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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Pregnancy Scare #14; Fearless Mom: Timara Manson

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Name: Timara Manson
Age: 25
Year you graduated high school: 2007
Year you found out you were pregnant: She found out she was pregnant in 2012
Number of children: 1

The Uh Oh Moment: We found out we were pregnant in 2012. I was with My ex-wife Camille. She carried our son.

I went in the bathroom and I guess she just peed on the stick and left it on the counter…and it was the plus signal. I was like, You pregnant. But I said it to myself in the bathroom like, She Pregnant. So I had to go back in there and be like, You pregnant. You was gonna wake me up and tell me you pregnant?! And she was like, “Babe I don’t know what you talking about; I just peed on the stick and put it on the counter.” So I told her to take another one because it could not be accurate because you’re not supposed to let them sit for too long.

So she peed on a stick again. I called my mom. I was so excited and so happy. I was floating around the house. It was great.

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The Mom Moment: I became a mom, to be exact, May 2013. My son was two weeks old and my wife had came downstairs, gave me a kiss on the forehead, and left out. I thought she was just going for a walk. I woke up the next morning and she still wasn’t home. I called her, her phone was off. I really thought something went wrong. And then I got an email.

An email basically saying she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t have this family, she couldn’t handle everything. She didn’t want to be a mom. She really did all this for me and she was going to go about her business.

I had to pack up my son from Philadelphia , call my mom and get a U-Haul. Tian, my best friend, came down with the U-Haul and we put him in the car seat. I was looking at him in the car seat. I had him bundled up. I kept saying to myself, How could you give birth to a child and just leave…just leave us…and all you gave me was an email. She disabled her email, her phone number, everything. She just let go of everything. This was my wife. And I just looked at him and said this is my son. He’s me. This is a reflection of me. This is my baby and I was gonna do everything I could for him.

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

Father/Dad: Camille is a mother. She has always been a mother. Camille did not and does not want a child. She feels like our son is a responsibility and she [had the baby] for me. At the end of the day we are co-parenting; he is a responsibility to her and he is my child.

In the beginning, I thought everything was fine. She was my wife at the time. Camille cheated December 22nd, 2012. I packed my stuff Christmas Eve, and left my wife, and moved back to New York.

From that day forth, everything was a roller coaster. The pregnancy was fine. Us having the baby was fine because she was doing it naturally for me. But she was very unhappy. She thought the baby was going to be a healing for her bipolar, her PTSD, and her depression from her time in the military (while she was pregnant she didn’t take medication). But that wasn’t the purpose of having a child.

I told her to be positive but I just couldn’t make her happy. At this point Camille was still dealing with the dude she cheated on me with. She decided that she wanted to be with the both of us but I couldn’t accept the fact the she cheated on me while she was six months pregnant. We went through our ups and downs, but I was at every doctor’s appointment. Anything she needed to do we did it together because that was my baby, and she was my wife. I needed to make sure she was good regardless.

Them vs. You: I am my mom, my grandmother, and my godmother. I don’t tolerate the talk back, I don’t tolerate all that crying, we not about to go back and forth, I don’t want to even to hold your bottle when it comes down to it; I’m propping it up. I am my mother’s child down to the tee.

The only thing I would do different is I want to explain myself to my son. I need him to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, what’s the reasoning behind it, and this is the cause and effect for whatever’s happening. My mom listens to my sister and what she goes through. So I will be doing the same to my son. I want to hear his side of whatever he’s going through and not be judgmental. Like, really have an open mind. Yes he’s my son but he’s not an angel.

At the end of the day all I wanted was an explanation from my mom in order for me not to put my hand in the fire.

Fearful Moment: May 9th 2014. That’s his birthday. I was [in New York]. I woke up like regular. I was supposed to be driving down to Philly to see him. We were doing his birthday that Saturday. [Camille] wouldn’t answer her phone, she wouldn’t answer her text messages. I didn’t hear from her all day. I went through every emotion imaginable. I was angry. Then I was confused. Then I was…just sad. Then I was just trying to figure out what was happening. Finally, she wrote me a message saying, “You’re never gonna see your son again.” I wanted to go to Philly but I just didn’t know what to do.

Coming to the close of the day, I just broke down. I was hurt. My heart was broken. I just wanted to hold my son. I just wanted to hug him, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday. It was funny because I kept saying all day, I’m sleep. I’m gonna wake up, I’m gonna start the day, and everything is going to be fine. That’s it. I just wanted to be there. I just wanted to see him smile and play some Beyoncé for him.

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Fearless Moment: I used to play Beyonce CD 24/7; non-stop! [Aram] knew that song, any time…what’s the name of that song?! All night! We be all night. Drunk In Love! I played that album everywhere I went. You play that song and that baby be jumping and popping. He’ll pause and the beat drops, and he’ll jump on the couch. He watch for his boo. On T.V., on the phone, on the computer, Beyonce was his boo. He would go to sleep to that album. Everything was good.

Support System: My mom didn’t know [I was trying to get pregnant]. I just called her and told her.  I called her at 4:30 in the morning. I sent her the picture, she was happy.

[Camille’s] family…they were happy, but they wanted her to be with a man. They didn’t understand why she thought she could raise a baby, a son, a child, a SON with another woman. They said you NEED a man. You need a male figure in his life…he was going to be too soft.

She defended [us] at that time. She wouldn’t let her family disrespect me regardless. They could feel however they wanted to feel, she didn’t let them do it.

Shannise [Timara’s friend] was excited. She was GREAT. She was there through every step. [Shannise] has my back 100%.

Question: Does she encourage you to reach out to the mom or…

She let’s me handle it. Whatever I want to do, however I want to do, she let’s me.

Final Thoughts: You will always be a reflection on who raised you and the five closest people in your life. The five closest adults in your life.

There’s a whole lot of mothers out there trying to be mischievous and go after their baby dad for money or time. But you have great men out there that all they want to do is spend time with their child. And you won’t allow that; you want to take them to court and you want to fight them. Then they don’t want to be around you anymore.

For a mother who is going through things with her child’s father, you need to forgive. Period. It doesn’t matter what you guys been through, that child did not ask to be here. There’s no reason for you guys to be going back and forth, there’s no reason to be bitter. You need to forgive him, let go, so that he can be a better father for his child. Period. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but there’s no reason to go around the boat when you can forgive, let go, and let God do what he do.

For a father who hasn’t seen their child, it gets better overtime. If it’s meant for you to be there, it will happen. It hurts but it’s just something you gotta experience.

I find my strength in helping other people. Now I have the testimony and the knowledge to tell a father, an absent mother, or even another lesbian couple that this is what it is, this is what it feels like and no, it’s not easy. But you can get through this.

Those eyes have a story already!
Those eyes have a story already!

Continue reading “Pregnancy Scare #14; Fearless Mom: Timara Manson”

Spare or Spoil?

It’s been a while beautiful people. Work has been crazy, and I’m cheating a little because I am prepping this very piece while on the clock. But our 13th story is in the works and a timeless subject has been brought up.

DISCIPLINE.

In the age of video phones and instant uploads making everything a must-capture moment, we need not do much accept type “bad” in YouTube’s search bar and be flooded with cursing tots, sagging teens, and the reckless transit antics of our youth.

The question I pose; how do we stop it at home? Parents cannot control their child’s EVERY action and influence, but they can instill and reinforce how they expect them to behave and conduct themselves outside of the home.

I received pops and beatings as a child. I’m not anymore prone to violence than the next educated, law-abiding citizen. Growing up, I learned there were consequences to my actions. If I didn’t want to get popped, I wouldn’t do the action I got popped for.

I do believe in teaching moments, but simply taking away a material object or a privilege doesn’t seem to work in this day and age. Kids just get their rocks of somewhere else. “I got caught cursing out my teacher, so my dad cut off my 4G. I’ll just make a video cursing the same teacher out over wi-fi so my friends KNOW it’s real in these streets.”

I ask you parents and caregivers, how should we discipline our kids to prevent Tom Foolery such as this:

Pregnancy Scare #12; Fearless Mom: Melissa Canselo

Name: Melissa Canselo (Mellocan)

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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!

Savage(s)!

Hurt. Disgusted. Sickened. Baffled. Ashamed. Appalled. Hurt. On the brink of tears.

I woke up and turned on the news. Bad mistake. Two cops shot in Ferguson, one cop shot in NYC. So I turned and took to social media for some morning humor.

Came across a NY Daily News headline for March 12, 2015.

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SAVAGE! A picture of young African American girls with the longest headline in history and the most eye-catching word is SAVAGE!. They labeled these girls’ (actions) savage.

Quick back story. High school girls have beef. It escalated and exploded in a McDonald’s in Brooklyn. But, because we are in Generation Punk-Ass, they did not shoot a fair one. It was one girl against five and she held her own for as long as possible. She was taken down and badly injured after. Once it was clear she was down, she was still kicked and berated. And the other students…filming until they have enough footage to get likes and hits. Only one adult stepped in when it was too late. Cops were called twice within six minutes but showed up after the fight was over.

Fuck you New York Daily News. There is plenty of blood on cops hands. Men and women fatally shot because a trained individual was scared. In the aforementioned news reports, they did not release the name of the cops as the investigation is ongoing. They’re handling it very delicately. That blue line must be a blessing. Cops associated with unjust killings get to RESIGN with benefits or are suspended with pay. YET LET’S PASTE THESE GIRLS ON THE FRONT OF A CITY-WIDE NEWSPAPER AND LABEL THEM SAVAGES.

Grant it, the story’s goal is to point out that we live in an age where people would rather film than help. That’s disgusting. And I know they did not DIRECTLY call the girls savage, but instead was highlighting their violence and the audience’s indulgence/encouragement; but the juxtaposition is painfully obvious. Law enforcement, those who have the tag line of, “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect“, are the POSTER CHILDREN for corruption. They wrote the book on how to get away with murder. Rural kids riot over pumpkins. Yet we are savage.

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Those girls should not have been fighting. Their parents should be held accountable. The (lack of) action of the bystanders is incredibly insulting to the credibility of the human race. But many other adjectives could have been used on this front page story. Tragic. Unfortunate. Sad. Horrible. But you choose “Savage”. You choose a word which has been used to insult people of color by many generations. You choose to use a word that equates us to wild animals. Please believe, there is a long history of savagery and it doesn’t start with us; but almost always ends with us losing….

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Tantrum: Ferry Full of Spectators

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So I decide to take a ride on NYC’s underrated treasure; le Staten Island Ferry. As we are docking into the step-borough, a father of 4 stands next to me and my lovely company. He is having quite a time getting the kids on one accord. The two girls go off and have a conversation with two other young ladies. I don’t know if they JUST made friends with them, but if so, that is AWESOME. The younger son, who the Dad shared a matching Spider-man t-shirt with, was just spewing out random facts,

Next week is Saturday Daddy.

Then there was the youngest. He was toddler age and a VERY healthy baby. Because we were stationary and waiting to dock, he was having a F.I.T (furiously insane tantrum).

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Knowing that the other 3 were OK, the father…excuse me DAD, focused all of his attention on his youngest boy. “What’s wrong? Are you okay? You have to wait until the boat stops. We’re going to get off soon. What do you want? You’re just tired. You’re tired. Yea, you’re tired. You want me to pick you up? You want to get down? You’re just tired.”

Needless to say, the kid never verbalized what was wrong. Everyone else was saying to themselves, “Awwww poor baby.” While I was in a crowd of two thinking, “Awwwww, poor Dad.” And of course, “If that was MY kid… (which I have none).

But I was a victim of hindsight. Here was this MAN, there for ALL of his kids, and the youngest seed is giving him HELL. While I wanted him to do more for the distressed kid, I slightly understood he was doing all he could. And then I saw him reap the seeds of his patience. As soon as the crowd started moving, that kid was A-OK.

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I then came across a great blog yesterday about a single father who judged a parent yelling at their child in the store, and everything fell into place. That man on the boat had a moment. In that moment, he did everything he could do right then and there. He picked up and put down his kid as many times as he needed. He kept talking to his child even though he would’ve had better luck with a brick wall. He stayed calm and composed. He kept a third eye and ear out for the rest of his kids. In that moment, to the untrained eye, he looked like a bad Dad. But that was JUST a moment. That man, that DAD had a parental foresight that NO ONE on that boat could see; When we get moving, he’ll be alright.

Everybody has their moments. It’s those clocked-in minutes we need to see to measure character.

Every Bit Counts <3

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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.********

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