Seldom have I seen a movie that makes me want to jump for joy, but Tyler Perry’s, The Single Mom’s Club did just that. As a single man, going to see this movie, not only did I find it insightful, it was thought provoking. Seldom do men really get an opportunity to see up close and personal their effect on ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, but more importantly how their post break-up decisions affect their children. I’ve done the single parent thing, and I know what it’s like to have a cute little kid wake you up saying, “Daddy, I want some cereals'” (not misspelled, that’s how my son Aaron pronounced it when he was 3) I also know what it’s like to fix lunches, to cook breakfast, to comb hair, to wash soiled training pants and answer questions that make you wonder – “Where in the hell did that come from.” But, like most Fathers, I never quite got the full picture of how full time single parenting affects a woman. Both cognitively and emotionally. Above all, never did I take the time to consider how my actions, or lack there of, could negatively affect a woman who’s caring for a child alone. All of us, even the children, have no clue what single moms go through on a daily basis. It’s far more stressful than most men could ever imagine. Another thing I love about the plot of this movie, is it’s simplicity, and it’s authenticity. The story is undisguised, and easily discernible. Five struggling single moms are forced to put aside their differences and to involuntarily work together on a school project. From this, they inadvertently decide to form a support group. Though sisterhood ends up being a wonderful thing, the path toward it is both challenging and enlightening. As the plot unfolds, while coming down hard on each others blunders they overcome their individual obstacles,. These obstacles were the result of unforeseen occurrences which would inevitably create the problems in anyone’s life, including yours. Although the plot is self-explanatory, the realities associated with it aren’t. Here’s where Dr. D Ivan Young the Holistic Life Coach and Relationship Expert steps in. I want you to learn something from this movie. There are lots of wonderful life lessons here.
There are several reasons why I want to encourage men and women to see this movie. Especially single women, single moms, and single men. While R Kelly is playing in the background, too often both genders are so caught up in the heat of the moment, neither party stops to think about the long term consequences. Then nine months later, when it’s too little, too late, we get the wake up call. Both men and women wake up to the reality of parenthood. While the relationship is good, the problems may be present, but they’re not pressing. However, when that relationship flies out of the window, what was a season of bliss is now a lasting, problematic, series of debacles. Debacles which will produce long term, potentially debilitating effects on both lives, as well as the life of the innocent children. When things were good, going half on a baby seemed so romantic, but that was the easy part. Now the reality of being a responsible parent, post the relationship, has now come front and center. And that my dear, well that’s a totally different story. Without giving the movie’s storyline away, I need you to keep reading, I’m going to make a few very serious points. Points you need to consider, especially if you have, or are contemplating having a child.
Each one of these characters, as well as their kids, come from totally different backgrounds and circumstances. Inasmuch, all of them had one thing in common. That is being a human being, a person who meant no one any harm. A person who ended up with an innocent child, or children, caught in an avoidable hot mess. This is where The Single Mom’s Club morphs from a movie, to being a good hard look at what is an ugly reality. A reality that exists in everyday life for many a single parent. As in the movie, too often, both men and women fail to consider the long term consequences of their actions. Seldom do we, slow things down before considering how a decision in the moment can result in a life time of ruinous, avoidable consequences for both ourselves and especially innocent children. As a Holistic Life Coach, and as a Relationship Expert, every week I help single parents, especially women, attempt to correct, and to make sense of the mayhem which has become every day life. The worst part, is none of what we try to fix in my office can be repaired properly unless all parties willfully accept responsibility for their individual and collective actions. Making matters worse, if things remain unchecked, and both parents continue to look the other way, instead of in the mirror, those selfish, self-centered actions will have debilitating effects on the lives of all parties concerned. Bottom line, if possible, both parents need to get involved.
This film is a wonderfully good example of art imitating life. Before reading this last section, please pay close attention then choose which character closest resembles you. The following is a description of the lead characters in The Single Mom’s Club. Nia Long, plays the character of May. May is a typical hard working mother who was forced into the role of both mom and dad because of a drug addicted father. A father who keeps making promises that he never keeps. Wendi McLendon-Covey, plays the role of Jan. Jan is a career obsessed woman, who while in between climbing the corporate ladder, she squeezed the time in to be inseminated at the sperm bank by an anonymous sperm donor, because the one thing she didn’t have was a child. Not for one minute did she consider the long term consequences of her decision. Consequences like, how is being obsessed with my career, and this girl not knowing who her real father is, going to effect this child. Amy Smart, plays the role of Hillary. A socialite wife who’s country club lifestyle took precedence over her being a mother to her children. After abdicating her role as mom for years, the task of nurturing her children became the duty of her housekeeper. Which her children instinctively turned to the housekeeper, not her, when they needed to be loved and nurtured. Zulay Henao, plays the role of Esperanza. Esperanza is trapped into living a double life, because she’s too scared to move on with her life because she doesn’t want to piss off her ex-husband, who by the way is remarried. Not because she’s still in love with him, or because he’s controlling her. It’s based on the grounds that it could uproot her lifestyle and jeopardize her receiving his continued financial support. Lastly there’s Cocoa Brown, who plays the role of Lytia. Lytia is single woman with two sons in jail, a 13 year old boy whom she’s broods over, and two younger daughters. Her issue is not one of these kids has a father present in their lives. Lytia is a woman who chose to work, when welfare would’ve been a much easier route to take, but her stress filled life and bitterness keep getting in her way. Now the question is, what’s your excuse? Are you, or do you know someone who is, creating mediocrity in your life, and in the lives of your children because you’re too scared to face your issues? Something to think about!
by Relationship Expert and Holistic Life Coach – Dr. D Ivan Young