Single Parents Deserve Fun Too

How a Drake Concert Helped Me Regain Confidence

Parents with financial struggles deserve nice things and experiences too. This is something that I – a single parent – know, but sometimes I don’t know KNOW. I practice this belief in my life but after an incident at a Drake concert which involved some embarrassing public jeering I had to remind myself of this.

It all started with a conversation with my best friend

A few months ago, my best friend mentioned us going to the Drake concert during a conversation.  I was feeling ambitious at the time so I replied, “hell yeah!” Then she asked how much I would be willing to spend on the ticket and I replied “maybe $150?”

To be honest, I surprised myself when I said that.

I almost hoped it wasn’t going to happen because I was still looking at summer camp bills,  school tuition, and 13 year old who seems to grow and need a haircut weekly.

A month later, she sent a text:
Bestie:We have tickets!
Me: Yaaaay! (But I was shook on the inside)
Bestie: They’re $175, and we bought yours.
Me: Owwww!!!

But on the inside, I was like “WTF?!?!? Is Jesus going be there with Drake?!?!?”

The Embarrassing Incident

The night of the sold out, packed AF, and LIT AF show, I went to the bar and bought a drink. On the way back to our pretty damn good seats, somehow my wallet opened, and all of my cards fell out.

ALL.

My credit, debit, and Metro… rolling down the narrow ass stairs at the Barclay’s Center. Most embarrassing was the EBT SNAP food stamps card that fell out too. The people watching this happen started saying “damn, her EBT came out!” I immediately started to chastise myself on the inside.

I started to ridicule myself for taking part in what “only people with money can/should do”
“See, your poor ass shouldn’t even be here.”
“What will niggas think about you now?”
“WHYYYYY are you still carrying that card around?”

The truth is, ain’t shit on that card, and there hasn’t been for a few years now. I carry that card as a reminder of how far I’ve come. For the next few days, though, I gave that card a LOT of thought.

Mementos from the past

A few times I took it out of my wallet to toss it but I would put it back as a symbol of defiance, “No, bitches, I will not be intimidated to let go of a piece of my story.” Feeding your kids ain’t shit to be embarrassed about, no matter how you do it

But even as I know and say this I was. I was embarrassed that people saw my EBT card sliding across the aisle in the nice seating area of a Drake concert.

Money, single parent, and the dangers of super single parenting

This experience led me to think about how as single parent we are taught and or encouraged to think about money. There is supposed to be an imaginary ‘badge of honor’ in not asking for anything and struggling silently. Some people don’t even want anyone to know struggle is a part of their story. Additionally, there is a sense that you, as a parent, don’t deserve nice things  because it should all go for the kid(s).

I used to agree.

I ate the “struggle narrative” hook line and sinker. That somehow I should be a martyr. Giving up all nice things and experiences in order to fully show I was present for my child. I no longer share that perspective, but I will admit that I struggle with doing things for myself. Unlearning patterns is a practice.

I’ve been a single mom for 10 years now. Although we have struggled during these years, I wouldn’t ask for a reset because I’m proud of the things my family – me and my son – have been able to accomplish as a duo.