Sarah Njeri on Growing Up With a Single Mom

Photo courtesy of Sarah Njeri.

Sarah and I have been friends for a while now and it has always fascinated me just how much we have in common despite how different our family backgrounds are. Where I’m lucky enough to have both parents in my life, she was raised by a single mother and her family is originally from Kenya. Sarah also has an older brother who studies at Georgia Tech. Knowing how prevalent divorce is with modern day couples, I thought a lot of people would be able to relate to the idea of growing up with only one parent.

Around SCAD Atlanta, Sarah can usually be seen at the library, working hard on her graphic design assignments. She is tall, beautifully dark skinned and only a few months ago began dating her boyfriend Marquis.

Alexia Zarate: Do you think your mom did a good job raising you as a single mother?

Sarah Njeri: I think she did a good job when comes to providing the necessities.

AZ: How do you think your life would have been different if you’d been raised by both parents?

SN: I think emotionally I would be more stable. My mom was always working and was never around to ask if we did our homework or ask how school was. My whole life she only went to one parent-teacher meeting and that's because the school made her do it.

AZ: If you were ever to be a single mother, do you think you would do a good job?

SN: I never want to be a single mother but if it were to happen, I don't think I would do a good job. I would always fall short because working full time to provide for the kids would cut my time with them. Nowadays, unless you have a good paying job then you need two jobs (which my mom has, at one point she even had three) to make ends meet.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Njeri.

AZ: How does your brother feel about being raised by a single mother?

SN: The one time we talked about having both parents he said it's very important to have both. There are things he cant talk to my mom about and even though he has his uncles it’s not the same because he feels limitations to what he can talk to them about.

AZ: Do you think people who have been raised by single parents are different than people who grow up with both parents?

SN: They are different. Having one parent has its pros and cons.

Cons: you always feel you’re missing out on something and this envy comes up whenever you see a father having fun with his kids. 'No' is an answer you get used to anytime you ask for most things. You're forced to grow up fast. By the time I was in first grade I was expected to wash dishes and to try to clean up the house. My brother who was four years older was being taught how to wash his own clothes. Since we lived in Kenya, we washed them with our hands.

Pros: I learned to be responsible for myself. I’m a bit more grateful. Not saying kids with both parents aren't but I've always wanted to know what it feels like to mention my dad without it being something negative. Having one parent isn't how God wanted us to live. It takes two to make them and then it takes two to raise them.

Are you from a family with a single parent? What was your experience growing up? Leave a comment down below.