Raising a son as a single dad

His relationship did not work out but that does not deter him from bringing up his son with the help of family members. Rama Mlambo shares his solo story with BabyLove.

First days after delivery
I took my partner, Nuru to the hospital and stood by her as she delivered our son, Khatib. That was 1st April last year and the most exciting day of my life. Since she had delivered via’ a C-Section, I longed to nurse her back to good health. Unfortunately, at that time we were not in good terms. So we went our separate ways when she was discharged.

Monitoring Khatib’s progress
During the day, I made use of the phone to monitor mother and child’s progress. I would call at least three times to check whether they needed anything and just to know how they were managing. I also requested my cousin to stay with them so she could help out with the house work.
I provided as much financial support as I could for my son’s sake. In the evenings, I would pass by to see my son and give him a bath. I would get to change his diaper, just to ensure that we bonded.

Having Khatib with me
Come January, when the baby was barely walking, the mother got an employment opportunity abroad and decided to take it up. When I got to know that, I was opposed to her going with Khatib and so she had to leave him with me. At first it was scary to have a small child at home without the supervision of a female figure. But the love I have for Khatib, coupled with the skills I had acquired while baby-sitting my sister’s children, not forgetting my sister’s support (she lives nearby), helped me cope with the challenge. My parents also gave constant advice.

While going to work, I would leave him with my sister then pick him up in the evening. Then I would prepare his meal and mine, before retiring to sleep. Luckily, my son is a good feeder and he sleeps well, so living with him was not as hard a task as I had thought it would be. He never got complications at night and he does not fall sick. On weekends we would spend time just the two of us or with the family. It made us close buddies.

With time my parents requested for his custody. They reasoned that since they were now on their own having raised us all, it would be a joy for them to bring him up. I accepted their request.
And so I get to see my baby only over the weekends.

What are his strongest qualities?
It is already clear that my son has a strong character, always determined to have his own way. This makes me proud because I know that no one will treat him badly without him fighting back. At times though, his rage scares me; especially if he withdraws from people around him. But he soon becomes his old self. He is also growing to be a handsome young man!

Best moments with him
I love spending time with him. He is a jovial kid and it is easy to please him. I try to clear all my weekend businesses on time just to be there for him.

Any desire for more kids?
I would love to get a girl when I re-marry. That is something I am considering and I pray that I get someone who will raise Khatib and love him as her own.

Lessons learnt
Bringing up a child is a continuous and enriching experience, and a challenge that can be overcome. I have also learnt to be organised and to engage in open communication. Juggling work, education and raising a son alone is not easy, but with support it becomes bearable.

END: BL24/13

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