"Single parenting from the male's perspective"May 29th, 2011
Sometimes certain men seem incapable of parenthood. Sonia Quamina, a 25-year-old Commonwealth Correspondent from Arima, in Trinidad and Tobago, presents the voices of a variety of males – young, old, criminal and successful – with their own unique back stories.
“I just never wanted the cycle to continue. I just never wanted to be like him, now what do I do?”
Now what should he do? Drunk, disappointed in himself and in his contraceptive choices, what should he do?
As mother’s day is upon us and we ponder about what the women in our lives need, want and, of course, what can we afford, I think it’s important to take time to look at single motherhood… from a male perspective.
It’s not a view of how men see single mothers, but how they end up single mothers. True, I am no man but I unfortunately know quite a few men who have decided to leave relationships, have been left by women who would much rather go it alone, and those who live with their significant others and it’s like they don’t even exist.
I will take you on my journey as I look at the background of this social sickness from a male perspective of sorts.
Mr. She screamed, I shouted…
“I grew up with a very authoritarian father. I felt as if shouting, threatening and making others fear you would allow you to get your way in life’s issues. When someone screams at you, you can either scream back or clam up. I remember feeling alone, scared and afraid in my own home.
“Time went by; I left home and got a job. At work I had a boss that got me upset, I never said a thing, I did not control that environment. When it came to my relationships, I demanded my respect. I shouted, threatened her, slammed doors, and cussed. I got my way. Most women left, but my son’s mother stuck around for a while.
“The week before she left, I lost my job. I left home every day of that week to go “to work” instead I had been drinking and cheating. Finally, one day I came home and I let her have it. When I look back, I could see that I wasn’t upset with her, but with everything that was going on in my life. She was tired of it all, she screamed, I shouted. She packed, I told her to leave because she had no right to want to leave me. I had been through so much.
“It’s not that I had no love for my child, I just didn’t know what to do. All I could do was let her leave; I was jobless, felt useless, powerless. She is a strong woman; I knew she could do it.”
Mr. I was raised by a single mother and I am fine…
“My mother was a single parent and she worked all the time to make sure we had what we needed. Sometimes I just wanted to talk but she was always too tired and grumpy. When it came down to it though, I had everything I needed.
“I can honestly say that I have no idea what love is. I thought about it a lot, but I have no idea how to show it or how to react when it comes my way.
“I have four children from three serious relationships. I had never wanted a single parent home for my children. I wanted the television family; however, I had no clue how to begin to grow one. I figure that at this ages it no longer matters. I give their mothers what they need to take care of them and if they need something they can always call.
“My exes said that I did not communicate well and seemed not to care. At first they were all loving and attentive and I loved it, I really need that. When I didn’t reciprocate they would fuss as women do and I would leave to the next one. I love beginnings and can’t stand the fighting.
“I was raised by a single mother and I am fine, so I know my children would be fine.”
Mr. This woman still tried to trap me and ruin my life.
“The first time I saw her she was gorgeous. It was love at first sight. Everyone says this, but mine, mine was perfection.
“As beautiful as my daughter was she represented my ability to put myself in unwanted positions. After my first three children I said to myself, “never again.” Now look at me, I told her I don’t want any children and this woman still tried to trap me and ruin my life.
“My ex use to say, “Everything would be fine,” all the while I was thinking, “why wouldn’t she shut up.” I remember her saying once, “who do you think she looks like?” I replied with a quick, “not me!” I could tell she was shocked and offended but I didn’t even bother to look her in the eye. I knew that this perfect baby girl was mine but I took this chance to be angry, resentful and to get an excuse to get out. I called my ex every name in the book and accused her of not having my baby.
“After a few fights, visits to my job, calling my house all resulting in me cussing her, she decided to quit. I assumed she had her pride and knew she didn’t need my rubbish. That woman never asked me for help.
“I never wanted my life to go this way but I could not feed another baby. I always wondered what would happen if I go back or if I never left. She is strong though, so she would be fine.”
I have heard stories from really young men, old men, successful men; men who have been to jail and even a gay man, unfortunately.
This can’t go on forever.
It’s essential that we note the issues of men that lead them down the path of thinking single parenthood would be a good idea. There are of course some extreme cases where being a single parent becomes necessary.
However, in many cases men are taught approaches to life that lead to be unable to deal with emotional situations as they arise. I strongly believe that emotional needs are on the list of very few when it comes to children, and as such the cycle continues.
Some men seem to be counterintuitive, short-sighted and lost, leaving women to raise children alone. How about we treat the symptoms and get cracking on the disease?
Women are said to be emotional creatures, but what good comes when we pretend men don’t have feelings? Even if women could raise children alone why should they? Is being a single parent something women aspire to?
What about the men? More importantly, what about the children?
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. All articles are published in a spirit of improving dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/