Single mothers… in the United States, they are probably the persons who have it the hardest out here. Now, I don’t generally like to bring race into things, but I’m going to go a step further and say that black single mothers probably have it worse than anybody else… especially a college educated, black single mothers. And Lord help you if you have more than one child, that’s for sure.
In terms of a long-lasting committed relationship with a man, as a single mother, you can pretty much hang it up. I don’t like to be negative, but that’s how it feels to me. I find it amazing that you can meet a man and he can take the time to get to know you. He loves the time that you spend together because you have so much fun. He thinks you’re sexy enough to sleep with, cook well enough to love your cooking, and you like doing all the things he likes to do. But wouldn’t you know it… you’re not good enough to make a real commitment to because standing behind you is little Johnny or Mary. Cute as little buttons… they sure are, standing there sucking on a lollipop waiting for you to chuck them under the chin. Or maybe they’ve spilled juice all over your flat screen and you’re ready to lay into their ass… either way, they’re standing there. And there’s the hang up right there.
Oh you’re a great woman! Supportive woman! You know how to comfort that man… know how to boost up his self-esteem and give him the courage to take on the world. You know how to forgive his faults and look past his flaws! You know how to lift him up when he’s down and help him find his inner strength. You’re perfect (or as perfect as we women can get)… the best woman a man could have, but then again no you’re not, because Little Johnny or Mary is still standing there holding your hand.
Lord have mercy, where would we be today if Joseph had just up and dumped Mary because she was pregnant with Jesus? What would have happened to poor Mary? Back then, she probably would have been stoned to death or jailed or whatever for having a child who wasn’t by her husband. Even as recent as the 60’s, it was downright shameful for an unwed woman to have a child and the man didn’t marry her.
Now I know with education and the independent thinking of women, we all say, “I don’t need a man.” And I’m in agreement, if he’s going to treat you like shit, you sure don’t need him, but it sure would be nice for him to be there for you if he’s a genuinely good guy. I don’t know why relationships are so important to me. Maybe it’s because I am nearing 30 and want to spend my life with someone, but I just don’t think we were meant to spend our lives alone… hopping from one man to the next or sitting around talking about we just don’t need a man yet we’re fiddling around with battery operated machinery every night just to get our tweeter tickled. I’m gonna be straight up and honest. I’d like to have a life time companion… someone who loves me because I’m me and isn’t afraid to commit to that. Who doesn’t want that? The problem is men nowadays can’t see past the fact that you may have a child because some asshole left you to raise his kid alone while he went off in search of his dreams… dreams that didn’t include you or his child or any sense of responsibility.
So what now? Obviously you love your child and you’re going to do what you have to do to raise him or her correctly… with or without a man, but where does that leave you emotionally? What does that say about life and our society? We are good enough to lie down with but not necessarily good enough to marry simply because we have a child.
The child is innocent and we as single mothers do the best that we can with what we have. Truth be told, we could use a support system. Not even financial support, though some of us could use that too, but an emotional support. We need someone there to hold us and say it’s going to be alright when we get so overwhelmed by everything we have to do every day. Cook, clean, do homework with little tyke, spend time with the little tyke, make sure he takes a bath before bed, read him a bed time story, all while still trying to have time for yourself. God forbid you’re still trying to get your degree, or you’re actively pursuing a graduate degree or whatever the case may be. Lord, a woman could go insane. Then at the end of all of that, you have to trudge off to your bedroom, peer down at your cold, empty, bed and fall asleep alone with nothing but an extra pillow that no one uses for company. Smh…
Are we cursed to bare the Scarlett C (Children) branded into our foreheads for the rest of our lives? I mean, children are a blessing, so why are women who have them treated as if they have The Plague flowing through their veins like a river? Where are the men who believe in family and unconditional love? Do they even exist anymore? Why are the only men out there the ones who say “I love you BUT I can’t?” Sounds like a condition to me. Or some of those guys don't love you at all, they just want your poom poom. So in response... trying to survive, we women convince ourselves that we don’t need a man and furthermore don’t want one. All the while, that little seed of anger that has formed because we’ve been shunned so many times begins to eat away at our hearts. Where in the world do we go from here?
So we get dressed every morning, comb our hair just right, apply that light make up that accentuates our features so well. We look good. We spray on that special scent that sets us apart from the rest. We smell good. We take out the meat we’re going to have for dinner to be cooked later. We cook good. We head off to the office to put in an 8-10 hour day. We work hard. We get off work and pick up the little tyke from school or from day care or the baby sitter and take him home to nurture him. We are comforters and we love our kids unconditionally. After the tyke is put to bed, we sit down to go over the finances to make sure the rent is paid, the car note is paid, there is money for groceries and laundry, money for little tyke’s clothes because all his school uniform shirts have grass stains that just won’t come out, and student loans from our education… We clean the kitchen up from tonight’s dinner and take out the trash then go scrub the tub and the toilet. We take care of the house good. But when we take a minute to breathe and we look around, it’s really just you and the kid. And quite possibly, it’s going to always be you and the kid because no man seems to be capable of committing to both of you. The rule is, a man doesn’t want a woman with a child. Does that mean we should stop hoping that someday we’ll be the exception?
*Sigh… and the struggle continues. I’m still a ringless (engagement ring that is) soul. It’s just me and my little stink butt (that’s my son by the way… I don’t mean my butt stinks haha). Maybe someday someone will decide that I’m the one, but until then, I guess I have no choice but to wait and keep hope alive. Boy, that sounds so pitiful.
*This blog is mere opinion and is not meant to discourage anyone from pursuing a lasting, meaningful relationship. This is my own personal rant of how it feels to me to be a single mother in regard to relationships with men. I hope that all single mothers out there find the love that they so richly deserve for themselves and for their children.