Here is a true story for you. No one likes to air out their own dirty laundry. I don’t find it to be therapeutic. It’s not cute. Absolutely not a Facebook status. But I hope what is taken away from this article is the realization of what dynamics are brought into a home being a young single mom.
Let me start by saying that I had my first son at 18. That was not my plan. I wasn’t just dying to have a child. I wanted to go off to school, travel a little bit, and have the full college experience. Caviar Dreams and Champagne Wishes. But my plan, nonetheless, was seemingly interrupted by me being with child. And I thought my world was over. I was to go to grad school. Become an oncologist. I had the grades and the ambition. I would have made it. Success was at my fingertips. But then what was at my fingertips was the few dollars I could scrounge up or have to shaming-ly get from my parents to buy diapers and bottles and bibs. I had envisioned myself graduating from high school, marrying my college sweetheart, living happily ever after. I didn’t know my dreams would be scratched before “Step 1″ could even take flight.
I had my son and then I graduated high school.
He was even at my graduation.
That soooo was not the order it was to go in.
So my “adult” life began with me entering into college, having to work to take care of my son, and my son being ushered to one of his grandmothers just so that I can somehow properly provide for him a few years down the line. What I failed to realize and most women do when making adult decisions to have children either young or without a father is the toll it takes on the child. I spent a maximum of about 2 hours with my son each day. He needed me. Although, I was doing the best I could do at the time and what I knew to do, I still look back and think about how piss poor that was on my part. I didn’t spend time with that kid. I couldn’t. It was either be at home and milk the government or work and go to school.
Lesson: Be wise and don’t make choices that other people will have to clean up for you.
Looking back… There is nothing strong and independent or glamorous about having a child out of wedlock or committed relationship and depending on the government, daycare, or your momma to take care of them. That’s just poor planning and poor decision-making skills. That’s not to throw any “shade” as some folks may like to think, but the truth. A truth that I have had to accept.
We will lay with a man without any thought to the future of him being a compatible mate, a good father, trustworthy companion, or committed to the cause. We hardly even think about it in “the moment” if this person I am giving my best to will give their best to me and a possible child. One thing I have never understood, as an adult, is when women have dealings with an inconsistent man, have a child with this inconsistent man, and then want to complain about him not being in their children’s lives. Come on! We have got to be way smarter than that!
Lesson: If he is inconsistent with you while you guys are “dating”, he will be inconsistent with your child.
I have had my fair share of watching my son’s face full of disappointment when his father intently made himself unavailable. How birthdays and Christmas’ pass by with no word from the man who brought him to this world. It’s sad. It’s hurtful for me to watch him want a relationship so bad with someone who is not even concerned about his survival and well-being. It’s my fault.
I take responsibility.
For my part. Not at one time, while 17, did I stop to think will this man decide to be a father if we inadvertently have a child. Would he marry me and make me an honorable woman? Can I face life’s struggles with him? Will he be patient and kind or dismissive and uninterested?
After a few years of being a single mom, I saw it for what it was. Not a glorified situation. Not something to brag about to my friends on Facebook. I didn’t have 2, 3, 4 more kids with different guys. It’s not cute. Having a child without an adequate partner. Irresponsible. Being so busy with school and work that I can’t spend quality time with a baby who needs all the quality time he can get. He needs to be nurtured. He didn’t get that from me.
Honestly, at 17-18, I thought that there was a chance of being with my son’s father. But it didn’t work out. That’s not the case for everyone but that was just how it happened for me. Just think about it, though. Having a baby for a person and you “think” there is a chance of being together is not smart. Why? Because you are unsure of the future of your relationship with this person. Then, you add a baby to your uncertainty. And when it doesn’t work out you are left with the baby and the explanations as to why you decided in the midst of your confusion to have a child. WHO WANTS TO BE BORN IN THE MIDST OF CONFUSION?!?!
Lesson: Children need stability!
There is nothing cute about being a single mother. Now, I know everyone’s situation is different. Sometimes a man can “put a ring on it” and still be a deadbeat. I get it.. But that’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about making the best choices for your life. I am talking about making smart, long-term decisions. I am talking about being selective about having random sex with someone or sex with a random relationship. I am talking about just because it feels good right now, doesn’t mean it is the best decision for your life. I am talking about having 4, 5, 6, 7 kids with no husband and no serious commitment from a man is as ludicrous and foolish as it gets.
Now, I am married with another son. Let me tell you it feels so much better to have a child while married and not while you and a guy are just kicking it. Completely different experience.
Ladies. Women. Girls. We MUST do better. We cannot keep birthing children without stability and a plan. If you didn’t have stability growing up, the example wasn’t shown. It is not easy knowing how and what to do without a proper example. I get that. But as a person who has been through single motherhood. It SUCKS! Get married first. And for those who portray single motherhood as the epitome of a woman’s strength, stop passing those lies down from generation to generation.
We are the birth canal for the next generation. The world is so deserving for us to bring our children into a stable home environment. The world needs us to be women and make the choices necessary to develop and raise strong and productive children.
The world deserves you.