‘I’m Co-Parenting With Somebody Who Got Engaged When I Was 5 Months Pregnant:’ Ebony Editor Speaks On Single Motherhood
Ebony’s digital news and lifestyle editor, Jamliah Lemieux, admits that she never wanted to be a single mother.
“I had an informal list of things I wanted to accomplish before becoming a mother,” she told Mater Mea. “I really wanted to purge myself of all my selfishness, travel the world and be married.”
But as fate would have it, things didn’t quite work out that way. During a tumultuous ending of a two-year relationship, she found out that she was pregnant with her first child.
“At the time I was incredibly in love with this person who was no longer in love with me,” Jamilah says. “There was a lot of shame because I was going into single motherhood — it wasn’t that I was in a relationship that ended during the pregnancy, or right after the pregnancy, or two years later.”
“I always thought being a single mother was the absolute last thing in the world that I would ever, ever, ever want to be.”
After doing a little soul searching, Jamilah decided to follow through with her pregnancy. However, 5 months in, her ex proposed to another woman. She later gave birth to her daughter, Naima Freedom Lemieux-Giles.
“I’m co-parenting with somebody who got engaged to another woman that he started dating the week we conceived, got engaged to when I was five months pregnant, and married when we had a 2 month old.”
Though the co-parenting situation is not ideal between Jamliah and Naima’s dad, she admits that in the end, it’s all worth it.
“We’re both committed to raising a strong and healthy girl,” Lemieux says. “I’m very happy that she has a great relationship with her dad. I may hate the man, but I don’t hate the dad.”
“I am not OK with the situation, but if I have to sacrifice my personal comfort for the sake of my child and her relationship with her father, then that’s something I will do gladly.”
All in all, Jamliah admits that she’s happy that she decided to follow through with her pregnancy
“This child in this moment is supposed to be here. I’m lucky that for the situation that we have, I got the child that I needed.”
“Being a single parent, in a lot of ways, requires a level of self-sacrifice that I did not want to make. I see a lot of women who I feel had to live for their children and sacrifice everything, and it just seemed that there’s nothing left for them. I have a mother who pretty much gave up her life in a lot of ways — her pursuits and some of the things she wanted to do personally and professionally — to just become a mom. That’s not to say that’s not enough and it can’t be fulfilling, but it’s not what I want for myself and it’s not the sort of relationship I want to have with my daughter. I think that she’ll be happy that we’ll get to experience a lot of cool things together — and if I do have other children in the future the same goes for them — because I haven’t put the brakes on everything that makes me me just to be a mom.”
What are your thoughts on Jamliah’s story?