10 Ways Becoming A Mother Has Made Me Lame

I am that late a$$ check again. I’m just here living my life and doing things like getting married. I will be on time for the 15th, I promise!

 

  1. My shoe game has changed dramatically. A closet that was once filled with pumps/stilettos/heels, are now filled with flats. Cute flats but still flats. Practicality and comfort are now considered when purchasing a shoe. Is it stylish, is it sexy were once the only factors considered when selecting foot wear. Now I have to consider, can I easily run after a toddler in these? If the answer is no, they usually don’t make the cut. Don’t be mistaken I still rock cute shoes but I’m not balancing in the air to show them off. Maybe I will become a sneaker head. That might be difficult though because I only like Chuck’s and Adidas. Air Jordan who? All is not lost. On date nights with my husband I will balance in the air because if I’m do it right, he will be chasing me.

 

  1. I never ever want to “TURN UP”. I’m interested in the nearest, quietest, most comfy nap spot. Do you know where they are? True story, my birthday will be here soon and all I want to do is stay in a fancy hotel, sleep and read books. I have no interest in throwing back drinks or dancing on tables listening to loud music. I want to turn all the way down, preferably some sheets.

 

  1. For the last 7 years I have had long hair. I always seem to cut it when I’m going through a transition. When I left the tide-water area, where I lived for 13 years I cut my hair into a close cease. I wore my hair natural for a year and then got a relaxer. It had been shoulder length since then. When I found out I was pregnant I had my last relaxer. Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair was difficult for me. Papa bear nor my child understood why it took hours to detangle, deep condition and style. I always ended up feeling guilty about the amount of time I spent in the bathroom. So I cut my hair. I think my cut it FRESH and makes me look younger. The maintenance time has been cut in half and I always have a hairstyle. So I can no longer swing my hair in a huff. Instead I pat my fro’ and tilt my hips in an exaggerated motion. Does this make me lame?

 

  1. I cannot listen to hip hop around my sun. With a few exceptions, most of what I like has some type of profanity in it; even the super righteous “conscious” rap. Biggie, KRS-1 and Nas are reserved for my alone time in the car or when I’m cooking and no one is home. I have no idea what is playing on the radio even though Papa Bear thinks I’m a closet fan of 2 Chains. Don’t believe him! Even my dancehall has been censored. It’s totally roots these days. King is very familiar with Bob. Sometimes though I want to do it for the ratchets, a little Yeezus on the way to daycare would certainly get my mind right. But alas, I’m a lame.

 

  1. I have retired my super large ghetto fabulous silver hoop earrings. I’ve been rocking some version of these since college. Since I’ve cut all my hair off I really want to wear them. However, danger is around the corner. My sun inspects me to see if there is something he can rip from my ear. He is quick too. Protect ya neck, or your ears, he shows no mercy!

 

  1. My last vacation was over two years ago. Now that I am a parent everything takes precedent over having some down town. My coins are now being saved for things like a new home, a college fund and emergency funds. I will be totally transparent. I never had an emergency fund until I had a child. Life happens but when you are responsible for another human being it is important to create a cushion for their bottom. I’m tough and I can withstand the concrete. I would love to leave the country but at this time it is not practical. Practical is such a lame word.

 

  1. Everything must be scheduled. Spontaneity is a thing of the past. I used to love living my life with no plan. I am creative and impulsive naturally. But now I am no longer responsible for just myself. I have an entire family to think about. I have to remember doctor appointments, daycare schedules, work responsibilities and things that need to be done around the home. Thank God for an iPhone with all its bells and whistles. I would be lost without it. Spontaneity still shows up ever so often. She however has become very demure and the most we do together is get off work early a sneak in a chick flick.

 

  1. I cannot keep up with technology. I do not have the time to explore the internet or peruse the Apple store. A student had to explain to me what Kik was. Then I googled it. Mac’s intimidate me although I hear they are better when it comes to making videos. I don’t use goggle chrome or Mozilla Firefox. I have about 12 twitter friends. I would like more. Here is a shameless plug. Follow me @a_kings_ma.

 

  1. I cannot drink. I was never a drinking giant like my cousin who can drink corn liquor and brown juice in the same night and not become sick. But at least I could have more than two. Post baby, my limit is two glasses of wine. Curtains.
  2. I like to two-step. I like to step in general. Slow dragging is my absolute favorite. Nobody really does that anymore. Salsa or merengue, anyone? I’m not interested in sweating out my clothes in public or having drinks spilled on me doing some inappropriate dance move. I could probably win a twerk contest but I would be in traction tomorrow. Plus the dominant culture has started twerking. And you know when they get a hold of something it becomes, well you know …… lame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom Guilt

I am doing my best but I don’t think that it is good enough. As an unmarried woman; being a stay home Mom didn’t seem like a smart choice even though it was offered to me. There was also the unattractive disclaimer that our lifestyle would drastically change if I decided to stop working. Leaving my baby has also been a choice that I have never been 100% comfortable with. It stressed me out so much in the early months that my milk supply dried up. I gave myself my first F in motherhood when this happened. I struggled for months to get my supply back up. I eventually gave up when King was 7 months. My son does not sleep through the night. I have tried sleep training but allowing my son to cry for more than an hour feels like child abuse. Yeye allowed him to cry for 2 hours when I wasn’t home one day. Oy vey! His will is stronger than mine. And as guilt ridden parent it is hard for me to allow him to cry during the limited time we do have together. I spend more time at work helping other people’s children than I do with my own child. Something is wrong with that but hey, this is America. I get a big fat F in sleeping training. I’m on a roll!

I’m sure that I am not alone when I worry incessantly about f—ing it up. How do I guarantee he listens to jazz and classical music when I’m away from him? Is he being read to? How can I make sure that the TV isn’t on all day long around him? Although I’m not a TV Nazi mom, I do want to limit his screen time. Sometimes I’m so exhausted after work all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch my DVR Wendy Williams episodes and have a glass of wine. On days like those polygamy seems very attractive. I could really use a sister-wife to make dinner, take King to the park or give him a bath. On second thought, I would feel guilty if I didn’t do everything myself. Never mind imaginary sister-wife, you go ahead and take a nap because I will never be able to again.

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Mom guilt is a terrible drug. It is addictive. It gives you many examples of how you are not good enough. It is a demon you constantly have to fight. Sometimes I’m too tired to fight so I just sit in hell. All is not lost, however. Maybe I did one thing right by becoming an educator, I have the summers off. At least I have that time to try to make up for the ten months away from King. Two Fs and an A give me about a C-. So maybe I’m not failing. But growing up I could never bring home a C. Because average means you are doing the bare minimum but I swear, I am doing my absolute best!

Date Night, Being Sabrina Fulton and Other Things

This blog entry was originally supposed to be about the importance of date night. It still is but there are a few other sprinklings I’d like to mention as well. Date night IS important. Pre-King days Papa bear and I had an established date night. It went on for a year until one day when I was feeling hormonal I told him I no longer wanted date night. I stated that they were predictable and took the spontaneity out of our relationship. Hind sight of course is 20/20 and maybe I should not have eliminated date night completely. Instead I could have suggested a variety of venues, new ideas and rotating days. Eliminating date night was wrong. Papa bear if you are reading, I was WRONG!

Post-King days I welcome any reason to put on fancy clothes, have adult conversations and balance in the air with my pretty pumps. I have reinstated date night! Our first outing was the Jill Scott concert at Wolf Trap in Vienna Va. This outdoor concert arena is in an affluent neighbor and the residents are of the majority culture. Jill brought the brown masses; it took two hours to get from the exit into park and to our seats. The parking situation was atrocious and patrons had to now park in the neighborhood instead of the lots. The residents of this community didn’t seem to appreciate the browning of their neighborhood, even if it was temporarily.

We sat in traffic for two hours and our bladders were full. On the mile hike from where we parked the car to our actual seats we came upon a swim meet. We entered the building to use the facilities. When leaving a pasty face lady said “excuse me?”

I paused. She asked if I were going to the show but it sounded more accusatory than inquisitive so instinctually I headed out of the building. To my back she shouted “this is not a public restroom!”

I said ok, and continued out the door. Then she shouted “you people…”

Everyone that is a part of a minority group knows that this is a slur. Papa bear and I gave each other knowing looks but kept walking. We were on the side-walk by the time she called us a$$holes. Papa bear stiffened but he kept walking. Pasty face slammed the doors and locked them; we had an audience by now. Emotions have been high in the brown community after the Zimmerman verdict and folks were ready. Then this silly broad ran to another door on the other side of the building and yelled “bye rude people.”

Papa bear had his fill and turned around to go back and address her. But pasty fearfully stayed behind the glass doors. I grabbed Papa bear’s hand trying to stop him from charging her which was as effective as holding back a tornado. The image of King in his mind’s eye was the only thing that stopped him in his tracks. We eventually made it to the concert, missed the two opening acts, saw Jill do three songs and left early to beat the crowd. Date night was a wash.

On the way home I finally allowed myself to process what had happened to Trayvon Martin. I am Sabrina Fulton. I am the mother of a black male child who will probably be of considerable size. I will have to talk to him about race and gender very early in life. I have no idea how to go about it. I don’t want him to live in fear but naiveté will not protect him. I am an educated very grown woman. I was dressed up, attending a concert and still baited. If this can happen to me, what about my sun?

My girlfriend Autumn* and I talked about raising black boys over brunch a few days ago. She told me she didn’t want her son to be corny but dressing like Carlton Banks instead of Lil Wayne might save his life. I’m not sure. Is the profiling really in the clothing? I was dressed impeccably and still taunted. I am prone to believe the profiling had more to do with skin tone. And we all know ladies and gentlemen, there is no changing that.

So what are my takeaways? 1) Even though the night was a bust it is important to set aside time for you and your mate. I enjoyed getting fancy and having Papa bear admire me. He looked dapper as well. *wink* 2) Racial profiling is real and scary. There are uncomfortable lessons about being black and male in America that I will have to teach King. 3) King is loved and his parents chose to come home to him instead of going to jail.
Thanks for stopping by!
~A King’s Ma