All Articles Tagged "Parenting"

14 Revelations That Come From Being a Parent

July 23rd, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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14 Revelations That Come From Being a Parent

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Whatever you think you know about life and the world is challenged the moment you introduce a new variable.  For most parents, it’s the birth of your first child that let’s you know that the way you viewed the world might not have been as clear as you thought it was.  Things you know about life, your parents, society and yourself will begin to become clear.

So to all of you parent readers, potential parents, and others who are slightly curious, here are 14 (kind of harsh) revelations that come the moment the doctor hands you your bundle.

How Selfish Is Your Advice?

July 21st, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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As a little girl growing up I had a severe stuttering problem.  It’s really weird to talk about it now, because it’s pretty much nonexistent, but it was very evident as a child.  Because no one really wanted to hold a long conversation with me while I struggled to get words out, I just held everything in.  My speech therapy kicked in when I was in first grade and I felt more comfortable talking to people.  But I was told by my classmates that I sounded like the preacher from Coming to America.   Which is funny now, but was devastating as a child.  What little girl wants to hear that she sounds like a grown man?

As much as I love my family, their advice to me was to just “let it roll off your back, like water off of a duck’s feathers.”  It wasn’t until an argument happened that one of them blurted out:  “I don’t feel like listening to you go on and on!”

That’s when everything clicked.  I always felt as a child that the “just let it go” advice was always self-serving for the person giving it to me.  They didn’t have to listen to me, and I continued to carry on the baggage in ways that I was hurt.  They were happy that they didn’t have that deal with it.  Those words of truthful anger was my confirmation of everything that I suspected.

I vowed that once I had my own child I wouldn’t do that to her.  Until a few weeks ago when the last thing I wanted to hear was screaming and that was all that daughter was offering.  I pulled her to me and said:  “Baby, I need you to stop screaming, okay?  Please play with your toys.”  At that moment, right when I was about to gently push her in the direction of her toy pile I saw that flash of hurt in her eyes.  That feeling of being cast aside because I didn’t even try to really figure out what was wrong with her.  I just gave her a quick solution so I could go about my day.  Realizing that, I felt horrible, but at the same time forgiving to everyone who I felt had done me in the same manner.

Let’s be honest here, sometimes we don’t feel like being bothered.  It can be extremely upsetting, and overwhelming when your friend is constantly going through the same struggles, and you’re tired of hearing about it.  I understand.  So you might give him/her some advice, not necessarily because you think that it’s the right thing to do, you’re just trying to give him/her a quick fix so they can stop bothering you about it.

I feel as though we’ve all been there at some point of time.  But let’s get this first thing straight though:  that doesn’t make you necessarily a malicious person.  Yeah, your intentions might have been self-serving, but you are just a person at the end of the day who is fighting their own battles and struggles.  Sometimes it’s hard taking on the baggage of others, and sometimes you shouldn’t have to.

With that being said, if you are in a position to give advice, try to give it in a spirit of wanting to help, not just shut the person up.  If you have a friend that is going through emotional struggles at home, and he/she keeps on venting to you about it, don’t give them some second rate fortune cookie advice.  Suggest something that can help, like seeking counseling.

Because the only thing that selfish advice usually leads to is resentment.  It’s understandable that  you might not be able to handle what your loved one is throwing at you, but try to help them aim for help in the best way that you can.

Kendra Koger did find out why her daughter was crying (she broke her crayon), find out about the saga on twitter @kkoger.  …(Not really, I don’t tweet about stuff like that.)

I’ll Pass: Celebs Who Don’t Want Children

July 9th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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To be a parent or not to be a parent. That is not the question for these celebrities. While children can be a blessing to many, these stars have decided to forego being called “Mommy” or “Daddy” and have opted for a kid-free lifestyle.

Celebs Who Don't Want Children

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Cameron Diaz

In her upcoming movie “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” Cameron Diaz plays a mom, but in real life the 41-year-old has gotten a lot of flack for being single and never becoming a mom. She has been vocal in the past about not having children and has admitted that she made a choice to focus on her career instead. “It’s so much more work to have children,” Diaz told “Esquire” magazine. “To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that’s all day, every day for eighteen years. Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision.

Mother To Leave 3 Kids In The UK To Marry Imprisoned Pen Pal

July 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 3.55.36 PM

British mother Jennifer Butler is flying 5,000 miles from England to Minnesota to marry Christopher Mosier.

Sounds like a romantic tale right? Well the verdict is still out on that one. Keep reading.

Not only is Mosier, 23, a convicted criminal, currently serving time, Butler will be leaving her three children, all under the age of ten, behind in England to be raised by their father whom she separated from in 2010.

Butler, 29,  is chasing love. She plans to marry Mosier who will be released on parole in September.

“Some people might think I’m bonkers for falling in love with a prisoner. And no everyone will agree with our relationship but Chris is a wonderful man. Sure, he made a few mistakes in the past, but everybody deserves a second chance.”

Butler started writing to Mosier in 2011 once she saw his profile on the writeaprisoner website. As the name denotes, it sets up prisoners with pen pals.

His profile said that he was sentenced to 15 years for violent burglary and drug charges.

Butler says she felt a connection to Mosier instantly and was impressed by his honesty.

“I felt sorry for him being locked up, nobody to talk to except other prisoners. Of course, I didn’t condone his crimes. But he was still a human being, and deserved to have a friend.”

But it wasn’t long before that turned into something else. The pair were writing each other 2-3  letters a week. But last summer Mosier suddenly stopped writing and that’s when Butler realized he was more than that.

“I felt really sad that I hadn’t heard from him. That’s when I realized my feelings for him ran a lot deeper. I no longer saw him as just a friend anymore.”

Shortly after Mosier reached out to tell her that the prison had been on lockdown and he hadn’t been able to get stamps to write her.

“I realized I was in love with him and that letter made me admit it to myself. I couldn’t bear to lose him.” 

She even encouraged her children to write to him. But now she’s taking their relationship to the next level.

After saving up money from her job as a part time sales assistant, Butler bough a ticket to Minnesota where Mosier is currently incarcerated.

She visited him in October last year, shortly afterward Mosier was in a fight and lost visitation privileges. The couple had to speak through a glass screen.

“We weren’t allowed to touch because he was a maximum-security  prisoner at the time. We had a glass window between us and had to talk through a phone. When I saw him walking down the corridor I knew he was the man for me. We talked for four hours and it felt like I’d known him all my life.” 

Butler says that once she’s settled in the U.S., she’ll reunite with her children.

“He held my hand and said how much I meant to him and he got emotion. He never usually does. He then said he wanted to make me happy and asked me to marry him. I just broke down. I said of course I would.” 

The couple plan to marry when he’s released.

Well this is different right? What do you think about Butler’s decision to not only date but marry a criminal? And what do you think about her leaving her children in the interim? When I read the story on another site it made no mention of her returning for her children but The Daily News says she will. If that’s true is it a little side eye worthy for her to leave her children with their father or is it understandable when looking for love?

Michelle Obama Stuns On The Cover Of ESSENCE

June 30th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Our First Lady is looking absolutely gorgeous on the cover of ESSENCE. Inside of the magazine’s August 2014 issue, Lady O dishes on the importance of education and how she’s preparing her daughters, Sasha and Malia, to be successful out in the real world. Check out some highlights from her interview below.

On teaching her daughters about hard work and perseverance:

“I know I tell my kids all the time that they shouldn’t shy away from difficult things, because that is the point at which you are really growing. It’s not just about grades or test scores. Today our kids may shy away from applying to college if they think they don’t have the right grade or test score. But the truth is that the kids who succeed and go on to be successful professionals are the ones who know how to work hard.”

On African-Americans owing it to their ancestors to get educated:

“We cannot waste the opportunity that we have here in America, especially as African-Americans. Our ancestors fought and bled and died so that we could go to school. And I still think about that.”

On teaching her daughters to be accountable:

“We talk about responsibility and accountability, about making sure that they’re not wasting the opportunities they’re given. We make sure they know how lucky they are and that, because of that, they have an obligation to have their acts together and to take their education very seriously.”

Catch her full interview in the August 2014 issue of ESSENCE, which hits stands July 4.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Nia Long Talks Co-Parenting, Being Friends With Her Ex & Their Nontraditional Family Structure

June 30th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Beauty and business sense are a powerful combination when it comes to show biz and apparently, Nia Long was blessed with both. We were able to catch up with the brown-eyed beauty for an intimate chat to discuss her new partnership with Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds Lustre, how she balances motherhood with her career and getting to a place of friendship with her ex-fiancé to provide the best co-parenting scenario for her older son, Massai.

“Put the child first,” Nia calmly advised. “The child always, always comes first. And agree to disagree on certain things. If you set an example, your child will understand the value in every relationship. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a marriage or someone you spend the rest of your life with.”

Of course, this is certainly easier said than done, but Massai knowing that his parents did all that they could to create a stable life for him—including putting their differences aside and forming a friendship—seems to make it all worthwhile for the “Divide” actress.

“I know one thing that my boy Massai will be able to say is, ‘Yeah, my mom and dad may have had their differences, but they liked each other.’ He may not be able to articulate that at this time, but I believe when he is an adult, he will say, ‘Yeah, they had their moments, but they were cool.’ His dad comes over to dinner. He’s still a part of my family. It may not be traditional, I may not have had seven marriages [like Elizabeth Taylor], but you have to do what works. Not what other people think works for you. Just be liberated. What are we tied down to? We tie ourselves down.”

Speaking of motherhood, we’re still amazed at how Nia does it all. She is currently raising two young boys, preparing for the debut of her new WE tv series, “The Divide,” and promoting the fragrance. But when we asked about the secrets behind her impressive balancing act, the 43-year-old bombshell didn’t have a fancy mantra to offer.

“You tend to the things that require your immediate attention and then you do one thing at a time,” she simply stated.

In fact, mid-interview, a minor crisis involving her 2-year-old son, Kez, was resolved.

“Last night we were having appetizers. My mother called and I hear my baby screaming in the background. I’m like, ‘Oh my God what’s the matter?’ and she’s like ‘Oh, he’s coughing a lot.’ And I’m like ‘Okay, well just don’t let him run around.’ You know, he’s my sensitive one. Then I get a call around four in the morning, ‘Oh, his temperature is really, really high. So I’ve been up since four, he’s fine. But that’s part of my life and I can’t deny any of that.”

Thankfully, during our interview, she received an update that baby Kez was doing much better.

 “I just got an update– no temp, no runny nose,” her publicist interjected.

“So you just go with the flow, it takes a village. I just do the best that I can do and I don’t try to be superwoman,” said a smiling Nia.

“I just try to stay honest and grounded and I think motherhood helps a lot with that. You’ll get such a different perspective. First you’ll be like, ‘Oh, this is who I am now?’ You just improve greatly because you know now that it’s not just you for you, but it’s for this other little person who watches everything you do [...] They’re a direct reflection of the best part of ourselves.”

9 Strange Things You Never Knew About Breastfeeding

June 25th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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9 Strange Things You Never Knew About Breastfeeding

Source: Shutterstock

From YourTango

By Nicole Weaver and Michelle Toglia

There are so many arguments for and against breastfeeding. And the controversy surrounding it (and doing it in public) is constantly in the news, whether it’s Facebook figuring out its stance on the topic or a celebrity mom posting a special, proud moment with her child on Instagram.

There are also a lot of myths out there circling the act. There’s no doubt a great bonding experience that you can share with your baby but what about the bizarre stuff that no one ever tells you?

Well luckily, we gathered some of the stranger facts about breastfeeding that will definitely amaze you.

1. The Taste Of Breast Milk Is Never Boring

You would imagine that someone would get tired of having the same thing to drink morning, noon, and night but according to Women’s Health, your breast milk can taste different according to what you eat. This is a great way for nature to help prepare your baby to get used to the taste of solid foods.

2. Your Breasts Provide “Liquid Gold” For The First Few Days.

After giving birth, your breasts provide yellowish liquid also known as colostrum, or liquid gold. According to Women’s Health, it’s packed with so many nutrients like calcium, potassium, proteins, minerals and antibodies. It’s also filling.

3. Breast Milk Has Healing Power.

You might have heard this before but were skeptical about the truthfulness of this statement, but it’s the real deal. According to Pregnancy Info, breast milk can heal minor injuries like conjunctivitis or “Pink eye,” ear infections, scratches, cuts and sore nipples. Who knew?That will save you a visit to the first aid aisle for quite some time.

Read more on YourTango.com.

Mom Upset After Children’s Church Photo Is Turned Into A ‘Color Purple’ Meme

June 17th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Virginia mother outraged after children's church photo is turned into a 'Color Purple' meme.

Sources: IG, CBS6

 

A Virginia mom is urging parents to think twice before sharing photos of their children on the Internet after an innocent photo of her 8-year-old son and 2-year-old twin daughters were turned into offensive Instagram memes.

“This has taught me a lesson,” Ciara Logan of Virginia told CBS 6. “My message is share them with the ones you love via text message,” she said. “Get a page that is for family only, and private your page.”

The mom of three says that she was first alerted to the memes after a stranger liked three photos on her Instagram page that did not feature her children. After visiting the stranger’s page to learn more about him, she was shocked to see that he’d featured a photo of her children that she captured on Father’s Day.

“As I scrolled through his pictures, I saw this picture of my children,” Ciara said.

The images included captions and hashtags that implied many negative things about her children—including that her son is a predator.

“To insinuate that my son is a pimp — or that my son is selling cars — because he has on a suit and he has two little girls with him — or to hashtag, ‘keep him away from those girls,’ as if to say my son is a predator,” Ciara expressed.

“He’s an eight-year-old boy who is very caring, very loving, very nourishing, very protective of his sisters,” she continued.

Ciara’s mother, Louise Logan, also expressed outrage over the images.

“To have someone display my grandchildren, with so much negative connotations and distastefulness…. I was just in awe, and it needs to stop,” she said.

After discovering the images, Ciara immediately contacted the poster and requested that they be removed. The poster, however, did not comply with her request. Instead, he blocked her, made his page private and changed his username. She also reached out to Instagram, who told her to immediately remove all photos of her children from her page as a precaution.

Thoughts?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

12 Not So Pleasant Things No One Says About Parenthood

June 5th, 2014 - By Zainab Karim
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Parenting is a very sensitive subject. While there are many great things that come out of raising another human being, there are other situations that are not so ideal. Here’s a list of some things that are not often said about parenthood that people planning to have children should know.

Your children can become your whole life

Things No One Says About Parenthood

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It certainly isn’t a bad thing to become very involved in your children’s lives in order to help them grow but there is a chance you may become emotionally dependent on your children and that will eventually become a problem as they develop into more independent beings. Take time for yourself, without guilt, and you’ll be able to maintain your own independent identity outside of being a parent.

Study Says Pregnancy May Be Contagious

June 4th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Study Says Pregnancy May Be Contagious Among Friends

Source: Quickmeme.com

If it always seems like pregnancies among your social circles come back to back or in multiples, a new study suggests that it’s not all in your head. According to the study, young women whose high school friends have bore children are more likely to join the mommy club shortly after. Researchers note that they noticed the trend in young women in the United States who planned their pregnancies. However, the baby-making decisions of friends showed no direct impact on unplanned pregnancies.

“In our study we focus on high school friends because the later a friendship is formed, the more likely it is that the individual chooses the friends on common future family plans or common family orientations,” Nicoletta Balbo, a researcher at the Carlo F. Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy told Reuters Health.

The study followed 1,170 of women beginning in the 1990s when they were adolescents. The participants were interviewed several times over the years. Out of the 1,170 participants, 820 became pregnant during the study. According to what the women revealed during interviews, approximately half of the pregnancies were planned, while the other half were not. The study revealed that after one friend in each pair had a baby, the likelihood of that other friend having a baby went up for nearly two years, the declined.

According to Balbo, who coauthored the study with Nicola Barban, a sociologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, there are three ways in which a friend may influence another friend’s decision to have a child.

“The first mechanism that might be at play is the so-called social influence,” she said. “We all compare ourselves to our friends and being surrounded by friends who are parents makes us feel pressure to conform to parental status as well.”

The second mechanism is social learning, says Balbo.

“Friends are an important learning source,” she explained. “Becoming a parent is a radical change in an individual’s or a couple’s life, and by observing our friends, we can learn how to fulfill this new role and therefore be more willing to become parents.”

Lastly, Balbo says having children at the same time as a friend can prove to be less stressful and more cost-effective.

“For example, we can share the childbearing experience and thus reduce the stresses and costs associated with pregnancy and child rearing,” she said. “In contrast, being the only childless couple within a group of friends who have children can lead to isolation.”

Researchers note that the association between friends and childbearing was only studied in first-borns and not subsequent births.