Open Letter to My Baby Daddy

Dear DNA provider of my daughter,

As, I write this letter I can only hope that it finds you. I honestly do not know if I have located the correct address but, if I did then here goes nothing.

It took me years to forgive you, for not stepping up to the plate and being the father that our daughter needed. It amazed me as how anyone who had the opportunity to spend any time with my wonderful daughter could not fall madly in love. However, you who offer 50 % of her DNA managed to be the only one.  Now like I said I forgive you and I am forever grateful for blessing me with the friendliest, prettiest, smartest, and most talented daughter one could ask for.

Now I fully understand that it was negligence on both our parts that we did not truly get to know each other before we decided to be reckless and have unprotected sex. I guess we dodged one hell of a bullet because instead of an STD, I got a baby. Well, let me get to the point earlier this year my daughter came to me and said she finally was ready to talk about you.

In my mind, I’m like dammit can we talk about anything else but, him.  As her mother, I knew this day was coming and I told her when she was ready I’d tell her whatever she wanted to know.  The part that bother me the most was my very happy daughter stood before me in tears and asked the one question I dreaded “Why didn’t he want me?” Fuck, is all I could think. Instantly, I wanted to spew that he was a selfish asshole who was too damn dumb and selfish to step up to the plate and be a fucking father. But, instead while holding back my own tears I told her the following: “Not, everyone who creates a child is ready and able to step up and parent that child.  He was immature and just couldn’t get it together. God, used him as a tool to provide me and your father with the daughter we always wanted, since I can only get boys out of him. “

 I reminded her that is has been her dad/my husband that has always been there for her. It was him that was there for her first birthday, steps, day of school, recital, award ceremony, and having countless daddy daughter days. She knows he is her dad but, I also understand her desire to meet you. You hold a key to the side of her that I cannot provide. I am not Puerto Rican and cannot tell her anything about a being a Latina in this world.  She wants answers.

She wants to know who you are, what are you like, and I’m sure she has a million and one other questions.  As I tried to locate you it has been very difficult. Now 6 years almost 7 years ago you told me you wanted to see her. I told you the time wasn’t right; however, when she got older and wanted to meet you I would let you know. You would think you would’ve left me with updated contact information. But, no you didn’t and now I have been scouring the internet for months trying to locate you. You’ve missed 14 years of so many happy and wonderful moments that you will never get to experience and for that I feel sorry for you.

I feel sorry for you that you have missed out on an amazing and wonderful daughter that could make any father or mother proud. Thank you for giving me one of the best things to ever happen to my life my daughter. If for some reason, I have finally located the correct contact information if, and only if you are ready to answer those hard questions she has for you let me know.

Sincerely,

 

A torn mother

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Minority at Home

In my efforts to be a socially conscious and responsible individual. I speak to my children in honest conversations about the social injustices in the world. We discuss how the color of their skin can automatically make them a target or labeled as dangerous and aggressive. Being a woman of color as I am bi-racial and when I step outside I am a black woman in America. I am an educated Black woman married to a Black man raising three Black sons and one Black daughter. So, guess what BLACK LIVES MATTER to me.

Considering, the past eight years and this most recent election I have developed some issues in regards to my family. Now my husband and I are avid Obama supporters and so are our children. My family are avid Obama haters and I could deal with them hating him. It was their choice and their rights. However, after Trayvon Martin, Freddy Gray, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and Philando Castile I fear for the lives of my children, my husband, and myself. Now, I was not a 100% supporter of Hillary; however, she was the lessor of two evils. I completely understand that her husband was responsible for mandatory sentencing and I know the impact it had on the Black community.

What bothers me the most is these people who share the same blood line as my children and I would support a man who has clearly expressed his racist agenda.  How he agrees with unconstitutional laws such as “Stop and Frisk” that would clearly put a target on the backs of my children, husband, and myself? Who looks more dangerous than a group of black teenagers in hoodies? Now my issues are how do I sit at the table and break bread with these people? Can I be tolerant knowing that they are okay with my family being unfairly discriminated against or racial slurs being thrown our way by their Trump supporters?

How do I continue to teach my children to be socially conscious and still be tolerant of a family who has not stopped to think once about how their actions effect people they supposedly love? I smiled and chilled through Thanksgiving and Christmas even after they wanted to parade around flying their Confederate flags but, I do not think that can do it this year. It is too soon and my emotions are running high.

But, I think social media has made it very difficult to be tolerant of those close to you as they post their personal views. If only I could un-see what I have seen and read, then many I could be more tolerant. Now I am faced with the task of telling my mother and my children that our family will not be attending any family events or we need to have dinner at separate times. I love my mother and I know she wasn’t a Trump supporter; however, her husband, my brother, his wife, and my nephew were. I’m not sure I can share the same space with them now.

Growing up the Black (literally) sheep of a family hasn’t been easy. If I could count the number of times family has disappointed, neglected, and abused me you would be shocked. Crazy world we live in and it’s a crazier being me trying to just be me during such a trying time in history.  

#blacklivesmatter #imatter #mykidsmatter #staywoke #informationispower #socialresponsibility

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Where are you?

We are approaching the halfway point of 2016. It’s time to check-in on those goals you set for the year. I know for me I achieved some of my goals.  Yet, there are still some areas where I am behind or I haven’t even started such as doing yoga three times a week. I bought the mat, found the class, and put it on my schedule. I haven’t been to a yoga class yet.

So, I decided to get refocused on my goals. I realized that one of my problems is I over commit or double book myself for work, appointments, and other various activities. Then I end up not following through with my schedule. So, I went out and bought a new planner starting with July. I made sure to buy accessories to help me keep up with my schedule. I also started a journal to track my goals and progress. July 1 will be my starting point and right now I am prepping myself to make some changes.

So, now that you are the halfway mark of the year it’s time do the following:

  1. Review your goals and your timeline. It’s time to examine your progress and see what has been hindering you. What changes still need to be made?  If the deadline has passed, set a new deadline and develop a plan to reach your goals.
  2. Get organized. Locate one book and use it to track your goals and progress. Create a to-do list based on your plan. Monitor your progress. You may be like me and need a planner to help you get organized. (The one I love is listed below) Whatever you need to assist you now is the time to get it, make it, and/or set it up.
  3. Find an accountability partner. Find a friend one who is motivating and work together to hold each other accountable for achieving goals. You don’t have to share all of your goals and plans but, just let them know your deadlines. Make plans to meet with them often to check-in.
  4. Get off your butt and do it already. It’s easy to fall off and get caught up in our day to day life, but we have to stop making excuses and just do it. “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you will find an excuse.” Think about a time you really wanted something or wanted to do something. You made it happen and didn’t think twice about it. Put this same effort into your goals. Remember these are your dreams.
  5. Don’t focus on where you failed. Don’t focus so much on the fact that missed your deadlines or that you haven’t made as much progress as you planned. Focus on how to achieve your new deadline. We can’t change our past; however, we can change what we do today to impact our future.

You can find my planner here: http://astore.amazon.com/theambwom-20

 

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Continue reading

Pieces of Me

 

I grew up with a dad; however, our relationship was very distant. It was strange one minute we had a normal father/daughter relationship and other times we just lived in the same house. I was read bedtime stories or tucked into bed. In fact, I don’t ever remember being read a bedtime story. My dad was my provider that was his role and I knew that. Yet, something was missing I was nothing like him and he was nothing like me. I thought I was adopted for a long time due to the differences I had with my parents. I was ten-years-old when I discovered the truth my dad was not my biological father and everyone was a liar.

I held my secret for years. I just accepted that my father and I would never be normal. Hell, my family would never be normal. I had two other father figures who came into my life and treated me like one of their children and I am grateful. There was something still missing, a part of me and who I was. For years, I wonder what my biological family was like and why my father did not want me. When I was about 16 years old my mother finally decided to reveal the truth. My reply was simple “I already know.”

I never told anyone how I was impacted by not having my biological father in my life impacted me. I went through a range of emotions. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to meet him, hate him, resent him, or even build a relationship with him. I had everything I needed to find him at my figure tips as I had taken my adoption decree and child support orders from my mother’s house.

I had a void and I felt like didn’t really know who I was. So, I did the internet search and I found him. I used his social so, I was sure. So, I wrote him and then it began. Even at that moment I wasn’t sure if I wanted to meet him and build a relationship. All I knew was I reached out. I was twenty-five. I had repeated the cycle my daughter’s biological father was nonexistent in her life and my husband had adopted her. The only difference was their relationship is great.

After confusion and encouragement from my wonderful husband, I made the decision to go and meet him and the rest of the family around a year later. Now nine years later I have met my family, learned about where I came from, and no longer have that void. I am at peace with my relationship with dad. I am at peace with myself.

Both of my dads are a piece of me. An important piece of me that has in some way impacted my life. In life, we have to do things for us not for the people around us. I could have held a grudge against my biological father for his absence in my life; however, that would not have been beneficial for me. I needed to have a relationship with him despite whatever happened in the past it was something that I needed.

Do what you need to do for you? You cannot go through life living for the rest of the world because at the end of the day it’s only you who has to live with your choices.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers and Father Figures.

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#Relationshipsgoals

Social media magnified the term “Keeping Up with the Jones.” We spend a significant amount of our day looking at the surface lives of others. We see the good side of couples; however, we don’t see the bad side. If we do see people who completely put their lives on display we judge them and say things like “I wish they would just break up.” But, in reality if you knew half the stuff that goes on in behind the scenes of relationships would they still be #relationshipgoals.

 

My relationship is my relationship and to be honest what you see is exactly who Donta and I are underneath the surface. Of course, we argue about more than just ice cream; however, that isn’t for the world to know. I will say that the foundation in which, we built our marriage on has brought us to this upcoming 11th year of marriage. We’ve learned together, cried together, vowed together, and we struggled together.

 

We allowed our marriage to be our marriage with minimal outside influences. This is something we agreed upon early in our relationship and it’s been a hard and crazy path we’ve been on. But, I can honestly say there is no one else I would have rather went through it all with. So, five things I learned about marriage over these 10 years and 2 months are:

 

  1. You have to teach your spouse how to love you and respect you. We all have different love languages and we have to teach our significant other before and after marriage how to love us. We have to let them know how their love impacts us emotionally. Yes, respect is given; however, we don’t all view respect in the same manner. Some of use model our relationships based off of what we seen in our lives. While others use the relationships we seen as the “What not to do,” guidelines for our lives.
  2. You must both set boundaries. Together you have to come together and understand the limits in your relationships. What is it that may make or break the relationship for you? What will you not put up with? This is an important step and it may be something you learn along the way. Things that you say you are unwilling to forgive once your invested in a relationship you may change your thought process. However, this does not mean allow someone to walk over you. Forgiveness is not forgetting and if someone continues to engage in the same act over and over again than what does that say about his or her consideration for you.
  3. You have to separate your spousal duties and your parental duties. When my husband and I were married we were a ready-made family. We both came with a child and we had a child together. We had three children under 5. I struggled with my parenting duties and my wifely duties. This was detrimental to my marriage. Our lives had become separated. I spent my days as a stay-at-home mom catering to the kids while he worked and went to happy hour. We both had a breaking a point where we had to just have it out and again define our roles and our expectations for each other. He needed me to make time and effort for wifely duties and I needed him to remember to romance me. It took a while but I think we have it together. We still have minor upsets but we get back on track.
  4. No matter the situation, your husband should feel like a man. It’s important even if you are taking charge that your husband still feels like a man. He needs to be involved in household decisions and his opinions matter. The way the world is today many woman make more money than their husbands and this where they feel they get to make all the decision. Yes, I consult with my husband a lot of decisions in my life. I do this because he needs to be the head of the house. I also know my husband and it’s important that I consult with him not, that I seek his permission or approval. Let the man lead and if he is not worthy of leading you have other problems.
  5. Pick and choose your battles wisely. My home is my place of peace. I do not believe in everything being an argument. Yes, I get frustrated daily. I could start a million arguments; however, not everything is worth it. I would rather just let the air stay on and get under the covers than argue about what temperature the room should be. Being petty will not be healthy for your marriage.

 

This just some food for thought I’m not a relationship expert. I do not have the perfect relationship; however, I do know that I’m happy and the above five items is how I learned to be happy and enjoy my marriage. So, next time you see someone and you envy their relationship over yours, just think about how you can improve and make your current relationship better.

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Lessons

I’m not really a television person and can often be out of loop on current events. I recently heard about the 15 year old girl who was caught having sex in the bathroom with 25 male peers. I heard about this story from my son. The first thing I told him and my other children was not to judge that young lady. I said that because those are the actions of someone who has a history of sexual trauma.

I was even more upset with the media who referred to her as a “young thot” (slang for “that hoe over there”). There could be a lot of arguments about how she should have knew better and she should have been taught better. But, the thing about sexual trauma most people don’t ever tell anyone. Or, the people they tell brush it under the rug. Some people will even feel that it was their fault.

It’s important to educate our teenage boys, that while their hormones are going and of course they want to have sex. They need to beware of the girl who is giving so freely of herself because there is a huge chance she has self-esteem issues and/or a history of sexual trauma.

There are lot of teenagers walking around misguided and misinformed due to parents attempting to protect them. They don’t discuss sex because they don’t want to put the thought of sex in their children’s head. Well I’m here to tell you whether you say something or not it’s in their head. The world is hyper-sexualized and their friends are talking about it.

Be the person to educate your children. Ignore them when they say “Mom/Dad I’m not thinking about that right now.” Be in the know of what is occurring with child so, it’s not your child engaging in risky sexual behaviors. Providing condoms to do not condone sex it merely is just a safety precautions. Birth control is not an open invitation to have sex it’s a precaution.

Most children are going to do what they want regardless of what we say. So, to be on the safe sided just make sure they are prepared. This is my opinion and I know many won’t agree; however, it’s just that I’ve seen it happen.

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Just a Mom!

I remember being 19-years-old in the military. My life was just being I was carefree and living the life. I had a roof over my head a steady paycheck coming on the 1st and 15th of the month, no major bills. I went to the doctor (who I now know didn’t know anything) for stomach pains and was told that there was a possibility I could never have children. I remember calling my mother crying, I was devastated. I was still awaiting the test to determine if in fact I could not have children.

During this period of my life, I was carefree and reckless. It was during this time I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was still trying to keep up with my friends and hang out. I was clueless. I was pregnant and the father was an immature jerk to put it nicely. I went to every doctor’s appointment alone. I shopped alone. I moved into my apartment pregnant and alone with no help. I put the crib together on my own. I had decided it was going to be just my baby and I. If he couldn’t get it together than she didn’t need him. It was during this time that I realized as a mother it was my role to do everything to see my child succeed.

Here I am today the mother of four, married to a loving husband who has been in our daughter’s life since she was a baby. It’s tough being a mother. It’s even tougher being a step-parent. As a mother, my job is never done. I’m a dance, basketball, and football mom. I am constantly at someone’s practice, game, recital, and concert. There’s always one more thing that needs to be done. One more place we have to go. Another project, assignment, and fundraiser.
On occasion I complain about the long days and all the hours I spend dedicated to them and what they have going on. My co-workers always call me “Supermom” but, in all honestly I’m just a mom.
I am a…
Carpooling,
Cleat finding,
Gym bag packing,
Make-up doing,
Teacher emailing,
Sideline yelling,
Audience cheering,
Laundry doing,
Hair styling,
Tight finding,
Homework helping,
Dinner cooking,
Life skill teaching,
Two jobs working,
Up all night,
Vomit cleaning,
Medicine finding,
Appointment making
…MOM.

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Ah, Ha!

It all started last week. I attended the Transformation Expo in Richmond, VA. It was amazing and Iyanla Vanzant was the guest speaker. I am a huge fan and I must say that she completely moved me with her words. She informed everyone that they needed to figure out their P.I.N. for life.

P: purpose (not your spiritual purpose) but, the WHY to the things you do.
Ex. What is your purpose for going to school?, What is your purpose for shopping, when you have bills to pay? What is your purpose for eating takeout when you have food at home?

I: Integrity was aligning your thoughts, words, and actions.
Ex. If your thoughts are to save money, and you tell everyone that you have a plan. Then why are you at the mall buying $200 shoes.

N: Nobility it was what happens after you complete the other two. It’s when you are walking with purpose and integrity being an influence on others.
Ex. As we get older it is our responsibility to educate the next generation on how to carry themselves, our history, and how to treat others.

It made me realize that I don’t focus on the “Why” when I make decisions no matter how big or small. I also realized that I almost never align my thoughts, words, and actions. This was something that did not sit right with me. I was stuck, unsure of what to do. I had left my job and to be honest l enjoy making my own schedule and being able to see my kids for more than the car ride to practice. So, I sat down in front of the computer and looked for businesses that would bring in extra income in an effort to not return to a 9 to 5. I found one I liked, it was $1 to join and then I realized I didn’t like it and did not know how to market the product. I didn’t want to buy the product so, how could I sell it. Next I found another business that was pretty inexpensive that I could see myself doing and being successful at it.

It was an online fitness coach. This was right up my alley motivating others, while managing my own health goals. It was a win, win. I wanted to be successful. I watched some training video and decided to read a few books. As, I read this book on personal branding it discussed “Purpose.” (books listed below) There was also the “Why” are you doing what you are doing.

As I wrote down information about myself to write an appealing bio I had an Ah ha moment. I was not really working towards my true purpose in life. My plan was to finish my Master’s program to become a licensed counselor because, that is what you are supposed to do after you finish your psychology degree. I am literally in year 6 of a 2 year program with another year to go. Why am I not further along? Why was this so much harder than undergrad? And, there it was in my bio for my new website that my long-term goal was to be a Life Coach. I didn’t need to be a Licensed Therapist to make that happen. I don’t even need a degree; however, I feel that the degree alongside the certification will make me more marketable.

I was taking the long route to my dream and along the way I became unmotivated. I was no longer passionate about school and finishing my degree. I was only doing it because that was the expected career path. I am the first of my mother’s children to graduate College and I am going to be the first with my Masters. When I had my Ah Ha! moment I realized that I need to be walking in my purpose and doing what I am passionate about, not what I am “supposed” to do.

Are you truly doing what you love? Or, are you doing what is expected?

 

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Not Feeling so ambitious after all…

I haven’t posted anything for a while. Because honestly, I haven’t felt very ambitious. In fact, I’ve felt defeated. The plans I had for myself have just not fallen into place as they should and I was stuck and unsure of what my next move will be. Then a very simple and normal thing occurred my friend shared in our group chat a daily devotional. After the devotional we all started to share what the words meant to our life. Next, it was decided we would all take turns picking a scripture and sharing what it means to our lives.

Yes, I know I should look to God for answers and guidance; however, sometimes he aligns us with people to help us get back on track. I was slacking in my prayer life and I could tell. I was now doubting all the decisions for my life. However, after these daily devotionals, I remember to pray not just for the answers to my problems but, for guidance, and strength to remain faithful.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In that day when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

I am blessed that God has put me among a group of people who are taking a walk of transformation. So, when one of us starts to fall we are all there to lift each other back up. I’m back and ambitious as ever.

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Un-Coachable

Recently Donta and I have been trying to teach our 12-year-old Tahir the difference between confidence and arrogance.  All of my children are athletes and they are constantly being coached by others and as a parents Donta and I try to continue the coaching at home. Now, whenever anyone attempts to provide Tahir with any feedback on his skills he always says “I do that already!” Now, my children are very talented and I am not saying that because they are my children. I had to explained to Tahir that at this moment he is un-coachable, basically he is unwilling to receive feedback and learn. I was explaining to him that as a child you have the potential to be coached and people around you will see it and want to help despite you being arrogant. However, once he is older those same people will probably just walk away because he is unwilling to listen to the valuable information. He expressed that he understood and is willing to work on it and that is all I ask.

Now to you do think your un-coachable. Are you the know it all in the office? We all have that one co-worker who is an expert on everything; however, is constantly not displaying that they know it all. Or, they are constantly offering up suggestions that no one asked for in the first place. Yet, they get upset with someone provides them with feedback and they don’t agree. This person usually is the biggest complainer when things don’t go their way. If this is you…STOP IT RIGHT NOW! It’s annoying. We have to learn to be open and understand that most of the time feedback is not meant as a put down but, as a way of letting you know things you may not even be aware that you’re doing.

We are not perfect and we all can use the help of someone. Even experts consult with other experts to make sure they are making the right decisions. It’s kids whose parents failed to tell them the real deal that become un-coachable adults that everyone wishes would keep their mouth shut. So, think about it are you always on the defense when someone provides feedback or are you open. The smartest people are the ones who are open to listening, asking questions, and receiving feedback from others.

 

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