- People will automatically assume that my son does not have a father. [the assumption is that black women do not know who the fathers of their children are, and when they do, that does not matter because all of our black men are imprisoned. That, I say, is the assumption.] Because I am a black woman, and he is a Black boy. It is not my job to prove them wrong.
- People will say they understand how busy I am and how responsible I have to be, but they truly don’t, can’t and probably never will. [The first time I reschedule, cancel, decline or leave early it is their assumption that I am unreliable, incompetent, uncommitted, and or taking the easy way out. That, I say, is the assumption.] They make it about them rather than considering someone else.
- People who offer to watch my child do so because they believe I need help raising him, not because they believe I could use a break. And when I decline, I am seen as unfriendly, silly, and immature. They will also tend to report to me how well behaved he is/was, they tend to seem shocked and/or they will report to someone else how bad behaved he is/was, noting they are not shocked, because, well, because he’s Black and is being raised by a young, single, mother.
- People will automatically assume that my child was an accident. [b|c the assumption is that people of color do not plan or want their children. We are just forced to raise them once they’re born. That, I say, is the assumption.] I do not have to share my story, to validate myself or reply to their assumptions.
- I am assumed to be a low-achieving and welfare receiving woman. [the assumption is that all young, black women with children receive government assistance, drop out of high school and refuse to work. That, I say, is the assumption.] If I told them I worked 50+ hours a week at a nationally ranked institution of higher education and have two degrees, a number of certificates and is currently a few semesters and a dissertation away from my PhD, they’d have a hard time keeping their jaws in tact.
- I am not invited to attend or encouraged to pursue similar career trajectories and or educational advances as other women of color w/o children or white women, because of my single-parent and woman of color status. [the assumption is that I won’t have the time or already have enough on my plate or cannot afford it. The choice is often times made for me because as a parent, there’s just so much I am already doing, there’s no way I could possibly make time for something that will serve as a benefit to me. That, I say, is the assumption.]
- Men expect me to appreciate their interest more-so than that of a single woman w/o children, because I have a child. [the assumption is that I’d be more than happy to have a man take me out because I am waiting for ANY man to come along and validate me because my options are slim and my child and I NEED him. That, I say, is the assumption.]
- Hard is an understatement. There are no days off. Not when I’m sick. Not when he’s sick. Doctor’s visits, midterms, parent-teacher conferences, football practices, school award nights, rent, food, his well-being, his development, my purpose and OUR future, are all MY responsibility. No one else’s, and yes, I mean no one else, is obligated to have their life revolve around my child, besides me.
- I have to speak up even when I’d like to be quiet because I am speaking for him and for me. I am his voice, until he develops his own. I have to keep that in mind when I disagree with his father, or when I’m challenged by his “it’s a holiday, bring him over” relatives. My expressing of my disappointment is highly scrutinized. [ the assumption is that if I disagree with my son’s father and or call him on his bullshit, I am bitter and I want him back. I’m an angry, black woman or typical baby mama. I ought to be happy with whatever help he gives me b/c there are so many other single moms of color who get no help at all. That, I say, is the assumption.]
- and lastly, I am not the first to do it. Fortunately and/or unfortunately, depending on how you view it, I will not be the last. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And my status as a young, single mother of color does not define or handicap me. In fact it empowers me. [ the assumption is that black women who make well, on their own with their children are a SUPER WOMAN of sorts. That is, I say, the assumption] But I’m no super-woman. I’m a Black woman, and as mothers,we are naturally prone to super-naturally, overcome odds.
And as an added bonus I’ll note one last thing I’ve learned and heavily considered lately, No one in this world can love, take care of, raise, teach, edify and pray over my son, like me. I am his anchor, so I have to be anchored in the right things. I am his voice. I have his best interests at heart in all things and in words similar to those Drake spoke, I’m the only one that get the job done. I don’t know a soul that can cover for me..
If you’re a young, single, mom of color, I encourage you to share this blog-post &/or encourage a young, single, mother of color to read it too!