Nia Long is on the August cover of Essence magazine with a title that reads “Nia Long- Single, Satisfied & Raising Her Boys”. Nia Long, who shares that she is in a relationship with the father of her second son, Ime Udoka, clarifies that by “single”, she means that she is not married.
The actor and dancer has been quoted in a number of online publications as saying that marriage is not a priority for her. Of course this raised a few eye brows, especially those of her more conservative fans but she further explained that she “had never seen marriage work” which helps explain her seemingly indifferent attitude towards it.
The reason why I can respect Long boils down to one important thing she said:
“I worked hard to have the career I wanted, but I’ve also been deliberate about my personal life. None of this is a mistake.”
This mother chose to become a mother and she chose to become a “single mother” and while I don’t agree with her choice, I can respect that that is what she wanted.
What many misconstrue as a judgmental attitude towards single mothers is actually something that is very misunderstood. The plight of the everyday single mother is not to be taken lightly. I have children and I’m raising them with my husband and even with the two of us sharing the various responsibilities that go along with raising children, I still find that it is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. I say that to emphasize that I completely sympathize with the many women who have to do that, all important and very challenging, job on their own.
My frustration usually comes from watching women have children that they did not plan to have and then go on to repeat that “mistake”. Everyone makes mistakes-I get it. What frustrates me is that I know that many women can have the lifestyles that they desire if they are deliberate about the choices that they make.
I love working with women, specifically Black women, to help them thrive in their lives and careers and Nia Long is a good example of what can happen when women make deliberate choices in their personal lives. The actresses’ “family” is unconventional but I can respect her because I believe that she made the right choices for her, based on her own convictions. Maybe her religious convictions don’t require her to be married to start a family and while I, as I stated, don’t agree with her, I think we can all respect her because she is not just stumbling along and hoping for the best; she is being deliberate about her life choices.
It’s important to note that not every woman can make the same choice as Ms. Long because not every woman has the benefit of a fruitful acting career that will give her the ability to hire the help that she needs. Yes, family and friends can help but I’m willing to bet they will not be too pleased with a family member who keeps coming around with more babies, that she did not plan for and may not be able to afford to provide for, and expecting them to “help a sister out”.
The actress claims that she is “satisfied” with her life and I honestly hope that as her sons grow up, they too will be happy and healthy.
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com