When a father is the sole parent
It is common to hear stories of single mothers struggling to raise their children, but not many men can single handedly take care of children, especially when they are very young. ALLAN OLINGO talked to three singe fathers who shared their experiences
When a marriage or a relationship breaks down, many men abandon their parental duties, leaving the woman to fend for the children. And when a wife passes on, a husband is likely to remarry immediately.
Not so for Tom Ngolo who lost his wife and mother to his six-month-old son. To the surprise of many people, Tom decided to raise his son on his own. Many friends and relatives doubted he could manage such a demanding task alone.
“After my wife’s burial, my mother offered to raise my son, but I declined. I had developed a strong bond with him. I was actually in the delivery room encouraging my wife to push, so I was not going to be separated from him,” says Tom.
According to him, the first days were very difficult because he had to set up five alarms to wake up in the night to bottle-feed him.
“It was a hustle. I would wake up and rush to warm the milk as he cried. I would then cool it to what I thought was the right temperature. This was until I was introduced to the milk temperature regulator,” says Tom.
Despite having a house-help and his sister around, Tom ensured that he did everything for his son, including bathing him, washing his clothes and changing diapers. They even slept on the same bed.
“This created a strong bond between us. He is special and I am attached to him. I later re-married and have other children, but I try to maintain a balance between them all,” he offers.
When Edward Indakwa started living with his three sons in 2005, the task before him was daunting, as he had to double up as the mother to his sons.
For most fathers, the initial stages are very challenging and for Edward, it was a struggle to assume the motherly role.