Category: Motherhood

How Can You Spend Quality Time With Your Children When You Have So Many Of Them?

I was talking to a friend who was telling me about one of her girlfriends who had married a man that had about 6 children (I say about 6 children because I couldn’t remember the exactly number). They had one child together before getting married but between their one child together and all of his own children their house was always full. I asked my friend why on earth her friend would marry someone who had 6 children already and her explanation was fairly simple: Although it sounded like a lot of stepchildren (and it is), it never really posed a problem because most of them were grown or lived somewhere else.

Apparently, her friend married someone in his late 40’s (she’s in her early thirties) that started having children in his teenage years. Four of his six children were over the age of 18 and already out of the house (and off of child support). Although he does have a lot of children he was only financially responsible for two of them. I mean most American households have only 2 children, so the question arose – how can you take care of your children when you have so many?

Let me state up front that I think money is only a single factor in taking care of children. Sure, it allows you to hire a nanny or provide material things for your children but having money doesn’t buy you more quality time with your children when you have a lot of them.

Take for example Jim & Michelle Duggar who have 19 children. Although they are reportedly living debt free and have the financial means to care for all of their children, there just aren’t enough hours in the day for 2 parents to be devoted to 19 different children. Even with their “buddy system” of an older child caring for a younger child, the mother & father should be responsible for raising all of their children.

Another example would be Ms. Nadya Suleman who has 14 children, with no husband and no real job. Aside from being broke, she has to hire multiple nannies just to keep all of her children in line. And to that I say, “Your Honor, I rest my case”.

Children need more than the love of their parents and they need more than their parents money. Children need quality time with their parents.

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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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I Learned How To Drink & Drive

A couple of weekends ago, a friend was telling me how she was driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve. Of course, she knows better than to drink & drive but I suppose she thought she hadn’t had too much to drink and was perfectly capable of driving. I asked her why she didn’t give her keys to someone else and her response was “No worries, I was taught how to drive while drunk”. When I heard that, I almost dropped the phone!

At the time her comment seemed ludicrous but the more I thought about it, the more I thought about how parents are teaching their children things with the disclaimer of “Don’t do this but in case you do, here’s how.” In my friend’s instance, I’m sure she was taught not to drink & drive but in the event she found herself in a predicament where she did have a few drinks, then she should drive slowly and carefully.

Another illustration of this is when parents tell their teenage children not to have sex, but still arm them with birth control just in case. How can you teach someone NOT to do something but still give them the tools to get it done? I know, I know – kids are having sex anyway so it’s up to the parents to teach them about using protection. The flaw with this argument is that parents are essentially saying that it’s okay to have sex as long as you protect yourself – and that’s dead wrong.

I think that you should reinforce what you teach to your children and if they rebel, let them realize the consequences of their actions for themselves. It’s called “Tough Love” folks…

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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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All Newborn Babies Look Alike (so I don’t need a picture of yours)

My friend recently gave birth and while I’m happy for her, I’m a little annoyed with all of the pictures she’s been sending of her newborn baby. I understand her excitement, this being her 1st child & all but still…..I don’t need another text message of her baby. I know this may sound mean (especially if you’re a mom), but it’s how I feel.

I just don’t understand why people think that everyone outside of their immediate family wants to see 10 million pictures of their baby. Especially as a newborn! Newborn babies don’t really look like much, at least not to me. (Can you tell I don’t have any kids?) To me all, and I do mean ALL newborn babies look pretty much the same. The only difference is the eye color and some have hair and some don’t. I never understood why people say “He looked just like his father when he was born.” Really? C’mon people, none of us looked like anyone when we were 1 hour old. Even my own mother says I looked like her when I was born but I compared my newborn picture to another Black baby picture and I gotta tell you, I couldn’t even tell the difference. I looked like every other newborn baby out there (I did have plenty of hair, though).

It is my friend’s first baby so I understand why she wants to share her pictures with the world. I just think that pictures of babies should be confined to family members and people who have actually asked for them.

At some point in the near future I will have to go visit her & the new baby but I am not looking forward to it. Similar to baby showers, I just don’t know how many times I can “oh & ah” over someone’s baby. (That’ll be another post, I’m sure)

Because I’m her friend, I did send her congratulatory messages but I think I may have to turn off my phone for a while so I don’t get any more of her baby pics.

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(You can not tell me that all these babies don’t look very similar)