At what age did/will you sit your son down and give him the “talk”? I’m not talking about the “birds and the bees” talk but the “Being a black man in America” talk. I am a mother of three handsome African Americans boys and I know that one day the time is going to come where I am going to have to sit them down and have this talk with them. The sad thing is they won’t understand why we have to have this conversation until they get older and experience it on their own.
My oldest son will be turning 8 years old come October and it wasn’t until my mother reminded me that the time is coming to sit him down and have the “talk” with him. On how Philando Castile was shot and killed while his girlfriend and daughter were in the car, how Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the police who shot him were never held accountable for his murder, or Eric Garner who was choked to death while saying “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” I will have to teach him that everything is not equal. He doesn’t get to go out and act a fool. He can’t do the same things as some of his white buddies because the risks are too high for him to be killed. He’ll have to understand that he was born a target, this is not something that happened over night. He comes from a long list of black brothers who’ve had to experience the same fears. When the police pulls him over he can’t talk to them any way he wants. To protect his life he will have to keep your hands above his head or on the stirring wheel. He will have to ask before he grabs his licenses and registration because the color of his skin is portrayed as violent.
The subject is touchy, uncomfortable, and heartbreaking. It’s the raw truth us as black parents have to face. No parent should have to fear for the safety of their children all because of the color of their skin. l know it may not be fair, but I would rather have my sons humbled than harmed.
I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and I seen how hard it was for my only brother to realize that it wasn’t because of who he was that he wasn’t able to do the same things as his white friends but because of the skin color he was born with. My sons will know that when I call their phones they HAVE to pick up because I worry about them not making it back home. They will always have to work twice as hard to be treated half as equal. Statistics show that the older they get the more likely it is they will become victims of violence. They will also be seen as a suspect, but for no other reason than being a black male. That hanging out with one or more of their black friends outside will be seen as “a gang" rather than friends hanging out. It will depend on who's watching them, if they will be considered "a threat" or not.
It frustrating as a black woman because I often feel I don't have the right to display my outrage at the wrongdoers. If I yell at them to protect my sons it will be portrayed as the angry black woman not as the mother who is fighting for equal rights for her children. Being a mother of three black boys, I have to be extra in making sure they understand how their presence can make others feel threatened, while at the same time help them understand they have value and a purpose. I have to have a conversation with them about how they will be considered as "fit the description”. Sometimes the reason for being pulled over is because you're just driving while being black. As parents our goal should be raising a boy in America, not raising a black boy in America. We live in a world where our sons will be presumed guilty the moment he is born.
I realized that it’s a harsh reality and something black parents have to face every single day. It will be uncomfortable to talk about but the only way we can grow is to be uncomfortable. Yes, it’s heartbreaking that the “talk” has to even happen but it's the world that we live in. We have to protect our sons and protecting them means having these hard conversations with them. Our sons and daughters are the future, we need them, we love them, we know them.
Dear Young Queen,
I know often times it seems like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. We have constant battles with ourselves about who we are and who we want to be. We’re young, trying to live, & find ourselves all in one chapter. We’re rebellious to the thoughts of anyone trying to control us or make us less than who we are. We are defensive with our hearts. We often feel love doesn’t exists anymore or we have to sell ourselves short to please the ones we love.
Well I’m here to tell you something.. YOUR CROWN DOESN’T COME OFF! It may tilt or need to be repositioned but it DOESN’T come off. You don’t have to settle for less than you deserve. You don’t have to wake up feeling hopeless or alone. We are QUEENS who are in this together. We are meant to rule the world. Our power as women is stronger than any force that come against us. You don’t have to go out looking for love, open your mind & heart to love yourself. Be confident in who you are and where you’re going. Don’t spend your days longing for something that left a long time ago. Trust in God and yourself to mend your broken heart. People won’t always see you for who you are but sometimes for what you have. Don’t let anyone take advantage of your heart.
Love even when it hurts. Don’t let the actions of others stop you from having a loving, caring heart.
You’re crown does not come off for the negativity, hurt, lies, or battles you may face. Face your fears with your head held high and your crown sitting pretty. You are the Queen so act like one. The Queen doesn’t come off her throne to address a peasant throwing stones. Playing it cool does not make you a fool.
I know the struggle of being young and being a mother. The confusing of feeling like your not doing enough. Just know you’re doing everything right and even if you’re not you’ll figure it out. Don’t get discouraged by seeing other moms who “look” like they have it all together, because it reality we’re all losing our shit! Keep striving to be your best self for you and your family.
Ask yourself, what areas of your life can use improvement? How can you change your current situation? Take baby steps if you need to. Pa renting doesn’t come with a blueprint. You learn from experiences. Always remember, YOUR CROWN DOESN’T COME OFF!
It’s a feeling that is frustrating to explain because it doesn’t make sense to me some days. I can be fine one minute and then before I know I’m biting my nails, heart racing, hot, sweaty, and irritable. My mind starting going crazy and it becomes hard to focus. I find myself worrying all the time. Are my kids okay? Will I have the money for the rent? What if I lose my job? Does he still love me? Why can’t I stop worrying? Some many questions and concerns that I have no answers to. I don’t even know why I be thinking some of the thoughts that be going through my head. I’m constantly freaking out over things that I know I can’t change. Like the fact that I just had twins and was on maternity leave with no pay for 8 weeks. I know that times was going to be hard for a while and once I got back working I was going to be playing catch up but yet and still I find myself overwhelmed with thoughts of how I’m not doing enough when really I’m doing the best I can.
Some days are better than others. I don’t think about harming myself or my children. I’m happy 85% of the time but yet and still I feel off balanced. Yes, I cry sometimes but I blame that on hormones. So what is this feeling I’ve been feeling? Well I did some research on postpartum depression and came across a post about postpartum anxiety. It’s not as popular as postpartum depression but at least 10% of women suffer from it. I want to believe I am included in the 10%.
Unfortunately, postpartum anxiety isn’t the disorder that's talked about most, so many moms, such as myself, aren't sure what to think once they start experiencing these worrisome feelings. Postpartum anxiety can cause changes in eating and sleeping. Dizziness, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, and nausea can all be signs of PPA, as well as the inability to sit still or focus on a particular task at hand. All these things I’ve been experiencing these past three months.
I haven’t been able to talk to anyone besides my boyfriend about it in fear that people will judge me or say I’m over exaggerating but I know that the only way things will get better is by opening up and talking about my problem. I’m still figuring it out but I know I cannot do this alone. So I’m writing this post to raise awareness about postpartum anxiety in hope that some mommy is out there struggling with the same thing and we can help one another. Let’s keep reminding ourselves to keep going and have faith that God will change our situation.
"We cannot nurture others from a dry well."
Being a mom of boys we don’t always have the time to look our best. We slip on the first thing we find before the boy(s) get up because we know once they are up they’re ready for the day. Unlike girls, boys don’t care about what they have on or if their hair is looking good. Little girls enjoy watching their mommies put on make up, get dressed, and do her hair. Boys on the other hand they want you to chase them around the house to get the dressed, play cars on top of your head, wrestle, have fart contest. We spend most of our time cleaning up messes, making dinner, running to sports practices, helping with homework, all the things that need to be done to keep our households in order. Every now and then we need to take some time out for us. Go to that nail shop, call up your beautician, go get that wax.. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. Self care is very important. If we are not at our best, how can we properly care for our children? We aren’t neglecting our babies and our sons will still love us even if we take some time for us. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.
Here are five self care ideas for the month of August:
Being a mother isn’t easy. It’s a never ending job. I like to say I have two jobs, my career and my children. I take pride in being a mother. It’s one of my greatest accomplishment. I became a mother at the age of 17. I was terrified but refused to fail. I felt I had so many people to prove wrong and now I look back at that time and realize the only person I needed to prove something to was myself. I made sure to finish my senior year of high school and go to college the following fall. I was a single mother striving to succeed. It was not easy but I had unlimited support from family and friends. I went to school and work full time while being a full time mom. There were many days I wanted to give up and times where I took a break from school. I didn’t let those times stop me from accomplishing my main goal. Almost 8 years later I am now a mom of three boys who keep me on my toes. My oldest son Ayden will be entering the second grade come August 15. I am very proud of the little man he is becoming. He is super smart and loving. He enjoys playing his Xbox, swimming, riding bikes, and playing outside. He is a fast learner and catches on really quick. On May 16th of this year I became a mom of fraternal twin boys Alexander and Ashton. They are such sweet babies. The enjoy spending time with mommy and daddy, tummy time, eating, and sleeping. They are completely different. I’m excited to see them grow and interact with each other. My children are my motivation. The reason I wake up in the morning with joy in my heart.
As mothers we never want to see our children grow but we know that’s the way life works. Our children are the lights of our lives. They are apart of our legacy that we will leave behind. Mold them into the people they need to be. They depend on us to show them the path to success. I encourage all my mothers out there to take some time to reflect on life with your children. Take the day to show them how much we care. Spend time with them We get so caught up in physically caring them that sometimes a little time with them is all they need. Remember.. They don’t stay babies forever ❤️