Well, well, well. Looks like the most fabulous kid to ever strut down the birth canal is on its way after Queen B’s announcement amidst the glitz and glamour of the VMA’s red carpet: She and Jigga are expecting their first bundle of joy together. After years of questioning the power couple about their plans to birth a power tot, the paparazzi finally has their wish and will probably spend the next nine months or so inviting us into the every bubble and bounce of Beyonce’s womb. Hold on to your Twitter feed, folks. It’s about to be a gossip and teeny-tiny-minute-detail filled pregnancy.

Even as Bey stood there drenched in her typical brand of flawless gorgeousness, cupping her cute little baby bump beneath a flowy Lanvin gown, something bigger than her obvious joy was in the works. Another Black couple is making marriage stylish, cool, obviously happy, and now they’re having a baby. Even as the brouhaha from the Will and Jada divorce dust-up tentatively settles, Beyonce and Jay-Z and Lala and Carmelo are making jumping the broom and raising babies palatable to a generation that has grown up listening to their choice of baby mama anthems while using “baby daddy” as a term of endearment.

When Keyshia Cole married her man, NBA baller Daniel Gibson, back in the spring, my first thought was ‘go ‘head, y’all!’ Because even though I’m smack dab in what will apparently be eternal singledom, I’m genuinely happy for any couple who finds each other, from celebrity mash-ups to Pookie and Clandetta down the block. Even with all the bells and whistles of the new millennium, there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned love story.

My second reaction was a bit more reflective: I wonder if Keyshia and her bestie Monica, who got married herself back in the beginning of the year, will inspire their fans, maybe even their fellow single mothers, to believe in the institution of marriage? Even reach for it? It would’ve been nothing for either one of them to take the new-age route and shack up instead of making it official. Seems like everybody and their sister’s cousin is either living together or creeping up on common law these days. It’s the modern way of getting to happily ever after. Times have changed and getting hitched isn’t even necessary anymore in order for a man and woman to be content, functional and socially accepted.

And that may work for some folks. To them and others who just don’t think it’s that deep, first comes love, second comes marriage, then comes the lady with the baby carriage is a rhyme that didn’t mean much more beyond the playground in elementary school. But to me, it’s the natural order of things, the way the good Lord intended them to be, the modus operandi that makes the most logical sense. I had to find this out the hard way, though. I read all of the comments in the blog posts that I write and one poignant (albeit a bit ig’nant) observer pointed out that my desire to one day have more kids with a hubby must mean that I had a baby with a brother who chose not to marry me in the first place. Ouch. But it’s true: I consciously made the choice to lie down as a teenager with my good, common sense floating somewhere between good sex and first love.

So now, after besting 12 years of single motherhood and nine more months on top of that of being a baby mama, I see now that there is a reason why you should wait to be married before you have little ones. This ish ain’t easy solo. Not that having a husband makes life a cakewalk, but if you’ve picked the right dude, you’ve got a partner to help shoulder and share the responsibilities that come with being a parent, a homeowner—heck, an adult in general.

I don’t know what any of these relationships look like from the inside, whether they’re genuinely happy, whether they’re actually, factually in love or whether they keep their distance and come together only for photo ops and public appearances. What goes on in their homes is privy only to them and the close companions that may or may not someday write tell-all books. I’m talking about what these couples represent.

Despite the dismal statistics about Black love, all this recent vow exchanging is a good look for the little 12 and 14 and 16 year-old girls all wrapped up in their celebrity worship. Maybe they’ll wait until they’re married with a hot-to-death career before they have a baby, just like Beyonce. Hey, if that’s what inspires them to wait, then I’m all for it. I know I for one would be much more hype about going to a married woman’s baby shower than force a smile to sit through one for another single mother.

Celebrities wield such heavy influence over what so many folks do, say and believe—including adults, so let’s not front—that Mrs. Carter’s decision to do it the right way (yep, I intentionally left the quotation marks off) just might spark a positive trend. Now that’s a story I’d be ready and eager to read about.

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  • Reddog666

    I have a question for you! Are you man made, God made?? To the point:
    When two people come together, and create a third person, in the eyes of God are they married?? Forget about what man does to legitimize the union. Are they married in the eyes of God, when that third person is created??
    I would like to hear your views!!
    One other thing, since “The” “Angella Davis” has indorsed your project, I am interested!!
    I am not interested in “Zionist Fascist” rags passing themselves off as “Black”!! If you know what I mean. And if you don’t I will be glad to educate you!!
    Let me hear from you!!

  • I can’t help but feel that Beyonce’s pregnancy, as with any milestone reached by an exceptional human being, expectations are being touted as conclusive solutions and any departure from that which is deemed “correct” is being judged a gross misstep. I in no way believe that Beyonce has done an honorable thing when it comes to the order in which she has sought and achieved domestic bliss, but I believe it is incredibly unfair to use her achievement as the basis upon which every familial situation be tested against. Life happens, people are not built for the same situations and they are not always given the same options despite their best attempts. Tens of thousands of women (esp. black women) live in this truth everyday. They have gone out of their way to get the perfect education, perfect career, perfect home but have found that they cannot control cupid’s arrow and therefore, are figuring out other ways to fulfill their God-given biological need to be mothers. In short, Beyonce didn’t do anything the “right” way because there is no “right” way. We go with the cards we are dealt, make the best decisions we can make as the people we are at that time, and we live OUR best lives. Congrats to Beyonce, but her choices, and her life do not make mine invalid.

  • You posit the entire argument about this issue by prefacing with this:

    “it’s the natural order of things, the way the good Lord intended them to be”

    But, historically speaking, that isn’t true. Marriage, as an institution, came out of transactions to further wealth. The church picked it up as a way to gain riches. If that’s the argument you’re going to use, then it doesn’t hold water and negates the rest of what you’ve written. I can’t possibly listen to someone who does or doesn’t use quotes on what The Right Way is when I see it through a historical lens. It’s a multi-layered argument that is missing that particular foundation, but I see where you intent was. I’d much rather have a discussion of THAT and not about the details of one particular couple who happens to be black.

  • Kya

    Excellent article and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. What’s surprising though is that we are in a time that “doing it right” is worth discussion. Problem is everyone mentioned is an entertainer or has a whole lot of money. In reality we only know what we see, we have no idea what goes on behind close doors. Will and Jada discuss their “open marriage”. Is that doing it right?

    Most of us are not entertainers with millions of dollars, whose lives are an open book. They have to keep up the appearance. I’m very happy for them, as I would be for any couple married or otherwise who are together, happy and loving each other and welcoming a new life into this world.

    Maybe we need to look at the root of the problem as to why people are choosing not to marry, become single mothers and help them, instead of comparing them against the perfection of Beyonce and her husband.

    Beyonce is no fool, her ascension to the top has been carefully planned and orchestrated including the timing of her first child. We need to stop the star gazing and worship, but then again there’s no money in that.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    Why must we always be so angry and resentful and condemning of each other?
    Everyone of us has a story which is full of moments of triumph and moments failure.
    Times when we did good and achieved a personal best in meeting our own needs and in serving others – and times when we failed ourselves and disappointed many others

    Part of the human condition is the constant inner struggles we fight to manage our weaknesses and our destructive instincts. Some days we do this well, some days less well. Sometimes we do this better than others, sometimes less well than others.

    Our success or failure in managing our vulnerabilities is heavily dependent on external factors ie, factors outside the self, that feed the experience input into our lives.

    If you have a greater number of healthy inputs than unhealthy, my guess is that the net effect of that will be a less destructive person who will NOT, themselves, be a source of unhealthy experience inputs in someone elses life.
    In others words – you’ll be LESS LIKELY TO HURT OTHERS.
    Which brings to us to us = black folks.

    We hurt each other because we’re hurt.

    But somebody has to break the cycle. Those of us who believe we understand this hurt, must rise above our own pain and anger and really try hard to lead the way in NOT hurting our own people with our anger, harsh words and unkind actions.

    The pain we all feel will not heal any other way.

    I don’t care if black parents are married or unmarried when they have children, all I care about is that people love each other and love their children.

    We all want and NEED human connection, that’s why despite of all the problems in our relationships we still come together to make babies. Having babies is the most natural thing in the world, it’s not a crime to father or mother a child, that people should be BLAMED and PUNISHED for.

    The only thing we need to concern ourselves with creating a loving safe and healthy environment for OURSELVES in which we can give our children the best of ourselves.

    That’s the only “right way” to do for our children.