My #FBF

Hey everyone!

Happy Friday! Apparently many people missed my post last month on My Brown Baby so I’m linking it again as my #FBF post!

Click the link below:

Forgiving My Father: How My Son’s Unconditional Love Convinced Me to Embrace My Dad

 

Until next time loves!

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Daddyless Daughters

That’s the term I learned by watching Ilyana Vanzant’s “Fix My Life with Karrueche Tran” interview. I’m a daddyless daughter. Ilyana told Karrueche that she “believes that when young women grow up without their father it breaks something in their heart that broken men will walk into”. Wow! I was literally paralyzed with a message that God had been sending me about my own life for the last month.

I have spoken openly about how my father wasn’t in my life. He was an abusive man. He was an alcoholic. But, he was my daddy. I loved him. He never hit me. He was just sick. But, what do you do when you realize that your daddy never loved you? You rebel. You find love in all the wrong places.

That was me. A virtual non-believer in love. Love was a lie. My life was a lie. How could a man love me when the man who helped create me didn’t? You run. You avoid love like the plague. You spend years building walls reinforced with steel girders that no one can break down.

Until one day you can’t run.

You have someone who sees you and wants you to stay. You see someone who says that I see all your brokenness and baggage and I want to help. I want to love you past your pain. I want to give you reason to smile. I want to make you know love and appreciate love from a man.

He says all the right things. He may even mean those things, but when you’re broken and your heart is broken, you can’t decipher fact from fiction. That the man standing there telling you all these things is in essence…broken too. So, you love. You give. You start letting those walls down because you believe that you can change him. Fix his issues. You two will be able to fix the broken parts of your life. You believe that it is not futile to endure the b.s. You believe that if you just love harder and smarter you can change him.

Until you realize that you can’t change him.

What do you do? You crawl, walk or run away from the pain. You pray, you submit to the spirit and you get therapy. You figure out what it is about you that keeps attracting broken men. What is it about you that has you thinking that you can save a man by loving him? You start to understand and repeat fervently the first stanza in the serenity prayer. You know the one that says:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Hoping and believing that it will get easier. Easier to fix you. Because let’s face it…you are the problem. You have to learn to forgive. Not for them, but for you. You have to accept that life isn’t what you wanted and dang it was hard, but you have to let go and forgive the man who left you a daddyless daughter. You have to know that you deserve it. You deserve peace.

You do.

You forgive the man who made your childhood a horror story. You forgive the man who put his hands on your mother. You forgive the man who walked out your life and never looked back. You forgive the man who left you. Not for him, but for you. So, you can grow. So you can change. So, you can stop allowing broken men to occupy time and space in your heart.

Because they don’t deserve it.

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Baltimore Blues

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

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

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

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

Has Anything Changed?

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

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

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

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

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

No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Lives Matter: Walter Scott

By now you’ve all heard of Walter Scott and the horrific way in which he was gunned down on Saturday, April 4, 2015. If you haven’t seen the video, I encourage you to watch it here:

Now, what’s interesting is that after high-profile incidents in the news (Cleveland, Ohio and Ferguson, Missouri) you would have thought that all officers are on a training schedule to talk about excessive force. But, apparently that is wishful thinking. Why must we keep trying to hashtag #blacklivesmatter to remind people that racism is still occurring in this country? Why do we insist on turning a blind eye and saying that we don’t see color. Let me be clear then…You don’t see me.

Because if you see me. You would see a black woman. You would see a black mother who loves her black son. You would see a curvy black woman with more booty than she wants to admit. You would see a smart black woman with a laugh that is rich, full and loud. You would see a nerdy black woman. You would see me. To say that you don’t see color means that you don’t see me.

You’re just sitting on the sidelines and ignoring the injustices that continue to occur in my community. Mine. I live in Maryland, not South Carolina. But, he is a black man who was murdered. I am raising a black son. Hopefully, my munch will grow up to be a black man. I’ve shared with you my fear that I have to teach him things that my friends who are not black don’t have to teach their children. You know things like:

  • If pulled over, always be respectful. Yes sir. No sir. Don’t ever be disrespectful.
  • You may be humiliated son by someone who doesn’t like you for the color of your skin, but let him humiliate you. I know it will hurt and it will break my heart that the humiliation is akin to the ones your ancestors suffered in slavery, but take it baby. I want you to live.
  • Always memorize a badge number and name.
  • Don’t have more than one other black male in the car with you. Too many black boys and people may get scared.

It’s a shame. We shouldn’t have to prepare our black boys for this horrific world. They’re boys. They’re children. They’re loved. They’re wanted. They’re needed. How come people can’t see that?

Walter Scott was arrested before. Mainly for unpaid child support and not showing up to court. He wasn’t a saint, but who is? Are we to determine that he deserved to be shot down 8 times in the back like a dog? Are we really going to play innocent and think that he deserved to die? That his children deserve this? His mother? His siblings?

No one deserves this. Thankfully, the officer that shot him, Michael Slager, was arrested and charged with first degree murder last week. This is progress right? A step in the right direction.

Time Magazine released their latest cover to bring light to the fact that this is still an issue. That #blacklivesmatter and we need to stop the senseless gunning down of black men. There is a war out there people! I pray that our government will get involved in trying to curtail some of this violence by allowing the federal government to investigate questionable deaths among police officers.

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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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