The Day After

I am so overwhelmed by all the wonderful things my friends and family had to say. Thank you so much. I don't know what I did to deserve such awesome people in my life but I appreciate it so much. I am surprised that there were no comments made from anger or hurt. Thank you so much. I know some of you may have felt dissapointment and shock but all I felt from your responses and emails was support and love.

So, this morning I woke up on a rampage about fathers. Where are the fathers? I mean literally and figuratively. I don't feel bad about being a single mother and I think maybe I should. Let me back up. Growing up, I never wanted to have children. When I found myself pregnant in college with Kalia, I decided to have her and thought "I can do this." My thesis was entitled "Moving Beyond Invisibility: America's Perceptions of Young, Single, Black Motherhood." In my thesis I proposed that the reason so many young, single mothers ended up on welfare or didn't live up to their dreams was because they didn't recieve the support necessary to succeed. I found my support and was able to graduate from Vassar and go on to Law School. I proposed that if everyone could feel as empowered as I felt and recieve the support I felt, there would be a lot more successful single mothers.

When I decided to get married, so much of my reasoning was because I had decided I didn't want to be a single mother anymore. Deciding to get married was the most rational decision I ever made. I just made a list of what qualities I wanted in a "family" and decided that outweighed what I wanted as an individual (big mistake). I put my needs and desires to the side for the good of having a family and "doing the right thing." I believed then that it was better for a child to grow up with two parents. Now, I'm not too sure. Well, I guess I'm sure that philosophically a child should have both parents but in today's world, I'm not sure that affords the child the best chance for success. (I've used success alot but I define that as the ability to be happy with who you are and feel comfortable achieving your life purpose, whatever that is).

The other thing I find myself pondering is why is it that regardless of how involved a father starts out- they have beef with the mom and check out. (Black fathers in particular) My father checked out after he and my mother were divorced and I didn't see him for five or six years. Now deja vu with my children's father. What is it in men that allow them to walk out despite the investment they have made in their children's lives? Why is it that women invariably end up carrying the "mother" load? I read today that there are more children growing up in single-mother households than in two-parent households. What does that say about society? Is that to be celebrated or criticized? Where do we go from here?
I'm actually happier not having to compromise about my children's upbringing especially since my ex was raised Muslim and had a lot different ideas about how to raise children. Since the divorce the kids sleep in my room some weekends and stay up late to watch life-changing programming like the American Idol finale. (who knew Prince would be there?) We have lots of fun and take life as it comes. They laugh when I burn dinner and we are learning to cook together. They are my best friends but I don't allow myself to become dependent on their company. I have to remain the "Mommy" and I do so. But will there ever be a "partner" for me to share this duty with? After the last year I'm not so sure that's what I want. Honestly.