All Articles Tagged "single mom"
Defying The Odds: Meet Deanna Jordan, A Single Mom Of Three Who Just Graduated With Three Degrees At Once
Deanna Jordan is a hard-working mother of three who had to make some sacrifices when she got pregnant at the age of 18. But instead of putting her aspirations aside for the long-term, Jordan went above and beyond to set a good example for her three sons. This month she graduated from UCLA with two bachelor’s degrees and a Master’s in African American Studies. The 28-year-old acquired these three degrees after having her third son at the age of 22, and deciding that same day that she wanted to make a better life for herself and her family.
“I had him and in the hospital I remember thinking, I’m 22, there is no future unless I can create one.”
Jordan spent two years at West Los Angeles College before spending 3 1/2 years at UCLA. She was recognized by the chancellor at the university during the commencement ceremony this month for overcoming adversity, and she hopes that her hard work in college will set a precedent for her family:
“I needed for my sons to see that there was a legacy that preceeded them with college. I am the first in my family to go to college.”
And she’s already doing great things. Jordan works at the mayor’s office in Compton, where she was raised, and helped to start the Compton Pipeline Task Force. The initiative is this:
Compton Pipeline Task-Force initiative at UCLA intends to serve the city of Compton California through after school care, mentoring, parental guidance, resource referrals, community outreach, and academic outreach and mentoring on/ off UCLA campus.
The Task Force uses existing services at schools in Compton to help start educational programs, internships and more that will help encourage academic excellence and help students at less supported schools succeed.
Jordan is definitely an inspiring woman, and she shares this message with single mothers and women in general looking to live up to their potential.
“You can’t really succeed unless you’ve failed. And I’ve failed a lot of times. But it was my persistence and my willingness never to give up.”
37 weeks is a long time. In a perfect world couples would pro-create and go on to co-parent effectively for 18 years and beyond even if they don’t remain in a romantic relationship. But in the real world, sadly most women end up single parents before then can even clearly read the positive sign on a pregnancy test.
I’ve witnessed how complicated nine months can be for even the most planned pregnancies. Most of the young women I teach are balancing preparing for the unexpected with taking time for themselves. In the worst scenarios, they’re navigating the hormonal ups and downs with very little support. It was easy for me in the beginning to adopt a stance of, “You have enough to worry about. How are you worried about starting a new relationship while you’re busy creating life?” But the honest truth is that before a woman is a mother, she’s a woman and although motherhood becomes a primary part of her life once she becomes pregnant, it’s not the only part. It’s not fair to assume that her only concern should be her child and she should completely ignore all the other great things about her life and personality that make her who she is. Every parent, expecting or pro needs balance and for many women a new partner may be the most support they get during a pregnancy.
But admittedly, starting a new relationship while pregnant seems like a burden. Between doctor’s appointments, being paranoid over every tingle or twinge, morning sickness and all the other symptoms that a woman’s body and brain goes through when she’s preparing to give birth, I can’t imagine the added stress of getting to know someone new. I am not saying that single, pregnant women should ward off every interaction with males while expecting like the plague, but the truth is pregnancy changes everything. Pregnancy can be hard for a man (especially one who doesn’t have kids of his own) to deal with. First dating stages are often filled with infatuation and undivided attention for each other under normal circumstances. The good morning texts and all the nice things a woman does for a new man when everyone’s on their best behavior go by the wayside when a woman is pre-occupied with Braxton Hicks and breast feeding options. On a simply superficial level, you may not feel the sexiest when you can’t see your feet past your baby bump you and talking dirty can seem plain awkward when it feels like a baby is getting his Harlem Shake on in your uterus. For some women, sex may go completely off the table if their libido is affected.
Many men may even feel like they’re suddenly dating a complete stranger when the cute mommy-to-be they first met turns into the mother that answers the door with in infant strapped to her chest rocking dark circles from a night of feeding a colicky baby. It’s not to say every mother has to choose between mini-skirts and mini vans, but there are some very real, un-glamorous things about motherhood that don’t flow seamlessly with most people’s views of the early bliss of a relationship.
You can’t always choose when love comes calling, and for some it just may happen to be during the second trimester. But like anything in life, successful relationships that can endure the added stress of a pregnancy usually require a whole lot of patience and maturity. Even the most seasoned couple can find themselves tested when bringing a baby in the world, so starting a relationship in the middle of a pregnancy is nothing for the weak willed.
I won’t say women shouldn’t date while pregnant, but you have to be honest with yourself about exactly how much you can or should handle during such a demanding time.You won’t be just getting accustomed to your new man’s life, but also the one you just created. It’s not all up to the women either. A man basically has to own up to the fact that it’s not all about him from the beginning and honestly confront that although he may not have contributed DNA, that baby may very well come in the world with him being the only father figure he’s ever known. Like dating a woman who already has children, a man has to know he’s not just signing up for a girlfriend, but possibly a whole family. In the long run, starting a new relationship during a pregnancy isn’t ideal, but it isn’t impossible either.
Is it better for women to postpone dating until after pregnancy?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.
Vanessa Simmons was worried about telling Rev Run about her unplanned surprise, but all he did when he heard the news was get excited.
With 14 million single parents in the US, the stigma surrounding solo parenthood is officially old school. Besides, their are some great things that come out of single-parent households. Read on to find out 15 reasons why being a single parent can be pretty great — or at least not the end of the world should you find yourself in this situation.
Taraji P. Henson may be one of the hardest working Black actresses in the movie biz, and now she’s revealing exactly where she got her work ethic from.
In the latest JET magazine, Henson says that her father showed her early on that anything worth having was worth working hard for.
“My daddy was blue-collar as you get,” said Henson. “At one point he was homeless, but he was always a man. He never made excuses. He got it done.”
Gotta love Taraji! She is definitely a black girl who rocks! Check out the rest over on ESSENCE.
About This Episode
Madeline Nelson, Senior Vice President of A&R at Sony, gives her take of the joys and challenges of being a single mom in New York City with a hectic career. Plus we chat with Madeline about her tips on raising an athletic pre-teen son.
About Madeline Nelson
Madeline Nelson is a single mom to a fantastic 12 year old son named, TJ. She is also a busy mom balancing motherhood and career as she is currently the VP of A&R, Artist and Label Relations at Sony Music. Her responsibilities at work include developing and nurturing new talent in coordination with the A&R teams across three labels: RCA, Columbia, and Epic.
Prior to Sony, she worked at Urban Zen, Donna Karan’s non-profit where she served as VP of Foundation Operations. Prior to that she also was a Project Manager at Steve Stoute’s marketing, Translation, LLC. She has served as a VP of Music Operations for New Jack Swing Productions/Interscope Records, where she managed hit-makers BlackStreet and worked with other talents such as Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams.
Madeline is a Harlem native and continues to support philanthropic efforts aimed at helping women and children through her own non-profit organization, The Good-Well Giving Group. She is truly a superwoman and Mommy in Chief!
About Karyn Parsons
Karyn Parsons is best known as the character “Hilary Banks” on the long-running television show, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Today she is a wife and mother of two. Parsons is also the Founder and President of the Sweet Blackberry foundation after being inspired by the true tale of a determined slave and the remarkable lengths he travelled to find his freedom. While growing up, Parsons’ mother, a librarian in the Black Resource Center of a library in South Central Los Angeles, would share stories of African-American accomplishment with her daughter. A mother and activist, Karyn created Sweet Blackberry to use the power of stories to inspire youth. Follow her on Twitter @Karyn_Parsons.
Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:
- Episode 1: Mommy-To-Be: Pregnancy In 3 Stages
- Episode 2: The Truth About Breastfeeding
- Episode 3: Delivery Debate: Natural Birth Vs. C-Section
- Episode 4: The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift
- Episode 5: Actress Kym Whitley Talks New Baby & Food Allergies for Kids
- Episode 6: Keeping Your Child Entertained This Summer Without TV
- Episode 7: Ask a Black Father | Mommy in Chief Father’s Day Special
- Episode 8: Building Your Child’s Self Esteem
- Episode 1: Are You A Good Enough Mother?
- Episode 2: New Motherhood and Balancing A Busy Work Life
- Episode 3: How to Decorate an Eco-Friendly Baby Nursery
- Episode 4: Foodie, Nicole Friday on Kids and Career
- Episode 5: Melissa Beck, From Hollywood to Stay At Home Mom
- Episode 6: Single Mom in The City
- Episode 7: Mommy Mogul and Marketing Wiz Monique Jackson at Home With Her Boys
- Episode 8: Beauty Maven Jodie Patterson Talks Four-Day Work Week for Moms
- Episode 9: Tonya Lewis Lee on Motherhood and the Importance of Women’s Health
- Episode 1: Back 2 School
- Episode 2: Happy Halloween
- Episode 3: Socially Responsible Kids
- Episode 4: Money Talks
- Episode 5: Keeping Families Healthy
- Episode 6: Thanksgiving Madness
- Episode 7: Highlights and Best Moments
- Episode 8: Stylish Moms
- Episode 9: Best Apps for Moms
- Episode 10: Socialite Kids
- Episode 11: Hair Talk with AfroBella
- Episode 12: Happy New Year!
As a single mom you probably know the ins and outs of parenting and you’re also more than likely a master of play-dates. However, at some point in time you’ll want to go on a real date; a date for you. When you decide to start dating, you’ll probably feel nervous, excited, and anxious all at once! Here are 14 tips to get you back into the swing of dating.
It was a beautiful Autumn Saturday evening. The ground was covered with rainbow colored leaves, the wind was blowing just enough to give the perfect breeze while inhaling the fresh scent of a fall evening, and the sky was the perfect shade of royal blue. I was headed out for a wonderful dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, after I spent the day shopping and pampering myself. It seemed as though this was the perfect day and I was going to culminate it with the perfect evening, so I had every reason to be happy, right? Wrong.
When I arrived at dinner, I was seated quickly at a table for two. The waitress came and went through her routine, then asked if everyone in my party had arrived. Before I opened my mouth to answer her I smiled slightly, swallowed my tears with squinted eyes and said yes. She said okay and walked away to give me a moment to look over the menu. As I browsed through the menu, my stomach felt a little squeamish. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was starving, upset about the fact that I would be dining alone, or if it was my unborn child moving about.
To be honest, I think it was a combination of all three. So luckily for us the waitress returned quickly and took our order immediately. Shortly thereafter, my phone began to ring. It was my child’s father. He was calling to see what my plans were for the evening because he wanted to get together to talk. I told him I was at dinner and invited him to join me. He declined, and then began asking me a number of questions about the status of our relationship; you know those questions that let you know that he’s trying to subtly break up with you, but he wants you to get fed up and end it first so it’ll look like you wanted the relationship to end. You know the questions, where do you see us going? Do you really think we’re compatible? With each question he asked, my heart sunk in with every answer I gave him because I knew where he was going with this conversation. After about ten to fifteen minutes of engaging in the final exam of what would be the beginning of the end of my relationship with the father of my child, he finally said to me, I think you should find somebody you are compatible with because it’s not me. With tears coming down my face, yet hiding the fact that I was crying I said okay, I’ll keep you posted on the progress of the baby. He said okay, and we both said goodbye. When the conversation ended I was absolutely devastated. As tears continued to stream down my face, so many thoughts and questions raced through my mind. How was I going to raise a child as a single mother? Will he be involved in our child’s life as he should? Am I now another statistic? That’s okay, we don’t need him anyway... So after the random thoughts and questions stopped racing through my mind, I finished my dinner, went home, cried some more and started my process of accepting the fact that I would be a single mother.
The next few days, weeks and months were extremely difficult for me because the relationship with the father of my child ended abruptly without logical explanation. As I tried to move past the relationship ending and move forward to facing my new reality I did some soul searching and reflecting. During my process of soul searching and reflecting I asked myself a number of questions in regard to my relationship with my son’s father and why I was so devastated when it ended.
My first question was, why did I want to be in a relationship with a man that did not want to be with me? Answer, because I had love for him (or at least what I thought was love), I was carrying his child, and I wanted us to be a family. My next question, if I wasn’t pregnant, would he even want to be with me at this point in our relationship? Answer, probably not. My last question, why would I want to be in a relationship with someone who brought drama to my life, and was not concerned about me or our unborn child? Answer, because at that time in my life my self esteem was at an all time low, I wanted us to be a family, and I couldn’t see the drama because all I wanted to see was what I wanted. After my soul searching process, and the birth of my child I came to grips with the reality that I was a single mother, and I had to learn how to be okay with every aspect of it.
So as I moved forward with my life without the father of my child, I learned a number of valuable lessons. I learned about the joys and struggles of being a single mother by being there whole heartedly for my child, finding the joy in everything we do and watching my child grow. I’ve learned how to be a better, stronger and more confident woman internally because I know I am the primary example of what a woman should be in the sight of my child. I’ve learned how to balance my career and motherhood by managing my time better. And last, I’ve learned how to be single and extremely happy. How did I do that? By trusting in my Creator for guidance and finding the joy in being a single woman. This was indeed a difficult journey, but it was worth every lesson learned. Now that I look back on that night my relationship ended with the father of my child, I smile. I smile because I realize that if he had not ended our relationship I would probably have tried to continue on with a relationship with him that probably would have been detrimental to my health, his health and the health of our child. Letting go of the feelings I had for my child’s father was not easy, but I’m glad the door was closed on that relationship because it opened the door to so much more!
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
More on Madame Noire!
- Did You Know They Dated (Part IV)? 14 Celeb Couples We Were VERY Surprised By
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha: How Do I Tell Him The Sex Is Wack?
- Bypass The Bitter: How To Get Over Your Relationship Gracefully
- True Story: I Dated A Man With Horribly Bad Breath And Lived To Write About It
- Lady Jaguars: 10 Famous Women Who Attended Spelman College
- “Baby Hair, Don’t Care”: Andrea Kelly Says If She Could Leave R Kelly, You Can Walk Away Too
- The Thirst Files: She Pulled A Disappearing Act, I Got Desperate
IN A NATION OF SINGLE MOTHERS, MORE FATHERS MUST STEP UP AND PROVIDE.
By Wayne Hodges
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody. I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat…we must find each other.” – Mother Theresa
The passage above, quoted by one of nature’s finest, Mother Theresa, basically summarizes our nation’s rising epidemic of single-parent homes; more specifically young mothers. And boy, the statistics don’t lie. According to the Single Parent Center, there are roughly 14 million single parents in the U.S. today; responsible for raising approximately 21.6 million of our nation’s children.
And the correlation between one-parent homes and financial despair is even more dire with 27.7% of custodial single mothers living in poverty.
Before I proceed, the intent of this column is not to cast a vote of judgment against anyone. Instead, I’d just prefer to relay the following message to the parents of our community: OUR CHILDREN NEED YOU!
I repeat: OUR CHILDREN NEED YOU!
Yes, this statement is probably a tad bit redundant. But, who cares? When it comes to the topic of child development, anything is worth repeating twice. And the young fathers and mothers of our community, quite frankly, must come to understand its importance.
There’s no question the morality of today’s youth is significantly different than the “Brady Bunch” days of 40 years ago. For this futility, I point the exclusive finger of blame at parents, corporate America, MTV, BET and VH1 for their careless and irresponsible contributions.
First, let’s start with latter.
In an effort to boost television ratings, the aforementioned networks have made a sick hobby of portraying our men and women as a bunch of money-grabbing, violent, unethical malcontents. See “Basketball Wives.” Even worse, too many boys have bought into the “Get Rich or Die Trying” mentality that permeates urban communities. Speaking from personal experience, like many, I too shouldered the ponderous burden of growing up in a fatherless environment. My mother raised yours truly, my brother and sister on one income; while pursuing a college degree part-time. Even though mama did one hell of a parenting job, the atmosphere at home was far from stress free.
After all, the daunting task of trying to ‘make ends meet’ with moderate income and three mouths to feed is bound to wear a person down sooner or later, right?
But, here’s where the trouble begins; particularly in the case of young black men. To break confinement from the ghetto, too many boys feel obligated to become the “man” their father never was; thus causing them to resort to a series of “quick money” tactics as a means to financially support the home.
Of course, quick money is usually dirty money; which often leads to residency inside a 6′ X 8′ concrete block cell laced by iron bars with a stinking toilet embedded to the floor. Not convinced? Let peek at some more statistics. The Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center (SPARC) reports 85% of youths in prison grew up in fatherless homes. Other studies have shown fatherless children to be customary victims of poor mental health, unsatisfactory educational performance and substance abuse.
Although today’s feature is single mothers, I’d like to shift some attention to dead-beat daddies for just a moment. Guys, the madness has to stop. Children don’t ask to be here. As fathers, it’s absolutely critical we maintain some form of regular contact with our children, regardless how vulgar the socioeconomic conditions. This includes stressed relationships with the biological mother, inadequate finances and substandard education.
Apologies, to be candid, are not good enough. Neither are excuses. Gentlemen, as a byproduct of our laziness, too many children have gone without. To enact positive change, it’s imperative we abstain from leaving these women alone to raise our kids.
Now, back to ladies. In an effort to discourage young women from making poor economic decisions, organizations such as the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Kansas City have set up a variety of educational workshops in the areas of home-ownership, child development, finance, building self-esteem, budgeting and college prep. Charlzetta Hall, the Director of the WRC, believes it’s time for women to take control of their lives. And it starts with confidence.
“Too many women are desperate to have a man, and it impedes their progress,” said Hall. “The primary goal of the WRC is to help these ladies understand their inner-beauty first, then everything else will fall into place.”
Wayne Hodges is the editor of MassAppealNews.com
If you’re spending the holiday season as a single mom, the last thing you want to do is let your children see you down in the dumps.
You can still capture the holiday cheer with or without the help and assistance of a partner.
Find out how to make it through at Your Tango.com.
A former girlfriend of Washington Redskin Albert Haynesworth recently had her $10 million emotional distress case dismissed by a New York judge on jurisdictional grounds. The ex, Silvia Mena, claims that Haynesworth dumped her as soon as she got pregnant. There’s a completely separate paternity/child support case going on for that. Mena’s $10 million suit was all about her.
Do you think you should be able to sue someone for emotional distress due to a bad break-up? Not a divorce, a break-up between girlfriend and boyfriend. Would you ever consider filing such a suit?