Like many of you, I was pleasantly surprised by Queen B’s baby bump. “So happy for them” I thought. The joy on their faces was contagious. After all, who doesn’t love babies? Then…the wolves came out. “She did it the RIGHT way! Marriage FIRST, then babies”. Sigh. Can’t we be happy for the new bundle for five minutes without condemning other new bundles…and their mothers? Look, I get it. The ideal situation for most people is marriage, a white picket fence and the “happily ever after” of it all. With a loving, supportive partner. With the piece of paper giving YOU (the wife) HIS (the husband’s) last name. Sounds great. Lots of people have that. Great if you do. But I hate…no, DESPISE the thought that single parents (mothers particularly) are doing something WRONG if they have to raise their children alone. Not only wrong, but something to be ashamed of. Embarrassed by. What’s that shit about? What sense does that make? Again, I get it. And I agree, children do need both parents. However, the belief that a healthy child can ONLY be raised, when and only when, the parents of said child are married is ridiculous. Arrogant even. How many of you were raised by single parents? How many of you watched that parent work two and three jobs to provide for you? How appreciative are you of that parent? And why the fuck should you be ashamed of them, or them of you? Raising children is hard in the best of times, even with a spouse. And just like a baby won’t keep your partner, a ring won’t either. I applaud single parents that do it alone. If being a mother is the hardest, most important job in the world, why the hell should one be ashamed to take on the task? Alone or not? Yes, I’ve heard the statistics. I also know the divorce rates in this country. And although the numbers (supposedly) show unmarried women, they do not account for the number of fathers, active in their children’s lives. Even living in the home. I know plently of couples, not together, who do a great job of co-parenting. I also know plenty of couples, living happily together, raising children, without that piece of paper. So what about them? The idea that black fathers are deadbeats, who don’t raise their children is a lie that has been spoon fed to us. And we swallow. So, does the healthy child come from the piece of paper? Or from a happy, loving parent or parents? And the “Commitment before God” excuse is null in void because marriage is a LEGAL contract. You do not have to believe in God to get married. And if God is in us, God can be the leader of your relationship without the say so of a priest or the government. So again, shouldn’t the focus be, happy, loving parents? No one should ever be forced to get married. And children should be the LAST reason to marry. How will fighting with each other (because you married someone you don’t love…or even like) in front of your children help them? It won’t. It’s just the opposite. All of the holier than thou people can exit stage left. Sex has been a part of the human experience since the beginning of time. It’s natural. So is pro-creating. Been this way for thousands of years. So yes, we have sex. Sex makes babies. And we all know that birth control is not full proof. So, unless you’re a virgin until your wedding day, a pregnancy might come up. And if you don’t want to be with that person, what do you do? For women, it seems like your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The fact that we demonize women who have abortions AND single women who keep their children…in 2011 is a horrible reflection of our patriarchal society. The fact that women SHOULDN’T be allowed to have control over such an important fact of life, (the raising of children) without a man overseeing everything. And if she has to do it alone, there’s no way she…a lone woman…especially a black woman, could possibly do it right. Bullshit. Again, I strongly believe that children need both their mother and father. But that child is not doomed if only one steps up to the plate. And sorry, if you use the bible to back up your attacks of non-married mothers, you need to be slapped. The Jesus I know wouldn’t be cool with that and you know it. He’d have beef with you and people like you. Yeah, I said it. Life is hard enough. Let people live. Children are a blessing. And we’ve all heard the stories of the swamped wife, who’s overwhelmed, over-stressed, who takes the lives of her children…and herself. We’ve heard the same story of husbands. It’s not the piece of paper. It’s the love the child receives from the parent, parents, friends and family.
Stand-up comedy junkie, geek, and closet romantic. Introspectively sexy. Flyyer than your girlfriend, fresher than your crew. 'Bougie', 'siddity', and generally okay with that. But sometimes, I just wanna do hoodrat stuff with my friends. My richness consists not in the extent of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants. And all I want is simplicity and success. And maybe some more shoes.