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GUILTY!

guiltyLast week I talked about “The Convenient Toy”, feel free to check it out.  If you read the post you will note that I briefly discuss what this young man’s mom was doing in the car while he was in the store making his purchase.  What I didn’t say in the post was how I felt about here sitting in the car, on the phone while her child was making this purchase.  Truth be told I was mad.  Why wasn’t she watching her child and guiding him to make better decisions?  Was her phone conversation more important than what was going on in the store?  Did she care about him enough to make sure he knew about guns and that this toy gun looked real and could potentially get him killed?!  Those were just a few of the thoughts running through my head as I was processing the scene.  This past weekend I had a group of ladies over to my home to watch #BlackGirlsRock and have some girl time convo.  I mentioned my interaction with the young man and how I felt about what his mom was doing while he was in the store.  There right smack dab in the middle of this ladies night I was called out for it, called out for MOM SHAMING!!  My sister called me out (she is such a pain and had previously posted about this the other day), but she was right.

Why do we as mothers tend to only see what another mother should be doing? Why do we assume the worse when someone’s child is misbehaving or appears to be disheveled?  I was ashamed.  I had no clue as to what this woman had going on. I automatically assumed that she was a “bad mom” because of what her child was doing.  Have you done that before, looked at another mom and shook your head in disgust because you thought she should be doing better?  I am a guilty party!  No one mom is better than any other, we all just have different styles and have to use the tools we have to raise our children.  This woman could have been on the phone handling business, trying to quiet the baby in the back seat, feed the other two and was rewarding this young man by letting him be a big boy and go make a purchase in the store.  I didn’t see that, I saw a neglectful mother.  Not to say that some of us could use a bit of correction every now and then, but we should not be made to feel guilty for being the best mom we can be.

What really turned this around for me was I was SHAMED! I was in ToysRUs with my three year old making a purchase for one of the other children.  We had to wait for the package and she began to whine because she wanted a toy.  I’m standing my ground, telling her no, it wasn’t her turn and then I see it, a full tantrum rearing its ugly head.  I could have caught it but just then, the employee comes out with this huge box right between us, and she begins a full meltdown.  As I walk around the box to calm her, I see another mom looking over shaking her head.  Was she judging me?!  Right there I was convicted.  That lady didn’t know that my daughter had not had a nap because we had been on the go all day, she didn’t know that I thought the store assembled my package and I just needed to pick it up only to find it out they had not, she did not know that I was rushing to get back home to take my other child to work and await my son’s arrival from his class, not to mention I was preparing for my periscope debut (Heels vs Flats) and the dog chewed the pair of heels I wanted to wear. I had all this going on and I’m sure something else I’m forgetting (oh yeah, I hadn’t ate yet) and she was shaking her head.

So, I challenge you moms, let’s not shame each other but instead be an inspiration, an encourager. If you see a mom struggling this week, if you can’t assist physically, say a prayer for her, we are all going through something trying to be the best we can be, let’s stop shaming each other.

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What Makes A Mom Dateable?

Tips from a few fellas I know. Ladies, variety is the spice of life so I searched within different cultures, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic and Indian.  Here are their thoughts in no specific order. (a little eye candy for my ladies)

  • Time Management. Ability to make time for me, but at the same time still make her children a priority.
  • Independent. Know that I am willing to help in any way that I can, but it is not my responsibility to take care of her kids (if we are only dating)
  • An educator. She has one of the greatest opportunities ever given, and that is to mold young people and make this world better. If she is not willing to teach her children the things they need to know in life, we can’t date.
  • Determined. She needs to know what she wants in life and have the confidence to go after it. Having kids should never be an excuse for not following your dreams, they should be a driving force.
  • Sense of humor. She should be able to laugh and relax without being in constant mom mode.
  • Versatile. She should be able to adapt to any environment, whether watching sports, at a 5 star restaurant, or vacationing on an island she should know how to present herself.
  • I’m dating her, not her ex. While I understand he is the father of her children, I’m not trying to be his best friend.
  • Know our relationship status. If we are dating and feeling each other out, I’m not ready to meet your parents.
  • Don’t just throw your kids on me and try to force a relationship between us. You know your children and hopefully will get to know me enough that you will pick a great time for us to meet. Hopefully we will naturally build our own bond.
  • YOU ARE NOT MY MOM!! I have a wonderful mother who raised me and she did a great job because you’re interested in me. You don’t have to re-raise me.
  • If we get to a point where we become intimate, don’t be afraid to initiate. Also don’t use I’m a mom as an excuse not to be intimate.
  • Be sexy, MOMS can be sexy! Know you’re sexy and embrace it.
  • Communicate how you feel. I won’t be able to guess it with subtle hints you’ve got to tell me
  • Be spontaneous, I love an adventurer
  • Be available for travel, whether we have to bring the kids or not, just want to do it and help make it happen
  • Think before you speak or act.
  • Appreciate sports. You may not know all the teams or even know the game but take interest because more than likely I’m interested
  • Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. I want to get to know you.
  • Open-minded. Have a willingness to experience new things.
  • Attractive. I know what I am attracted to and what I’m not attracted to so believe me when I tell you.
  • She must be able to get along with my friends.
  • Curvalicious (yeah, someone said it) I like a woman with some meat on her bones and her curves are in all the right places.

So ladies there you have it, a few helpful tips from a few handsome fellas. Hope you enjoy!

 

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Mom, Are You Dateable?

dateable momIf you’re a single mom have you ever asked yourself if you are dateable? What makes a person dateable? And if you are not dateable how do you become dateable? Lots of questions and maybe I have a few answers.

Not so long ago I found myself on the dating scene with no clue how to date. It was very awkward.  I got married when I was 19 so technically I don’t believe I had ever really dated, not as an adult.  So I began to go out, if you invited me I was there I wanted to be seen, put myself out there and let the fellas know I was on the market.  BIG MISTAKE!  I defined what I thought dating was and apparently the men I attracted did not agree with my definition of dating.  I had to go back to the drawing board and determine what was wrong, it couldn’t be me, I’m a catch or was it?! I had to re-evaluate my dating definition and determine if I was truly ready to date.  After some self-reflection I determined I was.  There were a few steps I needed to take though before making that big leap.

I looked in the mirror, was my look giving off an I want to date vibe. I’m not talking about dressing like a whore in church to get attention, but I didn’t want to look like I was going to work or the club or the PTA meeting.  Yes all those listed above have a look, at least in my opinion they do. In my opinion you want a nice casual look, something you can pull off.  All women have that outfit that is just them, it gives them confidence and they wear it well.  That my dear is your dateable outfit.  (Just a note, most men are visual creatures so gently accentuating your figure does not hurt).  Now, I keep a cute haircut, but my suggestion to those that think they have to do something drastic, keep it simple and cute, you’d hate to try to change your style up just for this date and end up not liking the guy or the new style.  For all you make-up enthusiast more power to you, I am a simple girl and believe that I need to flex my natural beauty.  Besides the first date is no time to try that new YouTube tutorial.  Make-up to me should enhance your natural beauty not give you a complete facelift. There you have it your date night look. (Suggestions at least)

The other thing I think you need as a dateable mom is confidence.  It’s scary out here, you don’t know if you should approach them or if you should wait for them to approach you.  Dating is a bunch of nerves that eventually works itself out, the first step, building the confidence to make yourself available.  I have no great advice for this, sorry.  So what did I do? If I was approached I would be friendly (unless they came with what I thought was a disrespectful approach, “hey what up little mama” I’m a grown woman).  If they peaked my interest I got their number, I didn’t want any crazies having my number, lol, but seriously. You have to realize that sometimes a date is just that a date.  Dinner and a movie, dinner, bowling, mini-golf, whatever it is, it’s just that enjoy the experience, don’t over analyze or plan out your future, just get to know that person.  Be confident enough to know that you are the catch and that he/she is lucky to have your attention.  Don’t be afraid to just be you, if something more is to grow you want them to know who you are not this person you think they want to see.  Now if you are really confident and you like what you see don’t be afraid to approach.  It doesn’t hurt for you to let someone know you are interested. It’s a scary thought rejection, but who knows you may encounter acceptance.  And if you are rejected, which I doubt you beautiful creature you, take that as God’s way of saying something better is coming your way.  Maintain your confidence and keep it moving, brighter days I guarantee are ahead.

As adorable and loving as our children are, you are more than just a mom. A dateable mom has to know when to bring up the topic of children.  You are made up of so many great things and although your children may be your greatest joy you have a million other attributes.  Now I’m not saying don’t let the person know you have children, but I am saying don’t whip out little Johnny’s school picture, birth certificate, report cards, and baby teeth.  This is a date and unless you know on the first date that this is your future, slow down, again enjoy the moment and enjoy having the attention on you for something besides being a mom.

Moms, we all deserve our fairytale, we deserve a partner that loves, values, and respects us. So have some fun along the way, they’re coming. You never know they may be just a date away.  Make yourself dateable.

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The Convenient Toy

toy gunSo the other day I inconveniently forgot an item I needed for dinner at the grocery. I got all the way home and realized it, there was no way I was going back to that grocery store.  So I opted to get the item, at a higher price, at the “convenient store.”  As I walked into the store a little boy about 7-8 years old walked in behind me.  He looked eager to get inside and purchase his item, he had his money in hand.  Me, being a mom, looked to see if he had walked there alone and saw his mom and what appeared to be other siblings sitting in a minivan waiting.  I find my item and we both make it to the counter at the same time.  Joking with him I asked him what he was buying, I told him I was nosy, lol.  Then I saw it, there on the counter, one of those toy packets that cost $1.99 and inside the packet was a toy gun.  My heart sank.  What disturbed me about the toy gun was that it was black and the little orange piece that’s supposed to make you aware it’s a toy gun was off in the plastic bag somewhere.  I asked him why he wanted that, he looked at me strangely.  He stated that he collected them, I then asked if maybe he might get a water gun as they are colorful.  He was bent on buying this one.  As we talked about why I was concerned about his purchase, I mentioned Tamir Rice and did he know who he was, he did.  I didn’t go into heavy details as I am not his parent but a concerned mom and everyone has their own parenting style.  But he knew enough to know what had happened to Tamir.  As we talked the store manager says, well if you’re his mom just tell him he can’t have it.  I informed him that I was not his mom, but that the young man reminded me of my own son.  Then the manager and the cashier simultaneously said “Why do you care?”  My response, why don’t you care?!  I told the little boy I would say a prayer for him and asked that he be very careful if he was going to play with the gun outside, he nodded and walked away. I then turned my attention to the store keepers. Why would they continue to sell these items in the wake of the Tamir Rice shooting, was $2.00 really worth a human life?!  No answer.  Well damn.

I want to make two notes here. One, this is why I am a firm believer in the “Village Raising a Child”.  It’s our responsibility as parents in our communities to ensure that each child has at least the opportunity to be better.  I know people will say these kids are disrespectful or that these parents be ready to fight if you say something to their child.  To that I say this, armor up!  We can’t continue with the way things are going and you may need to change your approach.  People are so ready as soon as they believe they are being disrespectful to “check them,” try speaking in love, which is a whole different series to touch on (get back to that later).  Think about how you are approaching children, some of these kids are hardcore and need the softer side of Sears (soft, lovable, not harmful in anyway) when being corrected or engaged.  Everything does not require a hand on the hip and finger pointing.  In order to actively change and affect our communities’ self-reflection is a must.  And if you encounter some loud talking parent ready to fight, you have another option, DON’T engage.  Some are attention seekers and are looking for that moment to prove themselves.  Prove them wrong and don’t entertain it.  Trust I know that what I am saying is hard, but we have to start somewhere.

Two, as a community it is our right to ensure that the businesses in our communities are promoting a safe environment for our families. We have got to become active again.  You cannot purchase items from the store that you know is selling cigarettes and alcohol to underage people.  You can take a stand against the club/bar on the corner not following proper security protocol.  We all see it and we all are guilty of overlooking it.  It’s time people, time to reclaim our communities, time to ensure a future for our children.  It doesn’t require a drastic all in one day change, but it does require to actively determine what you can do, within your own power, to help support your home.  So what small/big, random/focused act will you perform to start the change in your community today?  I just did mine.