Last week Sunday, Linda Ikeji, popular wealthy blogger announced her pregnancy through her younger sister on her Instagram page. Shortly after, the internet went wild with the news and there was a fierce debate on her pregnancy.
However, I learnt a new word during the heated argument on social media and the word is “mkpuke”. From my private research, I realized that the word means having a child out of wedlock, more like a bastard. My Igbo friends further explained to me that a woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock in Igbo land is usually ostracized by the society. Although that wasn’t the first time I heard about young women being banished or ostracized when they get pregnant out of wedlock, it baffles me that “mkpuke” can also come up for a mature single such as Linda.
In our society, when a woman gets pregnant the first thing on everyone’s lips is who impregnated her. Although some people may mean no harm, but such unnecessary curiosity raises suspicion of an ulterior motive. It is typical of a Nigerian to feel entitled to such information. They ask question like: is she married? Did the guy accept the pregnancy? Was it a mistake? Or is she getting married soon? If your answers don’t meet up to societal expectation, then you are in trouble.
An unmarried woman who gets pregnant without a husband in our society is treated like a leper. For me, it is a wicked act to ostracize or send your child out of the house because she got pregnant out of wedlock. I am not saying that such action should be encouraged, but having scolded that child, you should show her love and support. A pregnant woman especially the one without a spouse needs all the support and care in the world. The trauma of bearing the loud shame as an unwed mother is beyond words. So, when her family then decides to treat her like a piece of garbage, you can imagine how devastated she will be. No wonder why many of these girls become desperate when they get pregnant, looking for easy way out. Out of desperation, they resort to abortion rather than braving it up to carry the pregnancy to full term. Unfortunately, religion is number one culprit. The condemnation and the scathing judgmental attitude of our brethren in our various places of worship are unimaginable. Nigerians love to hear “I married as a virgin” narrative and many young girls are playing the game so well. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not preaching against virginity. What I am saying in the essence is that we should stop being hypocritical. I won’t want to dwell so much on young girls getting pregnant and being ostracized because I belong to the school of thought where every sexually active person is expected to be responsible and practice safe sex if they can’t abstain. Hello, young people, sex is not for boys and girls.
Now straight to the matured singles, if you are single and you know your biological clock is ticking fast and you want a child, I think should go ahead and get pregnant. Yes, get pregnant if you want to and stop caring about what people will say. Listen, their opinions don’t count, face your life and do what you have to do; after all, these people you are listening to don’t care about you. If you are financially independent and can take care of your baby, go and get pregnant. Stop wasting your time looking for a husband. It is not everybody that will find a Prince charming that will walk her down the aisle. The pressure women go through to consummate a relationship into marriage and then get pregnant the right way is heartbreaking and often leads to mistake. Many of these pressures come from the family and they are reinforced by the society.
That is why many women become very desperate and ultimately end up with the wrong partners. Get this straight, marriage is a beautiful institution and children are a blessing too. But when you can’t find a Mr. Right and you know your biological clock is shutting down, I think it is wise to make hay while the sun shines.
If you are sure you can take care of your child, don’t let the society influence your decision.
The reason is that when you are grey and your bone begins to ache, you won’t find them. But when you have your own child, you will have someone to call yours.
Children bring great comfort in old age; so, don’t let people dictate to you what to do with your life. Children who were raised by single mothers also turn out well; it all depends on how you train your kids. So, live on your own terms, after all, it is your body.
For the very religious women who don’t want to commit sin, you can do IVF if you have the money. All you need is a sperm donor and you don’t have to sleep with any man. You don’t even have to know the man; all you need is a budget because these things are quite expensive. You can also adopt a child, which is better than staying all alone and feeling miserable or waiting endlessly for a man to come and make you happy. However, if you have a contrary view, thinking that I am spitting bullshit, then wait till your sisters or daughters hit 40 and can’t get a husband. You can fold your arms and keep watching until all her teeth begin to fall off.
In case you don’t know, let me educate you quickly. Once you hit 35, your eggs start declining and you enter into what is known in the medical term as advanced maternal age which is just a fancy word for describing old age pregnancy. It is laughable because you don’t feel old, but in medical term, you are considered elderly. So, do what you want to do on time. Interestingly, advancement in modern medicine has even made it possible for you to harvest your eggs, preserve them and get them fertilized when you are ready. Single ladies, if you have the money now, I think this is a very good venture you should invest in because children are the most valuable resource in the world.
To some people, this is an abominable act, but I really don’t care what you think about this because you haven’t worked this mile before and so it is very easy for you to put your nose high up there and judge other people. I have seen many single women who waited for so many years and by the time they realized, they had already hit menopause and there was nothing they could do about it.
Dear single women, if marriage comes; great! Marriage is a wonderful institution when you are with the right person. But if your Knight in shining armour is taking so long to come rescue you from spinsterhood, you’d better start planning your own future. It is your life; so, stop giving spots to people who don’t matter. Be happy! Go have children if you know your biological clock is shutting down.