10 Things I Learned While Single, Black and Child-less
Chris Rock says, “even roaches have kids,” validating that parenting is one of life’s greatest and popular blessings. Parents rave endlessly about the joys of raising a bambino and D.H. Glazer wrote a touching “Top 10” list of lessons learned as a married father of two. As a single twenty-sexxy Black woman with no children (yet), I decided to list the main reasons why this statistic is not a bleak and dismal sentence.
1. Selfish Is OKAY- Single & child-less automatically designates you as the priority. There is no one else constantly on the brain unless you choose to fill that space (with a loved one, significant other, etc.). Choosing to leave work for example, jet to a happy hour event that somehow turns into 3am shenanigans, is quite alright. Exercising prerogative when you want is a freeing feeling exclusive to the single and child-less.
2. The Exception Not The Norm– According to a study released by the US Census Bureau in 2009, approx. 13.7 million single parents are amongst the dating majority.When meeting other singles or on the dating scene, the response, “single, no kids,” turns many heads! What?? You made it this far without a child?? Many are intrigued and become instantly appreciative of the “single and child-less” status (see #1).
3. Finances Factor– Navigating the basics of life inclusive of bills, work, bills and more work is tough and expensive! For some, (okay mainly me) finding financial balance is often a struggle. Consider the effort made in budgeting to shop, socialize, and remain a taxpaying citizen in the U.S. Now factor in a child, with rising costs in daycare and education, as well as clothing, food, and life experiences for the impressionable adult. Having a child can upgrade finance issues from small to overwhelming. Consider that when whining about wanting a baby. Can you afford one? Can you even afford yourself?
4. “Role Model” Is A Choice – Parenting is defined as the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Clearly this involves influencing and leading by example so the child has a basis for morality and daily interaction. Special attention should be given to the impact of media and pop culture often presented by the parent. For example, certain songs, movies and even groups of “friends” become filtered as not to negatively influence the child. “Single and child-less” gives license to listen to unedited versions of “Hard In Da Paint” or “Becky” (Jesus be an ipod) full blast in the ride for it is a reflection of you. Not the ratchet parent-version of you. So turn that filthy commercial radio music up a lil’ higher!
5. Limitless Location Options– The 20’s and early 30’s are often the time for major strides in work or dream realizations. Companies and bosses can change as well as the career path. Consider the added stress presented when contemplating a major move and factoring in the rearing of a child. Concerns about education systems, youth activity and even crime rate greatly affect the decision. “Single and child-less” can pack up and move without the extensive planning that would involve transitioning with-child.
6. Dating Is Less Challenging & More Fun!– Only single parents can relate to the perils of dating; a tumultuous and rarely rewarding process necessary to find the one best suited for you. “Single and child-less” can sift through the crazies (they outnumber the sane) without fear of damaging an impressionable youth. Getting to know the individual without pretense or pressure of how well their step-parenting skills are makes for organic relationships with endless possibilities.
7. The Body Is A Temple – “Single and child-less” women(pre-child) have a familiarity with their young bodies. We’re a bit partial to our perky breasts, smaller waists and existing stretch marks. All the landscape shifts once pregnancy and child birth hits. The female body goes through changes that may alter it for life. While nature’s effects can not be avoided, postponing until completely ready is not so bad-especially during swimsuit season. Justsaying.
8. Reckless Abandonment – Chasing thrills and living on the edge can be a blast!! That is, until you become a parent and must rethink spontaneity. Gambling with life hoping nothing “bad happens,” suddenly affects the young child’s entire future should the parent be removed from the picture. So, riding motorcycles without helmets, excessive drinking and partying, even making the ever-popular sextape remain “fun” options for the “single and child-less.”
9. Living Vicariously – As most singles know, parents need a break too! If “single and child-less” ever falls into a small depression or long for the parenting experience, simply ask to babysit or hang out with the family for a day. The benefit is viewing the beauty of family life, but once you’re done you’re not obligated. That’s right! You can send the children back to Mommy and Daddy, regroup and get back to your freedom (See #1)! Remember it takes a village to raise a child…but only the parents get the tax break.
10. The Rest Is Un-Written– Single and infertile you. Are. Not!! Continue to live life on your terms and surely the rest will fall into place when the time is right! As you have more options than a little, be highly selective with whomever you choose to procreate with! In the meantime, enjoy the little luxuries that come with the label of single and child-less, you awesome Queen!