In my opinion, I was blessed with the best Mother in the world. Of course she was flawed and made mistakes but, she made sure that my brother and I were taken care of. Christmas in our house was ridiculous (at least for me)! The entire living room was filled with gifts, and it took hours to open them all. Being the baby and the only girl had its advantages :-). My mother held jobs as a bartender, secretary, clerk, and lastly, a mail handler to provide for us. She ALWAYS sacrificed her needs and wants to insure that my brother and I were taken care of. I, too, have adapted those qualities and I don’t have an ounce of regret. I’ve neglected my hair, nails, and social life to provide for my son. Yes, at times it was frustrating however, seeing the smile on his face when he got just what he asked for made it all worth it. I was once told that I need to shop and “keep myself up” because my look was dated. My response “my child is a reflection of his mother, if he looks good, then I feel good”. I spent my 29th birthday in a hot car driving from Disney world (NEVER AGAIN)! I was miserable,frustrated, and extremely annoyed the entire time. I grabbed my camera and began to look at the pictures from the week and I started to cry. My baby had the time of his life and that’s all that mattered to me. I am truly my mothers child and I am proud of it. My son and my unborn daughter didn’t ask to be conceived or to be born. They aren’t burdens for me, but rather little angels that depend on me to provide their every need. Who am I to deny them? Who am I to be selfish and put myself before them?As opposed to being at every event and dropping my babies off on whomever is available, I chose to stay home. Yes, there are times when I need some “adult” time and I take it. However, if you’re spending more time getting rid of your children than spending time with them, that’s indeed a problem. I was blessed in my 20’s to truly experience life. I traveled, hung out, dated, and shopped on a whim. Thanks to an amazing support system, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. There are still some places I want to go and things I want to see, and I have plenty of time to see them. But for now, I want to spend these precious years with my littles ones. I know from experience that time flies. My baby boy is a sixth grader. It seems like I just gave birth to him yesterday! I want to be at every performance, recital, and event that my children are apart of. Its possible because my mother did it on the bus! She was always there to support me, encourage me, and scold me when needed. Her undying love for me has shown me how to in turn, love my children. God entrusted them to me and I count it both a privilege and an honor of be their mommy. I admit, that I have made mistakes as a Mother, but who hasn’t? Our little ones weren’t born with instruction manuals attached to them, and unfortunately, raising children is simply trial and error. The one thing that I know for sure is that I want to be a shining example for my children. I want them to grow up knowing that their Mommy loved them without condition or limitations. I want them to know that I will always be here to pray, support, protect, comfort, and provide for them. When Derrick was still in the womb, I asked God to do with him what he pleased. I wanted whatever God wanted for his life. I did the same thing the moment I found out that I was expecting Zaria. I want God to use my a babies for his will and the uplifting of his kingdom. My daily prayer is that he will show me how to nurture their gifts and talents. If any of this means sacrificing what I want for their needs, then count it DONE! My crazy Mama taught me more than she will ever know. I admire her strength, courage, and eternal love for me. It will never be forgotten. Blessings all :-)
Earlier this week, I read an in interesting article about single women pursuing married men. It was clear that the writer was a married woman and, she wrote that open letter from her heart. Although I agree that single sisters should steer clear of married men, I also believe that the proverbial buck doesn’t stop there. Yes, as married women we want to pounce on any little trick that looks at our husbands. But, the reality isn’t whether they look at our husbands, but whether our husbands look back. My Michael is extremely attractive and that’s confirmed every time we’re out together. Some women are respectful and sneak their looks in, while others gawk and stare. I find both funny as I am secure in my marriage. Its also an ego boost for me. I have something that you want and can’t have… Or can they? Although I trust my dear hubby, there is still the possibility that he might stray. If in fact this does happen, who should I blame? The trollop that “enticed” him? The drugstore that sold him the condoms? The cheap motel that rented him the room? Or do I place the blame where it belongs… On my husband? Granted, the “mistress” is part to blame. Her sheer disrespect for the sanctity of marriage would be enough to make me catch a case. Yet, my beef would be with the man I pledged my life to before God, our parents, and 300 family members and friends (yes, I said 300!). We as women forget that no woman HAS to respect our marriage, it is our husbands that must take his covenant seriously. The other woman doesn’t owe us anything. Not answers, an explanation, NOTHING! 500 scantily clad women can walk into a room and it is up to our husbands to resist temptation! It would be ideal for all women to stick together and respect each others relationships however, that isn’t the world that we live in. Most women that pursue married men have esteem issues, no morals, and are looking to be “kept” without the commitment. Are our husbands helpless, defenseless, victims of these predatory women? Of course not. They agree to participate in this adulteress act, and risk their families for 10 minutes of pleasure (if that long). Some of our husbands pursue single women, what is our argument for that? Something to ponder, huh?Here is a question I want to pose. Do we push our beloved husbands into the arms of another woman? I know I’m going to catch a lot of heat for the aforementioned comment, but what the hell, someone has to address it! Have you let yourself go since getting married, has your sex life changed, is your home a place of solace, or a war zone? Are you sensitive to his needs? Do you encourage him or do you tear him down? Are you submissive? Or do you want to wear the pants in the marriage? By no means am I giving excuses for a man to cheat, but if we’re handling your business as a wives, it will be difficult as hell for another woman to “borrow” our men. (unless he’s just a dog!) We have to stop making the single sisters our fall guy and start addressing the real issue, the men that chose us! Let’s face it, we were ALL single at one time in our lives. Just because we’re married doesn’t mean we’ve arrived. It merely means that we’re stuck with same man for the rest of our lives :-)!
As a writer, I fell in love with this movie immediately! The use of the English language is stellar in this film. Another thing that caught my attention was that Liz (the main character that was played by Julia Roberts) left everything behind to heal, live and surrender to life. She lived based on the opinions and views of others. Liz never did what she wanted or made decisions based on what was best for her. She stayed in an unfulfilled marriage because it was the right thing to do; she tried to make things work with her rebound guy when she knew that it was over. He was simply a distraction from her husband and she finally realized that being a “compulsive girlfriend” simply wouldn’t do. She needed a change of scenery to view herself with fresh eyes… Even if it was just for a year, she needed to live on her own terms. Eat… the first part of her journey began in Italy. There she met amazing friends, learned a new language, and gained a few pounds without remorse. She fed herself physically. This played an integral role her in healing process. She had no one to answer to or impress. No deadlines had to be met, and no one expected anything from her… She could simply LIVE! Next comes pray… Although I don’t agree with the guru theory, I agree that feeding yourself spiritually is essential for growth. At the Ashram in India, she learned how to forgive herself, how to trust, show sympathy, and how to live to please GOD and no one else. Finally, there is love, the most complicated of them all. Feeding yourself physically and spiritually is easy compared to learning to love unconditionally. How does one love without the memory of past hurts, fears, and
disappointments? How does one allow themselves to flourish in a relationship when there is so much to lose emotionally? Liz ended her year long journey in Bali. For starters, this place is absolutely gorgeous! What better place to find balance and to fall in love than in Bali? She had learned two languages, and was now studying under a wise man that encouraged her, supported her, and that was 100% honest. What more could she ask for? She was well on her path when Mr. Right almost ran her off of the road. Their romance was slow and deliberate. I think it was because both of them had experienced great pain from their divorces. Mr. Right was open to finding love again, yet Liz wasn’t convinced that she was ready for a round 3. After some soul searching and wise words from her Mentor, she surrendered and they floated off in the sunset. In the two hours and twenty five minutes that this movie played, I learned a lot from Liz. She realized that change was necessary for her growth; she took risks that some would never consider, she faced her biggest fears, and she accomplished all that she set out to do. I admire her courage and I’m extremely jealous that I didn’t think of this first! The book is an amazing read, and the movie brings every word, on every page of the book to life.
Recently, I watched the movie Step Mom starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. In the movie, Julia Roberts plays Isabel. She is a Young, beautiful, successful photographer who falls in love with a man who is newly divorced with two children. With no children of her own, she is oblivious to the perils of motherhood, and she falls victim to both his children and his ex wife’s attacks. Of course, his children despise her because she isn’t their mother. Like most children, they wanted to remain a family. It didn’t matter that their parents had grown apart and fallen out of love. Their only desire was to stay together… The younger, hipper Step Mom sees things in a different light. Some of her tactics prove to be unorthodox yet effective nonetheless. She has no intentions on trying to fill the Mother’s shoes, she simply wants to be included, respected, and considered. Isabel wants to bond with her step children without the constant ridicule and scrutiny from their Mother. Then there is Susan Sarandon who plays Jackie Harrison. She has left her job in the world of publishing to be a full time, stay at home Mom. Her entire life is devoted to her children and she isn’t comfortable sharing her children with the “new chick”. Naturally, the two women don’t see eye to eye on much. This explains the many petty and childish spats they have. They name call, and belittle each other because neither is willing to waive the white flag and surrender. Poor Luke! He is a father, ex husband, and fiancé that is constantly caught in between the cross fire. He plays mediator and all he wants is for everyone to get along and be happy. Tragedy strikes and the unconventional family FINALLY bonds. Surprisingly, I can relate to both Isabel and Jackie. As a mom, I want to maintain balance in my household as well as make my home both welcoming and comfortable for my step children. I show them the same love and concern that I show for the son that I birthed. I am objective yet; stern and sometimes strict. I don’t care to hear what their Mothers allow them to do at their respective homes. Nor do I care that they are allowed to stay up late, watch R rated movies, and eat junk food all day. Why? Because our household contains structure, discipline and consistency (the three words that children hate). Children should get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to be productive in school, they shouldn’t watch movies or listen to music with inappropriate content, and lastly, they should eat a balanced diet daily. The things they do as children will mold who they become as adults. If they eat, horribly now, they will carry that bad habit into adulthood. Yes, I am considered the stuffy, overprotective Mother… I am Jackie! However, I can be the hip, cool Mother that allows them to have a free for all at will. I believe children should have a variety of EVERYTHING (i.e. shoes, clothes, toys, etc). It is cruel and unusual punishment for a child to be forced into wearing the same shoes daily! (Insert smile here). This frustrates the HELL of my poor husband and unfortunately, a battle he will NOT win. (Sorry dear) To say that I believe in spoiling them in an understatement, as I live to see them smile! Like Isabel, all I want is to be considered, respected and appreciated for the sacrifices I make. The most frustrating of them all, is the poorly hidden innuendoes relayed by their Mothers. I became extremely direct over the years and I don’t do well with messages sent by children. As an adult, we should be able to hold a civil conversation and discuss the best of interest of the child. This NEVER happens with me! I am the “new chick”; the elephant in the room that neither of them wants to acknowledge exists… I am Isabel! It is beyond me why neither of them has requested a formal meeting with me. Is this not customary for any “stranger” that will care for your children? I guess not. The reality is that I am here to stay for I carry my husband’s last name and I will until I leave this earth. I imagine them having séances and praying that the “new chick” gods would strike me dead, or at least cast to me a deserted island never to be heard of again. I chuckle at the very thought of it. Bitterness, envy, and jealously should never cloud ones better judgment. Unfortunately, we experience this daily and the children suffer as a result. Blended families are complicated, emotionally draining, and extremely sensitive. On the other hand, they can be extremely rewarding if all involved parties are willing to make things work. My only hope is that tragedy doesn’t strike before we can all agree to put the best interest of our children first.