Friday, November 19, 2010
So…let me get your thoughts on something.
Lately I’ve been reading articles about the double standard between single, Black, 40-something year old men who are successful...but choose not to get married or have children – and their counterparts who decide the same. And I’ve also read the statistics that state that 72% of black children are born to unwed mothers (parents)…which got me to wondering…
Would any of you agree that if a black man or woman, for whatever reason, decide that they never want to get married, should they NOT have children? Ever?
I ask because it seems that even though we’re not getting married, we’re certainly still having kids. Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that children are never a mistake. They may not always be “planned” – but I believe that if you are here…God wanted you to be here. Period.
But there are those who say that black men and women who have children out of wedlock are “polluting” and/or “diluting” the gene pool of “desirable” parents for the next generation of our children. Successful, educated black men of a certain age with the means to take care of a child and provide for him/her are opting NOT to get married and have children, while "Pookie annem" are having babies all willy nilly and not taking care of them. The same can be said for black women who are choosing their career over a family, but the "Shenene’s" of the world are popping them out one by one.
I’m not saying this is true, but that is the perception. Don't shoot the messenger.
But what if the successful, educated black man/woman with the means to take care of a child actually decides to have one…but still doesn’t want to get married – then what? Should he/she be criticized for bringing a child into an “unwed” situation, even if they are an active parent in the child’s life, teaches him things, spends time with him and loves him? Or would they be contributing to the breakdown of the black family – even if they’d probably end up divorced if they got married anyway? As we've all heard by now, many feel that marriage is becoming obsolete - but being parent doesn't seem to be going out of style any time soon.
I ask because not everyone is meant to be in a monogamous relationship. Not everyone, regardless of education or status, has the tools necessary to compromise, or make the sacrifices necessary to have a successful marriage. Success in a career is VERY different than success in a relationship in many cases, so marriage may not be for everyone. Success and happiness no longer have to include a wife, a husband or a child. Sometimes a job, a cat and a Snuggie are really enough :-)
But can you be a great parent while not a great spouse? Or do you think they should go hand in hand? Is a person who would be considered a “desirable” parent selfish for not choosing to have children, or are they smart for knowing what they want or what they can or cannot handle? I’m curious to hear the answers to this one because some days I can see myself as a mother, but not a wife – and other days the opposite is true. So what say you?