Last Friday was no different. I woke up, rolled over and started scrolling. And then I came across this:
For me, seeing this was like getting smacked in the face with a dead fish at 6:00 am. The girl who posted it captioned it with things like, “#Mypagemyopinions” and “#Noshade.” (I’d just like to point out the fact that typing #noshade actually means #definiteshade 90% of the time; it’s like when people say, “I don’t mean to offend anybody…,” and then say the most offensive shit ever.) I stared at this post for a good 15 minutes until it accidentally formed a lump in my throat and traveled from there to my chest finally landing in my stomach and sitting there for the next two days. I debated whether or not to reply but then realized it was her page and she had a right to her opinions so I unfollowed her instead. But the image sat with me for most of the weekend.
For those of you who don’t get why this post bothered me so much let me explain a few things: 1) I am a Cancer so I am uber sensitive. Case in point, I cry when my favorite show is on reruns or when anyone says the word “conversate”. 2) I hate the 🙌🏾 sign with a passion. I don’t know why exactly, there’s just something arrogant about it. And 3) the statement that “A girl with 0 baby daddies is a blessing” connotes to some of us that the opposite must also be true: A girl with any baby daddies is a curse.
Now as you may have noticed, the title of this page is Badmommi. I’m assuming since you are very intelligent you have figured out from that title that I am a mommy. I am also assuming that if you have read some of my previous posts you have also deduced that I am a single mommy therefore I am that girl with the baby daddy so this picture got under my skin. I know most people’s response to my discomfort is, “Don’t take things personal,” and though I have made it my life’s mission to not give even 2 fucks, at times it becomes difficult to ignore the fuckery. Especially when you feel judged from near and far for things not completely in your control.
Being a single mom means having to constantly hear how bad you are. How it’s your fault for not wearing a condom (though I know plenty of people who have made the same mistake they just didn’t get caught #noshade) and then hear you’ve made your bed so lie in it. It means constantly biting your tongue when your single friends laugh in your face at memes that praise the joys of not having kids or make comments about how kids are a burden. It means getting the evil eye when you have to bring your kid to brunch at that restaurant/bar just to get in a couple of adult hours with friends. It means being told by guys that I’m “damaged goods” while having to watch them have child after child with different women and still be considered a catch on the dating market. Being a single mom means spending at least 50% of my day trying to convince myself I’m not a loser while taking in all the baby momma hating memes, tv shows, news reports, establishments and people.
I’m sorry but memes like this hit me personally because they reinforce the ideas that get communicated to me subtly and not so subtly every day. In our society, being a single mom is a disease with no immediate cure. But here’s some of my medicine: I sit down and write the good things about being a mom. I keep a grateful list that is my go to when I get down about the world’s hatred of me. That list includes all of the things that I can do as a mother and all the upsides of being a mom. Here are just a few on last list that keep me remotely sane:
I have purpose
Whenever Miles is gone I feel like I am missing something. I literally get up and get ready for my day, leave my house and then check for my keys, wallet and phone 50 times over because I feel like something is just not quite right. That is because having Miles around gives me purpose. He gives me a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to work hard, a reason to be strong and truth be told sometimes a reason to live. Having Miles has given me solid reason to reach for greatness, if only to teach him how greatness is a achieved and I am grateful for that.
I know how to share
Ever go to brunch with someone and they ask to have a bite off your plate? Most people give that scrunched up sour smile and reluctantly reply, “Sure”. I, on the other hand, genuinely smile and cut off a piece of my perfectly aged NY strip while goading you to take some salad too. I know how to share because I share my entire life with someone who usually doesn’t even ask as nicely to take something that’s mine. I don’t mind you partaking in bits of my life because I’m so used to being generous it’s ingrained in my being. Just don’t reach over if I’ve got crab legs in front of me; that’ll get you cut.
I’m a great listener
You ever asked a 3 year old how their day was? And then sat for the hour it takes for them to spit out, “It was good mom! I played with my new friend and I even stuck a tiny truck up my nose!” All of their sentences are littered with “Umm umm umm umm umm,” and tiny gasps for breath like they’re deep sea diving. The patience this activity has taught me is mind boggling and it has cultivated a very astute ear. Tell me anything! Want me to listen while you rant about that guy you’ve broken up with 16 times for the next two hours? Sure! I’ll be able to listen, bake a ham, clean the living room and give you advice all at the same time because mommyhood has also made me the ultimate multi-tasker. I’m like a human Swiss army knife.
I know how to dance
I’m responsible (sometimes)
If I did not have Miles I would probably be homeless. Period. I am literally the most free spirited, hippie, commune loving, nomadic woman ever but having a child reigns (most of) that in. He literally motivates me to pay bills each month. Rent? Oh yeah, I have to pay that because Miles needs someplace to sleep. Electricity? My baby can’t live with no heat on! Food? Kids can’t survive on pickles and champagne so I gotta put something real in the fridge. Miles keeps me on track, focused and stocked up in enough pancakes to last a lifetime.
My body is magic
Do you know what the female body is capable of? I mean we grow WHOLE PEOPLE! I have many moments of body shame and criticism but one way I get through them is to remind myself of what my body can do. I mean, it literally housed a tiny human and then fed him enough to grow fat and happy. How awesome is that? You don’t have to have children to recognize that your body is the shit but it certainly helps when you get down in the dumps to recall that your body can magically create and sustain life other than you own. Pretty. Fucking. Ridiculously. Awesome.
I don’t take myself too seriously
I’m the one at the club bouncing off the walls and doing the Running Man in 2015. It’s because I am so happy to be out of the house at night that I just can’t contain myself. I can’t get all wrapped up in the drama or complain about the small stuff because I’m just so happy to be free that most times it causes me to be the life of the party. It’s also hard to stay down in the dumps for long when you come home from a hard day and you’ve got someone who wants to play, “Let’s lick mom every time she looks at me.” Life is about having fun and kids definitely teach you this. Their sole objective for their first 13 years is this; fuck shit up and have a ball. I, for one, am going to follow suit.
Moral of the story? Having a child makes me awesome whether I’ve got a baby daddy or not. I am not a curse but a miracle and a blessing. The best thing about being a single mom is that it is a testament to my strength. Having a baby daddy means I rock because the Universe trusted me enough to do this ON MY OWN. How rad is that? So let’s stop shaming women into believing something that’s not true; ALL girls are a blessing 🙌🏾. Women carry the world on our backs with a grace that is admirable and should be applauded no matter what the circumstance because of our beauty inside and out. Celebrate the things that make you an awesome woman and don’t put down others because their path turned out differently than yours. I learned that from Miles too, mostly because of his insistence that he doesn’t need to wear underwear all the time because in his words, “My path is different than yours, mom.” Rock on down that path Miles. I’m right here with you.
P.S. Want more on why dating a single parent is the best?Check out these articles below:
And for the dads…