Glorifying Single Mothers.
(ThyBlackMan.com) 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.