“Hey, my name is Lamonique Mason often referred to as Beans and The Pillow Plug. I’m 25 years old. I’m a dedicated, optimistic, success driven, thriving, single mother. I am the mother of 2 beautiful children. My son Jahari is 9 and my daughter De’Leyah is 6. They motivate me to strive harder every day.”
RAVEN: How do you maintain running a business and being a mom?
LAMONIQUE: I took a leap out on faith and invested in myself. Between my business and my children they occupy majority of my time. I try to get most of my running and delivering done in the day time when my children are in school. Also in the evenings I get most of my work done. My children are a major help. They’re so interested and intrigued by my craft they sit with me in the lab and help with several things. They actually make the process a little easier.
RAVEN: How did you get started making pillows ?
LAMONIQUE: I learned how to make pillows when I was 8 years old at a summer camp in the smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY. It was so amusing to me that Incould actually make a pillow. I continued making them over the years , but never took it seriously as a career move. It was more so a hobby.
RAVEN: As a single mother have you ever thought “Gosh I can’t do this” and why?
LAMONIQUE: Yes, all the time. I have plenty of days when I feel discouraged or don’t wanna deal with life. I’m a hypersensitive person and it doesn’t take much to overwhelm me. So sometimes I have to have conversations with myself and remind myself it is okay. “Breathe beans Breathe beans”.
RAVEN: What is your biggest worry about your children’s future?
LAMONIQUE: I pray everyday for my children to have a whole healthy mind. With a stable mental state you can conquer anything, but with a weak depressed unstable mental state everything can fall apart and I say that from experience. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety and I overcame it but it wasn’t easy.
RAVEN: What traits of your own mother do you think you’ve inherited?
LAMONIQUE: My mother is the most understanding person I ever met and I definitely see that characteristic in myself. I remember seeing and hearing my mother understand people. She always listened and understood where someone was coming from. A funny thing my mom used to do that I now do is prepare several meals in one night. *laughs out loud* My son might want steak but my daughter wants shrimp Alfredo so I make both.
RAVEN: After losing your children’s father, how did you explain to them what was happening?
LAMONIQUE: I remember like yesterday sitting in the car with my children after my son’s football game on October 24th, 2015 less then 20 hours after their father had been killed. I was crying and they ask momma what’s wrong? I tried so hard to explain it to their understanding. They were 6 and 3 at the time. We hugged for a few minutes.
RAVEN: Has it gotten any easier for them?
LAMONIQUE: My son has extreme faith in God and he feels that God needed his daddy more then him. My daughter says they talk almost every night in her dreams. She also says he’s in the sky when we’re in the car. So their coping methods keep them pretty level headed. My son has discussions about him and wants to start a movement in his name.
RAVEN: When you get free time away from your babies, what do you like to do?
LAMONIQUE: When my children are gone I enjoy supplies shopping and fabric shopping. I spend time experimenting and getting more acquainted with my programs and equipment. I am a health freak so I spend plenty of time in the gym and running in the park.
RAVEN: What is your greatest accomplishment as a mom?
LAMONIQUE: My greatest accomplishment this far as a mom is graduating college. My son talked about my high school graduation for years and I felt like I owed it to him to see me walk again. The joy and excitement in my children’s faces when I walked across the stage was indescribable. I’ll never forget that moment. They were so proud of their mother. I felt like I had done something right.
“Hey, I'm Chasta, most people know me as Chas. I'm 24 with 2 handsome, healthy boys, Ja'Khi (8) and J'Kari (6months). My life literally revolves around them. I am full time student, hospital employee and football mom. I'm also a travel agent in my free time.”
RAVEN: When did you first notice the abuse?
CHASTA: It wasn’t until the abuse became physical that I realized it was abuse. At the time I didn’t really know the different types of abuse or see the signs that led up to the physical. A lot of verbal abuse went on but I paid it no mind. I just assumed he had no other way to let out his frustrations so he lashed out on me. We were together a year and a half before it became physical, that being on the day I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son.
RAVEN: Were you able to tell family and friends or did you feel embarrassed?
CHASTA: None of my family knew and we were all under the same roof. I hid it so well! I wouldn’t say I was embarrassed but more so trying to hide it from my mother. I watched her go through DV (domestic violence) and vowed to never go through anything like that. So I guess you could say I was more so trying to protect her feelings. I knew she would be devastated to know that her daughter was going through similar situations. My best friend at the time didn’t know until after the fact. I really never opened up about it, I wrote it in my journal and that was it.
RAVEN: How old were you?
CHASTA: We got together in the beginning of my freshman year in high school, I was 14 going on 15. I found out I was pregnant in January of my sophomore year, I was 16 at the time. The abuse was on going until I finally left when my son was a little over a year old. Even after I left we had a couple of incidents, due to me feeling sorry for my son I allowed him around.
RAVEN: Do you feel that because you were young people wouldn’t believe you when you said you were in a domestic relationship?
CHASTA: I think that because domestic violence wasn’t such a big of a problem back then, if I spoke out I would have gotten overlooked or people would’ve just brushed it off. I was told once before that, he was just playing, we were kids, etc. Just mentioning it to a friend to get an opinion, they took it as a joke.
RAVEN: How did you protect your son at the time? Did he ever witness the abuse?
CHASTA: The first physical incident that I can recall, was when I first found out I was pregnant with my son. I told him and he immediately started throwing blows to my stomach, I fell and he kicked me in my stomach over and over. Obviously he didn’t want my baby, but me being young and dumb, I looked past it when the apologies came. When my son got here, I distanced myself a lot, days when I felt like something was going to go down I sent him with my sister. I never allowed him to see me when my face was messed up. Even though he was so young and innocent, I was ashamed. I couldn’t let my baby see me at my weak points. My biggest fear was that he would put his hands on my kid so I kept him away!!!!
RAVEN: When did you finally decide that enough was enough? Was it hard for you to leave?
CHASTA: The day that I almost lost my life is when I decided to pack up and leave. I plotted for months on how I would leave before hand, but because no one in the household knew what was going on it was kind of hard. That day in particular we stayed at my sister’s house for my nieces party. I won’t go into detail because it’s much too graphic, I wouldn’t have sex with him and things went left from there. He forced himself on me, hit and choked me until I lost consciousness. Honestly to this day I can’t tell you what happened after that, I know that when I woke up the next morning I was lying in a bed. My face was swollen, I had a black eye, and bruises everywhere. I took me and my son’s things to a friend’s house and stayed with her. I left my family behind and in the dark about things for the longest. Before that incident I had called the police but because he lived there more than 30 days, they said that I had to go through court and legally evict him if he wouldn't leave willingly. That was a big block in me leaving. I think it was hard for me to leave because I didn't want to hurt my son.
RAVEN: What truly made you stay?
CHASTA: I was so young and naïve, I believed all obvious lies. The biggest thing that made me stay was fear. He’d threaten to kill me if I left so much and I believed him. His temper was so bad that I could see myself laying in a casket in my dreams. I stayed because I wanted my son to have his father, something I didn’t have. I didn’t realize until I got older that his father was someone he didn’t need.
RAVEN: Are you in a happy place right now in your life?
CHASTA: I am at the happiest I’ve ever been right now. I have never been in a place where smiling is what I want to do most. I have the unconditional love of my children. I’ve finally found myself and I am at peace. I had to accept everything I’ve endured and forgive him even though I know he was not sorry, in order for me to completely move on with life.
RAVEN: How did you build your self-love for yourself?
CHASTA: I still struggle with self-love, but I’m a work in progress. I let him drill in my head that I’d never be good enough for anyone but him. At one point I believed him and I wouldn’t date. I was so scared to end up in the same situation. I had to cover up so many bruises, black eyes, and busted lips that I eventually gave up on my appearance. My confidence went down, to me I was ugly! Currently I have a man who makes me feel more beautiful than ever. Simple things he says or does that’s helped build that confidence I needed back up.
RAVEN: If you could tell another mom/woman that’s in the same situation as you were one thing, what would you say to her?
CHASTA: The biggest thing I’d tell a woman in the same situation as me, is get out immediately. Especially if kids are involved, kids see more than you think. If you notice the signs early, LEAVE! Whether it’s verbal or even mental abuse, those little things that you overlook soon become blows to the face. Also, tell someone, I’ve never been the type to open up, but my biggest regret is not telling my mom what was going on with me.
“Hey! Im Kyseana , Poohdee, or Key Key. I’m 25. I’m a broken , yet strong, smart, caring single parent with two very handsome, intelligent boys whom I love with every bone in my body.”
RAVEN: What has motherhood been like for you?
KYSEANA: Whew. Motherhood has been so challenging and rewarding all in one. It’s like an adrenaline rush at times. It’s the greatest experience any female can go through. It’s priceless. It’s stressful. It’s teaching. Motherhood has been everything under the sun for me. It’s not something anyone will ever be fully prepared for, you just put your big girl pants on and do it. There’s no better feeling in the world than knowing that another human being loves you unconditionally no matter what. There is no greater love than the love a child has for their mother.
RAVEN: Today marks 7 years since the father of your first born was murdered.. What has life been like for you these past 7 years raising your son without his father?
KYSEANA: The last 7 years has been humbling. We’ve had our lows and darkest days, but we’ve also had the brightest days to share together. My goal for him since that tramatic day was to allow our son to live his life without a care in the world. There’s just some things a father has to be present for to raise a child. We’ve been through so much together. My son has seen me at my lowest and highest. We’ve cried together, laughed together, we’ve prayed together. Everything we do is together. We have such an amazing bond and I am forever grateful that Jamel was able to leave behind such a priceless, irreplaceable gift.
RAVEN: How do you explain to your son that his father isn’t coming back?
KYSEANA: It’s strange, my son pretty much knows and understands how death and the cycle of life works already. As soon as I gave birth to my son he knew mommy and daddy loved him no matter what. At a very young age, my mom, Jamel’s mom and myself has explained to baby Jamel that daddy is in a better place. He knows that he will never be able to physically see him, but he will talk to him anytime of the day. It has gotten harder in ways but easier in other ways to talk about it with him. As a baby and toddler I could just sit and talk to him and cry and not have answer the questions he would ask. It made it easier to explain and get emotions out at the same time. Now that he’s older, I have to hold back those tears and answer any questions he may have no matter how hard it may be. I owe 100% honest answers to him (and that child comes up with some of the most mind blowing questions). It’s always been straightforward, no sugar coating with explaining the topic with him.
RAVEN: I remember that day very well when I got the call from our friend and rushing to the hospital to be with you because you were pregnant at the time.. We didn’t say much at that time but how did you feel when you was told he was gone?
KYSEANA: I was honestly in complete shock. My soul hurt so bad. It felt like everything had been taken from me. It’s a unexplainable feeling to be in. Being barely 18 years old and 36 weeks pregnant I knew i had to hold it together for the health of my baby, but babyyyy it was a tough task to do. It was a feeling that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I couldn’t concentrate, eat, drink or think straight. The only thing on my mind was lowering my blood pressure and calming down so that I could get out of that hospital and get to my baby because I knew he needed me.
RAVEN: If you could go back to that day, what would you have done differently?
KYSEANA: I’ve beat myself up over this question for 7 years now. I always ask myself, why did you go home Kyseana? Why didn’t you just stay the night again? If I could go back, I would have stayed with him again. I would have just taken my mommas car after she told me no just to be next to him.
RAVEN: What was the grieving process like for you?
KYSEANA: Oh lord. It was dark and depressing. I had so many friends and family calling and texting and stopping by, but all I really wanted at the time was to be alone. I shut everyone out. I turned my phone off and I just cried, cried, cried. I held it all together anytime I had company but anytime I was alone, I cried. It was so hard and I’m thankful Tammie Kendricks (Jamel’s mom) noticed what was going on with me. She started forcing me to talk to her about things. She assured me that I would be okay. She pushed me to enroll back into college and I eventually just pushed it out of my mind to try getting past it. It probably wasn’t the healthiest thing to do, but it worked for me at the time. I still have my days where I slip and go into a depressing state, but I realize that no matter what these kids need their mother to be strong for them. How will they make it if mommy can’t?
RAVEN: Do you feel a piece is missing from your life?
KYSEANA: A peice is absolutely missing. It has been for 7 years. Yes I have our son to look at and see him through him everyday, but it could have been me looking at the two of them everyday.
RAVEN: What has been your copping mechanisms these past seven years? How do you manage to stay strong?
KYSEANA: I honestly try to just keep myself busy, I focus in on our memories vs today. Doing crafts and painting has helped out recently as well. I want to get more in tune with painting how i feel. The only thing that keeps me going strong are my two beautiful, smart, caring boys. They know when mommy isn’t herself or when its hurting me and they always reassure me that everything is going to be ok. You never know how strong you are until you have to be just that. I have my talks with Jamel while I’m alone. I go to his grave site and just sit and watch.
RAVEN: Your son never got to meet his father.. How did you incorporate his father in his life without him physically being there?
KYSEANA: Well, I didn’t really have a choice as far as his name goes. *laughs out loud* I agreed to compromise and give him a son named after him when we found out what we were having. Nana has a enormous collage of Jamel’s life that we sit and look at each time we stop by. Baby Jamel has his dad’s trophies in his room and plays sports and follows behind alot of things he did as a child growing up.
RAVEN: Did you ever think you would have more children?
KYSEANA: I told myself I would never have another child again after Jamel passed away. I didn’t even want to date again. I remember crying one day saying no one would ever be good enough to be with me after what he’s shown me as a friend and lover. To this day, no one comes close still. *laughs out loud*
RAVEN: If you could say one thing to your son’s father today, what would you tell him?
KYSEANA: I would say I love you forever and always will. I miss you more than you will ever know. Thank you so much for this great lesson and blessing in my life. As much as it kills me inside to do this alone physically, I know that you are always here in spirits with us. Just continue to guide our son down the right path and always be there for him. He misses you so much even though he has never had the chance to see, or feel you physically. You two have such an amazing bond that no one will ever understand except you two. Until we meet again Jamel. I’ll continue to make you proud, our son proud and live life as you would want me to. 🖤💔
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
FREDJANE’: I became a mother to my handsome son Mason 10/29/2015.
RAVEN: I’ve followed you for a while and you are truly a strong mama.. Could you tell me a little about the type of cancer your son had?
FREDJANE’: Thank you. Mason had a very common childhood cancer, Medulloblastoma he had a tumor growing on his cerebellum which effected his ability to walk. I literally had no idea. He never complained of anything. Two months before finding out I took Mason to see a eye specialist due to his eyes started to turn inward. They said everything was fine and prescribed him glasses, then his balance started being a little off. He was falling more than usual he couldn’t really balance himself like he usually could. I knew something wasn’t right but every Dr. literally said he was okay and would grow out of it.
RAVEN: What was your first reaction when finding out?
FREDJANE’ : My reaction when I found out I cried and cried. I mean finding out my two year had cancer was a true nightmare like WHAT? No way. The day I took Mason to the ER because he literally couldn’t walk and he threw up prior to his nap, the nurses was like he may have a UTI or ear infection. I demanded that they ran extra test and they did a CT scan and seen his brain was swollen due to fluid built up. The tumor that was growing was blocking his spinal fluids from draining from his brain. They immediately rushed us to ICU. I dropped to the floor and screamed the look on the nurses face I knew it was bad. The next morning, Mason got an MRI done and the oncologist was for certain it was cancer. Mason had emergency brain surgery the next day. I didn’t have time to adjust or accept what was going on everything was moving so fast. After surgery my son couldn’t talk, walk, move or nothing it was like a true nightmare.
RAVEN: How did you keep your spirits up for you & your son during that time?
FREDJANE’: Waking up everyday and watching my two year old son kick cancers ass with the biggest smile and still be his goofy self kept my spirits high. I knew God had him covered. He had his days but 85% of the time he was his regular self. Everything he went through endless doctors appointments, aggressive treatments, being stuck by endless needles, therapy, MRI’s etc. he smiled through it all. That’s what made me happy and let me know everything was going to be okay. I never cried in front of him. If he could smile and be happy all while battling cancer there wasn’t a reason for me not to keep my spirits high.
RAVEN: What was the biggest challenge for you?
FREDJANE’: This biggest challenge for me was accepting the fact my son had cancer. I was in denial for months. It was very depressing, then deciding to do treatments away from home was so hard. At one point we were down in Memphis by ourselves for months. I begged them to let him at least finish his chemo at Kosair. I was losing myself and that’s something I couldn’t allow to happen. Mason needed me, he was depending on my strength.
RAVEN: You’ve shared before that you had to give up everything to move to Memphis for a few months.. How was that experience? Was it hard for you?
FREDJANE’: It was truly the worst in the beginning. I was just starting my new job at Frazier, we just moved into our house we was just getting settled and we had to up and leave so unexpectedly. My social life was gone. Everything was snatched. When we got to Memphis I was like there’s no way im going to be able to do a year here. I absolutely hated Memphis. Whew chileee talk about the ghetto *laughs out loud* but St. Jude is such a great hospital. They gave us our own apartment and they helped us tremendously. Helped me pay bills that I still had back at home. Endless resources and they figured out solutions to everything that had me stressed out and they fed us good food *laughs out loud* but I still missed working. I was bored too death. I drove home almost every weekend which was tiring. Being away from family and friends at a time I needed them was the hardest, but they were very supportive throughout this whole journey. We missed every holiday due to his treatment but I still made sure he had a big Christmas even though it was just us two.
RAVEN: No mother wants to see their child sick, hurt, or in pain..Where does you strength come from?
FREDJANE’: My strength comes from the unconditional love I have for my son. I’ll do anything for him, if I could’ve fought cancer for him I would have. Being a single mom I’ve always had to figure things out on my own. So my “it ain’t nothing I can’t handle” mindset was in full effect. I did my own research on who/where was best for my son to seek treatment. St Jude specializes in the type of cancer Mason was diagnosed with. So I was like that’s where we’re head. This was a time my son needed me most and I told myself I don’t care what I got to sacrifice, I’ll give it all up for him and that’s exactly what I did.
RAVEN: When did you became to see progress in your son’s health?
FREDJANE’: Mason’s health started doing a dramatic turn towards the end of his chemo treatment. In the beginning we was told he only had a 30% chance of survival but once treatment started his tumors was shrinking and disappearing. Thank God!! We was finally starting to get good news and I was able to breathe again. It wasn’t all good in the beginning I didn’t know what the outcome of it all was going to be. So once we started receiving good news I was more relaxed and relieved. I knew my baby was going to beat this. He never let it take over him. He’s a true fighter!!
RAVEN: Now that your son has beat cancer.. What is your plans for life for the both of you? What are some of your goals you’ve been wanting to accomplish?
FREDJANE’: My plans now is getting back to working in the hospital. You’d think I’d be tired of it by now but that’s just something I love doing. I also plan to enroll into nursing school next semester. I plan to get into a home owners program as well. I literally came home and got right to it. I’ve already tackled some of my goals and we are moving soon. I also gotta make sure Mason has a normal of a life as possible despite the continuous dr appointments. I make sure he doesn’t miss out on being a two year old.
RAVEN: In this moment I’m leaving a space open for you to say whatever it is on your heart to encourage and inspire another mom out there that may be going through a similar situation.. Go!
FREDJANE’: I would like to tell any mother/ single mother that no matter what situation life throws at you, there’s NOTHING you can’t handle. Be strong minded and don’t let nothing or nobody discourage you and if you have a child with a disability, sickness, or anything just know God has them covered don’t listen to them doctors. God has the last say so. Keep a positive mind always. Don’t let your negative thoughts or worries distract you. And lastly PRAY ❤️
”Hey moms, my name is Krista! I am a 26 year old mother of 3, born and raised in Louisville, Ky. My children's age and names are Journey (9), Kyree (4) and Nazir (under 1). I recently quit a well paying job to pursue my dream career of being coming a nurse. I have a very loving fiancé, we don't currently have a wedding date set because we are focused on chasing our goals first so our family is set.”
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
KRISTA: Well..... I became a mom at 16 years old and I wouldn't trade the timing for nothing in this world.
RAVEN: What was your first reaction?
KRISTA: My reaction was ohhh sh*t, I have to call Hondie. (Hondie is a big sister to me and is actually Journey's god mommy). My mom said she knew I was pregnant before I told her. I remember her kept asking if my "friend" came in town yet lol because we always would have our monthly visit around the same time.
RAVEN: I myself was a teenage mom and I truly didn’t enjoy my pregnancy due to being young and embarrassed.. What was pregnant like for you?
KRISTA: Being only 16 years old I really didn't pay attention to the way my body was changing during pregnancy. I mean I had the normal morning sickness my first trimester and my boobs actually looked like I had some. *laughs out loud* Pregnancy wasn't so bad. I did hate when older women would stare at me or say "little girl you're a baby having a baby.” Ugh that grind my gears, but I would just smile and say "I know, I know" when in all reality I wanted to tell them "mind they business". There was another time when I was out of town and I got in a jacuzzi (not realizing I was boiling the baby). I didn't feel her move the remainder of the trip, she finally start moving on our way back home.
RAVEN: Were you a single mom? If so what was it like for you being young?
RAVEN: Was I a single mother.... *laughs out loud* there was definitely no ring on my finger, but I guess her father and I were off and on like any normal 16 &18 year old couples. I did have our daughter majority of the time because we did not live together of course and because I'm mama and we always make sacrifices. Being a mom so young would probably discourage a lot of people and I tell you people definitely lose faith in you. My dad cut me off, I had so many people telling me that my mom was going to have my child more than me, or I wasn't going to graduate and I just made my life so much more harder. The naysayers were definitely wrong. I went to TAPP (teenage parenting program) School, graduated with 3.9 GPA. I rarely asked people to watch my daughter, when my daughter was gone, it was because people wanted her. She only went with a small group of people that I trusted.
RAVEN: What was the biggest challenge for you being a teen mom?
KRISTA: The biggest challenge of being a teen mom was watching my friends enjoy their teenage years. I didn't get to hang out after prom, it was go to prom then go home to baby. I didn't get to go to Florida for spring break, it was go to work so I could provide for my child. While it was a challenge to have to watch and hear about all the fun that I was missing, I quickly snapped back into reality because my whole life I really never had a childhood. Before I even became a "real" mom, I did most of the motherly duties with my little sister, that is why I was so prepared to make the bed I decided to lay in!
RAVEN: I’m a big advocate for teen parents.. Do you ever think about giving back to the teen parent
KRISTA: I constantly think about giving back to the teenage mom community. I honestly just don't know where to begin! I can say that after being on the MTV documentary back in 2010 about being a teen mom and going to T.A.P.P I received hundreds of friend request and inbox messages that I actually responded to one at a time. I gave real and raw advise and still to this day I will freely and openly talk to any young teenager who is a mom. Being in that documentary presented many opportunities and one was going to speak to a social work class every year at U of L. I told my story for the last 5 years over and over to a group of students pursuing a career in social work. If you know any teen mom who needs a positive spirit in their life I am totally available and honored to that!
RAVEN: How did becoming a mom at a young age change you?
KRISTA: Becoming a teen mom not only changed me positively but it also saved me. My daughter Journey saved me. I was so lost, had low self esteem and was suicidal like crazy. I didn't feel loved, my biological father wasn't in my life (he decided to come when I was 18), I had daddy issues, I've experienced everything a young child/girl shouldn't have had to experience and I wanted to give up. I didn't want to live and yes I did try to end all of my pain and depression. When I found out I was pregnant it enlightened me, it gave me a reason. I knew I could give this little human-being love and a life I never had but always wanted. Being a teen mom made me push harder, beat every odd stacked against me and experience a love that I knew existed.
RAVEN: Do you feel it prepared you for your other children?
KRISTA: Being a teen mom did not prepare me for my other children, as I mentioned earlier my little sister prepared me. I was eight when she was born and I was doing her hair, helping her with home work, baby sitting her and to top it off most of the times when I went to spend the night with my friends she was coming with me. Being a teen mom did allow me to pay attention to all my other pregnancies. Each time I noticed something different about the pregnancy and I learned how my patience and maturity level increased from 16 to 22 to 26.
RAVEN: What’s one thing you’ve overcome being a mom?
KRISTA: Being a mom I have overcame many obstacles but the greatest was the lack of self love I had. Being a mom allows me to love myself and take care of myself so much harder now because a mother figure to me told me a long time ago "I can possibly take care of anyone else, if I can't take care of myself" and that was in all aspects. I have learned what not to do with my children based on how my upbringing was and I don't fully blame my mother because she had a rough childhood herself. I decided to break the cycle instead of repeat it.
RAVEN: If you could encourage one teen mom.. What would you say to her?
KRISTA: If I could encourage one teen mom I would tell her not to give up. It's not going to be easy but keep striving. Love herself and know that her child(ren) are looking up to her. Don't be apart of the statistic status-quo, prove to them that you are capable and that being a mom so young did not happen by accident.
“My name is Ebony, but most people know me as Qayy. I am a 26 years old with 2 beautiful healthy children. I enjoy spending time with them and spending time with my family”
RAVEN: How did becoming a mother change you?
EBONY: Becoming a mother changed me in a MAJOR way! When I say major I mean it. Anybody that knows me should know that. Before I was blessed with my kids I was WILD. Emphasize on wild but now I have a purpose. I know what I went through as a child and I wanna make sure I give my kids the world. I want them to be the opposite of what I was. If I could change a lot from my past lord knows I would and it starts with me. I have to be that positive role model for my babies. I am who they look up to so from the moment I received that news I knew it was crunch time! I had to get up and plan a better future and I did just that.
RAVEN: Who does your children remind you of the most?
EBONY: My daughter reminds me of me and my son reminds me of his daddy. They look and act just like the two of us. Everybody always says they look like the two of us walking next to each other just mini’sz *laughs out loud*
RAVEN: What’s one of your favorite proud mom moment?
EBONY: Everyday is a proud moment to me as a mother. I cherish every moment. I think I cherish a little more considering the fact I had a stillborn 9 months pregnant as a freshman in high school. There is a lot of mothers that have lost, miscarried, and buried a child. That’s a pain that may never heal. So I enjoy and love watching my kids grow to be smarter, brighter, and learn more day by day! Everyday is a proud moment to me as a mother
RAVEN: What is your relationship like with your own mother?
EBONY: Ats my dawgggggg (lil baby’s voice) *laughs out loud* No, but I love my mama! She’s such a survivor. 7 years in December my baby will be clean and sober from an addiction that caused us to miss some of our childhood, but that didn’t make or break us it only made us stronger and wiser! Her struggle is what made me. One of the most strongest I know! Shout outs to LISA!
RAVEN: What traits of your own mother do you think you have inherited?
EBONY: Other than the fact that we look like twins/sisters I think I inherited her skill of motivation and self love. I’ve never met a person that’s been threw so much and been judged by so many that still loves herself as much as she does. She’s so dope! I used to be so embarrassed as a kid having a mother who was on drugs but it does not bother me one bit now because she’s so beautiful and much stronger. It’s really true only the strong survive!
RAVEN: Are you a single mom or do you co-parent? Is it hard for you?
EBONY: I co-parent. It’s always helpful to have that other helping hand. I’m very blessed to have someone who loves my kids and puts them first. Nothing in life is easy if you ask me. Everybody struggles at times, worry at times, want more at times, etc. The list could go on and on but that’s what prayer is for as well as faith and as long as you talk to god there’s nothing you can’t do!
RAVEN: When you get free time away from your babies what are some things you like to do?
EBONY: Free time away from my kids is called ME TIME! That doesn’t always mean I gotta be doing anything sometimes it may just be a time to rest. Time to clean. Wash clothes. Get my nails done. Meditating time.
RAVEN: If you could tell a new mom one thing about parenting, what would it be?
EBONY: If I could tell a new mom one thing about parenting it would be to keep God and your kids first. Always no matter what remember that you are who your child looks up to so set an example. Build a relationship with God and follow his word. Live for your kids and them only! And lastly live your life by this quote “Let your smile change the world, Don’t let the world change your smile!” ❤️
"My name is Bria Maddox. Im married with a 1 year old. We currently live in Arizona. We moved here for better opportunities for my career and our daughter. I’m a Content Creator and news producer for the Fox owned and operated station here. I love what I do. I love being in media. I’m 25 years old and I feel like the sky is the limit for me. I love writing, it’s my passion and something I know I’m very good at. I also love being a mom. I don’t want anymore kids because I want to put my all into my daughter and my all into my career. And I think being a mom of one will allow me to do that. It might sound selfish, but I want to build an empire for her."
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
BRIA: I became a mom on May 5th, 2017. I felt like a mom when I was pregnant, but nothing compared to the moment I first laid eyes on my baby girl. It was truly the moment I knew she belonged to me, and I belonged to her.
RAVEN: What is some of the challenges you face when it comes to being a mother?
BRIA: I think the most challenging part is time management. When I’m off I plan to get things done, but I always end up just being “lazy” and not doing anything. It’s hard because I’m so tired all the time. I work full time, come home, take care of my baby, sometimes cook dinner and then have to do it all again the next day. I think that’s why I struggle with using my time wisely. Once the weekend is gone, I realize I didn’t get anything done. I also think one of the things that contributes to this is the fact that Luna is more attached to me than her dad. My husband helps but most nights Luna stays up waiting for me to put her sleep instead of letting her dad handle it. She rather has me do things for her than him, so it makes it hard for me to have some “me time.”
RAVEN: What are some things you’ve learned from your own mother?
BRIA: I learned how to be strong, independent, and how to handle business no matter what is thrown at you. She has always been the one to keep the house together and I think that’s why I push myself the extreme, so she can see that I too can do that for my family.
RAVEN: Do you see yourself in her?
BRIA: Definitely! Some days my attitude is like hers and its crazy. I’m caring and easy going like she is. I’m also frugal because of her.
RAVEN: How do you like to enjoy your free time away from you daughter?
BRIA: Reading and writing. Those are things that I have had limited time to do since she was born, so I like to try to do them when I have free time. I also like to have date nights with my husband, because since we became parents, we have had to learn how to keep the romance while balancing a toddler.
RAVEN: What is one thing you want to teach her?
BRIA: The number one thing I want to teach Luna is to let her be herself. I want her to shine and be the best she can be, and I believe she can only do that by being herself and knowing her self-worth. Along the way I have learned that no one is going to go as hard for you as you. so it is important to be you and fight for what you know you deserve!
RAVEN: I seen that you blog as well.. What is your blog about and who is your audience?
BRIA: My blog is a lifestyle blog. I like to write and create videos about my life experiences, health & fitness, and just the journey of being a young person. I love to tell stories, so this is just a way to help people along the way and to get my feelings out. I usually write for millennial women, but some stories I try to include young men as well.
RAVEN: How do want people to feel when reading your blog?
BRIA: I want them to feel inspired. When I write, I want people to read and connect to what I’m saying. I think it’s important to share your experiences because you never know whose watching and who needs a helping hand. So, if I can inspire someone, then I know my job is done.
RAVEN: As moms we always feel like we have to have it all together, can you tell me a time when you just didn’t have it all together and it showed?
BRIA: Well I haven’t had many experiences just yet since I’m still so new, but there was a time when I felt so lost. Luna was still in the newborn phase and I worked 3rd shift. My sister in law was staying with us to help, but there were still things I wanted to do. Well, Luna was having trouble going to sleep one night and I had to be at work at 1 a.m. I struggled and finally my husband said, give her to her aunt you obviously can’t get her to sleep. She goes to sleep better with her aunt. In that moment I felt like I had failed as a mom. All I could think, was how dare he challenge my skills as a mother. I knew he had good intentions and just wanted me to get rest, but I wanted to be the one to do it all. We argued, and I realized he was right, I can’t do it all. So now, I’m quick to ask for help when I’m lost about what to do.
RAVEN: I’m a mom of three boys so I may never get to experience what it’s like to have a daughter.. What is it like for you to be a mom of a girl? What is some things you have to make sure you teach her before you leave this earth?
BRIA: I always wanted to have a little girl. I literally prayed for her to be a girl. I guess because I grew up with two brothers and wanted a girl to teach to be like me. So being a mom of a girl is amazing. It’s like having a walking shadow. She is learning to do so much, and some days I notice her copying me and I just love it. I want her to one day say mom, I want to be just like you. So, I strive to be the best at everything so she can have her personal super hero. before I leave this earth, I want her to know how to be independent. That was the number one thing my parents taught me. They wanted me to learn how to take care of myself and my brothers if something was to happen to them, so it’s a trait I have embedded in me that I want to pass to Luna. I want her to know she can do anything by herself and that she doesn’t need anyone, not even me to do it for her.
Please check out Bria’s Blog:
”Hey everyone my name is Teresa Reid (Joanne Marie) I am 26 years old with 3 kids. One son, two daughters ages 3,5 & 8.”
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
TERESA: I became a mom at a young age, I gave birth to my first born son 9 days after my sixteenth birthday but shortly after the delivery he passed away. Two years later I had my daughter Leveah who is now 8.
RAVEN: What was it like for you to lose a child? How did you heal?
TERESA: Losing a child is the worst thing you could go through. Feeling a life inside you grow kick and move for months just to give birth and go home empty handed with an empty hateful heart. I don’t wish that on any parent! It’s been 10 years but til this day it still hurts like it happen yesterday. I remember everything. I still wonder what my life would be like with a 10 year old little boy. I know I would have loved him so much because I loved him so much before I knew him. They say time heals all wounds but it doesn’t it only gets a little easier over time.
RAVEN: What are some of your learning experiences being a mom?
TERESA: As a mother life teaches you so many things. Becoming a mother makes you wiser and stronger as a human being. Some learning experiences I have had since being a mother is to never depend on anyone! Having your own kids gives you motivation to where no matter how when or what you have to make it on your own. A mother provides, protects and by any means she will get the job done! I have also learned to be careful with who my kids are around because in my eyes no one is to be trusted, no one can love and provide for your kids like you can. It’s more of a protection thing.
RAVEN: What is one of the hardest things you’ve dealt with being a mom?
TERESA: The hardest thing I have dealt with being a mom is seeing my kids hurt. Hurt from being abused, hurt from missing a parent, hurt from going through things kids should never have to go through in life. As a mother no one wants to see their child being mistreated or hurt in any way.
RAVEN: As mothers we try out hardest to protect our children, what is one thing you’ve felt you needed to protect when it comes to your children?
TERESA: When it comes to my children I failed at not having my peace protected. Every parents peace should be protected! Your kids should know and feel that you are truly happy!
RAVEN: One of your biggest accomplishments being a mom?
TERESA: One of my biggest accomplishments as a mother was recent. I took all of my kids to Disney world and I say this is a big accomplishment for me because when I was 6 years old my father and grandmother took me and my siblings & it was one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve ever had. I always wanted to experience that joy with my own kids. The trip was very successful!
RAVEN: What is your overall goal for your children and self?
TERESA: My overall goal for me and my kids is to live a life comfortably, happy and to always make them proud! My siblings all have degrees and that makes me want to go back to school as well. I just want a life for my kids that is well deserved.
RAVEN: What is like having a blended/bonus family?
TERESA: Now that I have the man I always wanted, he has 3 kids and they are my bonus babies! They give me so much joy! The bond I have with them is amazing! I would do anything for them as for own children! I treat them just like their mine! All the kids get along and I just love it!
RAVEN: I’ve always looked up to you being a young hardworking mom, how do you manage being a full time mom and worker?
TERESA: Thank you so much & honestly I just do it. Being a full time mother having minimum help working 7days a week is hard as hell but I do it because I made those babies & they didn’t ask for a hard life. Sometimes I break down and shed a few tears here and there because my health isn’t in top shape, I’ve had heart problems for the last 2years and I have a blot clot disorder in my stomach but I keep it pushing and I pray a lot. One thing my grandma always told me was to take care of your kids no matter what and God will always continue to bless you! I think that’s how I’m still able! My mindset is just to give them everything they need and want plus a little more. I hate working everyday honestly but the job I have keeps the bills paid, and 3kids taken care of without struggling. I know they may not be happy with me working so much but it’s only to get to where I want to be when I’m a little older. I still manage to do things with them and go places but to me that’s still not enough. I wish I could give them more of me but I’m still battling being a single parent. Everyday it gets better.
RAVEN: What are some things you learned from your own mom?
TERESA: I love my mom to death she has taught me a lot. The most important thing I’ve learned from her was to never give up! No matter how many times you get knocked down get back up! Always love your kids unconditionally, cheer them on even at their worst times and pave the way for their future.
“Heyyy y’all!!! My name is Shaquita, I’m a 26 year old mommy of twins! I love people. I love meeting people and I just love surrounding myself around positive energy!! Most of you all may know me as a bartender! That’s something I love to do!!!!! I’m a bartender at Virtue the Venue and at Legends night club! Y’all should come see me, come have a drink or nice glass of wine!!!!! I’m super excited to talk to Raven y’all just don’t know this movement she has going on, it’s pretty dope! You will never know how many people actually don’t have no one to talk to about things like this!!! Thank you raven!”
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
SHAQUITA: I became a mom, a twin mom I’ll say lol on May 27th 2014, I was 23 years old.
RAVEN: What is twin mom life like for you?
SHAQUITA: What is twin mom like for me? Lol I dont know where to start. It’s fun, wild, exciting, draining, and overwhelming at times but most of all it’s amazing! At times I still can’t believe I have twins but it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
RAVEN: What are some differences and similarities you see in your boys?
SHAQUITA: The twins are like night and day lol! They are defiantly double trouble. Jamarcus is the one who likes to talk your head off, he loves everybody even if he doesn’t know you. He will talk your head off lol, he wakes up talking and won’t stop. Then there’s Jamari who is a little more quiet. He has to get to know you before he even wants to talk to you. He’s not as friendly as Jamarcus. He’s actually the mean twin lol! There’s things like sports, Jamarcus loves football and loves to “rap” but Jamari loves baseball and loves to dance, he can sit and watch a video and learn the moves in minutes. Jamarcus always gets mad when he can’t keep up lol! They are different but what they have the same is their heart, it’s just as big as mine!!!!
RAVEN: As you know I’m a twin mom myself.. When I first found out I was having twins I was terrified.. How did you feel when you found out?
SHAQUITA: When I first found out I was having twins, I sat and cried like a baby. I couldn’t believe it. I had so many emotions running through my head, I’ve shared this story a while back I actually found out I was having twins while at the abortion clinic. There’s no way I could have went through with that. I ran out crying, feeling horrible!!! I still think and feel bad about even having those thoughts in mind because it’s by far the best decision I ever made in my life was to become a mommy of twins!!
RAVEN: If you could go back to when you first had your babies what would you have done differently?
SHAQUITA: I’ve read that question over and over and I can’t think of anything I would have did different. When I first had my kids I had my family who was there for us. Without them I wouldn’t have made it!!! My mama was there every step of the way. My big sister would come and stay at the hospital with me just so I could get sleep. They made me feel comfortable about everything I did!
RAVEN: Do you and the father of your boys co-parent? If so, how is it working for you guys?
SHAQUITA: Co-parenting! Let’s just say I’m still trying and it’s so hard, but all I can think about is my babies and how much they love they daddy so I do everything in my power to make sure I’m doing right on my end to make sure me and the twins dad get this co-parenting together. However, I will say it takes 2.. We have to work together as parents.
RAVEN: Co-parenting has to be a challenge.. How do you manage being a mom and having a social life?
I was hoping you asked me this question. Being a mom and having a social life? Let me tell you when I first had the twins I thought my social life was over. The first 10 months of my kids life I didn’t want to do nothing but sit up under my babies. I remember the first time I went out with a friend I literally sat there in the car and cried. She was so mad at me. She was like “Well why did u come?” Her not understanding at the time because she wasn’t a first time mother. Oh, but let me tell you as a mother you have to learn how to have a social life and I’m not just talking about clubs and drinking. I’m talking about even if it’s just going to work out with a group of people, going to the movies, just having a break from the kids that doesn’t make you a bad mom! If you have people you trust who are willing to watch your babies so you can go enjoy yourself go do it, you deserve it!!!! It bothers me when moms are bashed for going out enjoying themselves. My mama told me when the twins was first born “You still have a whole life ahead of you. I’ll always be here to watch your kids when you need me don’t stop living” and she meant that and I appreciate her more then she would ever know!!! *laughs out loud*
RAVEN: *giggles* Why are you laughing?
SHAQUITA: I’m laughing because let me tell you, on Friday nights when I come in the house from bartending and enjoying my night it could be 4 in the morning but guess what? Saturday mornings I’m still up at 8 in the morning making sure the twins had breakfast and spending time with them. Sometimes I even have a hangover lol but I’m still up!!! So baby don’t think your social life is over because it’s not. Always remember this, social hours are around 9-12 maybe till 3 in the morning, your babies are sleep!!!! No matter how many times I’m out til’ morning my babies wake up to me and I make sure I take them to daycare and that’s all that matters.
RAVEN: I can so relate to that.. Right now though I’m so caught up in my twins going out hasn’t been on my mind, I’ll have make a few drinks though.. lol I’m new to the twin mom world.. Could you give me one piece of advice?
SHAQUITA: Enjoy them! Twins are really something special and any women who has twins is something special. Every women can get pregnant but every women can’t have twins!! I know at times it gets frustrating because I’m telling you I still get like that now, but if you have people around you who want to help you let them! It doesn’t make you any less of a mother. It’s true when they say it takes a village to raise kids because my support system is strong and I’m blessed!!
RAVEN: I’ve truly had to learn that.. Thank you. My support system is amazing between my parents and boyfriends family. It’s a true blessing. I myself though, truly admire you & how you take care of your boys. You work hard and still make time for them.. How do you do it?
SHAQUITA: Awww thank you. I appreciate that raven!! I kind of answered it a little up there, but this may seem weird but I have myself on a schedule. There’s certain nights that’s strictly dedicated to my babies. I’m a bartender so the nights I’m not bartending it’s strictly for them. Every Saturday and Sunday morning I don’t care how tired I am I make sure I wake up early with my babies. I let them tell me what they want to eat rather it’s McDonald or whatever. I just spend time with them!! Every morning I make sure I get them ready for daycare. We wake up early just so we can go over what they learned the day before, and I make sure they wake up to me every morning. It’s the small things that counts, even them helping take trash out. We clean the house, dance around, we have this thing where we have a concert every morning in the car lol. My day wouldn’t go good without that early morning turn up with my babies! Some days when they spend the night with their dad I don’t even like staying home. You know how that goes! Most of all my support system they help me so much and it’s truly a blessing!!!
RAVEN: When you leave this world, what is one thing you want to make sure you’ve taught your boys?
SHAQUITA: One thing I want to make sure I’ve taught my boys is how to love and how to be honest. I make sure I hug and kiss my babies and tell them I love them every single day, because in this cruel world when you lack love as a child you can easily turn out to be someone who runs around hurting people just because you was never taught how to love and be honest!! When your hurt is pure, God always have a way of making things work out in your favor💗❤️
“Hello Everyone, I’m Kelly Bundy! Still standing at 28 long, painful and aggressive years. I have three children, 2 girls and a baby boy. I’ve been married to my husband for 3 years now. We haven’t had the pleasure of having any children together yet but he loves mine as his own. I’m an online radio host for 97thebeatfm.com alongside my co host Jamarcus Noe and Dj Ice.”
RAVEN: When did you become a mom?
KELLY: I became a mom in 2007 but unfortunately my child didn’t make it due to complications from my already high risk pregnancy. That very next year I was blessed to carry and give birth to another baby girl.
RAVEN: What is your ultimate goal as a mother?
KELLY: My ultimate goal is to have the government approve and support me and my husbands child support insurance business (Kamronsway.com). We know with the help of the community we can keep so many men and women in our community out of prison and provide jobs to keep them on track with their payments.
RAVEN: What is one life lesson you have learned from your experiences being a mother?
KELLY: The one life lesson I have learned from my experience of being a mother is to raise my children on love and not survival. I want them to grow up and work for everything they want out of life and not feel as though they have to be disloyal, jealous or devilish because of someone else’s success. It’s okay to be happy for others on your level or doing better than you. Learn from your peers.
RAVEN: How do you manage to keep things together for your family? What keeps you going everyday?
KELLY: I manage to keep things together for my family by praying and hustling. I’m motivated by my children and the death of their father. Simply knowing I’m all they have in this world is all the fuel I need to keep going.
RAVEN: If you could go back and make one change in life what would it be?
KELLY: If I could make one change in my life it would be loving others more than I loved myself. I wouldn’t change anything else because this pain I’ve endured has made me the beast I am.
RAVEN: What’s makes each of your children unique?
KELLY: My children are all unique in their own way because they all have purposeful talents that will always be in demand. My oldest daughter, Kemiya is this undeniably identical replica of me. All she needs is a beat and you can count on her showing off her moves. She dreams of being a back up dancer for the stars. She’s a lover and protector by nature. Keriyae is my middle child. She does hair, nails, lashes, make up and makes tutus. My son plays football and has the heart of a lion. He’s only 6 but has an old soul as if he was a lot older. He’s a mamas boy lol.
RAVEN: After becoming a mom, did your love increases for your own mother?
KELLY: After becoming a mom my love didn’t increase because I’ve always had such a great mom but my level of appreciation definitely changed. The sacrifices that she made I didn’t understand then what I know now.
RAVEN: The father of your children is no longer here with us.. How do you keep their spirits high when they are missing their father?
KELLY: Being that my children’s father is deceased, I keep them in good spirits by helping them remember the good memories and reminding them that he’s in a better place.
RAVEN: If you could give one piece of a advice to a new or soon to be mom, what would it be?
KELLY: If I could give one piece of advice to a new or soon to be mom would be to never give up on your children. It will not always be easy and times will get stressful but be there to give unconditional love to your babies. No matter the circumstances God daw you fit so thank him for your blessings by doing right by them.