It’s a purse not baggage

 

I watched an episode of The Tyra Banks show that had me a bit worried about
the perceptions of single mothers. I live in the Caribbean but I realized that all
over the world there is a stigma attached to single mothers – the misconception
that they all come with ‘baggage’!

When a woman is in a relationship and decides to have a baby, she does not
plan to become a single mother. (Well, a very small percentage actually do) but
most times when a couple decides to have a baby, the mother never imagines
that she will become a ‘single mother’. It is not something any woman aspires to.
In my case, shortly after the birth of my daughter, I fell into that dreaded slot. I
became a ‘single mother’.

Right away, I went from young, good looking professional woman to single
mother. Where did that phrase come from anyway? I never heard of a ‘married
mother’. All mothers, married or single, face many of the same challenges
while trying to raise their children. And you may be surprised (or not) how many
women with partners feel like ‘single mothers’!

But the stigma remains for those mothers who happen to be …single. It’s like
a ‘Danger’ sign has been stapled to their forehead. They are no longer seen as a
woman, but a ‘single mother’ with whatever judgments that carries.

In my case, I shied away from relationships. As much as I knew that there
was someone out there for me, I was careful not to go out searching because
most ‘single mothers’, looking for love are labeled – desperate. Most men see a
single mom and immediately think ‘Baggage!! Baby Daddy!!’ Some even think
that they will be doing the woman a favor if they go out with her and would
rather ‘spare themselves the drama’. They will even decline an introduction. An
introduction, that that could have led to true love!

The truth is though, not all single mothers are loaded with ‘baggage’ or ‘baby
daddy’ drama. So many are loving women of upstanding character with great
personalities. They love their kids and they just want to share their lives with
someone who can see past the stereotype!

Even though I did go through all the strains of single motherhood, I was a very
happy single mom. I always knew though, that I would one day find my special
someone. In the meantime, I decided to enjoy my daughter and my freedom!
I was finding myself again and I had created my own little world and support
network.

When I started dating my husband, he knew I had a baby. When he asked me
out, the first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘I have a baby, won’t that be
a problem for you?’ he looked at me with a strange expression and asked ‘why
would you think your baby is a ‘problem’?’

I realized that he was right. The real problem was that I had accepted my label.
Society had been telling me that being a single mom was a problem. And that
men don’t want to commit to people ‘like us’. But I found someone who was man
enough to love me for who I was, and love my daughter as a child and not the
daughter of a single mom.

If someone can’t see past single mom and don’t want to take the time to get
to know you and your child/children then they are not worth it. Wait. There is
someone else who will.

But while you wait, wait believing that he will come. And if you do have any
baggage, shed it. Don’t be so consumed with finding someone that you don’t
prepare your own soul. Most times we carry all the flaws that we don’t want in
a mate. Make sure you clean up your act. You can’t expect to find Mr. Right, if
you’re still all wrong. By the time he arrives most of the baggage should be gone
and you should only be holding a purse. Every woman has one so you you’ll be
no different!

Life is short… toss out the baggage, it’s time to hold on to your purse and hold
your head high!

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