Jan 27, 2012

Growing Pains

I'm not going to make this a deep issue, but a funny one.  Life is becoming so funny to me.  I'm forty-two years into this saga and learning that laughter is the best remedy for my issues.

As I create this post, my daughter is at a sleepover.  I could barely get a hug and kiss from her before we departed.  I checked in with her all week to make sure she was still feeling as motivated about going as she did the day she got the invite.  She was.  Trust me, I'm taking this opportunity to get in some chill time, but clearly I am missing her more than she is missing me right now.  I have my phone right by my side in case she needs to reach me or has a change of heart--yeah right!  The funny thing is, at one point in our lives I would have never expected her to be able to leave me so easily.

When my daughter started kindergarden, she had a serious case of separation anxiety.  I thought it strange because she had been in daycare since she was 1 and breezed through pre-k like a pro, but for some reason she was far from thrilled when it was time to start kindergarden.  To make a long story short, SHE HATED IT!  If I remember correctly, she was suffering so badly that she asked me why couldn't I be a teacher so I could stay home and be her teacher.  Little did she know I could have done that, but somebody has to pay the freakin' bills around here!

I, on my high horse was totally against her going to public school because she was born of 2 highly educated parents and there was no way I was sending her to a public school!  Well God said otherwise and a little over a month later, a nervous breakdown, much prayer and 2 private schools, I enrolled her in public school and guess what?  She loves it!  She's in 2nd grade now and has more "friends" than I can count.  The phone rings incessantly and play dates are now planned without parental knowledge.  To her credit, she's a straight A student and has received numerous accolades for her academics.  She's the ultimate kid package--smart, well-socialized and I must say, pretty.  Now I am required to change my parental outlook on a daily basis.

The point I am making is, now I am the one with separation anxiety.  The tables have turned and I'm sitting at home clutching my cell phone (and a cocktail) unsure what to do with myself.  It's funny to me how life can turn the tables on you and allow you experience, what someone else has already been through.  Bottoms up!

Jan 15, 2012

The Truth About Single Black Women!

I was perusing the web recently searching for statistics and articles about women like me--black, educated, single mothers.  My search was not successful because apparently to the rest of the world, these characteristics are not nomenclature for black women.  I did however find mountains of statistics for black, uneducated, single mothers in poverty and educated, childless black women who can't snag a man. 

Does this anger me?  No, because my world consists of the life I live, love and manage and trust me, it consumes my days and nights so I have very little time to devote to being angry at news articles and stats.  What did tick me a little bit were the comments I read accompanying such articles, which were published by major media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, New York Daily News and the Huffington Post.  Perception is not reality, just opinion, if you know nothing about the reality of something.  Here are the realities that I know about black women:

  • All black women who are single are not desperately seeking marriage.  Considering the current divorce rate and the number of girlfriends we've had to provide a shoulder to because of a failing marriage, many single black women have redefined how we want our story to end and for some, marriage is not a chapter in the book and we are okay with it.
  • The single mothers I know who are black are not living in poverty.  Even before I was a mother and had reached my highest level of education, the single mothers I encountered were employed, homeowners and some were investing in private educations for their kids.  Basically, MAKING IT HAPPEN!
  • Black men need to understand when you date a black woman who has been REQUIRED to do EVERYTHING on her own, your presence is not going to automatically be met with damsel in distress qualities.  Don't let it be a turn off, step up your game and go to the next level of manliness.
  • Married black women, you are the new oddity so watch yourself because the world is now watching you, not us.

I would be insincere to not admit that I've overused my single mother status as an excuse for many things-- some plausible, some not.  I'm getting better, as my child gets older, at overcoming feeling different because of my parental status.  My desire now is to simply set the tone for our lifestyle and enjoy it.  Period.com!

Disclaimer:  I have not given up on the idea of being married.  BOOM!

Jan 10, 2012

Swagged Out Love

Solange Knowles and Alan Ferguson chillin' on the French countryside for a friend's wedding.

This blog post is for my single divas.  I'm single and I've been struggling with sustaining my belief in love, falling in love, being in love, etc.  Partially, because I have very little time to invest in the love game and also because of the relationship horror stories I've been hearing lately.  For me to become excited about anything, I have to be inspired.  I think my inspiration for believing in love again has been found!

While browsing the web last night, I came across a pic that is helping me visualize how I'd like to feel in love.  No misinterpretations here!  It's not about the people in the pic, the money they have, nor their ability to do and go where they want while enjoying each others company.  This photo is a dead on interpretation of how I'd like to feel.  Relaxed, not tense and mad.  Comfortable, not uptight and lacking confidence.  Just chillin' out with someone who enjoys some of the same things as I and shares the same intellect and feelings.  That's it!

Gaze into this picture or find your own and let's be inspired to not give up on love.

*Photo courtesy of mydamnblog.com, a photo blog by Solange Knowles.

Jan 3, 2012

Taking Care Of Me: My Products

In order for me take care of myself the way I want and need to (while also staying on budget), I have to invest in products I know work for me.  The key is choosing carefully and buying the ones that are tried and true.  It is easy to become a product addict (I've been one!) because all products are marketed with promises of great results.  To save money, time and keep my beauty regimen solid, I've broken down my required products into 3 categories--skin, hair, and nails. 

  • Skin
    • Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser
    • Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer
    • Witch Hazel
    • Hot Six Oil
    • Vaseline
    • Dove Unscented Soap
    • Wax for face & legs (still searching)
    • Exfoliator for face and body (still searching)
  • Hair
    • Miss Jessie's Super Slip Sudsy Shampoo
    • Miss Jessie's Creme De La Creme Conditioner
    • Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme
    • Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion
  • Nails
    • Fingernail and Toenail clippers
    • Emery boards
    • Sally Hansen Hard As Nails

I'm not going to even get into make-up because that is an addiction I haven't kicked yet!  When it comes to this category, I love trying different colors/brands and usually when I find one I love it is discontinued.  I will say however, that Oh Baby Tinted Lipglass by MAC, which is still around, stands as my absolutely fav everyday lipgloss.  Also, I haven't kicked my love of Great Lash Blackest Black waterproof mascara by Maybelline.

I can't say this enough, everything doesn't work for everybody and each woman has to be free enough to operate according to what works for her.  Many of my products also incorporate what works for myself and my daughter collectively.  My hair is natural and my skin is dry, so my list includes products that work for my lifestyle.  In the economy we are currently living in, for many, beauty products take a back seat to other necessities, but some are still necessary.  Creating a firm list of the products that you know already work for you and that you are willing to invest in not only saves beauty cents, but makes common sense.  All real world divas can get with that!  Smooches!

P.S.  Remember, some beauty treatments should be left to the professionals!