Raising Our Girls

I’m a product of a broken home. A single parent home. My mother raised me. She did it alone. My dad wasn’t there. Not mentally. Not physically. Not spiritually. Not financially. So, my mom worked three jobs to provide a roof over our heads, clothes on our back and food in the house.

She worked. She worked hard. While working those three jobs she went to school. She was still working to earn her bachelor’s degree while I was in school. She earned it when I was in college. She now has her doctorate in education. She’s pretty determined huh?

My mom taught me that life is about survival. There is no shame in starting over. You will do what you need to do  to provide for your children. You have no choice. You have no option. You’re a girl who will become a woman and you have to be strong.

Even when you don’t want to.

Being raised in a single parent home as a young girl I saw that determination and knew that nothing less would be expected of me. But, that singular focus to raise a strong black woman did something to me when it comes to my relationships with men. It blurred them. It gave me a false understanding of roles in relationships.

What do you mean T?

I didn’t see a man as needing to be a provider because a man wasn’t providing for me in any way. I was going to be able to provide for me and any children I had because that is what women are supposed to do. Step up at all costs.

I did. I went to school. I studied hard. I got married. I resisted having children until I could financially afford to care of them on my own. I struggled to maintain an outside appearance of a united front. A picture perfect couple. We weren’t.

I was emasculating him in some ways. Not letting him know that he was needed. Making him feel as though he was just a piece on my board game because I could buy the game, play by myself and replace any broken pieces. Dang.

That was kinda harsh. I owned it. I had so many standards for men that you had to have all the things on my list or you would be dismissed. But, what I wanted truly was not on that list. I needed emotional support. I needed a man who valued my need to communicate and support me emotionally.

I needed to know that someone had my back. But, I never told anyone. Not any boyfriend I ever had. Not my ex-husband. I was afraid of being vulnerable. Superwomen were indestructible. We could never show vulnerability.

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27 thoughts on “Raising Our Girls

  1. Well I don’t need to say coodos to you on making this powerful move and accepting admitting and forgiving your past. I hope you are now in a place where you are open to being vulnerable and thus open to being accepted for you! Self reflection is a beautiful thing….but keep that power girl!!! Queen ish lol

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    1. Yes, I am. I’ve always said black people need 3 things: Jesus, wine and therapy. Therapy made me see my shortcomings and get the heck out of my own way. I’m in a great place now with a great man that I have the utmost respect and appreciation for. We’re adults and we’re vocal about our needs/wants and it works. He gets me. I told him these things before writing my post because he reads everything I write.

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  2. I hear where you are coming from. Times have changed so much over the years. Circumstances change. Woman are becoming more and more independent. I think it takes a strong man, to understand a strong independent woman. I don’t see the woman being at fault, there just needs to be a balance.

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    1. We’re both to blame. Our rise to independence is great, but emasculating our men is not. However, men need to understand their roles/views and be willing to work with a strong woman. I want a man that can match me or better financially and be a huge emotional supporter.

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  3. I am raised only by my mom alsp. Only now i am realizing how affected I am. Full of drama, egocentric, showing how strong, super cool or funny I am. And in the end of the day all you need is just somebody to stand by you and support you in anything you do. I have this hope that one day i will be able to trust and open myself. Great post!

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    1. Whew! That is so true sis. Women are raising us but not understanding the magnitude of what we experience in our relationships when we grow up. I didn’t realize it until I turned 40. LOL. Hopefully, you found out before then.

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    1. Agreed. The first step is to acknowledge your issue and then accept it. You have to fix your ownself or be alone. I had to own my BS baggage and realize that if I ever wanted a fulfilling relationship I had to be willing to change my thinking. I’m a firm believer that we’re never too old to change.

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  4. Great post T, the independent streak is something you should be very proud of, and even prouder to see where is has served your well at times and other times maybe not so much. I’m so happy to hear all is well in dating land for you….yeah you! You had me a little worried a few weeks ago.

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  5. gosh, I can’t tell you how closely this resembles my growing up life…the big problem of course is that my daughter now has men issues. she simply can’t relate to them. there’s a heck of a lot more to this and not as simplistic as that, but the sum total is that she is unable to settle into a relationship with a man. I can’t either….history has repeated itself.

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