Category: Parents

32Chainz

Another birthday is coming up and it’s time for me to think about my next year of living. I can honestly say that this wasn’t my greatest year, but there’s always next year. I don’t like to spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and prefer to think about what I can do in the future.

Because my birthday falls towards the middle of the year (the month of May), I like to think of it as a mid-year New Year’s eve celebration. A new year for me begins when I turn a year older. And since its midyear, I also reevaluate my New Year’s resolutions. What should I be doing differently in my life? How can I turn my year around? These are things that I think about every time it gets close to my birthday.

Whenever there’s another birthday people always ask “How does it feel to be another year older?” I never quite know how to answer that question. Do I feel older? Yes. Do I look older? I hope not. Do I feel any wiser? I’m certainly trying. (lol)

I know people say that you should celebrate life every day but I don’t normally do anything too special on my birthday (only the major ones). I am looking forward to celebrating this year with some of my friends by singing live karaoke. I already have my favorite Whitney Houston song picked out (no, it’s not I Will Always Love You)! I am also looking forward to possibly having a celebration again next year (although it’s a little too early to tell right now).

Oh well. At least I get to still check the same box on all those questionnaires (the 26-35 year-old box). J

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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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What’s The Point of Living A Long Life?

I think that living too long is pointless. Old & young people alike often say that they want to live to be 100 years old. But why?! What can you possibly do at 89 or 93 that you didn’t get done when you were 75 years old?

Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to be able to boast about how long you’ve lived and all of the things you’ve seen in your lifetime, but there aren’t too many other advantages of old age. I just think that everything that you wanted to accomplish should have been checked off your list when you were younger.

We all know that once you pass a certain age, quality of life diminishes. So what good could it possibly do to live a life of diminished quality? There are so many things that go “south” as you get older. Everything from deteriorating health to losing your longtime friends (who are also very old). Even your own family members probably aren’t visiting you that much. Your grandchildren & great-grandchildren have a life of their own and may only see or call you on your birthday or around the holidays, at best. As you get older, you just can’t do as much as when you were younger. And that’s just the normal cycle of life.

Personally, I’m afraid to get old. I know that aging is inevitable, but I’m not looking forward to all of the physical ailments that come with the aging process. I don’t want to live too long for fear that I’ll lose relevancy in this world.

I’m more concerned about having a full life, not a long one…

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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)