Parent and Dating #2; No Flowers, No Fluff

Describe your perfect date before kids
The way I was raised, I never thought about a perfect date. My mom was anti-mating and I had an oversexed older sister and that turned me off for years. In high school, I had a few crushes. A lot of my ideas of dating and men came from adult life and having children young, dealing with things before I had the maturity or guidance. I’m just figuring things out.

What would a perfect date look like now?
A perfect date now would be…no flowers no fluff. Just a strong man confident enough in his own ideas that he literally has a day planned.

[It] could be coming over making breakfast, having lunch in Central Park under a tree (I hate nature btw), then order pizza for a night of Netflix.

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“I’d rather action than material.”

Why no flowers and fluff?
Flowers die, memories last forever. I’d rather action rather than material. If he smokes, we can blaze. If not, that’s cool we can have a glass.

On a date, are your kids on the forefront of your mind? Do you talk about them immediately? What’s usually the guy’s reaction?
Because my kid(s) was the only good thing in my life at the time, yes. I would talk them [up] first. I knew who my kids were before I knew who I was so naturally they would be the topic.

But now I’m low key kinda feeling myself so I guess the convo would be different now. Nobody has recently come to court [me] so I never get that wrapped up in convo.

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“I knew who my kids were before I knew who I was….”

What’s the best thing about dating with kids?
Nothing, LOL!
But I like what you said about your oldest daughter deterring the lames.
Yes. Every time someone tries to talk to me, she gives me the “elder” look and says, “Mom, don’t let them talk sweet in your ear.” She calls the guys around here hoodlums.

I don’t really see myself getting serious again until my girls are grown. I’m about that money now.

The Elder

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Her Responsibilty; MY Son.

Lyriq

Everybody is going to sit and tell you, “It’s okay. Baby you’ll get through this. It’s alright” But you do not know that pain.  It’s like my son is dead to me. You have to lose a child in order to know the pain I experienced. I couldn’t even sit on the train and hear a child cry. I would cry. Like that good, hiccup cry, I couldn’t even hear it. I would bust out in tears. I didn’t have faith in anything.

[But] when I rebuilt myself back up,  I got myself together, I said no. God got me. Everything happens for a reason. If I aint never been through the things I’ve been through, I would not be sitting here today.

FULL STORY COMING SOON!

What is your biggest fear for your child?

From Julia Olatunji, PSFM 5

My biggest fear is Trinity growing up in general. She will bump into major obstacles.

First thing is the opposite sex. I don’t want her to fill a space in her heart that her father left there in the opposite sex. I want her to be fully confident in the woman I’m raising her to be.

Second is her gender. I feel as though females are preyed upon. We are seen as sexual objects. The way this generation is going it seems as though it’s getting worse. I want her to feel empowered by who she is as a person, not by the way people see her physically.

Third is her race. As we all know the African American race is preyed upon and belittled. Even our own race is turning our backs on each other.

Lastly is education. The school system is not set up to prepare one for the real world. Yes we get our general education but they leave out what is most important to learn to live and sustain in this life. Learning financial responsibilities can be an elective; sex-ed can be an elective. Do they still teach home economics and shop class?

I know that in general I can lead her down the correct path in all of those points. The truth is, as a parent, eventually a child will stray. It is my responsibility to make sure she lives well in this life, but I would love for her to learn productivity with and from her peers.

Pregnancy Scare #13; Fearless Mom: Shamirah

Shamirah

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Age: 28
Year you graduated high school: 2005
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2009 and 2012
Number of children: 2

The Uh Oh Moment: I was working overnight maintenance at Walmart when I found out I was pregnant; I took a pregnancy test right off the shelf (shh, don’t tell anyone, lol), went in the bathroom, and to my surprise, it was positive. I told my really good friend whom I met while working there. She was way more excited than I was.

I did not want to be pregnant but the worst part is I did not want to be pregnant by my partner at the time; he was supposed to be a Mr. Right Now, not a Mr. Forever. Besides, we were only together for only 7 months when we conceived.

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My mom was so excited that she was telling people I was pregnant before I confirmed it. I got pregnant in February and my dad turned 60 in April. She told my whole family! I was upset because I wanted to get an abortion. How could I have gotten one at this point if she told everyone?! So I guess my mom saved my son’s life and I am now glad she did because my son is literally the best thing that happened to me.

The Mom Moment: To be honest, I was not going to keep the baby, I was thinking about getting an abortion. There was not a maternal bone in me; I was not ready to become a mom just yet. But November 25, 2009 was not waiting. The tears of joy filled my cheeks upon my first sight of him, a feeling that I have never felt before, a feeling that I seem to can’t find any other place.

***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad ***

Father/Dad: When we found out I was pregnant, my children’s dad and I had a good relationship. We went out often, rarely had arguments, and he knew my family. The only disagreement we had was the fact that he would not tell his children’s mother about me. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, it was confirmed that there was no sexual relations between them; what a relief!

He was not excited about the baby. He was nonchalant, pretending as though I was not prego. It took about 3-4 months for me to decide that I was going to keep the baby and he was trying to convince me that I was not ready for a baby. He was not telling me to get an abortion; however, he was not telling me to keep it.

When our son was first born, he was supportive and very hands-on. He ensured that Shakim had everything. He woke up in the middle of the night to feed him, would give him to me to nurse, and he made sure I had my pain meds (I had a C-section). He was a great dad and father…but the worse boyfriend ever!

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I thought our only problem was that he had not introduced me to his family, (he claimed that he told them about me…not good enough). It was a hot August day when my world came crashing down and I was outside with the girls from my block. They were so eager to tell me that my man was cheating with a girl from the projects; apparently she was going around bragging about having my man. So since that day, the relationship was strained. I was celibate my last 3 months of pregnancy, I was depressed and crying every day.  He was not supportive at all; it was the worse feeling in the world! And he kept cheating and lying.

Them vs. You: I parent somewhere in between how my parents raised me and my brother. My parents were total opposites.

My mom was mean as hell and my dad was an angel.

My dad did not yell, scream, or hit us. [He] made my mom stop beating us, except for if we fought each other, which was the rule.

My mom had a little wooden bat that she wrapped in black tape that she used to tear us up with. I remember my mom used to come up to the school with her bat to tear me up. Thank God she never had to use it. See I told the truth before we even got there so the teacher could get in trouble. Oh yes, my mom did not play that. The teachers got cursed out for not having discipline in place and were told not to call her because I was on their time

My children are 2 and 5, so they’re not even beating age, however I pop them when they get out of hand. I put them on time out most of the time though. My parents valued ensuring that we had a fun childhood and tried to shield us from the real world to a degree.

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Fearful Moment: The scariest moment as a parent was when my children’s father was incarcerated. I was in college and he was supporting us financially. I mean this man bought everything for the kids and he looked out for me too. I could have saved my money and spent his money on myself, but I chose not take advantage as he has other children to care for as well. Choosing to continue earning my degree with 3 semesters left over quitting school to find a job to support my minies was a tough decision. I chose to stay in school and allow public assistance to help me. It was so frustrating because they’re not supportive of individuals earning a bachelor’s degree; I had to do extra work to continue getting my benefits.FB_IMG_1434464505368

We never stop to think about how the choices we make will affect others, so this taught me to take every little decision as a big one because one never knows what’s going to happen. I had to make another decision on what I was going to tell my kids about the absence of their dad. I decided to tell the truth. I dreaded taking my children to see him in jail. My daughter does not even know him; she thinks my dad is her dad, although she calls him grandpa. My son misses him so much. Nothing helps me feeling bad that my children have to experience this. This is worse than all the cheating and lying he did to me. I just hope he sees now that everything he does affects the children. Hopefully he comes home and gets himself together, if not for himself, for his children. He’ll be home from doing 3 years in January 2016. I wonder what that will look like…I feel anxious and nervous about that.

Fearless Moment: Now that it is over, it was worth it because now I have a degree and a job that pays decent salary and great benefits. My children have everything they need and want. I had to depend more on my family for support with the kids and that caused friction in my home.

Support System: When I got pregnant, I had no friends, and that was why I was hanging out with the girls from my block.  My family on the other hand was excited, except my dad. My dad was happy that I was having a baby; however he was disappointed that I did not choose a better guy. My children’s father was what they call a ‘hood buggar’ lol. He hung out on the corners and knew everybody; he was not your typical family man.

Final thoughts: I want my kids to look back on their childhood and be able to say that their childhood ROCKED!! Now that I am a parent I learned that you can do something simple for your kids and it means the world to them. I say that to say, my parents made my childhood fun on a budget. I want upward mobility so I could take my children to places my parents could never afford to take me; like Disney World!! My parents have prepared me for parenthood.

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Like I said, there was not a maternal bone in my body until November 25, 2009. My IMG_20150322_143922maternal instinct kicked in spontaneously. I still don’t know where it came from. I am traditional and family oriented and I will carry those values on to my children. I will teach them honesty, loyalty, the value of an education, a righteous way of living, and eating the right foods. I will pass down those family values that were passed to me and continue being the great mom that I know I am.

Pregnancy Scare #12; Fearless Mom: Melissa Canselo

Name: Melissa Canselo (Mellocan)

Mello3

Age: 25
Year you graduated high school: 2009
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2010
Number of children: 1

The Uh Oh Moment: I will never forget this day! It was a spring morning, May 20 something. My son’s father & I had a strong suspicion I was pregnant, but obviously the test confirmed it all. I traveled all the way from Harlem to his house in Brooklyn to take the test. I wanted us to share that moment together; we were excited.

During the pregnancy we argued a lot! It was a tough time because we didn’t know each other as well as we should, so we bumped heads a little on certain views on parenting and what not. And it was a stressful situation because I was going to school full time and neither of us were employed.

The Mom Moment: For me it was all in the decision making. In other words when my mind was made the rest was a given to love and taking care of my baby. But if you want a more specific instance where I felt like a mom for the first time, it was probably when I started “nesting”. At 8 months pregnant, me and my family painted the room, put together the crib and baby changer, and arranged the stuffed animals… [we] just had everything for when the baby came home. I felt so ready for his arrival.

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***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad ***

Father/Dad: My son’s father & I have a healthy relationship. I would say in comparison to most young adults in our age group with children we do a great job at co-parenting, but that didn’t come easy at all! I had high expectations for Antonio as a father only because he showed a side of himself that convinced me he would be a good dad.

When my son got sick his father and I didn’t leave the hospital for a week. He risked losing his job with the police department. He was there every step of the way. He takes my son every weekend and I have him during the week. He picks him up and takes him to doctor appointments if necessary. He gives me money in hand and anything my son needs he gets it so we’ve been pretty successful in that way.

Overall he is a very good dad. He does his best to be fully involved and consistent. I feel that as a man he actually enjoys being a dad.

Them vs. You: I was raised by mom who is a Jehovah’s Witness so I try my best to stick closely to the moral values I received from the Bible as a child. I feel like spirituality is very important to give to your children and I am privileged to be able to pass that on to my son. He loves God.

It hurt my feelings when my mom would always nag me. It made feel like she didn’t see me as independent and responsible. It took a while for her to learn certain boundaries and to respect me as my own woman. But then it’s kind of difficult to do that when I live under her roof.

Surprisingly my father began to gravitate towards me once he found out I was having a baby. But before then he was usually nowhere to be found. You know, very in and out.

Fearful Moment: In April of 2014 my son suffered from these severe seizures. I thought I was going to lose him. It was very hard for me to cope with his illness. All praises to God he isn’t sick anymore! I learned a lot from that trying experience. I learned how strong children are and how much of a fighter my son is. I learned that God won’t give you something that you can’t handle; and with his help I handled it.

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Fearless Moment: My son is literally the tiny male version of me!! It astounds me sometimes. He is four and he already finishes my sentences. My favorite first was him standing up in the crib, using the potty, and first day of school.

It just made me cherish and appreciate all the blessings that come with being a parent. There are no perfect situations, and there will be hard times, but giving it your all and seeing those little smiles and hearing those little laughs makes it all worth it.

I had to realize that every time my son tells me he loves me, kisses me, hugs me, I must be doing something right.

Support System: Well my closest friend moved away to DR last year. We were trying to keep in touch via email; I would write and send pics from time to time. I haven’t spoken to her in months though….She was very concerned and worried, and she had every reason to be. However her concerns and worries didn’t get in the way of her showing me love and support.

My mom always tells me that I do a better job with my son than she did with me and my siblings. But I don’t agree with that, I wish I was half the mom my mother was.

Final thoughts: At times I felt like the worse mother on earth. I find my strength in God and my mother and all the other mothers who struggle and do their best to provide for their children.

My son saved my life.
MY SON SAVED MY LIFE.

I was young and carefree, living life recklessly, going down a destructive path. When I brought a life into this world, it was no longer about me. That forced me to start thinking ahead and wanting better for myself; to be a better ME in general so that I could be the best mom for my son. I just hope that when he is 25 years old he can look back and say that his mommy was a great mommy. Nothing would make me happier!

Pregnancy Scare #10; Fearless Mom: Kimberly Fobbs

Kimberly Fobbs

Name: Kimberly Fobbs
Age: 28
Year you graduated high school: 2004
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2008
Number of children: 2

The Uh Oh Moment: I found out I was pregnant during my third semester at Fulton Montgomery Community College. I remember specifically my roommate told me in March 2008 that she had a dream I had a child. I told her she was tripping and went to visit my family and boyfriend at the time in the city. That weekend I conceived my first born Tyler.

Around May, I started to feel sick every morning. My roommate and best friend, Evana said, “Girlllll, I think you pregnant!” I just looked at her. I paid the morning sickness no mind and just kept going to class. It wasn’t until I craved for green apples and chocolate milk that I really believed I was pregnant. I went home for the summer. Once I was back home I went to St. Luke Roosevelt’s to take a pregnancy test. May 14th, 2008 I found out I was almost two months pregnant!

The moment the nurse confirmed I was pregnant all I could think was…..DAMN (Farooq from WWE 36665voice). See, the relationship between Tyler’s father and I was complicated. He cheated on me previously. We had broken up and didn’t see nor speak to one another for a year. He eventually called me and I decided this is the time to get revenge; make him feel all the pain and frustration I felt. We got back together and I could not pull myself to cheat on him. No matter how much he has put me through or the pain I felt and still was feeling, I just couldn’t do it.

Fast forward to the doctor’s office May 14th, 2008, I knew I didn’t want to be with him. I knew before I left school to come home for the summer that I was going to end the relationship. Now they tell me I’m pregnant by the man I have grown to despise. Do I stay with him and try to make it work? Do I end the relationship amicably and we raise the child together as responsible adults?

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The Mom Moment: The moment I became a mom was when Tyler’s father told me if I am not going to be with him he will not be a part of the child’s life (we didn’t know the sex of the baby yet). This was a week after I found out I was pregnant. I told him “Ok… it’s your decision but if you ever change your mind you can always be a part of the child’s life.” From that moment I knew I had to be a mother for my son. Bad enough he didn’t have his father. I had to be an exceptional mother and father.

***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad***

Father/Dad: When Tyler’s sperm donor (that is what I call him because I don’t feel he deserve the title of father or even dad) told me he wouldn’t be a part of Tyler’s life. I took it for face value. I never called him. He was absent for my entire pregnancy. I had my baby shower December 13th, 2008 (Tyler was due December 29th, 2008) he came to the baby shower (he wasn’t invited but my sister told him where I would be having it). I was admitted to the hospital December 29th, 2008. I was not ready to give birth so they induced me (medication to make the cervix open so the baby can exit).

The next day came, I wasn’t dilating. New Year’s Eve, I remember lying in the hospital being depressed. Knowing my son is coming into a world to a man that doesn’t and wouldn’t care.

January 1st came and went. At 1:30 am my best friend and former roommate from college entered my hospital room. I was so excited to see her along with my mother and father. I didn’t expect to give birth anytime soon because I still hadn’t dilated. By 1:45 am the doctors came in to inform me Tyler wasn’t getting any air and that he could possibly die. I began to panic. They put an oxygen mask over my face to try to get oxygen to him until my cervix dilated. By 2:05 am the doctors told me they were taking me for an emergency C-section.

At that moment Tyler’s sperm donor walked into the hospital room. I really did not want him to come into the room with me to deliver; I wanted my mom there. When it came down to it I felt like I would regret not allowing him to see his son be born. I am glad I did because he hasn’t seen Tyler since!

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Them vs. You: My parents are the coolest, strictest parents —if that makes sense— ever! They passed on morals and traditions that their parents did and didn’t give them. My parents never believed in hitting their children. They believe children respond better when you talk to them and you both get an understanding of where each one is coming from. My parents taught me patience and understanding when dealing with my children.

At one point in time, my mother and I weren’t seeing eye to eye. I was staying with my parents because I was having a hard time finding a job and keeping an apartment with no income. Although I needed to stay with my parents, I decided to leave with my children. By going through that, I found my strength and my weakness at the same time. Although I proved to myself I can make it, I yearned for my parents. That ordeal made me appreciate my parents and children; they make me who I am today!

The confidence of my parents made me extremely confident that I would be a terrific parent. I was nervous during both pregnancies. I was nervous because this is another life that solely depends on you. These little people are the only people to hear your heart beat from the inside and love you unconditionally; no matter your flaws or how others feel about you. You will always be your child’s hero as long as you do what you’re supposed to do.

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Fearful Moment: I was becoming more and more depressed because I couldn’t find a job. I felt depressed because I would look at my children and I couldn’t provide for them. My children would ask for things and I knew I couldn’t get it for them if their father didn’t have it. I never felt comfortable depending on anyone. It sent me in such a depressing spiral, I began to lose weight, my hair fell out and I was going to the hospital having problems with my blood pressure. After my health was declining I began to think about the moments with my children and then imagining dying by the age of 30 and leaving my children behind at the tender ages of 7(Tyler) and 5 (Sasha).

Fearless Moment: My first born saved my life literally! I was running the streets, fighting, on probation for an attempted murder charge that was reduced to assault, selling drugs, taking trips out of town…a lot of things I shouldn’t have been into. My children made me a better person. They made me want much more out of life. I didn’t care for myself much. Dying wasn’t a fear but a reality. Having children made me value life, family, morals and most importantly ME! I know I have to take care and love myself so I can be here for my children. Before I had children my worst fear was going to jail. Now my worst fear is not being here on this earth to see my children grow and mature.

Support System: I have a great support system, from my parents to my best friends.

When I told my parents I was pregnant with each of my children, they knew I would be a terrific parent. They felt from watching me assist with the raising of my two brothers I would be an exceptional parent. They were totally right!! I went to all my prenatal appointments with my mom, dad, or sister.

Now when I told my closest friends I was pregnant, on both occasions they were sooooooooo excited! My friends have been there throughout both pregnancies; from the cravings to buying any and everything my kids wanted or needed.

God blessed me and I met a man who stepped up as Tyler’s father and gave me a beautiful baby girl, Sasha. Although things did not work out between us, he is constantly around his children never missing a moment with them. My son and daughter have an amazing bond with their FATHER and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Final Thoughts: I found my strength in my children. I live for them! Without their love and existence I don’t believe I would be alive. I thank God every day for giving me my angels in human form. No matter how hard it is or if I struggle I appreciate every moment, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year God blesses me to spend with them. All I want is for God to allow me the strength and health to see my children graduate college, get married, and have children (even if it doesn’t happen in that order I will still be happy just to be in their presence) and I pray my children live long after I’m gone. Every night I pray for these two things to come into fruition!

In your honest opinion, does a single mom have the RIGHT to bad mouth their child’s father in front of the child?

In your honest opinion, does a single mom have the RIGHT to bad mouth their child's father in front of the child?

Honestly no. You have your opinion about the person you chose to be a father. The child is innocent. When the child comes of age to where they are asking about the father, that is your chance to explain the situation to them. I think about the sequence of the situation; from the being of the relationship, to the pregnancy, and after. Somewhere between then, something went wrong. Not all single mothers are single because the father didn’t want anything to do with the child. The father of my child has a good heart and is a great guy. He just lost himself during my pregnancy.