Mothering

I spend much time reflecting on my experience as a single mother; the experiences my child and I shared as we grew up together over the past decade. I gave birth 9 months after my 20th birthday. There are numerous tropes in media, film, and pop culture of young, single mothers who are vilified through stereotypes of addiction, prostitution, or mental illness, seen as unable to provide for their child without the help of some heroic (usually male) figure. I think about all the infrastructures that force single parents, single mothers into poverty, denying equal opportunities for them and their children. I'm aware that my experience is  a very small piece of how society inhibits someone's ability to thrive when the identity becomes other'ed from the white-straight- male -established default. For me, my first 10 years of parenting is deeply apart of my identity; a thing that forced a painful learning curve. It hit quick and hard, but it's the space were my experiential knowledge developed exponentially. This experience for me is very much an artwork on it's own. It's not just a work of art by me but through every single femme identified and/or non-binary identified parent with a middle finger to the system. It's an insight that I've gained not only through my own firsthand experience, but by witnessing generational single-mothering that my grandmother and mother have also experienced, as well as aunts and cousins. This aspect of my life shapes very much how I live, how I see the world, and how I make work.