All Articles Tagged "Parenting"

Where Were All The Parenting Experts When Future Left Ciara?

August 3rd, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Over the weekend, images of Baby Future, Russell Wilson and Ciara at training camp surfaced on the internet. And the firestorm followed soon after. Black men in the entertainment community suddenly had so much to say about Ciara allowing Baby Future to be around her new man.

They argued that it was too soon to have her child around this dude.

That it was a sign of disrespect to her ex fiancĂŠ, father of her child, rapper Future.

That Baby Future shouldn’t be dressing like and hugging a man who is not his daddy.

People like Lil Duval and even T.I. spoke out about Ciara’s decision, publicly on social media.

TheShadeRoom captured this comment from T.I.

#TI shares his opinion on the photos of #RussellWilson and #BabyFuture!! @ebrointheam

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

And Lil Duval sent out this string of Tweets.

I must admit, I agree with Lil Duval…partially.

Though I sincerely doubt it, I would hope that Future and Russell have had a chance to sit down and chat since it seems that he’ll be spending so much time with his son. Though Ciara and Russell are celebrities; in the grand scheme of things, they’ve been dating less than a year. And if, God forbid, Russell and Ciara don’t work out, not only will Ciara have to deal with another heartbreak, her son will too. It’s risky.

But, at the end of the day, this is her decision to make.

If anyone knows Future’s relationship with his son, it’s Ciara. I don’t know how much of a presence he is in his son’s life, but judging by the fact Baby Future and Russell seem to be together almost every weekend…we can draw our own conclusions. I would hope that Future has the best intentions for his son, but in an attempt to tour, promote this album and build a name for himself, he doesn’t necessarily have time to be jetting all over the country to be visiting his 50-11 kids.

Therefore, Russell to the rescue.

Whether you agree with Ciara’s choice to have Russell around her son or not, it’s done. And from the looks of things, the boy is attached to him. So if a one year old toddles over to you and leans in for an embrace, is Russell supposed to ignore him just because he’s not his daddy? Nah. Most of us wouldn’t do that to a baby on the street, more less to the child of someone we’re dating.

But to me, the biggest issue that this discussion has seemed to highlight is the ways in which men repeatedly fail to hold each other accountable.

I seriously wonder where Lil Duval and T.I. were when Future left Ciara shortly after or before their son was even born? Where were their outrage and parenting discussions then?

As a childless woman, I have my own thoughts about when you should and shouldn’t bring children around your dating partners, but I also know that if a man makes the conscious decision not to stay with the mother of his child, he should leave with the assumption that not only will she move on but his child will have to build a relationship with another man.

Honestly, it frustrates me that when men make poor decisions, it’s not another man’s place to speak on his behavior. But when there’s even the perception that a woman is doing the same, dudes who lead questionable lives themselves, want to jump in and discuss what women should and shouldn’t be doing. How about you check your brotha, who, at least for T.I., is a peer in the rap game, instead attempting to speak against a woman’s parenting decision for her child.

That’s that isht I don’t like.

Particularly when, it seemed that Future did the exact same thing.

Exhibit A:

True @_bijae_ kill the double standards. #Ciara #Future #RussellWilson #BabyFuture

A photo posted by Gossip Starr ☕️ (@gossipstarr) on

You can’t trust everything on Instagram. But if that is indeed one of Future’s children, then Ciara was hanging around with his child fresh out the womb.

And I have to disagree with Lil Duval about it being different having a woman around a child. A woman can pose just as much of a threat. So again, where were y’all at when ole boy was exhibiting this exact same behavior?


If you’re going to drag one, you certainly need to drag the other.

I, for one, am hoping that Russell and Ciara last forever just to shut down all the haters and faux parenting experts who seem to think she’s in the wrong for moving on with her life and taking her son along with her.

Letting Go Of My Inner Child To Raise My Daughter

July 29th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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I’ve been very open when it comes to discussing my daughter, but I’ve been a little mum about the other child in my life.  The reason being that I didn’t realize she was still there.  I couldn’t see her, but lo and behold, every time I got dressed, she was there.  Every time I hung out with my daughter, she was there.  Every time I went for a walk, she was there.  Every time I looked in the mirror, yep, you guessed it, she was there.

Sometimes she was happy, other times she was anxious, and more times than not she was unhappy and afraid, and like every form of energy, it was contagious.  I thought that maybe if I ignored her she would eventually go away, but she wouldn’t.  She held my hand whenever I slept and reminded me of all of the fears I had growing up.

She was me.

In certain forums, I’ve been open about some of the trauma I faced as a child, and there are some things that I choose to keep between myself and a trusted counselor.  Though my parents did the best they could to ensure we had a good life, there were things that were out of their control. Because I was so secretive, they weren’t able to help me when I was suffering the most.  I suffered in silence. As I grew older, the part of me that was in pain stayed in pain, looking up at me as I grew in maturity and stature, wondering when she could go off on her own.

However, like my daughter, I kept her close to me because I felt like I needed her.  I was afraid of what would happen if she were out of my sight.  What if she got hurt again?  There needed to be someone to keep an eye on her, and I was the only person strong enough to do it. So, I held her hand and told us that “It’ll be okay.  Let’s just take it one day at a time.” We continued our journey.

But taking care of a child is hard. As my daughter is growing each day, I see her happiness, and I look down at my little self and try to figure out ways to ensure that she never faces the same trauma I did.

As I watched my daughter get older, I realized that I had to let a few things go for my own growth.  I could no longer baby her, and my parenting style needed to morph to meet each new milestone.  But, most importantly, I had to let my old self go.  I knew that holding on to her was stopping me from being the best mother that I could be.  I also realized that her presence was more detrimental to me than helpful.  I knew she didn’t mean any harm, and in a way, I knew that she wanted to leave as well.  She’d seen herself grow up and turn every tear that she cried into strength, intelligence, and tenacity.  She could finally rest because she knew that it wasn’t all in vain.

So, I let her go.

I thought I would miss her, but I’m so much happier now that I’ve released her.  But, I’ll be honest with you. There are times where she’ll peek her head in at me.  Times when I’m questioning “What now?” or “How did this happen?”  She’ll sometimes come around as old problems present themselves again, or I happen to see an old scar.  But when I realize that both she and my daughter are watching me, it encourages me to remember that I’ve grown into a better person than my past self thought I could.  I hug my daughter and give my old self a nod to let her know:  “I’m okay.  You can go now.” And like the obedient (sometimes to my own detriment) child I’ve always been, she’ll leave and tell me:  “Okay.”

Diner Owner Yells At Toddler For Crying In Restaurant: “This Has Got To Stop!”

July 21st, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The owner and chief cook of Marcy’s Diner, located in Maine, Darla Neugebauer received backlash via social media for yelling at a toddler for crying incessantly during a recent visit. Neugebauer wrote on Facebook that the girl had been crying for over 40 minutes, when she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the young child, “This has got to stop!”

The Associated Press reports, Neugebauer observed the parents of the 21-month-old child during their visit. They ordered three pancakes for their daughter but didn’t feed her when the food arrived. Neugebauer said of her behavior, “Life’s full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them, I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left. They may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really.”

The child’s mother, Tara Carson, wrote on Facebook that people should understand crying is normal for children to do, especially if they waited a long time for food. Carson added that she turned to her daughter after Neugebauer yelled at her and said she is not raising her child to become someone like the owner of the diner: “I felt helpless as a mom that, you know, I couldn’t do anything to help her, because I can’t explain why there’s crazy people in this world that behave like that.”

Although tons of people have added their two cents on the Marcy’s Diner Facebook page, Neugebauer seems #unbothered. In many of the diner’s Facebook posts, Neugebauer notes she gets “sh*t done” and her supporters have left encouraging messages, noting they will continue to support her business.

Should business owners ask families with crying children to be quiet?

ABC US News | World News

Respect For Everyone, Or Just Your Situation? The ‘Business’ Of Kids Dining In Restaurants

July 21st, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Black family with children/kids eating food at restaurant, Shutterstock


This story is bound to piss people off — regardless if you have kids or not.

A Maine business owner is receiving harsh criticism over her decision to yell at a child who wouldn’t stop crying in her establishment. The toddler supposedly wouldn’t keep quiet after her parents ordered pancakes and didn’t give her any. Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy’s Diner, reportedly asked the parents to get their child to stop yelling before pressing them to leave. When nothing worked, she screamed at the kid.

When news about this story broke, folks took to their social media — and fast — to discuss a touchy subject that deserves a mention, but often gets a silent side eye: Should parents think twice about bringing their children to restaurants?

Obviously this could stem into a series of other areas, but we’ll keep it here for now.

As a parent of a toddler and newborn, I can tell you it will be impossible to keep parents away. It could be considered discrimination if you think anyone with a few cubs shouldn’t be allowed in places to eat. As much as I love my children, I don’t always want to stay home, or go to a child-friendly establishment for that matter. At some point, you get tired of sippy cups and plastic cutlery.

In the same breath, my husband and I have a “not us” policy. In case you don’t know what that is, should our 18-month-old get a little unruly while we’re out eating, we ask for boxes to wrap up our food and head home.

Not us.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that yelling at a kid isn’t exactly good for business. It’s okay to feel frustrated and ask a patron to leave should you feel it necessary. However, screaming at someone’s child could very well be grounds to fight. I was just about ready to write off the owner of this restaurant as crazy until I read reports the patrons’ child was crying for close to 45 minutes. While yelling at a toddler probably isn’t best (the parents deserved it), at some point, you need to ask yourself when enough is enough.

Before I had kids, I never understood how or why parents would allow their little ones to act crazy in public establishments. Years later with two under age two, I now get how real the struggle is. One thing I always try to keep in mind is everyone else. My family is the world to me, but the universe does not revolve around them. I’ve been in restaurants where I couldn’t hear myself think — let alone the person I was eating with — because a child was running up and down the aisles, or screaming bloody murder. I’ve also witnessed some very well-behaved kids in nice dining facilities.

If you’re a paying customer you have right to enjoy a service or product. That doesn’t mean a business owner won’t think twice about the general good. If your child is constantly interrupting the enjoyment of others, don’t act surprised if and when a manager or owner comes for you. One can only hope they do it in a tasteful manner and give you the proper time to try and mend things on your own. But if you just doesn’t care, or ignore the actions of your child (I think they’re the same), you might want to ask for a to-go box.

What do you think about children in restaurants?

How Taking Care Of Myself Helped Me Take Better Care Of My Daughter

July 13th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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If you could personify a desert, you would get me and my skin.  As a child, I had the driest skin in the world. I had countless dermatologist appointments where they sent in multiple doctors to rub my skin and discuss how unbelievably rough it was (and this was all before the age of 5).

I remember being a young child, in Mobile, Ala. with a mother who tried all of the recommended old wives’ tale solutions for dealing with my dry skin.  However, everything became manageable when she started picking certain types of soaps for me to use and covered me in Vaseline the moment I got out of the tub or shower.  Besides being slightly slippery and shiny for a few minutes, there were few downsides to it.

Because of all of that, I’ve always had a strong inclination to take excellent care of my skin and hair. Those were the two things that people seemed to talk about the most with me.  Since my hair was long enough to sit on for most of my life, I felt the responsibility to keep it healthy.

That was until I had my daughter.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I just felt like I couldn’t emotionally handle my normal skin and hair routine after a while. I’ve been very transparent about the fact that around the time that my daughter was born, my marriage was also disintegrating, and I was trying to do a whole lot to keep things afloat.  As I tried, in vain, to work on my marriage, and tend to our daughter, taking care of myself just naturally fell by the wayside.

I bought the cheapest soaps, stopped applying Vaseline and bought the cheapest shampoos I could find.  I didn’t even buy conditioner, let alone leave-in conditioner.  I stopped moisturizing my hair, and the moment after I washed it I just put it in a bun and it let it stay like that until the next washing.  I felt like a shell of a person both figuratively and literally. My skin was so dry, and I was cracking, bleeding and peeling all over our apartment.

But, if you could personify a sponge, you would have my daughter.  She is constantly observing and taking things in. Once I realized that the example I was setting for her was one I didn’t want her to follow, I knew I had to do better.

I realized that the best thing that I could do for her was to be happy with myself.  I spent a lot of her first year stressed and struggling, but once we got on our own, things eventually got better.  With that inner peace that I developed, I was able to help bring my outer appearance back to the way it was before all of the turmoil.  Taking care of myself no longer became a burden, and taking care of her became something enjoyable for her as well.

As a single mother now, with things being simplified, I’ve been able to buy my enriching fragrance-free soaps, Vaseline, olive oil (for my hair), and my shampoos and conditioners.  But since my daughter’s skin isn’t as dry as mine, I buy her her own soaps and moisturizers, and hair products that cater to natural hair since that’s what she’s rocking.

I try to instill in her the idea that she should always take good care of herself because when she gets older, she’ll be the one responsible for her well-being.  But on top of that, I always remind her that no matter what she looks like, what’s on the inside is what’s going to reflect on the outside.  So, as long as she maintains her inner glow, all moisturizers and hair products are going to do is enhance it.

The Gift of Life: Did You Get A “Push Present” After Having A Baby?

July 11th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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"pregnancy myths"

The first time I ever heard of a “push present” was when Tamar Braxton was shading hubby Vincent Herbert on “The Real” after he neglected to give her one after birthing baby Logan. He later made up for his oversight by gifting her with a huge diamond ring. Then there’s the rumored $770,000 tiger-striped diamond ring Kanye blew on wife, Kim after delivering North West in addition to sparing no expense on a birthing suite complete with leather sofas, mani/pedis and blow outs at Kim’s command in between breastfeeding and burping (which I am going to assume she did herself).

After I gave birth to my daughter last fall, I barely got an Edible Arrangement let alone a tiger diamond, but the idea of getting a “push present” after having a lavish baby shower and having the world wait on you hand and foot for nine months just screams excessive greed to me. It makes a sad statement on a culture I feel is no longer appreciating moments for that sentimental value and using them as mere opportunities to “turn up and get stuff”.

Don’t get me wrong, milestones in life such as weddings, births, graduations should be celebrated. The problem for me is when people think these times are an excuse to have their hand out, especially when a side-eye is given to any gift that someone didn’t have to invest a whole year’s salary into. People are expecting more and more for less and less energy and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like any woman who can endure pregnancy and birth deserves all the respect and love in the world, but at the end of the day you aren’t doing anything your body wasn’t already designed to do. You didn’t colonize another planet for humans to live on or invent an alternative energy source, you gave birth and women have been doing it for millions of years without a “push present” to look forward to.

I won’t feed you some Hallmark BS about how a beautiful, healthy baby should be all the gift you need after giving birth. After having a c-section I was nursing a mean set of staples and hadn’t bathed for at least two days. Not only was I being harassed by a nurse about if I had passed gas yet, but also by an annoying photographer that wanted to take pics of me and my newborn while I sat in a satin bonnet looking anything but “glowing”. Trust me, a push present may have took my self-esteem up a few notches (but I didn’t actually have to “push” so I guess that’s why my present wasn’t in sight). So I totally understand how a woman wants to feel appreciated and rewarded for getting that mini human into the world safely after a labor that might make you feel like you’re going to meet your maker. But if what Tiffany locket you’re going to get to makes or breaks your priorities as a new mom, I’m going to need you to get it together. And it’s one thing if you’re child’s father is Vincent Herbert who is worth a reported $10 million, but if you are parading a flashy push present and wondering how you are going to afford formula: Get your priorities straight, ASAP. This also applies if you’re hype about a getting a Birkin diaper bag from a guy who also impregnated his side chick at the same time.

The Today Show recently asked viewers how they felt about push presents with 45% saying they weren’t fans, 28% responding that they were great and the remaining 27% who were clueless about the whole process like me thinking, “Does you partner pop up with a Tiffany bracelet before or after cutting the cord?”.

Look, I’m not hard to please. After 8 months of motherhood , I’ll take a good six hours of sleep and a bottle of Yellowtail Big Bold Red as push presents. But in all honesty I must say there are sweet simple moments in motherhood that money just can’t buy. And if your partner wants to get you a little something for harboring another human being over your bladder for almost a whole year, that’s awesome. But it matters not if that same person is pulling a no show during every 3 AM feeding. At the same time if he blanks on the push present, but spends the next year covered in spit up and swaddling mid REM, you’ve probably got a winner even if you don’t have a new piece of jewelry to show for it.

Most importantly, giving birth should your first and most important lesson in motherhood: It’s no longer only about you. If you’re more concerned about flossing your gifts for the ‘Gram and getting a pat on the back, you might need to nip that narcissism in the bud before baby takes his first steps.

How do you feel about “push presents”? Here’s how other women felt about the business of getting gifts for giving life:

“I have no idea what that is. I’ve never heard of it. But in regards to presents, I think that American culture is constantly inventing new reason to receive presents and it’s shallow and unnecessary.”

“I never heard about ‘push presents’ until a friend asked was my child’s father getting me one when I was pregnant earlier this year. I knew he wasn’t, so she ended up getting him one to give it to me. Apparently, I definitely deserved one.”

“It’s cute.  Like a ‘thank you for sacrificing your abs to bring my baby into the world.'”

“People hype about a ‘push gift’ and got a trifling behind baby’s dad.  Explain how that makes sense?”

“I thought gifts were just for the baby. Damn, the mom gets a gift too?  Does dad get anything? I mean he showed up at least once for this whole process.”


Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

“You’re Surviving The Struggle Too?” Why Parents Need To Commiserate

June 25th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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Image Source:

I don’t know what made me go right back upstairs that night.  I feel as though it was because I could hear my daughter saying:  “Oh no!”  through the floor/ceiling, or maybe because it was too quiet.  I can’t really remember.

After putting her to bed, and going down into the kitchen to wash the dishes. I keep to a pretty regimented schedule to check on her every five minutes. But after a minute of being downstairs and before I could run the dish water, something led me to go upstairs to see what was going on.   I was shocked to see my daughter, standing in front of my open laptop, with the top off of her sippy cup, and water dripping off of my now glitchy computer.

“What did you do?!”  Came screeching out of my mouth as I ran to my precious computer.  This was the one thing that is barely keeping us from eating government cheese, which I left upstairs so she could watch her Spongebob DVD to help her go to sleep (since our DVD player just broke), and  was now in danger.  I felt horrible as she looked at me like:  “What’s wrong?”

I realized that I might not have felt so overwhelmed if a few days before I didn’t go to check on her during her sleep and realized that my daughter looked a lot more shiny than she normally did.  I went into the bedroom and realized that she had taken all of the Vaseline out of it’s container and spread it all over herself, her bed, sheets, and floor, and multiple toys, before promptly going to sleep.

Here’s the secret that goes along with parenting, (and I’m not addressing those hateful/murderous parents) you’re going to always love your children but you’re not going to always love parenting or the things that they do.  You’re going to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or sometimes want to cry in the car/shower/in a pint of butter pecan.

The reason for so much of the frustration is because you feel as if you are alone.  I’ve said once before that parenting is the personification of Facebook, where you only actively show the positives, but suffer in silence about the negative aspects of your journey.

However, after I googled:  “My three year old is destructive” and found a wealth of articles of parents proudly sharing accounts of their children being “bad” and pictures to go along with it is when I finally felt a weight remove itself from my shoulders.

For such a long time, I was worried that my daughter was exhibiting behaviors that were indicators of future worse behavior.  But it wasn’t until I finally opened up my circle of parenting that I realized that she was just behaving like a normal toddler.  Toddlers are just trying to figure out the world on their own, and if that means taking something apart, or pouring something on something else, they’re going to do it.

I’ve had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with social media where I felt as though too many people were sharing unnecessary information, expecting some type of praise for it, but once I became a parent I found a new appreciation for it.  That’s why I was so happy when I saw the photo that Elisha Beach shared, because it was proof that I wasn’t alone.  There were too many times that right as my cheeks were hitting the seat my daughter burst through the door like the Kool-aid man, gave me a thumbs up for “using the potty” and then started having a full-blown discussion while I sat there thinking:  “Can I have some alone time?!”

Commiserating isn’t about bashing your children together, it’s a way for parents to be able to bond, realize that they’re not alone and to find tried and true ways to help them usher their children into a healthy adulthood.  Instead of suffering in silence and allowing that to build up to an unhealthy amount of resentment, you’ll be surprised how talking to other parents openly and honestly is going to help lighten the load.  Instead of feeling like you’re a terrible parent, trying your best and failing miserably, you’ll realize that you’re in a sea of other parents who are trying as well and will allow you to know that you’re not alone.  So don’t be afraid to share, however, never leave your computer alone with a three year old and a cup of water.  Trust me.

Kendra Koger’s computer is working fine and she occasionally uses it on twitter @kkoger.

When Mother-Daughter Matching Goes Wrong

June 17th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Remember when you were 6 years old and you wanted to dress up just like mommy and she let you? More than likely that meant wearing a matching t-shirt or a dress that fell somewhere between your calf and your ankles with an ugly bib-like thingy on top and a floral pattern while your mom selflessly wore the adult version to make you happy (sorry I’m having JC Penny catalog flashbacks). In 2015, it apparently means wearing a suggestive two-piece bikini. That’s if you’re the daughter of reality star Kimbella Vanderhee.

You likely haven’t thought much about the baby mother of rapper Juelz Santana since she got her but whooped on the second season of Love & Hip Hop NY, but today she has the internet on fire after posting the image above on Instagram, which mostly everyone who comes across has responded to with one word: inappropriate.

The sales gimmick (uploaded as a faux mother-daughter moment) features the video model with her daughter, both in scantily clad swimsuits, in a post that starts off asking, “don’t we look cute?” and ends with a coupon code encouraging other mothers to buy swimsuits so they can be twins with their daughter on the beach — or their living room, I guess. Now do you see why she’s become a trending topic on Twitter?

Off the bat, I know there are some people who have a problem with little girls wearing two-piece bathing suits in any shape or form. I’m not one of them. I’m not a fan, however, of pre-pubescent little girls wearing tiny two-piece bathing suits made out of materials only strippers and American Apparel shoppers wear, and then posting pictures of said child on the internet pulling her panties down almost to her pubic bone. In no way am I insinuating that Kimbella made her child pose in a suggestive way to make a buck, what I am saying is the particular picture posted online does suggest that the former reality star is exploiting her young daughter for material gain. The look on the little girl’s face says she’d rather be anywhere but in that bathing suit holding her mother’s hand, and I’m pretty sure the reason her bottoms are pulled down so low is because she was two seconds from stepping out of them. Could it be she has more sense than her mother?

On Kimbella’s timeline, you’ll find many fans of the video chick who question why people care what pictures she posts of her daughter online. The fact that those people follow Kimbella on social media to begin with explains that perspective. In all actuality, Kimbella’s daughter’s swimsuit really isn’t the only issue here. The mom could also stand to tone the sexy — and the cleavage — down a bit herself while posing with a young, impressionable little girl who, in a few years, will no doubt be attempting to replicate some of the moves she’s seen her mom do. And let’s not forget the internet is ripe with pedophiles and predators who live for images like this and may not settle on experiencing this fantasy from behind their computer screens alone. I’m no prude, so I say make your money how you make it, but when your business is being hypersexual and half-dressed I think you can leave the babies out. And that includes social media.

What do you think about Kimbella’s mother-daughter pic? Too much or no big deal?

Did Y’all See? This Week’s Moments In Questionable Parenting

May 29th, 2015 - By Madame Noire
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This week on "Did Y'all See?" we're talking about questionable parenting. Is Ciara moving too fast with Russel Wilson, having already introduced him to baby Future? And what about the mother who left her son home alone over the long holiday weekend? Was the neighbor wrong for calling the cops or was it right for Child Protective Services to step in? We're talking about all that and more in the video above. Watch and weigh in below.

How Channelling My Inner Comedian Helps Me Parent My Child

May 25th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

People say that there’s no other job like being a parent, and they’re right.  However, there is one profession that I found has a few similarities and I was shocked when I realized it.

It all started when my mother, my daughter and I went shopping at a department store with shopping carts. (It just helps to lessen the opportunity for my babe to go running).  So there we were between the yoga mats and the blouses when my daughter picked up a toy from one of the stands in the aisle that held miscellaneous items.

Determined that I wasn’t going to raise a brat, I put my foot down and said:  “No, put it down.”  That’s when my daughter put her foot down and started to scream and cry.  While my mother also tried to calm her down, I tried one of the oldest tricks in the book: pointing and saying:  “Look over there!”  The moment she turned her head, I grabbed the item and quickly put it back.

I was expecting to hear her screaming and crying some more; but when I turned back to her, she was laughing. So hard.

Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert, I haven’t done any open mics since college, but there is a slight correlation between parenting and being a comedian.

First, the start is very rocky. For anyone who has followed the early trials of some popular comedians/comediennes, you know that their paths were littered with no’s, false starts and poverty.  That’s how parenting is.  You might have started off thinking about how amazing you were going to rise to each and every challenge; but when those daydreams become a reality, it can be very overwhelming.  Most things are never as initially great as we imagine them to be, especially when you start.  Jokes that you thought were going to kill lead to you getting heckled, and parenting tips that you memorized were greeted with tantrums and the feeling of failure.

Second, it teaches you how to handle negative energy and turn it into something positive.  While you’re handling the throws of heckling or tantrums, as you continue to mature in your chosen field you learn how to harness that energy.  You need to look no further than Dave Chappelle’s  brilliant turn around on the rude audience member who threw that banana peel at him on stage.

The most important thing in both fields is to not get overwhelmed with the energy that’s thrown at you, but redirect it to make things flow in the direction you want.

Third, it’s a very underrated field.  Yes, we have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and there are some comedians/comediennes that make millions, but there tends to be people who overlook the hard work that comes with each position.

I once saw an interview that Phylicia Rashad gave that made her initially choose the field of comedy over drama.  Her college professor expressed to her that while drama focuses on emotion, comedy focuses on intellect.

You have to be, perceptive, and turn normal mundane things into something that is effectively poignant to be good at comedy.

In the same vein, parenting is a lot more than physically and financially providing for your child.  Its being there emotionally, giving each moment your all.  It’s a lot more than what some people think.

Fourth, variation is going to get you far.  If you look at some of your favorite comedians they have a strong comedic voice or expertise, but it’s their ability to add variations to their repertoire that leads to enduring success.  Though Jerry Seinfeld was comfortable with writing his own jokes and performing alone on stage, it was when he teamed up with Larry David and wrote a pilot that turned him from a successful comedian to a media mogul.

It’s the same with parenting.  I realized that I couldn’t tackle all of my daughter’s behaviors in the exact same manner.  I realized that by utilizing different approaches have helped me to engage her in ways that I didn’t realize would be successful.

Success comes from being open to changes and successfully going with the ebbs and flows of life and refusing to be capsized by the current.

Finally, hard work will pay off.  Jerry Seinfeld wouldn’t be where he is now if he gave up.  Neither would Kevin Hart, all of the Wayans, Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Mo’Nique, and any other prominent figure in comedy.

That’s the same with parenting.  The end result is a direct correlation of how hard you work.  Raising a well-adjusted child means no shortcuts, and being as fully engaged as you can be with your child.

So at the end, it’s up to you if your name is flashing in lights, or you’re still performing in front of a brick wall.  Either way, your results are your own doing, so make sure that each move you make is better than the other.