Brown Sugar’s Single Momdom

In this journey of motherhood, I can honestly say that when I got married, I never saw myself being divorced. I spent nearly twenty years of my life with my ex husband, and now, I’m learning how to be a single Black mother all over again. Being single is the most liberating experience of my life! My 30s came with self reflection, growth, and maturity especially when I realized my two little ones depend on me for 98% of their development.

Here’s what I don’t understand. I work full time, and my career is pretty demanding. From 7:45 am – 4:30 pm, I’m solely responsible for making decisions for over 600 people (to whom much is given…). That did something to me to put that last statement in writing. Made me realize some stuff. As soon as I leave work, I get my two children, who are in grade school and middle school. Well, as a single parent, I’m responsible for listening to their day, checking homework, feeding them, getting active with them, doing a devotional with them, getting them ready for bed, and once they are in bed, I have to get clothes ready for school tomorrow, pack lunches, check folders and backpacks.

It would absolutely be easy if I could come home and rest on the couch, watch a good tv show, and nap to recover from the day. However, being a parent means I’m responsible for  preparing them to become productive citizens in a rapidly shifting society. In order to be effective in doing so, parenting requires sacrifice. Now, I understand that my ex won’t do things they way I will, nor will I always like the way he does things (part of the reason why we’re divorced), but when he actually does get something done, I have to just let it be. What is it about my ex that has handicapped him in such a way that he doesn’t have the ability to think critically?  He normally has the kids anywhere between 24-35 hours a week. There are no sacrifices because he doesn’t attend any of the kid’s events, school programs, games, or performances. I can only hope he cares enough to come see them be baptized this coming Sunday. There have been days when I didn’t eat lunch because during my lunch I was sitting at my children’s honors program, or I had to make up time on the back end because I was sitting at the doctor’s office all morning with one of my children. Men know what it takes to raise a child, but for some reason like to pretend as if their work schedules and personal lives take precedence over their children’s well-being.

Why is it that men feel that because they pay child support (and my ex doesn’t even pay $200/month), and they get the kids on their “assigned weekend,” that they are parenting their children? What about teaching them life-long lessons? What about providing our daughters with a standard for the type of men they’ll date? What about providing our sons with a role models? My ex has the freedom to move as he pleases. He can go to the gym after work. Go on dates when he wants. Rest whenever he’d like to.

Raising my children brings me new joys each day. They are growing into some of the most humorous, creative, compassionate, opinionated children I ever did love. It hurts to realize that the one I chose to procreate with will never provide my children with what I experienced with my own father, A father’s love. I wonder if they’ll ever have real stories to share like I do, memories that bring a smile across their lips, lessons to pass down to their own children? My children deserve more. I wish I knew better then in order to provide them with it.