Parent and Dating #1

Me & Mine + Them = X(?)

Describe your perfect date: A perfect date would be simple. Dinner, movie, a few drinks. Enough to relax and enjoy myself. I just want an adult conversation and laughs.

I’ve learned one of the hardest things to do while your children are young is dating. I’m a single mother of 3 boys, ages 7, 5, and 4. They are my life!

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I work full time, come home to do homework with them, cook, clean, and make sure they are showered all before bed. In between that I gotta spend quality of time with each of them. I’m exhausted by the time they get in bed so having to fit dating in there is difficult. All the late night calls/texts get harder when you are tired.

What are some of the red flags that says, “Don’t bring him around my kids”: If he never has his kids or never talks about them.

What if he doesn’t have kids: If he’s aggressive or gets mad/annoyed easily he won’t be able to tolerate kids. I need someone who’s patient, who’s going to be willing to show my boys new things especially how to treat a woman, be a positive influence in their lives, and just be willing to spend quality time with them.

On your days off you have to find a sitter just so you could have a date (while at the same time feeling guilty for not spending time with your children). Sometimes I feel it’s just easier to forget dating and just focus on your kids. But at the same time when they go to sleep, you are all alone, no one to talk to about your day, no one to hold you when you’re having a bad day and no one to be there just for you.

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“I need someone who’s patient, who’s going to be willing to show my boys new things, especially how to treat a woman….”

So do you take a leap of faith and try and trust someone again? Do you take those extra steps to make time for someone else? All that goes through my head when I decide to talk to someone. Always questioning if they are going to understand how hard it is for [me] daily. That plans could be ruined at any time for a sick child or no babysitter.

I don’t want all the extra stress. I already have enough being a single mother. I just want someone there for me. To love me the way I deserve. To be the missing piece to my little family.

Will I ever find that piece?

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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).

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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…

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

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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?

Pregnancy Scare #15; Fearless Mom: FranShaun Harris

Franshaun Harris

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Age: 25
Year You Graduated High School: 2008
Year you found out you were Pregnant: 2014
Number of Children: 1

The Uh-Oh Moment: December 2014 I found out I was pregnant going in to get my yearly
physical and asthma checkup. Now a days, doctors give you all the test in the world. I simply went to the doctor to figure out what I could do to reduce my asthma symptoms. He went over my labs and came back in the room and said, “Congrats are in order, your test came back positive.” Mind you he never said what test he was talking about, he just had this huge smile on his face. I thought of every worst possible scenario, but then he said “Are you ready to be a Mom?” From that moment, my life changed.

The Mom Moment: Becoming a mom has always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I
have looked after children since I was a child (at the age of 13). It was a joy to watch how they learned and how they explored the world with such innocence. At 21, I had my first God child, Iyana. She was a sweet baby and words could not even immense the feeling I had of being her God mom. Months later, her brother Elijah was born and he too became my God child. I kept them for weeks and sometimes months at a time. They saw me as a second mom when their birth mom, Ladonna, needed a mommy break. I adore them as if they are my own. In that moment I became a mom. Having these two God children of mine was a joy BUT having my own son was an indescribable feeling.

My moment when I realized that Nasir was mine is when I was sitting at my mom’s house and he was crying and crying and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I sat on the steps going crazy. I then went back in the room and picked him up and said, “Ok, what is that you want? You’re clean, you’re fed, and you have a nice little clean butt.” He just looked at me and smiled so big. That moment I was like ok Shaun you’re REALLY a mom now.

***Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad***

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Father/Dad: By the time I was six months pregnant, everyone who I thought would want to have a family with me, left me. My best friend Tony is his father. He and I have an awesome friendship. Because of personal issues outside of him and me he can’t be around to see his son. However my other best friend Timara has stepped up and she has been dad. She lost custody of her first son, so I knew in the back of my mind she was nowhere near ready to start another family. But when I called Timara and all I could do was cry, she simply said, “Babe, no worries. Wipe your face, I’m here.” At that very time is when I knew no one else would love my son as much as her and I.

During surgery, I panicked and Timara sang to me to keep me calm. It was the Sponge Bob pizza song. I will never forget it. The doctors finally delivered my son, and Timara asked me his name (even though we had discussed it before) he then became OUR son. She has been a huge part of this Journey with no questions asked.

Them VS. You: I was raised by my mother and step-father. My mother was very strict and stern. Whatever she says was always a go. She never reasoned with me and my sisters and everything had to be done her way.

As I got older and began to express myself, my mother and I didn’t speak for months at a time because of my preference in dating. I was being raised by a “Christian” woman who thought homosexuality was the devil himself, so I hid it for a long time.

My dad on the other hand was more open and willing to see our side of things.

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Nasir will be raised by two moms, I will give him any information that he wants to know about same sex relationships. I’m sure that he will be curious as to why but I will let him know that no matter what he’s loved. I want him to know that love is love and he can be whoever he chooses to be. In the future he may not understand that he has two moms but I know that I’ll become an open book. I want to educate him on these type of relationships because not only are there more same sex couples out but that his mom is a part of that community and he will learn to have a level of respect for it.

In these times peers of his may already know things that he may not and I will definitely answer any questions and fill in his blanks.

In becoming a pre-school teacher, I have become a big disciplinarian but I have an open mind. I have learned patience and I’ve learned to be more lenient with how I do things. I’m also more creative so that when my son gets older, he’ll be able to come and talk to me about almost anything.

The Fearless Moment: I had been so overwhelmed and I fell into postpartum depression. My support was jacked up and Timara and I lived in two different states so it was a struggle parenting separately. Nasir had another crying spell and I called Timara on the phone and she played J.Cole through her speakers and Nas instantly knew who was on the line. Anytime he cried after that, I played J.Cole and everything was all good. He became a music baby and music has been our calm in the sleepless nights.

Support System: Nasir has a spirit so joyful. He has attracted so much love since the day he arrived. We finally moved to Delaware so that our family could all be in one place. My family has been supportive but the help and passion I get here couldn’t be greater. The Manson’s have taken us in as if we’ve always been a part of their family. Most times I barely have to lift a finger when we visit them. The love and support that we get from our families is amazing. Especially with her family.

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There is always a helping or a praying hand. I find so much strength in God first,
and faith. I am coming to understand why he has blessed me and I can’t thank him enough for my family. I stay grounded in my faith and with a higher power behind me, I can press forward. I never thought with all my doubts, that I’d have so many people who love him and want to help me raise him. He literally is a part of a village of 4 different families that have so much love to give him. I couldn’t imagine in all my years that the saying was true, “It takes a village to raise a
child.”

Final Thoughts: Being a Mom is one of the best things that happen to me. Even on my worst day when I feel like I’m alone, I’m reminded that I’m not. For those who feel like they are alone, pick up a phone, write an email because you never know who’s willing to be your shoulder to cry on. No one is ever alone in anything. Being a mom takes away that feeling and can erase any pain. The love I experience from him is nothing short of amazing and I couldn’t have asked God for anything better.

Nasir is teaching me so much about myself and also showing me how to evaluate those around me. If some ones spirit isn’t right, he’s not happy. He shows me true joy and happiness. He’s always smiling and being silly and it brings out the best in me.

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.

P.S. #10; Kimberly Fobbs

I was nervous during both pregnancies. Both times 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.

Kimberly

FULL STORY COMING SOON!

Mother vs. Mom 3

I must say that that I am a mom. But I must admit, having two jobs makes me feel guilty and to others, I may be viewed as a mother. I work and push myself beyond the limit of expectation and the term sacrifice is my motto. Because I have two jobs I agreed to cut off my social life to be able to spend more time with my daughter. When I do go out places it is where I know children are allowed. When I come in from work, no matter how tired I am, it’s mommy daughter time.

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Being a mother means you are providing the basic hierarchy of needs (Maslow) which is food, clothing, shelter, and safety. Notice that I did not say love because a mother does not need to love her children in order to provide their basics needs for survival. A mom provides nurture, love, affection, endearment, and safety in addition to the basic needs for survival which is food, clothing, and shelter.

A mommy goes the extra mile on top of what she has to do such as reading the extra book on top of the ten books you’ve already read, going outside after running around all day at work, staying outside for that extra game of chase, and playing preferred games even though you don’t feel like it. Basically, 100% pushing your feelings and emotions aside by leaving what happened at work AT WORK.

I work with children along the Autism spectrum throughout the week and on weekends I work with the elderly whom also have Autism and other intellectual disabilities. However, my daughter is my number one priority and whatever she needs I will provide.

The statement “I don’t feel like it” doesn’t exist to a mommy.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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“Maniacally, the mother brooded over her children (her children)…brooded over them like a cat over its kittens; but a cat that could talk, a cat that could say, ‘My baby, my baby,’ over and over again. ‘My baby, and oh, oh, at my breast, the little hands, the hunger, and that unspeakable agonizing pleasure! Till at last my baby sleeps, my baby sleeps with a bubble of white milk at the corner of his mouth. My little baby sleeps…'”

Jane Smith; P.S. #7

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Before becoming a parent, up until eighth grade, I valued my parents’ rules for the most part. I didn’t really do anything “bad” so to say. It was freshman year when that all ended. I had gone through some things and I started acting out because of it. Everything my parents said, I went against. Me being reckless resulted in pregnancy by the summer of my freshman year; I was just a baby myself.  My dad had always told me, “All boys are the same, they all only want one thing when they are a teenager.” But I refused to listen because I thought this boy (my baby’s  father) was different. Eventually I figured out that in fact, he did only want one thing.
Once becoming a parent, everything they told me made more sense. I value their rules much more now.

Full story coming soon.

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.