Glorifying Single Mothers. : ThyBlackMan

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Glorifying Single Mothers.

July 2, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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( Before I get to the point of my article, let me state my disclaimer. Ahem. “I am in no way attacking Single Mothers, (majority of my life I have been a single Mother,) I am fully aware that Single Mothers have the capability to raise successful and responsible children that can positively contribute to society. 

Now with that being said, Nia Long and her two sons are featured on the cover of Essence Magazine and the caption reads “Single, Satisfied & Raising Her Boys.” With almost 80% of children in our community in single parent households (primarily being raised by single women) what type of message does this send?

When Nia Long was a guest on the View, she was asked about being a single mother. Her response was that being a single mother was ok, because she was raised by a single mother herself.  Again this is NOT an attack on Single Mothers; obviously Nia’s mother was very influential in her life, especially when it comes to motherhood. This comes back to our responsibilities as Mothers. It’s apparent that because she was raised by a single Mother, she had no qualms about becoming a single mother herself.

It seems that it is becoming more and more commonplace to have fathers excluded from the family dynamic. What happened to teaching our children the importance of family, one that consists of a husband and wife? I have three children, and I am very aware that everything that I do effects them now, and may affect the decisions they make later in life. I can’t tell my daughters and son the importance of marriage if they constantly see me as a single mother;  again I have to BE the best example for them. I understand that we don’t want to subject our children to any and everybody, and after having numerous failed marriages or relationships we might be reluctant to open our mind and hearts to the idea of marriage again, and that’s understandable. That is why self-analysis and HEALING is key to moving forward.

As Mothers, by embodying this “Strong, Single Mother Image” are we ultimately planting the seed in the minds of our daughters that being a single mother is ok? Are our actions being nestled in their subconscious as a guide to conduct herself   when she becomes an adult? As much as we say we don’t want our children to repeat our mistakes or follow in our footsteps, will “glorifying single motherhood” solidify that her journey will be the same as ours? What about our sons? By proudly boasting that the “single mothers are holding it down”, are we relaying a message to our son that the presence of a man isn’t needed or desired in the family structure?

I know many single mothers are not necessarily single by choice; many factors come in to play, I am not disregarding that at all. However, where does accountability come in to play? What about those that we CHOSE to lie down with, and reproduce with, without really taking the time to know them? What about children that are conceived in lust because we had to fulfill a desire? Where was OUR responsibility and discipline BEFORE conception?

It seems like marriage is becoming unpopular while the roles of Baby Mama and Baby Daddy become more pronounced in our community. This generation has no desire to get married, because WE haven’t instilled the desire in them. We haven’t taught them the beauty and sacredness of marriage. This is the generation that cheered when Fantasia announced her pregnancy with a married man. This is the generation that WE have produced. When we glorify single mothers, what we really do is glorify broken homes,   imbalance,  having children out of wedlock,  and place the woman on an “I can do this all by myself/I don’t need a man” pedestal.
I am here to tell you, there is NOTHING glamorous about the single life. There are many rewards that come with being a mother, this can’t be denied, but being a single Mother is NOTHING to wear like a badge of honor. Being a single mother is NOTHING to promote.  Being a single mother is NOTHING to advertise, being a single mother is nothing that our daughters should strive to be.

In a previous edition of essence, Nia Long was asked about the rumors circulating that she was married; she stated that “marriage is not a priority”. Now based on the number of children in our community that are born out of wedlock, it seems that marriage isn’t even an OTPTION, much less a priority, but being a Baby Mama or Baby Daddy seems to be number one on our “to do” list. “Single, Satisfied & Raising Her Boys” gives the illusion that Single Motherhood is something to celebrate, maybe to some this might be inspirational, to some this might serve as motivation, but again with almost 80% of children in our community raised by single mothers is NOTHING to celebrate or promote. 

Staff Writer; Nojma Muhammad
To learn more about this talented sister, feel free to visit; Nojma Reflects.


17 Responses to “Glorifying Single Mothers.”
  1. lew says:

    I don’t understand how ANY pregnant woman isn’t her fault except for rape. Any other inpregnation is done by the consent of both parties. How is that not the womans fault? I’m NOT saying the man doesn’t have fault because they do and should PAY for their children. However, normally, the woman is the one who controls whether the ship gets docked.

  2. Marlon says:

    this column was real; The family is internationally recognized as the fundamental unit of society, no wonder why our’s is under the attack of propoganda. Anybody thinking that it takes less than a conscious village to raise our children is wrong and the celebration of single-moms is vanity

  3. My follow up. I left out another important part to this article and that is the sanctity of marriage. It’s been said that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Why? I thought it was until death do you part. This goes back to the values and principles we”ve seem to have forgotton about because we continue to follow other peoples values or lack of. If there is no physical or mental abuse, their should be no divorce. I believe we get married for all the wrong reasons. For how a person looks, the money, how well he or she is in the bed, and others. I wrote a book about this and the many other issues we have in our community. I also give the solutions. What happen to the courtship, in order to get to know each other, really know each other. There should be no sex before marriage. I know this sounds old fashion, but it worked because it was tradition and those were the values of the time. Now we allow our children to become hors and even dress the part. Boys and girls. I do agree with Scott that we can’t allow the media to always show us in inaccurate negative images, but there is some reality to this. The way we dress, act towards each other, etc. We can change the problems in our community without the help of the government or big business. If we only realize our potential as a united people. This is what we should be working on.

  4. Ummm Yeahhh says:

    Scotty please show me those studies of involved single fathers. My practical experience shows me otherwise.

  5. Rochelle says:

    I liked your article, I can agree with giving single mothers credit, but my single parenthood was not glorious! I actually was ashamed at I got pregnant out of wedlock and did have a husband, thank God I met a wonderful man early in my child’s life, who was willing to step and go the plate and take care of us.

  6. Lovelle says:

    I agree with Terrance Amen about women re-learning to keep their legs closed, and I am one of them. I was 37yrs old when I got pregnant with my first child. I lived an eventful life, came from middle class, went to college, the air force, wrote a book, I design jewelry and I still allowed a slick talker who already had three baby mothers (that he know of) impregnate me. It wasn’t an accident, in fact he was my first puppy love when we both were young and had our virginity. 23 years later he became my sons father, and after years of street life, loose women, drugs, alcohol he was hardened. His brood of children, baby mothers, and family hated me because I worked for the government and own my own business so they influenced him to leave me, not support his son and make me fend for myself. My punishment for not nagging him, starting fights with the other mothers, begging him for sex, giving him money for other women, and allowing him to impregnate me more times. Yes its a hard road but it was God will for me to have this child. I was married in the Air Force and couldn’t conceive, with him or anyone else. I don’t hate my sons father, and I wish he wouldn’t allow his women to stop him from being a father. Maybe its my pride that won’t allow me to go crawling on my belly for his affections and handouts. But after my HPV scare. Keeping my legs closed isn’t such a bad idea. By the way, he fled to Florida when my son was born to avoid responsiblity. I have no doubt that he’s down there making more babies and spreading more hpv. Ladies beware, if you give up the P and just put in the I, it can easily turn into HIV where theres no cure for

  7. Scotty says:

    Why single motherhood should not be promoted, single mothers should not be excluded and find nothing wrong with stories about women raising children. Furthermore, being a single does not necessarily mean that there is no father around as studies have shown that Black men are more involved than any other group in America with their children. We also have to ask why are these women single? I suspect a lot of Black fathers are absent not by choice but because they are the victims of the mass incarceration of Black people and happy to see the writer acknowledges some of these facts. Also, do not mistake what you hear coming from corporate rap and the corporate media as painting an accurate picture of Black culture. I am sure there are some who fit the stereotype but I do not accept it as being the norm. As a single divorced father who raised his children after getting custody, I can see this issue from so many angles.

  8. I totally agree with the writer of this article. What used to be the exception has now become the norm. What does this say about our values and principles. I too was raised by my mother, and she did the best she could when you think about her having to work and find time to raise me. But this is not normal. I believe Black women are the most powerful beings on this planet. But until they re-learn to keep their legs closed until they’re marred, we will continue to write articles like this and the cycle will continue. It’s time to break the cycle.

  9. natalie says:

    @ umm yeah…u took the words out if my mouth! Thank you!

  10. Lita says:

    I enjoyed reading the article. I was raised by a strong single mother, with successful children. That being said three out of four of her children are married and raising their children as a married family unit. It is not easy being a single mother and it is not easy being a married mother. But I must say I was not taught by my mother on how to be a wife, or to share in the responsibilities of a childred because she made all of the decision on her own.

    Having children and being married is a choice I made because I was raised in a single parent family and she did a great job. I was really hard on men so the man I married had to be legitimate and understand the dynamics of an African-American family. He was also raised by a single mother after the age of 9. I will say it creates a balance in a two parent house hold because when one parent is going over boarded about rules/situations the other is the balance and checks you on your attitude/emotions. My husband and I are still in love and my children see that love all the time. My daughter is confident and her dad shows her how she should be treated by treating her mother well 🙂 and visa versa.

    I can’t teach my son to be a man and my husband can’t teach my daughter to be a woman. Having a balance in my family has really made a difference with my children and is needed. My son and daughter look for a well balance person to date and I tell them to think long term. Look at the family dynamic and if they are the family type. I also tell my children that having children should come after marriage and if you are dating and can’t see yourself with that person in a long-term relationship and with children, put the brakes on quickly, because that is not your soul mate. One issue I see is wasting your time with someone that is not long-term or not a candidate for marriage. Don’t settle because if you want to get married and they don’t then you are settling. If you have to give up a lot of what you want you are settling. You can find happiness.

  11. Umm Yeah says:

    To the commenter Naturally, you say that most women become single mothers for reasons beyond their control? Really? Premarital unprotected sex is beyond their control? I understand mothers who were married, got pregnant and then the relationship didn’t work out. But we all know those are in the minority. The majority are women who get pregnant before getting a significant commitment from the man. So I would argue that THEY ARE IN CONTROL.

    Now, I am not putting the total burden on the woman. Not at all, but the one thing the woman controls is her vagina and access to it. It has the capacity to grow life. If she exercises that control she can dramatically decrease the odds of being a single parent.

  12. natalie says:

    Thanks again fir another great one! I cant muster the energy to provide a substantive rebuttal of all the comments that reveal why black family and by extension our cmmunity is rapidly deteriorating. Its really sad!!!

  13. LaIntrovert says:

    Love the article, but to address the part about being accountable about who you sleep with, who is to say they she was not being accountable at the time? Wasn’t Nia Long married?

    I know the black community is trying hard to hold on to traditional ideas, but I think it can cause more harm than good by condemning those who made mistakes. If a person made a mistake and continued to perservere, then they have a right to be proud. If Nia Long was a man, there wouldn’t be as much hoopla about him being a proud single father.

  14. I have met women who have kids, live long-term with a man who has not (or will not) marry them. They all initially state that they are content with things the way that they are but given time all reveal that deep down they want to be “wife”.

    Some women settle because the men who they are in love it with will not marry them. These women settle for good enough. All of this proud single momma talk is a defense mechanism.

    I don’t buy it for one second. Who does not want their children’s father to wake up, help them get dressed and take them to school? No sane woman I know wants to go it alone.

  15. Des says:

    Interesting article. I think one has to take Ms Longs statement about being a single mother as just that Ms Longs Statement and what waht works for her.

    After reading the article I am once again left with the question what about black men? Not necessarily fathers but black men that father children and do it so frequently that very few young black men have any concept of what being a father is. We have become accustomed to black single women raising children and it can’t be easy but we are becoming increasingly accustomed to black men being total absentee fathers. I don’t glorify single mothers but I respect very much the caring, sacrifice and challenge they rise to to raise children in a single parent houshold. A more pertinent article for today may be titled “Just a Baby Daddy”.

  16. naturally says:

    All of the points that you mde in this article are valid. I just don’t agree that acknowledging single mothers is the same as glorifying them. Most women become single mothers for reasons that are beyond her control. Promoting the image of a strong family unit that includes a husband and wife present in one home is cute. But it is rarely real. We have to be careful not to teach our daughters to search for husbands instead of high quality relationships. There are times when the mother and children are better off without a husband/natural father in the home. So what if the husband is murdered, should mom go out and search for a replacement husband as quickly as possible?

    What does the wife do when she learns that the husband is sexually abusive to the children; keep him around, keep quiet in an attempt to promote the image of strong two parent families? At this point in time, famly priorities have changed greatly, its not always going to be about what looks good on paper or sounds good to others, but its what is best for the children. Some men, (not all) are not even worthy to be in the presence of their own children, let alone someone else’s. The job can definetly be handled by a single woman.

  17. sankofa says:

    Great piece Sistah.

    How come the single mothers are celebrated, but something like this is never highlighted?

    Granted this is not the norm, but do you think this young lady would call her self a bitch and she won’t need a man?

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