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And I’m Supposed to Just Grin, Bare It And Not Say Nuffin??


Cue booty-popping music. (Insert me twerking… psych. Y’all know good and well I can’t twerk.)

But so what? (Side eye.) All over social media I’ve seen these ridiculous posts from men and women alike ranting about “Don’t be posting no Happy Fathers’ Day Mom post, we ain’t do that to the mothers on Mothers’ Day,” and blah blah blah… See, here’s the thing, and I’m going to break this down once and for all, and I never intend on picking it back up after this, because for me it’s a very sensitive subject for multiple reasons.
First, I was raised by a single mother. She wasn’t a side chick, she wasn’t some hot box ripping and running the streets. She was a wife and she loved her family. She raised three kids: one boy, two girls single-handedly, the eldest being 47 years young today. To keep it completely real, my mom and dad are still married. For years this woman, like many single mothers, wanted and longed for her family. It was truly unfortunate that the union that she and her husband created did not last. And although today my siblings and I are strong, independent and loving parents of our own children, it was a rocky road for us growing up. We were hurt and simply devastated that the man that had given us his last name through blood and DNA didn’t share an emotional, parental bond with us. It took a toll on my brother the worst. He was surrounded by thousands of women that loved, adored and nurtured him, but he still felt a void, because none of those women could teach him the most critical parts of manhood.
As you all know, I myself bear the beautiful weight of being a single mom. My son’s father and I anticipated being together forever. Most young couples have a tendency to pop up pregnant and just accept the consequences. For us, it didn’t happen that way. Our baby was thought-out and well-planned. We both embarked on the venture of parenthood with anticipation and excitement, him probably more than me. He was ready, willing and able to be a father, and I had little hesitation to believe that he would be able to fulfill his fatherly duties. For the first six years, he was awesome. And I sat back and allowed him to be the best dad that he knew how to be.
Then one day, just like my dad and lots of other fathers all over the world, it just stopped. The hugs, kisses, bedtime stories, financial and emotional support… POOF. Gone.
See, it’s really easy for women who have never had the sad experience of watching their mom struggle, scrap and scrape just to provide. And for the men making jokes and funny little comments who think it’s merely another emotional trip that us women take to get attention, trust me, this isn’t the sort of attention most women seek out.
Although I am a single mom, I never wanted to be. I did not ask or want to raise my male child alone. I do not get an ego boost on Fathers’ Day when people send me “Happy Fathers’ Day” texts and cards. To be quite honest, it actually does the opposite for me. It makes me sad. It is a reminder of the long nights, tedious days and conversations about sex, love and manhood that I should never have had with my son. Why? Because I, as his mother, am fully aware that I will never be able to comprehend nor understand what his life will be like as a black man in this world. It is a reminder that I must push harder, be stronger and bend but never allow him to see me break. It is a reminder that I once had a dream of togetherness and family that did not transcend the bad times. It is a reminder of failure – failure to give my child one of the things that all children deserve: a family. So for all the anti-Fathers’ Day Mom bullies, SHUT UP. This thing here that I do ain’t no badge of honor. It’s love. It’s sacrifice; it’s ministry. No woman in her right mind ventures into parenthood wanting or choosing to be a single parent. Most times it’s a forced hand. And we just play the cards we’re dealt.
Instead of breaking down a single mom this Fathers’ Day, how about telling her that her work is not in vain, or saluting her efforts for even trying to do a job on her own that normally takes a village in most countries to do? Build up, don’t tear down. And if you just don’t have anything nice to say to a single mother on Fathers’ Day, DON’T SAY NOTHING. But don’t tell me I can’t honor a woman for being the best parent that she can be.
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