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Single Motherhood Is a Wild Ride


See My Original Guest Post at Mahogany.com


Picture this: It was a typical Tuesday afternoon and I’m parked in my car, looking like a hot mess express with tears flowing like Niagara Falls. My 9-year-old son, armed with a cell phone and curiosity that could rival a detective, decided to drop a bombshell question on me. He casually strolls to the car, barely acknowledging my existence, and nonchalantly asks, “Mom, what is a strap?”


Yep, you read that right. I mean, seriously? I was not ready to give my son the ‘Birds and the Bees—2.0’ talk right then and there, but here he was asking about a term usually reserved for, well, grown-up extracurricular activities. This was a conversation I thought I could outsource to his non-existent father. But alas, there was no dad in sight. I am a single mom—a solo warrior—and there’s no other parent to pawn off this awkward task to.


The moment underscored the unique challenges that single mothers, especially Black women, often face. And believe me, this was just another day in my motherhood circus. You should’ve been a fly on the wall for the tampon conversation. Sometimes single motherhood is ghetto—zero stars.




Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Single motherhood is ghetto” sounds a bit harsh, right? But let me break it down. It’s not about throwing shade at anyone; it’s about acknowledging the obstacles and downright madness single moms deal with on a daily basis. You’ve got the grind of work, bills that pile up faster than a Jenga tower, laundry mountains that could give Everest a run for its money, and on top of it all, you’re expected to mold your child into a responsible human being.


But here’s where the plot thickens: when you’re a Black woman raising a Black son, you’re not just juggling the regular chaos of motherhood. You’re navigating a world riddled with racial disparities, systemic biases, and the monumental task of preparing your child to tackle these challenges head-on.


Circling back to that car scenario, it’s not just about explaining awkward terms, it’s about confronting the elephant in the room. For some of these conversations, I feel as prepared as a fish for a unicycle race. I mean, delicate subjects like sex or the intricate journey of masculinity and identity? It’s like trying to navigate a maze with a blindfold on. What if I say the wrong thing and scar my child for life? Am I giving him the female perspective or the male one? Lord, give me strength and maybe throw in a “Mom to Man” crash course while you’re at it.


So “single motherhood is ghetto” might not be the phrase we’d pick, but it’s a testament to the unique battles we fight. As single mothers—especially Black women raising sons—we don our superhero capes, roll up our sleeves, and step onto the battlefield of life every single day. We stare adversity in the face, shower our offspring with boundless love, and ready them for a world that can sometimes feel like an endless obstacle course.


Single motherhood is far from a leisurely stroll in the park, but it’s overflowing with love, determination, and an unwavering commitment to securing a brilliant future for our children. So, even though motherhood often feels like a rollercoaster ride in a theme park called ‘Life’s Challenges,’ I wouldn’t swap it for anything in the world.


Find positive male role models, you say? Now that’s a quest worthy of an epic adventure and akin to hunting for a mythical creature in a concrete jungle. Those mentorship programs and extracurricular activities that provide strong male role models often come with a hefty price tag. Want to enroll your son in a football or basketball camp with a stand-up coach? Be prepared to shell out hundreds of dollars. It’s like they’re charging us for access to decent role models! But we do what it takes; we scrape and hustle because we understand how crucial it is for our sons to have positive male influences in their lives.


But here’s the kicker: society often has a skewed view of little Black boys growing up in single-parent households. They’re unfairly pigeonholed or judged, as if their potential is solely determined by the absence of a father figure. It’s as if society believes that without a dad around, our kids are doomed to take the wrong path—like we’re running a delinquent factory. Well, let me set the record straight: my son is a force to be reckoned with, and I won’t let anyone limit his dreams based on our family structure.


So, if you hear “single motherhood is ghetto,” remember it’s not about belittling anyone. It’s about recognizing the herculean efforts single moms make every single day to ensure our children have every opportunity to shine. We’re not just mothers, we’re the CEOs of our households, the loudest cheerleaders, and navigators through life’s tumultuous seas. And we’ll keep doing it with love, determination, and an unbreakable belief in our children’s limitless potential.


So, yes, motherhood might be a rollercoaster, but we’re riding it like seasoned thrill-seekers. (Sidenote: If you have any tips on how I can explain this whole strap thing, I am all ears.)

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