Black men have no business looking down on single sistahs with chirren. Long as I’ve been Black, single moms proved a rule, not an exception. Plenty Black men have been, in fact, raised by a single Black woman, busting her hips, all on her own, to make do for self and the young ’uns. Which is pretty damned hard work.
Why they catch more stigma than single mothers of any other color defies reason. But, they do.
All color girls, including every shade of the rainbow and White, get pregnant out of wedlock. Yet, don’t take my word, look at any young sistah, belly all swole up, no band on her ring-finger and she fits the picture perfect image of society’s idea of a stereotype.
Maybe you think she’s on welfare (and maybe she is). Maybe you think she don’t know how to keep her legs closed. However, like statesman Dick Gregory succinctly said, “If we ever get our hands on you White folks’ abortion credit cards, we’ll show you how to knock a [pregnancy] rate down, too, baby.”
So, again, Black women who are holding a family together on their own are not to be looked down on. Bottom line, fellas, when you find yourself attracted to a woman and she turns out to be a single mom, don’t sell her short by considering her less-than. Don’t make snap judgments out of hand.
For that matter, don’t short-change yourself by quite possibly missing out on a woman who might just be the best thing to ever happen to you. Hell, you keep an open mind and she just might be disposed to appreciate you more than some of these free-as-a-bird females who’ve turned out to take you for granted and otherwise be more headache than they’re worth.
Here are some complaints you can hear tossed around by so-called brothas running sistahs down in all too typical barroom-type talk.
“Man, she may be pretty but her body gon’ have baby damage.” Childbirth needn’t leave stretch marks or a C-section scar. But, if it does, so what? Are you interested in a relationship with a woman or trolling around for a sex object? Considering which, before you start deciding she has to have perfect skin and look like she stepped out of a sex magazine, is everything completely ship-shape when you look in a full-length mirror.
“Oh, she always needs a damn babysitter.” What the hell is she supposed to do, leave ’em home by themselves? Or palm them off on a relative so you have a clear field to try and get lucky? If she uses as an excuse to get out of a date, duh, take the hint, because if she does need a babysitter and really wants to get with you, trust me, she’ll find one.
You know what else? If you can buy dinner and a show to impress her, how much can it hurt to go in your pocket to help with the sitter? So few men even think of it, she’s just liable to get the notion you might be a little something special yourself.
“Kids interrupt sex.” Yep. They’re sure do. It’s practically part of their job description and I guarantee it’ll happen if you’re dumb enough not to wait ’til she’s sure they’re asleep and are too stupid to ask Mom to, please, lock the bedroom door. The kid(s) won’t go to sleep. Anyone who’s ever been a child knows the worst thing kids want to do is turn in for the night.
Leave it to her. She’s been dealing with them a lot longer than you. If she doesn’t put her foot down, it’s not because she can’t. It’s because she letting them save her the trouble of putting you off or kicking you out. Again, she shouldn’t have to drop a safe on your head. Take the hint.
Look, every situation you go into with any woman is going to have its own challenges. And, for that matter, if you get past the little things that come up at first with a single mom, there’ll be more to deal with. Say a relationship gets going, seems to be on some solid ground, enough that you’re relating to her youngster. You say “Don’t you need to do your homework?” or “Has the dog been fed?” and the brat replies, “Go to Hell. You’re not my real daddy.”
Well, much as you might want to snatch the little darling, the kid has a point. So, go in the kitchen, talk to the real mommy and turn it over to her. This happens enough times and, believe me, she’ll lay down the law about showing you respect, which will be sheepishly obeyed.
Those little angels of hers didn’t come about by immaculate conception, so, yes, you may wind up encountering what’s called in ghetto parlance “Baby Daddy.” Or, in real language, her child’s (or children’s) father.
If he’s cool, be cool. If he’s not, well, the world won’t end. You’re sleeping with her, not him. And as long as she’s permitting visitation, mind your business and go on with your life together.
Do not get bent out of shape if it looks like you’re never going to come first, that her youngsters are an abiding priority. She’s a mother. Even a cat is going to be attentive to her kittens and their well-being. What self-respecting woman is going to do less for her children?
If you desperately need to be number one, go make a hit record. If you have enough common sense to keep things in perspective, she’ll appreciate your being understanding.
Now, there is no guarantee any of this is going to work out for you. Romance with a single mom is no more foolproof than it is with any other female. And, to be honest, women in general pretty much abuse and take advantage of the fact that they’re the only opposite sex in town. Point its there’s no need to hold it against a woman out of hand just because she’s a single mother.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.