This offering today was inspired by a funny but serious Facebook post made by a beloved online friend of mine. I’ve always admired her as she has quite a way with words, satire, and sarcasm, after all she is a comedienne! Her wit is so sharp it can cut deep at times. We have never met in person nor do we know each other on a personal level, but I’ve followed her in various groups and via her different pages for years now. Let me give a little background into her life and story before I get into the meat of this post.
Rhea-Simone Auguste, aka Simmy de Trini, is a 36-year-old single mother of 2 boys. She is a comedienne who was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety and has been an advocate for mental health awareness and domestic violence prevention. My favourite thing about her, apart from her humor, is her artful storytelling. I can relate to most things she posts. I hope she writes a book soon! It has been a struggle for her to follow her dreams, but by all accounts she is crushing it, and I am so here for it!
As many mothers will tell you, single parenting is no walk in the park, especially with boys. She provides laughter to nourish a weary soul; at least you would’ve smiled or laughed out loud like a jammette once that day when you read a post on her page—I know I definitely have. I’m glad she is rising above her circumstances and in the process of watching her grow, I’ve realized how clever this woman truly is.
She, through her comedic role, is able to tackle so many pertinent societal issues without having nasty, hateful or derogatory comments or insults hurled at her—at least I haven’t seen that. Maybe, some of the issues are just too deep for some to see beyond the comedy. With that said, let’s take a look at the post. It is about making a man a single father after having gassed him up to being in a committed relationship with him (at least that is what it alluded to). It’s a topic only a crafty mind like hers could conjure.
The post itself was hands down hilarious, but when I looked at the responses of the women on the post I thought to myself what a role reversal this would be! I thought, this is what we as women, more so single mothers, are subjected to every day, but when things happen out of the ordinary for men it is given such attention. It is as though it were some unusual phenomenon, much like a lost ship in the Bermuda triangle, and like he deserves a Nobel Peace prize or something!
Many readers may believe that this article is meant to bash men but it is my critical assessment of a post with such depth that I could not resist speaking on it. Raising children alone is no laughing matter but this post totally captured the essence of the single mother and all the excuses and behaviours that they experience with baby daddies and former husbands.
I thought it an absolute tragedy, but I wondered what the men, who were noticeably silent, thought. Sure, the post’s intended audience may have been women but Simmy has quite a diverse following consisting of men and women of varying ages and from all walks of life. I felt as though the men could have voiced some type of intelligent opinion, regardless of the comedic nature of the post. I can only assume at this point, since no male voice really articulated how they felt or what they thought. The silence of men on issues such as these in Trinidad is abhorrently and maddeningly deafening.
I think it further solidifies the various existent stereotypes relative to single mothers; it further cements the absolute truths that many of us face on a daily basis. I also think that their silence sends the message that they really don’t care unless the issues affect them personally, and that nothing really will ever change in terms of the way that these issues are viewed by the wider society, especially at the level of the judiciary. I ask, what can change for us in terms of legislation if this is how we are continually perceived by law and policymakers? Who is actually looking out for us?
I remember my mother would pay my stepfather’s child support and he would brag about his affiliations/associations within the TTPS, specifically, of the warrant officer who would ensure to place a call to let him know that a warrant was out for his nonpayment of support for his children. Of course, she was a “wicked, evil woman” who “didn’t want see him happy in a relationship!” Serious eye roll here and straight face emoji!
The reality is that this is so commonplace and it again begs the question of who is looking out for us the single mothers? The system is so corrupt and in such disrepair that reformatory work seems idealistic and impossible. Why do children have to suffer in this way? What can we do to stop things like this? Why do mothers have to continually bear the financial burdens alone? Why is it so easy for a man to say “I rather go to jail than pay”? Why do we lose the arrears if he serves jail time since this is a judicial discretion? So many times I have heard the assertion that the courts are for the women, but are they really? Do they really work in our favour?
The comments below have been experienced by many a single mother including myself, and at times I remember asking myself what was the use of co-parenting. It just didn’t make sense. Imagine leaving your narcissistic abuser but having to co-parent with him and having to deal with his unwanted sexual advances. Advances he believes that he is justified in making because “yuh looking good” or “we have history tuhgeddah”, all the while not even considering the child of his loins, his progeny, enough to make a substantial and consistent financial or emotional contribution to his or her life.
How tragic for that child! If some of children only knew (because as mothers we never articulate these things to our children) that their fathers refused to accept responsibility for them because they could no longer benefit from sex from us, maybe they would respect us a bit more and him a bit less. Maybe things would be different.
Mothers like myself who have endured the trauma of not having a father in their lives as children made the sacrifice of their own hearts, safety, and sanity to brave adulthood and try to co-parent with the fathers. We do this to allow the children to grow up with the knowledge of who their father was, all in an effort to break the cycle that may or may not be generational. Sometimes such decisions cause us deep hurt and even regret because inconsistency, indifference, intolerance, and emotional absence are just as damning as physical absence to a child. Why would we want to see our children hurt in this way?
I have heard many mothers complain of fathers simply doing the bare minimum (financially or emotionally) when it came to the children, so much so, the simple task of purchasing items for the child (because they don’t want to give the mother cash in hand) they can’t even do properly. To their friends and families, these fathers are the epitome of responsible and loving father!
Some fathers don’t even know what class their child is in or what size clothing or shoes they wear. Many fathers make so many excuses to support their own children but have very little issues with supporting the children of his new partner. I will never understand this and you can call me salty and toting till the cows come home, but it wont change the reality that such men are simply dusty bums or “waste man” as we like to say. Sadly, it seems that there is a proliferation of same everywhere! They are not legacy builders because they do not support what exists nor do they think futuristically.
It is really sad and heartbreaking that these are some of the excuses that cause us as women to become ruthlessly and shamelessly independent, but it happens because of the small-minded nature of the fathers of our children. This same ruthless independence usually works against us when we try dating again because for some reason it intimidates potential suitors. We are deemed “aggressive” and “manly” or simply “too independent”.
My mother always told me whenever I complained about the way my ex-husband treated my daughter that “she go get big and see fuh sheself”. Older folk would say this sort of stuff, and there was a certain level of wisdom in it. It meant that you could stop worrying and choose to do whatever you had to do for your children regardless of the father’s failings, and children would come to the understanding of who their father actually is without your input. Some children never see because, I reckon, fathers are supposed to represent some type of hero to them.
Man logic….Most days I am simply befuddled and bemused at the thought processes of these supposedly adult males whom I loosely call fathers in this article. They have to do better if they want better for their children. They have to do right by their children. I often wonder when these boys will actually grow up to be men of substance and honour but it seems like their children will long before they ever do.
Content provided by Simmy De Trini with thanks. Find her here: