WHAT HAPPENED TO “THE FAMILY”?

Have we become desensitized? Have we been programmed to think that a traditional family is out of reach? Being a product of divorce; my ideas of a family may be different from most. Why is being raised in a single-parent home the norm? The Black Family is becoming extinct. It’s almost a misnomer to put those two words together. When you find yourself in this sort of a hole, someone once said, the first thing to do is stop digging.

We’ve become so fixated on being a couple; finding a relationship; that we don’t think about being a family. I don’t have a traditional family, but I did start out wanting that and striving for that goal. When you involve children the goal should be to have a two-parent home. Every child deserves to have a Mother and Father. We’ve become so disillusioned about what a family is; marriage; that most women are encouraged to pursue career aspirations, and discouraged to marry or let alone become pregnant. We are penalized in our careers for becoming pregnant or already having children.

After staying home with my daughter her first year of life I went back to work out of necessity, and was guilt-ridden. I was an emotional wreck. The times I needed to leave work to see after my daughter I was practically ostracized for having the audacity to leave work. What’s wrong with this picture?

We don’t encourage and support each other as women. I’m too busy competing with myself to be in some unspoken competition with another woman. We keep saying were going to have the hard conversations and we’re not. The most common single-parent home is a result of divorce. Why are we more concerned with having “love” and not having a family? In 2011 most American born children are born into a single-parent home. 72 % and higher; those are some of the statistics cited for single-parent black homes.

If you are a product of a two-parent household; thank your lucky stars. If you came from a loving household with a Mother and a Father that continue to be married; you are the exception to every rule. I can’t help but feel that a lot of issues that are prevalent in the black community would disappear if we concentrated on establishing traditional relationships such as marriage. There is a disproportionate amount of “at risk youth”, divorce, incarceration, poverty, teenage pregnancy, AIDS, homosexuality, and the lack of education. Being a single-parent doesn’t afford the parent the luxury of having much time with your children. Like everyone else; it takes a lot to just maintain. We are a product of our environment. We learn by example. When we don’t learn from our past we are delegated to repeat the mistakes and we perpetuate the issues we need to overcome. I’d rather have family over a “relationship”, but you can’t have one without the other.

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