I’m always very hesitant to say that I’m a single mom because it seems to carry a negative connotation especially when black and poor. Well, not necessarily poor but on welfare. People always say that you should have waited until you’re married, don’t open your legs to just anyone or you did it to yourself. I’ve literally seen and heard all of the negative comments about being a single mom.
It’s honestly sad that people don’t understand that each situation is unique and different. And it’s honestly sad that people judge single moms so harshly. I’m sad to say that I don’t wear the single mom title proudly. I didn’t want to be both the mom and dad to my sons. But, I couldn’t sacrifice my standards and happiness for the sake of my kids growing up in a 2-parent household.
The hardest thing I had to do was to leave my children’s father while pregnant with my youngest son. It was a tough decision to make but I deserved way better and I deserved someone that loved me, protected me and could provide for our kids. I walked away knowing that being a single mom of 2 would be the hardest thing ever.
My life as a single mom is no different than that of any other mom. I am a mom. I take provide for my children, take care of my household and love my little ones as much as I can. The only difference between us is that we parent without a partner in the home. I make all of the decisions when it comes to my children, no one shows up to the dad for doughnuts for events and I deal with constant questions about their father.
I don’t want a cookie and I don’t want a trophy for being the best mother to my kids despite the absence of their father. That’s not the point of this blog. I want people to understand that no one chooses to be a single mother and we don’t want to be judged harshly because we are without a partner.
I deal with so many struggles on a daily and I don’t think people realize how tough it is to be a single mom. The struggle of being out and about with your two boys alone on public transportation and people giving you looks of pity. The struggle of going to the welfare office feeling like you failed your children. The struggle of watching your son longing for his father as he watch happy families out in public. The struggle of explaining to your kids why their father is not present.
I had an interesting encounter with a person while waiting on the bus. I’m guessing she assumed that I was very young, a teenager and just having babies for sports. She told me things like not to have another baby and I bet their daddy ain’t ish (mind you she’s just assuming that he’s not in the picture). She said brothas are no good and lazy. She told me that there’s no point to get the white man (child support) to take care of our kids.
What was the most interesting part about this encounter is what she told my oldest. She told him that since he didn’t have a daddy that he was now the man of the house. She told him that he had to take care of me and his younger brother. As a single mom, my sons won’t pay for what their dad doesn’t do. They are my sons, not my kings, not my providers or any of those things. I will make sure my kids have the best childhood as being kids and will not make them responsible for the things their dad should be responsible for.
It doesn’t matter what you assume about a person, keep your judgmental comments to yourself. If a mom needs help, don’t shame her and make her feel worse than she already feels. I remember there was a time I didn’t qualify for benefits and I could afford to take care of my little ones. Then I was laid off, found out I was pregnant, unable to find work and had to reach out for assistance. I don’t want pity, sympathy or a trophy for being a single mom but a little respect would be nice.
All in all, my single motherhood journey taught me a lot about myself. I am a lot stronger than I thought. I am appreciative of my support system that have been amazing to me and my children on this journey. Maybe one day, I’ll meet a man that will love me and my children. Until then, I will remain a single mom.