All Articles Tagged "motherhood"
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?
From the moment I found out I was expecting, I thought to myself, “Will I make a good mother?” That, and “Oh no! What did I do!?”
Prior to getting pregnant, I viewed motherhood as a spectator sport. I have nephews, a Godson, and besties with children; all of their mothers have different parenting styles and they’re all great mothers. Then there are those women that I observe on the street, in the subway, at the mall, in a restaurant – anywhere – that give me pause. I found myself making judgments; I’m not proud of this fact, but it happens.
I cringe at the mother who is giving her baby soda and donuts for breakfast on the train. I wince when a mother curses at her child at the mall. And I try to keep myself from giving a disapproving stare when I see a child scream or hit their mother and call her out her name because she told him “no” when he asked if he could have a toy.
But then I think, “I have no children…so what do I know?”
Now it’s my turn, and it’s my job to figure out what I’d feed my son, how I’d handle a tantrum, and what preschool I should send him to – all personal decisions that have nothing to do with anyone else. I’m sure once I become a parent, someone will give their own disapproving stare of how I choose to raise my child.
I’m approaching the six months mark and I catch myself at the doctor’s office studying the parenting magazines. You should breastfeed until the kid is 20 years old, only feed him organic food, start teaching him different languages at six weeks old, giving piano lessons at age three and the list goes on and on. If you follow their rules, your child should have no problem being accepted into the college of their choice.
I’ll be lucky if I change his diaper correctly.
Arming yourself with information can be useful. But too much expert advice can lead you into the trap of believing that there is only one right way to do things, and that if you’re not doing it that way your kids will suffer. That, of course, is the perfect recipe for mother’s guilt.
The reality is, there is no recipe for what it takes to be a good mother. Sometimes mothers lose patience. They yell. They feed their kids junk sometimes because it’s just easier at that moment. Some mothers let their kids get away with things that they shouldn’t because they’re just…tired. But one of the things that those articles never mention is that children are very resilient, smart…and they know that when you act in love that you’re acting on their behalf. That’s being a good parent.
For now, I’ll just have to trust my internal mothering guide. They say kids don’t come with directions, but they sort of do in the form of their parents. The directions are your instincts and values that you use to make sound decisions. If you make a decision about your child that comes from love and having faith in yourself (and a higher power if that’s part of your belief system), you should do just fine. It’s the internal critic that many of us need to muzzle because it does the most damage. Without that little voice inside our heads creating doubt about our mothering skills, comments and judgments made by others would be less likely to take hold.
Doing what you believe is best for your children and your family makes you a good mother, no matter if it fits anyone else’s standard (so long as you’re not deliberately hurting them or putting them in harm’s way). There will always be decisions you make that others will be able to find fault with, but your true allegiance is with your kids. When you’re comfortable with your decisions, you need to stand in them and own them and recognize that the only one you have to answer to is yourself and your child. You don’t have to answer to anyone else.
When all is said and done, being a mother means tuning in to what really matters. I can’t wait to look into my child’s eyes and see that sparkle, the confirmation that tells me that he loves me. It’s that little feeling right there gives me confidence that I just might join my sister, and all the other great mothers that I know, in making a great mother one day.
It hasn’t even been a year since Tamera Mowry-Housley gave birth to her adorable son, Aden, and she’s already making plans for baby number two.
“I am planning on having a second baby. My doula says the 10-month spot is the sweet spot because I’m having so much fun with my son. He sleeps through the night; he’s mobile, but not to the point where he’s breaking my back. That’s usually the time that people are like, ‘Okay, I’m ready for No. 2.’ That’s where I am right now,” the 35-year-old first time mom told OK! magazine.
She went on to say that if she is lucky enough to conceive twins this time, she would be thankful, but added that twins can be quite a handful.
“If I was blessed with twins, of course, I would be very grateful and very happy. However, having twins is a lot of work, so I physically—or mentally—can’t imagine taking care of two at the same time.”
Being a twin herself, Tamera also offered advice for anyone who may be raising twins, regarding the importance of individuality.
“It’s a lot of work. Make sure that people don’t see them as one person…It’s important to realize that they may look alike… and they may have come out at the same time, but they’re individuals. Treat them that way.”
Those Mowry girls love being moms, that’s for sure!
Naming your child is a big decision, and for parents of color, it’s especially loaded. Will my child not be able to get a job if I name him something “too ethnic”? Will he be made fun of in school? An opinion piece on the New York Time’s Motherlode blog puts the whole thing into perspective with a new, sobering perspective. One mom-to-be found that when she Googled potential “black” names for her son, all she saw were mug shots. Nikisia Drayton is expecting a son with her boyfriend, who suggested they name their son Keion. Their friends and family were shocked, with her mother saying flat out, “Hell no…too ghetto.” Drayton was hesitant at first, too, but looking into the name’s origins made her feel better about the decision:
“Keion means ‘born of nobility’ and ‘God is gracious.’ Its origins are eclectic: Hebrew, African, Irish and Hawaiian. I felt in my heart that this should be my son’s name.”
But further digging didn’t have the same positive results:
“I’d accepted ‘Keion,’ but what about the rest of the world? I gave the name what I have now coined the ‘Google test:’ I typed ‘Keion name’ in the image search box. To my surprise, my computer screen loaded images of African-American young men posing for their mug shots. Trying desperately to grasp at straws of hope for my baby boy, I tried a variant of Keion which is spelled K-i-a-n. The results were dramatically different. Smiling photographs of Caucasian males could be seen with every scroll of my mouse. I could not believe the change.”
Read more on MommyNoire.com.