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/.

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Boy Please!

Last week I received the attached picture from a male friend of mine. He asked me my opinion of the post and said that he agreed with it. I called BS on the post.

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The thing is that there are benefits to marriage and the benefits are more for men than women. Think about the fact that the divorce rate is over 50% and over 80% of those divorces are filed by women. So, one could assume that women are no longer accepting the status quo and choosing happiness in single hood over a marriage of convenience.

But, this meme pretty much makes it seem like women are mules and we bring no value to a marriage. How is that possible? Everyone has some value.

Women bring more than a smile to a relationship and definitely to a marriage. We fall and love and we realize that we may have settled for personality traits that don’t sit well with our spirit, tired of not being able to communicate effectively with our partner, tired of infidelity, financial discord or anything else that we may have endured and we just leave. Do you know how much it takes for a woman to walk away?  If we do walk away how many of us are really getting rich off these men.

I’m an advocate for a pre-nuptial agreement at any age, but definitely if you’re over 35 or have wealth that you’ve acquired that you want to protect. I would think that a man in this situation stating he’s losing “respect” would be more forward thinking and not marry without one. But, obviously this man is a wuss with a lot of money and the woman he chose is no more than a piece of property with a plan to milk him out of his money, family and self-respect. Do you see how we can spin it?

Money rules everything around you. In a good way or a bad way, we can’t live on hopes and promises. People should find partners that they can build with. Not in their 40’s. I’m not taking on a “build a man” project. Would you want your mother dating Mr. John working at McDonald’s at the age of 72 all day and laying up under your mother for free because he didn’t work enough quarters to qualify for Social Security? No, then why should I settle?

Marriage is a good thing. Never settle. If you respect each other, tell me how you lose your own respect when a relationship ends? Your respect is like your self-esteem. You control it.

We all have choices in choosing our partners and I don’t think anyone should settle. If you want marriage and he doesn’t, move on to the next one. No use in settling. I believe we should all find partners that have an optimistic outlook on life and are not a social drag trying to defunct marriage at every turn and in essence trying to kill our dreams of a life of holy matrimony.

That’s my two cents. What do you think? Do you think there are benefits for men to marry?

 

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.

Day 18: The Right To Vote

You know that the women showed out in last week’s elections right? But, not just women. We saw men winning in town’s that saw first black men being elected, first Sikh or first immigrant. Diversity and inclusion was the theme in last week’s election.

It was awesome. I was so proud and thankful that people are exercising their right to vote. I’m still excited.

Here are some stats about notable firsts from last week’s election:

  • In Virginia, at least 11 Virginia House of Delegates’ seats will be held by women; five are women of color.  Some notable firsts: Kathy Tran (first Asian American woman), Elizabeth Guzmán and Hala Ayala (first Hispanic women) and  Danica Roem (first openly transgender person to serve in any state legislature).
  • Vi Lyles – first female African-American mayor in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Ravi Bhalla – first Sikh mayor in Hoboken, NJ
  • Melvin Carter  – first African-American Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Sheila Oliver – first African-American woman lieutenant governor in the state of NJ
  • Joyce Craig -first woman elected mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Jan Moore – first woman and first African American elected mayor of Statesboro, Georgia
  • Wilmot Collins – was a refugee from Liberia and was elected mayor of Helena, Montana
  • Yvonne Spicer – first mayor, first woman and first African American of the newly incorporated city of Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Melvin Carter – first African American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Mary Parham Copelan – first African American mayor of Milledgeville, Georgia
  • Booker Gainor – first African American millennial mayor of Cairo, Georgia
  • Brendon Barber – first African American mayor of Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Jenny Durkan – elected to be Seattle’s first female mayor since the 1920s
  • Justin Fairfax – is the second ever African-American to hold a state-wide office in Virginia. He was elected Lt. Governor. The only other black to hold a state-wide office in Virginia was former Governor L. Douglas Wilder (first African American to be elected governor in the United States of America)
  • Mazahir Salih – first Sudanese-American immigrant elected to the Iowa City Council
  • Tyler James Titus – first transgender man to win a seat on the Erie School Board in Pennsylvania

It was exciting. Diversity. Inclusion. Voting. All these things matter. On this 18th day of my #23daysofthankfulness, I’m thankful for the right to vote.

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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/.

Dating Chronicles: The Series

I hope you enjoyed reading my series entitled “Dating Chronicles” and some of the things that I endured when dating. I’ve always tried to be very honest and transparent with you because I want you to know that I’ve been there and done that too. I am an eternal optimist and I believe in love. No matter what. Despite the trials and tribulations and false starts, life is truly about finding your footing and figuring it out. You have to keep climbing. No matter what.

I didn’t think that at this point in my life I would find someone that I would so perfectly fit with, but I did. Not that I’m perfect, but Mr. C loves all my many personalities and it just works. We choose to strengthen both our foundation with each other and our relationship with God. We speak every morning on the phone and read our daily devotional and pray together before starting our day.

We’re trying something different. Something that neither of us really did in past relationships. We’re taking it slow, practicing celibacy and just getting to know each other. There is no rush to it. There is comfort and consistency.

I like the G spot (girlfriend spot) and I love that he still courts me and woos me after so many months. He’s been my rock and my friend. He makes me feel safe. He respects me. He’s a man of his word and every day we wake up and make a conscious decision to choose each other. No matter what.

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Stay tuned to my story because I’ve only given you a glimpse into my dating life, but there are so many more stories to tell. I hope this gave you an opportunity to know me a little more. To be able to relate to me.

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If you want to check out the series, they are here:

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/.

Auditioning for the Wife

On Saturday, I had a great service project with members of my sorority and other Greek fraternities and sororities. It was a joint effort where we went and cleaned up the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C.. It was a beautiful day and over 70 people showed up.

Afterwards, a few of my sorority sisters and I went to lunch. We were talking about men and women relationships when one of my sisters said something so profound and true. She said “Sometimes, women are so desperate to marry or prove that they are marriage material that they audition for the wife role in relationships.” Boom.

There it is. That was truth and knowledge about what I’m seeing now in relationships. I’m sure it’s always been there, but now more than ever I see women doing that. Why? Why do you feel the need to audition for a role you may not even want from the man that you’re with?

I know that dating has changed over the years. Black women are now earning more than ever and find it hard navigating the dating world. We are told that we have to sacrifice or lower our standards in order to find a suitable partner. Both of which I will say “Not true.” In many instances, we find ourselves fighting over the eligible pool of available men. So, we get creative in trying to woo the one that we want. How can we let him know that he should choose me? How can I prove to him that I’m wifey material? 

I know. I’ve seen many women do it. We have to stop trying to audition for the wife role ladies. Look, there’s nothing wrong with finding a man and falling in love and wanting to show him that you’re about substance. You want him to imagine a future with you. A future full of possibilities. You want him to imagine home cooked meals, clean clothes and a clean house. You want him to see you as your partner. An equal that has his back.

I get that. But, sis you have to trust that if you are the one for him none of that matters. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can be selfish. No, on the contrary you should show him the part of you that makes him imagine a future with you because of who you are not of what you’re doing for him. You don’t have to cook and clean his house, watch his kids, or take care of him financially. How is he showing you that he’s a man?

As a woman who has been married and divorced, I will tell you that I didn’t audition for the wife role with my ex. I didn’t know how to be a wife any more than he knew how to be a husband. Did I do things for him? Yes. But, when you do too much for a man it takes away from him being allowed to be the man he’s supposed to be. A man figures out how to manage his life without you.

Can you make it better? Absolutely. But, should you do that in the dating phase? No. You haven’t even gotten a ring yet. No amount of auditioning will make him choose you. He may even choose the woman after you.

My perspective is of course different because I am in no way rushing down the altar again. Been there done that. I have a wonderful man that will wait on me and for that I am glad. But, I don’t have to audition for the wife role for him. Mr. C sees me as the woman he wants to be with and spend his life with and you know what? I didn’t do anything special.

I just got to know him and love him in the space that we created. That’s it that’s all. I didn’t have to drop it like it’s hot or cook lavish home cooked meals for him. In fact in the almost two years we’ve been dating, I’ve never cooked a meal for him.  I actually told him that I probably won’t cook a lot, but would be willing to take turns cooking. He accepts that. He knows that I encourage his spirit, pray for him, love him and just allow him to lead us. That guiding principle has allowed us to create boundaries and respect the space we’re creating.

I don’t need to audition. The role is mine. I’m just not ready to get married again. But, the thing is this…he knows what he’s getting and I know the same.

 

Do you believe that women audition to be the wife in a man’s life? Have you ever done it? What did you do to break the cycle of auditioning?

 

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/.

 

Playing Games

I had a conversation with my male best friend this weekend about this woman he’s dating. He was telling me that he’s cutting her off because he doesn’t like the games she plays. I asked him what game is she playing? He said “the game of passive/aggressive I’m going to try to get you to step up and say that you want me to be in a relationship with you exclusively” game.

I sighed.

He was struggling. He hadn’t had a successful relationship since his marriage ended six years ago. He never allowed anyone to get close. He didn’t believe in love.

It was always the same story with women. They get too close and he finds a way to break it off and run for the hills. However, she was new. She had lasted a while. It had been six months. He said she was smart, beautiful and successful. He had hinted that there were things wrong with her though.

She had her issues. “Everyone has issues” I said. “I know, but I don’t like a woman that tries to control my life or tell me what I will and won’t do.” I asked “What did she say?” He told me that she told him that once that are in a committed relationship that I can no longer come over to his house and visit. Umm.

“Well, if that’s what ya’ll do I’m cool with it” I said. “No one tells me who can come over to my house. She doesn’t pay this mortgage and I don’t like that. It’s not like you come over all the time.” I laughed.

He’s right. We’ve been friends 29 years this August. A long friendship. Many twists and turns and we’ve managed to not kill each other. It says a lot. I trust him. He has my back. Not sure if I met him or Nikki first, but the bond is deep. The bond is real. Friends for almost 3 decades and you want to put limits on that friendship. I’m not sure how I feel about it. But, I respect his choices.

He’s right on some things. Wrong on others. But, is she playing games? I don’t think so. I think that she really likes him and just wants an exclusive relationship. She wants to know that she’s number one. Many women want that.

She was wrong to try and tell him what to do, but he doesn’t communicate well. He’s always testing women. I think there’s something to be said about two people sitting back and having a conversation about the future of their relationship. It may not come out the way you want, but you can’t say that you didn’t tell each other how you feel. We’re too old to not tell people how we feel.

 

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/.

Is It A Date?

Is it a date if you go out with a man that you’re friends with and he pays? You’ve never been intimate and have no desire to be other than friends with each other. Would you consider it a date? What if you’ve been friends for more than 5 years?

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/.

Man Up!

A great read about a man’s responsibility in life. This is a new blogger, Josiah Harry, that I just discovered and I am hooked. Check out his blog Skylarity!

A well-rounded man is an artist, warrior, and philosopher. -Benvenuto Cellini

Source: Man Up!

 

 

 

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: Insecurity

Have you ever dated a man or woman with real insecurity issues? I have. I dated a few men who had issues with women because their past relationships were so jacked up. They literally were living in a perpetual state of unhappiness and decided that deep down inside all women were bad.

It was hilarious at first and then a little depressing. How can we even begin to build if you are making me pay for the mistakes of your past girlfriends? Prime example, a couple of years ago I met this great guy on-line and we went out on a date. It was a combination between our first and second date.

How’s that possible? Well, we had stayed up the night prior talking all night. I mean it was like 5 hours of conversation. I fell asleep and then called him at 2:45 the next morning. He called me back at 4 am and then we talked until again until about 7 am. He was such a great conversationalist so I told him that either we had to meet for breakfast or I needed to get some sleep because I was exhausted.

We agreed to meet up and grab breakfast and all was cool. My breakfast sucked, but he was nice. After breakfast he said he had to run his Saturday errands but wondered if I would go out with him that evening. I agreed.

We went to dinner to this cool pizza place because pizza is my favorite food. It was a beautiful summer in DC and we decided to go for a walk by the White House and just enjoy the city. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. We had such a good time that we didn’t want the date to end.

So, he suggested that we grab drinks at the Sofitel (a luxury hotel). I agreed and we went to the bar and had a couple of drinks and began laughing and just enjoying the company again. There was no awkard conversation or long pauses that made me sigh and say “Well, I really should be getting back.” We just meshed well.

All in all I thought it was a great first/second date. I agreed to see him again. But, that didn’t last long.

My custody agreement made me unavailable for the week as I didn’t believe in sacrificing Munch’s time for a date with a man that I wasn’t in a relationship with so I had to postpone our next date for the following week. We spent the time talking on the phone and texting to build a friendship. No pressure.

Then one night in our sweet getting to know you conversations he tells me that he likes me. I smiled. I liked him too. He seemed nice. He then asked me “Are you dating anyone else?” I replied “Not at the moment.” He then asked me to not date anyone else.

Screech.

Say what now? Don’t date anyone else? Why not? He told me that he only dates one woman at a time and prefers that women do the same. He explained how he used to date a woman for over 6 months. He would take her out, spend the night at her house and she would spend the night at his house. He had assumed that they were in a relationship only to find out that they had a friends with benefit situation.

He was crushed. He stated since that time, he wants to make sure that he has an exclusive opportunity to compete for a woman’s time and affection. He dated one woman at a time and wanted the same from the women he was dating. I was confused because we really didn’t know each other.

It was at that moment that I knew that we couldn’t go any further. He had lost his damned mind. I wasn’t her. I told him that. He was letting his insecurity about a woman not giving him her all show its head in our first/second date. You can’t let the choices of one decide the future for others, mainly me. He didn’t understand.

I was frustrated. I had to walk away. I explained to him how I saw things. I told him that the reality of the situation is that most relationships will flow the way they are supposed to flow when a man steps up. If you don’t want me to date other men, keep my attention and my time and then you don’t have to worry about it.

That’s what Mr. C did. He didn’t ask me to stop dating other men. He just filled up my time and my thoughts became about him. I wanted to get to know him. I wanted to spend time with him. I actually missed him when we were apart.

Process of elimination. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get what you want and the rest will take care of itself.