I did not intend to post until tonight or maybe tomorrow, but an article I saw as I was perusing various discussion boards caught my eye. I will post the link and provide a brief breakdown of the article. The link is as follows:
The author of this article, Kerri Zane, has labeled herself as a “single mother adviser and healthy living expert”. After reading this article, I shudder at the thought at what she is possibly telling the single women who, for whatever reasons, seek her advice.
According to Zane, she and her husband split eleven years ago, giving her the opportunity to parent her daughters “solo”. (More on that later). She provides 5 “benefits” of single parenthood, and I cannot determine which one is more selfish:
1. She does not have to negotiate with anyone else on any decision concerning her kids (this confuses me… Just because Dad is not in the familial home does not mean he does not have equal say–well, in a responsible co-parenting situation, it wouldn’t). The article says, and I quote: “While your married counterparts continue to disagree on the state of their children’s welfare, you get to make unilateral choices, which in the long run is better for your offspring’s well-being. A child’s behavior can be negatively affected by adult arguing. It will either leave them crying their eyes out or running for cover. With no one else in the house to challenge your choices, you may continue to be the cozy constant security blanket your children need”.
I am not sure how Zane’s marriage operated, but in my own, and in my parents, making decisions together does not have to turn into a bloodbath. If both parents are committed to their child’s stability, security, and growth toward productive adulthood, they can reasonably compromise on any major decisions! Zane strikes me as a woman with control issues, and apparently not of a Christian household, where the wife willingly submits to the husband’s authority, as he willingly submits to Christ’s authority.
It gets better.
2. Zane is proud that she gets to be the sole role model for independence for her daughters. Again, another quote: “One of the best gifts I was able to give my two daughters was the knowledge that they can make it on their own. Change a light bulb without a dad in the house — snap Mom. Swoop a stylish up-do for your teen with no mom in sight — yeah Dad”.
I’ve been able to change light bulbs since I was six or seven, haven’t you?
Zane sounds like she was in a competition for her kid’s approval. And, apparently unbeknownst to her, independence can be taught in a two-parent household just fine. Just ask…me! My DAD was instrumental in telling me to make sure I went to college and took whatever steps necessary to ensure that I would be able to make it on my own and not have to depend on a man. My dad explained to me that I lived a life of “double jeopardy”–being a woman and being Black, I may have some extra obstacles to overcome and education was the best way to surpass them if they presented. Those are my DAD’S words, not my mother’s (of course, she taught me things as well, but my dad was definitely more insistent on further education beyond high school).
3. Relationship options may vary… Zane talks about the fact that marriage rates are declining. Is that a good thing? She states that “Children will be enlightened and possibly relieved that they are no longer tied to that traditional lifestyle”. (HUGE SIGH). She continues, “Marriage is optional and sometimes not applicable. Long-term relationships without wedding bands can be stronger”, and finally, “These lessons are particularly important for girls, who were raised on the fictitious belief that Prince Charming would sweep them of their feet to live happily ever after, only to become enormously disappointed when their fairytale ending turns into a hardcore courtroom reality”.
So is it best to advise our kids not to get married at all because they might get divorced, or train our sons and daughters up in the ways they should go? I understand some marriages just do not work out. Some people get married too young, some too impetuously, and some people put more effort into the wedding than the marriage itself. There are a lot of damaging messages about marriage sent to our children via the media, THIS BEING ONE OF THEM. Look at all the attention Kim Kardashian and her 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries and subsequent divorce are getting. Remember Britney Spears “jokingly” getting married to her first husband in Las Vegas wearing raggedy blue jeans, only to have it annulled?
As a mother to a son and daughter, I play my role accordingly–my husband and I are the ones who are going to give them a first-hand look at marriage, and it is important for us to set a good example. My son and daughter get to see most things, except disagreements, in action. They see the mutual respect, the compromise, the SHARED decision making and supportive discipline (meaning if one of us disciplines our son, the other does not go against the plan of action). They see a team effort and reap the benefits of that.
I will admit–I felt a huge twinge of envy a couple weekends ago when I found out my younger, childless, unmarried sister-in-law was headed out for a rather spontaneous trip to Chicago. She and her companions took their time getting there, stopping along the way at various outlet malls and stores. Would I love to be able to do something like that every now and then? Absolutely. But I am 100% more content with being married–I have a constant companion, friend, and lover. I see no reason why I would EVER want to go back to dating. I do not want to sleep around or feel pressured to. I do not want to waste time trying to figure out a man’s intentions, and I know I will never again find a love like the one I have. I am GOOD.
4. This one may be the most absurd, but I do not know… Single parents do not have to share their beds.
Seriously, that’s what it says. Click on the link if you do not believe me.
According to Zane, although married couples have more sex, it is not as “fun”. Exsqueeze me? (She’s never been to my house, obviously, heh heh)… I have plenty of fun knowing that I am sleeping with the same, disease-free person every time, and it gets better each time we “practice”. 🙂
But, the following sentence tells me all I need to know about this woman:
“While they constantly have to “spice it up” in the bedroom, the nature of being single and switching partners does all the cooking for us. We tease, experiment and explore the bawdy awareness of every new lover”.
What a GREAT example to set for your daughters, Zane. I am now concerned for your daughters if you are their sole role model. I will NEVER in my life tell my daughter, or my son for that matter, that sleeping around is “fun”! Does parenting get more irresponsible than that? While you’re at it, tell them how good it feels to be high!
Here is the last one:
5. Married women gain more weight.
“Marriages are like your freshman year in college. You have the tendency to pack on the pounds. One study found that women could gain five to eight pounds in the first few years of their wedded bliss and a whopping 54 pounds by the ten-year mark, while their single counterparts stay slim. Most of us have an overriding desire to want to be attractive to prospective mates of the opposite sex”.
Allegedly, this foolish article was written in celebration of National Single Parents Day. Who the HECK implemented that?
Now, understand this–I do not think we should condemn single parents. If the other parent is irresponsible, then that is who deserves the condemning. But let’s examine the statistics as related to single parenthood, single motherhood in particular, since 90% of single parenthood homes are directed by women:
This should be an embarrassment to EVERY member of the Black community: In 2011, 67% of our children lived in single-parent households. Is it a coincidence that we also have the highest poverty rate? I think not. The following link shows that statistic and breaks the rate down by state:
Studies have shown that kids in single mother households have a higher likelihood to:
Engage in criminal activity.
Have lower educational performance.
Live in poverty.
The list of negatives is expansive. And if you want to know more, ASK the child of a single-parent household. I do not know ANY who do not feel like they missed out on something without their father being in the picture (because most I know came from single-mother homes, not single-father homes).
In my search for information, I found the following blog here on WordPress, and I hope this author does not mind me mentioning his blog, because it is an EXCELLENT read and everyone should go look: It is called The Fatherless Generation here on WordPress.
The overall tones of the article and the five reasons given by Zane to explain the “benefits” of single-parenthood are nauseatingly selfish. So basically, this woman is not advocating marriage because she:
1) Wants total, sole control over everything about her children’s lives, signaling some kind of deficiency within HER… I would think that most people know when they have a child with someone else, that that person is going to have some sort of opinion about how their child should be raised. I am confused as to why that is a problem. Even though I am my children’s mother, that in no way, shape or form should be taken to mean that I am the only one who knows what is best for them. Zane is, in my opinion, abating the role of the father, implying that the father’s opinion is of less importance because he did not carry the baby (I know I am going further than what she said, but I know plenty of women who think that way). Do I feel a mother’s bond with her children may be stronger? To an extent, absolutely–we carry them! But do I think that because I carried my kids and my husband did not, that his point of view is automatically invalid? That is pretty doggone immature.
2) Thinks she is setting a fine example for her daughters because she appears to be a relatively successful author (who is buying this stuff??). Yet she fails to realize her daughters are not seeing the inner-workings of a healthy relationship.
3) Wants to be free to have tawdry, risky sex with as many partners as she wants to, because although it is irresponsible and immature, it is more “fun”. SMH
4) Does not want to share her bed. This one is just stupid.
5) Is more concerned about her looks than her children’s stability.
All in all, this is one of the most selfish, self-centered, narcissistic articles I have ever seen written by an actual MOTHER. This definitely goes against what is expected of a Christian woman, who is to remain virtuous and knows her place–everything written in this article is contrary to that. The Christian woman is not selfish, first and foremost, and looks kindly and wisely upon her household. She endeavors to make life easier for her husband and kids and puts them before herself, something this author appears to be incapable of doing.
I could go on, but my daughter has awakened from her slumber. SMH at this horrid article. I am sure this is my most passionate and possibly forceful post yet, and that is because this selfish article made me angry. I get tired sometimes from my motherhood duties, but life is not all about me. Whether or not I was prepared, once I had children, the old me decreased in importance. My life shifted from self-centeredness to child-centeredness. (Not sure if those are real words, but you get my drift). Now, that is not to say that a woman should lose herself in the motherhood process, but geez, your priorities are going to HAVE to shift! The same goes if you want a good marriage–and a good marriage definitely requires equal parts desire + work on behalf of both parties!!
Shame on you, Zane!