Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I dote over things that probably make you roll your eyes over.
I still talk baby talk to my youngest even though she’s four. But if I’m being totally honest, sometimes I don’t like them.
You probably feel the same way, but you feel embarrassed to say it.
So I’ll say it for you. Sometimes you don’t like your kids.
I think it’s okay to admit. We admit that we don’t always like our boss, our parents, our spouses and family members. Why not our kids? I still love them, but there are times that the things they do really annoy me.
Here are a few things that really make me dislike my children:
When They Ask Me Crazy Questions on Repeat
Is Thidwick the moose a boy or a girl?
What happens if I go too far in the ocean? Will I die? Will you be sad? Will Jesus be happy with me when if I died and went to heaven with him?
Do bugs swim? Do they like to swim?
How can a snake bite with no teeth?
When They Ask Me for Things as Soon as I Sit Down
There must be something that we eat while pregnant that causes this. I’ll prepare dinner for everyone and try to anticipate anything they’d ask before I sit down to ensure that I can stay seated for at least 3 minutes without interruption.
One kid asks for more milk, and I ask the other if they need anything while I’m up. The answer is always no. Occasionally, I’ll start cleaning up the kitchen while I’m up, knowing that someone will want more of something.
When everyone seems satisfied, I return to my plate. And then tragedy strikes.
Suddenly, EVERYONE NEEDS SOMETHING.
This is enough to make steam come out of my ears.
When They Work Together to Be Mischievous
Oh, you know, drawing on the wall. Putting water in their play kitchen.
Using the toilet brush for whatever (denying it, but you know it was moved from the usual location)
Stealing things out of your room. Puting your makeup sponge in the bath and pretending it is soap. The list goes on and on. You know that they are doing normal kid stuff, but it still leads to those moments when you don’t like your kids.
“But mama, I’m not talking back, I’m explaining”
Sure, she’s only 6, but she’s got that back talking down. I’m trying to nip it before she becomes a teenager.
There’s something about talking back that makes the hairs on any parent’s neck stand up straight.
When They Take Advantage of Me
Right now I’m 9 months pregnant. My feet are starting to swell and I have to admit I’m hobbling around now. My husband is a farmer, so he usually gets home after all the crazy has hit an all time high.
When I’m sitting with my feet up, they find some way to get into a fight or have a meltdown that requires me to get up.
If I’m trying to make an appointment on the phone, talk to customer service or handle something important, it seems as if an alarm goes off inside them telling them to interrupt me (LOUDLY).
It’s enough to make me lose my marbles and not like my kids.
What can you do to avoid a meltdown yourself??
In those moments when you feel overwhelmed, take a break. Go into another room and take a breathe. Or tap yourself out of parenting for a bit and call your spouse in for reinforcements.
If your spouse isn’t around, throw the kids in the car and go for a ride.
Call a friend. Pull up a (kid friendly) video on YouTube and have a dance party.
Don’t allow yourself to sink and lose control. Some days that’s easier said than done, but it’s absolutely necessary to preserve your mental health and sanity.
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Curls definitely have a mind of their own. Caring for them is no cut and dry easy task.
Both of my girls were born with curls that changed. They both had dark, wavy curls that morphed into more defined brown curls.
When my oldest daughter was around 3 years old, she told me she wanted straight her like her grandma. I was heartbroken. Not that she wanted to be like her grandmother, but that she didn’t see the beauty in her curls.
After that, she frequently asked me why she didn’t have straight hair like Ariel or Rapunzel.
One of the trickiest parts of raising a biracial child is teaching them to embrace both sides of themselves. Both of my children have lighter skin than me. They both have brown eyes and curly hair. As a black mom, that is a sense of pride for me. That with all the hard work of carrying them, there is a little bit of me inside.
My husband and I were already intentional about the kinds of books we read to her. We found as many books as we could with little tan/brown girls on the cover that mentioned self love. The books did most of the work for us, discussing how the main characters embraced their skin color and curls.
What I found, however, is that what she was seeing on t.v. & who she was surrounded by daily was having a greater impact than what we read in books.
Representation in Daily Interactions
We live in town with my husband’s family. So naturally, we see more of the white side of the family. My parents are Jamaicans, and it is important to me that my girls retain our culture, so I make every effort to have more time spent with my family.
They get to see that curls are natural in all different forms, and can come in different textures, and in people with varying skin tones.
Nothing speaks representation like seeing it in the flesh.
We also make sure to have play dates with other children who are biracial or different ethnicities.
Intentional Selection of TV Shows
While I am an avid Disney Princess movie fan, many of the older Disney Princess movies did not showcase diversity. Now, thanks to movies like Princess & the Frog & Moana, my girls can see that princesses come in a variety of shades.
I also love that shows like Nella the Princess Knight & Doc McStuffins showcase smart, brave brown skin colors that are embracing who they are.
I Embraced My Curls
When my youngest was a baby, I decided to take the plunge into natural hair. I finally let go of the straight hair is beautiful message that was fed to me over the years.
It wasn’t met without resistance, tears and frustration. 4 years later, I love that my girls touch my hair and tell me how beautiful it is. They make comments about curly hair like mommy.
They even look at me strange if I’m wearing different protective styles that are straight. They wonder where my curls have gone. My curls represent more than just a style.
My curls connect me to my daughters in such a powerful way.
If you are raising a child by adoption that doesn’t look like you, it is your responsibility to find representation for your child to help them embrace their curls. They will not be able to mirror you if you are not a minority, so you will have to seek that represenation in other places.
Take them to museums that showcase diversity and history.
Travel around the country and internationally.
Have playdates with other multiracial families or families of color.
Be intentional about the movies you go see.
Be intentional about the books you select.
If you can’t do their hair, find someone who can.
Invest in products that work for your child’s curl pattern.
Don’t assume that your children will grow up with self love. Teach them to embrace their curls by talking about them.
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When we go out in public, people frequently comment on my children’s physical appearance. My blackness is put on display as their minds search for an answer to my children’s appearance. Some people are brave enough to ask, and some make general comments.
As a mother, it has always brought a great sense of pride when comments are made about their beauty. As they age, I now begin to wonder if the compliment have deeper meanings.
As the compliments are given, I often notice that people scan me. They scan my hair, my finger for a ring, and my face. It is subtle, but it’s happened so often, I am used to it.
As they are ogled for their skin complexion, “They are so lucky they don’t have to tan” and their curl pattern “I wish I had hair like that” it makes me wonder if the compliments are more due to the fact that people are drawn to their exoticism. I don’t share their complexion, and my blackness does garner the same type of attention.
At eight and five, they are beginning to notice the endless compliments. They are not at the point that they can connect it to race, but one day they will.
In fact, my eight-year-old has asked me why people always say they are beautiful. I simply tell her, because you are.
As they get older, I know the questions will be directed at them-especially when I am not around. They may be asked by peers and adults why don’t you look like your mom?
I want my kids to know that they have the option to not discuss our family’s racial identity if they choose not to.
Research shows that kids see race by the age of 5. However, the biases that come along with an observation come from the adults around them.
As a black mom, I worry about how my biracial kids will feel when they discover that racism and discrimination is still alive and well.
How will they feel know that this is still very real for ME? How can I protect them from discrimination based solely on my interracial marriage?
I know that I can’t shield them from all the bad, but motherhood has given me that desire.
I worry about how they will internalize slavery. In our home, our conversations don’t center around race, but instead we discuss things that are alike and different about us.
For now, I feel that is an age appropriate conversation for them. But I want them to understand that life for others may be different from the life they have.
I want my kids to know a world without boundaries based on their skin color. For them, that may come a little easier because they are light-skinned. That sounds terrible to say, but it’s the absolute truth.
Making my children aware of my blackness is not just about me, but about having empathy for others around them. Having empathy doesn’t always mean that you agree with someone who is different, but that you can have enough compassion to listen to their story without diminishing their experience because you haven’t experienced it.
This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
A doctor once told me that health begins with the mouth. At first, I really did not know what to think. How can total body health begin with your mouth?
How can poor dental hygiene affect your heart, or your diabetes?
It just did not make sense at the time.
But, over the years, I have read article after article that proves that the doctor that told me that health begins with the mouth was right. WebMD calls it, “Your Mouth, the Gateway to Your Body” and this is right – How we treat our mouth directly correlates with how our bodies function. This includes what we put in our mouths, what we put on our mouths, and of course, how we clean our mouth.
This is why clean eating and good oral hygiene is so important.
Our family tries to eat organic food as much as possible and we even raise our own pigs and chickens in order to make that a bit easier to accomplish.
This is one way that we try to keep a clean mouth and healthy body, but just because we eat organic food does not mean that we do not have to incorporate dental hygiene into our routines.
When it comes to children, it can be very challenging (for parents) to teach proper dental hygiene in order for young kids to not only grasp the concept and fully understand it, but also incorporate it into their everyday lives.
Unfortunately, many children in the United States do not practice proper dental hygiene at all. According to the CDC, “Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States.”
Thankfully, we can beat this statistic one family at a time and I hope to be a small part of that in my family and by writing this today in order to spread awareness and provide families all over the world with tips that they can incorporate into their families dental hygiene routines. Here are a few easy ways to teach your young kids how to brush:
Make It Fun
The American Dental Organization recommends brushing for a full two minutes each time you brush, but that can be hard for young kids since they get bored and distracted very easily. Instead of just standing there, or fighting with your kids to stay still while you brush for the full two minutes, spice things up and try to make it fun and entertaining.
This is much more effective compared to fighting the entire time and on top of that, if they associate brushing their teeth with a ‘boring’ or ‘awful’ time, there is a possibility that they could become scared and boycott it completely.
When you are not actively brushing, try other fun activities like pretend brushing with dolls and animals and always make sure that you are a good role model and show your kids how you think brushing is so much fun! 😉
Obviously, at one years old, your kids will not fully understand why they are brushing their teeth, but as they age, you can begin explaining why it is so important.
In fact, a good understanding on what can happen is essential because it will make them want to take care of their teeth and want to brush themselves. Be honest with them, but try not to scare them.
Instead of saying a phrase like, “If you don’t brush your teeth, they will fall out,” you could try saying, “We need to brush our teeth in order for them to stay healthy and strong.” Once they start aging a bit, you can begin explaining the dangers of poor dental hygiene and of course, answer any questions that they have.
Take Your Time
According to Metro Decatur Dental Group PC, “Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance.
For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.” This means that you need to start daily dental hygiene at a very young age, but don’t worry, you have time to figure out how to do it! Instead of getting overwhelmed and frustrated, take your time and be patient – your kid(s) will catch on! Incorporate all of the techniques that we talked about above, do more research, and chat with your other mommy friends and of course, your dentist for more recommendations.
You will get there – just stick with it and be positive!
Visit The Dentist
Last but not least, one of the most important aspects of dental health is of course, visiting your dentist every six months. If you have never been to the dentist with your child, you may be scared of not knowing what the process looks like.
Thankfully, Metro Decatur Dental Group PC explains the process on their website in detail. According to them, the first dental visit is typically very short and requires very little treatment. Your child can sit in your lap as they gently examine their teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken and they may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. They also make sure that your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home.
Dr. Gary A Simms, along with the rest of the staff at Metro Decatur Dental Group PC believes that when you feel good about yourself, it shows in your appearance. Born in England, but raised in Queens for most of his life, Dr. Gary Simms started his career by obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Science at the University of New York. After getting his degree, Dr. Simms went on to obtain his D.M.D. degree at the University of New Jersey School of Dental Medicine. While at the University of New Jersey, Dr. Simms participated in a number of outreach programs that included visits to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Once he completed his dental residency, he opened up his own practice in Bronx, New York, but in 2006, he decided to make the change and move to Georgia, opening up Metro Decatur Dental Group PC. He believes that even a subtle change can help your self-confidence and self esteem skyrocket.
How did you teach your toddlers to brush their teeth? How do you make it fun?
When my husband and I were seriously dating and began discussing marriage, we never really thought about the implications of being in an interracial marriage.
When we started having children, we began noticing that people had many misconceptions (and biases) about multiracial families.
Unfortunately, some of those misconceptions about multiracial families come to life through comments, questions and “observations.”
Here are a few that we’ve heard:
Kids That “Don’t Match” Their Parents Must be Adopted or Have Different Dads
For some reason, Americans tend to identify race based on appearance rather than ethnic makeup. Their misconceptions come out when they begin asking invasive questions. I think if they truly understood what they were asking, they wouldn’t ask (or so I hope)
People often ask me if my daughters are my children.
If you look at my own biological family, my brothers and I are all varying shades of brown. There is diversity even within monoracial families.
I hate that biases about black women often come to life when people ask questions about my kids. My husband is a farmer, so many times the girls and I are out and about without him. It’s a common assumption that I am a single mom. Even when I’m pregnant, I purposefully wear my wedding rings.
All Moms Struggle When Their Kids Hair is Different From Their Own
When my girls were little, Aveeno hair/body wash was enough for both of them. As they started to get a little older, their hair texture changed, and it wasn’t enough to add moisture, shine & definition. It was a process of trial and error to find what worked for them.
In the spring of 2014, I decided to stop relaxing my hair and embrace my naturally curly hair. The struggle was real for me. However, in that struggle, products that didn’t work for me, often worked for my daughters.
The process of trial and error was soon eliminated and now I know what makes their curls pop!
Differences do not always equal difficulties ya’ll.
And because I have girls, people think that we spend hours on hair. Unfortunatly, my hair is the one that takes hours!
Some of us can perservere and figure it out.
Interracial Couples Were Drawn to the Exotic Nature of Their Spouse
What attracted me to my husband? Let me count the ways.
He could cook.
He is intelligent.
We always had engaging conversations.
We enjoyed spending time together–even without spending money.
His dimple and his charm.
None of this had to do with him being white.
Some common misconceptions about interracial marriage, especially among black women is that I just couldn’t find a good black man, or I must’ve been hurt by black men and turned to a white man.
I wasn’t seeking out a white man and had nothing against dating anyone of another race. Sometimes the attraction is pretty simple. And to add to that, it’s no one’s business.
When my children begin dating and thinking about marriage, I want them to choose a spouse based on qualities that make them compatible and attracted to each other.
I hope that my marriage will be a mirror for them and that the misconceptions about multiracial families won’t be a factor.
What misconceptions have you heard about multiracial families?