When I paid attention to it, I realised that I really don’t like that concept “SINGLE MOTHER.” The more I thought of it the more I realised that its usage and application in Uganda is mostly from a moralistic attitude; and which attitude frames mothers who are seemingly and overtly parenting their children on their own as victims to be pitied; and in many cases as deserving of their status quo for they were loose women in the first place.
On the right my niece and on the left my grandson – each being raised by both their parents, but I thought this a lovely picture to use, irrespective.
Scientifically, moreover, all mothers come into being in exactly the same way. It is rare that humans are hamophrodites with the ability for self-fertilization. It is the norm that those women characterised “single mother” at some point engaged in sexual relations with another and sperm provided by a man fertilized her egg.
Normally, no woman is single at the time of conception; de facto no woman can mother a child on her own, hence the application of “single mother” is normally fallacious.
Besides, truth be told, some of the women branded “single mothers” are actually not raising their children on their own. In some cases, the father of the child is actually supporting her, albeit not being married to her or being physically in the same space with her.
While, comparatively, on the other hand, there are women who consider themselves “married women” who are actually raising their child and or children on their own. The father is physically present, married to her, but effectively isn’t of significant help in raising the child/children.
For me, this “single mother” concept is really quite oxymoronic, needs further interrogation on why it came into play; and in the meantime, we should stop using it to label mothers.
Please note, this hasn’t always been my view. Honestly, I cannot remember exactly where, and exactly the name of the professor, but there was a time I was at a lecture, here in Ugandan, in which the one giving the lecture, a man, a Ugandan and at the time a lecturer at Makerere University Kampala, if my recollection serves me right, challenged us to unpack concepts that we often use without paying much attention to the baggage that accompanies them; in many cases derogatory. One such concept was “single mother”.