Oldest Child Problems

A couple of weeks ago I read this great article over at Bougie Black Girl (BBG) about how parents use their older children to watch their younger siblings, much to the expense of the older child. I’m not speaking about an occasional babysitting job, but a child having to cook and clean and take care of her siblings like she birthed the babies. This article hit home for me.

See, because I was one of the girls that she was talking about. It happens a lot in the African American community. We tend to make our older girls the caregivers for their younger siblings. They didn’t give birth to your children.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that my mother was a bad mom. She wasn’t. Do I agree with everything she did? Nope. Do I believe she tried her best with the information and skills that she had at that time. Yep. But, there was damage.

You see when my daddy walked out of our lives, I was the oldest. I was 9 years old and my sister was 6. My brother was just 9 months old.  I had to become an “adult” and parent my siblings because my mother was in the military and worked swing shift. That means she was on for 18 hours and then off and back at work. She was exhausted.

I would have to pick my sister up from her classroom (we went to the same school) and walk her to pick up my brother from the babysitter to then go home. My mother left instructions for how to heat up dinner (she was exhausted but thankfully she still managed to cook). I would help my sister with her homework and we would eat dinner. I would bathe them both and put them to bed.

I would then sit down and do my homework, take a bath and head to bed. It was exhausting. I was a child. I had no choice. My mom didn’t have a choice. This was our lot in life.

When my mom got out of the military and we moved to Maryland, she had to work three jobs to take care of us. My dad didn’t pay child support and she made $10.00 too much to qualify for food stamps so working that many jobs put food on the table and clothes on our backs.  I received reduced lunches. I wasn’t embarrassed. I needed to eat.

I became their “de facto mother”. I doled out punishments and enforced chores. I had to make sure everything was done so that I wouldn’t be held liable.

I didn’t want to be a mother when I was still a child. I didn’t know how not to be. This kind of forced motherhood made me never want to have children. This made me feel as though my needs didn’t matter. The needs of my siblings came before my own needs.

The thing about not having your needs met is that you feel like you don’t matter. I couldn’t create boundaries because no one would respect them. I had no choice. I had no voice. I had to take care of my siblings.

I had a lot of pain during that time because I was a child raising children. I felt like my siblings didn’t respect me. Even now I sometimes feel the pain of past issues that manifest itself as disrespect. I’m sure that they don’t think of it in those terms, but they don’t know the sacrifices that I made too. Not just the ones made by our mother.

I didn’t get to participate in any after school activities until they were old enough to be left alone or my mom could watch them. There was no money for extras and no time. There was a schedule that had to be maintained.

I remember telling my mother a few years ago that I am tired of the disrespect of this family. I told her that I did everything to raise children that I didn’t bear. That I got raped and had to go home to take care of her children because that was my responsibility. I asked her who was ever going to take care of me?

It seemed as if no one was going to take care of me. I was on my own. That is why I am fiercely independent and choose not to show weakness. I hate being vulnerable. I hate not being able to do something. I’ve always taken care of me.

Even when it hurt to do so. Being in a healthy relationship allows me to appreciate the things that I didn’t even realize that I had. Things that I took for granted. Being a mother of an only child allows me the opportunity to give him experiences that I never had. I want Munch to enjoy being a child. No pressure. Not too much responsibility.

Does this mean that I don’t give him any responsibility? Nope. I do. I dole it out in stages. Cleaning your room, getting good grades and being civic minded have rewards attached to them. He’s a child. He’s learning.

I’m still learning and you know what? I’m pretty happy that BBG spoke about this topic. It’s pretty taboo in the black community, but the point of it all is that you as a parent have a responsibility to make sure that your children are children. Not the surrogate parent to their siblings.

 

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/.

Dating Chronicles: Take Two

I told you in yesterday’s post how I met and fell in love with a man after my ex that really was a filler. This was difficult because I didn’t believe in love, but after trying on-line dating and meeting this man that wooed me, I believed I could meet someone. He wasn’t the one.

So, I ended things and took a brief break. Until one day I reactivated my profile and met another man. He was different than most. Funny and short with a body made of pure muscle he had some endearing qualities. He was older than the last man and definitely one of the oldest men that I had dated. He as 8 years older than me. I didn’t even agree to meet him for an official date until 3 months of back and forth consistent communication.

He understood. Never pressured me. I believed that the age gap had made us somewhat able to relate. How wrong I had been. I wrote about him and our experiences in getting to know each other when I asked him Why Are You Single? He was showing me a different side. Not romance, but chivalry. We both led busy lives. His son was home from college and had no driver’s license. He lived in Baltimore County and that was a long way from me living in the southern part of Prince George’s County.

We made it work when we could. I was a soccer mom with a pretty predictable schedule. I wanted to take my time and make sure that he was genuine so I was dating a couple of other men during that time. Nothing serious. All were fillers. My heart wasn’t in it. It was with the last one. I was getting over him.

But, Mr. K had problems. Commitment problems. Time was his biggest issue. We could never connect. I believed him when he made excuses. I was being naive. Too trustworthy for someone who didn’t even know the meaning of the word. He cancelled more dates due to him being sick than anyone I have ever met in my life. One of the hardest ones was to the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival.

We were supposed to smoke cigars and drink. I only lived 3 miles away and I was hoping to get hammered. He cancelled. I went with my best friend and had a great time, but it wasn’t the same. It ended shortly thereafter because I don’t like liars. I have a smart mouth and I don’t have time for the fake ones. I wrote it about here:  And It’s Done.

I became frustrated about the lack of honesty and transparency when dating. I still had contact with Mr. K. Not sure why. Maybe I was believing that we could just be friends, but did I really need another friend? Probably not, but I was hard headed and I started to let my guard down with him.

Giving him more chances than I would with anyone else because I believed that somewhere there was a nice guy there. Why? Because he would say the nicest things to me. Why was this so hard? I wasn’t looking to rush down the altar (been there and done that) nor was I looking for a father to my son (he has one) so what was the issue? I know that I intimidate a lot of men for various reasons (a lot of it is my intellect) but I really wanted to find someone that could appreciate all the awesomeness of me.

But, I was sliding into old behaviors and sliding into the bed with the one that I loved and left. I missed him. I missed us. Old feelings started to resurface. I was getting caught up again. He was a bad habit that I couldn’t break. I was hurting from the one that I thought was awesome with all the great qualities and feeling lonely because the man I loved didn’t love me back.

I needed to get off this dang roller coaster of emotions and stop myself. Eventually, Mr. K slow faded me. It was cool. I figured it should have happened months before. I deserved better. I needed and wanted someone to love and take care of me. Not financially, but emotionally. I needed my own love. I craved it. I made a decision.

Quotes About Bad Relationships 1000+ Bad Relationship Quotes On Pinterest | Bad Relationship

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/.

Dating Chronicles: The Filler

I never thought that I would meet someone on-line. I never subscribed to the belief that my happily ever after” was out in cyberspace somewhere. But, that belief changed when I realized that no one was approaching me and asking me out for a date. I’m an attractive woman. I’m successful, sweet, charming and all those good things. Heck, I love me.

But, where were all those available men? Where had they gone? The ones that pursued me with a purpose before my marriage. I struggled with the fact that men didn’t approach me anymore. However, I had a lot of rules. What kind of rules? Well, you can’t ask me out if you are directly involved with my son through his school or social activities. No dating people from church. You can’t approach me if you see me with my son.

Yep, I laugh at this, but I was really limiting my choices on how to find a suitable partner. With all those limitations that I had placed on myself, then how would I ever meet someone? I had no choice but to try on-line dating.

Ugh, it was hard as heck. There were so many men that were fronting on their qualifications (looks, employment or what they were really looking for) that I became frustrated and uninterested. Every man was a potential waster of my time. Not everyone.

There were a few men that I actually met that I still keep in touch with. We weren’t compatible. It didn’t work out. Their issues and my issues made us an atomic bomb waiting to detonate. There were good times. There were bad times. There were just times.

I fell for one though. I started to love someone after my ex-husband. I didn’t believe it possible, but I did. He made me laugh. He made me feel beautiful, alive and sexy. He helped me regain the confidence of my youth. He said the right things. Most of the time.

He was a filler. A filler for the emptiness that I was feeling inside. I was lonely ya’ll. I wanted someone to love me and I wanted to love again. To trust again. To believe that I could find someone to be in a relationship with. He confused me.

Whew! He had it going on. He was both romantic and affectionate with me. Something that I never had. I never experienced a man kissing and making out with me like I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Everywhere. In the car, in restaurants and on the street. He made me feel loved. I wrote about him a lot on this blog. He was the inspiration behind my short story By Faith. It was his love that I yearned for. I wanted him to give it to only me. Not the countless women he was dating. Just me.

I told him how I wanted more. I told you how I wanted More from him. He couldn’t give me more. I called him a collector, but he really was a filler. He was there filling my time and mind and confusing me. Here I was asking, wanting and pleading for more of a real relationship with just us two in it.

Begging. Why the hell should you have to beg someone for a relationship? If it was meant to be then it will be. No force. So, I had to unwrap my soul from his. Free myself from his hold. Recognize that I’m worth more than those free moments of passion. I deserve love. True love.

So, I ended it. I wrote about it in my post Death to Love. It was hard. He was sexy. He had swagger. He smelled so good. He was a great kisser. He was a great lover. He was all those things he should have been, but he wasn’t for me. His purpose was to fill in the gaps and remind me of how beautiful I am. To show me that I am worthy of real love and true love, not just with him.

And that’s what he did. He laid the foundation for me to know and experience the kind of love I deserved. However, it wasn’t that easy for me to break from negative habits and behaviors. I was lonely and craved sincerity and companionship.

I met someone after him. Different from the one that I loved and yet somehow similar. He was the perfect gentleman. Or so I thought.

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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 https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

None

She had none.

No money. No food. Nothing.

Her children were hungry.

What would they eat?

Her babies.

Her failed marriage had left her nothing.

Her ex-husband was a narcissistic abuser.

She left him. Dead of night. Two kids in tow.

With $2,000 to her name, she found a safe place for her and the children in a new town. She had no family. No friends. He made sure of that. None.

All she had was her kids. Her life. Her car. Nothing else mattered without her kids.

They lived cheaply.

She found a job. It didn’t pay much. But, it was something.

She had to make more money.

She washed her clothes out on hand in the motel room and hung them to dry.

She had an idea. She put her hair up. Put on make-up. Put on some nice clothes.

She put on some heels. Grabbed her coat and purse. Left her sleeping babies to make some money.

She walked the streets. Wishing that someone would stop and give her some money for a service. The kids would be up in a few hours and she had to feed them breakfast.

A car stopped. She asked him what he wanted. He told her “A blow job”. She told him a price “$50.” He told her that was too much. He would pay her $20.00. She could take it or leave it.

She thought about her pride for a moment. She was willing to sell her body on the streets to feed her children. Is this really what life had become? She slowly opened the door to his car and hopped in. He drove off.

She realized that she didn’t need to think about pride. She had none left.

 

This post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day is none

 

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/.

Roots

I have roots.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t.

Roots that are planted firmly where I stand.

In this state that is not my birth state, I’ve created a home.

A home with people that love and support.

Family and friends that I have known for years.

Some roots have died off.

It’s okay.

They weren’t watered.

They weren’t built to last.

There is a time for everything.

But, if you look into the ground you will see my roots

deep and strong

Like a tree I stand

Bending, not breaking

Swaying with the storms of life

being strengthened at the root

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was roots.

 

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/.

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY MOMENT – 4/24/2017

It’s the last Monday of April and the last Motivational Monday Moment of the month. Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is about being yourself. Love the real you. All the flaws and imperfections.  This is something that I used to struggle with a lot. I didn’t want to show my true self to anyone. Yes, I’m kind hearted. Yes, I’m a great friend. Yes, I am a lover of humanity, but I’m also afraid of being hurt. So, I hide my true self. I hide my flaws and imperfections.

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It’s something I’m learning to stop doing. I’m learning to be just me. I can be a brat. I can be emotional. I can be sensitive. I can be a mess sometimes. I own it. I’m no longer afraid to admit it. Last week, I got mad at Mr. C over something he said and I told him that he was being both arrogant and dismissive. He paused and said “Arrogant?” He explained his reaction and apologized, but he didn’t think he was being arrogant. I disagreed.

I wanted to get off the phone. My feelings were hurt. He was cool with it. An hour goes by and I see a funny meme on Facebook. I share it with him. He doesn’t respond. I call him. No answer. I send him a text “So, you’re ignoring me?”

LOL, yep I can be bratty. He called right back to say that he wasn’t ignoring me. He just walked back in the room after spending time with his son. He said he realized that my feelings were hurt and respected that. He let me have my moment. I didn’t want to go to bed with hurt feelings or animosity in my spirit. I wanted to let him know that. He knew.

He puts things in a box and pushes them off the cliff. He doesn’t hold on to things. He’s totally different from me on that end. I’m learning. So, I told him that I know that he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings and I wanted us to work it out before I close my eyes. I didn’t want anything to disrupt my sleep.

He laughed that beautiful laugh and I realized that I’m happy and blessed. Why? Because I found someone that loves the imperfect me. The person who can get on his nerves or get in her feelings and he be man enough to give me space and still make me feel as though I am the most important person in this world.

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I’ve never been my authentic self with anyone outside of my two best friends. I was always afraid to let people in. Let people get to know the unguarded me.  It’s been an interesting experience because I’m learning to allow people in and have them love the imperfections of me. The entire me.

So, this Motivational Monday Moment is about letting your light shine. Let your light shine on all your imperfections and flaws and own them. Don’t hide behind your insecurities and know that it’s okay to be flawed. You’re perfect just the way that you are. Love the person looking back in the mirror.

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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 https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

 

6 Dating Mistakes Women Make

This is a roll call to all the women out there who’ve made mistakes while dating. You date men only to find out that the man you thought was the one was in fact a dud. You start to review the reel of your relationship no matter how small or insignificant in your head. You start to wonder “Where did I go wrong?” Has that ever happened to you?

It’s happened to me. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I made plenty of mistakes while dating and I’m the first to say “Learn from my mistakes”. I want to save you time and trouble while you navigate this dating world.

So, I compiled a list of 6 dating mistakes that women make in hopes that I’m able to help you recognize if you’re making them too. If you’re doing any of these things, I beg you love to run for the hills and stop it. Take a dating hiatus and get back to the basics of loving and dating you.

  1. I gave the benefit of the doubt. This was a big one for me. I gave the benefit of the doubt to a lot of men who frankly didn’t deserve it. The thing is that they were showing me who they were and telling me something different. I listened to their words instead of their action. That is a big no-no. Maya Angelou said it best “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
  2. No boundaries. I used to allow the men that I dated to set my boundaries. Sure, you can call me for a last minute date. Sure, I can come over at 11pm. Sure, I can take you there. Sure, I can (fill in the blank). You see what I was doing? I wasn’t setting boundaries. There are rules to anything including dating me and I didn’t set or express my boundaries. I was trying to be a free spirit. That’s not me. Be you and set those boundaries.
  3. Something is better than nothing. Umm, no it’s not. We shouldn’t settle. I refuse to waste anymore time with people that aren’t worthy. Why are you settling for less than what you deserve? Some of us are so happy to have a piece of a man that we are willing to settle for a piece than the whole person. That’s a lie and one you should stop telling yourself right now. You deserve it all love. Nothing is better than something that causes you pain.
  4. Waste my time. Time is a big thing for me. It matters. More than money. Time is something that I can’t get back. You can always make more money. You can’t get back time once its wasted. That is a big thing. I wasted my time with men that I knew we could never be nothing more. I’m not talking the first couple of dates. I’m talking the first couple of months. I just continued to waste my time instead of putting them in the block category and moving on. Life is too short to waste time with anyone.
  5. Lowering my standards. I’m not going to lower my standards when it comes to dating men and neither should you. Why should you? So, you can have a man? This goes hand in hand with number 3. Don’t lower your standards or expectations in a relationship just so you can get or keep a man. If he can’t meet you where you are, move on girl!
  6. Giving up the cookies too soon. Mr. C and I are practicing abstinence, but I know that not everyone is at that point in their life and I respect that. However, I tell you this…if a man is not willing to wait for you he is not the man for you. I heard a man once say that if a man can wait for a pair of shoes, a new video game or a promotion he can wait to have sex. You see that? Men will wait. You just have to be diligent in your desire to know that you are worth the wait. It’s okay to walk away if a man tells you that he won’t wait. Nothing wrong with saying “Okay, well be blessed and bye”. You are worth the wait. Real men know that.

Those are my 6 dating mistakes and trust me, I’ve made them all. I’m not judging you. I’m trying to help you move beyond the present and envision a future where you’ve got the love you want. It is possible.

Any other dating mistakes you think women make? How do you feel about the list? Have you made these mistakes?

 

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/.