Woes of the baby mamas
BABY mamas are notorious for being labelled bitter women who are hellbent on making the lives of the fathers of their children a living hell.
But have you ever given a thought to the women who single-handedly have to raise kids?
Zoliswa Mayende, a social worker based in Cape Town, says single mothers experience emotional pressure and that financial stress represents one powerful source of discontent for them.
"Caring for children is expensive. As they grow into new clothes, new activities, and eventually off to university, they pose a strain on a budget," she says.
"For a single mother, trying to manage the responsibilities of motherhood without the help of the father can be overwhelming."
Asiphe Ndlela, a Johannesburg-based psychologist, says financial support is the biggest problem that single women have to deal with, followed by power struggles with the fathers.
"Most men disconnect with their children because they are running away from maintaining them. Some fear that the mother might use the money for her needs and for her other children's upkeep."
Ndlela adds that the strain between the father and mother has a direct effect on the emotional welfare of the child.
"When a father leaves a child's life, it is one of the most devastating experiences. The child internalises it, thinking they did something wrong to deserve it.
"It is not something they can forget for the rest of their lives. They feel they did something terrible to make their father walk away. It's not even about finances to the child, which is the main reason parents fight. The child just knows the father is not there."
She adds that after facing rejection, a child learns at an early age their self-worth is not important. In the back of their mind they feel that if their father left, they must be an ugly person, and someone that is not worth anything."
She says most children who grow up without the care of a father go through life with abandonment issues.
"They grow up always waiting for the next person to leave.
"They sabotage their relationships and can enter into bad unhealthy relationships that inflict more abandonment because they have learned to hold on tightly, which can suffocate others, because they are so afraid of someone leaving them."
Ndlela says the baby mama woes are even worse when there is a third party involved in the form of the child's father's girlfriend or wife.
"Most women feel threatened by any form of interaction between their partner and their baby mamas. They fear that the old flame might be ignited, while most men are afraid to stand up to their women because of the fear of losing them."