Confessions of a Single, 38-year-old Childless Lady
I was born on January 3rd, 19…… Very few people know how old I really am. It’s a secret I guard with my life.
I’m actually over 35 and rounded off to the nearest number, my age is closer to 40 than 35. I also do not have any children. So I’m closer to 40 in age, not married, no kids and no boyfriend to speak of.
This state of being has arisen because I travel a lot to find work in different countries. I therefore have not had the opportunity to live in Kenya for a long time to start a family. In most countries, getting married is not this huge accomplishment that over rides getting a PhD or starting a very successful business or getting a promotion at work.
Getting married and having kids in Kenya is the ultimate prize in life.
It’s like you get sick and need admission to one of the fancy hospitals in Kenya that need an astronomical deposit for their doctors to even glance at you. So you go in and say, “I’m married.” And they let you in, in lieu of the deposit. That’s how people act in Kenya…like marriage will be your Aga Khan ICU deposit admission.
I see it everywhere. People go to palm readers to see if marriage to person A is in their future, people visit a witch-doctor so he can cast a spell on some poor fellow. Men know how valued they are so they do whatever they want to women.
Beat them, live with them before they give you a chance to be on the Wedding Show, take you to their local to watch football with the boys as a date night for the both of you. Women do not care if they are the ninth side chick as long as you can share a part of a man. And if he’s rich and can buy you a car and keep you in a furnished Kilimani apartment, the stakes to get this kind of man get higher. So if it means you will hire a hit man to take out the first 8 girls, put some love potion in his food and cook 100 chapatis for him, so be it.
The worst part is when your husband knows he can beat you to a pulp because even if you run away to your family, they will most likely return you to him.
Everyone in the rest of the world is usually nonchalant about my marital status. That changes the day I fly into JKIA.
My experience in Kenya is that if someone threatens you in any way, the knee jerk reaction is to put them down in order to make yourself feel better. And the first open area of attack is my single childless status at my age.
I caught up with my 28 year old friend and someone commented, “Why is he meeting you? Does he want a sugar mummy?” I just wanted a nice lunch. He even has a girlfriend. A person told me the most fulfilling thing in life was a family, not the myriad of friends I have in Sweden and drilled in the point several times.
A relative told me, “Give birth to at least one baby so your mother can be a grandmother.” The friends who I somehow threaten will push their husbands and kids down my throat as if to say, “I am actually better than you and here is the hard cold scientific evidence.” I have many friends who love parenthood and are excellent parents but do not use this to put me down in any way.
My Take on the Whole Thing.
I do not feel like I have this huge vacuum because I’m not married or don’t have kids. I enjoy and have embraced my life 100 percent.
I have slept nonstop through the night for years. I do not need a maid and do not spend hours discussing what to do with her with other women. I do not wake up at 4 am to open the door for my drunk hubby demanding food.
I can wake up at 8 am, sit on my computer and write this piece in peace, solitude and quiet.
Meanwhile, authors in the USA who have kids must wake up at 4 am when the house is quiet to write. I love my life and do not think any of it as a mistake. I also do not think shacking up with a man and bearing two babies is indicative of you accomplishing much at all in your life. I mean people make it a bigger thing than it really is.
Mark Zuckerberg opened Facebook, he is married, can speak Chinese and has a baby. If he put me down I would actually feel very useless and unaccomplished but all the people totting their kids in my face need to take a chill pill……it does not bother me, actually it just shows me how my life bothers you.
My approach to dating.
While I do want to get married one day, I do not put a lot of effort into the whole” getting a man affair.”The Bible says he who gets a wife gets a good thing so personally there is a level of hyperactivity to pursue a man I won’t be involved in. I am extremely busy trying to return home from Sweden, making sure I have some kind of job and establishing a writing career in Kenya. So I’m the worst girlfriend to have because if you’re not busy, and call me a lot during the day, I stop talking to you. In fact I think it will be a miracle when I get married because at the moment no man has been me worth interrupting my routines for. My husband is out there, busy building his empire and loving Jesus genuinely (not Kanyari type) just like me. Our paths will somehow cross one day.
Let’s be well grounded and be accomplished in a career, a business, an education, being fit and healthy. Let us not exclusively tie your value to having a man (even if he’s not yours) and giving birth. I know it’s a beautiful experience and kids bring you joy but at the same time some adults procreate and leave these kids to be street kids.
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