So first off, I want to start this post by saying that I don’t have all the answers and that I’m far from perfect. All I can do and all I ever claim to do is share my personal truth and my own journey. Most of you who have been following me for a while know that transparency is really important to me. The way I’ve connected with most of you has been through sharing my life’s challenges openly and honestly – both here and on LoveBrownSugar, and it has pained me over the past few years that I haven’t really been able to openly share this one aspect of my life. I think everyone should be allowed to uncover and unpack intimate aspects of their lives at whatever time they choose. There’s a lot of healing, therapy and self-discovery that had to happen in order for me to feel comfortable having this conversation. Right now, in this moment and time in 2017, I finally feel comfortable sharing the difficult details of my three year coparenting journey with Cadence’s father. I hope that someone reading this takes solace, understands that they’re not alone and also comes to terms with the fact that there are no real “mistakes”, only hard lessons and truths that mold you and make you a better person. And also that your personal failures  can open the door to help heal others. Here’s my story:

“Single mom” is never a term I wanted to embrace. For all intents and purposes, when I got pregnant with my daughter I had no idea that I’d ever carry that label. I was in a loving relationship with someone who cared about me, and although we hadn’t been in a relationship for very long before I got pregnant, I had little doubt that he would leave my side. I was totally in love. Blindly, I guess you could say. And so I went forward with preparing for baby Cadence, who is by far the biggest blessing that God has given me in life.

About a month after Cadence was born, in the midst of my postpartum emotional rollercoaster and all the hardships that come with being a first-time mommy, the unthinkable happened. I found out, courtesy of social media (thanks Instagram), that I was being cheated on. I found a photo that completely blew my mind and after some investigative research (you know how we women do – Inspector Gadget, much?) I found out that the picture was recent. I flipped OUT. I called my Cadence’s father and cursed him out. At the time, Cadence was at his house and I immediately went by the house and picked her up telling him he’d better pray he ever gets to see her again. I just felt like my entire heart had been ripped out of my body. I didn’t know what to do.

The months that would follow were by far the hardest months of my adult life. Not only was he cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend and the mother of two of his children but they were planning to get married…in 2 months. Mind you, Cadence at this point was only about 8 weeks old. Suddenly, I was a single mom. I felt like my life was spinning out of control. But for the sake of our child, I knew cutting him off from seeing Cadence wasn’t the best thing. I never, ever wanted to be one of those women who drags her children out of their father’s life because of her own issues with the father. Was he a shitty boyfriend at the time? Absolutely. But he was still a dedicated father who made time for her, contributed to her upbringing emotionally and financially, and who would be torn to pieces if I prevented him from seeing his child. So that’s when our coparenting journey began.

He proceeded to get married the September after Cadence was born and, based on our conversations, he did it because he thought it was the best decision for him. They had two children together and he didn’t want to lose access to seeing his kids daily. She worked a job that had her out of town  every  other day, so he was their primary caretaker.  So we began coparenting and I began the process of healing, and moving on.

During the season to follow, I became laser-focused on my career and making sure all of Cadence’s needs were taken care of without any outside help. The blessing in disguise? That season became my greatest season of growth. I became a better business woman. I started BrownGirlsLove that year. I found out the following year that Dove wanted me to be in a commercial. Things in my life just…blossomed outside of the heartache and pain. Better than all that, I learned to depend on God for all my needs. Prior to this season, I was seeking so much validation from outside. From my friends, from social media, from my boyfriend(s). It was always about how others saw me and not about how I saw myself. Finally I had started to develop a little self-awareness and appreciation. 

About a year or so into their marriage, Cadence’s father revealed to me that him and his wife were divorcing. They had realized it wasn’t working out. He admitted that he was only there for the kids, and it had been a marriage of convenience for both of them. In my mind, I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would make such a serious commitment like marriage if love was absent, but as someone who now has a child, I struggled with what I would’ve done in the same situation. The sacrifice of happiness, for him, was worth it to see his children everyday.

Once lawyers were officially involved and the divorce proceedings began, we started to have conversations about making our relationship work – yet again. He’s a great father and honestly I’d never stopped caring about him. I attempted to get back “on the market” but part of me always wondered what would’ve happened if we had given it another chance. So let’s stop right here in the story. This was not a smart or sound decision, on my part. I admit that wholeheartedly. And there are a few reasons for that:

1. No matter how far along in a breakup, separation or a divorce someone is, you simply shouldn’t be with them – until it’s officially finalized and they have moved on. Period. My mama taught me this, obviously. Every “find love” handbook under the sun preaches about this. It’s just a fact. It is very dangerous and sketchy territory.

2. You simply don’t know someone’s intentions when they are just coming out of a failed relationship, situationship or marriage. Yes, they could truly be “over it”. Or NOT. Only time will tell. And you should give them, and yourself, some time before inserting yourself into a potentially detrimental situation for the both of you. 

Hindsight is 20/20, though. Against my better judgment, we rekindled our relationship and midway through 2017 I found out I was pregnant…again. I was a complete mess. I instantly fell into one of the deepest depressions I’d ever been in.

I spent days in bed, nauseous, crying hysterically and asking God over and over “Why me?”

I stopped answering phone calls and emails. I started overeating. I stopped sleeping. And all the while I did my best to hide my depression from Cadence and from my friends and family.

I didn’t feel worthy enough to get up on Sunday and go to church because I had to be the lowest of the low of all sinners to be pregnant out of wedlock AGAIN and with a man who was still legally married. I have always been my worst critic, and around that time I literally became my worst enemy. Tears swell in my eyes as I write this, just thinking about how much I hated myself at that time. To me, the hate was justified.

Not to mention the intense guilt that overtook me because I’ve been such an advocate for empowering women and I felt like the LAST person anyone should be looking up to as a role model or an example. I felt like the worst person on earth.

So I decided to seek help. I found a therapist and started to go to sessions so I could really uncover why I did the things I did and how I could possibly overcome this depression before I jeopardized my pregnancy. One of the things I uncovered while in therapy is that much of my desire to be with Cadence’s father was based on the way I was rejected and hurt in a relationship, just prior to meeting him. What I also realized is that my access and involvement on social media made every problem in my life seem 10000 times bigger because of the veil of perfection that you have to put on. The internet is full of lies. And internally I felt like I was contributing to the problem.

At that point I committed myself to being more transparent. It was shortly after that I finally posted about my pregnancy and I did so on Instagram explaining that I was happy for this blessing from God but that it had taken me a LONG time to be comfortable with it. Children are a blessing and I don’t believe in “accidents”, even when their parents aren’t completely prepared for, or ecstatic about their arrival. Life, in and of itself, is a blessing.

So here we are toward the tail end of 2017 and I’m a few days away from giving birth to my baby boy. Cadence’s father and I are still committed to being the best coparents that we can be for our children, despite how difficult this journey has been. Amidst dealing with this pregnancy he has also been finalizing a divorce which comes with its own set of stresses. Any time children are involved, it’s just hard. And I’ll leave it at that because I want to be respectful to him, his other children and their mother.

I didn’t indulge in all the details (it would take me a whole BOOK to do that) but I wanted to share this piece of my life that has been buried under a rock because I really and truly believe that transparency breeds healing. I want to raise my children to always live in their truth instead of covering it up. I want the “stigma” of imperfect relationships, coparenting and having children out of wedlock to no longer be a stigma but an honest conversation. I want it to be something we can all talk about openly so that we can all HEAL and teach each other how to live happier and healthier lives for ourselves and for our children.

I know this post was super long, but I wouldn’t be doing my story justice if I cut it into bite sized pieces or turned it into a numbered list. I hope after reading this, you have a little more context around why I’ve kept this piece of my life sheltered. I’ve committed to living my life only to please God and to help others heal and grow by being transparent. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect, or that I’m never going to fail. And I’ve come to terms with that.

I think as women, we often opt to conceal the parts of ourselves that aren’t perfect. Honestly that’s how I got my start with LoveBrownSugar – showing you all how to play up your best physical assets and conceal the “flaws”, how to make yourself look pretty with hair and makeup because when you look good, you feel good. But the truth of it is, transparency and sharing our truths – that’s what truly makes us beautiful.

Thanks for reading and if you have your own personal stories to share – ones about single motherhood, coparenting, or anything that will help others heal – feel free to leave them in the comments.

Facebook Comments
  • You are brave, bold & beautiful for living in your truth and taking ownership of it through transparency. I look up to you and sharing this piece of you reminds me why I do. Sending love and prayers your way for continued healing and a healthy delivery of your baby boy. 😙

  • Makeup Mommy

    Wow I praise you for courage to be so open and transparent. You are so strong thank you for this

  • Sabrina Amory

    Thank you for sharing this. You’re going to help so many other women seek healing for the many things we keep hidden from the outside world. Praying for you in this next chapter and your beautiful family.

  • latoya phillip

    So here’s the thing: she did not impregnate herself. No one knows exactly what goes on in a relationship, especially one with a married man. The intricacies of being involved with a married man/soon to be married man is beyond conceivable for those who have never been is such situation. Is it possible for a married man to love someone other than his wife? Yes. Therefore, a child is their love personified. No one knows for sure what goes/went on behind closed doors between both parties. Please refrain from being so judgmental and unsound in your thinking. As an adult, we have the ability to think consequentially. With that being said, why are not more questions about character and morals posed to the man? Because living in a patriarchal society, it is easier to shift blame onto the woman rather than the man; woman are supposed to know better, do better, and act holier than thou, right? Wrong! There is nothing wrong with Ms. Brown having another child with this man. It is funny that people will say you are a home wrecker and that you actively pursued a married man; you cannot pursue someone who is not interested in being pursued. Marriage is a social construct (actions speak louder than words, in this case, a license issued by the state) therefore, if he acted as a “married man” should, we be here today sharing thoughts and opinions? Probably not.
    SB: This is an open forum, therefore, all opinions surrounding this matter should be respected.

    • Ayan Warsame

      I couldn’t agree more!

    • Everything is wrong with her having another child from this man and she even said so in her post. She said it was wrong to date him while he was still married and not divorced. If it’s wrong to do that, why is it right to lay down with a married man, have unprotected sex and have ANOTHER baby with him when he cheated you the first time around? All fingers are pointing at her because she chose to share this saga. She should’ve kept it to herself. Who is it helping? Nothing about this shines her in a good light…nothing. Once a woman hears a man is married, or separated or finalizing a divorce, that his her sign to walk away not lay down with him and get pregnant again! One baby out of wedlock from a cheating dead beat wasn’t enough? What does that say about her? Plus the man already has a bunch of kids! I don’t care how much he’s interested in being pursued. I’m not pursuing him! How about she act like a woman acts when she finds out a man is married?

      She had history with this loser and she didn’t learn a lesson and now we’re supposed to applaud her for sharing her truth and being transparent? I think not! Nothing to applaud here!

      • Kimberly McClendon

        I totally agree. I just don’t see how this helped her or any other woman. This was way to personal for her to share and she deleted me from her IG page and several others that didn’t comment in her favor. Not sure what she was expecting but her post or should I say confession just screams “side chic”. She’s in love with this man and will do anything to be with him.

  • Kimberly McClendon

    Some things should be left private. This was definitely one of them. I hope this was worth it for you. It’s bad enough this dude lied to you, used you and obviously manipulated you. According to your story looks like you and the wife were pregnant at the same time but yet you still believe his lies
    and that he is finalizing his divorce. Social media wasn’t the place for you to share this. Like so many women (including myself in past relationships) you got played. Focus on your children and continue to get your healing through prayer and the help of your therapist. This dude has enough on his plate, I mean with 5 kids to take care of. I’m glad to see you’re successful and can provide for your children because if he really does get divorced, alimony and child support will break him (which is probably one of the main reasons he’s not getting a divorce). Best of luck to you and your children.

    • I agree with you 100%. After reading this saga, my first thought was, she should’ve kept this to herself. I would be ashamed to share this with anyone who doesn’t need to know. Why do we need to know this? Who is it helping? Social media was not the place to share this at all.

      • Ayan Warsame

        Sometimes you need to share something publicly, admit it to yourself in order to begin healing. I think this was her way of healing and taking the stigma out of the whole situation.

        • Kimberly McClendon

          This was way to personal for her to share. She’s hurt and still in love with this man. She’s deleting people who have followed her and supported her on IG because they are not commenting in her favor. So in addition to being a side chic she’s petty and immature. I say that because she must of thought her followers were total idiots and would support her in this mess she decided to share. She posted it so she needs to deal with the feedback that comes with posting something so personal. I’ve said it several times on this thread and I will say it again this was to personal for her to share with the world. Hopefully her career won’t be affected by this and her sponsors like Dove won’t back out on her. She has two children to support.

  • Carla

    Okay, so the younger cousin is commenting on the “wife’s” behalf. First and foremost, how can you feel comfortable posting something as private as this matter , knowing the damage it can do to not only her family but to her children. They will grow up and see this and how do you think they will feel about you? This situation is unfortunate. I won’t be the one to sit here and call you a side chick because yes, i do believe the first time you were deceived by a horny man. You seem intelligent, how can you really believe that they were getting a divorce when you even called yourself a detective, You’re a creep, sure enough you have to had found your way to her ig page to clearly see that her relationship was perfectly fine and she was very much pregnant. As a women what you choose to believe is solely your choice, your action behind it is SOLELY your choice . Now when this man was telling you these things did it not once occur to you to investigate like you once did or were you so lonely and desperate and in hope for this man to be yours ? Seems to me that you lack self respect and self love hun, no matter what this man was telling you , you were very much aware of his family and his WIFE , so no matter what dream he was selling to you , you should’ve stood your ground and claim your respect as a women. This whole sorry excuse that you’re selling to keep up your image is pure non-sense , you knew what was up but YOU made that decision to lay with him and accept the lies that he was feeding you . As I stated earlier you seem like a smart women, how could you not differentiate reality and fiction. You claim to be some great FBI but you really didn’t put any effort into finding out wether what he was telling you is true or not. Your story would’ve been somewhat beleiveable the first time but to let this happen a second time is truly despicable .No matter what this he told you , you should’ve used your better judgement and you didn’t … so I blame the both of y’all .. Him for not respecting his MARRIAGE and you for being a plain idiot.

  • Tayna Frett

    Some people prefer to tell their own story rather than have somebody else tell it for them. And based on the trolls on this page that was bound to happen. Yes it was very personal but her choice to share it and I’m not mad at her for it. People are going to talk about you no matter what… If you don’t want to support her anymore then move on.

    What I will say is defamation of character, slander and libel is real and a criminal offense! Be very careful what you say about and publicly accuse Christina of … it’s one thing to have an opinion (which everyone is entitled to) but some of you women may want to let the wife speak for herself and stay out of other peoples business or be prepared to accept the consequences of your one sided story.

    Leave your opinion and keep it moving…

  • Nikole

    “Fool me once, shame on you.

    Fool me twice, can’t put the blame on you.”

    -J. Cole 2017

  • Getalife

    My dear if I were on your place I would leave that man because he left you and married the woman he really loves.
    Why are you using your the baby girl in this adult conversation? Sweetheart you need to read between the line that he is lying to you. Be careful so you don’t lose your mind

  • Getalife

    You need to put hour energy on something more positive that can get you a husband to help you raise your children. Leave thd man alone with his wife and his children. Move on my dear life is too short.

  • Getalife

    By the you call yourself co-parenting to make yourself look good. You really should call yourself ” THE CHICK ON THE SIDE WHO IS MESSING UP WITH MARRIED MAN”