It’s Challenging

Mommy thoughts: “Having a child makes it hard to let my emotions unfold naturally. Always worried about what I’m teaching my child when the reality is, allowing my emotions to operate naturally won’t do anything, but teach him how to have the best control of his.”

The Break: My point in sharing my struggles in parenthood is never to completely change anyone’s parenting style or even convince anyone that I have it all figured out. I realized over the last month that the only thing separating me from a parent who society would call a “bad” one, is my desire to do the job better than I did yesterday. This and knowing that I want to create a different narrative than what I’ve seen and known parenting to look like over my life span. We all make the same mistakes, we all struggle with it, we all experience the moments that should be smooth, but parenting makes 10x more complicated, and the list could go on. None of us have it “figured out” and that’s why Mommy’s Break remains and will always remain relevant. To remind mommies that you got this, you’re doing your best, and as long as you dedicate yourself to learning within the job, there is no failing. We only fail when we convince ourselves that we have all the answers to a job no amount of practice could’ve prepare you for.

I’ll always believe that motherhood is the one of the most important jobs. We all know there’s no “how to” manual or anything close, despite how easy most of us make it look. Even in believing this, there are certain concepts that it seems impossible to do the job without. One of those being intention. If I had to name the top 3 most important tools for parenting, intention would be at the top of it! In previous blogs I have spoken to intention in parenting and yet, like many, it remains an ongoing lesson for myself. Like spoken to in March’s blog, it’s the ongoing lessons that seem to be the biggest challenges within parenting. The areas where we can all use constant reminders, so I wanted to use this month to provide just that. March was a time of heavy reflection as it practically forced me to embrace the words transformation and acceptance. I took time to reflect about halfway through the month because it felt as if I was losing control of just about everything around me. I also used the time to acknowledge how chaotic things had gotten for our household since the start of 2021. Despite the many things to be grateful for, 2021 also came with new sets of challenges. At least this was my thought during initial reflection.

The reality is, these new sets of challenges aren’t as new as they appear to be.

So what made them feel new? The way they have directly effected Aiden this time around. As they get older, these repeated lessons do come with certain changes, making them even more important to master at each level. The irony lies in the fact that these lessons are usually the ones that have the most potential to become challenge. For this reason I’ve dedicated myself to stopping through EVERY uncomfortable parenting moment and asking myself what my role was and if I was intentional in it. It’s so easy to look outside of our parenting flaws to find blame or reason in someone or something else. When sorting through my own for the past three months, I surely wanted to name the lack of connection from my son as the biggest challenge. When the reality is, our lack of connection is no where near the problem. More so an end result of the actual problem, which is my own lack of intention. And I wouldn’t pretend nor act like going behind your own black curtain is fun or easy. However, I will say its very necessary when you have someone who’s heavily effected by the things behind that curtain, watching your every move.

I want to challenge mommies/parents to join me the next 30 days in practicing intent. Once you finish reading and sharing this post. Write down your top 3-5 intentions/goals as it relates directly to parenting. After writing, store somewhere easily assessable, repeat OUT LOUD to yourself, daily. I would love to hear the changes that naturally come with this practice, during or at the end of your 30 days.

Please share in the comments or find me on social media to share your thoughts! 

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I’m Upset

The older I get, the more I find myself so frustrated with the structure and dynamics of The Black Family. Before you question my audacity during such a sensitive time, just continue…

Imagine having a passion and love so deep for something all the while deeply despising it at the same time. This is the only way I know how to word my feelings towards the dynamic of The Black Family. I have personally spent more than enough time with families of other races, to know that we have one of the most unique, both in positive and negative ways. Who is to blame comes with a story hundreds of years old, so instead of focusing there, today I feel the urge to direct my frustration at the solution.

While I may be no expert, I do feel equipped to help not just Black families, but all families. My choice to target Black Families this month comes directly from the fact that I myself am the product of a Black Family. And while being a product of such, there are many things that contributed to who I am today. There are also things that I saw and promised not to reciprocate when starting my own family. We do so much damage within the structure that many times outside factors bounce right off. We have confused this with “being strong” or being toughly built, when in actuality it’s the start of our trauma that we so often inflict upon our children and/or anyone else close to us.

I decided to offer my personal outlooks on things that we have accepted and found comfort in as Black family units. I don’t only offer these things by opinion, but through addressing my own trauma, attending therapy, my exposure through education, meditation practices, mentors, work training, experience, and the like.

  1. So lets start with the infliction of your own pain on your child(ren)

We often become so numb to our own pain that it makes it difficult to see when we are acting from a space created by that pain. It is not fair to your child(ren) to be the target and/or resource for your anger, pain, and trauma. I have witnessed this happen so effortlessly in our communities and have even caught myself in moments of addressing my own child. SEEK HELP. And when I say this, I don’t mean it in the comical way that we have created in the statement. I am a huge advocate for receiving therapy and addressing your mental health. You may not even notice that there is something wrong due to how much we’ve normalized putting the same pain that we’ve experienced unto our children. We hear it time and time again that child(ren) do not ask to be here. Remind yourself of this anytime you feel yourself lashing out, harming, and/or getting upset in general with your child(ren). It is more than okay to be upset with them when appropriate, but always allow yourself to reflect on those moments and question what space you address your children from when you are upset.

2. The idea that your children are “being grown,” ESPECIALLY your daughter

Can I just say I would love to know what the f*ck, “being grown” is?! This has always been one of my biggest pet peeves. Mainly because I ONLY hear it in the Black community. A child is not “being grown,” because they are mimicking the things that they see around them. This statement creates a fear and confusion for children and their learning abilities. It also teaches children that “being grown” is a bad thing, when in actuality it’s the thing we are grooming them for? Imagine how confusing that is. While I can create an entire blog for this section, I’ll just leave it here…Children mock what they see because they are looking for a place in this life. A child being able to express their emotions, openly communicating their thoughts and feelings, and repeating behaviors they see, is simply them looking for themselves. That’s not to say that children don’t engage in behaviors that they know are wrong, but it’s to offer a better way of communicating right and wrong to your child(ren). Because 9/10, that action that caused you to tell them “stop being grown,” is an act that they have seen and/or heard from adults that you’ve allowed them around. Let’s get and stay away from the, “I can do this in front of you, but if you mock it, you’ll get beat for being grown” ideology.

3. Blaming your children for your failure(s)

Your child(ren) hold no responsibility for how YOUR life is panning or has panned out. Release the animosity, the anger, and the blame and find the true source of blame for your failure(s). Your child(ren) don’t deserve the retaliation and we must let go of that natural space we created for the, “if I didn’t have you, I’d be here…” mentality. It’s not fair and whether you know it or not, it plays a huge role in all of your interactions with your child(ren). Use that energy, all of it, to ensure that your child(ren) are never put in a space where they could reciprocate your mistakes. It’d go so much further than the indirect blaming.

4. Choosing when your children are able to be people

Imagine how it makes your child feel seeing you argue with someone about lack of communication, respect, and support…Only to turn around and tell them that they are not allowed to communicate their feelings, because it puts you in an uncomfortable space. I allow my child to be a person in all aspects, even at 3 years old. Why? Because at 13 I was told that I was “too young” to be depressed and two years later, I tried killing myself. Why? Because I had NO IDEA how to properly communicate my feelings. Just because a PERSON is under 18, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they have feelings, they have emotions, they have all functioning parts of being a human. Black communities and families have created a narrative that does not support and/or allow children to be people. We have also created a culture in which we say things to our children that we wouldn’t say to anyone else in the world because of “authority.” If you would’t tell a stranger to “get the f*ck in here and do what I said, because I said it,” then tell me where you find comfortability in talking to your child(ren) in this manner?

5. Lack of equal respect

Imagine a world where we tell our children, “treat people how you want to be treated,” to turn around and treat them with ZERO respect. AND THEN, being flabbergasted when they grow up with no respect for authority and/or you for that matter. Doesn’t make a difference if your child is 0-18 years old, RESPECT them. It costs nothing to show your child(ren) what it feels like for someone to respect them. Imagine the amount of trauma your child(ren) would avoid or inflict, by learning what it’s like to be respected from the person that serves as their first safe zone…

LET’S DO BETTER!

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