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My son’s 7th birthday tribute. #proudmommy #mommyslove #mommymoment #parenting #swimming #soccermom #flipagram ♫ Music: The Man – Aloe Blacc made with @flipagram . http://flipagram.com/f/UtKvXmN8xL

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Happy 7th Birthday Munch!

Today at 11:18 a.m. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who weighed 5 pounds 15 ounces. He was so tiny and I couldn’t believe I was a mother. When I heard his cry I started crying tears of joy because God had given me a child. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

I was so sick that I couldn’t really hold him the first 24 hours of his birth. I couldn’t nurse him because the doctors were afraid that I would have a seizure and drop him. I was spiraling in health, but God. God knew that this little angel in my womb was sent from Him and that we both would survive. We did.

It’s seven years later and I am in awe of who my munch is! I’m always babbling about the funny things he says or how awesome he is, but I mean it. I can’t believe how fast time has flown. I have 3 different birthday parties planned for him. The first is at school later today and then at church school with his class on Saturday and finally on the 16th of May we are doing a big family dinner at his favorite hibachi restaurant. I can’t wait!

I don’t know how I’m doing in this mothering thing, but one thing for sure is that I wouldn’t change a thing. My life didn’t turn out as planned and many days I’m just winging it, but I hope and pray that this little boy knows how much I’ve changed because of him. He has truly made me a better person. For that, I am thankful.

So, dinner tonight at Chuck-e-Cheese. Why? Because he loves the mouse and it’s his birthday!

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No Labels

Why is it that we can put labels on all kind of things, except when we’re dating? I’ve met so many people who tell me that they don’t want to put labels on their relationships or lack there of. What’s wrong with labeling something you have? Doesn’t it kinda let people know that it is yours?

ctp4516_name_label_stickersWhat is wrong with men not wanting to define a relationship? What’s wrong with women allowing this type of no-label situation in their life if they want more? Are we doing more harm by just staying in situations that don’t have a title just to say that we have a man…I think?

I mean, I’ve heard stories of men being in “non-committed and label-less situations” with women for years. Do the women want more? Yes. Do the men know it? Absolutely. So, what are they doing about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

See, in their minds, they’ve expressed that they don’t want a relationship. That they are not interested in trying to build a home with you. But, we women are stubborn. We believe that if we love hard and try harder and perfect ourselves that you men will wake up and see how wonderful we are and want to be with us.

Crazy huh? It’s true. I’ve been there. Done that. And you know what? It didn’t work. All I did was spend time trying to prove to someone what I know already…

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that I’m the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

It doesn’t mean that I’m perfect. I’m a gift. I’m precious. My heart and spirit would be an honor to have and if you can’t see that then you’re not the man for me. You’re just temporary. But, I don’t blame the men. I blame us. We allow ourselves to be strung along with no hope of a relationship.

We need to stop it. Stop and recognize our true worth. Stop and realize that we can’t go looking for “the one”. Stop trying to force people to be something they’re not. Just let it go.

Because trust me…the one who is for you will need no convincing. There is no speech you have to give. No ultimatum that will need to come. He will want to claim you. He will want the whole world to know that you’re his.

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Baltimore Blues

I am hurt over the destruction that is occurring in Baltimore. We have to be an advocate for change and nothing comes from rioting. I understand the injustices that occur in our community. I am a black woman raising a black son, but to sit here and destroy your community serves no purpose. I will not co-sign with someone who says it’s anger manifested and it serves a purpose. It does not. Because those same folks are sitting at home typing on their computers unaffected. They are not going to bring their happy butts down to Baltimore to clean up what you messed up. Stop fooling yourself.

I grew up poor. I’m not rich. Just because I don’t live in Baltimore doesn’t mean that I can’t empathize with your struggle, but burning down your community is not the answer. Haven’t we learned from the Detroit Riots, Rodney King Riots, Newark Riots and Watts Riots? What happens? The same issues you are supposedly fighting against still continue only you’ve brought down your property value and oops, no one vacations in Detroit. Money is lost. Everything in America is about economics. Will the 16 CVS stores that suffered reopen in the affected neighborhoods? Maybe or maybe not. What if they make a decision not to reopen? How will residents get their prescriptions? Not just the young people, but the elderly who walk to their local CVS? To assume people have insurance to rebuild, buy another car or fix their property damages in an already dilapidated area is to assume from the comfort of your home that they may not truly be poor. Because a lot of poor people are in essence “riding dirty” and don’t have insurance.

baltimore-riots-10People know better which is why I support the mother that whooped her son’s butt. I’m a mother. I didn’t raise you like this. Read a book and learn from our history. Are you a rioter or are you a social agent for change?

Note: To see the video, please click on the title of the post if you are viewing it in your email.

Dating Chronicles: Vulnerability Sucks

I hate being vulnerable. I hate having to show my heart or let people in. Why? Because it’s hard to know who to trust. Who can I trust to see me as I am without thinking that they will take advantage of me? Yep, this is one of my issues. I own it. I know this about myself. I tend to spend so much time trying to be independent that it makes a man feel that he is often competing with me for me.

I learned this in therapy after my marriage ended. I realized that I made him feel as though he didn’t matter. It hurt. The truth. It came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. I was so busy being superwoman that I made him feel like he was not needed because I could do it all. That’s how I was raised. To be strong. To be resilient. To not show vulnerability because he will think that I’m weak. I’m supposed to be his rib. I don’t want to be a broken rib. But, I was. Broken. I didn’t support him.

Now, that I’m dating these insecurities are starting to creep back in. I realized that one of the things that I hate most is liking someone. Why? Because I don’t want a dude to think he has me if I like him. Liking him means that he gets to know me. That I will share things with him. That I will become open and that makes my heart vulnerable and vulnerability sucks. So, I sulk.

I was okay with knowing how I am and refusing to accept that I need to change it because I wanted to protect myself. Until that dang internet. One of the bloggers I follow, Miss TN King, posted “The New Side Chick Part III – Why I Can’t Trust Good Men”:

3. Invulnerability“I really like him, but I can’t show him that.  He’s going to think he has me.  I don’t want to look weak. I don’t want to show him my flaws.  I don’t want him to take advantage of my heart.  Maybe, if I started talking to someone else, I won’t like him so much.  Then if he tries to play me, I won’t even be bothered because I would have my rebounds/backups.”  Reality Check:  Those randoms, text buddies, and safety nets may temporarily distract your mind, but they can never replace the feelings in your heart.  1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  We want love but not the vulnerability that comes with it.  Your friendships and relationships will never grow in love if you don’t have the courage and strength to take off the masks you’ve been wearing and tear down the barricades around your heart.  The right people in your life will love you for all that you are, and all that you aren’t.  Stop trying to suppress what makes you beautiful. – Miss TN King

Wow! There you have it. I want love, but not the vulnerability that comes with it. She was speaking my language and reading me at the same time. I was now listening. Dang! I had to listen.

Now, let me tell you that I have a hard head. I’m stubborn. I’m neurotic. I’m a take me as I am kinda girl, but this blogger had me thinking…could I find love without being vulnerable? Simply put…no. I need to change.

So, I’m going to let some walls down and let some people in. Slowly. I will have to change some things including being vulnerable because it’s part of the process. I mean shouldn’t I have learned from my last relationship the cost of hiding my vulnerability? Hopefully.

Until next time!

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Has Anything Changed?

On Wednesday, I was looking at my “Timehop” application on my phone and it showed that five years ago I posted this on Facebook:

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Interesting that when I posted this I was happily married and not even really understanding the plight of single black women when it comes to finding a man. Why? Because I had a man. I could empathize with my sisters from a married woman’s perspective, but I couldn’t feel their weight when it comes to finding a man.

Fast forward five years later and I am one of those women. Starting over and trying to figure out the state of relationships among black women and black men in their 30’s and 40’s. Now, what’s interesting about this conversation with my friend was that we were discussing the relationships among blacks but using a fictitious white couple as a measure of success. Why? Because this was our point of reference for TV. We are both successful people, but black women and/or men as leading characters on prime time weren’t shown. Not in our age group.

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It’s five years later and we have points of reference in fictitious characters on television that resonate with us as a people. We have Olivia Pope (Scandal – ABC) and Mary Jane Paul (Being Mary Jane – BET) that show strong and successful women trying to navigate dating and relationships. This is my reality. I know many successful women in my circle who are in the same boat. Looking for their Mr. Big. Is it wrong? No.

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Let me tell you why…I worked my butt off. Hard. I stayed focus and stayed out of trouble. I was the 2nd grandchild out of 30 to attend college. Unheard of right? I focused on being able to take care of myself. No babies. No drugs and no jail. If I did everything right, shouldn’t I expect to find someone on the same level? Is having expectations for my potential mate a bad thing?

No.

Last week there was a post about how black women marry down more than any other group. You get it? We marry down instead of out. We fail to practice “assortative mating” which basically means that we choose spouses that haven’t obtained degrees like we have. Now, this was a hot topic on many of the blogs that I subscribe to with women saying that they won’t marry down. Let’s keep these two issues separate for now. Marrying down could be solely financial but there are many men who didn’t go to college but went to a trade school and make more money than their spouse. Think electrician, plumber or even auto mechanic.

When we marry “down” instead of “outside of our race” we are in essence creating wealth inequality and have a harder time trying to balance work/life than if both partners had gone to college and could afford private school. The idea that we are choosing spouses based off of love became non-existent. The study suggests that black women should choose partners based off the person that can provide for you to not create this gap in wealth. Umm, now marriage is a business transaction? I had issues with this whole argument, but moving past that and getting back to my what’s wrong with wanting Mr. Big – nothing!

It’s not about the shoe purchases, fancy dinners and a black card, but a man’s ability to take care of business. To be able to date a woman on his level that appreciates him and the things that he can bring to the table. We need to stop thinking that women are gold diggers when there are a reasonable number of people making decisions off a person’s look instead of their background, character or values. Money doesn’t make the man and good looks won’t keep the woman.

There is nothing wrong with having expectations and standards when it comes to dating. You have that right. You owe no one anything when it comes to making choices about your personal life and what you want out of a partner. I get it! Heck, if we’re being honest there are many men who don’t want to date me because I’m a plus sized woman. I’m okay with that. Your choice and your loss. I know my worth.

So, if I want a Mr. Big, I’m going to get him. You better believe that I’m bringing my Olivia Pope Mary Jane Paul entrepreneurial skills and business savvy mixed with my Carrie Bradshaw appreciation for the man who appreciates and respects me.

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It’s not the Manolo’s (no matter how beautiful) that matter, but the man himself. Find someone that is your Mr. Big and don’t settle! carrie-and-mr-big

What The Hell Are We Doing?

So, I just watched last week’s season finale episode of “Being Mary Jane” and I have to say that I loved it. I’ve found that in this dating journey I’m starting to see a pattern emerge. Patterns from the men that I’m meeting and actually from some that I know in relation to women. But, it wasn’t until I watched the show that I realized that I’m not alone. Many women are also left wondering “What the hell are we doing?”

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Let me give you some perspective…Dating over the age of 30 seems to be problematic for many women. We are finding some common themes:

  • Men who were burned by their first marriage and don’t want to even get married anymore.
  • Men who never want to get married.
  • Men who are grown, but can’t afford to take care of themselves, much less build a relationship with you.
  • Men who have serious unresolved issues about women. Mainly trust issues.

This is just the beginning of what we encounter in our search for companionship. When did it get so hard? When did men think women wanted to rest in the ambiguity of a situation? Why are women thought to be crazy when we want to be upfront about our expectations with regards to dating? These questions are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trying to decipher the question of…what the hell are we doing?

Let’s be real clear, many women over the age of 30 want to date with a purpose. That’s it. Simple and clear. We don’t want to waste your time if that is not what you want. We want you to understand that when we express our concerns about what we would like out of a relationship, we are inviting you to do the same. But, you know what? Men don’t want to do that. They want you to go with the flow.

Here’s the problem with going with the flow…It can be a bunch of crap on a river filled with jagged rocks and raging waves. Men, I need you to be upfront, listen to women and accept what you want and don’t want without trying to lead her on. That’s the key here. Many men are wanting to lead women on under the guise of “going with the flow”. That’s cruel.

I asked a friend of mine, if you tell a woman to go with the flow, what does she say if a man who is interested asks her if she has a man? Does she say, “No” or “Yes”? He said to tell him, “It’s complicated.” Ah, ding ding was the bell in my head that let me know…That is a load of crap!

Telling someone it is complicated when you are over the age of 30 sounds like you don’t know what you want. Women over the age of 30 aren’t complicated. Plain and simple. We’re straightforward and transparent. We want you to let us know what you want or leave us alone from the start.

That’s it. We don’t want a man to pursue us when his agenda is clearly different from ours. We don’t want you to feel obligated to try and change our minds. We don’t want you to think we’re crazy because we tell you what we want. And…we don’t want to skirt around the issue of what we want to not be deemed crazy.

We’re not. We’re focused. We’re determined. We’re women. We know what we want and we don’t want to be a place holder for your insecurities. We want someone who knows what he wants and is not afraid to get it. No, we’re not in a rush. We just don’t want to ride on your lazy river going with the flow.

Oh, but watch out for that rock!

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Until next time!