No husband, no children, no problem: Single women open up
Shonda Rhimes, a US-based award-winning television producer has never wanted to get married.
“I’m one of those people. Since I was five, I could tell you I was going to have kids. I had this mental image of my three beautiful girls playing in the garden,” she said. “But I have never wanted to get married. I never played bride. I was never interested. I don’t know what it is; I never wanted to get married.”
Women like Rhimes, are alleged to suffer from gamophobia (fear of getting married and having a family) and she's not the only one. These days, many more women believe that getting married and having children is not their calling.
Parenthood? It’s just not my thing
Mercy Njambi’s parents split when she was about ten years old due to domestic abuse.
“I saw how he treated my mum and developed this negative view of men. I thought, ‘Why would I want that life? Why would I want to have kids and be tied down to a man forever?’ Watching my mother struggle to provide for my brother and I also made me realise that having kids is a huge financial burden,” the 35-year-old businesswoman explained to The Nairobian, adding that, “I hope that one day I will find someone who shares similar sentiments, but until then, I am just surviving on a ‘hit-and-run’ arrangement.”
Kids look good from far
Marriage and parenthood are some of the maternal things that most people are born with, but for Precious Nanjala, a lecturer at a leading university, it’s going to be her life. She confided that she’s really good with other people’s children, but “it just wasn’t within me. I dated one person in the past who actually said being with me was like “a vegan being with a butcher,” because I didn’t want to have kids. He said he used to have dolls when he was little because he was so eager to grow up and have kids. That was a killer for our relationship,” she explains, adding that,“I’m quite happy on my own. I think some people confuse that with selfishness, but realistically, I think I shouldn’t have a child if I don’t have the desire for one”.
Can’t lose my wasp waistline
As unbelievable as it may sound, some women are not willing to sacrifice their youthful looks for nine months of bloated look and baby fat thereafter. The thought of a bulging tummy covered in loose-fitting chiffon outfits instead of their usual spandex is depressing.
Angel Moraa, a 30-year-old city model has vowed that she will never get a baby. She is also aware that traditionally, that makes it equally hard for her to get a man to settle down with.
“I have been told that I will be lonely in old age, but then again, who won’t love a granny with firm breasts and a flat tummy. I mean, look at Will Smith’s 60-year-old mother-in-law. Isn’t she still rocking it?” a rather carefree Angel quipped.
Blame it on my ex
The men around women while growing up can also influence such decisions. From fathers, ex-boyfriends to friends. Tracy Manyanya does not see herself getting married in future after five traumatising years with an emotionally abusive ex who “used to tell me that I will never get another man like him. He made me feel worthless and not once did he ever compliment me. After such a horrible experience, I think I am better off alone. I don’t need someone who keeps reminding me of my flaws”.
Too busy for a family
In a world where women actually go to their hairdressers at midnight due to tight schedules, where does a man and a baby fit in? Yes, women can multi-task, but when they are struggling up the corporate ladder, some things can either wait or get totally ignored.
Antonia Saitabau, who works for an energy company, does not have time for a family.
“I would love to have a family, but I am afraid I may not have a good job if I have that. I travel a lot and family would tie me down. Which husband would allow her wife to fly out after every two days?” she posed.
The good men are taken
Just like men believe that the beautiful ones are yet to be born, some women believe that all good men are taken and the only option open is becoming second wives. But women are very jealous in nature and it’s either they have it all or nothing at all. Christina Chemiati gave up on marriage after a series of heartbreaks.
“I dated three guys who cheated on me and then I decided to start dating a married man. Things did not work out well because he kept dividing his time between me and his family. I decided that I don’t really need a man to make me happy. I might adopt a child one day”.
Kids? Nah! I’m middle class
Kenyan middle-class women have a habit of copying what’s deemed to be cool and not having a family is like a fashion statement.
Eunice Mbithe, a nurse based in Zurich is one of them. Eunice, who is dating a Swiss man has no plans of marrying him or even starting a family.
“We’ve already agreed that we will not move in together or even exchange rings. A marriage certificate is just a paper. What really matters is the love. I’m very lucky that my partner does not want children either. Not having a child does not make me a lesser woman. Besides, the world is no longer a safe place to bring up children,” she said.
Time to give birth is up
The age factor is mostly influenced by career. Some women spend most of their youth working and totally ignore their social life. They only realise that it’s too late when all men their age are married with kids in school. Alex Wanjala, a 24-year-old college student confesses that he is dating such a woman.
“She is 45 years old, very independent, but has no plans of settling down. She has made it clear that ours is only a convenience relationship, since her time to give birth is up. Of course, due to societal expectations, settling down with me is out of the question. Her close friends don’t even know about me,” he confesses.
Nature shut the door
Some women want to get married but nature won’t allow them, yet in African society, marriages goes hand in hand with baby-making.
Mercy Olweny developed fibroids when she was in her early 20s. The doctors told her that due to the nature of the complications that arose, chances of getting a baby were zero.
“My experience with the first man I confided in broke my heart. I vowed not to share this information with any man again, and dating or even getting married is out of the question,” Mercy, who works as a volunteer in a children’s home, shared.
My family is too demanding
Family expectations can also jeorpadise a woman’s chances to get married. Take Jane Wairimu whose mother and brothers jeorpadised two of her chances to get married.
“The first time I moved in with my fiancé, my mother moved in too, claiming that she needed to teach me how to treat my future husband. That overwhelmed him and we broke up. The second time we had an argument with my then boyfriend and my brothers decided to beat him up,” a rather disappointed Jane told The Nairobian.
Jane has vowed not to get married and each time her family puts pressure on her, she reminds them that they are the reason she made that decision.
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