Post first appeared on my new blog www.babymamahood.com
Do Not Call Me A Single Mother.
I am my baby’s mother. Single doesn’t accurately define my experience. I am not a mother to single. Nor do I have any desire to define my motherhood in the context of my past or my relationship to that man.
I AM A MATRIARCH
Motherhood is a huge part of my identity. I knew early on that I would be pregnant, give birth, and raise my daughter without her
sperm donor father. I am not sorry if sperm donor is offensive or inaccurate. Zi was made through making love. BUT it is MY truth and I have reconciled that he had or has no gut to be the person he should be for Zi.
Yea, my daughter would have not been born if it were not for him, but she is here, right now, because of me and the ones who stayed. Being a father or a babyfather requires some form of presence, monetarily or otherwise.
Therefore, I am a mother because of my baby, not because I got pregnant by a man. Hence, I am my baby('s)mama.
In society, women are looked down upon when women decide to be without a man, unless you are a 'gay', ‘virgin’, ‘ugly’, ‘crazy’, or want to be like a man. *cues penis envy bullshit theory* And there is something especially wrong with you, if you decide to have children without a father present annnnnnnd you are poor.
I am not saying that fathers aren’t important. I have to write that because some people like to get defensive when women talk about being independent. What I AM saying is that I have given myself the permission to define and build my family structure around the virtues of having a daughter and me being her mother. Again, I am not defining my motherhood through someone being absent BECAUSE my motherhood still matters.
Babymamahood is not a problem. I repeat, it is not some thing that needs to be solved. It does not mean that somehow I am at a disadvantage or that my daughter will be too. I have learned to be very careful with the language I choose to internalized. I refuse to feel depressed, shame, or guilt because of my conscious decision to have my babygirl. I refuse to feel shame, guilt, or disgust towards the word babymama. I am empowered by the lingo of my hood. I do not need to front for the world.
THE MOST BEAUTIFULLEST THING IN THE WORLD
Besides what is so wrong with the words baby & mama? Why do such beautiful words hold such negative connotations when they are held side by side? Is it because we have internalized a caricature of being an unmarried, black, poor, mama in this country?
When I text my single mama friends, I asked them how they feel about the word. I unanimously read things that reflected a negative point of view. One thing that caught my eye was when a friend said that babymama sounded as if the relationship between the child's parent meant nothing.
Also, Babymama brought up a lot of images of a bird. An ignorant, promiscuous, popping gum over the phone, whining for child support, pampers, new sneakers, and stress, black girl. Basically what you will see in the B-Rock & The Bizz video, My Baby Daddy.
What is interesting is that I know so many mothers from the hood who are not only like that, but feel disempowered in babymamahood and would rather be called a single mother because it sounds less hood, ghetto, or ignorant...
DO NOT CALL ME A SINGLE MOTHER
I am not single. I am plural. I made the decision to have my daughter through conversations with friends and family. I also made the decision knowing that there was a strong possibility that I would have to raise my daughter without the sperm donor.
I choose not to focus on that. I have a community. I am empowered by raising my daughter independently and in using language from where I am from.
Remember, this is Motherhood My Way.
Today is my seventh year anniversary of me giving birth and my daughter's birthday. I have seven years of physical, emotional, spiritual, writing, teaching and relationship experience as a babymama that I plan to share here.
This is Babymamahood. A virtual destination for all mothers to be sisters under motherhood.
Peace & Welcome.