Update

Hey everyone as you might have seen from the lack of post I’m taking a little hiatus from my blog right now but I’ll be back mid March. I will be posting a March playlist on the 4th but that’ll be my only post for awhile as I’m having a bit of writers block and not really sure what direction I really want to take this blog – so I’m going to use this mini break to figure it all out.

In the mean time check out my recent blog posts and I’ll see everyone soon!

Also in the mean time if you can donate to my friends gofundme page I’ll post the link. She’s an African American artist and at just 27 has gotten a painting in a museum. However, the museum her painting is being shown in is in Los Angeles (and we love in Atlanta) she wants to be able to go see her painting in person and so the gofundme is for that purpose. The museum her work is in is the California African American Museum. The image on this post is the painting that got into the museum. https://www.gofundme.com/help-ariel-get-to-cali-for-her-1st-museum-exhibit?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_cpgnstaticxlarge_r

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Mom Talk #5

The Sexual Mother.

I’ve never been prude about sex or about the number of lovers I’ve had anything. I think it’s important for women to experience as much or as little as they want. But sensual energy is very important to my being. Finding what gives your body pleasure and what doesn’t it’s like opening a whole field of the women’s psyche.

As a mother I know society would rather have moms be domestic. Subservient to the father or male counterpart of the relationship. That the mother should be not too loud not too much.

Especially mothers of girls. It’s like now all of a sudden I am no longer an individual person but only a mother and a mother that needs to act a certain way about sex and sensuality so that my daughter doesn’t pick up on bad habits. That I need to dress a certain way to be respected and taken seriously.

But why does sex have to be a bad habit? My daughters 3 and I’m not at yet in the area of needing to explain matters to her about sex or educate her. However, I’ve thought of her being a teenager and I know already I’m not at all going to be restrictive. I’m not going to act like sex isn’t a thing. I’m not going to tell her she can’t have sex until marriage. It’s not my decision to make about her body. Just like it’s not anyone’s decision to tell a women after giving birth how she should behave.

There are plenty of women who are mothers breaking stereotypes saying they can be still be sexual beings. Amber Rose being the one that mainly comes to mind with her annual Slut Walk campaign. But if I got a dollar for each time I get into an argument with a man about how her walk is enlightening and they instead think she’s just allowing women to be “hoes” without shame or guilt I’d be a millionaire.

The double standard between men and women and acts of sex is so profound it’s a subject I never think will ever be completely healed. Patriarchy killed the sexual woman. It put her into a little nest box that said virginity is the utmost respectful thing you can give a man – that virginity is a gift. That having a low body count means you respect yourself that you respect your body.

I was raised in a Christian household but from an early age I knew that these certain expectations weren’t for me. Why can’t my body be both a temple and mine to make decisions for? Where did the discord happen that women shouldn’t have autonomy over their own bodies?

Is sex really so bad? Or does the notion of a woman being confident in her body and wanting pleasure that offends people into thinking a mother cannot be but one thing.

What are your thoughts?

Children’s Books Black History Month Edition

Here’s a short list and description of some children’s books to read to your kids during black history month.

1. Little Leaders Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. It’s a book for kids a little older but Sage who is 3 likes looking at the illustrations and I just read her the woman’s name and occupation.

2. Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins. Such a motivational book for any black child.

3. Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen. A dream book for a little girl obsessed with ballets and dancing and dresses. Not to mention so much history in Debbie Allen’s accomplishments.

4. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. Cutest illustrations with a big meaning and a funny story. Girls can be scientist. Little black girls can be scientists.

5. Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn. A book to get your child excited about reading books.

6. A Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhane Wallis. This book would have been published by the author when she was 13 if that’s not a big enough feat to read this book to your children I don’t know what is.

In retrospect I also realized all these books are about AA women (I guess cause I have a daughter) but these are just some books we already had that showed African American representation. What books would you recommend for younger kids to start learning about African American History? Leave some comments for me on what you’re reading to your children this month.

Photos from Hey Black Child.

Photos from Ada Twist, Scientist.

Sage’s 3rd Birthday Recap

Sage turned 3 last Friday. And I took her to children’s museum in Atlanta. Sage had fallen asleep in the car on the way there so when we first got to the museum she was a little overwhelmed so we went to the water fishing area first because there were less people in that section of the museum she had fun. Kept saying she was catching fish with her daddy. The other exhibits or sections of the museum is the kitchen a building/ball area, a jungle gym, painting station, Daniel the tiger section with houses and mail and stuff and a sand section.

There are also classes you can sign your kid up for but they go fast. We got to the museum later than I wanted to and the spots for the classes were already filled.

Sage wore a dress because that’s usually all she wants to wear anyway and even if we live in Georgia it’s still winter time. And she wanted to wear a crown so yes I was that extra parent for the day. She had a lot of fun there was a reading time of Daniel the tiger at like 2:30 but she didn’t want to sit for it.

The kitchen area is defiantly a Waffle House replica even if it doesn’t say so anywhere. That’s where most of the kids were and there was food everywhere I’m pretty sure it was Sage’s favorite section too. She kept making plates of food for her dad and myself and naming all the food or asking us what something was.

We stayed at the museum until close then went and got food. Sage picked this hot pink icing for cupcakes (which I forgot to get a photo of) she doesn’t really like cake and just ate the icing off a few.

My parents flew in to celebrate Sage’s birthday with her on Saturday and we went to yard house, a candy store downtown and to chuckie cheese. Next year for Sage’s birthday I hope she’ll have some friends from being in school (fingers crossed she starts this August) and I can actually throw her a birthday party.

Here’s some cute photos from her birthday and Saturday when we went to chuckie cheese.

Potty Training

I began potty training Sage over the summer but I’m not going to lie I wasn’t consistent at all. Between work and other things potty-training wasn’t a priority on my list of daily things to do. We transitioned to pull-ups with no fuss. Then started sitting her on the potty to get her used to it. And it kind of became a game for her. She liked sitting on the toilet and saying she had to go potty (even though she wasn’t yet) and she liked feeling a sense of independence and saying “I do it”. She did get really interested in her female parts during this time too and would ask me what things were down there for the first time.This led to print out coloring sheets with labeled body parts.

So, potty training is just an overall learning experience I wasn’t prepared for. My sister suggested (because she did this with my niece) that I should give Sage a reward like candy for using the bathroom in the toilet but I didn’t really like the idea so I never started it. Sage found it enjoyable without the “treat” and is now telling me when she has to go potty on her own without me asking her.

She still wears pull-ups to bed (haven’t figured this one out yet) but during the day she doesn’t (this includes during naps) and she hasn’t had many accidents once she got the hang of it. In the beginning she did have a couple accidents and wet herself while wearing underwear but she fully understands now and can feel the difference between her pull-up and undies- and if she’s wearing undies will say she has to go potty.

We got to this stage of understanding by having talks after she would have accidents me telling her I wasn’t mad at her and reminding her to tell me when she had to go potty. I also just started taking her to the bathroom every hour when she had on undies. This got her in the habit of knowing okay when I feel the urge to go I need to go to the bathroom. Talking and explaining things to Sage repeatedly really helped her to understand and get the concept of using the bathroom.

Getting her to use the bathroom to go poo I knew would be hard I don’t know about other toddlers but Sage would always go to the same spot squat down and poo then tell me she had. But the transition to her using the toilet and pooping really wasn’t that bad.

Every time Sage uses the bathroom in the potty she exclaims “I did it” so it is fun for her she likes knowing she can do something with her body on her own. Still working on the wiping but I’m so proud of my baby. Sage does use a separate like booster toilet seat because she’s dramatic and swears she’ll fall in the toilet without it. So, if you’re having trouble getting your little one to be comfortable sitting on the toilet seat I suggest purchasing a kiddie one.

I’m going to leave some tips that I found helpful and links.

1. You should definitely purchase toddler flushable wipes. These were a game changer because Sage would go through the motions using so much tissue when she didn’t even use the bathroom. Also it helps them be able to wipe themselves more efficiently. I get mine from target they’re the up and up brand and super affordable.

2. Like I said I suggest getting a training seat for an actual toilet but there also are those toddler/baby toilets that could be helpful in the very beginning with just helping your child get used to the act of sitting on a potty. You can also let your child personalize this mini toilet with stickers, paint, etc.

3. Help your child get comfortable with the toilet. So, whatever they need to feel comfortable using the bathroom do it.

4. Kids learn by imitation so having an open door policy is a good start to showing your child how to use the bathroom and correctly wipe. I did this even before potty training because I’m usually the only one home with my daughter and need to be able to keep an eye on her even when nature calls.

5. Let your child pick out their underwear Sage has trolls and poppy and of course that motivated her to want to wear undies instead of her pull-ups. The little things will help your child get used to this change smoothly.

Here’s some links I used while potty training with more tips to help ya potty train your little one.

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a548953/potty-training-for-girls

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/potty-training/tips/potty-training-tips/

Mom Talk #4

This mom talk might be a little sensitive to some mommas. Because I’m talking about co-parenting this month. I never thought I would identify as a single mom. Sage’s father was there my whole pregnancy and after for 9 months we did live together and try to make things work. There of course was a limbo period where we didn’t know what we were doing but I think we’re almost (knock on wood) in an okay place. I don’t have set rules or regulations for co-parenting I don’t like confrontation and have a hard time asserting myself. I’m learning to ask for what I want. Whether is a night off to hang out with my friends or just a night off for self-care. At first it was hard for me to ask for help with buying things Sage needed or ask for a break but co-parenting does get easier. I know society has conditioned women to believe their place is at home with their kids and sacrifice sacrifice sacrifice but that doesn’t have to be your reality. You can be happy with your child or children and happy alone having a night off (and this is whether you co-parent or have a husband). Never be afraid to ask for what it is you need as a mother to feel your best mentally and emotionally.

Sage is not yet on a set schedule when it comes to co-parenting but I would like her to be (if any of you co-parenting moms or dads have tips on scheduling let me know). I have had issues with accountability sometimes Sage’s father doesn’t do as much as he should and the responsibility usually falls on me to provide financially. As well as being her primary caretaker (which is why identify as a single mom). But he is there for her he’s her dad and really her best friend they have a bond and when he is around it’s like I don’t exist – so I make things work for her.

However, co-parenting is not about the parents and all about the child. Well, it’s a little about the parents because things need to be worked out and parents need to be on the same understanding when it comes to their child’s needs. But other than that it’s about doing what’s best for the child and not taking things personally when things come up (cause they will). Parenting isn’t a perfect system and co-parenting isn’t either. There is a lot of growth that has to happen with both parents for things to work. Separating your personal relationship from your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent is key to making this relationship work.

Co-parenting should be consistent similar rules, discipline, and rewards so your child knows what to expect with both parents this also won’t lead to confusion. Never vent to your child about the parent in a co-parenting situation. Stay focused on your child and less worried about what the other parent is or isn’t doing – however if problems do arise setting a meeting time without children present to talk through issues and resolve them will be beneficial to all involved.

Co-parenting is team work. Approach the relationship in a business like manner and keep conversations focused on your child as to not get past feelings mixed up. Always be respectful in dealing with the other parent and communicate effectively. Request for things instead of demanding and making comments about things that you want to happen but aren’t. And realize that with any relationship a co-parenting one requires work and communication to work effectively. If you and the other parent can stay focused on your child things should run smoothly. Also make big decisions together don’t make them in the spur of the moment then later talk to the other parent about it. Being mindful will go along way in keeping the relationship healthy and unstrained.

Your child’s emotional and mental well-being is more important than any petty thing that can come up in a co-parenting relationship just remember this and keep this in mind and co-parenting might at least feel better when things do come up.

Personally, I do my best to only focus on Sage when it comes to co-parenting as long as she is okay and happy I try not to let a lot of things bother me. If you co-parent and you feel overly stressed in an area whether it’s financially, mentally, emotionally or even in your physical body it may be time to communicate this with your co-parenting partner and come up with a plan to get things more relaxed. I know moms feel the need to do a be all things but we don’t have to anymore it’s okay to help and expect help from the person who helped bring your child into this world. Do not be afraid. And co-parenting gets easier and if it doesn’t take legal measures to get what you need for your child and for you.

Mom Talk #1

Hey everyone,
I’ve really wanted to start a dialogue of sorts here on my blog and on Instagram where mother’s can discuss certain topics that we all may go through or think through. The first one has to do with my recent vacation girls trip to Cuba. I know there’s a lot of stigma around mother’s having their own lives outside of their children. More often than not mother’s can be looked at as “bad moms” or as selfish in pursuing their own endeavors. Society can be hard on mother’s while also not trying to understand the many mental and emotional battles mother’s go through. Yes, I am a mother but I am also woman and girl. And those other titles have just as many responsibilities to self as mother has to my daughter. When a girl has her period she has her first lesson in what it means to not be in control of what the outside world thinks of her – her body and how she should feel. Well, who knew that this would only get more extreme when a woman becomes a mother.
It is way more acceptable for men to have a life outside of the home. Go out for drinks after work, go on business trips etc. But when a mother does these things its “how do you cope with being away from your children?” or its the judgment “oh, I could never leave my kids for that long”. I know having discussions about these issues isn’t going to make everyone agree or even everyone see these situations differently but I think its time the conversations about these things became more and more common.
I myself had these same judgements and questions come up when I decided to go on this trip to Cuba for a week for my friends birthday. Many family members asked me why I couldn’t shorten the trip. Or they made comments about do you think your daughter will be okay. This of course made me doubt if I should be going on the trip at all. And it did make me worry about my daughters well being even though she was going to be with her father and grandmother for the week. It is always I feel a struggle an inner one an emotional and mental one for me to ask others to take care of or watch Sage if I’m doing something that is personal for me and not time away for work. But I know this struggle is more so a society stigma that I have picked up on. Is a mother a bad mother for having a social life? Is a mother a bad mother for prioritizing a social life? Or time to herself? Is self-care extended to moms?
These are all questions I want to discuss and start a dialogue around. Leave comments or stories here. Leave tips or advice. Or talk about your own struggles with this topic. I want to continue this discussion on my Instagram as well. @motherandspirit_

 

I look forward to interacting with you all on this topic!

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