This Is NOT An Attack On Momma Bey

 

And I know this disclaimer won’t be enough for some of the Beyhive, but I need you to know, her IMAGE, her immediate look was simply the catalyst for this. NOT her personality, NOT her personal morals and values, NOT her assumed motherhood and/or womanhood.

I saw, I thought, I wrote. So let us begin.

The 2016 VMAs had a lot of ups and downs for us 80s babies. We saw too many people we don’t know, and we saw too many people we know cater to the demographic we kind of know. But what do we know?! Are we not doing the same thing our parents did when Juvenile took over for the nine-nine and the 2000 (you assumed the twerking stance, didn’t you?!)

But like many of all ages, I was holding out for a diva and a queen. And neither of them let me down. Beyonce took the stage in all of her glory. She brought a world tour caliber performance to basic cable (you remember the black box days).

bey3

And I LOVED that. But what caught my attention was who was with her on the red carpet and the correlation of her performance.

Beyonce Knowles rolled in with Blue Ivy, both of them decked out in couture. When the lights went down and the smoked cleared, I was giddy with anticipation. Beyonce, beyonced all over that stage. Pyro, dancers, lights, using the entire space, it was a marvel! But then I saw something peculiar.

For more than 30 seconds, Beyonce used the camera to do this…

bey2

I’m not saying this woman has not always embraced her sexuality, but the most we’ve seen her expose is this…

bey1

After all was sung and done, I wondered, Wasn’t her daughter at the show? Was she watching this in the green room?

Yes, Beyonce is a performer. Yes, this was just a performance. Yes, it’s about costume and props. Yes, raunchier has been seen and done. And yes, Blue Ivy was probably whisked away with the nanny after paparazzi had their fill. But Beyonce sheds more as she gets older (which is usually hand and hand with wiser and maturer)? If not Blue, one of her friends can look up the Queen and say, “Hey, I know what your mom’s cheeks look like.”

My question; where does the buck stop? I am all for women, no matter what’s added to their title, being able to express who they are. But in the age of accessibility, most of us are in agreement for shielding our children from inappropriate content before they can comprehend it. So why throw ass cheeks in the camera that your daughter can see with a click of the mouse? And again, this is on the assumption that Blue Ivy could have been there watching this as opposed to an exclusive tour show where she would be no where near.

If your daughter wants to do the same at an too-early age, how are you going to combat that?

A mother can be sexy, but is there such a thing as being too sexy once you’re a mom? Does motherhood equal conservative/restriction? Does celebrity give a new definition to motherhood? Has social media affected the image of motherhood? At the end of the day, HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO VIEW YOU AS A MOM and what will you do to ensure that?

Advertisements

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 #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?

Screenshot_2014-11-26-15-30-25-1

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!

Screenshot_2014-11-26-15-30-25-2

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.

Screenshot_2014-11-26-15-29-46-1 Screenshot_2014-11-26-15-29-52-1

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.

Screenshot_2014-11-26-15-28-04-1 (1)

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!

Pregnancy Scare #9; Fearless Mom: Phylicia Gomez

PG9

Name: Phylicia Gomez
Age: 27
Year you graduated high school: 2004
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2006
Number of children: 2

The Uh Oh Moment: I found out I was pregnant when I returned home from Daytona, spring break April 7th, 2006. I was 18. Back then I still lived with my parents but I was home alone.

One of the most nerve-racking tests one could make.
One of the most nerve-racking tests one could make.

I was at home watching “Crash” and I couldn’t stop crying. I was like, Why am I so damn sensitive right now???! Maybe my period is coming. Then I was like, Well my last period was February 17th. If it was coming it should’ve been here by now…. So after the movie went off I walked to the 99 cent store. I got the test, went upstairs, and took it.  I was thinking If I’m pregnant, I guess I’ll schedule my appointment for my termination tomorrow.

Three minutes later I looked at the test and there were 2 lines; one very faint, but 2 lines. My heart skipped a couple of beats. I didn’t cry…I didn’t smile…I wasn’t sad…I wasn’t happy…I just put my coat on and went to the emergency room. They gave me a urine test and it was negative! But then they said they’re going to do an ultrasound just to confirm that I’m not pregnant.

The Mom Moment: As soon as the ultrasound began, there it was; Mickaylah’s strong, 7-week old, 150 bpm heartbeat. I knew then that no matter what anybody said I was going to be a mommy in 9 months. I became a mom at 4:49pm on November 17, 2006.

"I knew what he said was wrong. I was always a motivated girl I knew I was going to be a great mom! So his words didn't really affect my confidence."
“I knew what he said was wrong. I was always a motivated girl. I knew I was going to be a great mom! So his words didn’t really affect my confidence.”

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

Father/Dad: My first thought was, “Who is this kid’s father???” I had a boyfriend but I had recently cheated on him and I was unsure. I wish I could say I didn’t know any better, but I was 18, I knew exactly what I was doing. I just didn’t care. But I’m still with him as of today. He forgave me and we have grown up together. That was almost 10 years ago.

PG5
Time flies when you’re taking care of business.

The first thing [the other guy] said to me was congrats to you and your boyfriend! He was my friend. We had sex one time and I got pregnant. Then I told my boyfriend. He told me he wasn’t ready and that I should terminate my pregnancy! But I decided to continue my pregnancy and for the whole time I was alone because not long after finding out I was pregnant, they both got arrested and had to serve time in jail.

My boyfriend was released in December right after Mikaylah was born. Her father is currently still serving time. I spent most of my pregnancy back and forth to Rikers Island. So my daughter now has a father and a daddy. My boyfriend and I are still together. He cares for Mikaylah like his own. Her father is being the best father he can be from where he is, but his situation prevents him from being her daddy.

Them vs. You: My father is very family oriented I try to do family activities with my family as often as possible.

I’m a lot like my mom in many ways!!!!!! She is the best mother I could ever ask for, but she was very young raising me and my sister. She was passive and let us do whatever we wanted as long as we did well in school. After school extracurricular activities were our decision. Growing up we had no bedtime, we could dance how we wanted, listen to whatever kind of music we chose, and watched what we wanted.

PG6

I try to limit my daughter’s “Nicki Minaj” intake and keep her involved in different clubs because I feel like as long as she’s busy doing things, she won’t be able to be pregnant by 18 like me and my sister were.

My father told me that having this baby was going to be the worst decision I could ever make. He told me I wouldn’t finish school and that I’d be a bad mother because I’d have no education. This conversation happened when I was 7 weeks. The next time I saw or spoke to him, I was 9 months pregnant. I didn’t speak to my father during my whole pregnancy.

I knew what he said was wrong. I was always a motivated girl. I knew I was going to be a great mom! So his words didn’t really affect my confidence.

Fearful moment: My scariest moment was when my daughter drank perfume!!!!!! She had poured it in a cup and drank it! I was too scared to take her to the hospital thinking they would open an ACS case on me so I dealt with her at home. I never took my eyes off that girl again!!!!

My lowest moment as a parent was in 2011. I was pregnant again and I’d found out that my unborn child was very sick when I was about 5 months pregnant. She died intrauterine. I was depressed for months after the death of my baby and I wouldn’t even talk to my big daughter. I felt like I was dead with a heartbeat. It was the worst time of my life. And I completely shut my daughter out of my life during those months. I’ll never forgive myself for treating her the way I did.

Fearless moment: Her first step; she would only walk if you had food for her. She was such a greedy little girl.

PG3
“What about your friends”

Support system: I was the first of all my friends to have a baby.

All of my friends were shocked. My best friend Stephanie was happy to find out she wasn’t the reason I couldn’t really enjoy our Daytona trip.

All of my friends are still around. We’ve all grown up and we try to make time for each other as often as possible. My biggest support system since my daughter was born has been my mom and my step dad. They’ve been there for us since day one!

PG10V__C20BV__19C4 From party to pregnancy, here since Day One!

I find my strength in my babies. I know that they need me to be the best mommy I can be. Oh and caffeine……LOTS OF CAFFEINE!!!

Final thoughts: Being a mom is the hardest job in the world!!!!!!  There are no days off, but it’s the only job I’ll do happily for the rest of my life!!!!!!! The love I have in my heart for Mickaylah, Mason, and my angel Maeci is incredible! It’s like, how could you love somebody else more than you love yourself?? I do it every day and it’s a wonderful feeling. I wouldn’t change it for the world!!!!!

PG8

Pregnancy Scare #6; Fearless Mom: Lyndsey Battiste

Name: Lyndsey Battiste

Lyndsey

Age: 27
Year you graduated high school: 2005
Year you found out you were pregnant: 2007
Number of children: 1

The Uh Oh Moment: I was 20. I was at a friend’s house (too scared to take the test alone). My first thought was, “My mother is going to kill me.

The Mom Moment: I became a mom in January 2008 but it happened a couple of days after Sydney was born. After all the visitors stopped coming to help and there we’re no more nurses…and her “father” decided to go out instead of being home with us…we had our first night alone together. She cried all night and wouldn’t eat. I tried everything to make her stop; even put her in her car seat on top of the dryer (on low) hoping the motion would help (Google, lol). But nothing worked. We both cried all night. Then all of a sudden she held my pinky, latched on to the breast, and just looked at me. That’s when it got real; the moment I realized I couldn’t give her back lol. She was mine and I promised to do any and everything for her 1st!

Lyndsey Performance 2

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

Father/Dad: There is no relationship [with Sydney’s father]. He moved away when my daughter was 3 months old and didn’t come back until her 1st birthday. We wouldn’t hear from him at months at a time until finally, the calls completely stopped.

He was extremely excited when I told him and very supportive during the pregnancy. He was there for the birth but things changed after she was born. I guess reality hit him.

Them vs. You: My parents play a major role in my daughter’s life and help me tremendously with raising her.

The harshest thing wasn’t what they said it was what they did. My Dad didn’t speak to me for a couple of days and that completely broke my heart. It hurt. I felt like I let him down.

Fearful Moment: My scariest moment was when my daughter had to have surgery when she was 1. Although it was only a simple outpatient procedure, the thought of my little girl having surgery was horrifying.

Fearless Moment: . I think my favorite moments are always seeing her perform on stage. I’m a dance teacher and I own my own dance company so knowing that my child shares the same passion that I do is amazing! She’s a little show stopper and is a natural at performing.

I find my strength from [Sydney]!

Sydney
“The apples are still on the tree… she’s my mini me.”

Knowing that I have a little girl looking up to me and watching every move I make forces me to push and be a better woman. I can’t let her down

Support System: [Tiffany] was extremely supportive! She was at almost every doctors appointment, at the hospital every chance she got once I went into labor, and she was there for every birthday.

Godmommy
Tiffany and Sydney, all smiles.
Lyndsey Performance
Lyndsey and Sydney connecting on and off stage.

She’s my daughter’s Godmother! Although we aren’t in the same city and she has started a family of her own, she stills checks on my daughter and is there to support as much as she can.

Lyndsey Battiste is the owner/director/choreographer of the the Live.Love.Dance. Performing Arts Company, LLC; founded 3 years ago after her grandmother lost her life to pancreatic cancer. Their Instagram and Twitter is @WeLiveLoveDance. Search her name on YouTube to see videos. The Facebook is Facebook.com/LLD.DanceCompany.

Every Bit Counts <3

Screenshot_2014-03-25-21-19-43

The father of my child has a good heart and is a great guy. After she came into the world he helped out a lot; …when he came home he helped. He was there consistently for the first year and a half of her life. Because we were together after we broke up, it seems as if he broke up with her as well.

He is not there as much as I want for their father-daughter bond but she loves her father; and in her eyes, he is the best thing ever. I don’t want her to have the mind frame of resentment towards him. I’m not the one to deny a father their child unless he’s denying my child.  ********Click the pic  below for the full story.********

13 - 161-1

 

I Know Better…

I am not a parent.

I came close to being one twice. My first close call was around 16 years old. The young lady I was involved with lived ways away from me and we weren’t in a relationship. I was at her house one evening (when mom was away; you know how it was back in the day) and she gave me the news before things got hot and heavy.

Image

Needless to say I went limp.

But then I started thinking with the head on my shoulders. Fear kicked in immediately. I’m not going to be dramatic and say my life flashed before my eyes, but I was definitely at a lost for words. So I asked what any sympathetic, sensitive, and selfless male teen would ask…,

“What do YOU want to do about it?”

Her answer…well, as I said, I am NOT a parent.

download (1)

So I will not pretend I have an authoritative voice on parenting. I will not pass judgement on those who did become young parents. I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their parental duties.

But I HAVE been working around and with children since I was a child (age 14). I have extensively  worked with kids from ages 1 to 18. I’ve mentored youth from all socioeconomic bankgrounds (not a typo). I’ve tended to needy and the special needs kids. I’ve seen fatherless offsprings and nanny-full, privileged ungratefuls.  I have countless hours of training from Ages and Stages to Child Abuse Prevention. The only differences between a parent and myself; I get to give the kids back at the end of the day and a few more hours of sleep. Other than that, WE ARE ALL still learning.

And with that said, these stories are meant to be lessons. Lessons on life, lessons on love, lessons about perseverance, and most importantly, PROGRESS. Anyone can become a parent overnight; but it takes a lifetime and commitment to become a Mom/Dad.

“Without struggle, there is no progress.”  download (2)

– Frederick Douglass

These are raw accounts from real people. How that first thought of flight turned into a fight to bring a new life in this world and be the best thing this baby has ever seen. I hope you enjoy and take something of value from the development of these primary caregivers.

Spread the word.