I never imagined that I would be a single parent, as a young girl, when I imagined my life as an adult it did not include the white picket fence, one boy and one girl and large house. My imagination included three children, the genders varied… playing, laughing and having a good time. Having a large house and nice car were things that came secondary, it was not a necessity. Now at 34, soon to be divorce with two boys I have sooooo many things that continuously run through my mind.
As a mother of two young black boys, I am scared for them. I can raise them to be great men who are respectable, polite and well-educated; however, once they enter into society as men, they will be seen as Black men by people who do not look like them. Black men who are feared, harassed by authorities and presumed to be womanizers. Stereotypes that seem to be very familiar in the black community, but something I do not want taped to the back of my boys back and claimed as their identity.
I teach and encourage my boys to be strong and confident in everything that they do. “It is easier to build strong children then to repair broken men” is a quote by Frederick Douglas that I think of everyday when I look at my boys. Because their father is not in their life, I can do everything that I can, but I can’t teach them how to be a man. Certain things like how to provide for their wife and children, manly things and sports (shake my head…I cannot sit down long enough to watch a sports game to save my life). I am working on the sports part though, but it is rough. Like I said before I can’t teach a man how to be a man. That’s a man’s job and because their father is not around, I hope they understand that because he was not around that does not mean that they are not unwanted or unloved. And that the emptiness they may feel will be filled by the love received from their family and friends. One day, I pray they will want to show their children the father they never had and that through the pain they may have once had, they are strong and still willing to love.
I honestly, don’t know where I would be without my family. Having a strong support system has helped me tremendously in raising my boys. Looking back in my life at women I have encountered who were raising children alone, I thought to myself how hard it must be. Now being a single parent myself, I realize how strong they really were. It is tough and challenging, but this experience during this time in my life has taught me more about myself and everything I can accomplish.
The journey is still being travelled and I will continue to learn things along the way. I would love to hear from other single parents and your journey. Is the mother/father of your children active in their lives? How do you handle co-parenting? I have yet to worry about co-parenting but I feel as though one day I might. Drop some advice in the comments below.
Love life and full of smiles