Connect with us


BellaNaija Single Parent Pod! Introduction & Call for Submission of Stories



dreamstime_l_33401126At the beginning of the year, I set out a list of goals I wanted to achieve with work and personally. One of those goals was to create a support system for the Single Parent Home within the BellaNaija community. The idea is to run a fixed term series where people can share some of the issues that stem from running a single parent home.

For avoidance of doubt, and to minimise confusion as to the target demographic. I’ll clarify the ambit of what a single parent home is.

The single parent home arises mainly from:

  • Death
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Abandonment/Elopement

Issues that single parents face include, but are not limited to:

  • Trying to fill the role of BOTH parents
  • Dating/Moving on to a new partner
  • Financial challenges
  • Discipline for the child(ren)
  • Interaction with grandparents and external family

So, if you are a single parent and would like to share your stories, as well as some insights into this situation – with the aim of helping other people who might be in the same situation, please send an email to features (at)bellanaija(dot) com. The subject of the email should be “Single Parent Pod”

Please note that that there is an option for anonymity. So if you want to tell your story, but are afraid of being too ‘out there’, we got you.

Remember, the idea is to provide a support group for people who are going through this, with the long term goal of helping to forge a more positive society.

We look forward to reading your stories on the BellaNaija Single Parent Pod.

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. story of single parents

    February 25, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    If you want to help people, help them
    Which one is stories again?
    Stories of how they became single parents abi?
    How the men left them or how they were jilted?
    How they closed their eyes when the guy was sleeping with them and it turned into pregnancy?
    How the man said he isnt ready for marriage or how he said they should abort?
    So it can turn to another men-bashing and pity party affair?
    men have suffered!

    Married women, you better leave this site cos these girls here will ruin your marriage for you!

    • Teju TJ

      February 25, 2016 at 5:34 pm


    • Le coco

      February 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Shame on you . sharing expiriences is part of helping . what is your problem? pls take your bitterness elsewhere…

      Please bella naija.. my suggestion would be to also feature single parents who triumph against all odds and have become successful. this is to show that not all single mothers r irresponsible… and or stupid.. I for one am friends with so many single parents who are company ceo’s.. organisation MD’S.. proffers etc.. in fact in uni all my female proffesors where single mom’s.. some had kids when they were 18 etc.. but they kept on working hard…

      Nice Initiative

    • Skelewu

      February 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Who says single parent means woman parent only? Has it not occured to you that a man can be a single parent too? Abeg park well and watch my bumper as you park jor.

    • eky

      February 26, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      is that not why a guy’s picture was used?

    • Nahum

      February 25, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      Please shut up jor!!! Everybody talks about male bashing but the truth is the actions Nigerian men take are real and not perceived and they are hurtful. For too long, society has swept these things under the rug in order to protect the “fragile” male ego. Now that it is coming out, you call it male bashing. Let the married women that want to leave, leave but this site helps women realize that these actions are not normal and should not be accepted, which is what is pissing you off.

    • story of single parents

      February 26, 2016 at 9:02 am

      You must have been brought up by a single parent. If not, you wont come and be abusing people upandan. You lack home training

    • Nuna

      February 26, 2016 at 9:23 am

      This person is so ignorant. What kind of foolish utterance is this? So only people who were raised by single parents lack home training? You are a disgrace to two parent families because your own lack of home training is off the roof!

  2. amaka

    February 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    @ story of single parents, I think it’s about the challenges single parents face, in the course of their lone life. Most times, single parenthood doesn’t happen intentionally. They deserve to be heard, and to hear stories of their counterparts too. Trust me, it’s hard out there as a single parent.

    • Nahum

      February 25, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      God bless you

  3. Ti

    February 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Dear 1st commentor,dere are some people out dere ,that yearn to tell their stories,its all bottled up,they feel dejected about a single mum& ill definitely be telling my story on this platform,i want girls to learn pity party frm me o,so its left for u to learn.

  4. Miss Pee

    February 25, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    @story for single parents…. It breaks my heart to see such 21st century ignorance and just for the record; not every single parent situation is planned e.g being a widow or widower. The only people who make it a “men-bashing/pity-party affair” are people like YOU! BN is trying to provide a “support group” incase you missed that part of the article. smh

    • Ch

      March 30, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      @story for single parents, uttering such senseless comments? Ur “double parents” should be ashamed of you.

  5. Ifeyinwa Mic

    February 25, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I think is a great idea, Atoke! I was raised by a single mom mostly because Dad didn’t want to marry her. They were simply “having fun” and then I was born. My mother struggled, never married, and raised us mostly on her own. My Dad struggled when he eventually got married to his wife. Not everyone finds it easy to marry a guy with a kid from a previous relationship. The kids will struggle as well. Mom did her best, but having Dad around (instead of monthly paycheck) more often would have benefitted me immensely. Also, as I’m not older and thinking about my own future, with husband and kids God willing, my parents’ decision have affected me. Recently broke up with my ex because his family didn’t like that I was raised by a single mom. So, I think it’s great to open this up to everyone. There are plenty of single dads that are the primary caregivers here in the US. They need a voice too.

    • Atoke

      February 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      Hiya, thanks for sharing your perspective. Yes.. the series is open to everyone. There are so many single dads raising their kids and their stories are so inspiring.

      It’s the Single Parent Pod and open to both genders.

      Thank you for your support.


    • Teju TJ

      February 25, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Ifeyinwa, it’s his loss.

    • Daybreak

      February 25, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Hey there Ifeyinwa! i’m sorry dats wat happened. i was really hoping things turned out better. but yh! it’s his loss. our past shouldnt define us

    • Ifeyinwa Mic

      February 28, 2016 at 1:03 am

      Thanks for the virtual support everyone. Honestly, there are no hard feelings. He’s a good guy despite his inability to stand up to his parents. It’s better to figure out these things sooner rather than later.

  6. iyke

    February 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Great initiative Atoke.
    I look forward to reading on how they are raising and building strong kids. Loads of kids and young adults today are broken and permanently scarred because their fathers aren’t in their lives.

  7. Honeycrown

    February 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Good one Atoke & BN! Looking forward to it. I hope this idea will fly sha and not become a place for the holier than thous to bash & profile single parents. Naija people never open mind reach that level o!

  8. Damseldami

    February 25, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Hmmmmmm!! Being a single parent is not easy at all. I was married but unfortunately my husband was missing the bachelor life. (I do not understand what men get from in jumping from one woman to the other) anyway that’s how I found myself single with two young children in under 3 a girl and boy just 14months apart from each other so you can imagine how stressful it is. I must say it is only the grace of God because my children are ever happy and bubbly. The challenge is being in a relationship as it is not easy compare to having no children. It has been two years since I separated from my husband and I have not date not because I don’t want to but I haven’t even come across a suitor maybe because of my kids. Well that’s not my business as my kids and I are glued together. Now my challenge is to stop my son from calling every man “daddy” cos it’s embarrassing. My first born used to do that she was even worse cos she will go to any man she see and want to hang there but now she’s better. Their dad comes and go whenever it suit him in their lives but recently told me I can have them all to myself that he’s not bothered imagine! So yeah it is not easy very stressful but it get better as they grow. ?

  9. Bshege

    February 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Atoke….make corrections to the ‘she is now works full time’ In the ‘About Atoke’ paragraph…… @damseldami the Lord is ur muscle!!!

    • Damseldami

      February 25, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Amen o Thanks ?

  10. Lucinda

    February 25, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Not sure if this is to help or draw in “man trouble”, SDK-Chronicle style traffic. I really can’t picture the altruistic angle of this.

  11. Chinedu

    February 25, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    I applaud Bellanaija for this new column. I just find it funny that when we discuss single mothers the holier than thou group comes out in full brigade to condemn single parenthood. Howevermm when single fathers are thrown into the picture they are somehow brave and inspiring for raising their children as single fathers. How they became single parents is never questioned and even when it is because of out of wedlock the men are praised for doing the right thing and raising their children.

    • Nahum

      February 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you!!!! Nobody judges single fathers! Society rushes in to help them and hail them but single mothers are condemned. Let us address this hypocrisy

  12. I understand

    February 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    Hi @ Damseldami, My two and a half year old used to do that too, what I did was to correct her when we leave that enviroment and tell her that only a particular person is her dad and not everyone lol . But it worked 90% but she still calls my aunty’s hubby dad when she goes there for weekends or overnight lol ??. Maybe because she sees my aunts kids call their father *dad* . But I will still keep trying till she gets older and understands fully.
    Atoke , bless u for this, there are a lot of challenges in being a single parent , from juggling work and parenthood to several other aspects.
    For me the biggest is childcare; finding a good nanny that will show sincere compassion is hard work. I know it sounds easy but its so suprising that this is not neccessarily the case . The cost is even another issue especially abroad . But I thank God for his mercies.
    Relationships nko ! I have not had any real one for almost a year now, met some one but didnt introduce him to my lil one becos she is so bubbly and friendly and I didnt want her to get used to anyone am not certain off just yet. Anyway I will stop here for now. tired fingers…..

    • Damseldami

      February 25, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      Yes dear I told my daughter that she knows who her dad is that she shouldn’t be calling every man she see ‘dad’ thankfully she has now grown out of it. Now its my Lil man turn lol he has started calling random men ‘dad’ so am trying. You are right about childcare expense. Looking after a child in my case two alone is expensive imagine my children’s nursery I had to pay deposit of £200, 100 each not to talk about school fees etc. And I am a student! as for dating you are also right. I once made a mistake of introducing a guy to my kids and saw he wasn’t interested cos my kids were very bubbly and the guy acted like he didn’t know how to be normal after that I vowed never to let a man around them unless he’s for real and we are very serious plus loves kids. Since then it has been just me and my kids. Hopefully not for too long lol ? #hopeful#

  13. Nahum

    February 25, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    Wo Atoke, this initiative is a great one and don’t let the misogynists on the blog deter you. Single parents, both men and women, need support. The job is extremely hard and it is thankless. What hurts more is when they know that society will judge their off spring because of the circumstances of their birth. I support this idea!

  14. Cindy

    February 25, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I’m sorry but is the word ‘parent’ synonymous to ‘women’? I was only thinking raising kids, moving on and all when I came into this article but alas, some certain homosapiens decided to interpret it to mean a male-bashing avenue. Some people are so insecure gush!

  15. silent observer

    February 26, 2016 at 12:39 am

    I’m also a single mother, young , beautiful, vibrant and full of Life. I was married to supposed love of my life but sudden things went sour. My ex-husband was also missing bachelorhood.. lol, he abandoned me and our son, less than a year into the marriage, started dating some young girl , got her pregnant and moved in with her with the approval of his family. I did not enjoy my marriage for a day. Anyways to cut the long story short things went bad, he stopped proving for me and our son. Thank God for family who always have your back.My mom is God sent, she supported me financially and was there for me during my depression days. I cried for days questioning GoD why me. My dream was to be happily married with a family of my own unfortunately my dreams were scattered. Only God knows why the marriage didn’t last mayb preparing me for a greater future. Thank God it’s not only my son that calls strange men daddy, ? I got back on my feet, got a job, got a house , got my son enrolled in a great school. I know im doing a great job raising my son alone although it’s not easy but with God’s divine favour and mercy things are working fine gradually. It got to a time I was advised to drop my son with my mom, but I’m too attached to my son I can’t imagine giving him to my mom to take care when I’m still alive. I have the most cheerful son in the world, very blubby, so caring, polite,friendly hugs anyone he sees its cute and embarrassing as well, extremely smart ( genius in the making?)plus has an amazing smile. My son is so caring , makes me happy but can be naughty at times ( his tantrums can be exhausting ??)God blessed and compensated me with a great child. Although I hope to get married sometime in the future , my prayer is to find a future spouse that will genuinely love my child like his own. Single mother’s are being stigmatized in our society unlike single father’s. It’s a bit challenging raising a child on your own, emotionally straining but if one has 100%faith in God ,you will see how things will turn out good without making an effort. . My son and I have a motto (never give up,you can do it). I remember one time I took my son to the park, he was trying to go on a slide *in his cute voice * mummy I can’t do it* I told him *Yes you can do it remember our motto never give up, I encouraged him and before I knew it he passed through the slide.. I smiled.☺ it’s good to always encourage kids, bring them up in Gods way, teach them good morals basically do your path and leave the rest to God. I can assure you that God will lead that child to a great path. I dont hate my ex anymore for what he did, i have forgiven him and his family , everything happens for a reason. I hope to find my soul mate ordained by God,a happy ending in the nearest future, keeping my fingers crossed?.

    • Nahum

      February 26, 2016 at 5:41 am

      God bless you and may God provide you with you true husband and a worthy father for your son.

    • Tee

      February 26, 2016 at 9:21 am

      You will be fine sweets…weldone!

  16. St

    February 26, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Another article , another excuse for male bashing by rabid single frustrated feminists justifying their bad behavior , mchewwww..nothing new ..God , never ever let me meet one of those entitiled women with baggages.

    • Nuna

      February 26, 2016 at 9:30 am

      You are extremely blind and foolish! The article says single parents NOT single mothers! Its because of behaviors like yours that women come on here to bash men.

  17. Asake

    February 26, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hi Atoke & BN team. Thank you for this. Life has taken me places and I remember blogging about Single Parent in my early blogging days ??.

    “Sometimes, they live alone, with parents or even squat with friends. They can be single, divorced or widowed.  Not all single parent are women, I once met a single father who took care of his child alone.

    Our society often judge the unmarried ones. They are sometimes tagged as “irresponsible”. “Choosing to keep and take care of a child is the highest level of responsibility”- Olayinka O.  For the men, some attained the responsibility of taking care of their kids when their wives left their relationship – walk away or died. ”

    Yes sharing stories is a way of helping people, knowing that you are not alone. Just read the comment section, about 3 parents feel better knowing that it’s not only their kids that call men ” Dad”

    @Atoke, you can also ask for challenges faced by children raised by one parent. It opens up people’s “eyes”. A couple of people on this blog stop their relatives from marrying single parent or some raised by one. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind marrying a single dad as long as it doesn’t come with too much drama ????SFAD. I pray these series changes people’s perception

  18. ZBLL

    February 26, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Sometimes I feel separation is for the better jare. Everyday I wonder why mum didn’t liv dad cuz I tell u this things I seee with my eyes are not of the Lord….fights/insults/insults. I’m just sad everyday nd just wish I was rather raised nd lived with mumc alone. He has turned her into a different person. Wo tho I stated with the two I’m raised by one.
    Basically my point is that some times single parenthood is the best jare

  19. story of single parents

    February 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

    You better believe it, single parenthood is not nice for the kids!

    On one article, i was saying single parenthood affects the child and they wanted t o tear me into pieces. From the few stories, you can see the effect on the child-calling several men daddy

    Both the man/woman has a role to play in the child’s upbringing. The duo balances “firmness and softness” in raising the child.

    All ye feminist, “men are useless”, “i dont need a man” ” “i can get insemination” girls, you will be doing the child a big dis-favour by raising the child alone.

    If you dont like men, please stay single and enjoy your life. Dont bring up a child alone. We have so many youths from dysfunctional homes that are having issues getting married now cos of what they passed thru and many of those having problems in their marriage now, majority were products of same event

    Please spare kids from your feminism eish, dont raise kids alone, just stay single.

    • Tee

      February 26, 2016 at 9:02 am

      So you think that children raised by single parents come out worse? lol
      Check around you, most of them come from homes with both parents.
      E.g my very mean husband! Oh and I jejjelly left him to find someone like YOU who is willing to take it all in the name of “staying for the children”.

      Know yea, that the best thing you can do for your children is to take them out of any toxic environment.

    • Nuna

      February 26, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Unfortunately you have more issues than a person raised by a single parent. Sorry, you need serious counselling.

    • story of single parents

      February 26, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Tee and Nuna, raised by single parent alert!

      e yaf pain u abi?

    • Ephi

      February 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

      People like you keep derailing meaningful threads.
      If you choose to see everything in life through your tainted negative lens, that is not our problem. I was brought up by both parents but I also have cousins from single parent homes who are the most polite, well behaved I have seen so I don’t understand your skewed link between home training = single parent homes. If you are not keen about the topic, then jump pass abi na by force?

    • Nuna

      February 26, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Sweetheart, My parents are going to be married for 30 years in April this year. I am also married, have been for 4 years. So what’s your point again.
      You have serious metal issues you need to go fix. Its as simple as that

    • story of single parents

      February 26, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Nuna, caged full house wife.
      Leave here and go face your marriage
      jobless much

    • Nuna

      February 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      Jamb is tomorrow, please go and prepare

    • oga oh

      February 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      @ story of Single parents -,You are so full of bitterness and resentment for single parents. Do you realise that people become single parents for some unforseen or several other reasons beyond thier control. For eaxmple Are you suggesting a woman/man remains in a violent relationship and die in there. Or are you implying that children should be raised in very toxic and unstable homes. Thats why some kids become monsters and hateful of society and themselves.
      I remember the story of the guy who butchered his own pastor father, rigth there in Lagos. It must have fuelled from continious years of bottled up emotions and anger for his father.
      Do you know what it takes to be a parent wether single or married. Watch your utterances and do not let God and his host of angels mend your tongue for you.

  20. demashi

    February 26, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Single parents deserve a lot of support. I am married man but seem to have fallen in love with a single mom. Her kids love me to bits and call me Dad but I have told them to slowdown on their expectations. I try the best I can do for them but it hurts that men choose to be irresponsible in this day and age,

    • Chu

      February 26, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Do you mean you are married but fallen in love with another woman who is single? I hope not, cos then you will be making you own wife a single mum in future. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • MIA

      February 26, 2016 at 10:53 am

      So you want wife number 2 or for the mother of your kids to become a single parent?

    • huh

      February 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Mr demashi, if my memory serves me correctly, I remember you writing on this same blog that you had an affair at the early stages of your marriage due to some issues which is resolved and is in your past now. Please do not let the devil use you a second time around because your wife will find it hard that you made the same mistake a second time.

    • eky

      February 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      £clearsthroat….that is so nice..but did you say you are married… are you about to be irresponsibile too..£justsayin….married man seem to have fallen in love with single mum..nah

  21. Chu

    February 26, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I think discussing about single parenthood is good. Single parents can read other people’s experiences and learn from it. It doesn’t mean that the act is being encouraged, I don’t think anyone prays to raise a kid alone.
    The kids are the worst hit, I came from one and I know the effect on myself, its worse on boys who do not have a father figure to teach them the ropes, not to say that those from two parent homes are always better off.
    And yes, parents discriminate against their children marrying people from single parents, I remember being in a friend’s house once, i stayed there a while and her mum was advising the children not to marry a child raised by a single parent and in my mind I was like hello, see me here, I’m from a single parent home, it was very insensitive but I got to see first hand how some parents can think.
    I think social media has brought out the worst in people when it comes to comments, we can disagree with bashing each other. I know economy hard and sometimes we take it out anyway we can, but people chill out, its not the end of the world.

  22. LOL

    February 26, 2016 at 11:02 am

    @demashi…does your own wife not have kids…,is this situation of yours not how single parenthood arises in the first instance….haba

  23. Single Naija Mum

    February 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    As a single mum who had to move back to Nigeria because I had to get away from my ex who was violent, the experience has made me stronger. I know I am a better person now and my walk with God has definitely grown. Moving back i realized that there isn’t a strong support system for us and even churches discriminate. All have sinned but some sins are more visible and have a lasting effect than others ( a thief is only considered a thief when he is caught lol). God has been so faithful and my son will be 4 this year. I am currently dating a good guy who has shown nothing but love to my son and I but his relatives are strongly against the relationship because i am a single mum. I have prayed about it and decided that only God’s will be done, so if it doesnt work out then i guess it isn’t God’s perfect will.

    I just started a blog and I believe that my story and others will give strength to people who are in similar situations. please check it out

  24. Olubunmi

    February 26, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    I totally support this idea to encourage other single parents either male or female

    My Dad died when i was two and my Mum raised my two brothers and I alone. I’m sure it must have been very tough cause the three of us were toddlers at the time and no support from my Dad’s family till date.

    Im 28 now, My brothers and I are settled now with good jobs and i can’t be more thankful to God for my Mum for giving her the strength to double as a Dad and Mum to us without remarrying. A huge sacrifice i must confess.

    I want to use this medium to encourage single parents, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

  25. Md

    February 26, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Never ever marry a single mother, they are single mother for a reason no matter how it is justified to garner pity, men do not fall into that trap for your own sanity

    • damseldam1

      February 26, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      your comment is extremely stupid and dumb. kindly tell us the reason why single mothers are single? go get some EDUCATION smh!!!

    • thatgidigirl

      February 29, 2016 at 7:56 am

      I was raised by a single mother. she met and married my step dad -amazing man and they are happy, living a good life, their 10 years wedding anniversary is coming up next year. so please what nonsense are you saying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa