Friday, July 20, 2012



I can hear my roomie in college telling me to “be careful with my quantitative words,” as I begin to go into my philosophy about single Mothers and specifically about African-American women when it comes to relationships.  To me, speaking with people who have an understanding of how you think and speak, well, that means you get to speak freely and allow your thoughts to get some air.  Also, honest criticism fuels debate, and if you have a relevant and salient point to make, your argument will be either honed or found wanting.  Besides, those who protest such generalization often are found with holes and flaws in their own thinking, so should not their opinions be scored at least a half-point lower than anyone else’s if not a full point or even letter grade?

Anywho, I have made little secret that I do not place African-American women collectively, or the cohort of single Mother’s on any special pedestal.  They possess no more wisdom or deal with any greater responsibility than any other person, and that for many, the consequence of their actions based on their questionable judgment should actually render the point moot.  After all, those two traits either directly or indirectly LEAD to their situation.  It is not that I do not have high regard for them in general, as I think that my experience with many of the women that I have mention in these pages are excellent single Mothers.  What sticks in my craw, along with their supposed “wisdom” and their “sense of greater responsibility”, is that they ALL carry their burden with the same kind of grace and unflagging dignity that is not always accorded to them.

The quote that opens this entry is a reminder that life weighs the same on every single person the same.  No one can accurately gauge the pressure of another person, but that is exactly what many single Mother’s do when they look at with envy at other single women, or even more directly, single men like ME.  My starter wife was a woman who felt like the world owed her “extra credit” for being a single Mother, and that was an attitude that helped to complicate our relationship.

It is dismissive of a person’s intellect and life experiences to say that being a single Mother gives a woman ANYTHING more in the way of life experience and knowledge.  Not only does having the responsibility a family not confers upon women any “extras” in the way of knowledge or any of the “intangibles”, I repeat, many of their “intangibles” have to be questioned.

As a person who made the decision as a teenager to depend on myself and not to expect anything from my family, I have first-hand experience of what it is like to be alone in the world.  Additionally, I also understand that this decision may well be based on a fiction that I created in order to fit the narrative of the life that I am writing.  Still, the consequence of my choices have been something that I have humbly accepted and did my level best to fulfill the obligations that I have without crying about it.

Now that I have my injury, I can finally tell the single Mother’s that want extra credit to go somewhere and get paid.  While I would NEVER DO IT, my injury is a unique problem that no one can readily identify what it may be like to deal with.  For instance, my job not working out has been catalogued as “attention fail” due to my daughter being in town.  Had I been able to concentrate solely on my employment, I think that I could have definitely kept up.  No, it did not help that the areas that I have the most issues with were areas that I needed to be strong in at work.

 This has been a subject that I have gone back and forth on trying to make an entry about because of fear of offending certain readers who if they have a problem with my opinion, they may need to do that face-to-face.  Also, I did not want to seem that this is a bias of mine, being anti-single Mothers, because at this age particularly, it would be more peculiar to run into a woman who is childless and “in the top 25”.

I am tired of listening to these women PMS about not being able to find a suitor when they are some kind of eff’d-up emotionally themselves.  One of the reason that they cannot find a “good man” is often because they are not a “good person” in their own right!!  Anywho, I took Flat Ruthie for a ride and I need to get those pictures together.  She will soon be on her way to South Bend, In and from there, sunny Florida (though I guess you could say that about most of the Midwest this summer!!).  


Ken Riches said...

I think the being together and then apart instills a certain bitterness that makes some single mothers difficult to be around for an extended period of time.

Looking forward to the arrival of FR!

FrankandMary said...

Some who have not worked in a while have self-limiting beliefs creep in over time that do not allow them to function all that well in a new job, at least in the beginning. For whatever the reason(or reasons)the job did not work out, I wish, given your disability, that they had offered you more of a learning/adjusting time period, rather than terminating you so soon. It may have been a collision course of multiple things, things that could have been handled, given a little more patience(on their part) & job coaching.

Lovebabz said...

And I am so tired of Black men who have nothing, ain't been no where talking about single BLACK mothers. Rather than spending time waxing-poetic about what gets in your craw... what have you done for any single mothers lately?

You are neither married or in a successful relationship. You are not raising your children or have regular visits with them. And yet you get to bring some sort of judgement on the emotional mindset of Black women who are single. Brain injury or not, the ability to be kind rather than snarky, bitter and petty or insulting is a choice. A choice that strong character and fortitude within shows up and keeps us from being small in the course of our everyday existence.

You have failed and that's not due to brain injury, that is a character issue. But since I do not know you... I can't be sure.

Brother you don't know every single Black Mother in America or their sacred stories. You don't know anything at all. You are limited in your small world and experiences and possibly what you have read in books and magazines.

I thought you would be better than this. But you have the right to say and rant about anything you want on your blog. And I sir, have the right not to come back and read.

It has been an engaging experience. I daresay, it is time for me to take leave of your blog, your story and your journey.

Be well and go in peace always.

Her Side said...

I don't count myself among the single mothers you speak of because I don't wear my status like a badge that should move me to the front of the line.

BUT, I do grow weary of the broad-sweeping stereotypical brush that splatters the paint I sense in your post.

Two things: For every single mother - no, I'll say "parent" - who "made a bad judgement," there is a partner who participated in that judgement with joy. Elation, even. lol

When my husband walked out to be with his employee, he left me struggling, to make a baby with her, and they're now in the middle of a bitter divorce. (I could only smile to myself as he detailed to me all the reasons she was a bad wife and he just *had* to leave her). From what I hear, he's working on the 4th wife. lol

Secondly, when a single parent struggles alone, the weight of life's choices/circumstances now affects a *child.* If I lose my job alone, I can eat beans. If I lose my job with children, I must find a way to care for more than myself. And my babies ain't eatin' beans.

@Ken: I also don't count myself among the "bitter." And bitterness isn't reserved to single mothers. Bitterness is a place where some of the wounded choose to live - whether it's a single mother, a jilted lover, and abandoned child, etc. It doesn't just make some single mothers difficult to be around. It makes anybody who chooses that path difficult to relate to.

I'd love to see more talk of character focused on the failings of humankind and not on the short-sighted scoops of demographic groups.