I found my prince and got married at twenty. I had the house with a white picket fence, and then came the baby. It was a perfect life, or so it seemed.
I’m not sure what put a strain on the marriage, but I found myself becoming a single mom to a two-year-old and $10,000.00 in my hands to start my new life by twenty-six years old.
Being a single mom anywhere in the world is challenging for any woman, but being a single mom in North America is something I could never conceptualize. You never know how strong you must become until you face this challenge.
Playing the double role of mom and dad can be rewarding, despite the hardships that come with it, but in my case, it was insurmountable being a black woman. The cards were stacked against me.
I had a minimum paying job yet expected to give my child a life of luxury. Since that wasn’t possible, I was viewed as an unfit mother whose child would be better off in the foster care system.
Police visited my house to inspect my child’s living conditions. My case was later transferred to Children’s Aid Society to review whether they would take my daughter from her home. As a mother, the hardest part was hearing my six-year-old begging and pleading not to have them take her away.
I vividly remember the day Children’s Aid Society came to my house to interview my daughter alone. I stayed in my bedroom and wept, knowing my words weren’t going to hold any weight in the scheme of things. She wanted to hear from my daughter, not me, about our home situation.
I was so proud of my daughter’s bravery. She didn’t cry during the interview and expressed her feelings to the woman asking her questions. A few weeks after the interview, my case was closed. The truth always prevails!
Even though we were poor, I felt vindicated that I was doing a great job as a mother. I managed to provide my daughter with everything she needed, a safe home, food, clothes, love and my undivided attention.
Single moms sacrifice so much for their children. We are often shamed, judged and our efforts are rarely validated. It’s impossible to satisfy everyone when limited capacity is stacked against you. You can only stay focused on yourself and your child’s well-being, nothing more.
Motherhood is a beautiful thing, but I cannot deny the fact it’s tougher for single moms. For any single mom who is reading this post, remember it takes unbelievable strength and courage to raise a child or children on your own. Hold your head up high, your hard work will pay off in the end. Your tears and hardships are not in vain.