Lorraine Spencer: I Am My Mother’s Child Well…Kinda Sorta

Lorraine Spencer: I Am My Mother’s Child Well…Kinda Sorta

“Understanding that there are exceptions to every rule, many many children of single headed households do wonderfully in life and love. But they are exceptions. The overwhelming majority of children in these households will suffer at some point during childhood.”

Author : Lorraine Spencer

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1.     I am actually enjoying the branches that keep sprouting out from the “No Wedding No Womb” awareness efforts. There are so many aspects and angles that I could not have imagined are even remotely related.  Chris Karazin, the founder has done a wonderful job articulating these sentiments felt by legion mothers.

My parents are both uneducated but made sure we had access to public education out of segregated South.  For that we are thankful. But I can relate to what you observed in your research.  My sibs and are all scattered across the country having long left the coup, but it actually gave our mom a reason to visit places she could never have even imagined when she was growing up. Now they have traveled the world after seeing how fearless my sibs and I were to drive, sail or fly to our respective ports of call. There was some resentment as one sister went here and one went there.  But I digress.

My mom got a travel bug after I moved away.  All of a sudden, I’d call home and my mom would be in Chicago one time, New Jersey the next, one trip to Colorado for a while eventually making her way to the UK and Germany. Growing up in a rural hot bed of civil rights activities and extreme racial hatred of blacks, my mother could barely think of crossing the state lines at the back of the bus without danger, let along getting on a plane.  My parents wanted so much more and knew there had to be something better in life for my siblings and me — if we could just get a good education. We are thankful for that wisdom and vision. With all the education we have and all the bragging my mom does on us; we still better not try to correct her or she’ll have a verbal correction of her own waiting for us.

When I turned 15, we could not help but notice the growing bellies some of our friends and neighborhood girls in my age group who had become pregnant.  My parents practiced the old school style of parenting and discipline.  I don’t agree with that particular style and reject it raising my own children.  Nevertheless, the message was clear.   I can still hear my mother now, “I’m not taking care of no babies.”  Rolling our eyes and exhaling a non verbal ‘whatever’ under our breath, my sisters and I would further hear:  “In case you didn’t understand, I mean you better not bring no babies in this house!”  Ok Ok we got it.  Again, not conventional but we got it.  My sisters and I did as my mother and held to the “No Wedding No Womb” standard — choosing to wait for marriage before even thinking about children.   This for us actually meant a Biblical perspective and model.  My sisters and I practiced what was preached.  Later we made the decision to live our lives child free before settling down.

As far as keeping my mother close to us (internally) my brothers declare that my 3 sisters and I ALL are like our mom even though we all have different personalities.  Ok, yep, she’s here.  But for my own daughter, I prefer to talk to her candidly with age appropriate subject matter.  My husband and I want what most parents want for their children.  We try to instill Christian principles and values.  We teach her to work hard in school, or sports or whatever goals they strive to attain.  We teach and show our children how hard work pays off.  This model worked well for my sisters and me.  We vetted the men we married and found quality man who had promising futures as husbands and providers.  We planned our weddings and subsequent families.  We are passing down the same lessons to our sons and daughters but with kinder words and a little more understanding than what our parents conveyed.

Understanding that there are exceptions to every rule, many many children of single headed households do wonderfully in life and love.  But they are exceptions.  The overwhelming majority of children in these households will suffer at some point during childhood.  This suffering can manifest itself in many ways in adulthood.  For young women, this could be promiscuity or picking abusive men.  In young men become abusers or misogynistic.  Furthermore, childhood suffering in men may be revealed in misogyny in our nation’s prisons and juvenile detention centers as the absence of a positive father in the home is a proven pattern.  And to think that most of this black American crisis and entire scenario can be avoided when said with conviction and fierce sincerity:  “No Wedding, No Womb!”

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