Woman to Single Moms: “My Father Had Five Kids with Five Women, and We All Suffered”

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There is a debate going on in the African American community about whether or not the rise in single parent households is having a negative impact on the outcomes for children.  These days, everyone seems to want to do what’s best for themselves, and most parents make decisions in their lives without thoroughly considering the impact of these choices on their kids.

But what about the children, do they have a voice?  Sometimes that voice, when it is heard, is not fully developed until that child has reached adulthood.

Maria Lloyd, writing for the site NaturallyMoi.com, wrote an open letter to Tanya Fields, a woman on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show who had five kids with three different men.  Lloyd starts the letter by stating that it is not her goal to attack the woman or make fun of her, but she did want to provide added perspective to help her understand that having a lot of children from different men may not exactly be a badge of honor:

On one of many sides of the argument, you have Black women slamming Black men for being absent fathers; and on another of many sides of the argument, you have Black fathers slamming Black women for intentionally keeping their children away from their father. The debate almost always results in nothing more than name-calling and gender-bashing — no mutual accountability for poor decision-making is claimed and no solutions on how to raise the children of these circumstances responsibly is formed. Nothing of substance comes from these debates.

She also says that she didn’t intend to attack the woman, but needs her to understand that from her point of view, it was very difficult growing up without the attention of her father.  Her mother did all she could to provide for her emotionally and financially, but still it wasn’t enough.

“Not having my father in the household really hurt me during the times when I needed a dad, like when the other girls could go to daddy-daughter events and I couldn’t” she said.  “My mother made the mistake of being a single mom, but she was wise enough to admit it was a mistake and to not repeat it.  Had she simply brought bunch of other men into my life and random siblings from those men, it would have been even more difficult than it was.”

Lloyd says that those who are defensive of having multiple children with multiple parents out of wedlock are often short on providing solutions on how to protect kids from the damage that might be caused if both parents aren’t around.  She and Dr. Boyce Watkins recently wrote an article on a list of reasons why “excessive baby-mama-ism” is not good for the black community.  Lloyd says that we should not consider broken families to be the new normal in the African American community.

“My brother was killed in the streets, and I truly believe that he would be alive today if he’d had both parents in the household,” she said.

She says that the blame for the struggles of children in her situation doesn’t lie solely on single moms of non-custodial dads, but says that someone has to take responsibility.

“People should realize that when you sleep with someone, a new life could be brought into the world,” she said.  “So, if women are sleeping with men because they are cute or have “swag,” they should realize that this man might be the absentee father of your child one day.  By sleeping with that man, you could end up devastating another human being.  So, either wear a condom or sleep don’t do it at all.”

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23 Comments

  1. I was raised in a single parent home and my mom has two different children by two different men. However that did not determine who my mother was or how her kids would turn out. I believe it is not about the personal relations the woman has had or how many kids she has its about how she raises them and how she loves and bonds with her kids. The only thing that was really lacking in my home growing up was money. We were provided with everything we needed but not everything we wanted. At first this bothered me especially when Christmas came around and all my other cousins had nice gifts to open and I didn’t. That only happened maybe twice because I grew to understand that my momma wasn’t able to give me everything but what I lacked in materialistic things my mom more than made up for it with the love she showed me! And in many ways going through this made me a much better person.

  2. Only God Knows Our Hearts on

    “Lloyd says that those who are defensive of having multiple children with multiple parents out of wedlock are often short on providing solutions on how to protect kids from the damage that might be caused if both parents aren’t around.  She and Dr. Boyce Watkins recently wrote an article on a list of reasons why “excessive baby-mama-ism” is not good for the black community.”

    And what “solution” to so-called “broken families” have the Watkin Wonders examined, charted, AND implemented???? O please! Without these so-called “broken people” you all would have no one to judge…because surely no other race would tolerate your false judgements, false condemnations, false profits, finger pointing, and such. You’d be surprised that you same finger pointers are the ones who keep the abortion rates high…calling it selfless…it murder. Murderers pointing at mothers! Shame on all of you. Shame! Laugh with your mouths full now…and choke on tears later…

    • So true, “only God knows our hearts.” My question is this: do you think that God approves of multiple babies with multiple partners? Why don’t you think this is something that needs to change in our community? So, based on your statement it’s okay for your daughter (if you have one) to follow this pattern of undisciplined sex with multiple partners, without consequence or correction. You apparently feel we should leave her alone and stop pointing fingers–right? Well, we can’t leave her alone. Nor can we leave the young men alone who are partners in this foolish, selfish, undisciplined action. Once can be counted as a forgivable mistake—four or five is a pattern that should not and can not be condoned. We all pay a very heavy price for these kind of families–these broken families. Of course there are exceptions—but, they are rare and even those exceptions leave scars on the children and often on the community in which they live—ask the teachers! It’s very smug of you to condemn Dr. Watkins and Ms. Lloyd for addressing a problem and looking for solutions, while your statement only suggest that we accept this as the new normal. NEVER! Wake up to a reality that is helping to keep us mired at the bottom of society because of attitudes just like yours! Correction, not consent is the answer.

    • This is the same thing I was thinking…..but somehow it will get turned around to say these women should have known better having a baby with a man that has multiple children with several women, etc., etc. So either way, it will still be the Black woman’s fault.

  3. A debate? Damn people. If you will debate that deliberate single parent situations are “bad” for children, then you will also debate whether a bucket of water is wet.

    • There is no need to debate this. Children born to two parent homes do better. There is no question. Blacks will continue to trail other races until we make it cool to get married and then have children. I am a hard working man blessed to have a wonderful wife and healthy children. Some days after a hard day at work I am so tired that I just want to sneak off to bed and get some rest. My children find me and tell me about their day and what is happening in their lives. Relating to my kids has become an important part of my life. If I was just a baby daddy living apart from my kids they would get very little from me. Money is important but our children really need our love and attention.We need to talk about this more. Black women need to understand that often times babies are just an unwanted by product of sex.I am not blaming women it takes two to tangle. Men need to stand up and take care of their responsibilities.Has anyone ever heard of safe sex and birth control.

  4. I was raise with both parents and what I learn that your grandfather okay a man to marry your mother without asking how she feels. I grew up knowing not one teacher from elementary to finishing high school ever saw or meet my dad. I grew up in a household that was told, what goes in in this household stays in this household. Which means I came out of a abusive, alcoholic, no love showed etc. Home. It was like living in a single parent home. It affects you life sometimes for the good as well for the bad. I was quite but very quite and shy until I got older became a angry person. I Went to college , got pregnant in college, quite college work three jobs to stay off the system. As years pass I dated a man for years got pregnant again, listing to my mom to married because of sin, I did. This man became abusive, drug addict and stealing.out of the house. I decided I was normt going to take the abuse I seen my mother go through and still go through just verbally ( abuse is abuse no matter what type it is.) I divorce him. Years later I meet a man that,I thought,was a gentleman was married again and divorce for the second time. I made a decision not to ever marry again. I been divorce for 14 years and been a single parent ever since, but of course when I divorce the dads they divorce their child. Yes I put them in child support and out of 18 years of my children life I only receive two payments. I have tried to reach out for help but no one here will help you ,I went through the system here because it was cheaper to pay because I could not afford and attorrney. I have given them all the I information from addresses, ss no. Etc. No help. I know if I was in the system they will work harder to pay because they will want their money, but since they do not receive nothing but the amount to receive and transfer into the account which us 5.00 and some change that serve no purpose. It’s not easy being a so single parent. It has gotten better over the years until 10-08-2008 when 6 police officera let a drunk driver go and 25min. Later he was in a car accident that cause my son to be disable for life. I am and will be taking care of him for the rest of his life. I was engage until this happen the person could not bare the effort for my son which means I chose my son over him and I do not regret it. I work for the city of Baton Rouge and has been here for 14 years and is under paid but I will survive. You never know the situation of being a single parent and how they became a single. People are quick to judge but do not know what is the cause and affect if becoming single parents . There was other plans ahead with both of them together but things happens and sometimes it do not turn out that way it was planned. I rather have live in a single family home than to live in the home I grew in because it affects your life. For me I will never get married or be in no realationship. I am only focusing on Jesus and his strength as a mother to take care of my adult son. I have learned that citizens are held accountable for their actions but officers get promotion for the action on not during their job. If I do not do my job I will be fired. No question as. I was born in the city and over the years. I am a proud to say I am a single parent and proud to be a strong black women.

    • Bless you & your family Lovie. I used to work for a child support agency & even if your kids are grown & back support is due to you, please continue with your child support case, until all back support has been paid to you in full. You deserve it. I also agree with your assessment about being in a two-parent household, where there is chaos. Sometimes it is better to be whole & have peace in the family, instead of allowing children to be a part of and/or witness chaotic behavior on a daily basis. People’s situation various & there can’t be a one size fits all solution.

  5. I was married twice. Both marriages ended after many years but produced 3 children between the marriages. I have no father in my children’s lives because they chose to have it that way despite my NUMEROUS attempts to keep a relationship alive with them and the children. Because of this it was MY RESPONSIBILITY to do more to make sure male mentors wer in their lives. They did not replace the father but they showed them healthy males. My kids are healthy and well adjusted. We as a people need to stop judging parents who are ineffective and instead put parenting programs in place especially in the early years so we can help them regardless of who is or isn’t in the home. Additionally, will they speak to gay and lesbian homes? Will having two mothers or two fathers impact them the same? Come on people this is about us stepping up and helping others whether we are related or not to be better parents.

  6. Black women stay losing becuz of babymama drama. The slums and projects aren’t filled with husbands and wives. Its filled with uneducated black women and their [email protected]$tard kids. Gangs,drugs and killings are usually black kids from a single parent home. Black folks destroying their own hoods. I got tired of trying to help people that didn’t want to be helped.

    • While I believe in self-determination and oppose self-destruction, many elements contribute to the demise of Black families, in particular, social inequality and discrimination. Moreover, drugs and violence manifest from a lack of real community development, which requires quality education, jobs and fair housing.

  7. Mommas baby daddies maybe… I say this because your family can start off perfect where you an your partner plan for the kids, then things can go bad an then dad’s gone and starts a new family now this is forced singled parenting and I shame the men who do this because your betraying your kids by not being loyal to your family if we didn’t just think if ourselves and put kids first and show pride in your family then perhaps we may not have so much pride in material things… I come from a mix home where culturally we are proud of our families our lineage out family name. I can only hope more black men would have this same proudness and would second think before you make the decision that you need to be free if responsibility. As black women we need to be more supportive and not try to pus him out. Bottomline once we value our families then making multiple households would not happen unless you have bill gates money. Kids cost money and having multiple families is a joke can you imagine xmas gifts or school shopping … So some one is going to suffer it’s not fair to the kids and it will cause bitter ness amongst them. Now for woman who are multiple baby daddy category gotta stop looking for love in all the hopeless places and love yourself more. Would it be fair if one dad support his child and the other 4 get nothing I can only contribute this to being selfish on your part. We must teach our sons to value their families, be proud, be responsible, to remember that kid has your bloodline, and to value your woman! Women need to support this and not push him out be less judge mental and we all play our part let him be a man and not get in the way of that. I can only have hope and prayers for this generation we must value ourselves and our community and families more! Where’s the pride in having a family?

  8. Parenting is a tough job and it takes a village even to raise one or two children. The truth of the matter is “we all, as a community,” have a responsibility to be an example to our children and to “train up a child in the way [s]/he should go. “ (Proverbs 22:6). Even with good parenting and guidance, good girls and boys make poor decisions.

    Conversely, throwing stones at single parents does not solve the problem. Moreover, many women and men have had s*x numerous times; they just did not get caught with child or aborted the child, which is the real issue at hand; personal responsibility. In addition, high divorce rates contribute to single parenting as well. Throwing stones, reminds me of the Biblical story involving an adulteress woman found in John 8: 1- 12, which states, “[S/]/He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Not one person could throw a stone at the woman because they were sinners, too. The only person left with the woman was Jesus and HE told her to sin no more.

    I am a mother of three young adults (2 young women and one young man), and I have 2 grandsons. I instilled in their heads when they were little to graduate from high school and college, pursue your career before marrying and having children, and of course, to marry before having children after you have been married for at least five years and I still preach that message to them. I taught them from my life experiences as both a single mom and divorced parent.

  9. You really want to know the problem with black people? JESUS. Negroes think they can do anything, say anything, and feel anyway they want because they are Christians and JESUS will ultimately make it “work together for the good.” Well, I got bad news for all you Bible thumping ignorant ass people, JESUS DON’T RAISE BABIES, HE DON’T PAY Rent, lights, or gas, etc. Actually he doesn’t do shit! Have you all not learned by now? You are responsible for the choices you make. And black girls need to start doing like white girls and aborting all these unnecessary ass babies. A man is not a dead beat because a female wanted to give him some pu$$y, and she did not protect herself. And if you decide to have the bastard then take the time to train them properly. AND FOR GOD FREAKIN SAKE DON’T HAVE MORE!!!

  10. I start off saying I dont agree with this at all I was
    Raise in single parent home I did not have any of those
    Issuse how ever its all about the choices we make
    In our lives sum good & sum are bad ,I know people
    Who had both parents and still made sum bad choice
    Its all about choices……

  11. Having s*x outside of marriage is sinful and should be told more and more. This is why there are so many illigitimate children and broken homes, the pattern is being repeated and never ending until people step up and spread this message. GOD SAID IT AND MEANT IT!

  12. Let’s concentrate on the children, and their physical, emotional, and mental health, because we “can’t raise grown people.”

  13. Brothers and Sisters, I won’t make this long, as I have commented on this issue before. Having children out of wedlock ia a sin in God’s sight.
    As we all do, children need love! One of the highest expressions of love is marrying somebody you love and respect and who loves and respects you, then have children. If you love each other you cannot help but love your children! No sane person would ever have a baby out of wedlock! To even discuss this issue as though it is a viable option to a loving family indicates how far from reality most of us are. And we wonder why our kids are so cold and dangerous. We made them that way when we engaged in loveless, irresponsible sex without the benefit of marriage.
    Brothers and Sisters, a child is a human being! A child is not an object, a toy, something to fill an empty and insane person’s life. Children know when they are loved and wanted. They know something is wrong when they don’t have both parents in the house. One of the worst things you can do to a child is not to love him or her.Remember, you created and are creating those monsters that are eating us alive!

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