"More than one-third of women who were cohabiting at conception and whose pregnancy was unplanned broke up with their partner by the baby’s 2nd birthday."
"70% of black children are born to single parent homes, a statistic that's higher for Blacks than any other ethnic group in the U.S."
These are some of the troubling statistics that have been running through my head for the past few weeks. But the problem with statistics is that they don't always paint the entire picture. So here's my story...
After four and a half years of off-and-ons, Aiden's dad and I have broken up. For good. [Insert a few tears and a huge sigh of relief here].
So that makes me a 26-year-old Black newly single mom.
While I refuse to use this place and space to speak badly about my son's dad, I will say that we are just not compatible. And before I could sit back, think about it, and realize the unfortunate truth -- we are just not compatible! -- I found myself pregnant. BAM!
So I did what I thought I should do as a mother-to-be. I forced us to be the perfect family -- father, mother, and child. I had this idea in my head of what a perfect family should be -- one that I was deprived of growing up -- and I tried to force this idea on a family unit that just didn't fit.
It took me awhile to figure it out and a lot of unfortunate situations, but even in the midst of those unfortunate situations, I held on to the false hope of my perfect family... And that false hope made me deal with with A LOT more than I should have.
When I finally came to the harsh realization that the relationship just wasn't working a few months back, I was held by a couple of things, but mostly by my fear of being -- gasp! -- labeled a single mother... as if that's the worst thing that could happen to me.
Afraid of being labeled yet another young, Black single mother, I stayed. For a long time. But I shouldn't have. Because, actually the worst thing that could have happened was that I stayed "for our son" and been miserable and take all of my frustrations out on our son. Displaced anger... for no good reason. Not to mention that I had many images in my head of me not functioning as an effective mother and Aiden being subject to seeing his parents bickering all the time, which wouldn't be pleasant. At all. The thought of that happening was one of the things that snatched me back to reality, and I now know that I deserve to be in a respectful and secure relationship. Period.
After months of torment, I now feel at peace knowing that I tried every thing that I could -- from coming up with a new life motto to doing things daddy's way to suggesting couples counseling... but it was wasn't working.
I'm in a better place now and I know that I am better off alone than trapped in an unhealthy situation. So I've come to embrace single motherhood and accept that this is my fabulous family -- just Aiden and me. And these picture look pretty darn perfect to me. Don't you think?
Surprisingly, after the break-up, I don't have as much resentment towards Aiden's dad ("as much" being the operative words here. LOL). I've let go of the negative energy that can suck all the life out of you if you let it, and I know how to communicate with him a little bit better, not bitter.
So cross your fingers and wish me well as I try my luck at this co-parenting thing.