All Articles Tagged "motherhood"
This is probably a long shot (a very long one) but here’s what I wish. I wish women had more unity and could realize we are all in this “life” thing together. I wish that new mothers would receive lots of positive support and constructive criticism instead of unsolicited judgmental advice.
When I read a few days ago that model Chrissy Teigen had been mom shamed once again I just shook my head. I hate mom shaming. Why? Because adults need to focus on fixing themselves and their families and stop focusing so much energy on others.
I applaud Chrissy for making her twitter account private after being judged by followers about the way she was holding her baby while her and hubby John Legend were in New York. This wasn’t the first time either. Right after giving birth to her daughter Luna Simone in April of 2016 she went out on a dinner date with her hubby and social media went crazy. In an interview with Michael Strahan on “Good Morning America” she said she knew mom shaming existed but said “It was about nine to ten days after,” she told Michael Strahan. “I mean we needed a break. We needed to go enjoy each other’s company and be out. And she continued: “I didn’t think it would come from going to dinner… That’s not something I thought would happen.”
I think it’s important that we get to the root of the mom-shaming woman. I am not saying that women aren’t entitled to different opinions. I am talking about those extra judgmental, my stuff don’t stink Internet mom trolls that are just looking to ruin someones day with their nastiness.
In my opinion, chronic mom shamers have to be insecure women. In a study called “The Mom Confessions,” 26,000 moms were surveyed by TODAY.com. The study found that many of the moms had secret insecurities about their parenting and admitted that they judged other moms.
Here are some of the conclusions:
– If given the chance, 23 percent of moms would choose a different spouse/partner and 21 percent would have more children.
– Out of the moms who ever wished their child was the opposite sex, nearly two-thirds are moms of boys.
– Weight versus smarts: 45 percent of moms would choose to weigh 15 pounds less rather than add 15 points to their child’s IQ.
– Nearly 1 in 5 moms confessed to medicating their child to calm him/her down before a big trip — and nearly 1 in 12 do so on a regular night just for some peace and quiet.
– 49 percent have knowingly sent a sick child to daycare or school.
– More than 1 in 3 admits to judging moms of overweight kids.
– 43 percent judge moms who still breastfeed their toddlers.
So what is the solution?
If you are one or know some judgmental mothers then it’s time for some inner work to be done. Soul search and aim to ground yourself. Get to know who you are, meditate if you have to, reflect, journal but ultimately the goal is to redirect that negative energy into something more positive—self help ladies.
When I was seven-years-old, I developed a desire to relax my hair. I remember vividly watching as my eight and six-year-old cousins took turns sitting between their mother’s legs as she carefully coated their heads with the thick, creamy substance. Curious, I asked what the stinky, white stuff was that they were putting in their hair. In her heavy country accent, their mother replied, “Dis a perm, girl! Can’t manage these nappy heads without it!” My interest peaked. I had never heard of a “perm,” had never seen it applied, nor did I know what to expect.
My eyes widened with wonder as I continued to observe them get lathered down with the stinky, white stuff that they told me burned, but sat motionless like they were used to the feeling. After they were done getting their scalps scorched, my cousins danced to the kitchen sink antsy to wash the heat of their heads. And after having their crowns yanked and pulled with a fine-toothed comb while fire from the blow-dryer waved over their strands, they both emerged with long, flowing tresses. I was amazed. I had never paid much attention to the fact that their hair was always different from my thick waves and curls, but that day, I got to see first-hand why their hair was not like mine.
When I went home, I told my mom that I wanted to get my head permed like Tammy and Amber. Her immediate reaction was, “Heeeelllll no! You ain’t putting no damn perm in your head with all those chemicals! You’re too young.” And of course, as any seven-year-old who’s desperate to have their way would say, I replied: ” Well, Tonya let Tammy and Amber get perms, why can’t I have one?” My mom looked at me, and with conviction in her voice, she barked, “I don’t give a damn what Tonya does with her kids! I said you’re not getting a perm! End of conversation!”
I was disappointed, naturally. But I never gave up my quest to get that long, flowing hair. And two weeks before my 13th birthday, I finally convinced my mom that I was “old enough” to get my first relaxer. Now, at 24, with a head full of natural waves, curls and coils reminiscent of my pre-perm years, I understand why my mom wouldn’t allow my to get my naps relaxed when I made my first request at seven.
If you’ve ever gotten your strands straightened the chemical way, you know it burns like hell! And if you leave it in a second too long, it will leave your scalp scarred and raw to the point where it stings even if the wind blows the wrong way. Lord knows what long-term effects relaxers have on our brains and chemical makeup, and let’s not talk about what the pungent smell could do to one’s respiratory system or how damaging it could be to the sight if there’s an accidental splitter or splatter. Relaxers are bad enough for adults, so for those parents who make the decision for their children to relax their hair, isn’t it a bit on the extreme side to expose your young ones to such harmful chemicals? Especially at tender ages below the teenaged line?
There’s a little girl somewhere in the world right now screaming in misery from the burning sensation of a perm her mother superimposed on her tender scalp. Is it not torturous to force a child to endure this kind of pain? Even in cases where the child is unbothered by the chemical warfare on his/her head, being open to such harsh fumes is an offense in itself.
Now, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to handle thick, coarse hair. The number one excuse I hear from mother’s who adamantly slather their daughters and sons with the creamy crack is that it makes their hair more manageable. “It’s a lot easier and more convenient to deal with this kinky hair when it’s permed,” they say. “It’s saves me time and aggravation when I don’t have to spend hours combing out that thick head of hers.” But let’s face it, a lot more straighten their children’s hair for the sake of “beauty”—or at least what they’ve been conditioned to believe is visually appealing.
So let’s take some time to really examine this practice: Not only are the components of your everyday relaxer potentially damaging to your child’s physical health, but what are we really teaching our sons and daughters by risking their well-being, putting them through physical pain and stripping away what God has naturally given them for “manageability” and more often, aesthetic appeal? In essence, we are saying, “You’re natural hair is not good enough. It is not attractive. It is not acceptable. And it is not likeable unless it is straightened.”
Most people may not think of these things when whipping out those jars of poison to “tame” their baby’s head. But when you put a young child through an agonizing process for superficial reasons, you have to consider is it really necessary? Is this good for my child’s health? Any parent in their right mind wouldn’t allow their child to smoke a cigarette or drink a 40 at five, yet those same parents would turn around and torment their baby’s scalp with a chemical that burns like acid. Shouldn’t we allow our children to make those decisions for themselves when we feel like they’re old enough to use their own discretion? But unfortunately, patting down our babies with relaxers has become a sad Black tradition and I personally view it as a form of child abuse.
Do you agree that perming your child’s hair at a young age should be considered a form of child abuse? Or do you believe that this issue too light to be taken so seriously? Leave your comments below.
Millennial moms, especially participants in the workforce, are flocking to progressive companies that are not only taking on new perspectives of product development and services, but also in the way they run their company. For years women have struggled with the balance of home and work life. Research has shown that, in general, women feel they are unable to perform optimally in any specific aspect of their life because of the split and high demand of their time and attention. With a shift in social norms, and most prevalently economics, it is not uncommon that both parents work outside of the home. Companies like Werk are pioneering flexible full-time and part-time work schedules for competitive candidates with children, and those who prefer to work from home.
Dean Auerbach, CEO and Founder of Werk, told Forbes, “Women are expected to work like they don’t have children, and raise children like they don’t have a job,” a statement that rings true in corporate norms. Have you ever gotten a call from the school nurse, saying your child needed to be picked up? Did you silently wonder why dad hadn’t been the default option? Do you ever find yourself the victim of perceived scrutiny, and over apologizing and compensation for having to leave work early, or work from home due to familial obligations? The tide is changing for women, and also men, who value their home life and influence, as well as cultivating their drive for a fulfilling career.
In the past, top talent has opted out of the workforce to stay at home due to feelings of inadequacy. In an ad by Chicco, a multi-brand baby company, a mom recieves a performance review after returning to work from maternity leave. The touching segment sheds light on many of the concerns and fears of working mothers and fathers missing their children at home but who are also and passionate about their careers. General Manager of Feeding & Care for Chicco USA, Brenda Liistro told Forbes, “The insight for the overall campaign was born when we uncovered research that revealed the ‘emotional tug of war’ [parents] face,” Liistro goes on to say: “ultimately, moms are performing many roles, but they don’t believe they are performing any role as well as they would like.”
Check out this awesome video of a mom’s peer review.
What was it like for you getting back into to the workforce after baby? Is this a struggle you find yourself trying to manage now? Comment below and tell how you’d grade yourself!
I recently had a friend take part in an usually busy day with me. We had a huge project we were working on and, as a result, were running around like crazy trying to tie up loose ends and handle our business. Meanwhile, her hubby and son were at home hanging out, you know, doing what guys do. About mid-way through our day she reached over to show me a text she had just received from her son, “Mom, can you make me an appointment to get a haircut?” We both laughed as she expressed that her husband, who goes to the same barber, was sitting at home doing God knows what, but her son couldn’t ask him to call the barber, he had to call on mom.
And so, despite her hectic day and busy schedule, as any mom would, she called the barber and made the appointment. Moms are givers. We go to the extreme to ensure everyone in our family is taken care of and put everything and everybody first, above all—especially above ourselves. That said, it’s important to take a step back and take some time for yourself. Leaving the kiddos, hubby, dog and cares behind and fully indulging in an activity, day or even vacation, all by ourselves.
Sure, your family needs you, but they’ll also survive (and might even enjoy) some time away from you! And for those hesitant to skip out on the kids and spouse for a little R&R, perhaps you haven’t noted the benefits of me time. Allow us to fill you in.
Woosah: The Benefits Of Me Time
I didn’t plan to be a “stay at home mother” or a “work from home” mother, but working from home works best for me. As a writer and an investment consultant, I can work from anywhere. I am most effective, work wise, when I conduct my business in an office, isolated and focused. However, my choice to be a mother raising healthy and competent children requires otherwise.
As a first time mom, childcare was definitely a concern. My mother is deceased, and my mother-in-law lives out of state. If I decided to return to work full-time, daycare was our only option.
I also noticed childcare to be the most frustrating topic of discussion for my pregnant peers, especially those who were not fortunate to have work from home jobs or extended leave benefits.
Let’s be honest, no mother feels comfortable leaving her infant child with a stranger before the child can talk and articulate their happenings freely. Unless you are lucky enough to have a spouse, a mother, a grandmother, or a sister-friend who is available to care for your child in your absence at an affordable rate, anxiety and stress overwhelm you every time you think about how to be a mother and how to pay for being a mother.
America is one of the only developed countries without mandated paid family leave for the birth of a child. Having to choose between raising your child and feeding your child is not synonymous with being a developed civilization. The International Labour Organization recommends a minimum of 14 weeks paid leave for families. In Europe and the Middle East, the average leave for families is between 26 – 40 weeks. (see: Paid Leave Around The World, Buzz Feed) In the U.S., we have failed to mandate any paid time off for families with babies.
This puts the burden on families to problem solve and make the best decision on their own. I worked from home part-time prior to having children, but I must admit working from home and having children is not easy. It took me 10 months to catch my breath and find a routine suitable for my work demands and my child’s development. We also downsized our cost of living significantly in order to create enough space and time for us to focus on being parents in addition to working to afford the roles.
What really helped me surrender to my role as a mother, and let go of the world’s expectations that I must work X amount of hours in addition to the demands of motherhood, was the research I uncovered about child brain development from ages 0 to 3. (see: Baby’s Brain, The Urban Child Institute)
During early childhood, the human brain grows more rapidly than any other time in our life. What we experience during our pre-school age years sets the stage for how we learn and interact with the world as adults. Affection and safety are the key elements to preparing a child’s brain to excel. If children do not feel loved or safe, they have a hard time progressing cognitively, meaning their ability to think critically and problem solve is thwarted.
According to a study, which followed nearly 500 infants into their 30s, babies who receive above-average levels of affection and attention from their mothers are less likely than other babies to grow up to be emotionally distressed, anxious, or hostile adults.
When it comes to my role as a parent, these are the facts:
- Childcare is as expensive if not more in some states than rent and housing costs. Where I live in Philadelphia, the average cost of childcare is $800 a month for infants.
- Many studies show that a safe environment, a caregiver we trust, and affection are the most important tools in brain development during our early years.
- The decision to be a parent is just that, a decision.
For our family, I could not justify making extra money outside my home just to pay someone else to care for my kid. Also, if in fact affection is what stimulates the brain the most from birth to age five, my presence in my child’s daily activities is critical. I am the parent. I should be the one making my young child feel loved and safe not a stranger for 40 – 60 hours a week.
The final factor for me is that I chose to be a parent. My children will be babies for a short time. Then they will grow old to have their own lives and desire more independence than they do now. I get five years, if that, to hug and kiss and love them into amazing human beings. There will come a time when school, friends and their own passions peak their interest much more than their dad and me. If five years is all we have to sacrifice in terms of career and extra cash, it is well worth it for the lifetime of memories we’ll have with our happy children.
Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience.
At 11-years-old I dressed up as a rock star for Halloween. Mami refused to spend $50.00 on a costume I’d only wear once, so I went to my closet for inspiration. I found a pair of black Levis and a black jersey tee. Mami gave me the cash to buy a bottle of temporary hair color from our local Rite Aid. And on that Halloween I stepped out of my NYC apartment with a fuchsia ponytail, a Halloween bag, and a pound of winter gear per Mami’s strict orders. She totally killed my rocker vibe.
My cousins, sister and I hit up the streets of Washington Heights to trick or treat. First stop: the bodega down the block. We passed by a group of teenage boys who made some rude comments I can’t recall, but I know what I felt – egg. That’s right, I said egg. All over the top of my head. One of the boys had wound up his arm like a New York Met and pitched an egg toward me like I was a batter from the Red Sox.
“OOOOOOW!” I cried. Yellow yolk dripped down my hair, passed the fuchsia and trickled down my right temple. And I literally cried. I turned around, tears rolling down my eyes and blending with yolk, and ran all the way home. That ended my love affair with Halloween.
Fast forward two decades later: I am a first time mom and this will be my baby boy’s first Halloween. At four months, he will be a 16 pound Superman. His dad and I, however, are taking a page from my 11-year-old self and putting together costumes from the clothes in our closet. We just don’t want to spend $50.00 on a costume we will only wear once. As Clark Kent, my fiance will don his gray slacks, a white button down, and the affordable Superman undershirt he purchased. I was going to go as Lois Lane, but maybe I’ll scrap that idea and go as Supermom.
Yes, Supermom – the undervalued superhero. The comic book world doesn’t honor her yet she appears everywhere. From the local grocery store to your very own backyard, moms are disciplining their kids, showering them with kisses, mending boo boo’s, balancing checkbooks, scrubbing bathtubs, cooking dinner, leading business calls, crafting personal blogs, and managing employees…sometimes all at once. Although I’ve only been an official mom for a few months, I feel like rocking a Supermom suit as proudly as I did that streak of fuchsia hair. Mostly because I’m trying really hard to be cool, put together, rock star mom. I’m trying to cater to my son’s every need, to be selfless, and for the first time to put my needs second, plus be a present, enjoyable and sexy partner to Dave while sleep-deprived. I also rather not lose my mind in the process. Just last week I woke up a few hours before Evan to flat iron my hair and did so while making breakfast. While straightening the hair on the back of my head, I noticed I had something in between my thighs – a spoon.
This is the funny and often stressful reality of motherhood. Still, I wouldn’t change a thing. The smile on Evan’s face when he wakes every morning is reason enough to sacrifice some of myself, even if it means celebrating Halloween again. So on October 31, 2016, Evan, Dave and I will dress up and take on the mean streets of Long Island. Let’s hope this time the eggs stay in the fridge.
Sujeiry Gonzalez (Love Sujeiry) is a love guru, author, and a radio show host on SiriusXM and reVolver Podcasts. Lover of all things love, authenticity and beauty, she founded LoveSujeiry.com where she keeps it real when dishing dating advice, and sharing the personal ups and downs of relationships, motherhood and a career in media..
Can you believe that 2016 is almost over? We are in the crisp season of fall, the month of October and there’s less than 80 days to remix and turn 2016 around.
As you take a moment to enjoy all the pumpkin spice and apple cider this month, my plan is to ratchet up the to-do list with passion, persistence, favor and balance. You? It takes 30 days to cement a habit. What is it that you want to make mo’ better for the remaining month? Empower yourself to be strategic, make that money call to a potential client or employer, talk up your brand like a rock star, be your authentic self and know that you are talented, and, most importantly, find the time to do you.
Whatever happened or didn’t happen, who really cares. You are breathing – this is the best time to dedicate and implement new habits while taking your brand to the next level.
You are the most important person in the universe and once that is embraced, magic will start to happen. Maybe you accomplished everything you wanted to already this year, however, most of us mortals did not and gave up six months ago. There is still time to make this the best year ever if you commit to a routine and start a new habit.
Here are some tips for an end-of-year remix, starting today:
1. Make a plan. Sounds simple but it requires your absolute attention, time and commitment.
2. Focus. Commit to one thing and work to accomplish this goal daily.
3. Brand attitude. Get excited about your life, plan and showcase your talent with a new, winning approach.
4. Gratitude. Simply thank God for giving you the chance to execute a new plan and living another day.
5. Get Uncomfortable. Take a moment, send a thank you note to someone you admire and let the universe do the rest. Trust.
With peak travel season upon us, many mothers will spend countless hours preparing their family for a trip. Come to think of it, all mothers do this at some point – whether commuting daily or heading out to enjoy a nearby excursion. And while it would be so awesome to get an extra pair of helping hands, you gotta use what you can. Thankfully there are a few items that make the trip a little smoother. Here’s a look at 12 gotta have products for moms on the go.
12 Travel Worthy Products For Busy Moms
Moms are crazy. We run ourselves ragged trying to keep up with everyone and everything. It’s our mission in life to pull it together and keep it together. We take on the world because doing otherwise feels weird—like we’re coming up short.
I recently realized something, though. Our craziness is stressing us, and our families, out. We have to realize that we don’t know everything and it’s totally okay. Here are a few things I think every mom should know if she plans on being a little bit happier and a little less crazy.
1. Dad’s got this. I know it’s hard when the kids are eating junk and their clothes don’t match (sorry, dads), but that stuff won’t kill your kids. Just let dad do his thing and relax. You have to trust him to do things his way.
2. Your kids want to workout with you. Believe it or not, your kids would love to do yoga, take a walk, or play Wii Boxing with you. Get in shape and bond with them while doing it.
3. Family dinners make a difference. People bond over food. Eat with your family as often as possible and you will notice a difference in how connected everyone is.
4. Trying to cook after work is never a good idea. Sure, we want our kids to eat healthy meals, but cooking every night is hard, whether you work outside of the home or not. Try to prep a few meals on Sundays, freeze as much as you can, and remember that a grilled cheese sandwich with some warm tomato soup (could be homemade and frozen) is definitely a meal.
5. Laugh at yourself as much as you can. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You will mess up. Just laugh as much as you can about it. It also teaches your kids to accept their mistakes with grace, which leads to a less stressful life.
6. Kissing guilt goodbye is good for the soul. I am so sick of mommy guilt. Love your kids and just do your best. If you always have their best interest at heart, there is absolutely nothing to ever feel guilty about. They won’t remember every little mistake you make, so why should you?
7. Work on your marriage. A healthy marriage leads to a happier home. If you are unhappy in your relationship, it affects your parenting. You can try to hide it all you want, but kids are pretty intuitive.
8. Quality time can minimize behavior problems. When my kids act up, it’s typically because they need some more of my attention. Put down the phone, iPad or magazine, and give them all of your attention. They crave it.
9. Take a deep breath. We usually take shallow breaths. Practice breathing from your diaphragm and watch your stress level decrease.
10. It’s okay to cry. Let it out. If you are stressed, frustrated, disappointed, confused – whatever the feeling may be – just let it out. Wait until the kids are sleeping, find a quiet place and just cry. Your spirit will thank you.
11. Cocktails are good. Drinking doesn’t fix things, but after a long day it really is okay for mom to just kick back and have a drink. Whether it’s wine or a cocktail, the occasional drink can be just what you need.
12. Be their example. You really can’t eat junk, never workout, and have an attitude, and then expect kids who are kind and super healthy. It just doesn’t work that way. Be who you want them to be. They admire you, so you must lead by example.
13. You don’t always have to sacrifice. When you are a mom, sacrificing for your kids seems to come with the territory, but it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything. Choose a few things that matter to you a lot and make a decision to not sacrifice those things. It will make you a better mom.
14. Sleep when you can. I know lots of moms are hustling and they just can’t find enough time to get the sleep they need. Sometimes, though, you really have to let something go undone so you can get some rest – for real!
15. Wake up first. It’s tempting to catch every single minute of sleep you can, but I promise you that waking up 30 minutes before your kids do can totally change the way your day goes. Try it.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, follow Martine Foreman’s funny and candid take on balancing life as a wife, mom and entrepreneur on her personal blog, CandidBelle.
Not too long ago our little sister Solo released her third full-length album, ranking number one album on the iTunes charts, A Seat At The Table. The album is a passionate and heartfelt ode to Black womanhood, encapsulating the current social climate, and a timelessness of artistic creation. Her mom, affectionately known as Mama Tina (Tina Lawson) took to social media to express her excitement and pride for her daughter’s achievement. With two instagram posts, Tina gushed over Solange’s long overdue recognition as an artist. Each post is dripping in joy, and love, and will have your eyeballs sweating.
Oh my goodness I just found out my Baby has the Number one album in the whole country !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How friggin amazing is that !!!!!! I'm sooooooooooooookoooooooooooo poud of you Solo! I am so happy to see that the world can finally see what I've seen since you were three years old. That you were really special that you were ahead of your time and that you walked to the beat of your own drum and that you stuck to it no matter how much shit people talked.. I knew it ! When you walked thru Sharpstown mall with Angie and everybody was laughing because you had on those platform shoes and Japanese prints stockings and mixed prints braids down past your butt😀you didn't care!
With a bit of humor, Mama goes on with one of Kanye’s most notable quotes, “I’m a let you finish” and shares how she has waited for the day the world would acknowledge, and embrace Solo’s artistic gift, as well as her uniqueness.
I'm sorry Solange I'm a let you finish , but I have to say that I have to finish and Beyonce and myself and Kelly and Angie have often had conversations about you saying "we will cherish the day that the world knows how talented and creative and amazing an artist you are"! I do believe that the day has arrived thank you Almighty God!!! You are-awesome and thank you to all the fans who supported this record you are awesome also !!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
At the moment it doesn’t seem like there is anyone more proud of her children than Mama Tina. Taking every opportunity she can, Tina acknowledges, and revels in her daughter’s successes. Beyonce is even goals for her own mom! With a passion for tacos like the rest of us, Tina also shares via Instagram, that it was a picture of her daughter, sent by her trainer, that kept her fitness goals on track.
Mother Tina is the real Queen. Reigning effortlessly, she has reared, and ushered into greatness two of the world’s most notable musical contributors. She the living holy grail, responsible for a large part of the era we are experiencing. Shoutout to Mrs. Lawson, for coming through for the win!