Mark Lynch's extraordinary life: 'My heart's still in PNG'
Me story long Talk Pinglish

The single mother in PNG: Just how does she do it?

Brian and BriannaDOMINICA ARE

GOROKA – This past 4 September, I gave myself a huge pat on the back, congratulated myself and hugged my twins Brianna and Brian so tight they gasped for air.

I had made it. We had made it. We had survived their first year. A single mother and two small twins. Honestly, I couldn’t even believe it.

Time flies so damn fast when you’re having double fun.  I was full of glee and so proud of myself that I could hardly concentrate at work.

I almost burst with happiness as I dwelled on the struggles I rose above in that first year. The feeling was superb. I spoilt the children with cupcakes afterwards.

True, the journey was not all rosy; there were several setbacks. But we survived. Most importantly, my babies are happy and healthy and that’s all that matters.

There are times and situations when I wished things would be different. It was hard work and emotionally wearing.

However, no matter how tough and heavy it got, I just carried my cross and marched on. I’ve learnt a lot. This state has unleased strengths and powers within me I never knew existed.

Certainly, no woman is an island. There are people who made the passage bearable by being there and urging me on – my mum and sisters are my rock, my babysitter is heaven sent, my neighbours turned into family by loving my children as their own.

People like them make this harsh world a better place to live. I consider myself blessed to be given such wonderful gifts.

Even though some things may not make perfect sense now, eventually they will fall into place. I guess my journey has just started.

Countless people have and will travel this path and I know I’m not alone in this. I’m grateful for the courageous women who share their experiences fearlessly. Our experiences and stories may not be the same but we stood and dealt with our situation head on. You inspire me.

People ask me all the time how I did it alone with two kids at the same time. People ask me how much I spend on diapers and formulas. People ask me how it is my babies are blooming each day. People ask me if I have enough sleep at night. People ask me how I cope with my CPA accounting studies.

The endless questions continue. I’ll sum up my answers by looking at Dominica’s year.



Dominica AreShe cried countless tears behind closed doors, concealed under the blanket in her bedroom or in the bathroom.  Through the tears came soft whispers of prayer for the strength to endure whatever life launched her way. To her, the tears were the visible display of an inner turmoil which no human could see but God alone knew and understood.

She mulled over things. She wondered how she’d get through.  Not all days were smooth.  Fatigue and pain permeated her body. She was mentally drained. But she endured it all without complaint, regret or fear. She knew she had to stay positive and upbeat. To her, there was no such thing as giving up.

She suffered humiliation. The negative taunts from naysayers never ceased. She couldn’t do it alone, they said. People made fun of her circumstances.  People look down on her like she had done something appallingly immoral.

To her, these were mere words, no matter how excruciating. The words, negative behaviour and prejudice could not break her determined spirit. She’d prove them wrong. 

At times, when she felt like she couldn’t make it through another day, she looked at the innocent little human beings and got back on her feet. Sometimes, she had to forgo her own needs and wants.  To her, her children were all that mattered – her heartbeats.

She had faith in herself when no one else did. Her heart was kind and tender but brave as a lion. No one and nothing could rip off a brave smile.  She’d go the extra exhausted mile to make ends meet. She stood firmly on her two feet. To her, it was about challenge and survival.

Everything she did was done meticulously. She managed to keep the balls in the air. With flair. To her, multi-tasking was a way of life.

The hidden sacrifices were worth it. The result was tangible in the smiles, laughter and success of her children.  She was blissfully happy and content. To her, it was a magical feeling to do the impossible when people say otherwise

I’m amazed at how she did it.

To all the single parents – I raise my glass to you. You all have my respect and admiration. We have little human beings looking up at us as heroes and heroines. I guess we are. So never give up.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dominica Are

If there's one thing I learnt is that you'll give the best possible life you can to your children. Its not easy but its truly special being a single parent.

I couldn't agree more Philip , God is surely with us with loads and loads of blessings.

Philip Kai Morre

I feel sorry that I was a defector father and can feel emotionally what Dominica has experienced over the years.

For us men it's not so much, but for women like Dominica their sacrifices trying to raise their kids and do many things at the same is 10 times burdensome.

They cope with criticism, suppression, depression and at times are emotionally and financially broken and have no strength to move on.

You can see that their resilience and coping skills are the best and God is with them with lots of blessings.

Single parents produce some of the best brains in the country because they know how to solve problems to be better.

Marlene Dee

I raise my glass to you too girl.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)