My name is Katherine and I am the founder of the online magazine BubbaMama.com and MartiniBlanc.com. I am also a mother to a 4-year old son.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was just about to break up with my boyfriend. He had been cheating on me for the past year and then the relationship started to become violent. I had to leave. But finding out about the baby and having to cut off ties with the man who was the father to my child was like adding insult to injury.
Nobody plans to have accidental pregnancies. It was just bad timing.
Taking my chances
Of course I considered giving the child up. I thought about how my life would be years down the road if I were to keep him – would I be able to support him financially? What will life be like? Will I be a good mother? Will I be able to give him the emotional support he requires?
Furthermore, I was afraid of telling my mother. I didn’t think she would take it very well. After all, which mother would want their daughter to be pregnant and unwed?
But as time passed, as the gravity of the situation sank in, I made a resolve to go ahead with it. A part of me thought that perhaps, this was God’s gift and that I should just embrace it. Another part of me considered the fact that this was my best shot at having a baby. The probability of complications during pregnancy increases exponentially once a woman reaches 30.
I was 33 at the time.
I wasn’t going to wait around to meet another man, fall in love and then decide to have a baby. Time was running out. So, I decided to take my chances.
Welcome to the family
As I said, I was afraid to tell my mother about my pregnancy at first. I told my sister, whom I was close to, but I knew that I had to tell mum sooner or later. And when I finally did, she was terribly upset. But even though she was disappointed, she still supported me. And for that, I am grateful.
My family and friends were on board after the initial shock. Everyone got behind me (emotionally, financially etc.) after my child arrived and none of us has ever looked back. Still, every Chinese New Year, I choose to make myself scarce from family gatherings just so I won’t have to make uncomfortable small talk with judgmental relatives- not everyone is appreciative of the fact that I’m an unwed mother.
It goes without saying that the arrival of the baby was a major paradigm shift for me. I had to change my lifestyle completely – no drinking, no smoking etc. I avoided smoking areas and I scolded those who smoked in front of me. I slept earlier, I starting reading up; basically, I started being a mother.
It’s my belief that motherhood can change a person for the better. It makes us more hardworking, more knowledgeable- we have to be in order to provide for our children.
Wearing the pants
The other thing that changed was my dating life. I became very cautious with who I went out with. After my son was born, I knew, more than ever, what kind of man I was looking for. And even though I have my fair share of suitors, I’m not rushing into anything. I’m taking my time to choose someone who is big enough – big enough to take care of my child, big enough to catch up with us. My son and I, we’re not the stereotypical “single mum” family. I’m ambitious, driven and optimistic. We don’t slow down.
I am the sole breadwinner of the family. I both bring home the bacon as well as take care of the household. It’s tough to have to shoulder the financial responsibility on my own but if I have to, I will be both the mother and the father for my child.
Being an unwed mother, it’s simply not enough to settle for just anyone. I’d rather be alone with my child than to be in a marriage or relationship that is not loyal and honest. Of course, I do think that having a father figure is important. But I trust that with proper communication with my child, he will come to understand the big picture.
Telling him the truth
One day, my son came home with a drawing of a family i.e. a mother, a child and a father. That was when I decided it was time to tell him the truth about his father. Of course, I left out some parts that I didn’t think were appropriate or necessary to mention. I told him that his father and I couldn’t get along and that’s why he isn’t around. I don’t know if my young son truly understood what I meant but he seemed to accept it. For now, these little explanations are sufficient.
The mighty pen
Even though I may appear strong for my child, there are still hurts that reside deep within my heart. From the abuse, to the cheating, to the emotional stress of doing this alone, the pain surfaces from time to time. I believe that while it’s important to recognise that the pain is there, what matters more is how we deal with it and what we do with it.
For me, I write. I believe that healing is about feeling beautiful once more – not just physically but to emit a beautiful energy as well. That is why I started the online magazines. They are to empower women and girls to uncover the beauty that each and every one of them possesses. Being beautiful is about taking care of your skin, being healthy and engaging in positive thinking. It is about radiating good energy. It is about perspective.
So to other mothers out there, hang in there and stay strong. Focus on building your family, on your child and on yourself. Those who fall outside of your circle (your circle includes people who matter and who love you), don’t take what they say to heart. Those who care for you are those whom you need to rely on.