Sex and the Pre-teen

In this motherhood journey I’m often caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m balancing what I should share with Munch and when. It’s a juggling act. Do I want to take away his innocence early or wait until later? I’m rambling about…the sex talk. I’m wondering, when is the appropriate age to talk about sex with your children?

I have a boy and for all intents and purposes he’s still pretty innocent. He turns off songs with bad words in them or inappropriate subjects. He still watches Disney Jr. and Nick Kids. He just recently started watching The Thundermans on Nickelodeon about a superhero family. I’m wondering if broaching sex now will change him somehow.

My mother never talked about sex with me. I learned at school in the sixth grade with all the other children. Not that I was thinking about sex or anything, but I had started my cycle before then so I had no idea what was happening to me. It was as though the sex talk was somehow taboo.

Children are growing up faster now than when I was a child and I don’t want Munch learning something from the kids at school or in the streets. I want to give him all the information to make informed decisions. I want to teach him how to love and cherish his body and to not treat sex as a rites of passage. It’s your body that is a temple that we should use to honor God.

But, I don’t want to be naïve and think that he may never do it, so I struggle with how much to tell him and when?

My best friend has a son one year older than mine and I asked her had she talked to him about sex? She said no. He’s not mentally ready yet. So, I’m wondering do we wait until our children are mentally ready to have the sex conversation or do we overload them with information now in hopes that they will choose to not engage in sexual activity until marriage?

Yes, Munch knows about his body and boundaries. I’ve made sure that he calls his genitalia by the proper terminology. I’ve explained that a doctor can only examine you with mommy and/or daddy in the room. He is now getting shy and embarrassed when a doctor has to examine his penis during his annual visits. However, is it too soon to have the sex talk?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

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Motivational Monday Moment – 08.13.18

It’s been a few weeks since I did a Motivational Monday Moment. I hadn’t really felt like motivating anyone. Truthfully, some days I can’t even motivate myself. This funk is real. But, I keep moving. I keep trying to refocus and regain my strength. I am still going to work every day. Still mothering. Still organizing. Still planning. Just not really excited about anything. Ugh, so bear with me. My writing and posting will be sporadic until I can get back into it.

That being said, the summer has gone by quickly. I can’t believe it’s already August. It is hot here in Maryland. Between humidity and rain, it’s like I’m living in another country. There are very few good hair days. Ah, but I appreciate and am thankful for it all. My hair not so much. But, I continue to move forward. One foot in front of the other.

Recently, I’ve been going through some things. I’m trying to get back to my first love…writing, but many thoughts and emotions take up my ability to put pen to paper or my fingers to the keyboard. It’s like I’m drowning in my thoughts. I jot down topics. Things that I think you would want to hear from me, but I just can’t quite get my thoughts out. So, the days pass. Many days with no words written.

I’m committed to getting into a better headspace so bear with me. I ran across this post last week on my sorority sister’s Facebook page and I thought that I would use it to encourage you today because it’s where I’m at right now. I saw it as a sign that I’m not alone.

The truth is we’re not alone and even though I’m in this funk, I know that it will pass. That I will wake up one day and have so much more to say. We all get into a funk. But, we have to not stay in that funk permanently. We have to make a conscious effort to keep moving forward. To change our view. To change our perception on our situation.

So, you didn’t get that job or that promotion or you got declined for that house or new car. Keep your head up. Keep believing that things will happen when they are supposed to. Not when we want them to. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve seen friends broken by the trials and tribulations that they are going through only to get up and be better than they were yesterday.

They kept moving. They kept surviving. Even if you are holding on by a thread, know that this situation you may find yourself in is only temporary. You were meant to excel. You were meant to be a victor. You were meant for greatness. However, it doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes we must experience failure only to appreciate the success of our situation even more.

My Motivational Monday Moment is to simply tell you that I understand. I know what you you’re going through. I respect the pain that you’re feeling. I respect the journey you’re on. I know that you want to give up, but you can’t. Trouble doesn’t last always. Joy does come in the morning. We have to be unmovable and continue to fight. Even when we don’t want too.

I love you. I appreciate you. I am thankful for each and every one of you. Happy Monday!

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

I Love Corny

By now many of you have seen the comments by Houston rapper, Slim Thugg, last week about Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson’s relationship. Slim commented that “He’s just a corny dude, ain’t nothing wrong with it,” Thug says “I ain’t gonna say corny cause that’s hatin’ but he’s just like a square…I don’t believe a girl coming from a street dude could even adapt to that.” Don’t you love when people comment on your relationship like they are in it? Ugh!

I couldn’t believe that rappers are still going off of Ciara for living her happy black ass life. That’s what it is all about right? Living your life to the fullest. She’s happy. She’s married and he loves her. What’s the problem? I think what pissed me off about the comments is that many people, not just Slim Thugg, make these comments about women when their relationships end or they find happiness with someone who was nothing like the last man. That’s a good thing right? That should mean growth and lessons learned.

In many cases it does. We grow up. We evolve. We may not love the things we loved at one point. We love the ones that make us feel safe. A male friend of mine asked me after Mr. C and I broke up, “T, why did you think that you and Mr. C were going to make it?” It was an honest question as he has known me for many years and felt safe in saying he knows my type, but I was honestly hurt.

But I told him the truth. I said “Because I really felt like I deserved the good guy. The guy that makes me laugh. The guy that supports my dreams. The guy that loves me something awesome and misses me when I am away. The guy who provides. The guy who gives money so I can buy food platters at Munch’s birthday party. The guy who encourages me when I feel like I can’t go on.” That was the guy that I felt that I deserved.

He listened and said “Well, I never thought you would end up with him.” I just sighed and replied “Neither did he because we’re not together anymore”. But, it’s the insensitivity that some people don’t get when you fall in love with the person that makes you want to curse them out and scream “Mind your own damn business.”

I know Ciara was probably thinking this because hell I was thinking this when my friend said this, but I guess when you live your life in an open fashion people feel the need to comment or question. However, Slim Thugg doesn’t know what it is like to love the cornball, the good guy, the square dude. Let me tell you…

It’s absolutely freaking amazing!

You love the person that makes you want to wake up each day and be a better version of yourself than the day before. You love the person that believes in honesty and faithfulness. You love the person that is both compassionate and concerning. He wants only the best for you. There is no competition. There is only love and mutual respect.

I dated the bad guys. I’m looking to love and build with the good guys. So, if he’s out there and corny as hell by other’s standards…cool. I’m still going to be doing me and living my happy black ass life learning all about the corny man.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Flowing with Purpose

I’ve missed ya’ll. I’ve been sort of wandering. Living my life this summer. Just enjoying this space that I’m in and just figuring some things out. I don’t have it all together. I don’t pretend to. Some days are better than others but I’m living my happy black ass life. LOL.

But, in doing that I came across this post yesterday by my other fellow blogger, Jay Thomas. Jay is an incredible blogger over at Relationships Etcetera, a relationship guru and an all around cool guy. He gives me a different way to think about things and I just really dig his vibe. He LOVES LOVE.

So as I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday and I saw Jay’s post and thought it was so profound. It was about love and purpose and going with the flow. This line stuck out to me…

Posted on August 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m.

I like to flow with purpose.. not just flow and hope for the best.  When a man has purpose, he is focused. When there’s no purpose, his mind wanders.

It got me to thinking are we flowing with purpose while dating? I know that it’s been a while since I’ve dated. I mean I was attached to Mr. C for almost 3 years, but what made the difference between him and others was the fact that he dated with a purpose. He communicated that was his purpose and we engaged in a courtship. I respected that.

I met so many men during the dating process that literally would say stuff like “Oh, I don’t believe in titles.” “Let’s just see where this goes” or my favorite “Let’s just go with the flow”. These statements were frustrating and confusing as hell.

Everything has a title. You have a title to your car. I’m not forcing a relationship or rushing to exclusively date you, but I want to know if we are on the same page in the beginning.

Is it too much to ask to explain whether or not you date with a purpose to move towards a goal of becoming committed? If you want to just have sex with random people – it’s good – do you. I don’t judge. It’s not me though. I want to build something with someone. I want to have an authentic connection emotionally with someone that gets me. I want to know if we are flowing with a purpose.

We have to start being real and have genuine conversations with the people we meet. People shouldn’t have to figure out whether or not you see or want a future with them. I shouldn’t be the last woman standing after years that you then decide to date me exclusively. I’ll pass.

I don’t want that kind of man. I want a man like Jay describes…a man who has purpose. A man that is focused. I don’t want any more wanderers. Been there and done that.

I think that’s why at this point in my life that’s the river you’ll find me on. Lazily sitting back in my boat with my mojito in hand and my floppy hat cocked to the side . Just flowing downstream with a purpose. A purpose to find love and an authentic connection with a wonderful man. No dinghy’s or crabs allowed.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Gifts of Gratefulness

I’ve been really going through it lately. Being introspective. Being in prayer. Being observant of the things and people around me.

I’ve had this writer’s block and I didn’t know what to say. This mood. This is a funk that I’m in. It’s been rough. But, in my funk I had an epiphany as to what I should write about…being grateful.

So, that’s what I decided to do. Write about what matters to me. The moments of gratitude that I have that never ever seem to diminish no matter what is going on around me.

One of the things that I’m most grateful for is Munch. He’s amazing. A few weeks ago, we had a packed weekend of activities including a paint night. He had been asking to attend and I was happy to oblige.

But, he’s also a ten year old who still gets upset about things. He acted out when he didn’t like his photo that he was painting and he wanted a whole new canvas. I was fit to be tied at his behavior.

I politely explained that is not how it works and it is supposed to be fun not stressful or perfect. He was not understanding. It made it worse when another parent said “I love your duck”. He replied with tears in his eyes “It’s not a duck it’s a dolphin.” She was awesome because she didn’t miss a beat and said “Oh, it is a dolphin, I’m sorry I couldn’t see because your mom’s arm was in my way.”

I smiled. Just like that. She made my son feel better. Mothers do that right? They sense the uneasiness in a child that may not be their own and they come in and try to soothe their spirit. I smiled and said “Thank you.” He sighed. He was still disappointed.

It was distressing to watch him unravel over a painting. I tried to comfort and talk to him. It wasn’t working. He asked to throw his picture away. I said no.

Later that evening when he was speaking to my mom she asked him how it went. He explained that he threw a tantrum because he was upset over his painting and how I was hurt at his behavior. She asked him what happened. They talked. I think he began to understand.

The next morning he apologized for his behavior. He said he loves me. He hugged and kissed me. I said “Okay”.

I know Munch is still young so he doesn’t understand the gratefulness of spending time alone with Mommy or being appreciative and accepting of his choices, but it didn’t make me love him any less. I was grateful for our one on one time. I was grateful for our mutual love for art. I was grateful for making memories. I was grateful for time.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Motivational Monday Moment – 07.30.18

I’ve missed ya’ll. It’s been a minute since I last posted. I haven’t been in the mood to write. Not that I don’t miss you – because I do. It’s just that I’ve been feeling “meh”. In this weird mood. I’m processing a lot and just trying to get back into my writing groove. It’s an adjustment.

But, I wanted to encourage and motivate you this Monday. I wanted to give you glimpses of hope to continue your week. No matter what you’re going through, I wanted to lift your spirits and let you know that you can do this. In trying to keep that momentum going I wanted to leave you with these words…

Isn’t that awesome? See, I know how it is when we’re going through things and we feel like there is nothing we can do or no one we can turn to that will help us navigate the storms we’re facing. But, I’m here to remind you that the storm is over now. I am here for you.

You matter. You are loved and this is just the beginning. No matter what you’re going through know that you are not alone. No more trying to fake it till you make it. Your breakthrough is on the horizon. You will get through this difficult time.

Know that I’m praying for each and every one of you. I’m wishing you peace in your spirit because sometimes it takes just one of us to call out your name in prayer for the shift to begin. Can you feel it? The suffering is ending. The turmoil that you find yourself in is being resifted. You are coming through the storm.

Paddle your way to shore. I got you. You are loved. You are wanted. I’m so happy that you are here. Know that you matter.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Motivational Monday Moment – 07.16.18

It’s Monday and I’m sitting here trying to figure out ways to motivate and encourage you this week and honestly I struggled. My mind is a little cloudy because I had too much rest this weekend. I wasn’t prepared for my motivational post and I felt stuck. Writer’s block was killing me. I couldn’t find the perfect quote to uplift your spirits this week, until a Google search revealed the perfect quote. This quote by R.G. Moon states “There’s something about a woman with a loud mind that sits in silence, smiling knowing she can crush you with the truth.”

Isn’t it perfect? I think this quote could apply to anyone (male or female), but have you ever been in a situation where someone was trying to destroy your character? To break down your image? Lying on you for the benefit of their own selfish gain? Nope? Well wait, you’re still young enough to have haters in your life and you might just get some.

Haters are like parasites. They latch on the good in you…your name, your image or anything positive about you and then try to manipulate people into believing that you are less than who you are. They are people who can’t for their own insecurities ever begin to comprehend your greatness.

Don’t worry about them. Because you know what? You are great! You are unstoppable. You can’t be moved by actions of the evil and wicked. You need to remain unbothered by their behavior.

You smile and keep living your best life. You disregard the games and mind manipulations of the wicked because God’s promises are real. Evil doers have no place in this world. It says so in His word:

Proverbs 24:19-20 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 Don’t fret because of evildoers;
    don’t envy the wicked.
20 For evil people have no future;
    the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.

Just keep focusing on God’s word and know that you will overcome. I’ve been there. I’ve had people attack me with their lies, manipulations and attempts to manifest issues that aren’t there. I just stand. I stand on truth. I stand on God’s promises. I just smile and reflect like it says in the quote: I can crush you with the truth.

That’s the message that I want to leave you with this Monday. My Motivational Monday Moment is simply to be encouraged and be still. God’s an awesome God and the evil doers in your life have no future. The truth about their lies and manipulation will come out. Your God is greater than the mess of miserable.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page @mskeeinmd.

Parenting Fail: Cleaning Out The Closets

A couple of weeks ago I was frustrated by all the clothes and toys that Munch had outgrown and the fact that I had yet to set an appointment for Purple Heart to come pick them up. With a steadfast determination I selected my appointment and packed up his room of too small clothes, brand new jeans and shirts (I forgot they were in his closet and had never been worn – please don’t judge me) and toys to donate. I needed to have order in the chaos of his room.

Now, before I go further let me pause and tell you that my son is a stuffed animal hoarder. He truly is. He needs to be on a show. He doesn’t care if there is no room to sleep on his bed. He loves stuffed animals. In the last year he had over 100 stuffed animals and played with maybe 5 consistently. His favorite is this stuffed dog that he got for his second birthday that is still holding on. I’ve washed and sewn up the holes multiple times. It needs to be refilled with stuffing. But, that dog (whom he affectionately named Puppy Thomas) remains firmly on his bed as he sleeps with it while at my house.

As I began to get the toys and clothes bagged up, I left the stuffed animals on his bed alone. He slept with them and they weren’t bothering me, but the rest had to go. I needed to make room. All in all there were 9 bags of clothes, shoes and toys that were put out for the van to pick up that morning.

Munch watched me lug those bags down the stairs and out the front door with nary a question or look. I had to get it together. I was on a mission for some form of organization and Munch didn’t question it.

However, that didn’t last long.

Last night when I was tucking him into bed (yes, I still do that) he asked about the bags of stuffed animals. I felt like a deer caught in headlights. “What about them Munch?” I said. “Well, where is it?” he questioned. I replied “Munch I donated them to Purple Heart a couple of weeks ago. You saw me take the bags outside.” He said “But Mommy, all my stuffed animals were in that bag.” I reminded him that he hadn’t played with any of the animals in the bag in the last 11 months. He said “Mommy, my Alvin and the Chipmunks were in the bag. You got those for me last Christmas.” He started crying.

I didn’t know what to do. I mean I went through the same thing as a kid when my mom started donating my toys behind my back, so I could relate to his 10 year old pain. Had I become my mother? The giver of things without my input or knowledge?

I tried to comfort him and explain that I didn’t look in the bag and that I didn’t know the Chipmunks were in the bags. Truthfully, I should have because isn’t that what parents are supposed to do? Remember to do everything?

Those are his favorite plush animals and he watches Alvin and The Chipmunks on Hulu faithfully. I didn’t know what to say. I felt bad. He hugged his puppy and just cried. He asked “Are you going to give away puppy one day?” “No, I would never give away puppy” I told him. I kissed him good night and told him how much I loved him. He sniffled and muttered “I love you too.”

I felt heartless and did the only thing I thought could make this better. I caved and went on-line to order them again. I remembered ordering those stuffed animals for Christmas 2016. I remembered Munch being so excited to get them because he loved the Chipmunks. I went in search of these particular plush animals. I found them on the Fisher Price website and on Amazon. I ordered them on Amazon because it was free shipping and with my discount I was able to get them sooner and with free shipping. Crisis handled.

I needed a drink. But, I didn’t grab a bottle of Chardonnay. Instead, I went into his room and told him that I’m sorry and that I ordered him Alvin and the Chipmunks again because I knew how much he loved them. I told him it came with Brittany. He smiled and closed his eyes.

All is well in the house tonight. It may not be well tomorrow or the next. But, I am loving the fact that I went from villain to hero in 10 minutes. I guess I’m doing something right?

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Be the Man You Want to See

I was listening to the radio yesterday and the morning show host was talking about how 40% of women are leading single parent homes and how he got into a discussion with a gentleman that said that women can’t teach boys how to be men and that they coddle them. The gentleman said in particular, black women coddle their sons and don’t raise them. Can we have a frank discussion on this issue?

Do I have your attention? Good.

So, let me state the facts. I’m a black mother raising my son on a shared custody agreement. He is being raised 50% of the time in a single parent home. Now, I’m not going to argue logistics because yes my son’s father is in his life, but I’m still single. That means on my time, it is imperative that I cultivate an environment where I am both nurturer and disciplinarian. Where I am leader, mother, teacher, spiritual advisor, nurse, etc. Oh, and if that’s not enough I need to make sure that I’m giving him the best opportunities to be successful.

Seven days at a time. Seven days to make sure that I’m doing all that and then some. I cook breakfast each morning, fix a hearty lunch, review homework and enroll him in engaging and beneficial activities. I take him for Mommy/son dates, pay for field trips, camps and make sure that he’s getting sufficient exercise. Exhausted yet?

But, I don’t complain. I love my Munch and I want him to grow up and be a faithful, dependable, kind man who remembers his faith in God and has great moral character. It’s a lot but I am thankful for this opportunity and I don’t take it lightly. Now, here’s my issue…

Where are all the men?

Many men who make these comments about women not being able to raise a son are not stepping up to help them out. They complain about an issue when in fact they are part of the problem. How is it a woman’s fault when they are doing the best they can under the circumstances? Do you think women want to be single parents? Some do, but many don’t. Where is the man’s responsibility in this picture? How do you know the man in question knows what it means to be a man? Did he have a man who was a good man teaching him to navigate manhood?

I’m exhausted from hearing that women (especially black women) are the main issue with many of society’s problems. We aren’t. We are the backbones and many times bread winner in a two parent home. We get tired. We need help. What are you doing to help? Are you a mentor? Are you volunteering your time to young men without fathers? Are you spending time with your women friend’s male offspring? Showing up at little Timmy’s baseball game or Max’s lacrosse game? What about Jonathan’s spelling bee? Were you there?

My truth

I’ve been separated from my ex for five years. In that five year time, not one of my male friends has EVER stepped up and spent one on one time with Munch. EVER. NEVER EVER. Why not? Why is it that I have some of the most educated, kind hearted and morally correct male friends and they don’t seem to think about standing in and being a role model for Munch? I don’t know. Maybe it’s simply because they don’t think about how I can’t teach a boy how to be a man. Maybe it’s out of sight out of mind. They don’t think about Munch. They see me busting my butt to attend every school meeting, PTA meeting, volunteering in the classroom or on field trips or at the school, paying for tutoring, coordinating play dates, paying for private flute lessons, swim lessons and boxing and think I have it all under control.

I do.

But, my son could always benefit from positive male influence. Be the sane person when his parents are stressing him out. Be the one that shows up and encourages him for his event. Be the man that he calls when he wants to take about things. Be the man that gives him true and direct advice to life’s problems or concerns.

But they don’t. We are invisible. We are invisible to many until Munch grows up and leads a less than desirable life. Then it will be my fault.

I’m not giving up on my son. I know that I’m not alone. I will pour everything that I have and more into helping him navigating boyhood to manhood. I will enroll him in mentoring programs and give him opportunities to have positive male influence.

I am not alone. I am one of many women. I am raising a son. I nurture. I coddle. I discipline. Our children need mentors. Stop complaining and get to work. You know what it takes to be a man. So, be a man and give unselfishly of yourself. You might just see how your presence makes a difference.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Get a Plan

My visit to the ER was the scare that I needed that had my worst fears going at 100 miles per hour. Death. Heart attack. I had to make a change.

I am still restricted from working out due to surgery, but I needed to come up with a plan. It hit me the following week when I had Munch with me.  I noticed that Munch struggled to get out of the pool. He was literally throwing his body on the pool floor and trying to lift his weight up out the pool. It was rough to watch.

Two things happened when I saw that. First I realized that he was not utilizing the ledge in the inside of the pool to step on (which was weird as heck) but second I realized that we both needed to get healthy and increase our upper body strength. This was my opportunity to do it with Munch.

So, I reached out to my fellow blogger, David, over at Chape’s Fitness and asked for some suggestions. You know what? He gave them to me. He gave me some work out plans to help strengthen my ten year old son’s upper body. We had a plan. So, the next thing was to figure out how to tell Munch.

I casually mentioned it to him last week that we needed to work on his upper body strength, but I don’t think he got it. So, when he comes home tonight we will talk about our fitness goals. We will do this together. Not just Munch.

My plan is for us to do the following:

• Step on the scale and write down our weight

• Follow the plan that David sent over together

• Walk the track at the high school down the street when the temperature goes down

• Go to the pool together

• Eat more fresh veggies with our meals and less carbs (he loves rice and I love bread)

• Hydrate by drinking our water

• Track our steps – I just bought a Fitbit and I’m looking to get Munch one.

I don’t expect it to be easy, but I’m hoping that he will enjoy just doing these things with me. That it will allow us the opportunity to get meaningful workouts in and just enjoy getting healthy together. I need to strengthen my core, keep my heart strong and be here for Munch.

I want us to both be healthier. I’m not trying to kill him, but I want our health to be a priority. I want to model the behavior that I’m trying to get him to adopt. Healthier choices. More exercise. Keeping our heart healthy and living longer.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.