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?

Sharing is caring:

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.

Sharing is caring:

A Perfect Movie Date For The Kids

Recently I had the pleasure of taking my kids to see the movie “Moana”.  I have to say this is one of the best kids’ movies I have seen in a very long time!  First, it was empowering to my daughter that the lead character is the daughter of a Chief, and looks very much like her.  My son absolutely loved the musical scenes by Mauai, the demigod. You want to know what I loved? I loved that the movie was so in tune with the earth and the spirit. They even gave a good glimpse into the conflict Moana faced with wanting to obey her father and fulfill her role as the new Chief of the village vs her wanting to follow her heart’s desire.

I have to say the musical scenes were so amazing! The songs have been so catchy that we’ve all been busting out in random song singing them. They even had songs where they honored their ancestors, which was so important to see. During some of the scenes, they even did some of the cultural dances, which I may add, I would absolutely love to see in person one day.

In one of the songs, Moana sings just because your heart was broken, don’t let that change who you are. You are not your pain. That message was so deep to me, and resonated on so many levels.

As of recently, Zootopia was my favorite cartoon movie, but this has quickly jumped to first place in my book. If you want to take your kids to see a movie they’ll love, Moana is definitely a great choice for that!

Oh, and I would advise you to get the soundtrack as well. I know I’m looking for it!  Enjoy your movie date with the kids!

PS-Who knew Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock could sing as well as he does?!

Sharing is caring:

Keeping Your Kids Active During Winter Months

With the winter months upon us it’s more difficult to keep our kids active and moving throughout the season. This leaves them with the risk of obesity, as well as with a ton of bottled up energy that as parents will drive us absolutely nuts! One of my sons is a ball of energy and when he is stuck in the house, can become quite the tornado. Of course this leaves me searching for activities to do with the kids to keep them active.

A nice activity to do with the kids every winter is always ice skating.  Of course bundling up is in order, and perhaps a trip for hot chocolate immediately afterward.  Playing in the snow is another calorie burning exercise that can be a blast for the whole family.  A tradition that my kids and I have is once we finish playing in the snow, we come in the house, strip off the wet clothes, change into pajamas and enjoy some hot chocolate.  It’s a tradition that my mother did with us when we were kids and went outside to play in the snow.  I passed it on to my kids.

Window shopping or mall walking is another activity that can be fun for the family with the added benefit of being indoors and warm.  There’s a mall I would go to sometimes that had a cookie store in it. This cookie store served the most delicious chocolate chip cookies! And they were nice and warm and gooey! I’m telling you those cookies made my toes curl! It helped that we could walk the calories off by walking the rest of the mall too. Great idea to wear the kids out.

If your kids are stuck on video games, try getting a video game that keeps them active. There are dance games that can be a real workout for kids.  It’ll burn their excess energy along with the extra calories.  Pokemon Go is another game that has kids more than willing to walk miles just to catch rare and legendary Pokemon. Often they don’t even realize they’re exercising, it’s all just fun for them, which is what exercise should be anyway.

Indoor obstacle courses can really turn a boring, ho-hum day into a fun one while working the kids out. It doesn’t take much more than a decently sized room, pillows and chairs. My son is one of those kids that loves obstacle courses.  Of course you can always order stuff to really amp up the obstacle course, or you can just use what you have at home.  Whatever works best for your family and your wallet.

Scavenger hunts can be really fun too.  If your kids are competitive like mine, they’ll really be on the hunt not only to find the items in question, but to also outdo each other. We don’t really celebrate Easter, but I like to buy them little eggs that come out around Easter, fill them with chocolate or something else and hide them around the house. It’s so much fun to watch them search for those elusive prizes while wearing themselves out.  You know they’ll sleep good that night.

Come up with creative and fun ways to get the exercise in, not only for the children, but as a family. And as always, winter tends to make people decrease their water intake.  Make sure you and the children are staying hydrated.  It will help ward off the cold/flu germs as well.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Sharing is caring:

Is A Wife’s Ability To Submit Dependent On Her Husband’s Ability To Lead?

I had a conversation with a friend of mine yesterday and as we were discussing the role of a wife and the role of a husband, we found that there was a common thread in our conversation.  Among what we discussed was what the different churches teach women as far as submission to their husband is concerned.  I have heard sermons where it was taught that no matter what the husband is doing, you need to be in a state of submission.  I have also heard that you should be in submission to your husband as long as your husband is in submission to God.

Now, I am of the school of the latter.  Seeing as how some of my spiritual beliefs are evolving, so are my outlooks on things of this nature.  I believe that a wife’s ability to submit to her husband and allow him to lead is completely dependent on the husband’s ability to lead her and the household.  I don’t believe that a wife should be in a state of submission to her husband if he is in a state of disarray.  How can she follow him if he is leading them off of a cliff?  In my opinion, it is at that point that the wife needs to tune her ear to God and follow where God is leading them.  Coddling the ego of a man who can’t, or won’t lead will cause nothing but heartache and misery for the wife and the family if there are children involved.

It is also necessary to mention that what makes a man the leader of his home is not simply the fact that he is a man and has a penis.  Leading the home is bearing the responsibilities needed to keep the household safe and secure, being able to guide the family for what’s best for the situation vs. what’s best for the ego, etc.  There is so much more that comes with being the leader of the home.  Now the wife has her own set of responsibilities as well, but the topic of conversation is whether a wife’s ability to submit is dependent on her husband’s ability to lead?

So I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, as always respectful dialogue is always welcome!

Sharing is caring:

“Your Child is Perfect” – One Mom’s Letter to Her Doctor

Have you ever wanted something really bad? You worked so hard to prepare for it. You thought about it every minute of the day. When it finally seemed like it was time to celebrate your success, someone was there to tell you “Stop.” You cannot have what you wanted, what you’ve dream of, and prayed for. You need to destroy what you’ve done and start over as if you were writing something on a piece of paper and could just ball it up and toss it in the trash, confident another blank page was waiting for your success.

 

Now imagine if what you wanted were a child. You’ve watched everyone else become a mom and so wanted that for yourself. You did every thing healthy to prepare your body and finally became pregnant. Now imagine the doctor telling you something was wrong with that child. Imagine they told you to get rid of him/her and try again later. What would you do?

Would you follow doctor’s orders? Would you seek a second opinion? Would you look at the mom friends around you with their “perfect” kids and decide you wanted that and only that? Would you feel like you were alone and without any choice but the doctor’s? Most importantly, what, if anything would you say to that doctor?

One mom spoke up, alone in her pain, chose to no longer feel alone in the middle of her maternal crisis. She was told by the doctor to abort her child because it would not be “perfect.” Still, she made the choice to have her baby. She realized despite the medical diagnosis, her baby was perfect and had something to contribute to this world. But she also felt the pain of realizing others were not as blessed to believe they had choices and who blindly trusted the recommendation of that and other doctors to abort their child. Her empathy for others prompted her to write and open letter to that doctor.

A portion of the letter reads:

I came to you during the most difficult time in my life. I was terrified, anxious and in complete despair. I didn’t know the truth yet about my baby, and that’s what I desperately needed from you. But instead of support and encouragement, you suggested we terminate our child. I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. You suggested we reconsider our decision to continue the pregnancy.

To see a copy of the full letter click HERE.

Sharing is caring:

What Happened To The Village?

As I sat on my parents’ porch enjoying the summer breeze, I watched school bus after school bus pull up and drop off the kids who now live on the same block where I grew up. I watched the school aides walk some off the bus and have almost a “good riddance” attitude. I watched others walk off and wave to the child looking forward to tomorrow. Then I watched after parent after parent came outside or opened the door for their children.  Some parents were genuinely happy to see their children return after spending the day apart. Others seemed annoyed at the mere presence of this child returning home.

Some of the things this got me thinking of was where is the village now?

I understand now as a mother why it’s so important to have a village.  It’s not only for the care of the kids, but for the sake of a mother’s sanity as well.  Yes, we are women who are capable of playing every role and truly fulfilling the “I’m every woman” heels, but truth be told, why do we want to?

As a mom of 3, I am grateful for my “village”.  I think about how grateful I am often.  For most of these mothers, it wasn’t that they didn’t want to see their children.  It was more that these mothers are frustrated, tired, stressed out, and more.  Their “village” is either nonexistent or lacking.  They have spent so much time pouring into their children, and yet no one has poured into them. They have become depleted and their emotional “bank” is now suffering. This causes them to be short with their children, to be moody and emotional and defensive.  Where is the “village” for these mothers?

I have been blessed to grow up in a family where my siblings have always been my closest friends.  I have also been blessed to be able to make friends who have become like family.  When I feel my tank running on empty, I know there is someone in my “village” available to call and talk to who will understand.  And this is vice versa.  It’s not uncommon for me to receive a call about the same thing.
Life is difficult enough without having to go through it all on your own.  Somewhere along the line, we as women lost sight of the “village”, and instead focused on self.  The weight of the world on one person can become crushing.
When we can connect in sisterhood, and work together without competition and ego getting involved, our village will be able to be resuscitated.  When we can collaborate instead of judge the parenting style or choices, we will be in a much better position to help each other.   It is possible.
I look around and am grateful for my “village”.  I know my children will be all the better for each of these people in their lives.  I know I will be better for them also.  When we can collaborate and pool together ideas, information and resources it strengthens not only us individually, but also collectively.  So Sexy Moms, I ask you, where is your village? Does it exist? How can you tap in to your “village”?
Sharing is caring:

Kelly Rowland Opens Up On Balancing Motherhood And Career

Kelly Rowland, former member of Destiny’s Child, now solo artist has opened up to Ebony magazine in an intimate interview about how she balances motherhood and her career.  Kelly has a 1-year-old son named Titan, is newly married, and is still in the studio recording hits. Just how does she do it? Here are some of the things Kelly had to say about her balancing act:

“My challenges are just really learning the balance of it all for myself, for my husband, for my baby, for my career. Making sure that everything gets the balance,” Kelly tries to ensure her family gets everything they need, but is careful not to neglect herself.  “Because how am I supposed to be filled and I have to pour so much of myself into everything?”

When asked how she finds the balance between Kelly Rowland the Entertainer vs. Kelly Rowland the wife/mother, she says: “I’m still learning it now,” she says. “Because now things are starting to pick up again, so I can only imagine when I have to go overseas and tour and things like that. I want Titan to come with me, but I also don’t want to wear his body out. And I want him to feel what stability feels like since my mom and I moved around a lot when I was a kid.”

Like most mothers, Kelly educated herself as much as she could on motherhood, but still says she wasn’t fully prepared, like all of us. Kelly says “I felt like when I brought Titan home I knew everything, and I didn’t. And it was so wrong because my husband would figure out what would make him calm immediately,”

Kelly gushes that the good parts have been “watching him, watching my husband, watching my marriage and learning so much behind that story alone. My husband is the greatest man on earth, he really is. And he’s the greatest dad. I’m so happy I thought enough of myself to choose a great man.”

Although she’s now a mother, she has hardly taken a backseat in her career.  She’s back in work mode. She landed a reoccurring role on Empire and recently dropped the club banger “Dumb.” While the song has a young party vibe, the lyrics are about being grown and sexy.

For the full interview with Ebony magazine:

Kelly Rowland Interview

Photo courtesy of

Matt Sayles/AP/Invision

Sharing is caring:

Why I Hated My Postpartum Body

As I got undressed to take a shower, I looked in the mirror at my 4-day postpartum body and my first thought was yuck! I didn’t like the still swollen stomach, and the changes in my body. It was in that train of thought that I asked myself why did I think this body was ugly? Why was it foreign looking to me? I had just pushed a child out 4 days prior after a 34 hour labor. Why wouldn’t my body still bear some resemblance of the trauma it had been put through?  Why would I expect my body to snap back to looking exactly the same when it took a 9 month process to go through all of the stages of change?  I had to ask myself what was I allowing to shape my opinion of how my body looked? Was I comparing myself to these celebrities who show no signs of having just had a baby? Did I have an unrealistic expectation? My resounding answer was yes!

While my husband reassured me that I was still beautiful, and each stretch mark was a reminder that I gave him 3 children, in my head my body still was not beautiful to me. When I realized just how unrealistic I was being, I decided to embrace my postpartum body. After all, my body had gone through a battle to bring forth a new life.  A little person that would amaze me as he goes through each day, just as his sister and brother have.

I looked in the mirror and embraced every part of me. I embraced my face, the sleep deprived eyes and messy hair.  I took care of my babies, pouring everything out of me into them. I embraced my breasts that now sat heavy and full of milk to nourish my new baby, just as I had with my other two. How could I expect them to still look the same? I embraced my still swollen looking stomach that had housed and protected 3 babies until their births. This belly that had kept them close and listening to my heartbeat for 9, actually 10 months. I embraced my hips and thighs that were now swollen and had some extra dimples that weren’t there before, but they’d held up the ever growing weight as I carried these babies. I embraced my swollen legs and feet still showing very clear signs of Edema. I embraced the stretch marks on my stomach, hips, and thighs as reminders of having been blessed to carry 3 children, and not taking it for granted, as some never get the opportunity.

As I embraced every inch and curve of my body, I was reminded that these changes would be continual and ever-changing. If it wasn’t from having a baby, it will be from getting older. I am what a real woman looks like. I am what a mom looks like. I am what a sexy mom looks like. I take care of my body, and I embrace the changes that will continually come. So while the title may be a bit misleading, it was in that brief moment, I hated my postpartum body. Yet in those following moments, I learned to love and embrace it.

Sharing is caring:

6 Year Old Gets Plastic Surgery Because He Was Bullied

Gage Berger, a 6-year old that was incessantly teased and bullied in school for years recently underwent surgery to pin back his ears, which he felt to be the cause of his bullying.

His dad Timothy Berger said that over the past year, his “playful, outgoing” son had “changed.” Gage started keeping to himself more, and he “didn’t want to go to school.”

“I’d catch him looking in the mirror and trying to pin them back, and when he got nervous or upset or when he was in trouble, he’d physically grab his ears,” Timothy said. “It was subconscious. It was him thinking that his ears were the problem and that was why he must be in trouble.”

Not wanting the bullying and teasing to permanently affect their son, parents Timothy and Kallie began considering cosmetic surgery, more specifically ear-pinning surgery.  Timothy Berger is stated to have said “This isn’t any different than taking your child to get braces to ‘fix’ the appearance of crooked teeth.  We explained to him the surgery, which is only a short two-hour procedure. He was so excited about it. Obviously, if he wasn’t on board with it, we wouldn’t have touched him. Ultimately, we told him it was up to him.”

In their search, they found facial plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Mobley, who runs the Mobley Foundation for Charitable Surgery in Salt Lake City, Utah. The foundation provides free cosmetic surgeries for school-aged children who are being bullied, and whose parents can’t afford the particular surgery they and their child want to have.

Dr. Mobley says he himself was bullied as a child and eventually received ear pinning surgery at the age of 19.  He states cosmetic surgery is “a very personal and private decision parents and children need to make together.”  Mobley said the minimum age he performs surgery is 5 years old since the ear is then 70 to 80 percent the size of its full adult size.  He also evaluates the child’s mental health and maturity.

The procedure was fairly simple.  Mobley did a 2-hour procedure under local anesthesia.  Gage was able to see his new ears 2 days later, and pictures show him grinning from ear to ear.  Gage’s parents said he’s now back to his old self and couldn’t be happier.

As a parent, we want our children to be happy.  We want our children to be confident.  Does this border on opting for an easy way out, and not teaching our child to stand up to bullies?  Or does it give our child the confidence to be able to face bullying with added confidence?  What are your thoughts?

Sharing is caring: