So much is being said about single mothers raising boys to be men, so here is my perspective on that. We can show him the qualities we wish him to emulate, the female perspective…and we need to give him the full recognition of how hard that work really is and the sacrifices we clearly make as women for our cubs. But how can you show him how to be something you never will be?
I have grown tired of the snarkiness of some women who say a man can do nothing for them. If not a part of raising you, you came to be by the half that planted you in the fertile soul of your mother. So if you can give thanks for nothing else, give thanks for the breath you draw because of that man..whether you affectionately call him dad or not.
And I have grown tired of the portrayal of all men as ignorant hordes of brainless bipods who have to be rescued by superwomen and be eternally grateful that we were there to save the day. It is a disservice to all of us to render all men as useless, and I take it personally because the men I know, while they have their own issues and experiences, are hardworking, caring, and would do whatever it takes to make things right and protect what and who they love.
The widespread shaming of men is complete bullshit. And while I may not be popular for saying what I feel, I don’t write for popularity, I write from intense observation and from working hard to bridge my own gaps in relating to the men in my life.
Men are not to be manipulated into giving up who they are so some women can have babies, not to be bossed around like they are just another child, and not to have their paycheck taken to spend at the spa because you think they owe it to you for you letting them be in your life. You work as a team, or at least respect each other enough to know you don’t own each other, but instead bring valuable assets to the table with your own individuality.
Even though my relationship life has not been the way I have wanted it to be, it has always been my mission to put strong role models in my son’s life and do what most women have the hardest time doing…minding my own business and letting boys be boys without judgement, eye rolling and parroting over his shoulder (don’t care who..teacher, grandfather, uncle, dad…) how I would do it.
Nothing will take away the mom/son bond, and it is a strong one. Yet I know that he is not mine, but instead, as Khalil Gibran says in The Prophet, children are “Life’s longing for itself…they come through you…yet they belong not to you.”
I definitely have not cornered the market on being a mom, but I do whatever it takes for my child to be raised by a strong, creative, humorous and resilient VILLAGE, of which men are an integral part and not just some punchline and a paycheck.