10 Things NOT To Say To A Pregnant Woman

I’m now 8 months pregnant, and I can honestly say I’ve heard some of the most ridiculous comments from people during my pregnancy. I’ve heard comments that have gone from uber nosy to downright rude and obnoxious. Having experiences like this help me remember what NOT to say to another pregnant woman. Here are 10 things NOT to say to a pregnant woman. Feel free to add more if you’d like.

1. Wow, you’re huge!
Right, because it’s not like I look down at myself every day and see a large boulder-sized belly looking back at me, I definitely needed you to point it out to me. Thank you for that!

2. Is it your husband’s/boyfriend’s baby?
Now, this was one of the most idiotic questions I’ve been asked during the pregnancy. If this baby wasn’t from my husband/boyfriend, do you think I’d really share it with you? Thankyouverymuch!

3. Are you sure there’s only 1 baby in there and not 2?
*Facepalm* That is all…

4. In regards to pregnancy, Google says…
Anything Google says, you can pretty much bet that we stopped listening to you once you said “Google said”. Unless Google can replace the care of our Midwives/Doctors, please save your Google facts.

5. Did you get pregnant by accident?
Clearly, if I’m having sex, there’s a possibility of pregnancy, just as there is for anyone having sex. So while the baby may or may not have been planned, you asking that is overstepping your boundaries.

6. Did you want another baby?
So how much money is in your bank account? Not my business right? Exactly! Just say congratulations. The prying, invasive questions are so unnecessary.

7. Are the kids happy about a new baby?
No, they’ve actually staged a protest and are filing injunctions against the new baby as we speak. Seriously? It’s an adjustment for any family. A better question would be to wait until after the baby is born and ask how is everyone adjusting? Is there anything I can do to help?

8. You look like you’re about to drop a load.
I’m sorry, are you referring to taking a massive dump or giving birth to a baby? The phrase drop a load just sounds so abrasive and gross.

9. Can you still have sex while you’re pregnant?
Seriously? Can you still take a shower in the summer? What kind of ridiculous question with no boundaries is that?!

10. You look like you’re about ready to pop!
Again, do I look like a balloon? Please don’t tell a pregnant woman she looks like she’s ready to pop.

Feel free to add any others you can think of. We’d love to hear it!

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The Not-So-Perfect Side Of Motherhood We’ve All Been In

A frustrated mother shares her frustration on raising young children as a single parent.

The comments in response to this overwhelmed mom were brutal! As women, as sisters, we need that village around us to help us stand strong when we feel weak. We ALL feel weak and overwhelmed from time to time, and most, if not all of us have broken down in tears at some point during raising our children.
Raising young children, this mom may have undiagnosed Postpartum Depression, or simply be overwhelmed with her current situation. My heart goes out to her as a mom because I know how hard it can get sometimes.
Stay strong mama! You can do it. Reach out for the help you need. Reach out when you’re having trouble. It won’t last forever. It’ll get better.

Moms, where is your village? Are you part of another woman’s village?

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8 Ways To Help Your Children Get Through A Divorce (While Keeping Your Own Sanity)

In late 2016, my marriage was over.  This is not about who was at fault or who wasn’t, nor is it about anything regarding the marriage.  This is about how I learned to walk with my children through the process and how I learned to keep my sanity during it all.

  • Safe Space:  No matter how “well” your child seems to be dealing with the transition, they have their own thoughts and feelings that need to be processed properly to help them.  Sometimes the way kids interpret situations can be incorrect.  They need a safe space to be able to voice their feelings, thoughts, and concerns.  They need to know they’ll be heard, and their thoughts and feelings will be respected.  Naturally, they are going to have questions, answer them as appropriately as possible.  While they don’t need to know all the details, they do need to hear some truth.  In other words, don’t pacify them.  If details are not appropriate for them, let them know you don’t want to share that with them at this point in time because you feel it’s best for them.  Don’t shut down on them though.  They need you.
  • Take Care Of Yourself:  Your kids will watch you for cues on how to care for themselves during this transition.  You have to show your kids by example that they need to care for themselves as well.  Spend time in prayer, meditation, exercise, or whatever else makes you feel good.  Personally, hot baths are therapeutic for me, so I try to take the time to take one once a week.  Allow your children to take some “me” time and recoup for themselves.  For my kids, that means spending time drawing, reading, kicking back, etc.
  • Never badmouth the other parent:   Trust me, you will get angry and frustrated with the other parent.  It’s inevitable.  However, when you badmouth the other parent, your child or children can’t help but take it personally, as they love their other parent.  It can make them feel like they’re in the middle and have to choose between their parents.  That’s a conflict that your children really do not need, especially during an already trying time for them.  More than likely, the other parent will assume that you are bad-mouthing them.  Don’t prove them right.  Be better than that.  It’ll work in your favor later on when you see you never put your children in the position to have to choose or to listen to the negative about their other parent.
  • Keep the details to yourself:  Unless the details of the breakdown of the marriage have to deal with the children directly, it’s best to keep the details to yourself.  Children should not have to bear the burden of learning the details of the breakdown of their parents’ marriage.  Some children internalize and can perceive the details to be due to them.  Either way, the details are unnecessary to be shared with the kids.  If you need to share, share with your girlfriends that you know you can trust.  Just don’t share it with the children.  Some details can forever alter the way the child looks at their parents.
  • Nurture your village:  Every woman needs to have a village.  You need to have that circle of people in your life that you can turn to for laughter, restoration, love, and more.  This village is helpful for the children too.  There will be times when you can’t be everything to your children at the same time and sometimes one of the people in your village can help your children.  An example of that is when my son came home from school with math problems that I was unfamiliar with.  I grew up in an era where common core was not the norm.  Now, it is and I have no idea how to get on board with it.  So my brother was able to figure it out and help my son.  My son and I were both pretty frustrated, but having that village able to help when we need it makes a huge difference.  I also have a friend who has 2 sons.  My kids love to go to her house and spend time with her kids.  She’s one of the few people outside of my family who I trust with my children, so it’s a huge help when my kids can go over there and enjoy themselves.  It gives me a small break and allows me to unwind and get some much-needed rest.
  • Acknowledge the good days and the bad:  You will have both good and bad days.  There is no getting around that.  The process of a divorce is very similar to the death of a loved one.  You and your children will go through a cycle of different emotions.  Remember to be gentle with yourself, and to apply that same gentleness to your kids.  Just like your emotions are on a tailspin cycle, their emotions are doing the same thing.  While you have the better understanding of the situation, they may also be going through feelings of helplessness because they have no say in the situation.  Allow yourself and your kids to process those emotions and be gentle with yourselves.  Acknowledge that some of the days are good and some will be rough.  Be okay with the rough days.  They won’t last.
  • Let your kids be kids:  This is a transitional time for you and the kids, allow them to be children.  Let your kids run around outside and play.  Let them play with friends and get together with family.  When possible, encourage them to get active in extracurricular activities they may be interested in within their schools.  Take weekend trips as a family, even if they’re local.  Let your kids know it’s okay for them to still be kids and enjoy themselves.  It’s important to them. 
  • Isolation is a dangerous thing:  While it may be easy to retreat into your own space and isolate, it’s not good for you to your children.  When you isolate, your children can feel like they were abandoned and left alone to go through this emotional process.  Isolation can be a very dangerous thing for you and your children.  Isolation can lead to depression and other issues, even suicide.  My daughter has a habit of isolating when she’s emotional.  It’s her coping mechanism.  I allow her to spend a certain amount of time alone, but then that’s it.  It’s time to rejoin the family and spend some healing time together.  When people isolate, it rarely turns out to be beneficial for their mental health.  That goes for adults and children.

While this is a trying process to go through with children, please know that it does pass.  In some cases, the parents can peacefully co-parent and even attend functions together to celebrate the children.  After all, that is the ideal situation.  So it may feel like this storm will last forever, it won’t.  It’s just a storm and will pass.  You and your children will weather the storm and can come out on the other side even stronger.  Here’s wishing you the best of healing for you and your children.  If you have any other tips to share, feel free to comment.  We’d love to hear it!

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Gabrielle Union Speaks Out On Her Struggle With Infertility

Gabrielle Union is an A-list Hollywood celebrity who has starred in numerous movies and tv shows, most recently the series Being Mary Jane. She is also wife of basketball star Dwayne Wade. Gabrielle Union recently released a new book entitled “We’re going to need more wine” in which she opens up about some personal struggles she’s faced throughout her lifetime including her heartbreaking struggle with infertility and IVF treatments.

“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” Union, 44, writes in the book. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.” Even through this heartbreak, her and her husband have not given up hope, and “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”

While Union says she never wanted children until she got married to her husband and became stepmom to his sons from previous relationships. Now she states she wants nothing more than to be with the children she is helping to raise.
While she wasn’t always as open about her struggle with infertility as she is currently, she voiced the frustration in hearing questions from well-meaning family and friends asking when she was going to have a baby.

“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” she says. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”

With infertility struggles on the rise, that may just make us stop and think before we ask someone else that again. I know I have personally struggled with infertility myself, having 5 or 6 miscarriages. I was blessed with 3 healthy children, but I definitely understand the heartbreak behind each miscarriage.

Union says “Once a month I look like I’m in my second trimester because I’m bloated,” she says. “It leads to the questions and it leads to the rumors and anytime I go into a doctor’s office I feel like I’m a member of SEAL Team Six undercover because I don’t want people to speculate.”

She shares her story in the hopes that the public will take a closer look at the struggle of infertility and learn to approach the topic better. Gabrielle Union, we hope you’re able to receive all the desires of your heart. You truly embody a Sexy Mom who Rocks!

Pick up your copy of her new book “We’re going to need more wine” anywhere books are sold.

Image Source: Zimbio

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Are Celebrities Held To Different Child/Spousal Support Expectations?

A story that has circulated social media recently has been the homelessness of Carmen Bryan, mother of superstar Nas’ daughter.  Since his daughter has turned 18 and child support has stopped, it is now being reported that Carmen is homeless and couch surfing due to mismanagement of money.  After writing a tell-all book exposing Nas and many aspects of their relationship, many feel he should overlook that and help her.  Others feel he should leave it alone and let her get on her own feet.

Here’s the thing, if it were any other person who was paying child or spousal support, would we expect them to fly in like a superhero and save an ex spouse whom they haven’t been with in years due to their mismanagement of funds? If the answer is no, why do people expect it from a celebrity?  Is it expected of him just because he has it?

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear it!

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Parenting A Child With A Disability

As a mom, one of the most devastating things we can ever hear is that something is wrong with our babies.  The first thing we do is question ourselves and try to find out what we did wrong, or what we didn’t do that we should have, that could have contributed to our child’s disability.  In most cases, there was nothing we did to contribute to our child’s state.  For the cases that it was something we did, well, forgive yourself.  Children don’t come with instruction manuals, and we learn as we go.  We do the best we can with what we know.  Love your child, and seek the best for them, and you’re putting them at a great advantage in this world.  It’s challenging to parent a child with a disability, but we don’t give up.

I noticed some odd behaviors in my son when he was a baby.  He was around one, maybe a little earlier, and I started seeing some concerning behaviors.  I didn’t know where to turn to get the help he needed.  He was on time with walking, on time with potty training, on time with talking and meeting all of the milestones a regular pediatrician would look for.  It was a frustrating place to be to not know how to help your baby, or even know where to go to begin.

I expressed my concerns to family, and even to my husband.  Everyone said he’s a boy, he’s fine.  I knew different.

I expressed my concerns to a friend of mine who has an Autistic child.  She was able to point me in the right direction where I could get my son tested.  The day we went in for the testing and meeting, I left in tears.  My baby was 3 years and testing as an 18-month-old. He is now 5, turning 6 this year.  He was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My husband took the news much better than I did.  Having a sister with a very serious disability, he was familiar with the challenges.  It took me some time to really wrap my head around it.  Having a support system really helped a lot.  My son has been in a program for special needs since he was diagnosed.  He has grown leaps and bounds.

While we still have some very challenging days, we’re grateful that we have days to spend together.  We’re grateful for the “easy” days.  He still has some obstacles to overcome, but with us supporting him, loving him, challenging him to grow and not settle, and teaching him not to accept defeat, but to fight for success, we are confident that he has a bright future ahead.

Mom, don’t give up! Some days will be rough.  I’ve had many days and nights of crying and being frustrated and feeling ill-equipped.  I have had to come to the conclusion that as long as I love my son with everything in me, and give him the best opportunities I can for his success, then I’m doing everything I can.  Moms, please don’t be too hard on yourself.  Your love makes more of a difference than anything else could make.

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Why I Won’t Encourage My Kids To Marry Young

Fairy Tales have been ingrained in us so much so, that you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know of them.  From the time we are young girls we’re shown fairy tales of the “damsel” finding her “prince charming”, and getting married and living happily ever after. Well, fairy tales got it wrong!  This is why I won’t encourage my kids to marry young:

Nowhere in that fairy tale does it give the princess the opportunity to even learn who she is as a person.  Marriage in itself takes hard work.  Never mind adding the challenges that come with getting married early while both partners are still growing, changing, and developing.  Don’t get it twisted, couples who marry young can still be happy and work out.  I know of quite a few.  I also know that when I got married young, I hadn’t had the chance to really grow into my own person just yet.  I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn who I truly was.  Neither of us did.

So you get married young and everything is all well and good right?

Well here’s the thing; most times children follow shortly after.  Of course, this is not every marriage, so please note that I’m speaking in a general sense.  If it doesn’t apply to you, great!  Now, when the children come along, your focus must primarily be in caring for them.  Their needs are entirely dependent on you.  For many, this allows you to overlook your own needs, focusing on the family instead.

Years can pass by and you find yourself changing and evolving.  After all, we are human, we’re not meant to stay the same.  If you don’t evolve and change, you have a bigger problem than anything being discussed here.  So you find yourself changing and evolving and now you come to the realization that your spouse has also been growing and changing as well, and now you have to figure out whether you both are on the same trajectory.  Are you both still changing together? Or is there a major distance that has developed?

Nothing is ever hopeless until one or both decide they give up and are not willing to try anymore.  For a healthy marriage, many conversations have to take place.  You will constantly be learning your partner because they are constantly changing.  They are not who they were five years ago, or even one year ago.  The same with you.  So allowing your partner the grace to grow, while growing with them is the ideal situation.  Often when people are married early, they haven’t yet developed the maturity for this and instead it turns into arguing and resentment, which can fester and grow and destroy a marriage if left unchecked.

I won’t be encouraging my children to get married early because I need them to see that they must be whole first, and have an understanding of who they are as a person before they can truly understand these same things about their partner.  I want my kids to be able to be equipped with the maturity level and the communication skills that are needed to allow their partner and themselves the grace to grow and change.  I want my children to have the time to focus solely on themselves and allow for their own accomplishments before their attention needs to be divided for the family.  Many women lose focus of themselves, thus becoming the identity of mom and wife, and forget that they had dreams and goals and desires before that.  Not that it can’t be done, but with a family, the challenges and demands are higher.  I can definitely speak from my own personal experience on this one.  I would like for my children to only have to be married once.  They’ll know when the time is right for them, but I won’t be the one to encourage them to get married young.  I’ll encourage them to get married when they’re ready and mature enough.

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Insight from a Sex Trafficking Victim

SexyMom, Denise Hill, is an adult basic skills (GED) educator. She has found that most of her students have powerful stories behind what paused their education and lives until adulthood. In a conversation with one student, she learned that the recent news headlines about missing girls from DC were closer than she could imagine. Her student begins to share a story of her years as a sex slave. She had some interesting comments on the missing girls that were gaining national attention, and some advice about the little things women could do to increase their safety. She consented to tell her story on camera so others could be helped. We strongly suggest you watch this video about her experience as a survivor of sex trafficking with your daughters and have a conversation about what they need to know to stay safe.

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Open Letter To Single Moms On Father’s Day

Dear Single Moms:

First, kudos to you! We give you the utmost respect and admiration. You sacrifice and put your children first. Sleepless nights, no days off, runny noses, tears and so much more is what you have your hands full with. Your love is repaid with butterfly kisses, big hugs, cuddles, and I love you’s.

For all of the wonderful things you do, for all of the irreplaceable moments you’re there for, you’ll always be an awesome mother.  However, I’m going to say something that you may not agree with.  While you play the role of both parents for your children, you can never be the father.

Greeting cards companies have now started making Father’s day cards for single moms. The reason a mother AND father are needed in a family is because they both play very distinct, but very different roles. The ideal situation is to have both parents in the home. However, it’s not always possible. Even in situations where it’s not possible, the mother is still the mother, and the father is still the father.

If single mothers are now taking credit for Father’s day, should single fathers take credit for Mother’s day? Each parent should be an active part of their child’s life. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When we become parents, we decide to do what we need to for our children, even if that means taking over where another parent may fall short.

While we don’t get extra credit for doing what we have to do, we earn it through our children. Our children grow up and recognize the sacrifice we make for them. They recognize even when their parent has to fill in for the other parent. As a single mom, you play an important role in your child’s life, an irreplaceable role, but you are still not a father. Please do not wish single moms a happy father’s day unless you’re going to wish single fathers a happy mother’s day. I’m sure many will disagree with this, and that’s ok. A woman can not teach a child from a father’s standpoint because she has never been one. That’s like saying a woman can teach a man how to be a man.  No, she can not. She can teach him what her idea of a man is, but she will never speak from a place of personal experience.

So single moms, you ladies are awesome! You all rock!  Please continue to celebrate Mother’s day.  *In my Maury voice* You are not the father! Please don’t feel like I’m taking anything from you, because I’m not. This is just the reality of things.

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Why I Refuse To Let My Kid Have A Participation Award

Nowadays it seems competitive sports have changed and the winning players or team no longer gets the award, but both teams get an award.  The losing team gets a “participation” award.  The concept behind this is to boost the self-esteem of all children involved and remove the focus on “winners” and “losers”.

My son played on a soccer team last season.  Their team did great even though most of them were first-timers.  They made it to the Playoffs, and their opponent was a very experienced team who had been playing together for a few seasons already.  As the game went on, emotions ran high on both sides.  The players on the field gave it their all.  They left their hearts on the field.  The game went into double overtime and finally ended with a win for the opposing team.  They won by 1 point!  The players on my son’s team, including my son, either cried or fought back tears.  This was so important to me to see because what it showed me was that they all gave everything they had to attain a victory that was important to them.  For that time they played as one unit on the field.  They were brothers (and sisters) for that time on the field.

When it came time for the teams who had made the playoffs to get their trophies and awards, my son’s team was awarded the 2nd place medals.  Only the first place team got the trophy.  At the time my heart ached for my son who was still processing the loss.  In his mind, if he played his hardest, he would win AND get a trophy just like the other team.  The fact of the matter is the other team was more experienced, and in the end, earned the victory.

I only saw the top 2 teams in the playoffs earn any award for playing.  I heard some parents grumble that their children should have received awards for playing on the teams during the season.  Here’s why their children didn’t need to receive awards:

1-I understand you feel it builds confidence in your child, but it also builds a sense of entitlement to things your child has not earned.

2-Now your child has a tangible goal to say ok, if I study harder, practice more, build up stamina, etc. Then I can attain that goal too.

3-The victory once they do attain that goal will be appreciated more than if they were just handed an award to pacify them.

4-The world will NOT give your child anything they have not earned.  While you don’t have to teach them that the world is hard, you do have to teach them to be realistic in a world where even if they deserve it, sometimes they won’t receive it.

5-This deprives your child of getting the full satisfaction of earning something they have truly worked hard and given their all for.

6-This teaches your child that anything is attainable if they put the work in.

7-This teaches your child to hand down the lesson to their children that they won’t have to work hard to earn anything.

As for my children, I don’t want them to receive any participation award they have not earned.  They won’t understand the true value of what it takes to grind and to reap the benefits of that grinding.  Our kids have to know that as minorities, the deck is already stacked against them. Handouts come at a cost and I want my kids to be able to stand on their own two feet and proudly say they earned what they have received.

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