A local group of single moms celebrated their roles and what they do because, they say, single mothers don’t always get the credit they deserve and need to be appreciated.
“There is the mother, the woman who chooses to hold her head high and give birth to her child, (and she) is the one that is ostracized, put down, criticized day in day out,” said Sha Jackson, the woman behind the Single Mommies Matter luncheon held April 25.
Jackson has thrown together a themed lunch for single mothers once a year for the past four years. She said it’s one thing she does to remind the mothers they matter. Jackson also makes sure that each goes home with a bag of goodies and a prize or two in hand.
For the luncheons, Jackson tells the mothers to try to come without their children, so they can have some time just for mom. But, if the mothers do have to bring their children, Jackson had a babysitter ready to go in another room to give the moms a few hours to themselves.
The theme of this year’s gathering was “What’s love got to do with it?” Jackson explained it by playing music and saying the different stages of love a woman goes through in dating and how she will eventually be brought to God.
Jackson read an excerpt from her book “Booty Call, It’s the Truth,” adding that she and her sister weren’t always as they seem. Jackson then recalled how she and her sister once lived on the streets of Los Angeles and were hooked on drugs.
Jackson was married at the time but had left her husband. When they were separated, she said, she did some things she isn’t proud of and got pregnant.
But that pregnancy was her miracle baby, Jackson continued. The infant should have died in the womb from everything Jackson was doing to her body at the time, but the child lived and grew up.
Jackson later reunited with her husband, who helped raise the girl whose name is Shishonna.
“Follow the light and find your way out of darkness,” she told the mothers after relaying her story.
Jackson said she started having the annual lunches because of her daughter, who is now a single mother herself.
Jackson said she used to believe having a baby out of wedlock was wrong, but then her daughter, who just turned 30, has four children of her own, and the grandmother realized it is a blessing to bring children into the world.
“But sometimes when I look at (my daughter), she’ll be 30 next week, and I say ‘What if I had aborted her?’ And I look at my grandsons and I say ‘What if I had aborted her?’ You know, I wouldn’t have had my beautiful grandsons, I wouldn’t have her … Children are a gift from God.”
She also realized how little single mothers are recognized for their work.
She told a story at the luncheon about one mother who told Jackson that she had never been hugged before by her mother, which shocked Jackson.
Jackson hopes someday to make the luncheons a monthly thing, instead of having them once a year.
If the women who attend the luncheons only take away one thing, Jackson said she hopes it’s that, “We love you, all you single moms. We thank you for having the courage and the love in your heart to be a wonderful mom to your children.”
Reach Meredith Willse at 270-887-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.