So was browsing through one of my favorite magazines and saw a list of genius survival hacks after baby. It was titled let’s get real. As I read through it, I could not relate to… More
July 3, 2020
Dear White Moms,
Here’s a list of experiences you won’t have to endure…..I’ll preface with this, I love you all. I’ll also acknowledge that some of you will understand as you too are raising little brown babies. However, in order to properly support each other, I believe it starts with understanding our individual and unique struggles. With that said, the color of my skin has placed on a different block in motherhood than you. One in which I’m happy you’ll never have to experience. Experiences like
Spending hours in a toy store searching for that one doll that looks like your child.
I remember rummaging from store to store with my oldest searching for that one brown skin doll and coming up empty. We eventually resorted to ordering Addy from American Girl doll the only brown doll at the time. With a little wig change, I was able to gift her a doll that looked like her…sort off. Things have since changed and my girls certainly have more options then my oldest did then. Why is this important you may ask? Well because culture influences our sense of self and self-worth. Refer to Dr. Kenneth and Dr. Clark’s “doll test” for visual confirmation.
You won’t have to wipe away tears that stem from questions such as “why didn’t or don’t white people like us ?, every time February the designated month for “black history” rolls around. These questions don’t go away as they become older. They become more complex and painful. Somehow you’ll have to teach them this is in the past except when it is not. It’s all in the past except in 2020 black people and white allies are risking their lives to affirm that their black lives ‘Should’ matter
You won’t have to look up the percentage of ethnicity in a town as you visit the beach. I know this is so specific but it’s a reality. Not too long ago I loaded up my girls in the car and headed for the beach. As we drove through the small town, I began to see a few homes with confederate flags. Fear immediately gripped my heart as I asked my sister to google the population. We all became even more unsettled as the population of black residents was below 10 percent. While driving in unfamiliar territory can inspire fear in anyone racism heightens it. I contemplated if I had unwittingly endangered by children. I considered turning around after more than five hours’ drive. It turned out to be very lovely. However, we did stand out
You won’t have to wipe away tears of hysteria from your child’s eyes because they did not believe their father would be safe if they walked out the door because of the color of their skin. He will come home. I tried to reassure one of my girls as she screamed at me “you don’t know that!!”. In this present world that fear should be irrational. unfortunately it’s not and unlike a uniform he can not take off his skin color.
You won’t have to have “the talk”. No not the ones about the birds and the bees. The one about how others perceive your child as a black person. The one about how they should behave in “white spaces”. The one where you tell them that they have to twice as good as their peers in order to be just as good. It seems like odd unnecessary pressure if if you grew up black you more than like have been told this before and felt the weight of it.
You won’t have to consider this list, that is until you raise a little black child who is experiencing the world differently then you do. To my white mommy friends who have reached out and are raising little black kings and queens with awareness, your are phenomenon. To those of you who might read this list and feel attacked rather than compassion know that it is your privilege that allows you to feel this way. To my black moms who understand and know that this list extends beyond five short bullet points; that it includes thinking twice about your newborn “black-sounding” name, or even if you would make it out of labor to be a mother… Please know I see your struggle and your pain. You are magic. Even more so, God is with you and He sees you. In Genesis 16 God said to Hagar that He has heard her cry of distress and Hagar realized that God truly saw her. Dear Mothers, Motherhood is hard so “above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” ( 1 peter 4:8)
God is with and He sees you.
I knew I loved you the minute I laid eyes on you on that black and white screen with body parts I could barely make out. You all took me by surprise as crazy as that may sound. Four amazing life-changing surprises. At the time, I thought only of how my life was about to change and how ill-prepared I was to be a mother, again, and again, and again. You’d really think after the first or second time I would be ready. Truth is I was terrified. I wondered if God had it right and I wondered if you would wonder if God had it right. I mean what was He thinking giving me children. Surely there were better-qualified mothers out there. The kind that wrote in planners, had college degrees and had their life figured out. The kind who smiled the entire 9 months of pregnancy and looked forward to having their insides kicked while lovingly rubbing their bellies. The kind of moms who oohed and ahhed over baby clothes and had soft kind voices. I sadly fit none of those descriptions.
Surely He did not want this for me. The kind who was horrifyingly freaked out by the thought of another human inhabiting my body. The kind that was worried and still is that she’ll make the mistakes that’ll ruin four innocent lives. Yet, God meant it. Yep, I would be a mom of four.
So the years have seemingly passed you all are no longer babies and we’re now heading for blaring sign with caution puberty ahead. Once again I’m terrified and no more confident. I wonder if there is an escape puberty country accepting offering asylum for scared moms. None of the books I’ve read seem to offer enough information on how to navigate this new path. Yet as my house and hand fill up with never-ending laundry and sticky brown mess ( I rather not know what it is), My heart grows fuller. Love, experiences, and memories, that are comforting and sometimes joyful fill every crevice.
I’ve realized I’ll mess up many times. I’ve also realized I’ll never stop loving you, being in awe of you and crying over your many first accomplishments. I love you my beautiful daughters and now I’m so grateful and humbled that our heavenly Father entrusted me with your lives. Even more so now because I know that He’s right there with me and I’m not alone.
Happy Mothers Day to all the not so perfect moms like me
The New Year brings with it so much hope, so much optimism, and so many chances to break all your resolutions (or is that just me). Currently stuffing my face with some really good corn bread that’s not gluten free. Oh well. Look I’m not encouraging you to break yours, but honestly I’m so over the clichés of New Year’s resolutions.
I was once told by a very wise old man (my pastor), that every second really is a chance to start fresh. So no need to wait for a New Year to make life changing decisions. Do it now. If you’re like me ,feeling down on yourself for already breaking half of your resolutions, don’t fret a new second is coming right up. So what’s in store for 2018 you ask? You didn’t ask…? Well , I’ll tell you anyway. I have no idea. Jesus and I are pretty close but He doesn’t tell me all His secrets. So just like you and everybody else I have to wait to experience it.
I hope that I will count it all joy when I go through various trials and tribulations of 2018 but I’m sure I won’t. I’ll call up my sisters and girlfriends and whine about my life, I might even blog about my misfortunes. Through it all though, broken resolutions, trials, unending laundry and 4 heads of natural hair, I’m sure He’ll (Jesus) will be right there asking what have you learn?
That brings me to my next point. Every New Year, New Month, Week, minutes, or second is an opportunity to learn from the setbacks and to set and conquer new goals. To understand that “It’s not what I don’t have that’s stopping me from being effective , its what I think I need.” (Jim Elliot)
The final point is if you’re feeling like me you already messed up your New Year’s resolutions, be comforted by the fact that there is a new second coming right up seize and remain resolute to love people and love God.
On another note… do you see this dress ( insert black girl hand clap and two snaps) ? This is one of the first evidence I received of God being with me this New Year. The original price was $ 69.99 at H&M. The way my thriftiness is set up…, ain’t no way I was spending that. So I prayed. long story short, I went back with the hubs and was able to snatch it up for just $ 15.00 ( hands raised high above head with eyes closed.) God is so good. He even cares about my bargain shopping.
Happy 2018 . Make it great and just live! Also feel free to comment and let me know how you plan on making 2018 great.
“Love is Messy” This was a message from a sermon that pretty much summed up my 2017. To a recovering perfectionist (that’s me btw), it’s a really hard thought to swallow. I’ve always wanted the fairytale life as I saw it. For me that was graduating college, marrying prince charming and having two perfectly clean kids a boy and a girl. The next steps involved living happily ever after and being in love every day for the rest of my life.
For some people that actually happens. However, some of us would settle for having that on social media. For me, nothing happened according to plan. I got married to a man with flaws who made me realize I had lots of flaws as well (shocking), had four amazing little girls ( clean is optional of most days), and finished college, well, 11 years later. Then came the hard work of loving all these flawed imperfect people God had placed in my life. It was and still is messy. There are many days I’ve felt like quitting it all; the husband, the kids, and starting a runaway mom safe haven or something…. ( if you’re interested we can still make this happen). However, I realized love is perfected in the messiness, in the opportunity to sacrifice, and to place others above yourself.
The greatest example of love there is received lash after lash blows of pain and anguish beyond compare and humiliation. It was messy. Yet Christ in His infinite love for me suffered the cross. In perspective, I suffer laundry (which never goes away), a sink full of dishes, late nights with homework, the messiness of sharing a space with another human and the list goes on. What is also unending are the rewards of growing as a person, receiving innumerable kisses, and hugs and knowing that even in my messiness I am loved by my amazing tribe. 2017 you have been a humbling learning experience. While I have made no list of resolutions for 2018, I do look forward to embracing all of the challenges and triumphs that it will inevitably bring.
This past Memorial Day the family and I hiked up first sergeants hill as we’ve done for the past 2 years now. It became a way for my husband to process rather than make sense of losing those he call brothers. Brothers born in the adversity of war. Of shared experiences that very few are privileged and at the same time unfortunate to be a part of.
Like many others in this country Memorial Day for me was chance at a three day weekend. A chance to barbeque and spend time with family. Even after marrying my Marine it didn’t change much and I didn’t understand why he didn’t want to join in the festivities (an eye roll is appropriate here). However last year it changed. A marine my husband served with who at the time was married to a friend I love dearly took his life. I was shock to my core.
I realize then that I could have been making that call to her. Those men who fought alongside him and give their lives became real people to me. It finally dawned on me what they had sacrifice. I experienced a mustard seed of the pain his family must have felt and could no longer excuse my ignorance. Cherry, Lopez, Contreras, Ayon, Otey, Carmen, just to name a few became my brothers. I ached for the family and decided that going uphill was the least I could do to show their family that their sacrifice mattered and that I am grateful for their actions. That I preserving my freedom they give the ultimate sacrifice. John 15:13 “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Maybe next year for you it be a will somber and reflective Memorial Day.
It’s Mother’s Day and I’m supposed to be celebrating. Yet I don’t feel like it. I thought about writing a blog about all I’ve learned as mom, but truth be told I don’t think it’ll help you. Why? Because everyone experiences motherhood in a totally different way. For example I have friends who thought the idea of a human taking up residence in their body and making their abdominals double in normal size was just beautiful. Not so for me.
I know that doesn’t sound motherly, but I just wanted them out. All that to say your experience will be your own. Whether beautiful humorous annoying or all the above. What I will share is the sadness of not experiencing that. The anguish of knowing that a potential life within you never happened. For some people Mother’s Day is a reminder of a day they can’t celebrate.
A reminder of what could have been. With a history of miscarriage this Mother’s Day I am a lot more appreciative of the title of mom. However it does not diminish the pain I feel of losing a child I never knew. I’m somewhere in the middle of gratefulness and guilt feeling like I have no right to be sad. Yet I am all the same. For those of you who never got the chance to see their babies and watch them grow I want you to know you are a mother. Take comfort in knowing that your Heavenly Father knows what it’s like to lose a child as well and He and only him can bring you comfort. Happy Mother’s Day.
These days the idea of staying seems to be a mockery of my present circumstances. It really seems like Life is going nowhere fast. I’ve found myself contemplating how the phrase “I’m in my thirties” came to be. Don’t get me wrong I’ve wanted to be thirty for a long time. Thirty to me was the golden age. The age of accomplishment. The age of finally living out dreams that were dreamt in mind of an adolescent me. I feel like I’ve toiled the soil and planted the seeds and watered…and no growing. At least that’s how I feel. I see no leaves, no fruit, no flowers just dirt.
However in this place of peace I realized that there’s so much more going on under the dirt. Processes that are tedious and long but necessary in order to bloom. The rolling hills of San Miguel at Mighty Oaks reminds me that God is here in the Hills and valleys of my life. He is present in what I believe is stagnation. Yet it really is a testing of my Faith. Here overlooking these Hills I realize that sometimes “Faith lies in my willingness to stay a difficult course”. Not sure if any of you struggle with staying and waiting but if you do please feel free to share below.
I’m so excited to write my first blog. Yay me! I thought I’d feel liberated but really it’s quite terrifying. However here what I figure out. I’m always going to feel some sort of trepidation in putting out new content. It doesn’t matter if its pictures or words. The reason is that I don’t and didn’t want to judge. Also there are so many blogs out there already. I thought there wasn’t a space for me. So what made me take the plunge you ask? ( I’m certain you did). Well I didn’t want to live fearfully anymore. I realized that instead of trying to be unique and different I already am.
Ok so .. its not an amazing revelation but for me it was an aha moment. What I mean is God created me uniquely, loved me uniquely and He sees beauty worth dying for in me. I mean seriously ..mind blown. My infinite love of black and white and all shades in between compelled me to find out if there were others out there like me. Others who stay in the lines afraid to mess up or share their mess. If there are and you’re out there …know this, life is black and white but it is also colorful..Life is structured lines but zigzag and curves are so much fun. It is not perfect nor can it be photoshopped. However it is meant to be lived fully and without fear because He who loves you says “ Perfect love cast out all fears”.
Oh and about the outfit love, love, love Culottes. They totally make me as if I belong under the streets of Paris under the Pont De Bir-Hakeim gazing out at the Eiffel Tower and sipping on Parisian coffee. Truth is I’m in front of my local public Library which has an interesting background side-eyeing the littles as the hubster plays photographer ( He did a great job btw). Someday though….
If you like dreaming with me leave a comment, if not why not I mean really..