Ahem, Now It’s Our Turn To Speak…

I’m so proud to be a young mama and to be able to witness the amazing day in history that we created once again: the re-election of Barack Obama! This news is definitely a major need of celebration.

However, as many news reports have stated, we must not engross ourselves with the joys of our success for too long because there are issues at hand that affect us young mothers, and including us, young black mothers.

Now that we finally have the mic and politicians are realizing that they must actually listen to us in order to earn our vote, it would be crazy for us not to actually SPEAK and use this opportunity to become a vital part of change in our community.

These are some of the issues that I believe need to be addressed and changed for us:

  • Though I tried to be creative and think of ways to bring in extra income to pay our bills (and actually succeeded with two of my boys), there were times when I was forced to consider whether it would be necessary for me to find a part-time or full-time job only weeks after giving birth. So it would do us some good to look at the Family and Medical Leave Act and think of some changes that needs to be made in order for a job to feel like less of an interference with bonding and building a relationship with the new baby. One great thing is that they added extra break time for nursing mothers up to a year after their child’s birth. However, employers do not have to compensate mothers for those breaks which, in the end, doesn’t fully support mothers choice to breast feed.
  • In addition, many young mothers are in school and do not always have the income to pay for it. Financial aid and stricter discrimination laws in terms of students chosen for a selected college are issues that have blocked some women from receiving the education they need.
  • Finally, many young mothers are also single parents and thus, have the burden of handling the entire financial responsibility of their household.  Yet, women are increasingly becoming the ones with the highest rate of poverty. With that said, evaluating the policies encouraged to create more jobs, more flexibility in the workplace, a level playing field, and less taxes and financial govermental regulations that we must adhere to would help us to make our money stretch and allow us to stress less on how to provide for our family.

Of course there are many other issues that affect us that we must examine and speak on but we have to start somewhere. Women, including us young mothers, are an integral part of nurturing our communities and our families and, just like we have to be vocal with our loved ones about when we need help, it’s time that we start to stand up for ourselves in the political atmosphere and say what we deserve.

Give me your thoughts…

Black Moms That Rock!!!

Sorry friends for my long intermission! Motherhood is so full of surprises and…HARD WORK! 

I have always been really passionate about what is going on the world and helping those in need. However, as a mom, it’s hard to balance the role of mom and being involved physically when there is barely enough time in the day to handle the home front. When watching TV and seeing women doing things especially noteworthy such as donating to cancer research, creating organizations for needy children, and volunteering to help the elderly, it’s so easy to judge yourself and feel as though you are not helping your community at all. At least, for me, I have this feeling all the time.  

Nonetheless, with three children and a house and husband to take care of, it’s not hard to see the role that I am playing at home and the contributions that I make toward our household. With making meals, helping with homework, potty training, changing diapers, wiping noses, teaching life lessons, and keeping the hubs happy, it’s hardly much time for myself, let alone conquering battles of the world.

So, in light of the nationally recognized youth enrichment program, Black Girls That Rock, I want to start a new movement where I recognize Black Moms That Rock. We may not be very well-known in the world but we make one of the biggest contributions possible, daily, and that is taking care of our little ones and being the first to light up their dreams and confidence to make future presidents, future models, future scientists, future doctors, and etc.

To Black Moms That Rock! BMTR! 

When is mommy officially “off”?

Tara, over at The Young Mommy Life, recently wrote a post about when you feel your family doesn’t appreciate you. I have to say that I knew exactly what she meant in that situation and have definitely been there. However, my downfall is that I was never good at sharing and disclosing those feelings because I always have a sense of “I shouldn’t feel entitled to this” or “why do I really deserve that”.

Lately, I have been experiencing these feelings more often since I had my newborn. With needing to breastfeed him every hour, make meals for all four of us throughout the day, keep my toddler busy, and try to get some work done within the three hours that Dukey is off at school, I am exhausted by the time my husband gets home. Yet, I still manage to make dinner and get both of the boys ready for bedtime.

It is starting to get to a point where I am getting snappy and frustrated with everyone and am losing my sanity.

I can’t help but ask when will I get to “clock out”.

I am so in need of a spa day or something but, more importantly, I have to learn how to ask for help when I need it. I know I am not the only mother to feel this way but it feels weird to even think about asking for help.

When I ask for help, it makes me feel inferior. As if I am not capable of handling it on my own and even when that may be true, I guess I just have a hard time admitting it.

But, I am going to have to learn how to and enjoy myself. Doing so will help me to be a better me for everyone so it is most definitely needed.

Chime in and share your thoughts! What is your cure for work-a-mommy-holic?

Why trick? Why treat? Just Get Something Good to Eat!

One of the things I love the most about the fall is the cool breezy weather, the orange and red colored leaves falling slowly from the trees, and the misty days that practically beg you to cuddly up in your sheets with a nice cup of hot chocolate. The downfall to that is having to deal with the heavily celebrated halloween.

Halloween is, essentially, the mockery of a day in history where humans camofluaged themselves to avoid evil spirits. It is among one of the holidays that I try my best to keep my children away from because we are Christians and are against what Halloween represents. However, with Dukey being in kindergarten now, it is getting harder to shield him away from it since they do crafts and watch movies relating to Halloween. Not to mention, his friends and cousins beem about going trick or treating and eating candy on that day.

So I have been debating to myself how I should give him the best of both worlds by allowing him to enjoy the “festivities” without acknowledging Halloween.When I researched online and talked to people I know, I found a variety of suggestions as well as opinions on why Christians should or should not celebrate Halloween. The decision as to whether I want to celebrate it or not was never a question so the opinions of others on that was not a consideration. But, I did find some good suggestions as to how to find the balance with this day.

My plan for now and up to the actual day is to watch “scary” kids movies, eat (a few pieces of) candy, take my kids to “hallelujah night” at church and, more importantly, share some biblical scriptures and explain the meaning of Halloween.

When my mom was over one day this topic came up in conversation and she mentioned to me that she didn’t alow me to celebrate Halloween as a child, either. I had remembered going trick or treating in bits and pieces and couldn’t remember whether it was one time or not. She told me that I went once with my cousins when I was over their house and they took me. She also told me that that was her technque; to give me a small bag of candy and let me watch horror movies so that will be the tradition passed down.

So what are your thoughts? How do you “celebrate” Halloween with your children?

 

Are We In A “Post-racial” Society?

Usually on this blog, I post about what is going on in my family, specifically, but today I feel compelled to do something a little different. Being a woman (and a mother) of color, I think it is important to address the matter of a post-racial society, especially with there being a black man as president and with racially suggestive pictures such as this being deemed as OK.

Lately, in the media, I have seen and heard many stories of racial and prejudiced incidents such as the lynching of chairs with “Nobama” written on it, the incident where a 14 year old black boy was hung with a noose by his (not-so) fellow white football players in Arkansas, and even the comments regarding the black boy who terrorized small babies in the daycare. The reason why I believe this is a serious issue to discuss is because it affects our generation and more importantly, our children’s generation, especially as African American parents. Usually, I try to stay away from talk about negative things such as this because I believe it gives more life to it, but in this case, I believe more harm is being done by not talking about it.

I don’t see racism becoming what it was years ago before us, young mothers, were born but it is not that far from it. With the last known lynching taken place only 14 years ago, some of us can see how racial undertones has not completely died. Granted, I do believe that it will take a while before racism is as blatantly obvious as it was decades ago but I pray that it never reaches that point or close to it.

What scares me is that it is even an issue at all. As a mother of three african american boys, I dread the thoughts of violence and drug influence on my sons as they grow and get older but to have an added threat of racism and discrimination, is beyond me.

This election is becoming more and more the most historically relevant political issue of our generation, which makes it crucial to get out there and vote. However, with all of this going on, something tells me that voting will not be the end of it regardless of who comes out in the end. And, that, is what scares me the most.

Tell me what you think? Do you believe that we are in a post-racial society or on the verge of being in one?

Uh…I’m Sorry…What Was That Again?

So now that it is has been about 3 weeks since I had Baby J, I feel like I am starting to get the hang of things again, at least somewhat close to how I managed things before. I’ve been learning how to use the three hours  that Dukey is away at school (he only has half days, yeah, I know that sucks) to get things done such as laundry, playing with my toddler for at least an hour of that time, and preparing lunch for when Dukey gets back home. There are times when I can barely have 5 minutes to take a shower but, hey 2 minutes is better than none, right?

The only problem with this is that my mind is beginning to feel like it is on auto-pilot. I’m constantly feeding somebody (whether on a plate or with my boobs), cleaning somebody, or cleaning after somebody. By the time the two oldest kids are asleep and I only have to feed and change Baby J, I am exhausted and can barely think.

 I’m finding myself making the stupidest mistakes. I know it has something to do with REM sleep (you know, like when a child doesn’t get their nap they become overtired and have a hard time falling asleep). I mean, I had my share of crazy “oops” moments before Baby J (you know what I’m talking about…oh crap, I left the remote in the ‘frig) but now it’s like everything.

The other day I caught myself trying to put my 1 year old’s socks on! It took me a good two minutes to understand why I couldn’t fit them on my feet! Then, I emailed Dukey’s school bus supervisor to ask for a change in the bus stop since there was a stop that was closer to our house where they dropped off other kids that would work for us too and when I emailed HIM, I wrote “Hello Mrs. (fill in the blank)”. OOPS! I didn’t realize it until he sent an email back and answered my question. Thankfully, he didn’t mention it but I made sure to send an email back with the correct salutation.

I know that as Baby J gets older, things will get easier but for now, I hope people can look past my retardiness (not sure if that is a word but you get the point!).

I think maybe making and sticking to a schedule may help….another thing on my to-do list…

Don’t Judge Me!

While I was walking down the street, I happened to overhear two neighbors talking to each other about me. One was pointing towards my house and I heard, “The girl has three kids for God’s sakes! I mean, you have to think about these kinds of things!” The other one just nodded her head and agreed.

This conversation, of course, just, as my old teacher would have said…’burned my cheese’.

These ladies barely ever say two words to me and do not know me from a can of paint! I was just so annoyed at how people try to taint a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. I’m young, I don’t drive, I don’t work outside the home,  and…I have THREE kids (which, is like a “full house” nowadays). Granted, my husband and I did not plan Baby J and had we thought about it beforehand, we would most likely have decided against it. But, in the end, we chose to keep him and accept the responsibility that comes with it. So to make that comment as if it is a precursor of what is to come in the future is so…stupid.

Everyone has SOMETHING that others can consider a downfall or deterrent but no one can decide what that will entail for YOU but YOU. This will not be the last time someone will judge me but it surely won’t be enough to hold me back and make me fight for my dreams.