Ready or Snot: Your How To Guide For Tackling Parenthood -- Single Parenting

Mark and Gina have been dating for four years. It was no surprise to family and friends when Mark finally popped the question and proposed to Gina. It was also no shocker when Gina became pregnant with Mark’s child during the newlywed stage. If ever there was a fairytale love story, Mark and Gina’s love story was it.

Life was great for Gina. She enjoyed the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom while Mark excelled in his career.

… But Gina had a childhood friend named Kisha whose life was not so fairy tale. Kisha was genuinely a good person with a heart of gold. Kisha was always the “teacher’s pet” in class and never made less than the A honor roll. Unlike Gina, Kisha grew up in a single parent household. Kisha loved and resented her single mother at the same time. You see, Kisha understood that her mom worked day and night to provide for her on her own. Yet Kisha resented the fact that her mom was not present at her awards ceremonies, sporting events, and other events that meant a lot to Kisha. Her mom’s response was always, “I have to work.” It’s not that Kisha’s mom didn’t love Kisha, but she lived paycheck to paycheck and hustled hard to make “a dollar out of 15 cents”. You know how that goes…

Kisha yearned for love. When Johnny from the block started paying her some attention it felt kind of nice. Sure Johnny was rough around the edges, but she took the time to get to know Johnny. This shocked Johnny because he was used to superficial girls that just wanted him for his money. They didn’t care about getting to know what his goals in life were like Kisha did. Even though Johnny was a high school student, Johnny probably had more money than the combined salary of your average, middle-class couple. Johnny didn’t have loving parents and therefore turned to the streets to raise him. His gang was his only family-like support group and they taught him all about fast money. In doing so, Johnny quickly ranked to the top selling drug dealer in the city.

Kisha just knew Johnny would never pay her any attention. She didn’t have “the hips”, the long hair weave, or nearly as much style as “Johnny’s girls.” (what they were often referred to) She was just plain, nerdy, natural-haired Kisha. Johnny shocked her when he asked for her number. Deep down, Johnny knew that Kisha was what he needed. Time progressed and the two eventually became high school sweethearts. Now, Johnny still did his dirt with other girls on the side but he never let Kisha know about his affairs. He also never let any of his side pieces bad mouth Kisha behind her back. The side pieces knew Kisha was Johnny’s main lady but they didn’t care as long as they got what they wanted. In Johnny’s convoluted mind, he was going to cut all the side pieces off one day but he just wasn’t ready yet. Johnny became Kisha’s “first”. Kisha and Johnny’s fiery passion and carefree lifestyle soon turned them into unexpected, high school parents. Johnny knew he loved Kisha but was he wasn’t ready to be monogamous nor was he ready to be a father.

So you’re probably thinking Kisha should have used her brain and married a good man like Gina did. She CHOSE her baby’s father and knew that he wasn’t any good from the beginning, right? She can’t complain about being a single mother because there were so many red flags, right? Kisha should just grow up and suck it up because she has to do for “hers”, right?

What about the rest of Gina’s story? It was around the time her child was near the age of two that Gina began to grow suspicious. Mark was coming home later and later from work. At the dinner table, Mark couldn’t seem to put his phone down. Gina even thought she heard a woman’s voice on the phone when Mark got out of bed and went to the bathroom late one night. Gina couldn’t confide in her friends or family. She was scared to say that she thought Mark was cheating because she didn’t want to ruin her “perfect family” image. As crazy as it sounds, Gina knew she lived a good life without care for any bills and decided it was just best to stay quiet. What did she know about working and providing for herself?