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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My 3 Rules

I read a great post on the Huffington Post entitled “The 3 Rules of My House” and laughed because I thought the author and I must be kindred spirits because I have 3 rules too. I had Munch reciting my household rules a couple of weeks ago. Not for punishment, but memorization and application.

When talking to other parents and adults we are often angered by the state of our youth today. Not having any manners, their lack of respect for technology, a complete disrespect for privacy, their completed disregard or concern about their own health or their future plans. All these frustrated topics were discussed and dissected in great detail that the only thing we could agree on was the fact that the state of our young people scares us. What is happening to them?

A couple of Saturdays ago, Munch was waiting patiently in the nail salon while I got my bi-weekly maintenance. Normally, he wouldn’t be there because I go when I don’t have him, but his dad being out of town kind of threw a wrench into my plans, but such is life. We got up that morning and I asked him did he want to eat breakfast at home or I would stop by McDonald’s as a treat for him being a good boy. He opted for McDonald’s. I grabbed the I-pad his headphones and headed to the golden arches before going to get my nails done.

Once in the salon, he ate his breakfast and watched his movies. He waited the entire 2.5 hours while I got the works and never complained. All the women were complimentary about his patience and behavior. I smiled and said, “Yep, he’s a good kid.”

So, my mood changed when 20 minutes later a couple of young women (guessing their ages were between 16 and 20) walked in and yelled, “How long for a full set?” I cringed and looked at my nail technician and said, “Wow, no good morning? How about rephrasing and asking….Good morning, may I please inquire as to how long it will take for a full set?” She laughed and said, “T, that’s all day every day. Some of these young women just walk in her and start cursing up a storm that I have to remind them that this is a place of business and we don’t talk like that in this establishment.”

I was floored. Why are these young people being so disrespectful? Do they not have any home training? What do their parents think of their behavior? I said, “When I was growing up, my momma had many rules but only two ever stuck out: 1. Never, ever embarrass me and 2. A lady never gets drunk in public. She gets drunk in the privacy of her own home.” She laughed and said, “I know that’s right girl!” I said, even now I only have 3 rules for my house. I said, “Munch, come here please.” Munch walks over. I said, “Munch, what is the number one rule for mommy’s house?” He smiled and replied, “Don’t embarrass mommy.” I said, “Thank you love.” She said, “Wow, I like that.”

Reading the article prompted me to share the three rules of my house:

  1. Don’t embarrass mommy. This is an all-inclusive, mega statement that applies to everything you do from the minute you wake up to the day you die. Don’t embarrass mommy. I know that you will go through things that will make your choices seem difficult. Many questions such as:
  • Should I skip school?
  • Should I try drugs?
  • What about pre-marital sex?
  • What about cheating on a test?
  • My parents won’t know if I lie, that’s easier than telling the truth, what should I do?

I get it. You will have a lot of choices thrown at you, but remember that all your choices are designed with one thought in mind…not embarrassing mommy. Your choices should seem easier if you answer them with that thought at your fore-front. I know. I’ve been there. I can thankfully say that I have never embarrassed my mommy.

  1. Don’t run in traffic. Yes, it seems that this shouldn’t be a rule that will follow him until adulthood, but it will. It’s a continuation of rule number 1. When you’re young, I don’t want you letting go of your parent’s hands and running into traffic. Traffic is dangerous. We want you to hold our hands until you no longer feel the need to be led by us (which hopefully will be until you graduate from high school – but I know that may be weird for you). Traffic is dangerous and I want you to stay out of traffic. Traffic is where you go once you’ve been licensed by the state as a safe driver and can operate a vehicle that will hopefully protect you when you let go of my hand. Traffic is not to be played with and we don’t run in traffic.
  2. Give thanks. In all that you do, you need to give thanks. Have an attitude of gratitude. Things won’t go your way, such is life, but you should still give thanks. Thanks for being able to have a roof over your head and clothes on your back. Thanks that you have food to eat when you open the fridge and that if you want to buy lunch, your parents can afford to put money on your school lunch account. Thanks that you have two bedrooms, with two tv’s and two dvd players and a whole lot of Disney DVD’s. Thanks that you have parents that love and adore you more than their own lives. Thanks that we want you active and healthy which is why we put you in sports. Thanks that we try to enrich your life by teaching you French, taking you to museums, vacations and beaches. Thanks to your many aunts and uncles who adore you and listen to mommy blog about you all day long. The same aunts and uncles that love you as though you were their own. The same ones that sent you a beautiful children’s Bible from Paris in French so you could read it and translate it to your parents.  In all things give thanks. Never forget that.

Three rules. Simple and easy to remember. I want munch to have an attitude of gratitude and respect for human kind. I want him to open his mouth and say Good Morning and thank you sir to those who he comes in contact with. I want him to grow up the way most of us grew up. With respect and appreciation for everything.

Guess Who Got Published on MBB?

Happy Friday Folks!

If you haven’t heard, I was honored to get an article published on one of my favorite blogs…MyBrownBaby (yep, one word). MyBrownBaby is an incredible blog started by Denene Millner who states that “MyBrownBaby isn’t about pointing fingers at or putting down white moms. It’s about helping black moms. It’s also about providing a service for those who need the information but can’t find it or who just want someone to commiserate with them—help them sort through the beautiful struggle that comes with being black parents in America.” You love it right?

It’s a great blog with a wealth of information, articles, tips and stories from both men and women about children. I have been following along for the last couple of years. So, in light of #domesticviolenceawareness I decided to share my story in hopes of getting it published and bringing home what I’ve been sharing all month with you.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence is a topic that is close to my heart. I’ve shared more with you than I’ve shared with my own family. (I guess you guys/gals are my family). This writing has been therapeutic for me and I’ve grown through it. Which is incredibly helpful. Well, I decided to submit an article for publication earlier this month and I got notified on Wednesday that it was accepted and went live. I am overjoyed and I hope you have a chance to check out my latest piece and to subscribe to this incredible blog!

Click here for my post –  Suffer the Little Children: The Effects of Domestic Violence on Kids

Be blessed loves!

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I Wish I Could

I wish I could is the most hopeful phrase I know. It’s filled with possibilities. I like possibilities. They give me hope. Hope is promise. I like promises.

I was sitting there watching my son sleep last night and reflecting on how people say that I’m a good mother and I love my son. Great! But, doesn’t everyone? Doesn’t every parent love their child more than their own life? Doesn’t every parent’s heart swell with joy every time they think about their child?

Parenting is hard. Yes, I get tired. Yes, I get frustrated. Yes, I want to run away sometimes and lock myself in a padded cell and not hear the words, “Mom” or “Mommy” for a full 48 hours. That sounds ungrateful though. Not appreciating what God has blessed me with – but it’s the truth. It’s not his fault that I’m tired or this is my busy season at work. It’s not his fault if I get sick and he feels the need to check on me every (and yes I mean EVERY) 10 minutes to see if I’m okay. He’s just concerned.

This weekend was rough. I woke up this morning like “Ugh, I can’t believe it’s Monday already!” We had a great and exhausting weekend with visits to the pumpkin patch, swim class, my nail and hair appointments and dinner with his friends at Pizza Hut. As I stood above his bed watching him sleep (like I do many nights) my heart swelled with immense joy. I was truly grateful and blessed that I have an incredible little boy. As I stood over him seeing him in all his innocence, I started a list in my head. A list filled with hope and possibilities.

I Wish I Could:

  • Capture the sound of your laughter at this age because it is the best sound I’ve ever heard. It instantly makes me feel better and gives me hope that I’m not a bad mother when you get disappointed by me telling you no.
  • Teach you how to recognize, acknowledge and respect God’s favor over our lives. I don’t know why God has continually blessed us and keeps us even when I’m not the best person in the world, but I’m thankful. Truly thankful and blessed and I want you to be better than me in that munch.
  • Kiss away the scary. Sometimes you will wake up and I may not be there to kiss away your fears, but know that I am never far away. I believe in you and I believe in the fact that you are a big boy and this too shall pass.
  • Videotape your memories and thoughts when it comes to expressing your love for Jesus. You continually amaze me when you want to talk about Jesus, tell me about the Bible, be Jesus for Halloween or analyze how God is always watching over you even when I’m not there. You didn’t have a problem yelling out at Courtney’s 5th birthday party last week that we had to sing “May God Bless You” before we cut the cake because you want to honor God with everything you have and I am overwhelmingly in awe of who you are.
  • Always remember that I never wanted children. Because until you came along, my life was just ordinary and it was fine. But, the moment you were in my womb, it became extraordinary and I NEVER EVER want to forget that. It allows me to appreciate you and what you have done for me. Your very existence changed my world view. I am eternally grateful for that.

Motherhood is not always roses and laughter. I know there will be days that we will probably be ready to strangle each other, but I can’t take it for granted. The good or bad both matter and they mean that I am doing something right. I am not perfect. I am trying and I love being his mother because I now have purpose. To do what it says in the Bible, “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (NLV)
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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.