The maybes and what ifs

Her mother must have worked overtime to make sure they never lacked. In fact, she even gave them a very good education. Tetu Girls’ Primary School and Mahiga Girls High School, both in Nyeri, are good schools. But she acknowledges that it was a struggle for her mom, and sometimes she wondered if it would have been easier if she had a father. She wondered if she would have felt more confident amongst her peers if she came from a ‘normal’ family.

The untold turmoil of being brought up by a single mother
MARY WANJIRA grew up knowing only two other members of her family- her mother and brother. But at a relatively young age, already, she could tell that this was not the ‘normal’ family set up. Even before the questions came in from her peers, she could already tell that something
To read part 1


"Could my mother’s troubles be my fault?"

Her mother, just like many other single mothers, experienced societal stigma. Knowing this placed yet another burden in Shyrah’s heart. For instance, her mom could be rejected from a women’s ‘chama’ because they thought being a single mother, she was not financially stable enough for the activities therein. Some of these instances were even in church settings. Naturally, Shyrah could not help but feel like she was the reason for her mother’s woes because the very existence of her and her brother is what gave her mother the status of single mother. She even wondered, sometimes, whether if she and her brother didn’t exist, her mother could have found love.

Getting over it
Shyrah says she’s over it now, but she wishes she could have started the healing process earlier than she did in her mid-twenties. “I feel like I wasted too many years of my life going around in circles of pity and struggling to justify my state. But finally, when I realized that I had a life to live, I accepted myself and even found my place in activities that I enjoy doing to date." She is currently the founder and CEO of Shyrah designs, and is also pursuing mobile journalism following her degree in creative arts with IT. All these she does with passion "I also enjoy High School missions because I talk to them especially regarding identity from a point of experience.”

Single parenting is not just about the money
Society may not shun the single mother today as much as they did in the past, but the effects of an absent parent remain true to psychological and spiritual truths.