby at 16. I was still in school. I got pregnant again at 18 while I was doing my final year of High School “A level”. Don’t ask how…It’s a story for another day.
Life at School Amazingly I never faced any judgement or shaming. Maybe it was because I had left the school by the time I started showing. I started showing very late during the pregnancy and by then had been moved to a school closer to home. But even in the new school everyone was amazingly okay with it and I even went on to do my A Level with no hassle. So being in school as a single mum was not so bad.
Life in Church My family church is Anglican. They were not as accommodating; and for church people, looking back, I feel they were too judgemental. Since I was no longer a virgin, I did not qualify for Saint Agnes Guildnor did I qualify for Mothers’ Union because firstly I was too young, and secondly I was unmarried. But as I grew older, I still could not be part of the Mother’s Union because I was unmarried. Even getting my kids baptised was a hassle. They told me they can’t baptise kids whose fathers are “unknown”. You see, my baby daddies have never seen their kids hence I don’t include their names on the kids’ documentation. They are not even on the birth certificates. My kids finally got baptised at age 12 and 9 after one church elder, a woman; made so much noise about it and threatened to take the issue further up to the Bishop. But over ally, the church never accepted me after my teenage pregnancies. I have since stopped going to Anglican.
Life at home From the onset let me say God blessed me with two amazing parents who took my kids in and looked after them as if they were their own. But it was a different case for my mother and me. She never quite forgave me for the shame I brought on her by getting pregnant twice. I did the unforgivable in her eyes! Life at home was bed of nails. I became the proverbial slut. After all, according to my mother; the reason none of the guys married me was most probably because I was a slut. It had to be my fault. It never occurred to her that maybe it was just them who failed to man up. As a result anything that went wrong in the home was my fault. If she needed someone to lash out at, that was me. My own sister was warned to keep her husband away from me lest I try and snatch him from her. At the worst of times I was accused of sleeping with my father. You see, he is a very forgiving man who will not continuously punch you for one transgression. He believes in moving on. My mother never understood why he never chased me away from home as is expected by society. She never understood why he still enjoyed spending time with me watching soccer, generally spending father daughter quality time puzzled her after all the shame I had caused. She never accepted that he would continue to treat me the same way he treated my siblings despite all I had done to the family name. As a result she felt my father was looking at me as a ‘woman’ not as his daughter and because I was loose, I was hell bent on sleeping with her man too. The day she made her feelings known was the first time I moved out of home with my children. For the record, my father never acted inappropriately towards me ever. After moving out, she was on my case to comeback since the same society was judging her about my leaving home. I went back, I was still in Varsity. But the emotional and verbal torture would only get worse as I got older. I would always be reminded of how much of an inconvenience I was to my family. The upside of all this you may ask? It pushed me to work very hard and make a life for my kids and me. Though my older daughter is currently undergoing therapy to undo the damage caused by hearing and witnessing everything I suffered in my own mother’s house. The list is endless, I could write a whole book about my experience at home as a single mother. It was pure hell on earth.
Life among society in general I am grateful for my few true friends. They’ve kept me sane throughout the years. As for dating, it was hard to find a man who would take me seriously. The moment they hear single mother, they think you are easy, just to be taken for a ride and have no feelings whatsoever. They are mostly married men by the way. As for the single guys; they would not touch me with a ten foot pole! Extended family would throw a fit if their husbands came anywhere near me. My sister didn’t like the idea of her husband and me getting close. Then there were those who would label me without even knowing me. I was accepted by only a few members of society Fast forward to today >>> I currently live in South Africa with my daughters. I feel at home because no one ever judged me on the basis of being a single mother. I am currently engaged to a single guy who has no kids. Imagine that! Who would have thought my story would have a happy ending? I have finally found a place were no snide remarks will be made after I’m asked “So where is your husband”? And I say I don’t have one with confidence and no need to explain my circumstances. I can truly comfortably be me!
Conclusion Zimbabwe is still a long way from being a good place for single mothers. We get called all sorts of names and M1 (Mother Of One) has to be the worst term ever to come up with. I wish our society could progress beyond all that judgment and realize that just because someone is a mother, has children and not married it does not make her any less of a woman.
I would like to say a big thank you to the beautiful woman who shared this story with me. This story reminds me that us single parents should not despair, there is hope for a beautiful future ahead.
Compliments of the new season! We made it alive and in good health, that is the one gift that I am forever grateful for. This year I have so many things lined up in different aspects of my life but today I will be sharing my thoughts on how I want to raise Miss Kupsy. She is 5 years old now and I feel getting her to believe in herself from a very young age will do wonders for her as she gets older.
Effective parents give children roots to grow and wings to fly.
My daughter loves her music. She will sing along to Nickelodeon, Disney Junior and the whole bunch of songs and jingles they play on there. Let’s not even start with music videos. She likes that J.Lo Track “Ain’t Your Momma” but her version of the chorus leaves me in stitches all the time because she sings it as “I’m not going to cook your laundry I ain’t your momma!” She clearly doesn’t know what she is singing along to but gosh does she dance and sing away like the care free child that she is. You see, because she loves music I have made sure that I have bought her musical instruments. I got her a flute and tambourine. Her grandparents got her a drum, my sister got her a guitar for Christmas just a few weeks back. When I spoke to her this morning she was telling me she wants a Marimba set. I want her to explore her musical path and enjoy her hobby. You never know what will fire her soul as she grows so I might as well fuel it right now.
The time I grew up you didn’t have much choice when it came to what you wanted to be when you grow up. The options were limited. You were either supposed to be a Doctor, Pilot or Accountant in order to have “made it in life” so you can imagine how the rest of us possibly disappointed our parents seeing that we didn’t fulfill their expectations. I am a creative person and none of those titles were going to blend in with me. Unfortunately I only got to find this out when I was older and had already studied something I didn’t like but something that would pay the bills at least. When it comes to my daughter I want her to choose her own path. Of course I will give her input on the available options at the time but ultimately the decision will be hers to make because she will be the one who will have to study and eventually work in that field. Her happiness will always come first.
Most parents have that “You can’t do this” mentality which I find pretty disturbing. I mean, this is your child, why are you stopping them from greatness? You parent(s) should be your biggest cheer leaders. Even if you fail they should be right there to remind you that you can always try again. I want to teach and always remind Miss Kupsy that she needs to know the extent of her own abilities and that she can overcome problems in the world, she just needs to put in the time and the effort to make it happen.
Relationships and Marriage
By relationships I don’t mean just the romantic relationships. I am talking about how she will relate to her friends, family, school mates, teachers and at some point in her life her partner. My daughter is naturally a fun loving little person who finds joy in giving. I remember buying her ice cream the other day and she shared it with three of her friends and yet when they had theirs they didn’t offer her a single bite. A part of me wanted to tell her to not share but then again that’s out of character for her so I just called her aside and asked her to sit next to me while she at least had the half that was left. I didn’t know how to tackle this one. If I told her to not give her friends then I was teaching her not to share but at the same time if I didn’t she wasn’t going to eat any of that ice cream. What would you have done?
That said; I want her to always know that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. I want her to be able to show love, to pray for discernment when it comes to the partner and friends she will choose. To show respect to everyone and their feelings regardless of their age. To say thank you, I’m sorry and I love you. With these things I strongly feel she will grow to be of strong character.
I also don’t want to be that doting mother, she must learn to be independent as well. With independence I want her to know that she does not have to get married. She can if she wants to but I will not put pressure on her to do so. I will teach her that life will go on whether one is married or not and if that will be one of the things she wants she has to remember that. I will love her all the same whether she will be single, married, divorced, whatever her marital status what will always matter to me is that she is happy.
That said, I have a lot more things I would want to talk about but this is my first blog post for the year and I would want you to come back for more so I will leave it here for now. If you would like to read more adventures my daughter gets up to you can read them from here.
I would like to hear from you. If you are a parent, how are you doing things differently raising your child? If you are planning on having kids how do you intend to have an impact on them? If you don’t have any kids how do you help those around you raise their kids? I know I left a handful of other points so please include some of yours in the comments section.