Monthly Archives: June 2012

Time 4 the Talk!

The past week, I have been involved in some great debates. Some inclusive of the honey and his friends and some of just us girls. More of these debates will appear in future posts.

I never realized the responsibility of motherhood until the responsibility was mine. Until i was a teenager I never knew when times were tight or when there were issues in our home. We were taught to stay out of grown folks business. But to an extent I wish that wasn’t the rule. I feel some grown folks business should have been shared. Because I never saw or understood when a sacrifice was being made. I never realized all that my mother went through to raise us. I knew my mom worked 3 jobs and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. Never realizing until I got older that she sacrificed so much to keep a roof over our head. She had us involved in every activity and program you could think of. She picked us up and dropped us off, just so we would be somewhere safe for her to go back to work. Im still trying to figure out how she did it. Now Work Ethic was never an issue for my siblings and I. That’s one trait I know we all got from my mom. But I know a few things I lacked because my one on one time was divided in 3 while my mom worked 18 hour shifts. My sisters and I had such an age difference that by the time I needed someone to talk to; they were off doing their own thing. Like when I first got my period, I was at a family friends house after school. Luckily she had 10 children, 9 of them girls, who gave me my 1st period lesson. By the time I got home that night I think I avoided even discussing my period. But as I look back I was embarrassed by the fact that I went through this change in my life at somebody else’s house. I felt yucky and uncomfortable. We talked later but it was not the same. I needed that talk about my body, my feelings, my emotional changes. As I got older I felt more comfortable having those candid conversations with my mother. But I wish we had them more often when i was young.

In school, health education was the class that talked to you about your body and sex. But that class only discussed sexually transmitted diseases and nutrition. And it’s funny that now when we have these conversations my mom says ” well I thought they covered this stuff in health class”. Really???

What they don’t teach you is how to deal with changes in your body when it is relevant to you. After my first child my body changed soo much. I gained weight that I didn’t know how to deal with. I was 23 and none of my close girlfriends had children. I had these big swollen milk machines and just my luck my mom never wore a bra in her life. Her mosquito bites knew nothing of a double D. I had this extra kangaroo pouch tag-along post pregnancy to keep dry every day because my hormonal changes kept giving me hot flashes. Then I was a dancer most of my life, so even though I was PHAT, I was in shape. Now, my feet swelled like elephant hooves. I was in single digit sizes and hopped to double. Not no 10-12, i mean real double digits and I’m 5’2″. WOAH There, sooo not cute! And feeling like that commercial “I’m tired of my thighs rubbing together”, I had to reteach myself everything I knew about my body. I have to exfoliate and powder body parts I didn’t have before. I had to start a whole new routine that added an extra 20-30 minutes daily.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because times have changed and we need to make sure we have open discussions with our children. Not when something happens but before. Tell them the truth, give them pros and cons of life and keep an open line of communication. Like I explained before our 9 year old is maturing before our eyes and we have made the decision to really sit down with him to discuss relationships and the responsibility that comes with them. We have equally decided against the sex talk for now, but we are hoping the basics will postpone that for a year or two. Regardless we want to be the ones to divulge information properly, instead of all types of nonsense from his peers. Daddy will still chair the private discussions, but Mommy will get all details. I love being able to tell my kids where we started, where we messed up and how we made it through.

Do you talk to your children? Would you tell them about your failures and your achievements? What age have you or will you talk to your child about sex?

Categories: Parenting/The Kids | 2 Comments

No Kids!!!

Summer is here and the kids are away for two weeks. I don’t know about you, but I love when my kids go away. Don’t get me wrong, I miss them but I need my days off. Shoot, the saying “No Days Off” should have become popular from somebody’s mother not Wale.

Since they have been gone: 1) I’ve gotten some good sleep, 2) I can come home and not be obligated to cook a huge dinner, 3) I’m not breaking up an argument or dividing my time and attention to two separate interests 4) I can use the bathroom ALONE (nobody standing in the doorway, banging on the door, or talking to me through the door) , 5) I don’t have to make two extra trips before heading to work, 6) I don’t have to pull out anyone’s clothes but mine, 7) i can take a nice long bath while reading my own goodnight story, 8) if i wanna just get up and go, I’m gone. I say all this to say, Thank God and Grandparents for breaks!

Usually even when my kids are gone my routine doesn’t change as much as I wish. I’m still cleaning up around the house, washing clothes for when they return, stocking up on groceries for when they return, getting camp and summer school schedules together, scheduling doctors and dentists appointments for the upcoming year, looking into family vacation before school starts back up, and registering them for extracurricular activities and programs for the upcoming year. Mommy duty never stops even when you have a break. But while my babies are away I decided to really take this time out for me. I’m enjoying some date nights out with the honey, boosting my workout regimen, spending some nights out with the girls, getting in a spa day or two and having a few extra sips of alcohol. Lol, it ain’t easy reading a bedtime story with slurred speech.
And even though I’m not a serious drinker, it feels great to be able to hang out without leaving the party early.
I don’t know about everyone but for me, being a mother and always thinking about my children are constant. So I have learned to enjoy my time off as Jaye and not Mommy. This is also when I can turn up the romance with my man. Not wearing sweats and that long nightgown to bed, but switching the tracks from “the potty dance” to “Dance for you”. I’m kickin my heels up, raisin my wine glass, and stayin out all night.

Categories: Parenting/The Kids | 1 Comment

Fric and Frac (The Kids)

Let me tell you a little about Fric, Jay 9 and Frac, Ry 3. These two are the greatest joys of my life. They drive me nuts, but they are sooo pay back to the both of us. They are what we call “Half and Half” kids. J looks like me and acts like his dad and Ry is daddy’s twin but SO me. And still “Daddy’s Little Girl” applies.

Somehow, Overnight, they both are going through changes. Last Week, Jay asked me to step out of his room so he could talk to his father. (Huh?! What?! you are 9 little boy!,where they do that at?) , I thought. I stepped out and he starts whispering, so I get in my ear hustle stance. I will not divulge his secret but my baby is growing up.

For most of his life he has been our little dinosaur. I know y’all are probably puzzled, but I’m Dead Serious. When J was about 12 months he developed and undying love for dinosaurs. He walked like a dinosaur, ran like a dinosaur and would even walk up to people roaring. Before he could read or spell his own name, he knew how to pronounce dinosaur species that I had never heard of. Every birthday, every holiday all he wanted was dinosaurs. Books, movies, shoes, clothes, toys….everything dinosaur. At 3 he was discussing fossil genetics and using bone marrow to bring dinosaurs back to life. Pump your breaks!!!! Cause I know I’m not that comfortable to have them jokers cohabiting with me.
But we have always supported him. Til this day he has a career goal of being a paleontologists. He has always been my nerdy, laid back child. But this year we have seen our little dinosaur start to come out of his shell. In some ways I think his participation in boy scouts and playing soccer has boosted his confidence. Even hearing the conversations with his friends at school are straight comedy. His teachers have even noticed a more confident and outspoken 3rd grader. So far this year: I’m not allowed to pick out his clothes, I’m not allowed in the bathroom because he needs his privacy, he tells us when and how he wants his haircut and he’s having these secret meetings with his dad. My honey loves seeing these changes in him, but I’m trying to figure out what happened to my baby. Is there a such thing as “Pre-tweening”? Lol

Now Frac is a whole nother ball game. Ry is my Wild Child. She has been loud since she was a baby. Screaming for nothing. She is always into something and the child you can never take your eye off of. Always trying to be as big as her brother and thinks she’s his mother. She dresses up, dances, sings, tumbles, climbs, and in her eyes she’s a rock star. Well my little Rock star was back sliding on using the potty. It seemed like the change happened right after her 3rd birthday. For me, it was a horrible feeling as a mother to see my big girl still in pull ups. I felt like I failed her. I was frustrated and trying to keep my supportive attitude. Daddy is soo nonchalant about the whole situation and that frustrated me as well. But I eventually had to have the same approach as him or my hair was gonna fall out. To see her proud to go everyday, then to come home with the nerve to say “Hey Daddy! Guess what, I Did Not use the potty today.” and laugh.
Oh for real! Daddy hopped on board after that. How dare this 3 year old think it’s funny, when I’m the one wiping her nasty butt. We tried stickers, treats, buying panties she picked out, talking to the doctor and still it was a joke. It was like she still wanted to be a baby. At times the whole family would have to run upstairs to view her duty like an art exhibition. You can not just peek, you have to stare and comment. Lol
What did we do? She started losing privileges at home and at the daycare. I was so happy to know that we were all on the same page. What hurt her the most was looking out the window as everybody else played outside and not being able to use the iPad or the iPhone. Since i noticed that, I took a different approach. I deleted all her learning and game apps except for two potty apps on my phone. Now she runs to the bathroom just so she can be on my phone afterwards to record her potty victory, which eventually unlocked a game. Thank You Steve Jobs! She still misses every now again but for the most part she is back to using the potty. The doctor told me that sometimes when children are being pushed into being big kids they start reverting because they feel they are losing that baby affection. Sooo glad that my honey balances me out because, I was not a happy camper. I took my honey’s laid back approach, prayed on it everyday and it worked out.
These two together are like watching a minstrel show, but believe me there are more stories to come.

Is your child going through a milestone? How do you as parents handle the situation?

Categories: Parenting/The Kids | Tags: | Leave a comment

Appreciation- Happy Father’s Day

As you all know from my previous post I was not raised by my father. But there are so many men that played a role in my life to help me be who I am today. My grandfather, friends dads, godfathers, uncles, cousins, play big brothers, and friends. I have to give a special shout out to my god-brother who mentored me through those difficult teenage years. To All these men I will forever remain thankful. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am so thankful for the village of men that supported me. To my partner in life, thank you for being a wonderful father to our children. Sometimes I know I could say thank you a little more often and that’s something I’m working on. I appreciate your support, your willingness to listen, and your undying love.

Let the men in your life know you appreciate them. Tell them and show them in good and bad times. To All the great fathers out there, From me to you on this Father’s Day ,”I Appreciate You”!

What is a father?
A father is a man that lets the kids stay up and wonders why they can’t get up in the morning
A father says “You’re Okay” after every scrape and bruise
A man who says “fix your face”, ” go to your room”,”did u hear your mother”, “don’t make me get my belt”
A father is the same man that passes out on the floor fully clothed with his kids
A man who drinks the juice out the bottle and eats half of the kids snacks
A man who thinks candy or ice cream makes everything better
A father is a man who tests all the kids video games like he really didn’t buy them for himself
He makes you laugh when you cry, makes you feel safe when you’re scared
Makes you feel like you run the house until Mommy says different
A father is a man that accepts the fact that they are your biggest kid.
A father proclaims what his son will do and what his daughter won’t
A father is much more than a dad
A father sacrifices it all for his future by making the most of his present
A man who stands for his children
A man that teaches his children
A man whose there for his children
A Father Is…….
Everything I see in you

Happy Fathers Day!

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Loving You Keeps him Loving You (How We Met)

Growing up, I was LOUD!!! Talkative, funny, but LOUD! My whole family was. I was very opinionated and a little too honest, so they say. I couldn’t stand seeing people being taken advantage of or hurt. I made a lot of battles my own that were not my own. All because I had a big heart. It’s funny because that’s how me and my honey met.

I was 15, enrolled in a new school, in a new neighborhood and my grandmother had just passed. I was upset with the changes in my life and started to become secluded. I had been dancing since I was 3 and wanted to take dance as my afternoon elective, because it was also my way of dealing with stress. That first week of school was crazy and not because I was new. But events took place that week that I never expected. The first person to introduce themselves to me was a girl who was 8 months pregnant. She was so petite and nice and yet I’m still in awe that I was 15 with a pregnant friend. Most of my friends had not even had sex yet. She was really smart and could talk your head off about anything. At first, because of what I was taught by my grandmother, I almost was scared to be seen with her. You know the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”. But why would I not be her friend just because of her situation. Her lessons were hers and I chose not to judge her for that. During our dance class on my 2nd day at school we started encountering bullying by some upperclassmen. You could tell it was done to haze the new girl, but I wasn’t feeling it. I ignored it for 2 days and then……….”WTF decides to push an 8 month old pregnant girl down in the locker room”. I Lost It! Every frustration, every pain, every bit of anger from my grandmothers death ended up all over the floor and apart of my bullies face. I didn’t even remember how it stopped. All I knew was that my friend was hurt and who knew if her baby was okay. Next thing I know hundreds of people were around and I was being carried to the principals office and The bully was hauled out on a stretcher. I still remember shaking uncontrollably looking at the blood on my hands. I was suspended for 1/2 day and had to write an essay about my actions. The next day I had people talking to me and coming up to me about what I did like I was some type of hero. But for me it was just how I was. I hated the fact that it went there but, I have ALWAYS been very protective of my friends and family. So, back to my crazy week with my new found friend. Her childs father also attended our school and at that time I guess their relationship was over and he wasn’t all in yet for being a daddy. This is where my honey comes in. My girlfriend keeps telling me about a new student that grew up around her ex boyfriends neighborhood and how she was going to get him to beat up her baby’s father. I had no intentions of being apart of this world wind but it was amusing. During my 6th period I had class in the portables and as we are walking she starts screaming this guys name. I’m laughing inside because I’m thinking this must be a nickname. He walks up and she introduces us. He looked Japanese with cornrows so I was really confused. He was sweet and laid back with the cutest smile. Her baby’s father was 6’3″ and at that time Rue was 5’9″. So I look at him and start saying ” you gonna fight him cause he need to be whooped for not taking care of his responsibility”. LOUD and wrong because I really didn’t know the situation but was just supporting my friend. He thought I was funny and LOUD, but he liked it. He had no intentions of getting involved in their drama because he was new to the school as well. From that day on he started inquiring about me.

For years, I forgot myself. How spontaneous, loyal and fun I was. That’s what attracted him to me. I was happy in my own skin and wanted everyone to feel the same way. But as I aged I moved away from being ME. Caught up in other people’s judgements that I lost sight of myself. I LOVED Me growing up, not in conceit but real love for myself. And from society, peer pressure, and numerous other things I started to second guess myself. It was like a part of me died with my grandmother. My beautiful brown grandmother who knew how to tell her brown baby that brown was in even when it wasn’t.

Even with my mother being my rock I still felt she couldn’t understand me.
Here is why:
Me -the darkest of my siblings, my hair was thick (nappy as people said back then), I was born with thick hips and solid legs with a calf muscle that could balance a seesaw.

Mom- light skin, fine curly hair, thin in the waist, hips and a shelf for a buttocks

It took years for me to throw out all the negative remarks I endured over the years from family, friends, and people that evidently had issues themselves.

“why you don’t have hair like your mother?my sisters teasing that I was adopted, why your legs so thick? How come you are so dark?

And all in All it is because God made me the way I’m supposed to be. Either Love Me or Leave me alone. But forgetting myself and fighting over other people’s perceptions was pushing away the man who fell in love with me.
Now that I’ve gotten back to the 1st true love of my life-ME, The possibilities are endless.

“Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life, and that person was you. It is not too late to become that person again.” Robert Brault

Categories: Couples Session | Leave a comment

Abandonment Issues

I am the baby of my family and my parents separated when I was 2.  I never realized how much that had an affect on me until my dad took his last breath.  Out of my sisters, I was the only one that had no real memory or connection to my dad.  The part that was really crazy to me was that all my life he lived and worked in the same city that we were raised in.  How could you not want to see your children or get to know them? I don’t think I even discussed him with my closest of friends. But it hurt!

When I was 16 my mother received mail regarding child support and of course this was the day I decided it was time to confront my dad. I didn’t care whether he liked what I had to say, cared about what I had to say, but he was definitely going to hear it. I called the only number they had listed for him and it was his work number.  When I called his boss answered and was delighted to connect me to him, which kind of through me off.  How can YOU be excited about his daughter calling? My dad came to the phone and I hear “Hey Baby!”. Huh?, Baby? i thought. I spoke up after a brief pause, “Hi, this is Jameelah and I would like for us to have lunch”. He agreed.  The following week I caught the metro down to his job. I didn’t know what to expect because all I knew were photo memories.  I walked into his basement office and was greeted and hugged by co-workers like they were apart of my family and watched me grow up. When my path cleared I saw a man about 5’10” walking towards me. He looked like the photos I remember but weak and frail. Out of his mouth came “WOW, there’s my baby!”, And I cried. Yes, I cried. I had never heard my father call me anything, nonetheless a term of endearment. Even in my anger, for that moment I was daddy’s little girl.

We had lunch and I decided to do exactly what I planned, discuss my feelings of an absentee father and to ask the questions I needed answered. Why did you leave? Why did you not come back for us? How could you be in the same city and miss every birthday, holiday, graduation? Why were we not important? He was shocked that I had so much to say but he took it and once I shut up responded, “I’m Sorry” There was soo much more that came out that conversation that day, that we ended up meeting for lunch every month thereafter. I also learned that day that my dad was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and chronic kidney failure.

For 10 years we got to know each other a little more. My honey was the only friend to ever meet my dad. He even made his way across town to be at the hospital the day our son was born. For that I felt good that after 23 years he was finally accepting his role as a father and grandfather. Now if I could only get him in a room with my siblings. Which was hard because he wasn’t ready to face that guilt. In 2006 after 6 months of fighting infections from dialysis, he passed. And for those 6 months I was right by his side and my honey supported me every step of the way.

In the time I spent with him I learned that my anger and feeling abandoned only hurt me.  As I reflected on my past relationships, they all ended from my fear of being abandoned. That same feeling from my dad not being there, when I thought he should. I am so happy that I faced my dad and was able to move forward. I would not change my decision for anything. I realized space is a necessity in all relationships. You need space from your partner, space from your children, space from family. Doesn’t always mean there is trouble in paradise. Sometimes, it even makes the relationship stronger. Let Go and Let God!

R.I.P Irvin Carter Jr. Image

Do/Did you have daddy issues? Are you scared to address them? Have a phone conversation, write a letter. Trust me, its worth it.

Categories: Couples Session | 3 Comments

Be the Woman to your Man

My purpose for writing this blog is to open up my world of singles that live together and have children together making it work. All relationships require work. Even the relationships and bonds we form with our children. I have been with my significant other for 11 years…yes, 11 years. I know a lot of folks frown upon or have judgements of individuals being in relationships for that long and not taking the big plunge. But for me these years and time have been a growth process for me and my honey. Personally being raised by a Single Mother gave me a disadvantage early in my relationship and in previous relationships. Of course being raised by a single woman is nothing bad,but having years of observing my mother take charge and be both man and woman in our household did not teach me how to be a woman in my relationships. I was taught to lead, take care of business, to run a household, to make decisions and all of this without input. So being taught that for 21 years of my life it was hard to take a back seat when a man stepped up. But I learned and Thank God for that. I didn’t change over night because I had grown accustomed to being in charge of me, my decisions and my life. But when you decide to include someone else in that plan, you also have to make a decision to change. Not only did this adjustment affect how we dealt with each other but with our children. I’m pretty sure ALL mothers feel ” if I don’t handle it, it won’t be handled right”. But what I’ve learned is even if it’s not how you want it done or when you want it done, you having that help is what matters. Step back, breathe and let your man do his part. Our single mothers teach us to be strong but they should also teach us that stepping back is not a weakness.

Do you wear the pants or do you let your man? Does this cause tension in your relationship? Have u learned to step back?

“Woman was taken out of man; not out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled underfoot; but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved” Unknown

Categories: Couples Session | 10 Comments

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