Raised by Single Mom: Gift or Curse?

“Why are women from single parent homes (specifically those raised by moms) so defensive and anti-men?  Who’s to blame; mom or daughter?”

A friend of mine texted me those questions the other day and I wondered if other men shared his sentiment.  If so, it kind of suggests that men may see women with defense mechanisms as a negative trait as opposed to a positive attribute.

It’s a tough set of questions because at the end of the day, it’s all-relative.  A women being raised by a single mom doesn’t guarantee that the woman will become defensive or anti-men.  Likewise, a women who was raised by both parents isn’t a guarantee that she won’t be ‘defensive and anti-men.”  It all depends on the women.

It seems that some men may see women who were raised by single moms as complex, while those women are simply trying to beat a ‘curse?’  Afterall, one could look at any child, man or woman, who survives a single parent household as a gift and a curse.

It’s a gift because it instills a survival strength that you just can’t teach someone.  It’s a curse because it often creates overly independent or dependent people.  Like I said, it all depends on the person.

Sure, there are women who are extra.  She may come with extra attitude and habits, but it could be a result of extra issues or problems that have followed her throughout life.  While that ‘extra’ part of her didn’t happen overnight and it cannot be solved overnight, is it fair to blame the ‘extra’ part of her on her mother or herself?  If we placed the blame on anyone, for starters, one could argue that we could start with the man aka her father. But why?

Why place a blame instead of a goal of difference.  And deep down, I think all women raised by a single mom want to be that difference.  They don’t all accomplish it but they all want to be the one in their family who isn’t a single mom.

In my opinion, I think women who come from single mom homes are less defensive and more protective.  Women have to protect themselves.  If they don’t, who will?  Surely not their fathers.

And its not to say that men should bare the burden of a woman’s past.  He shouldn’t.  But he also shouldn’t act as if women haven’t been backing men for decades.

I’m reminded of a great quote, “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

Maybe its time we stop complaining about what has destroyed us and begin finding solutions to help rebuid our brothas and sistat’s to the kings and queens they were designed to be.

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love.  For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel visit www.ashleycharisma.com.

You can also follow Ashley Charisma on:
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  1. My parents separated when I was about 10 years and that is when things financially got tough. When my dad left he left and never called or came by again. When I got older my mother taught me to fend for myself and never depend on anyone and I knew what she meant and why she was saying it. She never told me to not put any faith in a man but I knew that was what she was trying to tell me without actually coming out and saying it. I thank my mom for that advice. It was probably one of the best lessons we can teach our children. To put your faith in a man is to put your faith in the wind. I know this and it has never hindered my ability to love and trust a man. With my mother’s great advice though I am prepared just in case things fall apart.

    God bless the child that has got its own.

  2. Single black mother have become the fall guys for everything wrong in the community. Everyone is responsible for the irresponsibility of black men except for black men themselves. Singles moms aren’t teaching their daughters to shun or hate men. Many of them probably aren’t teaching their daughters anything. These women learn not to trust men from men themselves. I think if anything girls who grow up without fathers in their lives seek out men to look up to and trust. Often times they find themselves being used and abandoned and from that they learn to be weary and untrusting.

  3. Hola Brown Sistas. Glad to see the site back online.

    Insightful article Ashley Charisma.

    We must look for solutions and not just reasons to blame the other person. We are lost without one another. Brown sistas need brown brothas and vise versa.

  4. This question is asked a lot lately. There is no holy grail of an answer and like the author said, there is no overnight “cure”.

    As a single mom I am trying to raise my daughter to be balanced and loving. She of course has some issues with men because she feels her father abandoned her. It’s my job to help her understand that all men are not the same and should be judged on their own merits.

    The men who have issues with dating a woman raised by a single mom are often too concerned about how their lives will be negatively impacted rather on how they can be the man to love, respect and accept that woman so much, the scars are healed and the walls crumble because he cares. It takes a man of extraordinary character to do this. Unfortunately, it is like trying to find a four-leaf clover.

  5. Can’t Speak on The subject,Been raised by a Father and mother.However I will say this, Where you’re from, Your past, Your mistake, Will forever hold you down as long as you let them.

  6. It is what it is. I love my white momma and she love me, so that’s all I need. : ) lol

  7. i was raised by a single mother, whith other siblings. Growing up we ate the same food alomst everyday except Fridays(pay day) and Sundays what we called special food. Over roof had holes and we had to carry water up an hill trip after trip to full a tank to shower us and to cook food…….to make a long story short it’s a gift me and my siblings. i made it to the United States doing my major in Criminal Justice, my sister is an accountant and my brother own a mini mart in Trinidad. Today my mother own a Health Food Shop, and travel back and forth from Trinidad to the U.S.

  8. Single black mothers are simply in denial. In denial of the fact that they do have a huge responsibility in the failure of their past relationships and so they become bitter, this bitterness is passed to daughters and then grand daughters and the cycle continues
    Why are most black women not married? well look no further ,just go back and see the women who raise them, what values do these women put in their daughters heads? nothing, if ot whining and endlessly playing the ”woe is me” role
    How do you expect a babymomma?( a category where a huge majority of black women fall) to teach their daughters how to deal with men,society ,moral values and marriage? for pete’s sake if these women knew how to deal with men in the first place dont we think they would be wives instead of babymommas…uh

  9. LMBAO @ Oliver’s comment:
    Single black mothers are simply in denial. In denial of the fact that they do have a huge responsibility in the failure of their past relationships and so they become bitter, this bitterness is passed to daughters and then grand daughters and the cycle continues
    SOME single black men (I men adult aged boys) are simply in denial Denial of the fact that they too have a huge responsibility in the failure of their relationships and not being fathers to their children. Their not stepping up up to the plate causes their daughters to not know what real men are; therefore making bad choices of mates and their sons thinking that it’s okay to procreate and not be fathers to their children and thus begins the cycle…………
    Oliver asks:
    “How do you expect a babymomma?( a category where a huge majority of black women fall) to teach their daughters how to deal with men,society ,moral values and marriage? for pete’s sake if these women knew how to deal with men in the first place dont we think they would be wives instead of babymommas…uh”
    Flip the question because for every baby mama there is a baby daddy. How do you expect a baby daddy (a category where a huge majority of black men fall) to teach their sons how to deal with women, society, morals, values and marriage? For pete’s sake if these men knew how to deal with women, be DADDIES, stay out of the penal system and not cheat and lie in the first place don’t we think they would be better MEN, FATHERS and husbands instead of deadbeat baby daddies…uh
    I am 35 and have been HAPPILY married since the age of 20 to a man that is an excellent DADDY to our children and a wonderful husband but I was raised by a single mother. Hopefully from here on out you will see that not ALL single mothers are bitter nor do they repeat a cycle of bad choices.

  10. I have only one question, Can all of us can replace the word “single mother” with some great word i mean a single word

  11. Thank you for sharing this info. I received an email about the issue and posted responded with the following:

    I find this topic quite interesting. Although I don’t believe we can put all folk with similar backgrounds and experiences and classify and judge them as a group, but sociological studies disagree with me..

    There may be some validity to this observation depending upon the disposition of the mother while raising her daughter or son, how she felt about men, spoke about men.. but I can see why these women might be defensive.

    It’s equally imperative that daughters have positive male role models in their lives as well as our boys. It does create a happy balance and perspective.. again a reason I fought so hard for my daughter’s dad to build a relationship with her regardless of how I felt about him. It’s just easier for her to understand men and not take things so personal. I watched her mature in this area.

    Awhile back cousin sent me an with a photo of her son’s affection for his dad, her husband. It was truly beautiful.. It made mention about the impact a father has on his sons and I “also his daughters” giving them the ability to identify what love from a man looks and feels like.

    Although I raised (raising daughter) as a single mom, I was blessed to have two parents growing up. My mother who was loved by her dad and her husband, therefore she didn’t mind sharing herself and giving herself sacrificially. I had a loving father positive, protective brothers.. In “The Myth of the Broken Home” I speak often about the endearing things I shared with my father growing up, then to develop a loving relationship with my bio dad.. wow! It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m sorry but I compare every man against my fathers and that is what’s hard for me sometimes. I have no problem releasing a man no matter how bad it hurts.. brothers have a hard road to toll measuring up against my dads Roy Gene and Douglas Everett. Every man I have dated says I’m spoiled and that I get pissed when I can’t have my way. I just know what a good man does, how he acts, responds when he loves a woman and when he loves his girls. I become frustrated when anything less comes my way. Lord, and the strength I gained from my brothers as a young woman has been a gift as well.

    Thus again we see the importance of having both parents during a child’s development. Regardless if they are married or single, emotionally healthy fixtures in their child’s life is important. But again I reiterate no matter what state one finds him or herself, be good at it. Single parents are not less than..and if men are not present, the emotional, psychological work for that child, even into adulthood is more difficult.

    April Gabrielle’, Author
    The Myth of the Broken Home

  12. This is an over generalization. If a person has problem with men, how in the world did it become the “fault” of a single mother? A young woman can become “defensive” because of WHAT they have seen, what they have personally experienced, or even societal perceptions. Men need to stop perceiving every comment, opinion, or even honest assessment of a situation from a woman as being “bitter” or “anti-men”. This is not to state some women are not bitter but feelings are characteristics that cannot be quantified, so you can’t assume that the foundation for an opinion is mired in negativity.

    Let’s be realistic. Please read and re-read Jac comments.

  13. Complex topic. IMO, it all goes back to the brothers. Since they WANT and NEED to be head of households, ultimately it is his responsibility to the woman and the child. Yes, there are foolish women that choose to lay down with brothas that they KNOW will not commit. However, men know their intentions before even going there. So once again this is a curse coming back to haunt brothas. Brothas need to stop lying down with woman they have no desire to STAY WITH.

    MEN: it takes WISDOM, SACRIFICE and just plain common sense to be a GOOD MAN! Spreading seeds that you don’t plain on sticking around to sow will come back to bite you…the sins of the father…remember: If you don’t pay directly– your sons and daughters WILL!

    I am married and was raised by grandmother/mother. Other than watching my uncles (5) live, I had no true definition of what it is to be a wife or what to expect from a husband. This did not leave me to blindly go out into the world and fumble about though….as I stated before I am a scientist, so I read and study on any subject that I wish to become more knowledgeable in. Not to say that all of life’s issues can be solved by picking up a book, but ladies—IT DOES HELP TREMENDOUSLY. Reading and than coming to my own conclusion has saved me from MUCH drama.

    If you so happen to be raised by one parent, use it as motivation to learn what you were not taught.

    Being raised by one parent is not a gift or curse…it JUST IS! It may define some, but those who CHOOSE to be different will not allow that one single factor to spoil the rest of their life. It’s a CHOICE to be bitter or happy.

  14. JBL wrote: “Single black mothers have become the fall guys for everything wrong in the community…”

    I couldnt have said it better myself!!!

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