I must admit, I admire and respect women who take on the major responsibility of being a parent by themselves despite all the flack single mothers get. I follow a natural hair blogger. She's intelligent, dynamic, funny, beautiful, and a mother of three children. Despite her social media success and her overall awesomeness, people still chose to point out the fact that although her children appeared well rounded, there seemed to be a male figure "missing" from the picture. One person actually went as far to ask her directly (I kid you not) "where is your husband?"
"Where is your husband?" WTF? Does it even matter? Was she somehow insinuating that without a male figure, her children were going to be messed up? I'm so over people "projecting" their values and morals on those who do it differently. I think one crucial factor that people are missing is that not many mothers "choose" to be single mothers. I sure as hell didn't. I was married. Yeah, no joke. Black people get married people. And then you know what happened? I got pregnant. Yes...by my husband. The overall stress of parenting, full time jobs and life in general caused us to grow apart.
I was not afraid to admit to myself that I was no longer happy and I came to the conclusion after much soul searching that it wasn't fair to my child or myself to stay in a bad marriage for the wrong reasons. And no surprise, it was terrifying. I worried about how I was going to keep a roof over my head, how I was going to pay my bills, and how my son was going to respond to the dramatic change in lifestyle. I was in a consistent state of anxiety, but I pushed myself through my fear because I knew that I deserved to be happy.
I had supportive family and friends that helped and more importantly, somehow it all worked out. My ex and I were able to set aside our differences, work out an arrangement that was ideal for both of us and successfully co-parent. Sometimes it works out! My child isn't in distress, and we are providing two healthy environments for our son to thrive in. I think I deserve some brownie points for that. Now granted, it doesn't always turn out that way. I get that. However, we need to show more respect to the mothers who do step up and take on this endeavor without the ideal support.
Being a single parent is not easy, and I guarantee most of these single moms felt just as scared and unsure of themselves as I did whether they ever had a partner or not. Instead of telling single mothers what we "need" to be doing, who needs to be in the picture, and that we shouldn't be raising a child/children on our own, think before you speak and take the time to recognize that we are doing it, that we do the best we can despite circumstances that may or may not be ideal according to societal expectations.