How do you make her a mother? Technically, I know how you make them a mother – but really how do you make one a mother? After a night out of frolicking in the dredges of the cities scum or maybe a place a bit mid-range where drinks are not preposterously marked up and the seats are couches curving into the corners and the floor is somewhat carpeted and the bar doesn’t have iron bars to prevent hooligans from rummaging through it helping themselves to a drink thy didn’t pay for. Maybe you are a bit suave and are raking in more than 50k a month and can afford a place a bit more upmarket. Places where asking the price of a drink could get you kicked out. The menu has fancy names and the waiters dress fancy and the patrons talk fancy and drinks are served fancy heck even the bill comes fancy in a leather bound wallet and a pristine white slip and a crystal tray and a smiling girl in high heels and a short skirt and a waist coat and a visa machine. Then what? You go home, take a mat or a cab, maybe you call an Uber or you drive, yes drive home.
You get home safely, and you get into the room, or sitting room or living area and you head into the kitchen bring out a bottle of vodka, or whiskey, or brandy, or wine or beer. You indulge some more and head to the bed room hot on each other’s back and you’re too drunk to use protection or you say you’re too drunk to use protection. She’s too drunk to care or she thinks she’s too drunk to care. You fornicate or roll around in the bed and have a steamy drunken session. You wake up next to each other. She’s your girlfriend or your friend so she feels safe. The familiarity removes the awkwardness. She showers and leaves after planting a kiss on you and making sure you take breakfast. She doesn’t stop at the chemist to get the emergency contraceptive she knows she’s safe, or she thinks she’s safe or she’s afraid to buy them. What will people think?
Maybe you’re still in college and can’t afford a night out. Your greatest assets are your single room, a laptop and an ampex woofer. You walk around the college like you own it in your new t-shirts, faded ripped jeans and fresh sneakers. You have a fancy haircut, or well-kept dreads, or an afro or treated hair dyed at the hues. You seem to know all the best places to hangout on a Friday and you have a way with words. Girls flock around you like bees to honey. Each hopes to be the one that ties you down. But you’re smarter than that. Who does relationships anyway at that point in life?
So anyway you invite a girl over to watch a movie. You both know it’s going to be more than a movie nut the excuse suffices. You head out and buy a movie, a bottle vodka – the cheap ones, and a sprite. It crosses your mind that maybe a pack of condoms would come in handy but for whatever reason you push that thought to the back of your mind. After all who needs them for movies? She comes over to your room and you’re playing some popular Jamaican dancehall tune, or the latest hip hop by some thug who’s supposedly young, or you’re a bit tasteful and are playing Daughtry. You briefly hug at the door and you usher her in – she’s a bit nervous so you start talking. Maybe open with a joke and compliment her dress, or skirt, or jeans, or yoga pants. She smiles and you pull out the laptop start playing the movie.
While the movie plays you get up and get the bottle from under the bed. You bring out two cups, or glasses or mugs and pour yourself a drink. You ask if she’ll have some but she declines so you let her have a soft drink. Mid movie she asks for your cup, or glass or mug and tastes it. You take it as a cue and you pour some for her. You watch the movie and soon it’s over. You put on some music and start having a conversation while sipping on the alcohol. One thing leads to another and soon you’re on top or she’s on top or you’re both interchanging. She’s too shy to ask if you have any protection and plays along. Soon it’s time to leave and you walk her to her hostel, or room or bus stop. You hug goodbye and she hopes to see you again you know it’s not going to happen.
Weeks later you get a text from your girlfriend, or the one night, or the one movie girl and she says he missed her periods. Your heart jumps to your mouth and you spit out the coffee, or tea you were having in the office. Maybe you were in class and you brush it off and switch off your phone and take a swig of Jamo’s vodka that he craftily brandishes in a soda bottle. You walk to your car or to the stop or out of your class in a daze. You know what it means but you don’t know what it really means. A missed period? A kid? A wife? God no! Not a wife. You call her back when you get home and ask if she is sure before promising her undying support. She’s probably naïve or confused or both. She thinks support means being there throughout the pregnancy until birth but you meant you’d send her money for an abortion.
How can 50k support a family? You might have to sell your ampex or beloved laptop because HELB doesn’t cover babies. You call your friends and meet over drinks in the dredges of the cities scum, or a mid-range club where drinks are not preposterously marked up and the seats are couches curving into the corners and the floor is somewhat carpeted and the bar doesn’t have iron bars to prevent hooligans from rummaging through it helping themselves to a drink thy didn’t pay for. Maybe you are a bit suave and are raking in more than 50k a month and can afford a place a bit more upmarket. Places where asking the price of a drink could get you kicked out. The menu has fancy names and the waiters dress fancy and the patrons talk fancy and drinks are served fancy heck even the bill comes fancy in a leather bound wallet and a pristine white slip and a crystal tray and a smiling girl in high heels and a short skirt and a waist coat and a visa machine. They ask you the same thing, why you didn’t take precautions.
You’re not ready to be a dad. But she’s going to be a mum whether she likes it or not. She is going to have mood swings and sleepless nights and heart ache thinking about the love that never was there and the fact that her daughter or son will grow up without knowing the father. She will go through labor and cry and push as she brings life into the world. She will wake up in the middle of the night to crying sounds and have to feed them. She will always get ‘the look’ when she’s walking around the estate, or school. She might be lucky if she works because then she is perceived stronger and it is considered ‘normal to have a baby’ and she will meet single mums that will encourage her. She will have to learn all these medical terms and learn to differentiate between a sick cry, hungry cry or attention cry. She will have to pad her bras to avoid leak stains and she will have to work hard to get her bod back.
She will have to go out cautiously and vet any man she meets. She might have to hide the fact she has a baby. She might have to let her mother raise the child. Everything she does can no longer be selfish. She has to have her kid in mind. She will lose friends and she will gain new ones. But your life doesn’t change if you don’t want it to. You don’t have to learn any medical terms, or change a diaper, or smell like breast milk, or get your body back, or disclose to future spouses about a child you have, or wake up to feed at night.
So you don’t want to change. Let me ask again how do you make her a mother?