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Real Talk Interview with SIngle Mommy, Ebony

Real Talk with Single Mommy... / Single Moms Talk / November 20, 2014

Introduce yourself

My name is Ebony D. I’m 26 years old and I currently live in Martinsburg, WV with my 5-year-old son, Malachi. I’ve worked in the banking industry for over 6 years, but, after recently graduating with a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University I’m ready to change career fields.

I have a passion for helping others, especially single mothers and young girls. I’m still trying to figure out how to turn my passion into my career.

How did you begin your journey into single motherhood

That’s a hard question. There’s no cookie-cutter, simple answer. It’s a combination of a lot of things. I got pregnant and had a child with someone I knew was unreliable, unstable and probably not ready to handle the responsibility of being a parent. Then, a few months after my son was born his father was incarcerated for about 2 ½ years. Prior to his incarceration and even afterwards, there were periods of time when he was involved and others when he wasn’t.

What are the challenges that you face raising a son alone?

Disciplining my son has probably been one of my biggest challenges and I’m not sure how much easier it will get as my son grows in height and in strength. When my son’s father came back into the picture, I immediately noticed a difference in how he responded to being disciplined. I would have to yell, spank or threaten timeout to get my son to stop doing whatever he wasn’t supposed to be doing in the first place. All his father had to do was barely raise his voice and my son’s whole demeanor would change. Problem solved. I think boys definitely see men and women in a different light even at a young age. My son challenges me more. With his father, he’s more submissive.

How did you explain the absence of his father to your son?

His father was incarcerated for the majority of his life until he was 3 years old, minus 4-5 months when he was an infant. So unfortunately, his father’s absence is the norm. After his father was released from jail, he became a regular fixture in his life. Barely a year later, he was absent again. Since then there was only one time, last year, when my son asked why his father didn’t come visit or call him anymore.  I told him the truth; I don’t know. As mother’s I think that’s all we can do.  We have to be honest with our children and ourselves by not answering questions we don’t know the answers too.

Do you believe that the absence of his father on a day-to-day bases has affected your son or has your boyfriend helped to fill that void?

Honestly, I know it’s affecting him. But, at this point I can’t identify exactly how. I grew up with an absentee father and it wasn’t until I got older that I started to see the ways that my father’s absence affected me. My son has a great relationship with my brother and boyfriend. I think they both help fill the void of not having a father you can look up to and depend on.  

How involved is your current boyfriend…i.e., do you allow him to be alone with your son, does he take him to sporting events, etc.

Our relationship is long distance so my boyfriend isn’t able to be there on a day-to-day basis. However, he’s as involved as he can be.  They spend time alone together, hang out with my boyfriend’s friends and have gone to special events together, as well. He also attends my son’s athletic games and school events as much as possible.

So you’re in a relationship?

I’ve been in a relationship for about 2 ½ years. My boyfriend is amazing and has a great relationship with my son.

When do you think that single moms should bring the men they date around their child?

I don’t know if there is a “right’ time. I do think it’s better to introduce your children to your significant other in the early stages of the relationship. After all, once you’re struck by the love bug it’s not easy to walk away, regardless of the reason. So I would have to say before you introduce your child to your significant other make sure that you both want to pursue a long-term relationship. Once you’ve agreed on that, the introduction should also take place before you fall too deep. After all, finding the right partner is only half of the battle as a single mother. The other half is finding a person that fits your child.

That leads me into my next question, how is dating different as a single parent?

As a single parent, you don’t have a lot of time to waste. So for me, dating became more serious. If something didn’t click by the second or third date at most, that was it. Also, the qualities you look for in a potential partner change.

Do you think it is harder to date as a single mom?

Yes, especially when you date men that don’t have any children. In my experiences, some men just didn’t understand that you can’t ask me to go dinner or a movie the day of and expect that I’ll be able to make it. As a single mother, you just don’t have the freedom to come and go like you did before kids.

What advice would you give to a newly single mom?

Don’t forget about yourself. Being a mother is a huge part of your identity but, it’s not all of who you are. You’re a woman. You have wants and needs. You have goals and aspirations. You have hobbies and passions. Don’t become so busy building a great life for your children that you forget to build a life of your own, because one day your children are going to grow up, venture out into the world and build their own life.

What is the best advice that you ever received about single parenthood?

I know a lot of single mothers. Ironically, I’ve never received any advice about single parenthood. I’ve also never asked for any. So, I encourage all mothers to open themselves and share their stories with other single mothers. Offer words of encouragement, advice or just a shoulder to lean on…. even when you aren’t asked too.

3 words that would describe you?

Intelligent, resilient, evolving

3 words that describe your parenting style?

Involved, understanding, structured

How do you respond to people who say, “I don’t know how you single moms do it? It must be so hard?”

I agree with them, sometimes I don’t know how I do it either and hell yeah, it’s hard. But, just like any other parent, I’m going to do whatever I have to do raise my child the best way I know how.

Do you think that people look down on single mothers?

I definitely think that a lot of people prejudge single mothers, especially if you’re a minority.

What is your biggest fear as a single mom?

I have a son and my biggest fear as a single mom is that I can’t teach my son how to be a man.

What advice would you give a mom who is struggling to co-parent?

Remember that regardless of how bad of a partner your ex was during your relationship, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to or can’t be a better father. If they want to be involved, put your feelings aside and allow them that opportunity.

If you could change one thing about your life as a single mom, what would it be?

The only thing I would change about being a single mom is being a single mom.

What is the one thing that people don’t know about single moms?

We are our biggest critics.

What are the 3 most important characteristics that you want to instill in your son?

Confidence, self-reliance and self-discipline 

What do you say to people who believe that there isn’t a difference between raising African-American boys and White boys-

Little white boys grow up and become men.  Little black boys grow up and become Black men.  See the difference? 

 

You can reach Ebony at:

Blog:  Journey II Me 

Facebook: Ebony Marie

IG: ebony_marie

Twitter: ebony_marie_

Real Talk With Single Mommy, Ebony

 

 

 

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Ty Knighten
Ty Knighten knows a thing or two about relationships and dating. A single mom from Calif., Ty decided to turn her experiences in love and relationships into a blog. Written with plenty of sass, her mission is to help women empower themselves to realize love, success and confidence through her articles. She writes about dating and relationships from the perspective of a single mom but adds insights that will help women and men as they maneuver through the confusing world of dating and relationships. You can reach her on Twitter @UHeardMeRight, on Facebook at The Sexy Single Mommy or connect with her on Google+ and Instagram at chocoty.




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