Parenting is supposed to bring you joy when you’re doing it with a considerate person. When the parents are no longer together, they must show up for their child(ren) and co-parent healthily.
However, that seldom happens. The sad part is that most South African women are expected to do everything in their power to take care of their children while the men do the bare minimum and get praised for it.
It is a known secret that most women are single mothers, even the married ones.
A woman, who goes by @MZBNAN on X, took to social media to share how the father of her child, who has been absent for 12 years, suddenly showed up with R8 500 for their child.
“Baby daddy decided to give our daughter R8 500 after 12 years of no contribution, whatsoever. Then ngazehlisa ngamfonela ngabonga ngoba Kuye kuthiwe kubongwa okuncane kubongwe nokukhulu (I swallowed my pride, called and thanked him because whether big or small, we shall be grateful).”
Mzansi was divided over the post with some saying she did good by thanking him, while others said there was no need to commend a fish for swimming as he had been absent for over a decade.
“Maybe he has found his feet financially. Some of us have supported ngama (with) R500 at first when things were bad, as the pockets grew, so did the contributions.
“Hope it’s a start and he’ll be consistent and most importantly, present in the child’s life. Thanks for actually calling him and thanking him instead of making his efforts feel small,” said radio personality Sol Phenduka.
Maybe he has found his feet financially. Some of us have supported ngama R500 at first when things were bad, as the pockets grew so did the contributions. Hope its a start and he'll be consistent and most importantly present in the child's life. Thanks for actually calling him… https://t.co/CZCuJCl2hU— Solomzi Thandubuntu (@Solphendukaa) February 10, 2024
Phenduka’s response attracted more comments with with many people asking that, while a man is given grace for neglecting his child until he “finds his feet”, what about the woman, what does she do in the time being while the other parent takes a break from parenting?
“Being a man is so nice, hey. Just disappear and come back when you feel like it. Women don’t have the option to be absent, they have to figure things out no matter how bad things get,” said @cnehshuga.
Another X user, @BantuMthabela_, said: “As a father, this is a p***-take. I touched on this three days ago. What is there to be grateful for when you’ve missed out on 12 years of your child’s life???
“Finding your feet while not knowing how your child is doing for 12 years is garbage.”
@Naledi_LilStar said: “Amazing how he could take time to 'find his feet' while the child’s mom was thrown in the deep end and forced to swim.
“She couldn’t pass the child over to someone else to ‘find her feet.’ Just lovely how men can just choose how & when it’s suitable for them to parent.”
Below are more reactions from people who called Phenduka out for sympathising with deadbeat fathers.
This pisses me off so much. PARENTING IS HARD and she had to do it alone for 12 years and he gets to slide back in ngeR8500 and he must be thanked? For what?! https://t.co/OuRnQ68PE6— Sibulelo Manamatela (@sibsmans) February 11, 2024
Genuine question, what is your child finding while you’re finding your feet? https://t.co/CJ90OSSbUa— Vuyolwethu Ngcukana (Tshawe,Togu,Mdange ka Tshiwo) (@vuyomse) February 11, 2024
Again, the mom yena doesn’t have the luxury to just support ka R500 when things are bad😭 she ALWAYS has to make a plan dark or blue https://t.co/Tqo2ai9eBQ— muffin🇿🇦 (@HlatseMoja) February 11, 2024