The Truth About Parenting

Yesterday when scrolling through Facebook I see this great post that was shared to a group that I’m in:

la0508

The post angered a lot of people. They felt judged. I get it. But, should you feel that way? Yelling at your child early in the morning starts them off on the wrong foot. We’ve got to do better. Speak in normal tones to them. If you set them on edge first thing in the morning, how do you think the rest of their day will go?

I saw this video below a couple of years ago and it really solidified in my mind that I was doing right by Munch.

There were many opportunities to start the child off on the right path and each adult that he encountered was determined to make his day suck. Yep, it was the adults fault. You are the ones that set the tone for how their day should be. Can they have bad days if you do everything right? Yes, absolutely, but how they start their day matters. Just like eating a healthy breakfast in the morning is best, it is also imperative that we put our children in a mindset of success and peace.

I commented on the Facebook post in my group with this…

capture0502

This mother commented that compared to you I must be doing something wrong. I laughed and said “No, we do our best. I only have one. I chose to do my best and pour the very best of what I have in raising him. It’s important that I get up each morning and fix him a hot breakfast. That I make sure he is presentable and in a positive mood each day. It’s my job as his parent. I wasn’t raised in the manner I’m choose to raising my son. Not a bad thing. I chose to raise him differently.” I’m not in competition with other parents. I am just choosing to do what I believe is best for Munch. Some days are good. Some days are a struggle. But that’s to be expected, right?

The other day Munch was taking his sweet time eating breakfast (38 minutes) and I was going to be late getting him to Before Care. I calmly called downstairs and asked him was he finished eating? He said he wasn’t. I then told him that I needed him to come upstairs in 7 minutes because we were late. We had to go. He started to talk about how he wasn’t finished. He still had food to eat. I explained that he was being distracted by watching his Ipad and not eating his breakfast. He complained that he was not. He then wanted to argue with me. I calmly replied “This was not a choice. I asked you to follow my instructions because you need to finish so we can get dressed and leave.” He did as instructed and we finished getting dressed and we left.

When I chose to practice positive parenting I knew that there would be days that would be overwhelmingly frustrating, but I’m sticking with it. I’m choosing to teach him positive behaviors and not to mess up his day with my own frustrations. Because that is what it is…my frustrations. I need to learn to control me.

I’m different. I do things differently with him. I trust that he will be grateful for the lessons that I’m teaching him and understand that I only wish him peace knowing that it starts with me.

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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Wise

April 26, 2018

Dearest Munch:

Sometimes I can’t find the words to impart the wisdom that I want you to have about life. There are not enough words or moments. Our country is in a state of change. But, I believe that it will get better.

I want you to focus on the wise words by these great men in history. These quotes were picked to inspire you to live each day being a better version of yourself. Life won’t be easy. However, you are powerful beyond measure. Trust that. Trust you.

When times get weary or lonesome, reflect on the wise words of your ancestors…

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” –James Baldwin (No Name in the Street)

“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.”- W.E.B. Dubois

“Racism is not an excuse to not do the best you can.” —Arthur Ashe

“There are two kinds of worries—those you can do something about and those you can’t. Don’t spend any time on the latter.” —Duke Ellington

 

Love,

Mommy

W

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “W” is for Wise. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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/.

Version

March 30, 2018

The version seems to be the same…I was afraid for my life. Another black boy dies. Gun downed. Another acquittal. No charges. The characters may change, but the version remains the same. Different cast. Same roles. More black boys die. It doesn’t matter. Our lives don’t matter.

The sins of the father are visited upon their offspring. What the hell did my ancestors do to make our children a target for violence? Their version always ends in a chalk outline and a community in outrage.

No more tears.

No more.

There should not be separate versions.

Only one.

The truth.

V

 

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “V” is for Version. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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 pagehttps://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Objective

Objective

A mother with almost 10 years of experience in raising a black boy seeks a position where I can foresee the future. I’m highly intelligent with an ability to multi-task my projects, people and presence in my son’s life. My background in Human Resources allows me to find multiple ways to effectively communicate my expectations with my son. I view discipline as a way to influence positive behavior and have achieved successful results. I’m both strong willed and determined, which is a requirement when trying to navigate two different parenting styles in two households. I value developing my son into a young man that will live to watch his great grandchildren playing in the backyard which is why I’m looking for a position that will allow me to confirm that all I’ve done and continue to do will be enough. That he will live.

O

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “O” is for Objective. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

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/.

Random Rumblings – 10.12.17

Hey Loves,

Sorry for the silence. So much has been going on. I feel like I’m losing my dang mind on some things. I will update you later in the week.

But, as many of you are aware it is both Breast Cancer Awareness month and Domestic Violence Awareness month. Both are equally important causes that we should know and support. I post more on domestic violence because I am a survivor of abuse and find it important that we stand up for those that are being victimized.

All is well with Mr. C and I. Still happy and in love. Still living our happy black a** life despite some people trying to bring BS to my door. I love that man. Can I just say that? I thank God for sending me a partner that stands with me and for me against those that wish to commit evil.

Munch is doing awesome in school. I was reviewing his grades on-line and it’s all A’s and B’s. He’s adjusting well to 4th grade and went on his first field trip to a science center. I am thankful for his continued growth.

I’ve been in a mood the last week and attended a birthday party honoring my girlfriend a couple of nights ago. It was such the perfect distraction to the drama and I am thankful for my friends. See, God has given me such a support group that I can’t even begin to thank Him for all that I have.

I attended the first PTA meeting last night at school. I signed up for some committees. I think I’m going to try to write a grant to get yoga or a mindfulness instructor teaching the kids at school for a month. The sky’s the limit. I also signed up to be a part of a community advocacy group. Last year, Munch wanted to do a coat drive and PTA couldn’t make it happen. They confirmed to me last night that it will happen this year. What a blessing to be a blessing.

Between chairing the Veteran’s Committee for my sorority and some committees at Munch’s school it’s going to be a busy year, but I’m excited for the opportunity. That’s all for now. I’ll update you later on and I hope you have an amazing day.

 

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/.

The Truth

We had been married for over four years. It was time. I had pushed off having children for years. I enjoyed it being us, but the silence was deafening. The desire to have a baby was like an echo in our otherwise peaceful home. He wanted children. I didn’t know if I was ready. I still had a lot of unreserved issues about being a mom, so it was becoming a problem for us. But, there was no time like the present.

December 2006

We sat there in the doctor’s office.  “Well, we’ve ran the tests and it looks like there is some blockage in your tubes and male fertility problems” he said. “What does that mean?” I asked. “It means that you’ll have difficulty conceiving” I sighed. My husband asked “Does this mean that we can’t have children on our own? “No, I will never say that. Couples conceive each day to the astonishment to the medical community. It just means that it will be difficult to conceive.”

I sighed. “What are our options?” He said “I would recommend IVF with ICSI.” I replied “I’ve been doing research and why not IUI” I asked. “Your blocked fallopian tube makes it more difficult” he responded. I was sitting there stunned. Not sure what to think or believe. My husband grabbed my hand.

The doctor said “I know that I’ve given you a lot of information to process, but if you want to move forward I would like to set up the group counseling sessions about the process. You’ll work with a nurse who will outline and handle everything.” We smiled. Got up slowly and were handed off to the nurse.

She smiled. Beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes. In an instant I felt jealous. I bet she doesn’t have fertility problems. I bet she has a beautiful baby with the bluest eyes and blonde hair at home. It was painful. She could sense my anxiety and led us through to a conference room and explained the next couple of months to us. I was trying to listen and absorb what was being told to me.

Beyond the counseling sessions, we had to do our testing. Complete work ups. Do we want genetic testing? Does it matter? Personal choice. But, shouldn’t we be happy if we just get pregnant? Questions among questions floated through my mind. I looked over at my husband. He shook his head. He was listening intently. I looked back at the paper.

I needed to get on birth control. I had just had my period a week ago so nothing could happen for another month. I need to order my medications. They were specialty drugs and they had a specialty pharmacy in the building. We took all the paperwork and left. It was overwhelming.

We stopped by the pharmacy and dropped off the prescriptions. They were starting a Lupron protocol. We went to the car. We sat there. “It’s a lot” I said. “Yeah” he said. “Are we ready?” I asked. “Yes, we’ve talked about this” he replied. He’s right. I was being a chicken shit.

I hated needles. The fear of the needles was paralyzing me. That along with all the other scientific stuff we needed to go through. But, the smallest thought that we could have a baby next Christmas gave me pause. I smiled.

We headed home. Our lives were about to change.

-To Be Continued-

 

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/.

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/.

Supermom Chronicles – 2/2017

Hey Loves,

I’m sending a quick email to let you all know that I’m hoping to catch-up on all my 1,100 remaining posts this weekend. Please bear with me. I’m exhausted because I just returned from Tennessee on Tuesday after visiting my father.

The trip was short and apparently well needed for me. I slept on average 11 hours a night and I needed naps. Never before had I felt the need to sleep. I couldn’t understand why I was so exhausted. I actually get a minimum of 7 hours of a sleep a night so this was definitely my body saying “Rest sweetie. It’s time.”

I listened and obeyed.

I slept.

I went home to check on my dad who had a pacemaker put in about 3 weeks ago. He’s fine. Walking and talking as usual. We were able to spend some time together.

I came back on Tuesday afternoon and picked up Munch after leaving the airport. He was so excited to see me. I grabbed take out and went home to review and work on homework. I had to go to the store and I had an interview with a doctoral student regarding middle class mothers. Yep, I did that. It was a two hour interview and I felt proud to be contributing to her research.

Nope, I haven’t unpacked my suitcase yet. I have to wash Munch’s clothes this weekend and change his bedding while he is with his dad. I’m still reading books that I’m behind on, editing, writing reviews and working on a couple of pieces for submission. I’m drowning in work it seems.

Another obstacle presented itself before I flew home last weekend and I just jumped over it and will see how it plays out. I will update you shortly on that. Munch’s book report is due Tuesday and we finished it last night along with his visual presentation. All he needs to work on this weekend is the oral presentation with his dad.

I had all this done and him fed, showered and in bed before 9 pm. I even signed up to volunteer at his school for the next 3 months. I’m knee deep in paperwork, renewals and RFP’s and the day to day but I can’t forget to be there for Munch. Yep, I was supermom this week.

I wanted to pat myself on the back, but I didn’t get a chance to yet. LOL. I need a drink. Not a big one. Just a nice glass of wine and a good hug. Being able to spend some alone time with Mr. C should allow me the opportunity to have both.

Thank you for your continued support and bear with me as I catch-up on your posts and respond to the comments you’ve left on my blog. You are truly appreciated and valued. I’m just trying to prioritize.

supermom-chronicles

Welcome November 2016!

Happy November Folks!

I’m sorry for the delay in my posts. I’ve been swamped. I was feeling under the weather last week, got my flu shot and then my son got strep throat this past weekend. It was weird because it was like it came out of nowhere. He kept complaining of his stomach hurting and then vomited on Sunday evening. I took him to Urgent care because he developed this weird rash on his cheeks right before my eyes. Diagnosis was strep and they gave him antibiotics. This is the second time he’s gotten strep in two months. I’m struggling ya’ll.

Here is him Saturday at the pumpkin patch with friends .

Here’s him on Sunday night at Urgent care with the rash .

But, we managed to get out and trick or treat a little bit with his friends. He was “The Batman”. LOL. It was the cutest thing.

Finally, in addition to the many things that I have going on. I’m also working on my holiday cards and got the flicks in from my photographer at Magnolia Street Photography. I love Erin and the work she does. She’s been photographing Munch since he was 2. So, she is who I will continue to use.

I hope you have an amazing November and know that I am missing each and every one of you. I will get back to writing posts beginning tomorrow and will play catch-up with your posts in the next week. I haven’t forgotten about you, so please don’t forget about me.

Kisses.

hello-november