Category: Children

Don’t Try This At Home: Getting Pregnant Later In Life

By now everyone has heard the news that recently-married Halle Berry is pregnant at the age of 46 (her first pregnancy was at 42). While I certainly wouldn’t follow in her footsteps, I do question why anyone would want to have a baby at that age. Even with modern technology we all know the challenges that women face having children later in life, such as birth defects and higher rates of miscarriage. Not to mention, the disturbance in one’s career and the sheer physical toll. But even with all of those things aside, why would you want to spend your “middle years” changing diapers & chasing after a toddler?

Other things to consider having children later in life are: fetal distress, cesarean birth, high blood pressure, diabetes, ectopic pregnancy and premature delivery. And that’s just for the mother! The baby is at risk for low birth weight, genetic disorders like Down syndrome, asphyxia, brain bleeds and stillbirth. How terrible is that?! Those are problems that occur during the pregnancy & in the delivery room. Consider what age you’ll be when your child becomes a teenager. How will your parenting abilities be as you age? Can you keep up with your children or their friend’s parents? Will you have the energy? Will you have the patience? Will you be able to keep up with the rigor of raising multiple children as you age?

According to nationalgeographic.com the average life expectancy is 81 for women and 76 for men, so why spend the second half of your life raising young children? I would think that bearing children would be best to do while you’re younger. Instead of preparing for retirement, you now have to focus on raising an adolescent. While you may be more financial stable, the more out of touch you are with the younger generation that you are now raising. Not to mention all of your friends are just about done raising their children so you won’t have the support system that you probably hoped for.

Let’s look at some other famous people who had children later in life:

  • Uma Thurman – 42 years old
  • Celine Dion – 42 years old (with twins)
  • Tina Fey – 40 years old
  • Mariah Carey – 41 years old (and she’s reportedly pregnant again)
  • Nicole Kidman – 40 years old
  • Kelly Preston – 48 years old
  • Salma Hayek – 41 years old (her husband is a billionaire)
  • Molly Ringwald – 41 years old (with twins)
  • Mira Sorvino – one baby at 41 years old, and another at 44 years old
  • Charlie Chaplin – was reportedly 73 years old
  • Steve Martin – had his first child at 67 years old (and his wife was 41)
  • Hugh Grant – fathered a child at 51 years old
  • Warren Beatty – fathered a child at 55 years old
  • Tony Randall  – over 70 years old and died shortly thereafter at 84 years old
  • Luciano Pavarotti – fathered a child at 67 years old and died shortly thereafter at 71

It is a little different when you are rich – you can pay for younger help. You can also afford the best doctors to make sure that your health & the baby’s health is in excellent condition. Plus, Halle Berry looks like she’ll be young forever! But for the average woman these resources aren’t as readily available.

I am so glad that my parents aren’t “older”. This means that they’ll be around a lot longer J

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Would I Be A Good Mother?: Maybe You Don’t Know What Kind of Parent You’d Be Until You Are One

On the heels of Mother Day, I started wondering whether or not I would make a good mother. I mean, I’m not sold on having children in the first place but in the event that the Lord sees otherwise I don’t even know how the whole motherhood thing would work for me.

I have so many hangups on what motherhood is supposed to be like that I don’t even know if the actual role would match up with the job description I have in my head. From what I can tell raising a child properly takes a lot of ingredients that I don’t have:

  • Patience – This is probably the largest trait that I’m missing. I have patience for children (after all, they’re just kids and they don’t know any better) but I don’t have patience for adults with kids. How am I supposed to deal with all of the parents of my children’s friends? What if I don’t get along with the other parents in the PTA or on the playground? I can’t deal with people who aren’t good mothers.
  • Housekeeping skills – I’m just going to come out & say it: I don’t like to clean. I do it out of necessity but don’t really enjoy it. I feel like there are so many other things I’d rather do with my life than to clean up after a kid and their friends (after a large birthday party or sleepover)
  • Time management – I usually have a pretty crowded schedule. Where on earth would i find time to include a child’s activities? I know, I know, I would HAVE to adjust my schedule and sacrifice some of my activities because we all know that children should come first. It seems so much easier said than done though. Seriously, after a long day at work, going to the gym, running errands and cooking dinner I just don’t see how I would have time to be a good mom to my kids by doing things such as checking their homework, reading to them, after-school activities and the like. Because we all know husbands aren’t good for much around the house (lol)!

Would having these things make me a good mother? No of course not, but I do think that you need more than just “love” to be a good parent. So how is someone supposed to know if they would be a good parent? There’s no checklist or survey to fill out. There’s no application required or background check that will determine whether or not you’ll be a good parent. Do people think that just because they consider themselves a good aunt or a good uncle that they would make a good parent even though having nieces & nephews is nothing like having your own children?  How is a man supposed to know if the woman he wants to marry will make a good mother? How does any woman know that she’ll be a good mother to all of her children and not just her favorite? The conundrum is that you don’t know what it takes to be a mother until you are one. But the problem I have with parenting is that once I decide to become a mother, I can’t take it back.

So all in all, I guess I’ll never really know what kind of mother I’ll be until I become one (Jesus, help me!).

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Why Major In A Field That Has No Jobs Available?

So I came across an article about how there were too many K-5 teachers & not enough teaching positions and the question arose in my mind: Why study something that you know will not pay off?

I remember when I was applying to college (many moons ago) my father always warned me to not major in underwater basket weaving. Yes, because it’s not a real major but also because it’s a profession that isn’t highly valued in this society. So in the same respect if you know that philosophy isn’t a highly valued field why major in it?

Yes, there are plenty of majors that were popular 20-30 years ago that may not be as relevant now (think archaeology, library science, etc.) but back then people knew that there would a job waiting for them. Right now the unemployment/under-employment rate for fresh college graduates is over 50%. I mean, let’s face it – the economy has been in the toilet since at least 2008. And everyone knows that bad economies don’t just turn around overnight. So those who are just now graduating (who entered college around 2008) must have known that when they graduate they might not have a job waiting for them in their field. And those who entered college after 2008 have had time to change majors to something more relevant. Of course no can tell the future or when the job market will pick up. But until it does, wouldn’t it be fair to say you should secure your future by majoring in something more mainstream instead?

Sure, it’s great to follow your passion but if your passion can’t pay the bills when you graduate, then maybe you should consider pursuing something that will instead.

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Girlfriends ARE Sexier Than Wives

This is an interesting article that I read this morning, written by Gina B. from Six Brown Chicks. I must say that I agree with her wholeheartedly. Of course, sexy is in the eye of the beholder but you can’t argue that once you’re married the “chase” is gone. There are many, many benefits to marriage but the element of keeping it sexy is easier without the “burden” of being a wife.

Maintaining your sexiness takes work after you get married and is probably less of a priority than when you were single. When you throw children into the mix, a mortgage and other family needs, things like shaving your legs everyday or wearing lingerie to bed usually take a backseat. I’m all for keeping things hot and perhaps the definition of sexy changes once you get married, but you can’t disagree that it is easier to keep it sexy because you want to, not because you have to.

Read the article below –

               Wife Versus Girlfriend — Who Is Sexier?

I’ve been in a relationship for a while now, which means that everyone demands to know when we’re getting married.  Oddly, that question bothers my boyfriend FAR less than it annoys me.  I avoid the question for a few reasons.  First, my decision to change my marital status is nobody’s business.  And if I’m being honest? I don’t think that the concept of being a wife is all that sexy.

To be clear . . . I’m not talking about women who choose to be the girlfriend, as in “other woman.”  I’m referring to a monogamous relationship where there is a consideration to make the transition from girlfriend to wife.

My opinion has been shaped by watching good friends and colleagues evolve from single to married, and how their lives and perceptions of their spouses have changed over the years.

My theory is unsettling to several people – especially the couples who disagree, and those whose lifelong ambitions have been to say “I do.”  But before becoming offended, I invite you to really think about it.

Here are the differences, as I see them:

Girlfriends are fun.  When a man goes public with a girlfriend, everyone is happy for him.  “Finally!”  they exclaim, “he has someone to have fun with, who’s good for him.”  If they like her, his friends will be excited to witness the relationship unfold and see where it leads.  The couple hangs out together and they play together — all efforts to get to know each other and maximize their experiences.  It’s very exciting and suspenseful – especially for the couples’ family and friends, who are voyeuristically sitting back with bowls of popcorn, watching, wondering and making suppositions as to whether or not the couple will “make it.”

Wives are serious.  Wives run households and take care of all of the people who reside within the four walls of their homes.  Wives have responsibilities and they sacrifice.   There’s no mystery.  The couple has crossed the marital finish line, and it’s time to start building a life together.  In some cases, date nights have to be created to keep the spark.  Nothing to see here, folks.  Keep it moving.

Girlfriends are voluntary.  There’s nothing that keeps a man there, except that he wants to be there.  There are no legal obligations.  No fear of financial ruin.  In most cases, there are no children to remain for.   It’s pure desire.

Wives are perceived as obligation.  I really REALLY hate hearing a man refer to his wife as “the old ball and chain,” or complaining because his wife is keeping him from doing something he’d rather be doing.  Yet I hear those things all of the time.  I’d be a gazillionaire if I had a dollar for every time I heard “I can’t that night.  There’s an event that my wife is making me attend” or “I’d better not, or my wife will kill me.”  Unfortunately, I rarely hear a married man say “I can’t WAIT to get home to my wife.”

Girlfriends are keeping it sexy.  As a girlfriend, there are a few things you know for sure:  1) Your man can leave you at any time, so you have to maintain your hotness.  2) If he does leave you, you’ll need the ability to attract a new one.  Most girlfriends stay on their game.

Wives?  Well . . . according to several men, many women make a distinct shift after getting married.  There’s less of a commitment to sexiness, and the complaint is that the “girlfriend version” is much hotter than the “wife version.”

Girlfriends are pursued.   Men enjoy the hunt, and girlfriends are the prey.  Men are known to make grand gestures to further engage a woman.

Wives are no longer pursued.  Men aren’t interested in pursuing what they’ve already won.  I’ve known men to completely change their behavior and demeanor once they’ve “closed the deal.” (To be fair, men don’t typically pursue any girlfriend they’ve had over six months.)

Girlfriends are supposed to be treated like princesses, who are youthful and to be indulged.

Wives are the queens, and while that is a revered position, hers is a more stately and administrative role.

As far as sex is concerned?  Well . . . we’ve all heard the complaints that the frequency of married sex is WAY slower than dating sex.

Disclaimer – if you’ve been in a long-term relationship for several years, you might have defaulted to spouse status without the legal paperwork.

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The direct link to this article can be found here: (http://www.chicagonow.com/six-brown-chicks/2013/04/wife-versus-girlfriend-who-is-sexier)

Balancing Motherhood & Your Career – Is Working Part Time The Best Move To Make In This Economy?

A woman I know recently decided to go from working full time to part time so that she could stay home & spend more time with her family. Not wanting to completely be a stay-at-home mom, she decided that the only way to sustain her career would be to keep one foot in the working world and one foot at home. I’m sure her husband is glad to have her around the house more & her children will benefit from increased attention, but where does that leave her career?

Currently, the unemployment rate is hovering right around 8%. Depending on what part of the country you live in that percentage may be significantly higher. After working long & hard to build a solid career and then starting a family, you are now willing to possibly through that away? It’s one thing to start working part-time after not working at all, because of a company mandate, or if you have special circumstances (disability, spouse is deployed to another country, etc.). But to purposely cut back your working hours and your household income right when you might need it the most? Some of the women who do this are the same women who complain about not moving up in their careers. Of course, returning to full time employment is always an option but they should be glad to even have a job, given that so many people (with families) are still looking for work.

Family should always come first, but is it worth sacrificing your career as a woman? Especially in such an unstable economy? People are being laid off left & right and pink slips are becoming more popular than pay slips, so why risk providing less for your family, or at the very least why risk not being able to provide at all?

It’s so ironic to me that decades & decades after women fighting to work outside the home and earn equal pay (although we’re still not quite there), we now have women who are fighting to stay at home and NOT work at all. I can’t say that I agree with this woman’s decision. I think that she should continue to work full time and raise her family at the same time.

I’m not saying it will be easy but if she doesn’t really want her job someone else will.

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Two Black Parents or One White Parent – Can Biracial Kids Really Relate?

The discussion of Black versus Biracial really bothers me. We live in a nation where people who have any percentage of African ancestry are considered African American. And before I go any further, let me state that I am proudly African American – both of my parents are full Black (as full as one can be in this country).

I say all of this to say that while I accept people who are biracial, quarterracial or whatever they may call themselves, I honestly do not believe that they carry the same burden that I do. There have been hundreds and hundreds of discussions about complexion within the African American race. I’m not talking about light skin versus darker skin Blacks. What I’m talking about is the upbringing and background of people who have a parent that is non-Black.

I had this discussion with a colleague of mine who fathered a child with a White woman. He told me that his daughter was Black and would be treated as such in this country for her entire life. While I did not disagree with him, I did bring it to his attention that his daughter will have many advantages over a child who comes from a household where both parents are Black (like mine). He maintained that his daughter will still be treated the same, regardless of what race her parents are. And that’s where the conversation got good!

You see, having a White mother (or father, for that matter) makes things a little bit easier. It allows for far greater benefits than to have a mother of “ethnic origin”. That White mother, on average, will make more money for the same job, won’t face racial discrimination (which is still alive & well), be afforded better opportunities and probably came from a more privileged background herself – just because of the color of her skin. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but those are the facts. So while the biracial child may be treated the same as any other person of color, they still came from a “better” foundation (read: having a White parent).

Well, one of these days day we’ll all be mixed anyway….

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Eat, Pray, Love? Nah, Eat, Spank, Love.

So, I’m not understanding why parents allow their children to tell them what they will & will not eat. When I’m in a restaurant I can’t stand to see kids start acting crazy because they don’t want to eat what’s on their plate. When I was little (back in the 80’s) I had to eat everything on my plate or I wasn’t allowed to leave the table. And when I tried to act slick by trying to “outsit” my parents at the dinner table, my mom would just put it in the refrigerator & the same food would be put in front of me to eat the next day (and the next day, and the next day until I ate it). Nowadays kids get away with things like this by throwing a temper tantrum.

I remember when I was younger my little cousin refused to eat the peas that were on her plate. My aunt didn’t say anything but took the plate away and let my little cousin go off to watch TV. My grandmother, who was in the kitchen with us, asked my aunt why she allowed her 7 year daughter to leave the table without eating her vegetables. My aunt said, “Oh, she doesn’t like peas so I don’t make her eat them.” My grandmother simply replied, “So which one of you is the parent and which one of you is the child?” For me, that was enough said.

Now admittedly, I am a little bit of a picky eater. For example: I don’t like my food touching, if it’s a liquid like gravy or syrup because I don’t want my other food to get soggy. Also, I won’t eat mushrooms and not a fan of most green vegetables (except greens & broccoli). But I am an adult, so I can decide what I put into my body. But children shouldn’t have that privilege.

So adults, please “man up” and stop letting your children run things (especially when it affects their health)….

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