All Articles Tagged "Parenting"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Have A 1-Year-Old Should I Stay Out Of The Dating Game?

August 20th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Dear Damon,

I’m single, 25 and have a 1-year-old. Daughter. I’m currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree and have moved back in with my mother to focus on school instead of working full time. I’m holding off on dating because I feel like in my situation I’m unattractive to stand up guys or the type of men I find attractive. Even after I finish school and get back on my own I’m afraid being a mother is a big turn off. Am I being insecure or am I right to stay out of the dating game?

Signed,
Down About Dating

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Why Can’t Mothers Be Pro-Breastfeeding Without Being Anti-Formula?

August 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Why Can't Mothers Be Pro-Breastfeeding Without Being Anti-Formula?

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In 2011, The United States Breastfeeding Committee (yes, this is a real group) made August National Breastfeeding Month. As a mom who has breastfed two children, I am excited about the month-long celebration of breastfeeding. And though online activism is one of the best ways to share information and be an active advocate, when I explore some social media sites and online forums, I notice that there are breastfeeding moms who shame formula feeding moms and call them “selfish” and “ignorant.” This unfortunate name-calling undermines the importance of promoting breastfeeding. Advocating for the benefits of breast milk can and should be done without bashing other mothers in the process.

It is not okay to attack formula feeding moms because some women have no choice but to use formula for various reasons. Some women use formula to some degree due to serious illness, medications, or unsolvable lactation issues. Other moms cut nursing short or supplement with formula because they are returning to a work environment that is not conducive to pumping milk. Assuming that everyone who uses formula is lazy and a failure makes advocates look uninformed. Breastfeeding supporters should spend time exploring reasons some moms can’t breastfeed. Becoming educated about barriers to breastfeeding can help advocates share information in a tactful way. Once an advocate is cognizant of other women’s struggles, blanket statements about formula usage should be replaced with compassionate language towards other mom’s struggles. Showing compassion to moms who were unable to fulfill their desire to breastfeed is an extension of the unconditional love and support that motherhood represents.

Conversely, there are women who do have a choice, but don’t know which choice to make. Many misinformed and undecided moms-to-be may need advice from mothers with breastfeeding experience. Or, an inexperienced nursing mom may need seasoned veterans to help with cluster-feeding issues and milk supply woes. When mommy experts waste time engaging in battles with “anti-breastfeeding” Internet trolls and lambaste women who are even considering formula, they can’t offer the help other women desperately need. Incessant online wars and nasty attitudes don’t belong in a space intended for camaraderie. If advocates want to draft new moms onto “Team Mommy’s Milk,” then they have to dedicate time toward reaching out to women with solid information.

Having an arsenal of great information is a powerful tool to help other moms. But, if a nursing activist has quality facts to share with another mommy, it won’t be well-received if the information is mixed in with callous statements about formula feeding moms. Think about how most people perceive PETA and their wayward campaigning. Although PETA often provides valuable information, they are more known for their inflammatory statements than their facts. Likewise, if a breastfeeding aficionado pushes an anti-formula agenda, then focus ends up being taken off of the pro-breastfeeding agenda and, the ultimate message (“Breastfeeding is awesome”) is lost. Pro-breastfeeding ladies should also avoid taking the “I nursed my kids, so I am a better mom than you” approach. Throwing in pretentious statements among information is not the way to encourage others to forgo formula. Instead, an advocate should stick to promoting the benefits of breast milk for both mommy and baby.

As August flies by and National Breastfeeding Month is recognized across the country, people who support the breast milk movement should focus on the many Twitter “hashtag” activities, chats, and events taking place. There will be detractors and skeptics, but this month is not about their agenda. It is about the pro-breastfeeding agenda! Providing advice, offering encouragement, answering questions with tact, and focusing on the beauty of nursing an infant are the best ways to champion for a wonderful cause without hurting others.

National Breastfeeding Month: Celebrity Moms Who Breastfeed

August 12th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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While some women choose not to breastfeed or even be unable to, these celebrity moms who breastfeed are proponents of nursing the good old fashion way and in honor of National Breastfeeding month this August, we’re shouting them out.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Yaya DaCosta

After NFL player Phillip Wheeler’s girlfriend was criticized for posting a pic of her breastfeeding online, actress Yaya DaCosta was outraged and posted a copy cat pic in solidarity to #NormalizeNursing. Yaya gave birth to her first child, son Sakara, with husband Josh Alafia September 12.

Black Celebrity Single Mothers Doing It All

August 12th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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An astonishing 72% of Black children are raised by single mothers, but not all of those single parent households represent dismal circumstances. As society in general moves more toward single parenthood, we pay homage to the Black celebrity single mothers who are balancing their grueling work schedules with raising stellar children.

For more on single motherhood in the Black community, check out Moguldom Studios’ latest documentary “72%,” available on iTunes and Google Play.

Celebrity Single Mothers

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Nia Long

We fell in love with Nia Long decades ago after she starred in“Boyz N The Hood” and “Love Jones.” More than 20 years later, the Brooklyn native hardly looks like she’s aged a bit. Her two sons, 13-year-old Massai and 2-year-old Kez, must keep her young because Long is proud to do it all. “I’m not a movie star mom who’s got a private chef, a nanny and a driver,” she said to “Essence” magazine. “My mantra is, ‘You created this, you can handle it.’”

15 Signs You Might Be A Bad Parent

August 5th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Parenting is the hardest job that any of us will ever have. But we still have to do better than this. If you identify with any of the parents on this list, you might just be bad at your job.

You Chose This Name

Just in case you didn’t catch it, that’s Knowledge MarLexus Townsend.

Mother Did Not Know Son Died Until She Smelled His Decaying Body

August 4th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Shutterstock

 

 

 

From EurWeb

The mother of an 8-year-old special needs boy whose decomposing body was found on the third floor of their home said Saturday she didn’t know he had died until noticing the smell.

The reason given by Kimberly Tutko, the mother, is that her husband was the primary caretaker of their mentally disabled son, and he waited several days to tell her the boy had died, according to Pennlive.com.

Police were called to the home Friday and found the boy’s body. They charged the father,  Jarrod Tutko, 38, with child endangerment for concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse.There is no attorney listed for the family in court records.

Harrisburg police said in a statement that Tutko informed his wife about the death of their son, Jarrod Tutko Jr., “when the odor of decomposition became too strong.”

Read more about this case at EurWeb.com 

 

 

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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Shutterstock

 

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?