Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Single Mothers

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, “Single Mothers”.

I recently addressed bitter single parents on A Cold Cup Of Coffee, this is different…and oh so necessary. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of an on-air discussion about the effects of fatherless families, specifically on men. There was a lot of great dialogue and insight. We all threw our two cents into the hat and relived our childhood and adolescent experiences. We discussed everything from learning to tie a tie even to what kind of husband, fathers… really what kind of men we’ve become.

I think this kind of discussion is important however one thing that I had some difficulty with was this overwhelmingly accepted feeling that a single mother is to be heralded. Not just in this discussion but so often in life I hear that the single parent struggle is one that rivals the feats of Hercules. Please don’t get me wrong, my mother was a single parent and I love her for all that she was and even what she wasn’t and even she gets mentioned in these fables of greatness.

There is this belief and excepted understanding when it comes to the plight of the single mother; she is the burden bearer, the rock, she is taking on the task of not only reproducing but raising the future kings and queens of this society. She is to be respected for her sacrifices and honored for owning up to her responsibilities…really?

Take this moment to take a deep breath before you get a swig of this cold cup. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Let’s first address what a single mother is, and not just single because you don't have a man. Single as in your child's only active parent…

With the exception of DEATH, a single mother is like a couple going out to dinner; you both sit down at the table. You order wine to go with your appetizers. He’s feeding you calamari, you’re feeding him crab cakes, it’s all love. You then move to the meal, you both have steaks just the way you like them. It’s juicy and perfectly cooked with the potatoes. The two of you even stay for coffee and dessert. You’re sitting back in sheer contentment. Then he gets up to go to the restroom and sneaks out the back as the waiter hands YOU the check. Welcome to single motherhood.

That’s right, let’s stop making this out to be more than it is! Is it great that YOU own up to your responsibilities and even take on his? Yes, but don’t make it sound like you rushed into a burning building to save some orphans! Look it sucks that you have to pay the whole check when it should have been 50/50, but there was no argument or issue while you were sipping merlot and picking porterhouse out of your teeth. Don’t go screaming victim now, you savored those crab cakes now break open your piggy bank and pay the check! The restaurant and waiter don’t owe you a pass just because you picked a suspect eating companion. The only one in this world who owes you anything is him!

First off this is not a pass to suspect dudes. If you’re that weak individual that would leave a woman holding the bill now that you’re satisfied, you suffer from what is commonly known as…Bitchassness! You are as weak as a watered down Lemon Drop and nothing but punk flows through your veins. In the words of Silky Johnson, “may all of the bad things in the world happen to you and only you.”

Ladies, this isn’t designed to put you down. You need to realize that being left to raise a child on your own is not something to be championed. It is the result of bad decision making. If we’re going to address this problem, let’s be real. We need to stop praising under false pretenses! Women, stop going to “dinner” with every man just because he asks you. If you know he’s broke and unreliable leave him be, especially if he’s been known to dine and dash before. You have to make the decision to have self respect and be proud of yourself. If you go falling for every man that tempts you with beef you will more likely than not end up in some regrettable situations.

There are too many single mothers out there. Trying to do all they can and even what they can’t because some man simply chose not to be there. It is a shame and a growing problem. I’m addressing you ladies because you’re the gate keepers. He can say and do all he wants you have to grant him access. Screen these dudes! Get to know these men’s history if you‘re going to make decisions in the present that can forever effect your future. Children need both parents period. One can never do the job of two when it comes to child-raising.

This is directed at those people, men and women, who want to hoist these single mothers up for making a decision and putting themselves in a situation they would never want their daughters or sisters in. If you’re a woman out there doing it alone because you picked a loser guy, own that! Don’t express it to the child, just use that as motivation to not only not repeat it, but instill it in your child to not walk the path that you did.

Ladies out there doing it alone; I understand it’s a hard road you’re walking, one that can be filled with resentment, anger, and pain. Hold your head up for your children and for yourself. Just don’t do them or you the disservice of letting them think this is to be celebrated. Let them know it’s a struggle and not path they should choose.

For you men, if you’re going take these women out to eat you better be ready to be a man and cover the check. Leaving an angry woman to raise your fatherless child can go all sorts of wrong. From strange men in the picture to neglected children you need to be involved. Also never underestimate a woman scorned. Fill her up and bounce…and a scorned woman can have you left without the tip.

Let’s be true men and women. If we’re going to make adult decisions own up to them accordingly, and we need to stop giving props where “pops” should be.

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