By Vicky Wandawa
Four years ago, while Aggie was ready to settle down because she had a son, her boyfriend was not. He partied hard. So, she stayed at her parents’ home.
Her parents welcomed her, though she felt it was not right for her to live home at her age, with a baby. She suggested a kwanjula but he claimed he did not have money. She says of her situation: “I am 28, a mother of one and boldly living home with my parents. Besides, my job offers poor pay.”
Ann Asiimwe, a counsellor with Care Counselling Services in Bukoto, blames the economic crisis for the rising number of single mothers who have graduated from university and perhaps even have jobs, living with their parents.
“Their jobs may not be paying enough to sustain a life on their own with the baby,” says Asiimwe.
But she also blames parents who spoil their children and encourage them to stay home even if they have jobs sufficient enough to sustain them on their own.
Winfred Kabanda of Tugunjuke counseling services, also known as Senga Smart, blames the situation on the failure to take girls through pre-marital counselling.
She says numerous couples enter marriage with insufficient counselling and when the heat builds up, the young mothers run home to their parents.
Kabanda also blames the men. “They are dishonest and yet the girls rush into getting intimate with them.
By the time they realise the men are unserious, they are pregnant and if they cannot take care of the baby themselves, they end up going back home.”
Dos and don'ts of living with parents
“Be on your best behavior,” Asiimwe advises. “Always be there for your baby and clean up after it. What’s more, one is bound to get questioning looks from relatives, or even mean statements.”
However, Asiimwe advises, “Desist from fighting back or responding in the negative, so as to keep the peace.”
Young mothers may feel like failures and worry about the future, but Asiimwe says it is better to accept the situation as it is and not blame anyone, as well as forgive oneself. That, she says, gives one a clear mind to ably plan exactly how and when to leave their parents’ house.
Would you live with your parents?
Karen Mark, interior designer
Not if I was emotionally and financially stable. As a mother, I would need to be independent of my parents.
Dora Omunyidde, cashier
I would, if my family could accommodate me.
Hope Tino, monitoring and evaluation officer
I would prefer living on my own.
Sara Madunduli, social worker
At the start, I would prefer to live with my parents as I learn how to take care of the baby, but after my maternity leave, I would go live alone and make it on my own, even without the baby’s father.