I am 23 years old and a finalist in college. After missing my period for two months, I decided to take a pregnancy test. The results turned out positive. I informed my boyfriend, also 23, who was not pleased at all. He told me to find a ‘solution’ because according to religious and cultural norms, it is wrong to give birth outside marriage. He has since dodged my calls and refused to respond to my texts. I went over to his place and he asked the guard to tell me he wasn’t home. I don’t have a job and was planning to start work after school. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t told my parents yet but I know they will be disappointed. Should I give up on him and accept my fate as a single parent? What jobs can I try out in my situation as I work towards my intended career in banking? Please advise.
Sometimes, when you date a man, trouble only shows its ugly face when an unwanted pregnancy hits. Pregnancy is supposed to be received as a wonderful gift from God, but when the timing is wrong and the man denies paternity, life may turn out to be a nightmare to the expectant mother.
There’s nothing worse than being betrayed by a man you truly loved and trusted. Paternity denial doesn’t only have a negative effect on the woman; it affects the child because some rejected mothers use the child in their fights with the man, sometimes denying the child the right to know their father.
Don’t do this because it will only confuse the child and result in resentment towards the father. If a man impregnates you and walks away without any justification, let him go, because your destiny and that of your unborn child is not tied to him. This simply means that his page in your story is over.
You relationship with him doesn’t seem to have had a strong foundation. You didn’t have enough time to discuss such sensitive issues, or study each other well. By leaving you, your boyfriend is dodging responsibility and is not ready to be a parent. Accept, no matter how painful, that your boyfriend has chosen to move on and learn to ‘stand on your own feet’, support your child and test your true independence. Focus on your well-being and that of your unborn baby and make a plan to help you move on with your life. Also, reach out to close friends and relatives for support and seek professional counselling if you need additional help in dealing with your pregnancy.
It’s advisable that you break the news to your parents about the pregnancy yourself, and be prepared for their reaction because, such news, obviously, is heartbreaking for any parent whose child is still so young and in school.
This is important because if you don’t tell them early enough, time will do it for you — or the wrong source will pass on the information — and that will upset them more than anything.
Do not think of terminating this pregnancy, rather, solicit help from friends, family and relatives and find a part-time job to help you earn a living to take care of your baby. He/she will grow up to be a strong and successful person and hopefully, the father will show up soon and give you the necessary support; perhaps once the child is born.
Get a job
Don’t feel rejected or become stressed; you are not the first person to go through this. I believe your boyfriend will come to his senses one day and handle his responsibilities. Find something constructive to do that will help you be independent.
Amos Ikuzwe, Businessman
Talk to your parents
Your boyfriend is young, just like you, so he is confused and doesn’t want to disappoint his parents. You will have to endure this burden alone. Although you will face the wrath of your parents, you have no choice but to tell them the truth.
Marie Anne Teta, Pharmacist
Ask your mother for help
Having the baby means reaching out to people close to you for support. I suggest you talk to your mum as mothers are ‘softer’ than fathers. I am sure she will be of help during this time.
Edie Gwiza, Sunday school teacher
Find a way to take your mind off things
Concentrate on how you will raise this child for now. Give him time. He must be scared about how his family will react to the situation. Find something to do that will keep you busy.
Rosaline Gahongayire, Community worker