Mom You Lied

This past weekend, Munch and I went out shopping on Saturday for new church clothes. Later that evening Munch came in my room and asked me could he talk to me privately. I said “Sure.” I have to tell you that I was really proud that he closed the door and asked me to talk privately. I eagerly awaited what he had to say.

“Mom, I felt like you lied to me today” he said. I was caught off guard. “About what Munch? Why do you feel like I lied to you today?” He said “About the store earlier. You said it wasn’t going to take long and we waited in line for a long time.” I had to catch myself. I was ready to say something smart, but I’m practicing the behavior that I want him to emulate so I said “Munch, do I work at that store?” He replied “No.” I then asked “How do you define a long time?” He didn’t respond. I continued “I had to wait in the same line and they had every register open. But, I am asking you to remember that God wants us to be patient and what you are exhibiting is your frustration at the fact that we had to wait. Wait in line while picking up clothes for you. Remember that you must have an attitude of gratitude all the time and right now, you’re not being gratuitous. I didn’t lie. You didn’t have a realistic expectation as to the time it would take and neither did I.” I asked him was there anything else and said good night.

I almost lost it. I couldn’t believe that my child was blaming me for the long lines in the store. I didn’t know if I could continue down this positive parenting journey. It was stressful to reign in my emotions and then to try to explain how disappointed that I was without losing my mind. I did it, but sometimes I wonder if I’m even making sense to Munch.

I didn’t lie, but his interpretation of the fact that I said it shouldn’t take long had told his brain that I lied when he had to wait over a certain amount of time. I didn’t know what to do. I was literally making it up as I go along. I thought about it over the next couple of days and expressed to him that we needed to take the time to process what he said and his expectations. I explained that his expectations are his, but he needs to practice reasonableness. I discussed that because he’s in an awkward size in dress clothes that I need him to be present and that I try my best to shop without him, but that may not always be the case. He needs to be prepared that sometimes he will need to be present.

I don’t know if he understands. Talking to other people only increases my anxiety about my choices because they don’t understand what I’m doing on this positive parenting journey. I’m being firm but allowing him to have choices. To openly expresses his feelings, but to level set with him. I pray that I’m not messing him 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/.

 

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The Truth About Parenting

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

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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…

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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/.

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/.

Querulous

December 2015

I shall live my life by not being querulous with my lot in life. I have to redirect and remain positive as I have a child looking at me. It is important that he sees the boundaries that I’m creating and enforcing. My attitude will be one of peace and I will not stray from the path laid out before me.

It is interesting that we are so consumed with the negatives from the news, social media and friends that it can distract from our path of patience and peace. It’s time to disconnect. When our attitudes shift due to outside influences we have to get back to the basics. Focus on what you can control. Don’t complain. Just change. I am the change I want to see. No more querulous tones or reminders of things undone. How can I encourage Munch to do the same if I’m not taking my own advice?

Focus is the key.

Q

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “Q” is for Querulous. 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/.

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/.

Mom

November 2008

I went home to Tennessee to visit with my family. Specifically my cousin Boo-Bop. I needed to see him. The time is getting near His cancer is getting worse. I’m praying that he lasts until I give birth. I just need more time.

I did get to tell him that my son would be named after him. He smiled. He only had girls. He seemed excited. We talked. Really talked about me being a mom. I told him that I’m scared. I was unsure of what kind of mother I would be.

I wasn’t the mothering type. He laughed. He told me that no one truly knows what kind of parent you’ll be. You just wing it. You live, you love and you teach. He told me that there wasn’t too much to it.

I sighed.

I told him that I tell my baby every day that I love him. I know he’s in utero and probably can’t hear me, but that is what I need him to know. That I love him. I didn’t hear it growing up. He told me how my aunt, his mom, didn’t tell him until he was diagnosed with cancer. I was shocked.

I asked him did it bother him? He said no. He said that he knew she loved him but that his cancer diagnosis made her remember to tell him. He understood.

Later on that evening, I talked to grandma about our conversation and she explained that she never told her kids that she loved them either. She said that loved them, but never thought about it because she was busy being a single mom and trying to raise them. But, she said it was her fault that her kids didn’t learn it. She said many black parents didn’t tell their children that they loved them. She was one of them.

Many things scare me about being a mom, but I know that love isn’t one of them. So, I will continue to read to him and tell him that I love him each and every day. Inside and outside my womb. I need him to know that his mom means it more than he could ever have imagined. I promise to change the dynamic of this mom thing so that when he grows up – love won’t seem foreign rolling off his tongue.

M

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “M” is for Mom. 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/.

I Don’t Want That

Last week, in my post Marriage Isn’t For Everyone I told you that I’m freaking out because I’m not sure that I want to get married again. EVER. Not that I’m unsure about Mr. C.

He’s actually the only thing that I’m positive about when it comes to imagining my future. He’s the known. It’s the unknown that scares me.

In that, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety around our future. Last week we had a conversation and I shared with him how I was unsure of whether or not I wanted marriage again and asked could he be okay with that. I explained that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but I didn’t know if I was the marrying type.

I told him that we’d essentially been there and done that and I asked would he be willing to be with me and live with me at some point with no prospect of marriage. He paused. He always pauses when asked deep and introspective questions, but this pause seemed to drag on for eternity.

He asked “What will we tell Munch?” I responded “The truth. That families come in all different forms and that we are a family and the love we have for each other supersedes. I’ll tell him that we love each other and maybe we’ll get married some day, but at this point, I don’t want too. I want to live and build a home and a family with you.” He asked could he get 24 hours to think about it. I agreed.

We resumed our conversation and he said that he could accept that I may never want to marry one day. He wanted to know would it be one-sided. Basically, if I woke up one day and said “Hey, let’s get married now and he didn’t want too would I be okay with that.” I paused. I hadn’t thought about that. I assumed that he would be okay with a “Hey, let’s get married now announcement.” But was it really fair? No. So, I told him “Yeah, I have no choice. It’s both of us. It’s about our family and our legacy.” He said he was fine with it.

I didn’t know if I believed him or not. I gave him a lot of information to process. I prayed that he understood that I loved him, wanted to be with him, raise my son with him and grow old. However, the male ego is precious and I didn’t know if my declaration about not wanting marriage would roar it’s ugly head in another way. Was I really being fair to him if we wanted two different things?

– 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/.

 

Parenting: Discipline Part I

I told you awhile back that I practice positive parenting. Positive parenting basically means that I embrace positive discipline. That I listen to Munch and don’t physically spank or lay hands on him. Now, this is new age in my family who believes in spare the rod and spoil the child, but I am an advocate for allowing Munch to understand that his choices will have negative or positive consequences, but he needs to understand that.

I treat discipline as a teaching opportunity instead of a physical task of spanking. Pretty much everything becomes about examining the issues, understand why the behavior occurred, making you accountable and still providing love, hugs and kisses. I know this may seem like with craft to some folks, but I don’t believe that you have to go around spanking children to correct their behavior.

Positive parenting tries to strengthen the parent/child bond by creating a more affectionate relationship. This works with Munch. He is a hugger and loves to be hugged, petted (LOL, his words) and encouraged. However, it’s not always easy.

Last Friday night, I got this email from Munch’s teacher:

I wanted to let you both know that Brennan had a problem in English class today. He had a discussion with a classmate about the biography book report. This is my knowledge of the situation. Brennan and the classmate were discussing who they were reading about. When Brennan heard the boy was reading about the life of a white person (students can choose anyone) he told the student he had to read about a black person. The student then called Brennan a racist. The boys both raised their voices and argued. Brennan was yelling I am not a racist. I was teaching, standing in front of the class and immediately raised my voice in order to be heard, and stopped the argument, reprimanded them both and moved Brennan from that table. I reprimanded the boy and we had a mini class discussion about racism. I told them that I was upset with them both for not stopping when I asked. At the end of class I met with the boys. The 1 student said he was at fault, said he should not have said that and admitted to inciting Brennan. Brennan said, right, I was wrong, too. I complimented him for being mature and respectful. But then he immediately told me, I’m being sarcastic, and continued to say he did nothing wrong. I tried to convey the idea that yes, the boy was wrong, but you were rude and disrespectful to me as I was trying to resolve the problem. I felt I had taken the time to discuss and reprimand the boy, in front of the entire class about his name calling. But Brennan was still defiant and defensive about my correction of him. I had a class coming in and no time to continue our discussion. I sent him to class but it was unresolved. I wanted to advise you of the incident. Please let me know if you have any questions.  Mrs. B

Yeah, it was rough. Basically my son told the teacher that he was being sarcastic with his apology as she was complimenting him. Huh? Where does that happen? I was mortified. I really like his teacher. She’s phenomenal and just a good human being. I trust her.

Now the question became how do I approach Munch with this positive parenting? See, I knew that my mom would have smacked my mouth for being disobedient. Positive parenting doesn’t allow for spanking. I needed to teach Munch a lesson. I needed him to see how he was wrong and needed to apologize, but I had to make sure that he understood the rules/expectations of self-control.

Could I do this? Was I ready? The challenges were only going to get bigger. I knew how I handled this would set the precedent for future parenting discipline moments. The key was to teach him, not to break him.

-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/.

Today Parenting Team

As if I don’t have a lot going on already, one of my goals is to really get my name out there and grow my blog. One of the ways that I’m looking to do it is by publishing on different sites with hundreds of thousands of readers. I decided to share what I’ve learned whether from dating, relationships or parenting with others. Check out my cool new badge.

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You Lead and They’ll Follow

 

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Parenting Lesson: I Will Not Chase You

Munch is the best thing that ever happened to me. But, sometimes I really feel like I’m sucking at this parenting thing. Not that I’m mean, but sometimes I have to teach him a lesson and I wonder if my teaching those lessons are having an adverse effect on him.

Last month we were working on homework and then we were going to review his oral presentation. He had to memorize a poem. He chose “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes. It was awesome, but he wasn’t in the mood. When he’s not in the mood to do anything, he pretty much shuts down. He acts like he’s bored and it’s really like time consuming and emotionally draining.

That being said I decided to push forward and chastise and ignore his negative attitude. I wanted to record him saying his poem. He was nonchalant and had no emotion. He was literally just acting like I’m forcing him to plow the field. It was draining. I had enough. I said “I love you Munch, but I’m done. I’m reclaiming my peace and you’re going to bed. Go upstairs and get your shower so you can get in the bed.” He was upset. “What about TV time?” I said “It’s not going to happen. You’ve tried my patience this evening with your behavior so TV is a reward that you don’t deserve this evening.” He cried.

Cried in the shower. Cried when he went to bed and then cried himself to sleep. Even when I tried to tuck him in bed and give him his kiss good night he cried louder and turned away from me. No problem. “I love you and goodnight” was all that I said.

I spoke to Mr. C and he listened and then commented how our parenting styles are different. I know. He’s told me before. I’m used to getting spanked as a child if I cried for no reason, but I left him to cry it out.

The next morning I did what I always do…cook his breakfast, pack his lunch, lay out his clothes and make up his bed. He then comes upstairs and criticizes me for all that I’ve done. “You’re not letting me do anything by myself. My daddy says that I need to do things on my own” he stated in frustration. I smiled sweetly and said “Love, you know what?” I don’t have to fix your breakfast each morning. I can sleep later and you can get up and fix yourself a bowl of cereal. It has always been important for me to send you to school with a hot breakfast each morning, but you want more responsibility so tomorrow, you got it. You can make your own bed and pick out your own clothes and fix your own lunch. I’m fine with it all. Now get dressed please.”

I was peeved. I couldn’t believe this child being defiant and first thing in the morning. I asked God for strength and we exited out the house headed for school. Munch didn’t speak to me at all. Ignored me on the whole car ride. I blasted gospel music to shift my mind and hopefully his too.

We exit and go into the school and as I’m signing him in for Before Care he doesn’t speak to the teachers when they say good morning. He walks away from me and is still ignoring me. I sigh. I said “Good morning” to the teachers, signed him and left. Five minutes later my phone rings and it is the Director of the Before and After Care program. She says how Munch had a breakdown and started crying because I just left.

She said that Munch said “She didn’t kiss me goodbye and she didn’t tell me that she loves me and to have a good day.” She said that they couldn’t console him. She asked could I speak to him. “Yes” I responded. He gets on the phone crying “Mommy, you didn’t tell me you love me. You didn’t kiss me goodbye.” I said “Munch, I realized that you were frustrated when you complained first thing this morning, I realized that you were still angry when you didn’t speak to me in the car ride over. I knew you weren’t over it when you walked away from me and ignored the teachers this morning. I accepted that. I love you so much but I will never chase anyone including you. My love is always given freely but I won’t chase someone to force it on them and this includes you. I love you more than life itself and will always love you. I love you more than you’ll ever know so have a great day.” He said “Okay, I love you too mommy.”  We got off the phone.

This parenting thing is hard. I struggle some days and find peace with my choices on most. But, in the end I’m still a work in progress learning and loving this beautiful boy that I’ve been blessed with.

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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/.