Single MothersIt looks like the media found a new group to throw under the bus this week: single moms.

I really just want to say…keep our names out your mouth, yo…but I’m going to take a more diplomatic approach.

After The National Marriage Project released a report detailing the pros and cons of delayed marriage, a flood of articles emerged tackling the “crisis” of unwed mothers.

The Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticThink Progressand a slew of blogs published essays discussing the decline in marriage rates and the rise of single parent households and what it means for America. In case you’re wondering, we’re doomed.

Before I get too deep into this let me first openly cop to my bias.

I am a single mother of an awesome 7-year-old son who recently told me to start calling him doctor because he’s going to be a paleontologist. Additionally, I believe in marriage (for those who want to be married) and know that being a single parent is really, really hard.

And while I don’t fit neatly into many/any of the statistics trotted out in most of the articles—I was raised in a two-parent home, I have a two degrees, I’m a professional, and I’m not poor—I still feel like my solo-parting sisters and I are under attack.

To be frank, the opening of The Atlantic’s article, “The Decline of Marriage and the Rise of Unwed Mothers: An Economic Mystery,” annoyed the shit out of me.

While the article made some good economic points, the opening paragraph aggravated every nerve in my body because it hinted at the soft bigotry of ignorance many often engage in.

Derek Thompson wrote:

This was the most shocking statistic I read this weekend: 58 percent of first births in lower-middle-class households are now to unmarried women. Meanwhile, two in five of all births are to unwed mothers, an all-time high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Maybe it’s me, but I don’t understand Thompson’s “shock” at the statistics.

Perhaps he hasn’t been paying attention to birthrates in the African American and Hispanic communities (and hell, even white ones)?

I sure couldn’t escape the SEVENTY PERCENT OF BLACK BABIES ARE BORN TO SINGLE MOMS!!! headlines that screamed out of news outlets over the past few years, or the fact that 53% of Hispanic babies are also born to unwed mothers (and 30% of white ones).

Single mothers and marriage

Or maybe he missed Mike Huckabee’s harsh post-Oscar criticism of Natalie Portman a few years ago.

If he had been paying attention…he’d know.

The spike in unwed mothers isn’t new.

Unmarried women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time (uh, Hagar and Abraham or Murphy Brown, anyone?).

And while Thompson pretty much pinned the decline in marriage and the rise in single parents on the shift from women staying home to entering the workforce (which, really just applied to middle income white women), the real “problem” isn’t children being born in single parent households at all.

The problem is the conditions that lead many of my sistern to become single parents in the first place.

But coming up with solutions for systematic racism, failing schools, inadequate access to health care, the crushing cost of college, and access to jobs that pay a living wage would be too much like right (peace to Elizabeth Warren).

So asking why there are SO MANY single moms (uh…why are there so many single dads?) makes sense, right?

Pointing the finger at someone else is better than examining the conditions that lead to women unintentionally falling into motherhood.

And really, it’s not that lower-income women are out here whoring more than middle-class/professional women. A quick watch of HBO’s GirlsSex & the City, or Girlfriends will tell you that higher-earning women are getting it in.

But the difference is women with higher incomes are better able to protect against getting preggo in the first place, and if they do unintentionally get knocked up they have more options—have a discrete abortion or raise their baby.

I know what you’re thinking; all women have these same options! But that’s not quite true.

unmarried women and marriage

While some would have you believe there’s a Planned Parenthood clinic on every corner in the hood ready to hand out abortions to any woman who walks through the door, there isn’t.

When I got pregnant with Le Kid, my first thought was I CAN’T have this baby!

I was unmarried (but in a long-term relationship), I had just been laid off from my job, I didn’t have health insurance, I was a semester away from finishing graduate school, I was living 3000 miles from home, and I was terrified.

I didn’t grow up thinking being a single mom was cool. I watched girls in my neighborhood get pregnant and drop out of school, and I knew that wasn’t going to be me. As a matter of fact, my mother raised me to wait to have sex until I was married (uhh…yeah).

So when those little lines appeared on the pregnancy test, I was shook.

While I didn’t necessary want an abortion, I didn’t feel like I was prepared—economically or emotionally—to be a parent either.

I feverishly called around looking for the magic place handing out free abortions only find out that I’d have to pay upwards of $400 for the procedure.

That was $400 I did not have. And the only people I might have been able to ask for the money (my parents), would have totally tried to talk me out of it.

But here’s an interesting tidbit: prenatal care was free.

And had I tried to get food stamps (I should have), and housing assistance (I should have done that too), that was available as well—providing my child’s father was not in the picture. Big ass catch 22.

Here’s my beef with most articles about single mothers, though. Instead of providing actual solutions about how to better educate, arm, and support women BEFORE they become pregnant, most tend to focus on what will happen after you get knocked up.

This is the short version: You will be poor. Your children will go to jail. You will never finish school. Your children will not go to college. You will die broke. You will be miserable. The end.

Single mothers and marriage

That’s how most narratives on single mothers go.

And yet this does not need to be the story.

I’m a huge dream encourager. And though I’m a single mom and understand the very real challenges we are up against raising a child on our own, I still believe being a single parent is not an excuse to put your dreams on hold. Go get them.

Because single moms have dreams, too.

But what many of us don’t often have is a village.

And while I appreciate the little aid the government doles out to women who ask for it (and many of us do not, by the way), it isn’t enough.

Women don’t need more Section 8 vouchers for crummy apartments in bullet-riddled neighborhoods; we need less crime—period.

We want safe streets and good schools and access to jobs that will help us afford HIGH QUALITY daycare (better yet, we want to work for companies with on-site daycare).

We want farmer’s markets and green spaces and homework help and SAT prep and free museums and field trips for our kids.

We want personal development workshops and business classes and GED prep if we need it.

We want what everybody else has–and often takes for granted–a chance.

We want an even playing field, not just rhetoric about how this is America and everyone must pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Many of us need boots.

Despite what you may hear, single moms want a foundation, a jumping off point, not just handouts that do little but keep us stuck in a dysfunctional system.

But will we get it? Will folks begin to encourage single mothers instead of shame them?

I guess that’s my job.

In the meantime I’m going to close this by relinquishing my soapbox to Gloria Malone, a former teen mom who recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the controversial ads geared toward preventing teen pregnancy.

She details her experience:

At 15, I was a good student and determined to apply to college. But after I had my daughter, my high school guidance counselor refused to see me and help me with my applications. She never expected me to graduate. Most people, even within my family, assumed I wouldn’t amount to anything and would be dependent on government assistance for the rest of my life.

But I wanted to be someone my daughter could be proud of. So every day, I woke up before the sun, drove my daughter’s father to work, my daughter to day care, and still managed to be in class at 7:50 a.m. before the bell rang. I also worked 35 hours a week at a cellphone store. I would leave school early through a co-op program that allowed graduating seniors to work and go to school at the same time. After getting out of work I would pick my daughter up from day care and go home. I was always tired, but more than anything I was determined.

I also had a few people who encouraged me not to listen to the stereotypes. People like my chorus teacher, who allowed me to show up a few minutes late to class, so I could pump breast milk first; my economics teacher, who congratulated me on having a healthy child and reminded me that he was proud of me for not giving up; and the nurse at my daughter’s doctor’s office, who told me I was doing a great job and to keep it up.

These bits of encouragement are what kept me going. Thanks to them, I graduated with honors and went on to community college. Today I am a student, an advocate for young parents and, above all, a proud mom.

Boom!

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Do you think these discussions about unwed mothers are helpful? What would you like to add? What do you wish people would actually talk about? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 Britni Danielle is the author of “Break Out of Your Box: 5 Steps to Start Following Your Dreams“. Follow her on Twitter @BritniDWrites

  • Sasha

    Color me stupid but I didn’t know Natalie Portman was a mother, much less a “single” one….she’s one of those celebs that does a fantastic job of keeping her life private. Anyways the part of this piece that mostly slapped me the face was mentioning single fathers. No one EVER mentions single fathers, it’s disturbing actually that I never even thougt of that myself until now and I am what I would consider an “educated” person.

    Education is truly the only solution in terms of tackling “single-motherhood” but I think that’s only when it comes to teenagers and people have stressed education. In fact, the teenage birthrate has gone down so I’m not understanding why this is really a discussion anymore. I think it’s more of an attack on poverty and minorities but thats just my opinion.

  • Job

    Honestly I don’t really see how hard it is to not get pregnant before you get married. It doesn’t accidentally happen. People have to realize there actions have consequences. You can’t expect the world to provide a safety net for every bad decision you make. Life isn’t easy for anyone, and its often not fair. Poor decisions make life even harder.

    “We want what everybody else has–and often takes for granted–a chance.”

    You had a fair chance. You just made a mistake. Own it and learn from it. Don’t complain about it. You weren’t born with a chronic illness, learning disability or into poverty.

  • Ms. Vee

    1. There is a solution: We call them condoms and birth control.

    2. There are different types of single moms. Examples

    a) The widow
    b) The ex-wife (even the devout ex-girlfriend of many years)
    c) The baby mama…multiple baby daddies may apply

    Which of these three is the most problematic in preventing the maintenance of a viable community? I’ll wait.

    3. I am not implying that a single mother is incapable of raising a successful and confident member(s) of society. But as you look around you will quickly notice that its not a common situation (statistics already display these facts). I don’t think any rational person will argue with the fact that single motherhood (on a collective level) is not working.

  • Me

    I’m so over single moms and their excuses.
    I know a girl who had unprotected sex with a guy after lying about birth control.
    She got pregnant and he said I’ll pay for an abortion or we should give it up for adoption because we don’t know each other.
    She said no and now she’s mad when he pays her minimal child support and has NOTHING to do with her or the baby.
    I’ve seen this story play out so many times with slight variations.
    Condoms and birth control are relatively cheap. USE IT! No excuse.
    I’m a college senior and never had a pregnancy scare. I was raised by a single mom and realized that it’s THE DUMBEST DECISION TO MAKE FOR YOUR CHILD!
    These single moms need to use the option of adoption instead of being selfish and giving their child a poor life. I’m disgusted with them all unless they are divorced or widowed. THERE IS NO EXCUSE! None.

  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    I think the thing we forget is the terminology of singleness. Like, what does “single” really mean? If we’re just saying that it means when you file taxes-and you file “Single” or “Head of Household”, then you’re single? Because I know many situations where 20-somethings and 30-somethings live together and aren’t married, but have kids. And quiet as it’s kept-many black men are living with black women in their section 8 housing. The only thing is-they claim themselves as single and receiving no aid from the father, so they can receive benefits. When in fact, daddy is sitting up in the house playing xbox and benefitting from food stamps and other government assistance.

    This is where statistics can be misleading. It’s not the lack of fathers that’s solely the problem. The problem is that we have people producing with no resources and are in poverty.

    People are missing the point. Throwing the band-aid called marriage doesn’t fix poverty within the black community. We’re talking about a more intrinsic problem-which is lack of opportunity and proper education. Giving someone section 8 housing isn’t the same as teaching them a skill set for labor union jobs or giving them a scholarship to go to a decent high school so they can get somewhere. We’re talking about the most BASIC things here.

    Because even if Latoya and Pookie get married, it’s not going to change the dysfunction and the lack of opportunity. The only thing is that the government will cut back on funding after seeing that Latoya and Pookie are married-another way to keep the black man out the household.

  • http://succulentwomenfindlove.com Trenia

    I feel conflicted when it comes to single mothers. I come from a long line of single mothers, and because of that I was very clear about the fact that I would not have children without being married. And money aside, there is so much more that children need, like attention, and it really takes at least two people to raise a healthy child who will turn into a well-adjusted adult. I think there needs to be a two-pronged approach. First is a more long-term strategy that will target some of the larger issues that were mentioned in the article like more green space, better schools and safer neighborhoods; that’s the macro approach. But the short-term approach has to do with living in what is and personal responsibility. What exists right now is that sequestration is happening on the federal level and entitelment programs are being cut left and right. Planned Parenthood is struggling with funding as well as other organizations that help support single mothers. When funds dry up people start looking out for themselves and pay less attention to those who might be having a harder time.

    I also think there are many categories of single mothers. For the girls in their teens/early 20′s the conversation needs to be about not bringing another life into the world and you can’t even fully support yourself; that’s not a judgment, those are the facts. Nobody’s out here trying to take care of you, so you need to be about taking care of yourself. Why make life harder? So many girls don’t understand that while it’s really trendy to be preggers these days, those babies eventually grow up and they require so much more from you. Then there’s the women who just don’t use any protection or birth control at all. Birth control isn’t the cheapest thing in the world, but if you’re spending money with any kind of regularity on luxury items (including cable) you can afford contraception. If you can afford to monetarily take care of your child on your own, look for a community that will help to support you and your child when you need it. But let’s be clear about the fact that a child being raised by a single parent is not optimal, I don’t care how “well” we turned out; there is always a remnant left over in your adult life from growing up without a father fully present and engaged. And if you’re a clear thinking adult, you’ll get some help with that and not let it rule or destroy your intimate relationships. So there’s a lot to be done both in the short and long term.

  • Sasha

    I really and truly whole-heartedly agree. Maybe this is my “privilege” speaking but at 25 years old I made it through high school, college and today without getting pregnant or catching STDs/STIs. You know how I did this? Not being sexually active until my junior year of college and when I was finally active I used protection, every single time. I’ve been on birth control for the past two years and have only missed a pill twice, once a year so I’d have to say pretty good track record. This is 2013, contraceptives have come such a long way, are WIDELY available and relatively inexpensive. If you can’t afford a condom or birth control then in all honesty you probably shouldn’t be having sex because pregnancy and a child is going to cost a bajillion more than whatever contraceptive you failed to use. I’m 100% aware that conraceptives fail and people on/ using them can still get pregnant but I’d argue that more often than not someone who gets pregnant is being irresponsible in some way, shape or form.

    What’s done is done though so I don’t see any point in shaming single mothers and single fathers, teenage or adult after the child is born. Better to just support, provide and be the best parent one can be.

  • Keshia

    I was raised by a single mom, and the help of her boyfriend who has been an amazing father figure for me. I honestly feel it’s disrespectful my mother is a strong woman who made sure me and my sister were polite, well spoken, educated young ladies. I could look at my friends who are raised in a two parent home and they have more problems than I do. Instead of attacking the single mothers, who have at least taken responsibility, why not go after the dads who abandon their children and continue to have mor children and not raise them. It’s always attack the woman, but men get off easily. I am not embarrassed of my single mom at all she has done a great job raising me and I hope to be half the mother she is to me.

  • D.T.

    Thank you.

  • MusiKCityK

    It’s not just about marriage it’s about waiting until one is emotionally, mentally and financially stable before they decide to have children. It is not hard to not get pregnant before you are ready we need to start owning this and not make excuses. I come from Fort Lauderdale where women have 4 or 5 children before their 21st birthday, there is no excuse for that stupidity.

  • Curls&Swirls

    “I don’t care how “well” we turned out; there is always a remnant left over in your adult life from growing up without a father fully present and engaged.” x1000

  • Wanda

    “We want safe streets and good schools”…

    But aren’t the unsafe streets and bad schools filled with children who are coming mostly from single-mother and single-grandmother headed households?

    I work in education and I have to say by and large, that it is the children who come from single-mother households who have the most challenges ( I don’t say “single parent” because we don’t have that many children who come from single-father headed households in my schools).

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    I agreed until I got to this sentence:”…unintentionally falling into motherhood.”

    That is BS. I’m sorry, it just is, and it’s something single mothers need to address.

    The author admitted that she got pregnant while attending graduate school. I find it hard to believe that she wasn’t intelligent enough to know that her local pharmacy had an array of cheap contraceptives, like condoms, available.

    Something is going on psychologically with women who are having unprotected sex while knowing the risk of disease and unplanned pregnancy. She’s lucky that her story ended with single parenthood and not HIV.

    This is not 1813 and most people can read and write.

    Stop making excuses. I’m in my 30s, from a working-class family, and HAVE NEVER BEEN PREGNANT. That is from a conscious decision. Unplanned pregnancy is an UNconscious decision.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “Honestly I don’t really see how hard it is to not get pregnant before you get married. It doesn’t accidentally happen. People have to realize there actions have consequences. You can’t expect the world to provide a safety net for every bad decision you make. Life isn’t easy for anyone, and its often not fair. Poor decisions make life even harder.”

    THANK YOU *1000!

    We as women of color need to STOP acting as though we have no say so in our actions and what we do with our bodies. I’m assuming that people are not intellectually disabled, so it’s not that difficult to figure out how not to get pregnant.

    We can’t maintain that we are not inferior to anyone, not chattel, and fully capable of making informed decision, but at the same time claim that we are unlike other people and incapable of rational decision making and maintaining personal responsibility.

    Single parenthood is not natural to Black women and it is NOT our lot in life. Africans had intact families and marital relationships BEFORE enslavement. This is NOT inevitable or genetic.

  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    Well that stupidity comes from who? There’s a lack of teaching, because the parents know no better themselves. It’s really just a lack of education, which is directly tied to a lack of resources. I don’t expect 16 year old Lashonda to know about emotional, mental, and financial stability-when her daily life itself is traumatic by living in poverty. Common sense isn’t necessarily common-when you don’t have exposure to knowledge (aka resources). If the standard is “get welfare checks” and “have babies”-then are these women going to be thinking this way?

    Poverty isn’t an excuse. It’s a reality. People, not just in America, but all over-are bringing children into poverty (India, China, etc.) and it’s contributing to criminality-not saying these people are inherently “bad” or “criminals” because people gotta eat. It’s a direct causal relationship. Look at the statistics of people who are educated versus uneducated persons-educated people are less likely to produce a legion of kids; again, education and resources.

    Here’s an article that states my case: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/womfertility.htm

  • http://gravatar.com/theblackparacosmistmind theblackparacosmistmind

    I wanted to add that I see your point and even understand it. But the whole “not owning and stop making excuses” is the sentiment of the privileged. If any of you women or men, go up to an adolescent in the hood and ask them if they know the basics of sex and stds, you’ll find that MANY (hell, i’d say a VAST majority) of them don’t know. They don’t know what spermicide is, or the patch, or the ring.

    It’s easy to say people are making excuses. Hell. White people say that about black people ALL THE TIME. But you mention “stupidity” and you’re sort of arriving to the same idea (which is my point) that these people don’t have common sense, education, knowledge, whatever you may call it.

  • Wanda

    We now live in the pro-choice era, yet I hear more excuses today about so-called “unintended pregnancies” than I did many moons ago, when we took much more personal responsibility for our choices (good and bad).

  • Blaque217

    “And while I appreciate the little aid the government doles out to women who ask for it (and many of us do not, by the way), it isn’t enough.

    Women don’t need more Section 8 vouchers for crummy apartments in bullet-riddled neighborhoods; we need less crime—period.

    We want safe streets and good schools and access to jobs that will help us afford HIGH QUALITY daycare (better yet, we want to work for companies with on-site daycare).

    We want farmer’s markets and green spaces and homework help and SAT prep and free museums and field trips for our kids.

    We want personal development workshops and business classes and GED prep if we need it.

    We want what everybody else has–and often takes for granted–a chance.

    We want an even playing field, not just rhetoric about how this is America and everyone must pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Many of us need boots.”

    One of the problems with our society is that our government rewards bad behavior and choices. You are suggesting that single mothers should be rewarded even more for their bad choices. ALL young women (and men too) want less crime, better jobs, personal development classes, and an even playing field in life. Why should women who get knocked up (sometimes over and over and over again) be given privileges that the average person don’t have access to? THEY SHOULDN’T!

  • Yvette

    “Instead of attacking the single mothers, who have at least taken responsibility, why not go after the dads who abandon their children and continue to have mor children and not raise them.”

    With all due respect, women need to take control when it comes to reproduction and birth control. It’s OUR bodies – WE’RE the ones who get pregnant and will likely have to care for the baby.

  • Tallulah Belle

    As a woman in her mid-40′s, I have many friends who put off having chidlren until they married or at least found a partner who was suitable. Now, each and every single one of these women wished they had opted for earlier single motherhood! Why? Because it is extremely difficult ifn ot impossible to have a child in your mid to late 40′s.

    Women who wait for the perfect relationship to have a baby stand the chance of going to the grave childless. It is a biological fact.

    The chances of finding (and holding on to) Mr. Right are so incredibly low that this entire discussion makes no sense. It is based on a fallacy: that there are men out there who want to marry you, can marry you and can support you and who you would ever want to have sex with in the first place. It is a ridiculous argument that I hear made time and time again. It is simply a silly concept.

    All of my friends who are in their mid to late 40′s are trying get pregnant and wish they had opted for single motherhood earlier on, much earlier on, man or no man. No woman should wait to get married to have a baby if she wants one. No woman past the age of 35 should wait. Have that baby now. Find a man, find a sperm donor, find a friend, etc… but have that baby now. Start trying with whoever will give you some sex.

    Yes, teen mothers are one thing. But there is no “perfect time” to have a baby. You do not need to be married to have a baby, obviously. So my advice to every woman out there contemplating single motherhood: If you have a decent job, some health insurance and a satisifactory extended support network — for Pete’s Sake, DO NOT WAIT UNITL YOU ARE MARRIED TO HAVE A BABY! HAVE A BABY NOW! OR YOU WILL REGRET IT UNITL THE DAY YOU DIE.

  • Since1989

    This topic is tired. Point is money and resources are needed to raise children whether single, married, divorced. period. Have a solid education in place, a stable income and home and resources to provide for your kids before having them. You don’t need a marriage certificate for that. If you are committed to being a good parent to your kids they won’t turn to the streets. Mothers and fathers commit to your kids even if you can’t to each other.

    Interesting enough we will never see articles like “the decline of marriage and the rise of unwed fathers”….

  • Stop Complaining don’t want 2 Hear It

    How can this author complain about anything other than her ignorance?She came from a 2 parent familly, was a college graduate and in grad school not a “poe” black teenage h.s. girl from a broken home. Don’t beleive the hype. Illegitimacy rate of white women with a college degree is 4 to 6%. That’s as close to ZERO as you can get. They might have a number of other issues but they ain’t having a baby for no one unless they’re married. Also, the illegitimacy rate for black women with a college degree is 30%. Which is much lower than the 72% often quoted and means it’s actually much higher for black women w/o a degree.

    That means this author, a college graduate, chose to be a part of the never married uneducated black baby mamas who are having all of these kids that are now terrorizing the black community. And just like this author those baby mamas all talk about how well mannered their preteen boys are. We never hear from (on these blogs) the black baby mamas whose kids turn out dysfunctional. Who have agressive boys that are now in their teens, testosterone running through their veins and twice the size of the mother that she’s unable to manage….. just like she was unable to manage his daddy.

  • Ooh La La

    Thank you! It really is enough to make my blood boil. Here I am with thousands in student loan debt, and my sister who decided to get pregnant instead of go to school qualifies for all types of grants that I could never dream of getting. If you ask me, single moms get TOO MUCH help. You chose to have a child, therefore you chose all of the disadvantages that situation entails.

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007, released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009, there were approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States in 2007, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S.).
    The Typical Single Parent is a Mother (84%), she is Divorced or Separated: 45% are currently divorced or separated, 34.2% have never been married, and 19% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.) and 1.7% were widowed. She is employed: 79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed, 49.8% work full time, year round and 29.7% work part-time or part-year. She and Her Children Do Not Live in Poverty: 27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty. She Does Not Receive Public Assistance: 22% receive Medicaid, 23.5% receive food stamps, 12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy and 5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). She is 40 Years Old or Older: 39.1% of custodial single mothers are 40 years old or older and she is Raising One Child: 54% of custodial mothers are raising one child from the absent parent, 46% have two or more children living with them.

    None of us, me included would ever want to have our personal situation highlighted as a social problem, so I can understand why the author would feel like she and hers are under attack. But the stats are not that positive for the children raised in single parent households as far as how they fared in certain arenas:
    http://www.singleparentsuccess.org/stats.html

    Far too often the defence for being a single parent is less about the children and more about the parents. I think that is where people seem to lose focus and I become disagreeable. Someone may want to defend their right to be a single parent as a personal choice but they need to acknowledge that their choice may negatively affect their children and embrace that responsibility as vigorously as you embrace your right.

  • Job

    The women who believe that there are “no good men,” are the female equivalent of the bitter “nice guys.” I roll my eyes when I hear women say this. “Nice guys” and bitter women blame all their relationship problems on the “flawed” opposite sex. Of course dating is increasingly difficult. But, there are men who want to start families. Having a child alone would not have made them happier. It’s not an easy job and requires sacrifice. It’s no fairy tale.

  • http://www.nobusinessnoshow.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    This is a polarizing subject indeed.

    I honestly feel that babies are a blessing and should not be treated as a mistake. If they’re here then we as a collective society need to deal with them; not wag the finger or shame their mothers. We here in the West follow an individualistic philosophy so I understand that many of us simply do not want to care about other people’s kids…but what about the babies?

    I don’t feel comfortable with kids going hungry, being homeless, or having shoddy education options simply because we deem his mother unfit to receive assistance. Shaming single mothers is simply a solution that only hurts kids and for me personally I like having compassion. I don’t like punishing children for their parents shortcomings. And I will never be comfortable with that. Shaming and condemning people only leads to a host of other negative consequences ( isolation, abuse, addiction) that we as a collective ending up paying for in ways we can’t even imagine.

    Yes there needs to be a nationwide curriculum for young women about preventative measures and the negative consequences of having a child when your not ready. But then there are cases like Kathy Hughes, Barack Obama and myself that prove that our T’s and our I’s don’t always have to be crossed in life for tremendous good to come out of negative situation. Life happens, mistakes happen…but children are never a mistake.

  • Me

    I’m sorry but a woman can NOT raise a man. I don’t care what you say and this is coming from a pro choice female. But no! My mom tried to raise me and my brother on her own and I turned out ok, although I have issues stemming from my childhood, but my brother is bat shit crazy and that’s because she couldn’t raise a man and he didn’t have positive role models. I at least had positive role models. Also little girls need dads. I know I sure as hell needed one. If I decide to have kids I want a strong partner by my side. I know this and I’m only 21.

  • Ooh La La

    So your solution is to be selfish… Because a child really does deserve the stability of two loving parents. I would rather never have a child than bring one into a less than optimal situation. Just because that is ONE PART of my life that won’t be fulfilled doesn’t make or right to risk disadvantaging a child’s WHOLE life. That’s just selfish.

  • P

    I will start by affirming that I know married mothers and I know single mothers. One thing they both have in common is they love their children dearly and want the best for them equally. I think oftentimes, it is viewed as if single “unwed” mothers do not love their children as much by NOT making the right choice of being married prior to conceiving their child. Along with that belief, “unwed” mothers are viewed by some as being careless, lack ambition, and their children are for sure disaster-prone.

    In all actuality, single moms have always been thrown under the bus if not by the media, by family members as well. Really, the bottom line is people do not respect “unwed” mothers. Which is THEIR choice. It may stem from economic drainage or choosing to birth kids without financial stability thus being raised in poverty leading to a life of possible crime. I can understand why tax-payers are frustrated. I can understand why society is fed-up with crime because regardless of where we live, we all are affected by it.

    What I cannot support is pigeonholing single mothers and especially their children. Before I continue Ms. Britni/Clutch, I would like to say thank you for this article. It is nice to see Clutch encouraging single mothers “unwed” mothers. While the majority of your supporters may not be mothers as of yet or making better choices, I couldn’t imagine some of your supporters not being a single mom or possibly an “unwed” mother. As I mentioned earlier, people have thrown “unwed” mothers under the bus for years – nothing new. So part of my job is:

    1. To discourage “the desire” to birth kids prior to marriage (for some kids it is a way of life).
    2. After the baby has been born: to encourage the mother and their children that life isn’t over. More of a challenge, but NOT OVER.

    There are three types of “unwed” mothers that society is unaware of because of stereotypical “boxing”.

    1. Welfare mother (she wants that lifestyle).
    2. Hopeless mother (lost faith b/c of her circumstances)
    3. Persevering “jumping hurdles” mother (my kids and I will make it).

    Parallel to all black women don’t exercise or all black women have kids, it is the same as all “unwed” mothers are not the same. We cannot control how others think, if a woman already has a child, I let them know initially that tough skin is going to need developing. Without tough skin, her dreams will fold and her children will become a statistic. Since she has made this decision, from that point on, it is an “everyday” challenge if done the right way. It is not for the weak hearted and some days you may not have any support nor shouldn’t expect support from anyone. I encourage “unwed” mothers b/c everyone has a right not to be shamed. The sins of an “unwed” mother are seen through her kids in comparison to other people’s sins being unseen. In other words, they aren’t any better befitting to be considered as a more worthy person. I encourage “unwed” mothers regardless of their bad decision, they still can attend school. If you can, send your child to the best schools. Don’t let it stop you b/c Jamal’s father is not in the household. Don’t discourage your kids from attending college because they grew up in a Section 8 housing development. I encourage teenagers there is a systematical success formula to life which is books, marriage, then babies. The few that still get knocked up, I always ask what is the next plan? As we (society) discourage “unwed” births, for the ones that have already been knocked up, don’t’ pigeonhole the mothers or their children as if they are doomed. People will think what they want to. Nevertheless, still some “unwed” parents work tirelessly; kids attend prestigious colleges, and are very productive even compared to their married counterpart friends. Not playing a comparison game, at the same time, I refuse to believe a parent or a child has a fruitless future because of a bad decision.

    Also, I want to encourage people who have chosen to work with youth groups. Please stop! If you look down on their parent b/c they had chosen to birth them out-of-wedlock. Children can sense any type of disrespect towards their parents in your body language or speech. At least try to respect their parents while in the presence of their kids. I’ve seen it too many times and I just wanted to share that information.

  • http://gravatar.com/deechagirl IJusWannaSay…

    This type of female is the one that’s infuriating to me. A commenter mentioned the many examples of single mothers, but this one example is the one that makes me sick overall.

    The tool of discernment and making wise choices was somehow lost on her, and who loses out the most?

    The child, of course…SMH.

  • P

    “Shaming single mothers is simply a solution that only hurts kids and for me personally I like having compassion. I don’t like punishing children for their parents shortcomings”

    I totally agree and this is what I don’t like. Leave the kids out of it. And ppl don’t realize they hurt the kids, by hurting the parents.

  • Job

    My grandma who is still alive lived through worse poverty and segregation than any of the poor blacks today. She couldn’t go to the library or attend public schools. Did her or any of her 6 sisters get pregnant? No. Did they all eventually attend black colleges and become successful. Yes. Poverty is not an automatic excuse, but I cut poor people extra slack. They have a harder life. But the author was in college completing an advanced degree so the poverty and ignorance excuse goes right out the window for her. Also women who get pregnant multiple times should know after their first child where babies come from.

  • Trish

    Great comment!

  • isolde3

    Of course, if the type of women of whom Tallulah Belle is likely referring (educated, financially stable/affluent) were to adopt children, then you and your ilk would probably want to throw them a parade, LOL. I sincerely doubt you’d be calling those prospective adopting parents “selfish” for opening their homes and sharing their economic/educational privilege to raise children. Funny how “those types of women” are deemed suitable to raise everyone else’s children but their own.

  • leelah

    I support this author’s article. I think she did a beautiful job with this issue. And I think she gave a voice to the voiceless, a group thats talked about but rarely heard. I think the voice and opinions of single mothers has been muted by a society that wants to blame them for everything wrong in this country.–And unfortunately black america has got right on the blame single mother band wagon. Which I believe the latest round of blame began with the election of Obama and all that admiration for Michelle Obama. Ann Coulter started it when she first shouted that 70% of of wedlock stat. ‘See black america isn’t doing that good despite them patting themselves on the back for getting this half white guy elected and while you’re holding michelle obama up as a goddess most black women aren’t her. In fact, these black women will be the death of this country.’–Please pick up her book, this was her message. And conservatives ran with it and black people with all their shame clung to it.–But at some point we need to realize that in these modern times single motherhood is here to stay and there needs a whole lot of thinking and organizing by these women. There needs to be a discussion on how single mothers can raise healthy responsible children, a guide book or a philosophy. I think the author is starting to touch on that, an embracing of one’s future as a woman raising a child alone. I would love to see another article, or even a whole book, with advice for other women. seriously there isn’t a single guide for single mothers and with a 70% rate in the black community I think thats shameful.–I was thinking about writing something like it myself ‘ A poor women’s guide to motherhood’. I’m married but was raised by a single mother and have experienced a few bumps in my marriage to know that I may end up raising my children in a single parent home, despite how involved my husband is with our kids.

  • http://educatedmusings360.wordpress.com educatedmusings360

    I see this from both sides. I was a single parent in college. I got pregnant when I was 21. On one hand, it was my choice to not use protection and be stupid. On the other hand, most 21 year olds are stupid by nature/design and have little ability to consider the long term consequences of their decisions. (Insert brain research about brain not fully developing until 25 here.) I also fault this fake religious narrative that teaches girls that they must wait until marriage when they know good and well that most people don’t. The church also teaches women that if they prepare for sex by using birth control that they are condoning sin. Therefore, many churches end up with pews full of single women with babies. While the church didn’t make me have early sex, they also discouraged realistic, responsible sexual activity. (Telling women they’re going to hell if they use/encourage their daughters to use birth control or otherwise plan.)

    At the same time, I am discouraged by the normalcy of single parenthood. I went on to marry my child’s father and we now have a two parent home and two children. Looking back on it, I realize that I didn’t just sleep with anybody, but a marriageable partner that came from a good home and a degree. A guy with potential! The scourge is not so much the pregnancy, but the choice in partner. So many women get pregnant by losers and then end up bitter and act all surprised that they’re losers! I know you can’t always predict a loser, but they show you signs…

  • isolde3

    Portman wasn’t a “single mother” when she was pregnant, just unwed, nor was she secretive about her pregnancy. After all, she won her Oscar while heavily pregnant. She’s now married to the child’s father. It was beyond stupid for anyone to try to come for her for being an unwed mother because at the end of the day, she’s a millionaire many times over. Her net worth is probably ten times that of her husband’s, so if he were to leave tomorrow, both she and her child would be fine.

  • isolde3

    As usual, most, if not all of the people, coming out of the woodwork to rag on single mothers have no explanation for how gay and lesbian couples are raising productive kids. I mean shouldn’t gay couples and their kids be failing at life since they’re raising children in homosexual households and not in a traditional, nuclear parent setting? Cause you always need a mother and a father to raise kids properly, right? Child-rearing isn’t as much about parental gender as much as it about economics and opportunity.

  • lol

    agree with your statement except for one thing,

    “b) The ex-wife (even the devout ex-girlfriend of many years)”

    the woman who made sure the man she was with put a ring on it before having kids is NOT EQUAL TO the woman who merely resigned herself to “devout girlfriend of many years”.

  • Tallulah Belle

    @ Job

    I am not suggesting that women arrive completely single at the age of 43 or 44 by saying there are no good men out there. I believe that there tons of good men out there and so do most of my friends.

    I am telling you that it is possible NOT to find a man who will have a child with you before your child bearing years are up. Again, there are lots and lots of good men out there. I believe that as I have married (two of them). However, it is possible for this journery to find Mr. Dad to be a long one, too long to be practical biologically.

    Not every woman can convince a man that she has fallen in love with to have a child with her. Marriage is a two way street. Convincing the man you love to marry you can be quite difficult. If it was so easy, there wouldn’t be so many single women and single mothers out here. Again, there are tons of wonderful and loving men out here; convincing one of them to marry you and have children with you is the trick. Getting one to do this before you turn 40 is even trickier. I have done it successfully, but not every woman that I know who wants to have children has managed this, unfortunately.

  • Me

    The sad part about it is that sometime in the next 10 years he will start a family with a woman he loves and be an awesome dad.

  • lol

    i heart you for this comment.

  • Blue

    “Here’s my beef with most articles about single mothers, though. Instead of providing actual solutions about how to better educate, arm, and support women BEFORE they become pregnant, most tend to focus on what will happen after you get knocked up”

    I supposed they emphasize on what happens after you become pregnant so that most won’t get pregnant. Abstinence is the only fool proof solution of pregnancy prevention. There’s also birth control, which in some cases you can get for free. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

  • Blaque217

    @ isolde3 – You are comparing apples and oranges. Let’s say a gay or lesbian COUPLE have or adopt a baby. That child is being raised in a two-parent household. And let’s face it, if there is adoption or artificial insemination involved, it’s safe to say that low income, bad neighborhoods or poor education won’t be factors in the child’s life.

    On the other hand, a young unwed mother will have many more crosses to bear when she makes the conscious choice to have unprotected sex and bring a child into the world if she is not financially or emotionally stable enough to do so.

  • dbsm

    Serita, I love when you comment on these articles. What people believe to be their own commonsense is just rhetoric that has been repeated and handed down. And a closer look reveals that the data do not support those notions.

    Thanks for your presence here.

  • dbsm

    Tallulah, you give a very interesting perspective. Thank you.

  • dbsm

    @Since1989: Well said, and basically all that needs to be said.

  • leelah

    Reason you hear black comedians give it up for single mothers is because they themselves are the product of single mothers. Kevin Hart had a hard working daddy at home until he decided to get hooked on drugs. Kevin’s mother banished the man from the home and kevin does a whole act on how he thought his mom was cold and wrong for doing that. Until he learned his dad was stealing money from his mom. And his father became this destructive mooching force in his life as he tried to build his career.—all the ills in the black community can’t be laid at single mom’s feet. The drugs, the violence, the depression and dysfunction was growing in our communities long before the single mom statistics started growing. In fact all that dysfunction helped more women and girls become single mothers. –lets stop this myth that black communities were ever intact. just because most kids were born in two parents home back then does not mean those were healthy homes. In my own family we have stories of affairs and secret kids, drug abuse, suicide, rape, molestation, depression, and alcoholism going back to at least 1910, and my folks are the marrying type. The point is the more burdened and poor a group is, the more social ills they experience. Now that rule of poverty extends to blacks, latinos, native americans, poor white people and world wide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    Comment of the freakin’ week! If I could buy you a tropical island, I would.

    And that statistic on college educated white women vs. college educated black women is complete embarrassment. But this is what we accept as black women. As if it’s our lot in life to struggle. Always a baby mama, never a wife.

  • Ms. Vee

    Very true. I just mentioned the ex-girlfriend of many years because I am more inclined to being somewhat (and i do mean somewhat) understanding of a single mom that has been with a man for many years (8-10 years as an example) and not just a reckless baby mom who got pregnant from a one night stand. Now one would think if you intend on staying with someone for that long you might as well get married. Nonetheless, you’re are correct. Being a wife is not equal to being a girlfriend.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    Say it again Yvette! If you become a single parent once, I can understand. But if you populated your whole city and are still a single mother, the problem is you!

    When it comes to this body, I run it! I decide who and what comes through here!

    No glove, no love! And if the glove by chance malfunctions, I’m already on BC to remedy that!

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    I’ll take going to the grave childless and happy, rather than to make a selfish decision to become to single mother to prevent the aforementioned from happening.

    There is life, and a fulfilling one at that, to be had without children.

  • http://www.lillian-mae.com Lillian Mae

    RE: They might have a number of other issues but they ain’t having a baby for no one unless they’re married.

    Preach!

  • Job

    @Tallulah

    How do you convince a man to love or marry you? A man who truly loves you doesn’t need convincing. I have to tell this to my female friends all the time. The ones who waste time begging men who treat them like trash to love them. If a man doesn’t love you or want to marry you, then you need to move on and find someone who does.

  • Tallulah Belle

    I have no idea how it is done. But moving on takes time, as many women commit themselves to a man and then must untangle their relationships to move on. Finding a new love is time consuming and difficult — let’s be honest. It is easier said than done.

    Love and relationships are complex. Some men already have a wife or girlfriend, some men already have children and do not want more. Not all men want to get married. Period. They can love you and not want to be exclusive or want to get married or want to have additional or even one child with you. They are human and may not be able to afford or have time for children. Raising a child is an all-around commitment. Given the choice to do it with a woman they do not love is not something many men would agree to.

    However, most women are not single by choice. And, I think that few single women become pregnant with a man by planning it out with him. The reality is that women often have babies with men who do not love them or who do not want the children they are bringing into the world. Most of these pregnancies are unplanned. Many of the children are not dearly or desperately wanted by the father in the first place. And herein lies the problem who wait and search for true love.

    Women who wait around and plan and respect a man’s distance and their choices are not rewarded in the “baby game.” A woman who waits on a man may find herself childless when everything is said and done. The search for Mr. Right and “the perfect” time is a risk. It can be done, but it is a risk.

    Many single mothers have a baby with a man against his wishes, or they wouldn’t be single. The rest of single mother’s are usually either divorced, separated, have a donor, have adopted or are gay.

  • lol

    “The church also teaches women that if they prepare for sex by using birth control that they are condoning sin. Therefore, many churches end up with pews full of single women with babies. While the church didn’t make me have early sex, they also discouraged realistic, responsible sexual activity. (Telling women they’re going to hell if they use/encourage their daughters to use birth control or otherwise plan.)”

    i think most people are getting tired of the excuses that involve the “they made me do it/they didn’t give me enough of xyz”. isn’t a parent old and mature enough to listen to all the information, weigh the possibilities and outcomes and thereby decide what to tell their child? they’re not bots that are ordered to do something and have to obey, they do have choice in these matters…

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Gay COUPLES, are often highly motivated to become parents and if our country gave them that right they would probably be married. Gay parents are very much a self selected group, it’s not a valid comparison.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Solutions for grown educated women? Got that right here don’t have sex, don’t have sex without protection, don’t have sex with dogs. There you go right there, 100% satisfaction or your money back which you may use to put ole slick Willie on child support.

  • http://gravatar.com/deechagirl IJusWannaSay…

    OR he will grow up to hate his mother and base every female he gets involved with after her and every other female whom he’s felt did him wrong.

    Can go either way, but the majority falls into the latter.

  • Ooh La La

    @isolde3

    Even with adoption, a two-parent household is better for the child, but obviously a single-parent household is better than being an orphan. Don’t know what you were trying to prove with that comment, but my stance remains the same.

  • Yeah, I Said It

    I agree. I’m so sick of “single mothers” blaming everyone else for their situation instead of themselves. While there may not be a Planned Parenthood on every corner, there definitely is a CVS/Walgreens/Duane Reade everywhere. If you refuse to use a condom (which costs next to nothing) you can at least use Plan B the day after.

    Single motherhood does not equal doom and many single mothers are making it better than married parents. But if you are going to blame anyone for your situation, blame yourself. If you can’t afford Plan B (or if you can’t afford to plan) then you can’t afford to have sex and I can’t afford to feel sorry for you.

  • LadyP

    This is the bottom line regardless of how anyone feels about this topic. Very well said indeed.!

  • Yeah, I Said It

    THANK YOU! And Amen to your comment!
    It’s not hard to NOT get pregnant! If you refuse to use condoms properly, then opt to get Plan B! Though there may not be a Planned Parenthood on every corner, there for darn sure is a CVS/Walgreens?Duane Reade. If you can’t afford to purchase condoms or Plan B, then you can’t afford to have sex.

    We all are afforded the same right to make our own decisions in our lives. You made your choice and that was to not protect your body while having sex and to leave your future up to chance. So why try to pin the blame on everyone else?

    Clearly, we live in a culture of blame others and not self. That’s the real problem.

  • Yeah, I Said It

    I’m sorry. But everyone knows what a condom is. And EVERYONE knows how to NOT have sex. You don’t have to be “privileged” for that information. Additionally, you also can’t be a “strong black woman” and then not be strong enough to take responsibility for your own body.

    The excuses are getting old.

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    “Child-rearing isn’t as much about parental gender as much as it about economics and opportunity”

    Yes, and that’s why when there are TWO parents (regardless of gender) the child has a better chance at success. When there are two parents that leads to a better economic situation, which leads to better opportunities.

  • LadyP

    I guess it depends on which single mothers you are referring to.

    The single parents (men and women) I know they do not make excuses, look for handouts, or any pats on the back, or depend on the government. They simply handle their business as any other two-parent would.

    Not condoning out-of-wedlock births. However, I sincerely think that people believe all “unwed” mothers are alike which is far from the truth.

    Just pointing that information out b/c ALL are not passing blame.

  • isolde3

    @Ooh la la

    I could just as easily argue that a child born to an affluent single parent will be better able to provide more opportunities for a child than a poor, married couple, but I doubt you would consider that poor, married couple selfish for having children that they can’t afford. Affluent/educated, single parents frequently raise productive kids. So as long as they can afford those children, whether they are single or married, then they are no more selfish for wanting to procreate than married couples are for wanting to have biological children instead of adopting. This “oh it’s so selfish” logic is almost always pointed at women, who for whatever reason aren’t married, but otherwise have the resources and funds to raise productive kids. These articles that Britni links to are all about poor, single mothers in their 20’s, not affluent 30+ single mothers who more than likely planned ahead for their kids.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    I can’t add anything because majority of the comments said it all. Though I agree that we shouldn’t paint people with the same brush because situations varies but at the same time it is time to call a spade a spade and speak out on detrimental behavior/practices in our community and among our men and women and single parenthood is one of our problems. It is high time for personal responsibility and accountability to be had. Let’s stop lying to ourselves and see the larger picture with single parenthood and unplanned pregnancies and the cycle it is taken in our community that is spanning generations. I get shaming doesn’t necessarily work as a tatic but neither does sugar coating and burying our heads in the sand. There is no big mystery on how NOT to get pregnant and not to bring kid(s) in this world you cant properly rear and take care of…let’s be honest. Furthermore just because I am judging the behavior/action/result (judging is not always bad) doesn’t mean I hate you or I written you off as hopeless. It just we need to stop accepting dysfunction as normal I can’t tell you how mant baby showers I was invited too(where the dad just showed up for appearance sake but the relationship isn’t solid) vs. wedding invitations. It’s time to wake up amd just because a handful of kids make it with single parents doesn’t mean it is the majority THOSE kids (much like the author’s) are an exception to the rule not the rule itself.

  • AP

    “has NOTHING to do with her or the baby” He doesn’t need to have anything to do with her. But the baby? Gee, I wonder if that’s also contributing to the kid’s shitty life.

    So someone who knowingly doesn’t do shit for one of his kids can somehow be an “awesome dad”? How twisted. The hypothetical woman who would pick him up *after* he went and helped make some kid he doesn’t care about (and thinks it’s A-OK!) would be just as much of a fucking moron.

  • lol

    @ isolde

    i hear you and i see where you are coming from, really i do but this is the thing, when people think of a child’s welfare it’s in this order;

    2 parent home>1 parent home>orphanage/foster care/the system , etc.

    so while a single parent home isn’t ideal, it is better than growing up in the system and that is why folks keep saying adopt.

    why bring a kid into a less-than-ideal situation when there is an opportunity to raise a kid (who needs it) from a lower level (orphanage/foster care, etc) to a better one (single parent home)?

    i can understand why most of the women in question would find this offensive but when commenters think of a situation like this we think of the kids first. sorry but that’s how it is. your feelings do matter but the outcome of the children is of paramount importance because they have no say as to how they came about and because they are the most sensitive. sorry, not an easy situation.

  • lol

    @isolde3,you said;

    “I could just as easily argue that a child born to an affluent single parent will be better able to provide more opportunities for a child than a poor, married couple, but I doubt you would consider that poor, married couple selfish for having children that they can’t afford.”

    i think you need to understand that financial resources are not the only reason as to why people encourage marriage. marriage is also for the emotional (and possibly psychological) wellbeing of a child.

    not to mention the fact that 2 people as opposed to one give that family stability. a poor, married couple can build financial wealth and lift themselves out of poverty.can a single parent do so? yes , but how many do and how much more difficult is it? a child with 2 parents does not have as much to worry about as a child with 1 parent. kids with 1 parent (nomatter how affluent) tend to grow up really fast. girls with daddies in the home tend to delay s*xual activity up to 3 yrs when compared to girls who grew up with just mom,nomatter the financial status of mom.

    also if something happens to one parent there is another one left to “man the fort” as difficult as it would be. what happens when a single parent dies?

    2 people bring 2 perspectives, 2 different extended families, 2 efforts in child-rearing,2 skillsets, 2 different ways of thinking,etc to the table.

    it’s much more than just finances.

  • Fantastico

    @ Serita Theresa

    Watch out! You just made too much sense.

  • Fantastico

    Poverty is not a choice.

  • Ooh La La

    @isolde3

    False. I’d rather be raised in a middle-class, loving two-parent household than in a wealthy single-parent one. There’s no monetary value that can be placed on having both parents involved in your life. This I know, because I have both of my parents (married 26 years), and my outlook on life is undoubtedly influenced by the fact that my dad was always around and active in my life, and also that I’ve witnessed a great example of how relationships should be through observing my parents together.

    Secondly, I never said that I support anyone having kids that is not financially capable of providing for them, married or unmarried.

  • http://educatedmusings360.wordpress.com educatedmusings360

    I didn’t say it made sense. I was making the point that religious pressure often makes people abandon the sensemaking process of “listen[ing] to all the information, weigh[ing] the possibilities and outcomes…” It’s part of the reason I stopped attending traditional church. I got tired of pastors yelling from the pulpit, “God’s gon’ make a way out of no way!” instead of coming up with action plans to help people out of the cycles of negativity they’re stuck in. Same way with the housing crisis. “God’s gon’ give you a house even though you ain’t got good credit!” These preachers helped blow up the housing market. (Um, if you ain’t got good credit, maybe you shouldn’t be buying a house.) This religiosity is feeding these cycles…teaching people that the future/fate is up to God…no, the future is up to you if you make better decisions! (But teaching that doesn’t keep the collection plate full of tithes and offerings from struggling single women who do all the church work for free and don’t get the credit or pay.) It may be a cop out to some, but it’s a way of life for others.

  • Crimson

    Totally agree! My grandparents dated for TEN YEARS in the 1930s and still didn’t have a child before they were married. Infertility and/or abstinence wasn’t the reason for that, contraception was. the author’s protests for people to stop blaming single parents for ‘unintentional’ pregnancies infuriates me. I CHOOSE to only have sex with condoms and i CHOSE to use birth control. Therefore, when i am in a healthy, stable, and economically secure marriage, i will CHOOSE to be a mother. no such thing as an unplanned pregnancy when two people CHOOSE to forgo contraception.

  • Crystal

    Let me tell you. Marriage doesn’t fix it. With my husband for 10 years. He walked out when my son was 3 months old. So what’s up with that. I did it “right” waited till I was married, spent a few years enjoying life with my spouse, yet I still ended up a single parent. Why are all conversations directed to the moms. How about we talk to men about leaving the mothers of their kids. This pisses me off. It’s a bigger issue than waiting until marriage.

  • Juliet

    I’m a 41 year old single mother of a 9 month old baby. I have a graduate degree and an amazing career in the military. I made the decision to be a single mom because my 4 year relationship wasn’t working out. He didn’t want any kids but I’ve always dreamed of having some. Heck, I wasn’t getting any younger, either. A considerable amount of money later, a gestational carrier, a lawyer, and a sperm donor, ta da! I’ve got my baby. Life is good. My baby Is healthy. I’m financially stable. And I get great support from family and friends. I said all of this to say this, don’t judge a book by its cover. Not all single parents arrived at that title the same way. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved to do it the old fashioned way but it just didn’t work out that way. I guess God had other plans.

  • Marie

    One broke , trifling, unemployed man marrying one broke, trifling, and unemployed woman = one broke, trifling, and unemployed married couple. The ceremonial rite of marriage will not fix poverty. PEOPLE NEED TO CHANGE, not the marital status to which they belong.

  • isolde3

    “i think you need to understand that financial resources are not the only reason as to why people encourage marriage. marriage is also for the emotional (and possibly psychological) wellbeing of a child.”

    @lol

    Oh, but it is about finances. Gay parents have only recently been granted marriage rights in certain states, and they’ve been successfully raising emotionally and psychologically sound kids for decades. The whole reason why gays and lesbians are raising productive kids is because the ones that have children tend to be affluent, educated, and mindful enough to plan for their kids. They’re usually not poor/uneducated, first time parents in their teens and 20’s dealing with (usually) unplanned pregnancies. Scorn is heaped upon single mothers precisely because they are the demographic most likely to be poor in a patriarchal society. This does not take into account the notion of women who aren’t poor and not financially dependent upon men.

    Your whole rant about the poor, married couple being better at lifting themselves out of poverty than the single mother doesn’t make much sense. I told you from the jump that the married couple was poor and the single mother was affluent/educated. So why would that poor, married couple be better at building wealth than the single mother? If the married couple is living below the poverty line, and the single mother already has money to burn, then why would they be better at building wealth than she is? If their combined income was that substantial, then they wouldn’t be poor, now would they?

    Yes, married people tend to be more affluent than their single counterparts, but correlation does not equal causation. If that were the case, then there would be no poor, married couples, and they would all either automatically become rich or be set on the path to building wealth the minute they say, “I do.” You’re not taking into account the extraneous variables that would explain why married people are more affluent than singles. Let’s start with how college educated people are more likely to marry. So that means that they already had a leg up on the poor, single, uneducated mothers before they even got to the altar.

    And what makes you think that an affluent, unwed mother automatically has no social networks, extended family members, male influence/role models, etc. for her children or contingency plans in the event of death or emergency? Again, adoption agencies give kids to affluent single women all the time. Don’t you think those agencies take such likelihoods into consideration before handing over the kids? Are you as concerned for those adopted kids going to single, affluent mothers as you are about the ones affluent, unwed mothers pop out vaginally?

    You wanna know why these studies and articles seem to target poor, young, single, unwed mothers, almost exclusively, because the older ones with money and education are the ones that you really don’t need to be worried about.

  • isolde3

    Congrats on your healthy baby! I can only imagine the expense you’ve endured. Your type of story doesn’t get much press because brow beating poor, young, single mothers is a lot more salacious and productive at selling copy and getting site clicks.

  • isolde3

    @Kam and myblackfriendsays

    No, it (gay couples) is a valid comparison given my stance about how wealth and resources (networks, friends, extended family) matter more in child rearing than the number or gender of custodial parents. The discussion surrounding unwed mothers is almost always framed around a hetero-normative, traditional paradigm that almost always excludes successful parents who deviate from that standard. That’s exactly what’s going on in these articles that Britni linked to, but if you sit back and tease out the variables surrounding why those “deviants” are successful, then the debate becomes less about marriage and more about those other things which are probably more important in the grand scheme.

  • leelah

    sometimes women have children for themselves. yes children and motherhood has value outside of marriage. and there is a growing number of white women choosing to still have a child alone

  • leelah

    sigh! In both stories you told, the older people weren’t berating you because you didn’t have kids out of wedlock. In our society a lone man without a family or any type of commitment is weird, or a potential sexual deviant. Its not fair but aging single people are stereotyped. women are spinsters and cat ladies and men are child molesters and serial killers.–as you age people assume something is wrong with you because all the good ones are taken.–you’re right we are born into this, we didn’t create it.

  • Prism

    You’re turning a personal anecdote about your brother and your mom into a false blanket statement. I grew up in a two parent household, so I don’t have a personal stake in this negative perception of single parents.

    I’ve seen single dads raise upstanding women and single women raise upstanding sons, so it can be done. A well balanced, patient, upstanding, intelligent person can raise a well balanced, patient and intelligent adult, who will be a good man or good woman by virtue of their gender. Please stop spreading falsities and sexist tripe.

  • http://twitter.com/laviyah laviyah (@laviyah)

    Well said. All of it!!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/latinlover Pseudonym

    I say stop let’s defending single mothers until the majority outcomes of children from single mother households change.

  • leelah

    I’m saying the exception is the rule. With 70%of children being raised by single parents that is the rule, that is the new normal. So at some point we need to deal with this new reality and stop recalling this mythical whole, functioning two parent household that many of us didn’t even grow up in.

  • Kay

    People act as if marriage is some magic cure to all societal ills. They act as if marriage was the end all be all and look back on certain eras as if they were golden. “Things were so much better then!” But historical analysis doesn’t really bear these things out. Although certain things may have been better, there was domestic abuse, alcoholism and a bunch of things women and men had to suffer through for the sake of “staying married.” I’m not against marriage at all, in fact I’m all for it if that’s what people want to do. But I don’t think that’s the entire solution. I’ve known some messed up individuals who came from two parent homes, so it isn’t so much the marriage as it is the people in it. If you want children to be better, then we’re going to have to mold people in society into better parents, whether they will be single or not, and give them the financial means to do it. That means better jobs, economic security and a better educational system.

  • E.M.S.

    So it’s okay to attack one parent (namely, the mother, the woman) and blame them for being a single parent when it takes TWO people to make a baby and TWO people to make a marriage work?

    And just as the article title states, unless you have some solutions to this problem, please have a sit and stop pointing fingers.

  • Loreena

    The parents hurt their own kids by making bad choices.

  • isolde3

    comment seemingly lost in moderation. So I’ll try again.

    No, it is a valid comparison given my stance about how wealth and resources (networks, friends, extended family) matter more in child rearing than the number or gender of custodial parents. The discussion surrounding unwed mothers is almost always framed around a hetero-normative, traditional paradigm that almost always excludes successful parents who deviate from that standard, but if you sit back and tease out the variables surrounding why those “deviants” are successful, then the debate becomes less about marriage and more about the things that really matter.

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    @job

    This is about dating rights.

    Women (ESP. BW want the right to date & eff whomever even if their kids are casualties)

    So, instead of dating practically and dealing with men who love & care about the women they date.

    They are chasing behind men who are irresponsible & trying to win them over with s*x & a baby.

    And everybody loses in that pursuit.

  • Bren

    The Dept of Health has FREE condoms! No red tape or strings attached. You can take as many as you want, therefore, contraception is available even if you don’t have the money/insurance to cover it.

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    This is a rare incident

    But @Crystal, I feel for you.

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    The fundamental premise is that S*x is a choice.

    And as long as it is a choice, single mothers need to continue to get that work for picking shoddy men to have children with.

    Fin

  • LB

    Man this is about the last thing I expected to be discussing this morn, but what you wrote is inspiring. well thought out and well said. i’m a single mom-to a four year old and 8mo. Different dads. I was married to the father of my 4yo. I’m white, come from a very wealthy family, have a college degree, consider myself intelligent and emotionally mature (i’m 29). What I want to know is- what the hell happened to men being MEN? neither of my children’s fathers are involved with them. They’re too busy being selfish and immature. This is an entirely different article along this same topic- but I didn’t CHOOSE to be a single mom, nor did I think I would be. Maybe I chose the wrong men, but damn they had me fooled. These articles and the people reading them, crucify single moms for being irresponsible and promiscuous-looking for govt assistance..but seem to leave out the men that made them single moms in the first place. when did it become socially acceptable for men to have babies all over the place?…

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    @job

    This is about dating rights.

    Women (ESP. BW) want the right to date & eff whomever even if their kids are casualties

    So, instead of dating practically and dealing with men who love & care about the women they date.

    They are chasing behind men who are irresponsible & trying to win them over with s*x & a baby.

    And everybody loses in that pursuit.

  • LB

    i can tell you–the father of my children didn’t get into my pants by saying, ‘i’m a really shitty guy and won’t make a good dad, and don’t plan on sticking around if you get pregnant..”…just the opposite. he was my husband. saying i chose a ‘shoddy’ man is like saying i chose ‘shoddy’ oranges to make OJ, how the hell was i supposed to know they were gonna be shitty??

  • SayWhat

    @SeritaTheresa…….You seem like a very intelligent lady, but how is it that you are missing that the ‘social dysfunction’ and ‘inter-generational poverty’ that you say is responsible for these dysfunctional kids is more prevalent (sp) in single parent (which is usually single mom) households? It seems to me that you and Richard are completely overlooking the correlation as a way to somehow justify this epidemic (sp).

    Yes you are more likely to be dysfunctional if you are poor, but aren’t you more likely to be poor if you come from a single parent household? It’s like a twisted ‘chicken or egg’ argument.

    And to your earlier comment about ‘now that we are doing something different, it’s being attacked’, what is so different or special about CHOOSING to raise a child on your own? You make it equal to afros and jazz, when really single parent hood is probably more aligned with rap and being a video vixen (new rap, not old school), both of which in my opinion are a plague on the black community.

  • Wanda

    I saw directly how the culture changed. In fact during my youth, had I chosen to bring a child into the world without a husband, it was not only viewed as an anti-Christian act by me, it was viewed as almost a form of child abuse.

    Extended family members used to regularly take the baby away from the unmarried mother. Back then it wasn’t just about being a “teen mother” because teens were getting married and were expected to raise children correctly.

    Children who were born to an unmarried mother were taken in by married grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.

    Now today, we are the only group in this country where a majority of our children are born into a household with an unmarried mother. And also now, our communities are more dysfunctional today than they were even under Jim Crow.

    I’m hoping that one day, we will realize the harm that we’ve done against several generations by preferring the baby mama culture over marriage culture as we have, but sadly I am not optimistic.

  • Wanda

    But why do we always assume that these mothers are not shoddy and difficult themselves?

    It’s not like Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz are out here picking bad men to have children with. Please believe…

  • WhatIThink

    Most of the single black mothers I see are in their teens or early 20s. This is the group that is most prone to having immature views on sex and prone to having a promiscuous lifestyle that creates the environment for unwanted births.

    Then following that you got women in the mid to late 20s who are single with multiple children, who started early and are just following on with the same behaviors.

    That is where most of this nonsense starts and yes that goes for both the immature black girls and immature black men who both have been fed a toxic diet of lies and propaganda by media and entertainment that they can go out and do all sorts of negative things with no harmful consequences. And by the time most of these kids grow up to know better they are set in their ways and don’t give a damn, which gets passed on to a new generation.

  • I got sense!

    @isolde3

    Her story doesn’t get much press because its not the majority of single mothers. Neither is Crystals. NO ONE ON HERE IS SAYING EVERY SINGLE PARENT IS THE SAME. Ok? Did y’all hear that? We are talking about the ones like the clutch author, the ones who are teens, the ones who are not financially stable, ect. If the shoe doesn’t fit don’t wear it. If what is being said doesn’t apply to your situation… If the majority were like Juliet we wouldn’t be having the issues in the black community that we are having now. Stop acting brand new PLEASE.

  • Fantastico

    @Marketing Gimmicks @P

    Be careful talking about compassion round here. Somebody might hurt ya!

    In addition to shaming single mothers there is a strong push to absolve single fathers who are either absentee or lacking in the parenting department.

    Despite popular belief, it’s part of a male’s responsibility to take care of his babies. Even if he is unable to contribute financially, he must contribute time and love. Even if the father like the mother was not planning on a child, they both have the responsibility to support the child.

    Even in marriages or relationships where the father is there he is too often not “present.” Too often he does not pull his emotional, financial, and direct child care weight.

    It’s because we give him a pass.

    As a country and as black women we support the notion that the successful family, marriage and child are the sole responsibility of Mothers and women yet to be Mothers.

    It just tickles me that these comments made by mostly black women support that idea. That’s funny! It takes the burden off of Fathers not living up to their name, and places it on Mothers.

    You truly are Selfless Strong Black women.

  • Truth

    Other races aren’t having more nor less unprotected sex than blacks. The problem is this condoms only nonsense. This notion that teens, young adults…. heck even adults in their 30′s can have sex without female contraceptives. We know regardless of race when trust is built and emotions and feelings are involved condoms are not used or not used all the time. It’s just human nature and a fact of life.

    Yet black women expect and are telling sexually active teen girls that they don’t have to use female contraceptive. It’s laughable. Bottom line, if you’re a healty teen or young adult female having sex w/o female contraceptives sooner or later you’re going to get pregnant. End of discussion.

  • Truth

    Never married black baby mamas are always glamorizing, promoting and defending being a baby mama. YET 90% of them either hate their baby daddies or if they could would pick a different father for their child. Misery loves comfort.

  • P

    You only hurt your kids if YOU allow those bad choices to (influence) your child.

    Example: Parent’s bad choice not to attend college. This choice will hurt your child due to economic hardship. The parent’s choice will hurt the child if she or he allows it to influence their child NOT to attend college or inspire the desire to.

    Being an “unwed” mother isn’t cosigning failure to continue.

  • Fantastico

    Write it! It needs to be written.

  • lol

    thank you!

  • Your Spirit, or Your Body

    Again, you are a grave exception, and deserve all my sympathy.

  • lol

    this made me chuckle;

    “As a country and as black women we support the notion that the successful family, marriage and child are the sole responsibility of Mothers and women yet to be Mothers.”

    no. single mothers do.

    when you have a baby with a man who doesn’t give a sh!t YOU put the onus on you. you absolve the man of his responsibility.

    if you have a baby with a man who has married you we can actually convince the man to pull his weight because HELLOOOOOO!

    He is there! he has shown that he wants to be there permanently by marrying you. things don’t always work out but divorced dads are more often than not in their kids lives, more so than baby-dadies.and if he married you chances are he can actually pay child support.

    you remove the responsibility from a man when you decide to bring his child into the world without a contract (marriage).

  • http://gravatar.com/libpatriot GeekMommaRants

    WOW! I’m from the US, where the last election was won by single/unwed mothers as the majority voting block in the nation. The comments above completely ignores this very real fact. The celibacy only lifestyle has NOT conquered the planet, folks are pairing off and having children, but are not marrying. This is true in Japan, Israel and most of Europe. This is NOT a black American woman phenome, no, this is what is happening on earth today.

  • Fantastico

    @ Red Pill the comedians honor their Mothers because they know their Fathers did not parent them.

    Once the baby is born only Mother’s are expected to live by the credo “Your hopes, dreams, and desires are subordinate to that child’s.”

    Poor single Mothers get scapegoated for their poverty as well as the irresponsibility of men.

    You say “My problem is that black boys and girls grow up seeing single mother homes, and they accept it as normal.”

    My problem is that boys and girls see Single Mothers doing all the parenting, the working and the struggling; while they see the Fathers shirking their parental responsibilities and “they accept it as normal”.

    Married or not. Planned or unplanned. Once a new life is involved both parties must take responsibility.

    Instead of supporting the parent doing their job they see her demonized while doing most if not all of the work.

    You ask “how do you explain a black girl’s reasoning?” She knows that since it’s kosher in the black and national community to absolve men of full parental responsibility including financial child support she has to find a way to support her family by herself.

    I believe in monogamy and marriage. I believe in both men and women working together to raise children.

    However as @leelah said single parent homes be they male or female “are not going away.”

    So, the first step in ensuring that all children have a chance we need a new standard.

    It is radical, yet very simple.

    Families be they traditional or not; planned or unplanned are the equal responsibility of both parents. Parents must equally co-parent in the emotional, direct care, and financial life of the family.

  • Lisa

    I don’t know why someone in her late 30s would be with a man for four years without na’an ring, but okay… Maybe if women made better choices from the get go they wouldn’t be 41 and talking about how they had to be single mothers because they were running out of time. How about not letting men waste your time in the first place?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    But that would require personal responsibility, so it can’t possibly be the solution.

  • Sharon Lowd

    How is it my problem when a woman (say 15 to 30 yrs) decides to have sex and becomes pregnant? Once the child is born, all of a sudden she can’t find/get the help she “wants”. A village? How about personal responsibility? Before I hear it from anyone – my first child was born when I was 16, in HS and living in a 2 parent home. I was stupid, careless and in love. My family bore the extra expenses and I handled everything else – shame, embarrassment, long nights with a crying baby, hurt, and heartbreak when I realized that my “Baby Daddy” was not going to be around – who would have guessed.

    Still and all – it was “MY” problem – not the community, the government or the village. It was rough, but like most of life’s problems, manageable. In other words – we got through it!

  • isolde3

    “We are talking about the ones like the clutch author, the ones who are teens, the ones who are not financially stable, ect.”
    _____________________________

    Oh no, you’re not lumping all single mothers together. You’re just putting a professional, single mother, with two graduate degrees, who said she wasn’t even poor, in the same boat with the ones who are teens and not financially stable, etc. Riiiiiiiiight.

    Just because someone isn’t brow beating you in particular, doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t be offended that someone is being brow beaten. “Rastaman” already gave a rundown of stats on “typical” single mothers (page 4? of thread), and they don’t fit the profile of the women critiqued in the three articles that Britni referenced from The Atlantic, Think Press, and The Wall Street Journal listed above. Poor/uneducated women in their teens and 20’s aren’t “the majority of single mothers” either, and yet they are frequent press fodder. So, my comment to Juliet still stands.

    And the irony of all of this is that ya’ll are so busy raging against poor, downtrodden single moms that you haven’t stopped to realize that the things that Britni and others who share her views have posited that would offer systemic relief (safe neighborhoods, adequate schooling, free birth control, quality health care, jobs that pay a living wage, affordable high quality day care, etc.) would improve the quality of life for all of us not just poor, single mothers, but no, no, no, let’s all sit here and rag on poor, single moms instead of focusing on those solutions because it’s so much more productive. Yeah, ok, whatever.

  • lol

    the respective mates of the women in Japan, Israel and most of Europe don’t leave these women to be single moms though, they stick around…

  • Jen Nelson

    There is nothing wrong with “choosing” to be a single parent. A women who wants to be single a parent should not get bashed for this lifestyle “choice”. I emphasize choice because getting pregnant is just that. A choice a woman makes with her own body by allowing a man to ejaculate inside without taking or using contraception. If you allow this to occur before you are married then you have consciously or subconsciously made the decision that you are fine with being a single parent.

  • lol

    this!

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Not really sure why so many people are up in arms about single mothers, the mother and child family is the most natural family formation there is.

    Heterosexual marriage and the nuclear family is as alien to the NATURAL FAMILY ORDER as gay marriage. :-)

    The mother and child family doesn’t require DNA tests, MARRIAGE or any other kind of socially constructed support and it doesn’t require a contrived moral framework to underpin it.

    If society is becoming more single mother then it’s simply reverting to what is natural. Marriage on the other hand is clearly unnatural because it can’t survive without the supports it rests on. T

    That’s why we’re seeing single mother numbers increasing. Marriage only works if you oppress women and burden men. Force them into an unnatural relationship called marriage to produce babies who will also grow up to work your machines.

    Well technological “advances” in industry have eliminated much of the labor intensive work that gave unskilled workers jobs and fed families. The globalization of the job market ie job exportation, has lowered wages for skilled workers in developed countries because they now have to compete with foreign workers who cost less to employ. The result is that no one can afford marriage.

    The end.

    But if people want to have babies in wedlock, out of wedlock or totally freestyle, then that’s their damn business and their right. Why should poor people have to wait until they’re rich to have children?

    When’s that gonna happen?

    Nobody was rich back in First Human Africa yet people survived and lived long healthy happy and peaceful lives How? because they lived off the land free of charge.

    We can’t live off the land today because somebody says they own it. So those who claim to own everything should pay for everything.

    Marriage aint got nuttin to do wiv it.

  • http://gravatar.com/ceecollegegal CeeCee

    “Stop talking about single mothers unless you have some solutions”

    I agree with the author 100%. At the end of the day, talking about what single parent moms should have done or should do is a waste of time, because lets face it; the children are already here. The only thing that can be done now is to prevent future generations of black women from becoming young single moms.

    Single parenthood is never going to end because no one has tried to end it in the U.S. There are no national programs being implemented to educate youth on sex nor are birth control pills available to the masses. The U.S. is way behind other industrialized nations when it comes to sex education and affordable contraceptives; as a result, the teenage pregnancy rate remains one of the highest in the world.

    In other countries you can get condoms in vending machines for less than ten cents and birth control pills over-the-counter for less than five dollars.

    Also, a part of the problem is our culture; young women act like it is cool to have a baby. As many posters have already stated, the whole baby mama and baby daddy culture is just out of hand, but the media is partially to blame for that. Music and television shows directed towards blacks do not depict families (a black family in the white house is simply not enough….people need to be exposed to black families on a daily basis). There needs to be more positive programming directed towards youth.

    Another issue is that men need to be held responsible for having children and then abandoning them. There are just far too many deadbeat dads, it has become a culture and viewed as okay for men not to care for their children.

    Any way, this will be the last time I comment on this issue. The only thing that anyone can do now is to promote OTC birth control pills and fight for a national sex education program.

  • http://gravatar.com/cemab4y cemab4y

    Black Males (I dont call them “men”) need to “MAN UP”. Marry the girl first, then jump in the rack. Black Females (I dont call them “women”), need to learn to quit flat-backing, and hold your potential spouses up to a higher standard.

    The social pathologies of single parenthood are well-established. All people, regardless of race, need to show some responsiblity. If you want to have a child, or children, do it in the context of marriage. Better for you, better for the child, better for society.

    Keep it zipped, my brother!

  • Perspective

    “And while I don’t fit neatly into many/any of the statistics trotted out in most of the articles—I was raised in a two-parent home, I have a two degrees, I’m a professional, and I’m not poor—I still feel like my solo-parting sisters and I are under attack.”

    What does the fact that you have 2 degree, came from a two parent home, are professional, and not poor have to do with your ability to raise a boy – and the fact that none of the above is reflective of the majority of single parent homes out here.

    Also – pointing out that you were raised in a two parent home doesn’t even seem worth mentioning because that is something that you son WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SAY and use as a braggadocios talking point.

    Clearly there must be an advantage to a two parent home since you brought it up and added it to YOUR DEGREES AND PROFESSIONALISM – which undermines your counter argument to the ATTACK on single mothers.

  • Perspective

    I’m guessing the fact that you CAME from a two parent home is supposed to signify that you can RAISE A BOY in a single parent environment and have him come out JUST FINE.

    flawed logic!

  • Perspective

    When I got pregnant with Le Kid, my first thought was I CAN’T have this baby!

    I was unmarried (but in a long-term relationship), I had just been laid off from my job, I didn’t have health insurance, I was a semester away from finishing graduate school, I was living 3000 miles from home, and I was terrified

    —————-

    So in other words you and the guy u were sleeping with were irresponsible with your reproductive abilities. Unprotected sex – God knows how many times a week.

    I get tired of those who want to act like THESE THINGS JUST HAPPEN.

    “Hey man, I was just walking, slipped on a patch of ice and feel into a vagina”

  • Perspective

    Here’s my beef with most articles about single mothers, though. Instead of providing actual solutions about how to better educate, arm, and support women BEFORE they become pregnant, most tend to focus on what will happen after you get knocked up.

    —————

    Ummmm ur mom told you to wait until you were married to not have sex.

    You had sex anyway (UNPROTECTED!)

    For people who DON’T LISTEN – what could be done!? You even pointed out that you had BAD examples of what happened to girls who got pregnant and how they dropped out – but there you were having unprotected sex nonetheless.

  • I got sense!

    Im not raging against anyone so stop with the pity party. What you don’t seem to understand is that EVERYBODY whether you are a single parent or not wants those things. As you stated it would improve the quality of life for everyone but if those things are harder to get when you have a child that you can’t afford whose fault is that? The author didn’t have $400 to get the abortion she was trying so hard to get so she obviously wasn’t financially stable. So her situation falls squarely into the ” lump” . Let me make it plain and simple. Everyone, regardless of where you come from, should NOT have kids they can’t afford because while there are some black single mothers producing scholars and the like this is not the MAJORITY of the black community and is the exception not the rule. Let me make it even plainer. If 72% of black children are born out of wedlock and of that less that 25% are better off than their parents (I.e. employed, no criminal record, no kids out of wed lock that they can’t afford, no govt assistance, etc) that’s a problem. If by large unwed couples were taking care of the kids, providing safe homes, not getting involved in gangs, buying homes, etc this would not be an issue because no one would care but that’s not the case.

  • Perspective

    systematic racism, failing schools, inadequate access to health care, the crushing cost of college, and access to jobs that pay a living wage

    ———–

    Well I’ll be damned – I didn’t know all these things prevent people from getting pregnant!

    Damn and all this time I was using condoms and having my girls on birth control!

  • noir45

    If black women didn’t have children out of wedlock, we would eventually cease to exist. In a perfect world, one would be married (if they chose) and children would be raised in a two-parent home, but we all know that is not the case.

    Unfortunately, many black women want to marry, but you know the story, so what if she wants children? Many single women are more than able to raise a child on their own, so I say go for it! If you are mentally, financially, and physically able to take care of a child, I say have at it!

    We can’t sit around waiting for Mr. Right.

  • noir45

    Key word is “before enslavement” and even after enslavement. Women could not get on welfare with the man still at home.The black family is under major attack. It has been since since slavery and it continues to be. Black boys are encouraged to date “out” and that’s cool if one falls in love, but you have middle and high school black boys saying they wanna white girl. You have black women with not much to choose from, so what she’s supposed to do if she wants a child?

    If she wants to have a child and can take care of the child, I say go for it with or without a man. We can’t sit around waiting for Prince Charming. If we do, the black race would become extinct.

    Just saying.

  • Pseudonym

    THIS!

  • Pseudonym

    I didn’t point any fingers at anyone. It takes TWO PEOPLE to conceive a child and I am well aware of that. I’m just sick and tired of single mothers with horrible baby daddies trying to defend a not-so-great circumstance just b/c they happen to be in it. ( (I mean, a lot of these women aren’t even co-parenting, they’re straight up single, sans any support financially or emotionally to the child from the father single mothers)

    I don’t think single mothers should be attacked, however I do believe that single motherhood should be and wish that in the black American community this whole “baby daddy/baby momma” lifestyle was looked down upon instead of accepted as a norm. That ‘ish is dysfunctional for more reasons than ten, so let’s stop spreading lies. People make mistakes. Every woman who commented on this post who is not a single mother has made another mistake. Doesn’t mean we should go around trying to pretend that my bad decisions weren’t bad decisions just to make myself feel better.

    B/c I’m sure that many of these women defending their baby momma status were of the “anti-single motherhood” opinion before they found themselves with child and sans man.

  • Whip

    The real issue isn’t that over 70 percent of black mothers “choose” to raise there children as single mothers. I say “choose” because it is a woman’s choice to allow a man who is not her husband to ejaculate inside of her without taking or using contraception. When contraception is not used with a man who is not your husband, you are either consciously or unconsciously making the decision that you are fine with being a single mother.

    Now again there is nothing wrong with being a single mother. The real issue in urban black communities is the welfare culture. I have no answer for why it is that the poorest black men father the most children. And the lowest income black women have the most children. Leading to a sky high black child poverty rate.

    In Chicago the rate of black children living in poverty is over 50 percent. Which is double the poverty rate for blacks overall. Most of these kids statistically aren’t given a chance in life. As adults, most of these children will end up in prison, murdered, infected with hiv, or poor welfare single mothers themselves.

    What we have to change is the culture of welfare in the black community. It’s perfectly fine to “choose” to be a single mother. But why is it that middle class and working class blacks aren’t fathering and mothering nearly as many children as poor black men and women are. The black community is being out bred by the lowest members of our society.

    I live in an affluent predominantly black suburban community where the median household incomes are over $100,000 a year. Property taxes and home values are high. But the schools share district boundaries with a nearby less affluent black community. And that neighborhood has by far more kids attending the school district then the community that I live in. So the area school district’s student body is made up of over 60 percent low income students. The test scores are awful and the schools are not safe schools to send your children to because the behavior of so many of the low income students at school. Fights and gang activity are common at the schools.

    So my point is I am percectly fine with over 70 percent of black women “choosing” to be single mothers. But why are the poorest blacks doing most of the breeding. The black men with good careers aren’t the ones fathering most of these children. And the black women with stable incomes and nice homes aren’t the mothers to most of these kids either. It’s the black men who are in and out of prison, without any means to support therechildren who most poor black women seem to be “choosing” to have children with.

    It isn’t uncommon to see a black man who doesn’t have a job and has a felony prison record. Yet he has fathered 3 or 4 children before the age of 30. I always wonder what is it that is so appealing about this kind of guy that makes so many women want to have a baby them. While aren’t these women having babies with men who can afford to support children? Are these type of men not seen as being sexually attractive? I just don’t understand the welfare culture.

  • alldawg

    Why is it that women want to talk about the lack of discipline that men have, all these babies that they are making, and all these women they are “running through”, but get upset when I make a point to say that same lack of discipline also resides in women, because how else would a man be able to make all these “babies” if all these wombs weren’t available to him? How else would a man be undisciplined, unless he was dealing with an undisciplined woman? How else would men be able to run through women, if women weren’t passing their wombs like batons in a track meet? I mean really. If you want to know why all these men are able to do all those things, instead of asking them…why not ask the WOMEN that allow it by giving these men permission? I just love how I am told that Women are the source of everything, how they are the life force, you know all the stuff that makes being the source sound good, until I use this situation as an example, then all of sudden they aren’t the source of everything lol. Which one is it? You can’t be the source when it’s admirable and convenient, but want to run when being the source places you in a less than favorable light.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    I don’t know what planet these people live on where procreation in their world only happens in the “idealized” affluent, college educated, two parent, suburb dwelling, married buppie circumstances, that they deem appropriate for baby making.

    When has that ever been the case for any significant number of blacks in the Americas? Shit, Africans were held in captivity for 400 years, as far from an ideal situation in which to have and raise children as you can get, yet they produced children, even against their will, (out of wedlock (because they weren’t allowed to have white people’s marriage) and increased their fertility rates year on year.

    I would say that tells us something very important about the mechanics of procreation that some here seem unable to grasp. That the drive to procreate is more than just a hard wired instinct that merely prompts the desire to have children. It does much more than that, it compels us to make babies, especially in hard times. The harsher the social and environmental conditions the stronger the instinct to survive and make babies.

    Indeed, the poorer you are, the more controlled you are by the procreative instinct. White people’s contraception can’t defeat that. If it could we would have died off in Slavery. So people need to shut up about contraception.

    We aint taking any, we’re having MORE babies any way we choose. Tell white people to have marriage instead of babies. Let their ever reducing economic prospects dictate their behavior.

    If instinct can be modified or overcome by socio-economic realities, then let white people lead by example and stop resorting to all manner of “scientific” witchcraft to stem their declining fertility rates.

    Until then we’re having beautiful black babies out wedlock because having babies is a right that we claim without any fools permission. We’re not apologizing for having babies or explaining why we have them out of white people’s wedlock. And we’re demanding the resources necessary to raise our children in comfort and security because the bounty that the world provides to support ALL LIFE is NOT OWNED by Bill Gates or Oprah, or any other rich parasite.

    We don’t have to justify our existence or check our biological imperative to reproduce until we can afford pay the taxes and rent white people charge us for living in OUR world.

    GTFOH!

    They didn’t create or invent of the resources found in the earth that they appropriate unto themselves and deny to others. What the world gives belongs to ALL.

    Now I understand that the “personal responsibility” zombies (as in “living” dead) in this comments section want to stop the enquiry at the point where they tell poor black people to stop having babies they supposedly can’t afford. Coz you’re the good black people who don’t ask questions, just do what white people tell you to do. Rule following conformists. Ideal gas chamber fodder. Good for you, I’m sure you’ll form an orderly line when they tell you to report for your “shower”.

    As for the rest of the black community who don’t follow white people’s rules – WE’RE HAVING BABIES AND TAKING BACK OUR WORLD.

  • Lisa

    Oh, and it kills me how people then want to throw God in there to try to justify some mess. I don’t think God’s plan involves women going out and having babies on their own because they chose to stay with sorry men for four years… own your decision and leave God out of it. Black folks kill me trying to twist God to fit some mess…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ron.johnson.31586526 Ron Johnson

    Bashing single moms is unproductive and doesn’t solve any problems, however, if we’re talking about the black community, single parenthood is a real problem. (I’m a product of one) Statistically, we are most likely to perform poorly in school, get into trouble, grow up in poverty, etc. The list goes on and on. These statistics can be verified all over the Internet.

    This issue needs to be discussed in an open and non-gender war environment. 70% of us grow up in single parent homes. This is an embarrassing and shameful statistics to have.

  • http://dailylifeandliving.blogspot.com/ Amor

    I think these discussions should not only focus on the idea of being “unwed.” I think being wed or married is something that has a different meaning to every culture or religion. I don’t think also the discussion should also focus on women only…Why? Because these women did not make the babies themselves. So in order to have a fair argument about single parent mothers; the discussion should be rephrased to be that on single parent families because they are also “invisible” single parent fathers. We don’t have to ask whether these women are marrried,divorced or widowed. But I think focusing on the basics of how to help any woman or man who has to end up raising a child alone whether they are Caucasian, African American or Hispanic is the key. We have to look at both sides of the argument or else we might end up being a part of the problem instead of the solution.

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    Not only that. Most colleges and universities offer free contraceptives at students health centers and other facilities on campus. She could have gotten it without even paying a dime.

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    *Sent the first comment from my phone had type errors in it. You can delete the first comment I reported myself hoping you would see it. Thanks.

    This was an awesome post. As single mothers all we can do is move forward learn from the careless choice, and do better from there. Its sad because a lot of single mothers see assistance as a crutch and they don’t see it as a starting place to eventually get out of that place and pay their own bills and buy their own groceries one day. All single mothers are NOT created equal. We all don’t rip and run in the streets or act ghetto. There are a lot of young or older single moms out here who are educated and are going great places in there lives. We are just looked down on because we aren’t married. Does that make it right that we had child out of wed lock.. NO it doesn’t its not fair to the child or the people around you that the decision effects. BUT the decision is made and you have to move forward and make sure next time you decide to have a baby that you are married and financially stable. There is someone out there for you single mothers don’t let anyone fill your hear with lies. With God ALL things are possible. “Saved people” quote that all the time but in certain situations they put limitations on what it applies to. There are no limitations on Gods word. Yes we all have choices but everyone will not make the right choice all the time. Everyone deserves forgiveness, you are no better that the bum on the street when it comes to that. You make mistakes and asks god for His forgiveness, so why cant the single mother be forgiven and given a second chance? We are still somebody, but we have to move forward doing better, and teach our children about marriage and being stable before having children. Our children will thrive and go far, but as the mother not the father you have to lead and teach them twice as much. Parenting family unit or single parent home is a commitment and should be taken seriously. And don’t talk down about their father to them they don’t deserve to hear that no matter how hurt you are. Put the hurt aside and do whats right. God bless!!!

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    I like this. I think a lot of young single mothers don’t feel the shame, because it’s become almost acceptable to see young girls pregnant in HS these days. I know i felt the shame and guilt, I knew it was wrong what I had done. I felt everything you described in your comment. I’m glad it got better for you!!! God Bless

    And yes it’s not ones responsibility but yours.

  • Me

    How could he have something to do with the baby without dealing with her? It’s not possible and I truly do feel sorry for the kid but they are both being selfish. She should realize that without a job and a couple hundred dollars in child support she isn’t helping a kid. She should have given it up for adoption and bettered her life. She’s selfishly thinking of her feelings instead of the life this child could have.

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    Most actually are on good terms with their child’s father well I know that I am. We have a great Parenting Relationship/Friendship. And yes I’m a Black women. He knows that he was wrong for not being an active father before, but all has been forgiven. And I don’t have to defend myself as being a single mother. I know the choice I took part in making was wrong. Once I felt the shame and guilt, because it wasn’t fair to my child or myself, BUT I don’t continue to beat myself up about it either. You can only move forward, Making better choices, work hard to have a better life and expose the child to a nicer lifestyle as well as teach the child to do better. I guess people don’t really hear about situations as mine because you do have lots of girls who see nothing wrong with having a child or children by more than one guy at a young age or in their adult lives. All single mothers are NOT created equal. Yes its not ideal, but the decision has been made, and you can only realize that’s not what you want to continues to happen in your life and move forward and take motherhood seriously as it should be.

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    Yes some of the men aren’t ideal to have children with, but most people fail to realize it doesn’t matter what side of life you are on lower class, working class or wealthy if you are doing what it takes to make a baby it’s your choice and it only takes one time for anything. You don’t have to be out here running loose. I was thought to be the careful responsible one of my mother’s children and i thought so myself, I made excellent grades, i sat at the front of the class with the “white” students, and my teachers loved having me in their class. After I graduated HS 3 months later I got pregnant. So it’s not about who you choose, but its about the choice to have sex in the first place. You have that choice. Even wealthy fathers don’t stick around, and then the girl may choose to have an abortion. The problem isn’t any obstacles or lack of opportunity it’s the choice to have sex.

  • Nicole

    I don’t really understand this article. The author claims that she was educated about sex, but then she became a babies mamma/single mom.

    The only education that one needs regarding this issue is, THERE’S A POSSIBILITY THAT YOU CAN GET PREGNANT IF YOU HAVE SEX, EVEN IF YOU USE BIRTH CONTROL BECAUSE THE BIRTH CONTROL CAN FAIL YOU.

    If you truly want to ensure that you will not be a babies’ momma, don’t have sex, until he puts a ring on it. It’s really that simple.

  • Nicole

    Most BW who are single moms, do not realize that the children do not usually do well. The majority of the males end up incarcerated and uneducated, while black girls from these homes often grow up to simply repeat the cycle.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

  • noir45

    “Still and all – it was “MY” problem – not the community, the government or the village.”

    I grew up in a society where people helped one another – a TRUE community. It didn’t matter whether the issue of struggle was the person’s fault or not. We all did what we could, i.e. helping with food, grocery shopping, babysitting – that was then. Society has changed so much. It’s about, “I can do this or that on my own.”

    Of course having a child would be a particular person’s problem,” but that’s what communities do, and that’s why communities other than blacks, work together.

    BTW, there are some black people who still look out for one another regardless. They don’t condemn; they assist.

  • noir45

    Excuse me but those women you are talking about come in all shapes, COLORS, or sizes. I hate when people make blanket statements like, “esp. black women” as if they know the behavior of other women outside the black community. How many black women are there with children? If you have spoken to all of them, then quit make statements you can’t back up. This comment is a bad as a racist saying that men, especially, black men, are criminals when they’ve bought into the lies and propaganda people have been told to keep blacks thinking they are inferior.

    I’m a CASA worker, and let me tell you that I go into homes of WHITE, LATINA, and NATIVE AMERICAN homes where the kids are living in horrific condition. Many of these women usher men in and out of their houses doing one night stands, neglecting their children and even allowing these men to have sex with their children.

    Black people are always so quick to believe every negative aspect of what they hear, yet don’t have the sense to research what’s been told to them by a racist establishment.

  • noir45

    Where are you getting your information from? Do you know how many millions of black women are on this earth.

    You know, what we need to discuss is undoing the brainwashing blacks have been subjected to for centuries. I mean, really. We just hear all these things and never question them? Based on what do we know these statistics about single mothers is true.

    Some single mothers WANT TO BE SINGLE. They are able to afford their children and don’t want a man. Do I believe a child should have two parents. Yes, in an ideal world, but the world isn’t ideal. Men are not plentiful, so what’s a single woman to do if she wants children? Wait for a man? Please. If she can have a child and can afford to take care of that child financial, mentally, and physical, i say GO FOR IT.

  • Rose

    Yea..thing is

    There are studies that show that the more education you have, the less likely you are to have a lot of kids or kids at all in your 20s. Who’s having most of the babies? People in the hood, who mostly come from single parent homes themselves. Not Shonda who’s at Harvard law. Although the writer herself got pregnant in grad school, which is no one’s fault but her own. But even her case is a rarity.

  • Daijana

    What’s your point? Coming from two parent home = not knowing how to raise a boy. Thanks?

  • Stephanie

    I don’t think she meant crushing cost of college, access to decent-waged jobs, etc. prevent pregnancy nor do I think she meant they cause it.

    But the conditions of one’s environment has some influence on that person’s life choices, including when a woman becomes a mother.

    And for those who sing the praises of condoms and birth control; sh*t happens…condoms break; birth control fails. The only way to prevent unplanned pregnancies, STIs or any biological mishap that results from sexual intercourse is through abstinence. Period.

    But what’s wrong with helping the single mothers who DO want to become contributing members of society? Yes, there are women who abuse government assistance and have children like it’s a job. But the 17-year-old who still wants to go to university to earn her degree, get that high-paying job and settle into life with a husband/partner who contributes equally, she just happens to be pregnant/with a child, why not help her?

    I support women who take responsibility for their sexual decisions and consequences. But I also think it’s okay to support the women who take responsibility for their sexual decisions/consequences, are still determined to do better yet lack the means (whatever they are) to do so.

  • NiceGuy4WhiteFemale

    Poverty is a choice in a way. The choices the person makes leads to their poverty. While they don’t directly seek poverty, they do make bad choices which creates the conditions for their poverty. Example, I woman has 4 bastard children by 4 unemployed men. While she didn’t ask for poverty, the choices created the conditions for her to be in poverty.

  • noir45

    NiceGuy4WhiteFemale,

    That’s one scenario. There are also many women who were stay at home mothers who got divorced or had to run for her life and she wound up homeless, so the notion that someone wants to be in poverty is preposterous.

  • Darcy

    The term “single mom” is tossed around too much. Do we just mean a woman who has no help whatsoever from the father? As someone else questioned, is a woman who lives with the father who contributes financially considered a “single mom” because she files single on taxes? Is a woman who is divorced or not in a relationship with the father, yet the father is heavily involved in the child’s life really considered raising the child by herself? I often hear women touting that they are a single mom just because they are not in a relationship with the father. Even if the father only sees the child on weekends and holidays, but builds a relationship with the child and contributes financially to me that is not a single mom. If a two parent household has two people who are uneducated, don’t motivate themselves or their children, then what are the chances for that child? Single parenthood can be an issue of course, but the larger issue I think is poverty. Contrary to popular belief, there are single white moms. However, we don’t seem to see as many white men raised by single parents turning out to be thugs, or embrace a criminal lifestyle. So again, I think it is mostly a class issue and access to resources.

    I just see so many different situations and hear the term uses so haphazardly that I don’t think it’s as easy as condemning any woman who is not legally married to the father. In some situations, the relationship just didn’t work out and two people are able to co-parent (yes, even some blacks do this). Sure, having a two parent household and having a child with someone who you are committed to is the ideal situation, but I don’t like how this article has become a place where women are just marching in to proclaim how they’re 27, 35, 40 etc. and they’ve managed not to be a single mom so everyone else who has is immoral, stupid, or lazy. Whether directly or indirectly, that is the tone that some people are having not realizing like many things in life it’s complicated.

  • http://twitter.com/Fuckthestruggle Jason E (@Fuckthestruggle)

    You aren’t even the topic of that article. That article was addressing “single mothers” as in NOT MARRIED. You were married. Go away, you are cluttering the topic.

  • Crystal

    I’m starting to think men leaving their wives is not an exception any more. It’s now become a trend. I do believe some women make poor choices, but there are just as many situations where the men quitting mid stream. Yet, all the articles are directed toward women. When is someone going to start addressing men?

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For by what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and by what measure you measure out, it will be measured out to you And why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam of wood in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, ‘Allow me to remove the speck from your eye,’ and behold, the beam of wood is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the beam of wood from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye! Matthew 7:1-5.

    I felt the need to post this, because reading the comments there was a lot of judging going on. And I’m not addressing the sinners you cant exspect but the worst from most og them. Im addressing the saved people, “the practing chritians, or “the church goers.” You all should know better and you should know that prayer can go and do what we as people cant do. The sad part is that most of you are charging single mothers but behind closed doors you are doing some of everything. The reason why God cant hear from heaven and heal the land is because the “so saved church folk” are doing some of everything nowdays that they arent seeking God for the problems this world faces. Yes we have choices and no God does not have a thing to do with your decisionmaking, but he dosent hold it against you either. Thats why I love God because no mattet who you are no mattet what wrong you have done if you realize the sin or the trangression and repent you will be forgiven. Im so glad he sent his son to die for our sins and thats all Jesus came to do not to charge or judge usfor what we did wrong, but to simply show us the way to eternal life and pay the price for sin. If you are striving to be like christ but you are judging others for what errors they made or continue to make you are not on the right path. Jesus had love and compassion for sinners and even ask God to forgive the ones who beat him for they know not what they say or do. Nobody really preaches the true gospel anymore all you hear about is how God can bless you and grow your business like hes some kind of wish grantor or something. God is a Good God to put up with half of these so called christians people are more connected with God in there homes and hearts than in the church house. Its a shame you praising God but judging single mothers and anybody else who ever errored. You and I are not worthy and are as filthy rags. It will be all over one day and no matter if you had a baby out of wedlock or wad addicted to drugs all that will matter is were you saved and was your heart right/clean. I hope you saved people “practicing christians” and “church goers” self examine yourself and stop judging others. Get the plank out of your eye ( whatever it maybe) before you try to remove the sawdust from your brotherd eye. God bless!

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Black men & women must have more babies. PREFERABLY OUT OF WEDLOCK.

    Having babies is not a crime, it is the purpose of human existence.

    We will not apologize for having children.

    We don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why we have babies out of wedlock..

    We will not allow ourselves to manipulated into black man vs black woman conflict over who is to “blame” when we have babies out of wedlock.

    Marriage is irrelevant as a factor in having babies and SO IS RELIGION and all other kind “moral” doctrine.

    The Mother and child family is the most natural family formation there is

    it beats out heterosexual marriage which can only be maintained with artificial props, and it beats out the disgusting mockery of male/female reproductive energy called called gay marriage.

    I mean, I guess I’m the only who is struck by how deeply this society has fallen into the pits of its own sewage when the most natural family, ie that of mother and child, has to defend its existence while at the other end of the pole we celebrate gay marriage and pat ourselves on the back for our liberalism and tolerance of practices that can only result in our extinction.

    I’ve often been at a loss to understand why we blacks do things that seem “maladaptive” but when you look closer, the things we do often make perfect sense as the preferred choice over what we’re told we should do.

  • dbsm

    Yes, Nicole, the way you stated it is quite simple. And I suppose if it were that simple in practice, there wouldn’t be so many babymamas.

    Someone has stated on another recent article, that Clutch has become a forum where [black] people come on here to declare how great they are in comparison to the people talked about in theses articles (I paraphrased this but the commentor said it much better than this). I wonder about this superiority complex that exists and if it is actual or feigned….

    …because all of this I am better than you because: I am abstinent,I always use protection, I let him put a ring on it before I had sex/had a baby, I have been married [insert years here] years…sounds all find an dandy until you realize that if you are comfortable where you are, with who you are, and proud of your own choices, you would not have the need to speak so horribly of others. Are those of you that are so great in all of your greatness unable to identify with the struggles of the commonfolk? If babies are “out of wedlock” at 70%, then that is what is common.

    Birth control created by man has deleterious effects, short-term and long-term, that are not often spoke about because they are not known by many. Just because you think you are good on birth control does mean everyone is.

    The urge to have sex is primal and had been identified a basic need along with food and water. Just because you do not have the urge or perhaps you are “successful” with its repression does not mean that this exists for everyone.

    In addition to the urge for sex, there is the urge to procreate, which may or may not be separate from the urge to have sex. Most women spent the greater half of their lives having the ability to reproduce. And for men, perhaps their entire lives. There are periods of time where women ovulate more than one time of month. The desire for sex is typically higher in and around ovulation.

    As another commentor has said, single mothers aren’t going anywhere. However, continuing to speak about single mothers to no avail renders that same single father invisible. This is advantageous for men. Men control their sperm and who they put it in. Another commentor said that women made the choice to have men’s sperm in them and I have always said the opposite: it is not a requirement that any many ejaculate in or around any fertile vaginas. Pregnancy should be the expectation in this case, and not the exception.

    That the women on this site bash single women is to be expected because the oppressed become the oppressors: women participate in their own oppression. This is why rape defense attorneys try to get a jury that consists of a majority of women. Women on a rape case = not guilty for the rapist.

    How many people here have the foresight to pick a great Black man who exhibits all the necessary characteristics and will be with you for an eternity? What type of magically/heavenly abilities do you possess that the rest of the commonfolk don’t? With a divorce rate above 50% and kids being split and tossed here and there post divorce/break up, why are you still touting those outdated and misconstrued/misapplied two parent statistics? A great deal of women fall into poverty post divorce. Ask white women this and stop looking at celebrity divorce for your news. Hang around these post-divorce children and then ask yourself if the 3-6-10 years they spent in their lovely two parent family made them better than the poor single mother’s children. Ask these families how the court system full of profiteers: judges, attorneys, psychologists, child custody evaluators, parenting coordinators, has bankrupt them all in the name of post divorce family restoration.

    The problem is not the mother and child. The motherbaby is one unit and yet we seem to do our best to destroy it. What consequences has our destruction had? Look around.

    The best indicator for a child’s well-being is the emotional well-being of the mother (not money, not father’s presence)–mother because that who is typically been the primary caregiver of children. Emotionally healthy women tend to produce great kids, poor or not.

    And then I wonder if all you “good Blacks” cease to reproduce, and succeed at getting the horrible single mother to stop having babies, what will happen to the Black race?

  • http://www.shudiaramcmillianwriting.com Shudiara M.

    When you bring God and his word into a discussion noone can say anything they just dislike it. Gods word stands and it will never change for anyone. Heaven and earth will pass away before that happens. Im not preaching down to anyone but if the word steps on your toes come up to the word and do better. No one seeks God anymorefor Him help you all are stuck on what situations look like and the statistics. You have no faith that anything will get better. And in this world it wont because your minds are focused on the wrong things gaining material things that are great to have but dont mean a thing. What are you doing to be proactive in stopping singlemotherhood in the upcoming generation? I guess not a thing because you all are to busy judging. God we need you…smh.

  • Truth

    Why in the world are you all trying to include never married baby mamas with divorced and widowed women? Those women had committed partners before having children.

  • Nicole

    It’s quite ironic that you only want to apply biblical verses that suit your interest, while ignoring the very verses, which would have helped you evade your current plight.

    Perhaps I have too much common sense.. better yet, perhaps I’m just one who actually believes in accountability and self control.

    If we continue to remain silent on this issue, the youth will continue to believe that it’s acceptable and it’s not. I’m tired of black babies/children getting the short end of the stick. All because some people want to have children, despite knowing damn well that the males in their lives will not stick around to support or raise those children.

    If anything, not having children will send a strong message to black males that they need to get it together, or face extinction. Presently, there’s no incentive for the majority of black males to stand by their families, all that they have to do is pump and dump and then move on to the next one. This type of behavior is actually lauded in the black community.

    Truly sad indeed.

  • http://gravatar.com/deechagirl SoDone…

    You’re having out of wedlock babies and causing havoc in the black community. Why be so indignant now? How hard is it to learn to close your legs or use protection until you know that you’re able to take care of a child?
    I’m sick of paying taxes for irresponsible people who think it’s someone else’s duty to pay for their mistakes.

    Be mad at my statement, but it’s the truth.

    TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BODIES AND MAKE BETTER CHOICES!

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