Raising a black son as a single mother can be one of the hardest jobs in parenthood, all on it’s own. From protecting them, loving them, showing them that they are worthy; the job of a single mom raising a boy to become a man is not light. For me, my son’s dad is an equal partner in raising him. However, that does not make me immune to a mistake that so many single moms make when raising their little boys that will one day become men. This is going to be harsh but real:
Your son is not your man. He is not the head of the house. He is not your partner. And he is not your friend.
On the surface, it makes sense. Like, obviously your son is not your man, he can’t be the head of your house or your partner, and your child is never your friend. The truth is that it can be incredibly difficult to not propel our sons into the empty role of man of the house when you are a single mom. Naturally, our sons will want to protect us and help out but there is a serious danger in perpetrating the idea that your son is your partner instead of your child.
Let’s be really honest for a minute. Eventually, you will get sick of being single and may want to dabble in the dating pool when the time is right. If you find a man to be your life partner, you will have a rough time trying to integrate him into your home and your child’s life because they are competing for the same role. They are both trying to be your life partner when that is a one man job.
Secondly, you are raising a boy that you will have to release into the world as a man. Him being the head of your house at 10 years old is not preparing him to exist in the world without you. It isn’t preparing him, emotionally, to be an adult. And his future relationships will always be sabotaged because he will be expecting his future spouse to take your place in his life. It is an unhealthy dynamic that can’t be undone.
I am no expert in child rearing or bringing up little brown boys. The fact, however, is that I have dated men that spent their entire upbringing playing house with their mommies. They have been the man of the house since adolescents and it showed in negative ways. Don’t force your son to grow up too soon. You are the parent and the head of the house. Instead, look for positive male role models, if possible, to help mold them to become the men of their own home one day.