Uncategorized

Confessions of a Single Mom #13: I’m Going to Therapy

Saturday was a tough day, a day that made me take the plunge and seek a therapist. On my way to visitation with Khai’s dad, I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I was able to make it through visitation (only lasted 45 minutes), and head home to practice yoga. The one time I really needed Malakhai to sleep so I could at least get 45 minutes in, he did. He slept two hours.

After yoga, I just sat in silence. It was deadly silent. I let my thoughts float away. I drank some ginger tea and ate some grapes, continuing to sit in silence. I felt renewed and my blood pressure started to come down. I felt like me again. It’s that very reason why my mental health needs to be taken care of, as well as my physical health.

I feel like they both go hand in hand. There’s so many ways that mental and physical health support your wellbeing. I’ve gotten back into yoga and I’m sticking with it this time, I have to. Yoga is the only exercise that makes me feel good and can ease whatever feelings I’m feeling that aren’t positive.

I went online through my insurance and found the perfect therapist that can cater to all of my mental health needs. She’s black, my age, has experience, has hours that fit my schedule, and I can afford her.

Have you been to a therapist? Did it help and if so, how? If you haven’t, how do you take care of your mental health?

Vegan Mommy Things

Will He Hate Me?

This thought has run through my head time and time again, sometimes all day. When Malakhai gets older, will he hate me?

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that Khai’s dad and I don’t have the best relationship. In fact, we don’t have a relationship at all. We don’t coparent. I won’t get into all of the reasons why, but I always wonder of when Khai becomes old enough to understand, will he blame me for the lack of coparentship his father and I have.

Granted I will tell him the truth of everything, but will he forgive me? Will his father and his father’s wife say things about me to make it hard for him to believe me?

I always think about these things because if Khai ever resented me, I don’t think I could handle that. Granted as I grew older, I came to my own conclusion about my biological father and I’m hoping to do the same with Khai, let him see for himself.

If you are in a similar situation with your child’s other parent, how are you coping? Are your kids old enough to understand? How are they handling it?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Daycare

Today my son started daycare. He was supposed tos tart awhile ago, but I wasn’t ready. I never wanted him to go to daycare, but he needs social skills now that he’s getting older. He’s becoming more mobile and talkative (baby talk that is). Luckily, his daycare is owned by a friend of the family (it’s a long story but there’s much history).

My mom drops him off and picks him up since I work late and have to be at work early. I also work clear across town, so her doing that for me helps a ton.

He had a good time and I received a great report. He refused to eat his baby food, only drank the breast milk. He just doesn’t like food which is fine by me. He gets all he needs from me anyway.

Today was only the first day so I’m not exactly sire how to feel just yet. Of course, I was a nervous wreck all day, but he adjusted fairly quickly. Actually, there weren’t any adjustments for him. He took to the daycare owner very well.

How did you feel about your child(ren) attending daycare for the first time? Any tips to combat this “mommy worry?”

All Black Everything

Stigmas Surrounding Black Families

The recent ad by Macy’s really struck a nerve. I already know how “other” people see us (Black people) and I don’t too much care, but to blatantly through it in our face, well that was unsettling.

On television, you see black people in interracial relationships, same sex, or single mother. Rarely do you see a Black family if it’s not an all Black show. Why can’t there be Black families portrayed on White shows? Oh, that’s right: the dynamic of a black family scares White people. Yes, I said it. A Black family with a mother, father, and children is powerful. It shows unity and solidarity. A black man and a black woman together are unstoppable and indivisible. That’s more dangerous than an educated Black man or woman. 

Also, a Black married couple is more likely to procreate, making more Black people. That kills the White supremaciat agenda of population control in the Black community. More married couples means more children, which means more Black people, and we can’t have that now can we? (Sarcasm)

But why is a Black married couple so dangerous? Well when we are single, it seems we are more easily manipulated into thinking that we need a partner of another race, especially Black women. With our men being shot or incarcerated, there is purportedly a shortage of Black men, leaving us to White men. We are made to believe that’s our men are gay, in jail, or dead. 

When it comes to Black men, and this goes back to slavery, White women are a step up. They bring money and opportunities that allegedly Black women can’t. Black women are painted as ghetto, dramatic, uneducated, broke, jobless, and the list goes on, so I’ll digress.

By taking fathers out of the home either by murder or prison, young boys are left with only a mother. This makes it easy for the White agenda to turn them gay. If they have no male figure, they take it upon themselves to maneuver these young boys. Now I’m not saying this is always the case. I’m not saying that at all. You do have Black boys who grow up in twonparent households, but for the sake of this argument, and this ad that doesn’t portray that, I said what I said.

Feel free to debate with me on this topic, but I feel like too many of our people are “missing the mark” when it comes to spending our dollars and raising our children.

All Black Everything

Macy’s “Missed the Mark” too

Here we go again with another company who shows racial inequality in an ad and then apologizes for it. As Black and Brown people, we need to stop allowing this bullshit, because that’s what it is. 

Here’s my thoughts on this ad and all ads showcasing racial inequality:

I guess the figure if they portray our “stereotypes” that we’ll stop shopping with them, but you have too many of us who will see this and still shop there. Propaganda. People are so quick to forgive and forget, and yell “boycott” but don’t stand true to it. I personally don’t shop at Macy’s and haven’t since I got fired in 2013 because I was late. 

These companies are nowhere near apologetic because these types of ads are their MO. You can read the article here, but it’s just another company who met their goal. You can’t honestly get me to believe they have no Black or Brown people who work in HQ or digital marketing.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Before Work Routine

  1. Wake up @ 4:30 am.
  2. Take a shower.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. Get dressed.
  5. Put coconut milk on to boil for my oatmeal.
  6. Pack up everything in my wagon.
  7. Put oatmeal in the pot.
  8. Fill up gallon water bottle.
  9. Pour oatmeal and toppings in a bowl.
  10. Wake up Malakhai.
  11. Change his diaper.
  12. Lotion him up.
  13. Nurse him.
  14. Bundle him up (weather is crazy cold right now)
  15. Strap him to me in his carrier.
  16. Turn alarm off and then back on.
  17. Load the car. 
  18. Head to my mom’s house to drop off Malakhai. 
  19. Head to work.
  20. Pump before school starts.
My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bitter Baby Mama

There’s this notion that all single mom’s are bitter. This stems from people assuming we are mad because we can’t be with the father of our child(ren) or we are made that they don’t want us. Speaking for me and me only, both are false.

I am in no way bitter about anything, but me wanting my son and his father to have a relationship and me being passionate about it, comes off as being bitter. I didn’t, and still don’t, have a relationship with my father and I don’t want that for my son.

I think, and don’t quote me on this, most men who are on child support, are on child support because they aren’t financially helping the mother of their child(ren) take care of their child(ren). Because women are mainly the ones giving care to the child, men don’t see how expensive it can be to do it alone. They want to say we just want to take their money or we are trying to live off of them, when that it most certainly not the case.

Can I financially take care of my child on my own? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean I should have to, being that I didn’t get pregnant by myself.

My son is breastfed so in order for him to eat, I have to eat. I wash his clothes everyday since he has to be in cloth diapers. That’s water and electricity being used every single day. He has to bathe, right? That’s water again. Then, I have to be able to get him to my moms house and be able to get to work to afford a rough over our heads. That’s gas. He also has to have his booty wiped, his skin cleaned and conditioned, and his hair done. Then there’s toys and clothes.

See how that can get expensive? Then you have a man who doesn’t want to help financially, and thinks that all that’s important and being a good father is sololey just spending time with a child. No, dead wrong. A child needs emotional, physical, mental, and financial support.

As mothers, we want what is best for our children. We are natural born nurturers, whereas men, they just aren’t. I will spend my last dollar on my child for whatever he needs and wants, but I shouldn’t have to.

Next time you want to call the mother of your child(ren) bitter, don’t. Ask her what she needs and how you can help. Make her life easier, not harder. I can guarantee a myriad of men wouldn’t be on child support if they took the time out to sit down with the mother and laid out all expenses to see where he can contribute. All it takes is a conversation.

Now the flipside is there are many women who are bitter and vindictive towards the father, and do file child support to get back at him. What this does is make other women who file for financial reasons only, look like they’re bitter and vindictive.

Mamas, if he doesn’t want you, he doesn’t want you. Let that man and those feelings go. Worry about your child(ren) and your child(ren) only. You can’t be worrying about this man who not only doesn’t want you, but doesn’t want to be a father. Don’t battle with him. There’s a man out there who is going to love you and your child(ren) like his own. I’ve witnessed it numerous times.

What are your thoughts on the term “bitter baby mama?”

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

“I Ain’t Ever Scared…”

Of course about 5 months ago I didn’t have this mindset. I was scared shitless. I had spent two months at my mom’s house  after having my son, and I had had so much help between my mom and my stepdad. It was then finally time for me to go home. I was petrified at the thought of it just being me and Malakhai,

I wonder if I could do everything I was doing on my own, without the safety net of having someone there 24/7. Granted, they only live five minutes away, but I would be home…alone…with my child. How could I not be scared? What if something had happened? What if I messed up? What if he didn’t like me anymore because he was so (and still very much is) attached to my mom?

As you can see, a lot was going through my head back then. Now here we are, striving and thriving. We’ve settled in to a routine, I’ve become accustomed to it not just being me, and motherhood is suiting me well might I add. We play, he naps, I clean, he messes up a diaper, he nurses, we play, I clean, and it just continues, but I must say, it’s never boring. With Malakhai, there’s never a dull moment.

Sometimes I wonder how I could I be so scared of someone so precious and small that my body knew how to create? This little human loves me, he wants to always be around me and on me. How could I be scared of him? Not only that, I love him to pieces, a love that I never knew existed until I felt him kick, and then saw his face.

I say all of this to say mamas, it gets better, easier and less terrifying. What was/is something you are/were scared of when it came/comes to your child(ren)?

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Bedtime with Khai

Each night, I make it my mission to ensure Khai gets an excellent night’s slumber. I give him a bath in his new tub. He’s in a big boy tub now (cue the water works). I bathe him, wash his hair, let the water out and then fill it with clean water up to his waist. I let him play with his toys and I stand back and admire how much he has grown in the past six months.

7C44456D-0778-4152-89A1-3F50A7439975

When we’re all done, I pat him dry. His hair is so curly and silky, that I have to make sure it stays healthy, as well as his scalp. I use either mineral oil or grapeseed oil in his hair. I rake it through with my fingers and then comb small sections at a time. Next, I lotion him up and put his footie pjs on. He either sleeps in a silk bonnet or one of his hats so his pores can close.

 

Now is my favorite part: bedtime stories. He loves for me to read to him, especially The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I think he likes all of the colors and my animated voices.

By story’s end, he’s sleepy. I lay him down to nurse until he falls asleep. Once he’s sound asleep, it’s me time. I tend to clean up from his bath time and clean whatever else I need to. I also spend this time writing and scheduling blogs, journaling, meditating, taking long baths, or reading. Bedtime for Khai is usually around 7 o’clock, so I start getting him ready for a bath around 6 or 6:30. During the time from when I get off work until bath time, we are playing, watching Puppy Dog Pals, or singing.

A39E23F5-B14B-4693-8FAF-E74001AC19F2

What is your night time routine with your little one(s)?

xoxo Moniqua LaShae and Malakhai Lee

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Dating as a Single Mom and Dirty 30

With my 30th birthday expeditiously approaching (it’s in 6 days), I’ve been thinking about being a single mother and dating. I’m not opposed to dating, I just am loving the space I’m in at this moment. But when it comes to dating, here are a few things I need the potential suitor to know:

1. Can’t have me without my son. Period. We go together like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, beans and rice, guacamole and tortilla chips, Mickey and Minnie. Catch my drift? There’s no me without him. You want to be with me, he comes with it. A combo meal.

2. Malakhai will always come first, no matter the situation. He is my number one and only priority at the moment. Should we get married, he’d still be number one, but you would then be a priority as well. I will always, first and foremost, be a mother, above all else.

3. I’m pushing 30 (again, in 6 freaking days, damn I’m old), so all the games and FWB and childish shit can miss me. I’m looking to get married, not waste time. What kind of mother would I be to just be hanging out with a man with no intentions of marrying him?

4. My son doesn’t need a father, he already has one. To whomever I shall date, you need to be a role model, a friend, someone my son can talk to. Stepdads play an important role in a child’s life and I was blessed to have two that loved me dearly. Granted my biological father was nowhere in sight, these two men stepped in and did what he should’ve done. Now when it comes to my son, he needs someone to look up to who can teach him things that not I nor his father can.

5. I pay a good $2000+ in bills per month, so “wyd” texts won’t cut it. I’m not looking for handouts or anyone to pay my bills, but I pay too much per month to be entertaining someone who can’t tell me to get dressed because we’re going out just because. Woe me. Date me. Show me that I’m not sitting at the table alone.

6. I’m an upfront kind of person and I don’t like to beat around the bush. I would expect to be treated the same. From the jump, tell me what you’re intentions are with me. I don’t believe in leading someone on until you get what you want and then leaving. If sex is what you’re looking for, I’m not the one. Like I said before, I don’t need friends. I have all the friends I need.

7. I made a vow that after I had my son, shop would be closed, meaning, no sex, and it’s not up for discussion. I’ve made this vow numerous times even before sleeping with my son’s father. I’m scared to get pregnant again in a noncommittef relationship. Also, should we eventually get to the point of thinking about sex, a full STD check with be required. I know someone who has been an inspiration to me, just let it be known that she has HIV. I’m not playing with my life. So I’m short, sex is off the table.

8. When I’m not being a homebody, I like going to low key places like the park, library, museum, cafes, black owned businesses, vegan restaurants, and just places with an intimate setting. Now of course as Malakhai gets older, children friendly places will be required. I don’t want to meet you at a bar (I don’t drink) or go to the club or lounge. I need you to understand I’m an introvert and I don’t like being around a bunch of people with varying energies.

9. Our families must like each other and they must like us. Family is important to me and it’s important that who I’m dating gets along with my family and vice versa.

10. I’m not dead set on if I want more kids, but doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it either. I feel like my son is enough for me and idk if I want to be pregnant again. It’s not that my pregnancy was hard or the birth, I just don’t think more kids are in the cards right now, but you never know.

11. Ambition and creativity go a long way. I am a content creator both in social media and my blog. My blog is like my second child who I often neglect (don’t call CPS on me). I want us to be able to share passions. I think two creative people can come together and make something magical.

12. Family outings are a must. When dating, it can’t just always be us. Now it will for a while before I’m ready for you to meet my son, but once he’s in the picture, most dates need to be all of us. I hate being away from him and he hates being away from me.

These are just the basics and of course there’s more, but what I need to men to see is that when dating a single mother, you have to be on your P’s and Q’s. We already have a lot going on keeping a child’s love boy ourselves, we don’t need the added stress.

As a single mother, what are some of y’alls dating rules?

Boss Lady

Boss Lady: Debra Johnson

DFA74003-A715-4DAD-B417-929799E69A66
I met Debra through Instagram about a year or so ago, and we finally met in person this year at the 2018 Houston Vegfest. Let’s get into this interview.
First, tell me a little bit about you and what it is you do.
Hello, My name is Debra and I’m a licensed attorney and a freelance writer and blogger. 
What inspired you to want to get into law?
I was initially inspired to go into the legal field because I wanted to understand how the law worked. I would watch political shows and I was active in my community, and I wanted to understand things better for myself. I didn’t know exactly what area I wanted to practice, but I knew that I wanted to make a difference in education, since I was a teacher before law school. 
What kind of attorney are you? Why did you choose that?
I’m an Assistant General Counsel, which means that I advise companies on internal issues. My focus is employment law. For the first 7 years of my legal career, I actually worked for a public school district, primarily working on Human Resources issues and policies. I enjoyed it because I wanted to make a difference in education. Over time, I developed an interest in working specifically on employment and HR issues instead of School Law, so I transitioned into my current position. 
Do you plan to open your own firm?
I did own my own firm for a while, and I did not enjoy it. I ran my firm while working my full time job, but I had a physical location and everything. There is a lot of liability and overhead with running a firm, and I didn’t feel fulfilled from that work. I find my freelance writing business to be much more satisfying, and it’s also more profitable with less liability. 
As a fellow blogger, tell me a little about what you blog about and why.
I currently blog about ways that people can overcome adversity and achieve their goals. I consider my blog to be a personal blog because I share a lot of my own story. I recently revamped it, and I plan to share a lot of what I’ve learned and how I’ve achieved my goals over the years. 
You’re a single mother like myself. What is it that you want to teach your son with all that you’re doing?
I want to teach my son to be a good person, to help others, and that he can do anything that he puts his mind to. He is a very creative and artistic person, and I encourage him to pursue his passion for the arts. 
Has it ever been or does it ever get tough being a single mom?
Yes, being a parent is tough. Being a single parent is tough mainly because of the stigma that society places on single mothers. But, it’s also tough because the financial, physical, and emotional obligations of parenting are primarily on me. I am blessed to have support from my family, but ultimately the parenting responsibility falls on me. 
 
In the last year or so, I sought out a parent support group and that has helped both me and my son a lot. We also go to family counseling now. I would tell single mothers to find a support group, and to seek family and individual counseling even before you think that you need it. 
What is your ultimate goal whether it be with your career or your blog, or both?
My ultimate goal is to write and blog full-time. I want to be financially free and have the luxury of location independence, so that I can travel the world once my son is older. 
What inspired you to become a writer and do you plan to ever write a book or solely keep your writing for your blog and legal work?
I always wanted to be a writer from the time that I was a young girl. I was an avid book reader, and I wrote a lot; I also majored in English in college. Before law school, I was an English teacher also. I do plan to write several self-help and motivational books in the near future. It was hard for me to write about my story for a long time, but going to counseling has helped me learn how to open up more. 
Where can people find you?


My blog is debrajohnson.com, and I’m active on Instagram @bydebrajohnson. I would love to start making videos on YouTube again. If your audience has any ideas for videos, send them my way! My YouTube channel is youtube.com/debrajohnson

Boss Lady

Boss Lady: Kim Williams of Single Black Motherhood

B78542C3-7FAD-4E42-995E-7C59A208ACFB.jpeg
Welcome Kim and thanks for doing this interview. First , please tell the readers a little bit about you.
I am the mother to a beautiful five-year-old girl named McKinley Grace, currently residing in Houston, Texas. I am a Credentialing Specialist by day and a podcaster/blogger by night. I love reading and traveling and I wish I could do more of both! I started the Single Black Motherhood platform in January (2018) in hopes of connecting single black moms around the world who may have been in similar situations as myself, such as relocating, feeling isolated, and not really having a support system, (just) to name a few.
What inspired you to do a podcast about single black motherhood?
I had been listening to single mom podcasts by Caucasian women. I couldn’t always relate and I felt like they weren’t addressing all issues, so I felt there was a need for single moms of color to have a space in the podcast world. I didn’t know there were already single black moms that were podcasting because they didn’t have “single mom” in the title.
Why a podcast and not a blog or YT channel?
I actually started the podcast and I had a few blog posts up on the site at the same time. I chose not to do a YT channel because I like the idea of me sitting at my computer and not having to put clothes on or edit long videos. It seemed like audio would be better for moms like me who are always busy and on-the-go. They could easily play the podcast and pause it when needed, without having to watch a video.
What’s your ultimate goal with the podcast?
To create a community for single black moms and change the negative image worldwide. If I could become a full-time podcaster, that would be awesome, but that is not a goal of mine at this moment.
I know you work full time. Tell us a little about what you do.
I work in the field of Healthcare Credentialing. At this point in my life, I am not sure that I would want to do Credentialing for the rest of my life. I enjoy what I do but I want to do something that has more of a direct impact on the lives of others. I haven’t figured that out yet, but I would like to speak to single moms around the world in the future.
Why are you such a huge advocate for single black mothers?
I am a huge advocate for single black mothers because I am currently a single black mother and I know how hard the journey has been and can be. I don’t want mothers to feel alone and that they are just another statistic. I believe that it’s also important to let the world know that we are more than government assistance seeking women and we are actually great contributors to society just like anyone else.
What do you want other single moms to takeaway?
I want other single moms to gain a sense of awareness and become educated, empowered, and inspired. This allows them to take the information and tips and implement it into their lives making them better moms, not only for themselves, but also for their children.
Where can people find you?
I can be found on Instagram & Facebook @singleblackmotherhood and my site singleblackmotherhood.com
confessions

Confessions of a Single Mom #7: I Could Never Love Another

488120F4-2FF2-4392-AEAF-F838C5785BC7

More so I don’t want to love another. As much as I love my son, I don’t think I could ever love another child like a love him and I don’t want to. He is my entire heart and my entire world. Honestly, having another child is just out of the question and I know women have multiple children all the time. But I always wonder if moms who have multiple children, love them all the same. I’ve heard some moms favor a certain child over the other(s), and I don’t want to end up doing that. I feel like I would love Malakhai more since he’s my first born.

So I’m wondering, for the mamas reading this who have multiple children, did you find yourself loving or favoring one child over the other(s)? If not, is your love the same for all of them?

For moms of only one child, can you see yourself being able to love another child like that one? Do you plan to have more children?

confessions, My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Confessions of a Single Mom #1: Be Still, Cherish the Moment

There are times when Malakhai just won’t stop crying. Like today. We went to my apartment and it was his first time there. He cried and cried. I was trying to get things done with my blog, apply for jobs, plan new content, eat, and a cohort of other things. I started to think that he hated being there. Every time he would go to sleep, I’d lay him down and he’d throw an entire fit. He has never cried like that before and I was becoming frustrated. I changed him, I fed him, I rocked him, but what he really needed was my full attention and to cuddle with him. See, being at my moms house, we spend a lot of time cuddling and just us time. I haven’t really been trying to work like I did before I had him. Finally, I got undressed, cuddled him in my arms, got under the covers and laid down. He instantly stopped crying and went to sleep. So did I. In that moment, he taught me a valuable lesson. I have plenty of time to work but moments like that will soon go away, so I need to be in the moment, be still and just cherish it. Turn off YT, Netflix and Hulu. Put my phone down. Before I know it, he won’t want to cuddle anymore. So, I’m learning to take advantage of him wanting to be near me, close to me and just being still with me.

3FEBEA15-A919-47B0-AD6A-4267553D9E6A

Vegan Mommy Things

Helpless in Houston

On Tuesday, my son was admitted to the hospital with a temp of 100.4. We woke up that morning and he felt extremely warm and was sweating. We headed to Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands (btw it’s a fancy ass hospital). We went to the ER and was immediately taken back to get vitals. His temp had gone up to 102.

They poked and prodded him. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. He was fussy. Each time they had to do something to him, I had to step out. I can’t stand to hear my baby cry. He took most of what they did like a champ.

Then, they finally said they were going to admit him for two days. I had a melt down. I was scared, worried, confused, and, again, helpless. What was wrong with my baby?

We waited for hours for a room to become available. Our room was pretty swanky with a bathroom, shower, and the most beautiful view. The nurses were amazing, helpful, and waited on us hand and foot.

I was famished by this point and they said that I had to pay for the food I wanted to order off of the menu. Later I found out I got to eat free even though I wasn’t a patient, but since I’m breastfeeding, in order for him to eat, I have to eat. They had vegan options but not a wide variety.

I stayed in the room most of the time because I have trust issues. Even though my mom was there with us the whole time, she did have to sleep. The nurses feel in love with Boo and I had to make sure he didn’t come up missing.

It was a while before we heard anything from all the tests they ran. This morning they said he had E. Coli in his urine, which was and easy fix. They had had him hooked up to a machine to give him antibiotics through an IV.

We are home now and he’s doing better. His appetite never changed neither did his dirty and wet diapers. This whole experience taught me that I can’t control everything. Not everything can be fixed by me. There will be times when there are things that are out of my hands.

To my mamas, or anyone for that matter, when have you ever felt helpless?