All Articles Tagged "motherhood"
On February 14 my husband, James, and I welcomed our little girl, Anna James (AJ), to our family. I had lost my uterus to fibroids five years earlier, so we turned to surrogacy as a way to have our own biological child. We were already raising Parker, our spirited 12-year-old daughter from my previous marriage, and with AJ’s arrival I became a 40-year-old mom of a new-born and a tween.
The idea of balancing two children with a 12-year age gap between them, a still-young marriage and two full-time jobs (my self-titled MSNBC show in New York City and a Tulane University professorship in New Orleans) had me panicked that first night in the hospital.
But my anxiety transformed into deep sadness the next day, when, after 30 hours of deliberation, a Florida jury returned a verdict in the case of the death of Jordan Davis. The jurors found 47-year-old Michael Dunn guilty on three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting into an SUV full of African-American teenagers. During a dispute with the teens about loud hip-hop music at a gas station, Dunn fired ten bullets into their vehicle, killing 17-year-old Davis, who was sitting in the backseat. On the charge of first-degree murder, which was tied directly to Davis’s death, the jury was hung. Finding Dunn guilty on the attempted murder counts means that it’s likely he will spend decades in prison, but like many others who followed this case closely, I had lingering angst that Davis’s killing would not be legally recognized as murder.
I met Davis’s mother, Lucia McBath, when she appeared on my show last August. She joined me on the same day I hosted Sybrina Fulton, the mother of murdered teen Trayvon Martin, and Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of Mississippi civil rights leader Medgar Evers. I was struck by the reality that the father of Evers-Williams’s children was ripped from them by an assassin 50 years earlier, the killer of Fulton’s son was set free by another Florida jury the month before our taping and McBath was still waiting to learn if her slain son would receive justice. These women had all experienced unspeakable suffering, but were still compelled to bear witness to their tragedies.
Read more about Melissa Harris Perry’s motherhood journey at EurWeb.com
Can we pause for a moment and just point out how adorable Ciara looks as she approaches her due date? So cute!
Over the weekend, Wonderwall caught up with the expectant mother at the Safe Kids Day celebration in Los Angeles and the singer dished on all things mommy-to-be, including some surprisingly good motherly advice she received from Kim Kardashian. According to Ciara:
“One thing [Kim] said that I believe is so true is that you kind of create your own system [of parenting] that works for you. There are things I can’t talk about — like breastfeeding … But she showed me how [the stroller I love] moves and how it works. We’ve had really fun moments like that.”
Considering Ciara’s baby will only be a year younger than Kim and Kanye’s daughter North West, many are already expecting their kids to be BFFs like their moms. To that Ciara responded:
“We haven’t talked about play dates, but we’ve talked about when my baby comes and the fun we can have [together] as moms.”
Luckily, Ciara’s already having quite a bit of fun as an expectant mother, telling Wonderwall: “What has been fun at times is feeling my baby randomly kick. I’ll just be sitting there and I don’t know how or when the kicks are going to come. It’s a crazy but sweet feeling.”
Since we know it takes two to Tango, Wonderwall made sure to ask Ciara how Future’s feeling about their little one as they start the countdown to his arrival. According to the “Body Party” singer:
“He’s been so sweet. I think sometimes I drive him crazy, but it’s been really cool. We found a good balance so I’m enjoying it.”
Sounds like these two are on the right track. We can’t wait to see their little one when he (or she) arrives!
When I became a new mom about three years ago a more seasoned mommy friend of mine took me to lunch one day and said “you are NOT gonna get an A in every category.” I nodded at her as she spoke while letting her words go in one ear and out the next, thinking that I had what it took to get that “A.” Now it’s three years later I can honestly tell you that her advice that day was one of the smartest things anyone has ever said to me.
For the first two years of my children’s lives I did try to get that “A.” Eventually, though, I ran out of gas and started to fail in nearly every area of my life. I started missing important dates like my friend’s bridal shower, I neglected my health and even got behind with my bills because I didn’t have time to pay them. The worst part is I got so involved with doing stuff for my family like planning birthday parties and trips that sometimes I didn’t have the time, energy or patience for my kids.
I realized then I didn’t need to get an A in every category. I just needed to get an “A” in the areas that mattered most.
Most of us who are mothers are the primary caretakers of our kids whether we are married or single. We are also responsible for running a household and being a good wives/partners while working full-time jobs. So we have our hands full and being supermom just isn’t possible.
Read more on Essence about why parenting expert, Notoya Green says motherhood isn’t about being everything to your kids, it’s about being what matters the most.
Halle Berry spoke out for the first time since welcoming her second child in October.
The new mom attended the Fame & Philanthropy Post Oscar party in Beverly Hills on Sunday, March 2, and told “Extra” that her 5-month-old son Maceo is “fantastic,”as is his almost 6-year-old “great big sister” Nahla, who is even “more fantastic.”
Berry, who stunned in a black vintage Versace dress at the post-Oscar event, admitted to People that she’s been focused getting back in shape as she shoots the new TV series, “Extant.””You know, I’m working on a television show now, so I’m juggling working and being a mom and breastfeeding while I’m working,” the 47-year-old explained, adding that she’s “working hard” to lose the baby weight.
Read more on Halle Berry and motherhood at BlackVoices.com
Welcome to our new column “Mommy Mogul”! This weekly article will cover issues of importance to moms who are launching a new business, working a side gig, or are managing work life and home life. Is there a topic you’d like us to address? Send your thoughts to email@example.com. And, as always, take to the comments with your feedback.
It has only been a few weeks and I must tip my hat to single mothers and those with multiple children because motherhood is no joke. I seriously don’t know what I would do without the help of my husband! While I did my best to prepare myself and business for the arrival of my son (I talked about that here), nothing really gets you ready for how things will change.
Once out of the hospital after delivery, I gave myself a couple weeks (I work full-time from home) to enjoy my new bundle of joy and just unwind. When I was ready to get back into the swing of things aside from thanking God my “commute” was only a few seconds (there are days I look like an extra from The Walking Dead) I did my best to try and figure out my new role as mommy and how it translates into my daily work demands. Thankfully things like changing diapers and feedings have been extremely manageable as I have developed the new talent of being ambidextrous, rocking my child into his nap while answering work emails. Let’s not get it twisted though — working from home with its perks is no walk in the park when a baby comes into the mix.
I had to learn real quick that daily to-do lists would soon become an ideal. Sure there are things I need to get done, but, oh my, how much pressure instantly came off my shoulders once I accepted the fact that not everything can get done all at once. I am a new mother and that will take much of my time. I have new responsibilities that will take priority over the things I do. As an alternative, setting weekly goals has been a godsend, helping to keep me on track while providing some wiggle room on the deadline. If you think about it, it kinda helps you to plan ahead a little which can be insurance for those days when your little one gives you the business. There will also be days when you are mentally and physically exhausted, which can also prohibit you from accomplishing a ton in your day.
Speaking of exhaustion, I am in awe at how I can even manage to operate during the day on no coffee (hate that stuff) after being up during the night. Here’s a little secret: If you are able, schedule your meetings later in the day opposed to the morning which will give you a buffer should you need more time to sleep in. It helps! You will also find that your “regular schedule” will greatly vary while your child is a newborn. There will be times when you get your second wind to work in the evening which is why you have to be flexible.
The bottom line is there is no set answer on how to juggle a new baby and business, it’s something you just have to wing until you get it right. And don’t be so hard on yourself. This is all a learning process. Be open to change, stay flexible with your schedule and just do the best you can. All of the pieces will eventually fall into place. And never forget that your number one job and priority now is to be a mother.
Alicia Keys recently chatted with WonderWall for an interesting interview in which she claimed that having a son made her a feminist. As you know, the 33-year-old is the mother of 3-year-old Egypt Dean with hubby Swiz Beats, and according to the singer, motherhood has been the most empowering experience of her life, as she realizes she has become the true example of what a woman should be for her young boy. Check out some of the highlights of her Q&A:
On how having a son has made her more of a feminist:
“I am honored to be raising a son and to be the example [for him] of what a woman is, should be or can be — I find that to be a really powerful position. … My mother was an absolute self-pronounced feminist. I think I have that same desire to uplift the female race, so to be able to raise a man who can also uplift and respect women in the world is a really big honor.”
How her perspective of the world changed when she became a mother:
“Things become so much more poignant and so much more real to you. I’ve always been empathetic. I’ve always been a compassionate human being who sees people in struggle and wants to supply a friendly ear, conversation, assistance, love, a voice, something. …[But] the things that are going on in the world, you feel them more closely knowing that your son or daughter has to go out in that world and win or function or have a positive outcome. So it really does change things so much.”
On the most difficult part of motherhood:
“The trickiest part of being a mom is the balancing act of [doing] all the things that I love like producing films … and making music and going on tour. It’s just a balancing act between all the work and family and life and things that all of us, any woman who’s a mother and has a family, understands and has to go through. That’s probably the most difficult part.”
On the part of motherhood that she surprisingly finds easiest:
“The most unexpectedly easy part is really — insanely enough — the really early mornings and late nights. [Laughs.]”
Check out more of Alicia’s Q&A on WonderWall. What do you think about her interview?
Variety is the spice of life is a saying that implies that different people, things and experiences are what make life exciting and worth living. When you think about it, relationships are an intricate part of the spice of life because they bring about new lessons, insight, ideas, and changes. Every relationship someone engages in requires time for nurturing and growth, no matter what type of association it is. However, in the hustle and bustle of daily routines, we have the tendency to mismanage the time we give to those we are involved with, particularly those of us who are single parents on the dating scene who struggle with balancing parenthood and romance. Finding ways to ensure that your youngsters/teenagers needs are met and developing an intimate relationship while maintaining your sanity can be a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. Keep these simple standards in mind:
Keep your child’s needs and concerns as a priority.
As a parent, your child’s needs automatically come before yours, and definitely before someone you’re dating. While you do deserve quality adult time, know and understand that your child deserves for his/her needs to be met, and as the parent it is your job to put them before date night.
Always have quality time and activities planned with your child.
Time well spent with your offspring is valuable for the both of you because before you know it, they will be an adult. So whether it’s watching cartoons, eating ice cream or reading a book with them, make sure you designate and spend quality time. As long as they feel like you still make time for them (and not in a chore type of way), a child can be accepting of your decision to try and date and possibly of the new love interest in your life.
Designate quality time for the person you’re involved with.
Set times for calling and dates that work with both of your schedules. Always be flexible and understand that circumstances can change for the both of you in a flash, but always put forth a thoughtful effort.
Communicate openly and effectively with your mate.
Effective communication is the key to any productive relationship. Making your significant other aware of your schedule (with or without your child) and listening to theirs will provide them with a sense of inclusion and will allow you to create time for each other to meet everyone’s needs.
Make time for yourself.
Always preserve me time to ensure that you are rejuvenated so you can do what’s necessary for you, your child and your romantic interest. You are only one person and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin, because if you do then you won’t be of any good use to anyone.
Be anxious for nothing!
Don’t rush your time with your kid to be with your love interest, and in turn don’t rush the time you’ve designated to be with someone else… unless of course it’s an emergency and you have to get back to your child. The time spent with both parties is valuable so make it worth their while and yours.
If you’re going out, ask a relative or friend in advance to take your little one out for a night on the town too.
This way everyone will be out enjoying themselves! Set a time to be back and be sure to beat your child home and ask him/her about their evening. Or if you are the parent of an older child, allow them to hang out with friends for the night (out of your house of course, unless you feel that you can trust them like that). That way they’ll have something fun and productive to do while you’re enjoying quality adult time.
Parenthood is a blessing that no one should take for granted, but in the scope of things, adults must spend time with themselves and others to create a sense of balance for their life and others around them. Being a caregiver and dating can be a wonderful experience for all…if you allow it to be. However, we must know where our priorities are, establish and keep standards for ourselves, our child or children and the people we are involved with.
What are some standards you’ve established as a single parent dating? Did they work for you?
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
“I Don’t Have To Be At Home With The Kids All Day”: Nia Long Speaks On Juggling Motherhood And Her Career
Nia Long is the mother to two beautiful young boys, the longtime girlfriend of NBA assistant coach Ime Udoka and the star of current box office hit The Best Man Holiday.
Hello Beautiful caught up with Nia Long at the press junket for the highly-anticipated sequel, and she shared the key to juggling her ever-demanding life. To our surprise, she admitted there’s no secret at all! “I’m so not balanced,” she gushed, laughing.
“I just do what is necessary in the moment,” the 43-year-old beauty said. “If it’s the kids the need attention. I take care of that…My brain is like split in half. Half is for myself and half is for the kids.”“And I think that is a mother’s journey to make sure that they come first but to never loose yourself in the process,” she added. “So when I go from being mom in my Uggs and my jeans and my t-shirt, and I have to come walk in these heels, I’m like, ‘Can somebody carry me because I forgot how to walking heels?’ And I think every mom feels that way.”
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com
Well, this was the moment all of the Beyoncé fans and stans had been waiting on for months. The moment when another full song would be released. It finally happened on Friday and now the question is, does it live up to the hype?
We gave you a short clip of Beyoncé’s “God Made You Beautiful” last month and from that sneak peek, many of you weren’t too impressed. But with the Life is But A Dream documentary set to be released in days, it seems her team decided it was okay to let the one new song featured on the dvd “leak” to the masses.
In “God Made You Beautiful,” Bey talks not only about the moment Blue was born, but also what life has been like and how she’s changed Beyoncé since being born”
You were bought into my life
I kiss those little feet and watch for your perfect smile
and when it comes the world stops in your eyes
I found love, I found peace of the purest kind
It is alleged that Bey wrote the song herself because, hey, who knows this particular experience better than her? The lyrics are nice and there are some nice harmonies, but overall, it seems like it’s missing that special “something.” Maybe it’s just me.
As a matter of fact, who cares what I think! The bigger question is to you…pass or play?
This past week, Kim Kardashian shared with her Instagram followers a donkalicious photo of herself. While fans and boyfriend Yeezus approved, some looked at her photo with disdain. Our MadameNoire readers claimed her “look-back-at-it” selfie was “tacky and narcissistic.” Others noted her reputation with men and how she will never be wife material for Kanye West because of her attention-seeking antics. Most importantly, many who commented stated that her photo was not “mommy-like.”
As I read and listened to the commentary on Kim, I thought of my friends. Although we try not to take those selfies with our defined arms, legs and curves too seriously, we joke about the reason why some of us work out now: We desire to snap-back quickly after our future children have been delivered. Let’s be real, American society is fascinated with weight loss and sex appeal, especially when celebrity mothers are involved. Ashleigh Schmitz of Parade magazine writes:
“It’s no secret that celebrities bounce back from pregnancy faster than the average woman. After all, their schedules and job demands practically insist that they automatically zip up their size 0 jeans within a few weeks of their newborn’s first Instagram selfie. Who can forget Heidi Klum strutting down the Victoria’s Secret runway a mere 5 weeks after giving birth to her fourth child in 2009?”
As people continuously speak on what a mother should be or look like, it makes me wonder, where did we get these rules from?
Through social media and television we have come to know Kim as a media-opportunist. During the latest season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she claimed that as soon as she delivered Baby North she would love to pose for Playboy magazine again. The Huffington Post reports:
“Kardashian’s insecurity about losing her sex appeal and cool factor during her pregnancy is something that has been explored this season on the show. In earlier episodes, Kardashian was seemingly obsessed with her teenage sister Kylie Jenner’s opinion on everything, and was on a quest to appear on her Tumblr as a sign that she was still cool.”
Although people may feel Kim K. has a marketed personality, her insecurity runs rampant in everyone. As my friends and I approach the height of our mid-20s, we have conversations about what it means to get older. Maturity means losing parts of yourself that you have grown accustomed to. During her pregnancy, Kim did not receive the friendliest feedback regarding her body size or fashion. Unlike the average woman who has given birth, Kim’s transition into motherhood was not only personal but also extremely public. As one of Hollywood’s “sex symbols,” she’s trying to figure out how to walk the line between being who folks know her to be, and developing into North West’s mother.
As people question her maternal instincts and what she should and shouldn’t be doing as a new mom, be reminded of Toni Braxton, who has two sons, contemplating if she too, should pose for Playboy during the second season of Braxton Family Values. And during interviews, mother and actress Paula Patton consistently discusses her sex life with husband Robin Thicke, even sharing how big his package is. Surprisingly enough, these women along with others have not been talked about as ladies missing the maternal gene. Or perhaps, there is no special gene that sets “real mothers” apart? When observing my own mother or aunts, I realize that being a “good” mom depends on how a woman chooses to develop herself, if she’s there for her child, nurturing the child (or children) and making sacrifices. Does one photo really have an impact on that? If you ask me, there’s not one way to be or act when you’re a mother, just as there isn’t one right or wrong way to be a woman.
Do you think Kim Kardashian is a good mom?