Day 26 – On Single Mothering and The Truths Behind It

So you may have noticed that I fell behind on the challenge…That’s because there’s so much I want to say about out of wedlock (oow) children that I wasn’t sure I would be able to condense it all into a single post. Instead of writing about the trauma of accepting your spouse’s illegitimate child -trauma than can affect families for generations- I choose to write about children born to mothers who are not married. I’m still not sure I can condense my thoughts but since I refuse to let this challenge get the better of me, here I am. All it means is that to complete the challenge I have to write five posts today…and you know you girl doesn’t draft so…yeah. Let’s get to it. 

I am a single mother of two. Oh I see the Judgy McJudgerson’s pursing their lips – relax. I’ve just led an interesting life is all, so interesting that I’ve played pretty much every relationship role a woman can play: I’ve been a girlfriend, a wife and….well…pretty much everything in between. Currently I’m reliving my youth: very single with not a suitor in sight…but that’s for another day. 

Today, I’m here to tell you about people who hate young black women and how you can recognise them. These people lie to young black women telling them shit like ‘abantwana bayakhula’, ‘children grow up, it won’t be so bad’, referring to what seems to be a concerted effort by young women to ruin their lives by getting pregnant out of wedlock. These people will say ‘marriage is just a piece of paper’ and ‘people get divorced anyway’, because in their shameful ignorance they are unaware that a mother who is a divorcee is in a far better position (financially and legally) than a woman who has never been married, even though they may both have children. In almost every country in the world -perhaps with the exception of France and Zimbabwe (where oow children can inherit equal to legitimate children) and quite possibly the Scandinavian countries- there is a clear benefit, several benefits in fact, to getting married before having children. Anybody who tells you that oow children are not a big deal is lying to you, doesn’t want to see you be great, and is probably a single mother who wants you to be just as miserable as she is. Don’t fall for it. Here are the hidden reasons behind increase in oow births:

1. Black men are toxic to black women (sadly, it is what it is. If you’re black and want to date/marry black then your vetting skills have to be on point). I don’t know of any other race where the men deliberately and in large numbers have children with women they are not married to, denying both mother and child the protections and privileges of marriage. Other races value marriage but not black people, oh no. We stay thinking backward in almost every sphere of life! What other race of men says to its women: I want to marry you but you have to make a baby for me FIRST? If a man says that to you, run. That man does not love you and does not want the best for you. A man who ‘loves you’ for your ability to create and birth life is a man who sees you as nothing more than a baby machine. Run.

2. Black women are their own worst enemies. YOU believed a baby would trap him, didn’t you? Dumb. Now you’re miserable stuck with a man who resents you and that you can’t stand. But at least you’re not single, right? DumbOh wait, he didn’t marry you? So now you’re a single mum, limited dating options and stress and heartache galore? YOU believed he would finally commit if you got pregnant, didn’t you? Dumb. YOU listened to people who actually hate you (yes they do) tell you that it doesn’t matter if you’re unmarried, because children grow up, right? YOU are dumb, and I’m here to tell you that. But not only that: YOU stay telling young women to have their babies while they’re still young, don’t you? YOU tell them – married women are single mothers anyway…er, who told you to marry and have babies with an emotionally distant man? YOU’RE a single mother and you tell young women it’s all good, right? As soul-crushing and life-limiting as single parenting is, why would you encourage another woman to make that choice if you truly love that woman? Any woman who encourages single parenting is hateful and any woman who listens is dumb and yes, some women are both hateful and dumb. 

Oh, situations are different, right? Single mothers aren’t created equal, we’re not all struggle mums, right? Besides, you can afford a child alone, you’re doing well and being unwed is no reason not to procreate, right? Dumbass. I could go into the pros and cons of single parenting from a legal standpoint but you know what? I’m not gonna. I could also lay down just how hard children are on any budget – but I’m not gonna do that either. 

If you are a black woman reading this and you’ve seriously considered single mothering for any reason other than I want to see how difficult this can be, then nothing I say in this post is gonna change your mind. You’re dumb, stay dumb. I’m writing this for all the young women out there who aren’t mothers and who don’t know what is what because of so much conflicting evidence. Little girls, Samantha and Musa and Khosi and Mqhele and all the other child-free young (and old) women out there who see us making single parenting look easy, I’m talking to you: anybody who tells you that oow children are no big deal does not want to see you thrive. Marriage comes with protections and privileges –even if you get divorced later- that a never-married mother will never access. Don’t fall for the tricks of misery that wants your company: don’t have children for men who don’t love you enough to protect you and protect your future children. 

3. Black women really are their own worst enemies.  Only black women get a kick out of suffering. You’ve heard it before: I’m doing it on my own. I’m hustling for my children. I don’t need a man to help me with these damn bills. Only hos and tricks demand child support. If you’re asking for child support you’re a gold-digger. 

Fuckery, msoonery, whatever you want to call it. That’s what those sentiments are. 

So you’re telling me that a woman who brings to task the father of her children and demands that he financially support them, is a gold-digger? Seriously? I swear, only black people think like this. Only black women will say rubbish like I’d rather suffer with my children than ask him for money. Bitch, you is dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb af! What sane person chooses suffering just so they can say I suffered with my children? In what universe is demanding men support their children a sign of weakness or a failing? The number of women I’ve heard say this shit is staggering to the point where it’s actually a point of pride now to be a single mother doing it alone. If you hear anyone saying that mess and encouraging others to co-sign, please tell them from me that they’re dumb af. Who limits their life and the lives of their children? Dumb women, that’s who. There is a difference between trying to force an unwilling man to support his children, and letting him know that such support is expected and welcome. If your baby daddy doesn’t want to support his children, you’re probably not going to change his mind. But if he wants to and you’re throwing his offers back in his face because you got this, you my dear are…yep…dumb. Smart single mothers (yes, we exist) never turn down offers of support be it finance, energy or time, because those are the three resources we lack most. Any and all offers are welcome. If you hear a woman talmbout how she did it all alone and will never humiliate herself by begging, and gets a kick out of proclaiming how she’s better than those women who demand child support, know that you are listening to a fool. And a fool who wants you and other black women to join her in her foolishness and in her struggle life. Don’t fall for it. 

 Woman in the skit above? There are so so many like her. 

Ever seen those memes that pit baby mamas against wives? Ever noticed that the women depicted are usually black?Know who makes and shares them? Black men. Know why? 

4. Because black men are seriously bad for black women. Black men are damaged and they are damaging black women. It’s black men who are saying have a baby by me, be a millionaire despite that many of them…aren’t. Black men, especially the broke, barely-employed ones convince black women (especially the poor, lonely ones whose self-esteem is bound to their relationship status) that marriage –as in marriage recognised by law not just ‘witnessed’ by your family- is unnecessary. He makes her understand that birthing babies he doesn’t have to claim is the cost of claiming him, and the poor woman is convinced by the other poor, damaged black women (damaged by black men) around her that it doesn’t matter because marriage means nothing, it’s just a piece of paper. And so the cycle continues. Single mothers raising daughters who will themselves become single mothers…And don’t get me started on what this lack of fathers is doing to our young black men…!

I could go on, but I feel like my point has been made in a somewhat convoluted way: anyone who encourages you to have oow children for any reason is not your friend, has no love for you, doesn’t want to see you be great. Are there exceptions? Sure. But good luck finding that person who wants you to be a single mother for your own good.

And, so what if you’re doing great as a single mother and you were raised by a single mother who was herself doing great? Don’t get it twisted: you’re the exception and not the rule and trying to make yourself feel better about your circumstances by pretending it’s all gravy for single mothers is disingenuous, dishonest and disloyal to blackness. It’s hateful. It’s people like you who try to make single parenting something to aspire to, who are behind our young black girls’ damaged thinking around parenting and marriage. It’s people like you who glorify single parenting who make our young girls vulnerable to damaged men. Yes, you are a part of the problem. 

Tell these girls the truth: single mothering is some bullshit and anyone who tells you otherwise is a LIAR. 

 

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