Yep, I love being a mommy!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today is an awesome day that brings light to the invaluable roles we mothers play. There is nothing in this world that brings me greater joy than being a mother. What did I do before munch? It doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t compare to being his mom. I’m over the top I know, but I’m just so happy and blessed that I am his mom.

This mother’s day is going to be awesome because right now I’m home in Tennessee spending it with my grandmother, mother and sister and all my aunts. We are all together and my munch gets to experience the Copeland clan in full force so to speak. I will post pictures later of our Mother’s Day weekend.

But, I wanted to tell you these 5 things that I love about being a mom in honor of Mother’s Day. I want to encourage each one of you to think about things that you love about being mother’s or about the mother you love and write them down. It keeps it in perspective when the road gets tough in life.

5 Things I Love About Being a Mom

  1. I get to take an enormous amount of photos of a kid that’s my own that people won’t think are creepy. Yes, I love to take photos, do Flipagram videos, Instagram and everything in between Flickr!
  2. I get to smell like syrup everyday because my son has to kiss me each morning after breakfast with syrup hands. Even though I hate it (secretly I don’t) I pretend that it makes me mad.
  3. I get to comfort him from nightmares. Yep, they wake me up and I usually can’t get back to sleep, but it is so worth it to be the one to make his nightmares disappear by just telling him it was a bad dream, smothering him with kisses and hugging him tightly.
  4. I get to overhear how much he loves me. Earlier this week he was talking to his dad on the phone and said to him that he had to talk to him about Mother’s Day and how he wanted to make it extra special for me. Did I tell you how wonderful my son is?
  5. I get to hear his constant love and adoration of me. He tells me everyday that he loves me and I’m the best mommy in the world. Yes, I know it will end one day soon, but for now I’m going to milk this affection for all it is worth.

So, that’s it folks! There are many more reasons that I love being a mom, but I have to get back to being a mom and get my son fed and dressed for church. We are going to church at St. Mark’s Baptist Church in Henning, Tennessee to hear a word from Pastor Jarrett. That is my home church. I can’t wait!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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A Song for Brennan

Because I am a mother. Because I am black. Because I feel pain. I wrote this piece.

 

“A Song for Brennan”

Almost seven years ago, I birthed a king

Difficult conception, difficult delivery, but I had faith

You see I knew death from diseases that you weren’t supposed to get

I knew what it was like to see someone you love lying in a casket as people wept

Silently

 

But I prayed

I prayed for peace

I prayed for my seed growing in my womb

I prayed for you my son

 

I imagined your face being a combination of me and your daddy’s

I imagined singing you to sleep every night with songs I created in my mind

Why?

Because Rock-a-Bye-Baby scared the hell out of me

No way were you going to be up in a tree in a cradle

With the dang wind blowing?

What kind of foolishness was that?

Mess I said

Besides I knew I would never let you fall

 

My job was to protect you

Like wings of an eagle, I would always be there

You were the angel in my womb

God’s favor over my life defined

My chance at redemption

 

I changed

I became a fanatic

Reading everything I could get my hands on

I wanted to nurture you physically, mentally and spiritually

I vowed to protect you

Always

No greater love

 

It’s been an incredible journey my sweet boy

You’ve taught me how to love beyond measure

You challenge me

You inspire me

You love me

You question me

 

But I’ve lied dear sweet boy

Not because I wanted too, but because I had too

I couldn’t tell you the truth when you asked me about the police

I smiled away my tears as allergies when you caught me crying

I laughed and kissed you and said “Mommy loves you so much”

When you questioned the sadness in my eyes the next morning

 

“Is it me Mommy?” You asked

“Are you mad at me?” You questioned

“No baby” I responded

 

Truth is love

That I’m crying for all those mothers that lose

Lose their sons

For walking home from the store

For playing in the park

For walking to school

For

For

 

Being black

Because being black in this damn world

Is killing me

It angers me

That our children are dying

That you will never know

That in the midst of my tears for injustice

That I scream the names

For Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner

Michael Brown, John Crawford,

Jonathan Ferrell, Tamir Rice and the countless others

Who have lost their life

Because my dear sweet baby boy

I want you to know that

Black lives matter

You matter

Woman to Woman

Let’s have a talk shall we? As I’ve stated in prior posts, I’m in a state of transition..that from married to single. It’s been a long time since I was single and my first time as a single parent trying to have a co-parenting relationship. I will always love my ex for it was he who gave me our son, but I have to say something… this crap gets hard sometimes!

Not that I’m looking to fix a flat tire or repair my marriage, but co-parenting when we can’t seem to act like adults is hard as hell. Yep, I said “we” purposely. I’m not going to sit here and let you believe that I’ve got this all figured out and I’m the best person when it comes to disengaging my personal animosities and trying to co-parent effectively. I don’t.

Most of the time it is trial and error. Many errors, some good things and a lot of okay things happen. I think letting go of old wounds from our marriage is what is contributing to the bad head space we can find ourselves in. Why? Because we’re both headstrong individuals who have to be right. We both want to have the last word. We both hope that we don’t screw up our son.

Our son lives with his dad 50% of the time and with me 50% of the time. His needs come first. Regardless of what is going on in our lives, we put his needs first. Yes, he is six and yes he is aware that his mommy and daddy will not live together anymore. But, more than that he realizes that the two people who gave him life love him more than we ever thought possible.

The reason why I am calling this post “Woman to Woman” is because I needed to get something off my chest. If you are a woman dating my ex and plan on being around there are some things you should know. A list of how to deal with me and my desire to raise an incredibly wonderful little boy in two separate homes. Here you go:

  1. Never, ever listen to us argue. You see if my ex should get reckless and try to prove to you that I’m crazy and hold a personal conversation on the phone with me while you are riding in his car, be woman enough to tell him that it’s not acceptable. What we argue about should never concern you in your preliminary role.
  2. Just because I don’t know you doesn’t mean that I don’t do my research. I’m a protective mama cub. I only have one child and he means more to me than anything in my life. That being said who you are (your first and last name) matter to me.
  3. I don’t want him back. Nope, I don’t. I love my ex because he and I were together so long. We made memories. Some good, some bad, but in the end the greatest thing we ever did was have our son. I’m not trying to do it again. No matter what you hear.
  4. Understand that no one will ever take my place. Not that I think you believe that, but my ex said that to me. He actually said, “No one can ever take your place as our son’s mother.” Dude, I know this. I still have the incision where he was taken from me five weeks early. There is never a replacement for the original. I’m his mommy.
  5. What happens in my home is my business and vice versa. Unless my son volunteers information, I will never, ever question him about what occurs at his father’s house. It’s none of my business unless it affects his well-being. That being said, very little will ever affect his well-being (because his dad adores him) so I don’t care what happens at daddy’s house as long as he is being loved, fed, clothed and nurtured in the best way possible.
  6. Being a part of his dad’s life long term will mean that you will have to meet me. Understand that I bear no ill will or animosity towards you. I am a mother. I am a woman and I believe in the unity of all women. I encourage us to be civil and make the transition for my child seamless and positive. But, understand that you will have to do your part…know and accept that I will always want to do what is in the best interest of my son. No one is more qualified to make important decisions than his dad and I. No one.

One of the greatest things his dad did after we split was rush over to my house because our son had a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop. It was almost 20 minutes of blood gushing and him screaming. His dad called and he screamed, “I want my daddy”. His dad was in a movie and left and said, “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” You know what? He was. Not because of me, but because his son needed him. That was pretty awesome and it made me realize one thing…his dad will move mountains for him and for that I am eternally thankful.

I am new to this co-parenting thing and no I didn’t expect to have it figured out, but I’m trying. His dad and I make a lot of stupid mistakes (mainly because we’re pig-headed) but we are trying. We will someday get this right, but I want the temporary (or permanent) women to know that there is no reason to be less than a woman when attaching yourself to the foolishness that may be us. We love our son and we will get it right (hopefully sooner rather than later) someday.

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Simply Loving and Accepting

I read this great article entitled “If I have Gay Children” on the Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago and it made me smile. Not a simple “Aw, that’s cute smile”, but a genuine “Dang, another parent gets what I’ve always said” smile. The article is great because the Rabbi is saying that if I have gay children, I will simply love and accept them.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? Just love and accept our children? I never really knew gay children growing up in a small town. Not saying that they didn’t exist, but it wasn’t something people came up and told me. But, it was in college that I really realized the depth of discrimination against gays. Especially from the very thing I loved the most…My church.

I grew up Southern Baptist which is different from regular Baptist. Southern Baptist is all fire and brimstone and everyone is going to hell type of preaching. Yep, that kind of scary Baptist preaching that had me quaking in my boots. There were tent revivals and a constant reminder to save ourselves for marriage and keep impure thoughts out of your mind or you’re going to burn in hell.

Well, when I moved to Maryland I was introduced to being a regular Baptist. Not fire and brimstone preaching but of God’s grace, mercy and never ending love. The agape love that will leave you wanting for nothing. That is where I learned that there is nothing in the world that I could do that would sever the relationship between me and God.

I realized that I didn’t like fire and brimstone preaching and preferred God’s encompassing love preaching. It was where I was ashamed that the religion that introduced me to a wonderful God who loved when I let my light shine bright also would disown me were gay. I was heartbroken.

I swore that I would never worship at a place that would treat anyone in such a manner. I would be vocal in my disdain for preaching that taught and fueled hate instead of God’s love. I would make sure that if I ever had children that I would love the beautiful gift that God gave me and never make them feel as though their homosexuality is a curse. Because it is not.

So, I will thank the author for expressing what I feel should my son be gay. Because there is nothing and I mean NOTHING that will stop me from loving him. I am his mother and that will never change. I will hold his hand until he tells me to let go. I will comfort, console, stand up and defend him because if he’s gay, ya’ll will know because I will blog about it. No embarrassment. Just unfailing love for this beautiful boy.

Here’s my list…

1) If my son is gay, oh well. I will proudly rock the rainbow and stand by him because he is still the same child I carried in my womb and told God that I would give to Him should he let him be born. Now, what color should I wear to the gay pride parade because momma is coming.

2) If my son is gay, he will still go to church. I have one of the best darn churches in the world. I love my church family and I can’t imagine my son growing up somewhere different. But, if he should ever leave our church, it won’t be because he’s disowned or made fun of. It’s because he feels that God has anchored his spirit in another wonderful house of worship.

3) If my son is gay, I will still be his number one fan. I pray for my son every day multiple times throughout the day. I am his biggest fan. I rally for any and all things munch. Constant, vocal and loud, this will never change. Get used to it.

5) If my son is gay, it still means that he still must be of service. Service is the fundamental thing that we’re called to do. It is in everything I teach him. We are by God’s grace able to afford this or that. Others may not, but you need to remember that Matthew 20:28 (NLT) says that “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” So, what will you give?

I loved his list and I hope you like my modified list. I am truly blessed and overwhelmingly grateful for my son and I can’t imagine raising a young man in a hate filled nation or environment. I know he would never choose to be gay and if he’s gay, he’s gay now, but so what? He’s still mine and I’m still the happiest and luckiest mother in the world.

I Have My Moments

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this on Facebook:

From the mommy diaries…I’m gonna pat myself on the back because I rock. After taking care of munch with his respiratory infection this week, missing work, missing his homework and not having time to write, I was able to Google translate his French homework packet in 2.5 hours last night, email the teacher with questions I didn’t understand, go to work today, knock out 2 of the 12 items due, pay bills, order his halloween costume, pay for Tae Kwan Do, order Chipotle for dinner, pick him up, eat and help him with 2 hours worth of homework to have him in bed by 9 pm because tomorrow is another busy day with the start of church school. Whew! ‪#‎momsrock‬ ‪#‎mommymoment‬‪#‎brennansmom‬

As many of you may have guessed, I have a supermom attitude when it comes to my son. That week, I was super proud of all the things I was able to accomplish in the limited amount of time with a sick child. I want to make sure that I am not only giving munch my best, but being the best with juggling motherhood and working. But, I have to admit it does get exhausting.

Why do I do it? Part supermom complex. Part insanity. I’m an overachiever when it comes to my son. I want to show the world that you can have it all. I struggle to make sure that my son never feels neglected by me (physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.). So, I am the mom who does custom holiday cards (complete with a fall photo shoot) and all. I send thank you cards, teach church school, attend Bible studies, attend PTSA meetings, update his website, blog, write my own book, order uniforms, buy new outfits for school pictures, take him to swimming, soccer, bake cakes, do play dates and attend every birthday party we’re invited too. Why? Because I’m crazy. That’s probably the simplest and best answer I can provide.

If I don’t do it, I feel like I’m somewhat being an underachiever and cheating munch out of opportunities that I didn’t have as a child being raised by a single parent. I feel guilty. I wanted him so much, but I want a career too so in order to make sure there is balance, I want to do it. I need to do it. But, doing it all exhausts me. It leaves me feeling drained and not having enough time to enjoy myself. It’s that whole supermom complex.

How bad is it? Well, this year I wanted to sign him up for cub scouts and went to the first meeting with him and his dad. He loved it! I learned all the wonderful things that the kids do and then I also learned all the things that the parents are expected to do as well. This was a heavy parent involvement chapter. I was cool with it. So, another 3 hours a week of more stuff to do? Sure, No problem. I can handle it. But, not everyone was up for the challenge.

His father had sent an email and said that he didn’t think he should do cub scouts now because he’s being over scheduled. I responded “Bye, Felicia! He’s not being over scheduled. He’s fine.” I huffed, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Supermom can handle it. Right?

Well, I could handle it or so I thought until munch got sick with a respiratory infection and I was out of work, in and out of the doctor’s office and nursing my six year old. I was tired. No school. Well, when you’re in a French Immersion program, you need to be at school. Missed days equal missed learning opportunities. We had to play catch-up. In my exhausted state, I sent an email back to his dad and said, “I think you may have a point in no cub scouts yet. While I disagree that he’s being over scheduled, he has a lot going on and school has always been our main priority and focus. That being said, I will wait until later in the year.”

Yep, I sucked it up and bit the bullet and realized that sometimes life will throw you a curve ball and you need to adjust. You need to regroup and refocus your priorities. I refocused and realized that the most important thing in the world to me is a happy and healthy child. It’s my number one priority. So, I have my moments of clarity that remind me that I don’t need to do it all or be it all. Munch will be just fine.

This is one of those moments.

Momma Gets Tired

The joys of parenthood are often fraught with sickness and germs and all the things that you hate. This includes: sleepless nights, multiple medications, hot bodies clinging to you in pain and just plain exhaustion. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but sometimes, momma gets tired.

This past week, my munch has been home suffering from a respiratory infection. How does a six year old get a respiratory infection? Heck if I know. It started Sunday afternoon when I noticed that he was wheezing when he slept. I started back on the Xopenex because of the change in weather and added Benadryl back into the regimen (parenting an asthmatic child) to try to head off any sickness.  Well, it was too late.

He woke me up at 2:22 am on Monday morning complaining he didn’t feel good and wanted to sleep with me. After being in the bed with me for 20 minutes tossing and turning, he started to cough. Said he was thirsty. I gave him more medications, took his temperature and gave him some juice to wash the taste down from the medications. He couldn’t go back to sleep. Every 30 minutes he was whining about not feeling good. I held him to my chest, took his temperature and just laid with him in his bed trying to provide comfort. The morning came quickly and 6 am reminded me that I had to get up and go to work. I got him up and began to dress him. When I gave him more medications he vomited all over the bed. EEWW! Did I mention I hate vomit and have a bad gag reflex? I had to catch myself. I cleaned him up, changed the sheets and called into the office. I would not be going in.

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After getting him settled in I emailed his teacher and tried to get some rest. Nope. Munch was wired and whiny and wanting his mommy’s attention. So, I cuddled him. Read to him and gave him Popsicles. I fixed soup for lunch and gave him apple sauce and tried to get him down for a nap at 2 pm. He laid down and so did I, but 90 minutes later he was back up and I was too. I put on Netflix and planned dinner. I started washing clothes and checking work email. Before long, it was time to go to bed.

So, not having any sleep and mentally exhausted, I did what ever person does. I got on Facebook. It was on the PTSA school website that I learned about the Human Enterovirus affecting children. Yep, my baby was now a victim of this vicious virus is what I said. (Hey, my baby had swine flu, so I get to be a little paranoid okay?) I began my crazy baby watching while he slept to make sure that he wasn’t dying. Every breath sounded painful and the wheezing was breaking my heart. I kept watch over him like a hawk for two hours. Why?

Because he woke up. After only two hours of sleep, he was up at 11 pm and stayed awake until 7 am on Tuesday morning. I couldn’t take it. So, with 4 hours of sleep, I called out and called his pediatrician to see if I should bring him in. Their response? Yep, bring him in at 9 am. So with munch only having an hour and a half of sleep, I dragged him to the doctor’s office in his pajamas. After testing his pulse oxygen level, doing a rapid strep test and listening to his lungs, the diagnosis wasn’t Human Enterovirus, but a respiratory infection. I was relieved, but when she put the absence note for the full week of school, I paused.

Wow! I can’t take off for the entire week and I can’t work from home. So, while I was mentally preparing him to come to work with me and sleep in my office, his dad emailed and said he could take off and keep him. Whew! One less thing to worry about as I typed my email thanking him for this decision. I put munch in a hot steamy shower and began the nightly medicine ritual to get him healthy again. Once tucked into bed and resting I began my ritual of washing clothes, washing dishes and cleaning the house. He got out of bed at 9:15 pm excited that he had lost another tooth. “The tooth fairy is coming mommy. I get more coins and I am getting my grown up teeth.”

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Simple joy from a wonderful boy reminded me that no matter how tired momma gets, she’s never too tired to be his mom. So, I smiled and said, “I’m so excited baby, but the tooth fairy won’t come if you’re still up. Let’s wash the tooth and put it in a baggie so she can find it.” We did and he was tucked back into bed. An hour later I went to check on him and he was sleeping in the middle of his bed not on his pillows to allow the tooth fairy to leave his coins. I smiled, kissed him and slipped the coins under the pillow knowing that I would miss the days when he grows up and knows this isn’t real, but you know what? I will cherish every moment until then, no matter how tired I am.

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