Monday, March 19, 2012

Say it Loud: Im a Mom who is so proud...

I just came to the conclusion that folks love drama. They love to see you down on your luck, struggling with your children's behavior. Last year was a horrible year for our family. My beautiful mother passed away at the very end of 2010. December 26th at close to 6pm. The months leading up to her passing were gut wrenching. Unfortunately my little ones felt the impact. The impact manifested itself in acting out and doing poorly in school. My oldest was getting poor grades. So poor in fact, she actually risked being held back. I recall standing in the school lobby and one of her teachers pulled me aside and told me that if she did not do well in the upcoming semester, she could be held back. One of the security guards was listening attentively. Following my conversation with the teacher, she offered her own unsolicited advice. A few weeks later, a parent whose daughter is in the same grade said to me, "Your daughter isnt doing well in Middle School is she ?" I am certain she had a smirk on her face.
This year, and even at the end of last year, my children began to crawl from underneath the shock and grief. They are  at the top of their game in school.  My oldest scored a 4 in both ELA and Math on the NYS Exams last year. According to the school principal, only two percent of students score a 4 on those exams. I praise the school she attends, and their commitment to excellence. Their demand for excellence from the students. I shared my joy with another parent while we were standing in the hallway. You know what she did ? She rolled her eyes. Im still taken back by that. She literally rolled her eyes at me. Now this is a person who loves to take cheap shots at little childen. My youngest is in her child's class. My youngest is a fireball. She will most certainly rule the world one day. But this parent likes to make little comments to make her feel bad about herself. "Oh you are going to need braces one day..." "Oh Im going to braid your hair for you okay ??" Now a child is not going to recognize these little comments, but as a mother, you not only recognize them but you  want to smack a @#$ for making the comments because you know where its coming from.

Im proud of my girls. If I were half as smart and adorable as they are, heck I could be ruling the world right now. But thats okay as long as they are doing their thing. They do well despite me not because of me. I am so proud of them. I am proud because I know they dont have as much as other kids their age. They share a small room, we have barely any furniture, lord knows they put up with a cooky mother every day. Despite this, they are genuinely happy. They love school. My girls are happy with the smallest things whether its watching reruns old sitcoms or having brownies for dessert. If they dont  have something, they dont worry about it. This is why when they do ask for things, I try to get it for them. 

It is sad that folks would love to hear, "my twelve year old is a headache..." Its sad that folks want to believe your children cannot possibly be happy living such a meager existence. We are a happy little  family. Im so proud of my if you want to hear something negative..keep it moving because you wont find it here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Violence Begets Violence

I have  taken a vow of non violence. I know it may sound silly but I think the way we treat our children will determine the types of relationships they will get into when they get older. I know only time will tell what will become of our children. As a mother of three daughters, I think is crucial for them to see violence of any kind as something out of the ordinary not the norm. I am no parenting expert. I struggle every day with my girls and some oh who am I kidding most may think Im too soft on them. Allow them to make too many decisions etc. However I dislike using physical discipline as a tool for child rearing. I think some parents rely too heavily upon it and think its the only way to raise children. Im trying hard not to use it. Im also trying hard not to threaten to use physical punishment. Growing up, my mother would threaten to "go upside my head" on the regular. She rarely ever laid a hand on me The threat alone was enough to stop me in my tracks...I find myself using those  same terms of endearment. "Dont make me come over there.."
When it comes to females we have to be careful not to set them up to think that getting hit is something that happens to you because you "deserved it." When they grow older and get into a relationship with a violent partner, will they think : "I didnt do what he wanted...I got loud with him...I deserved it..." When fathers hit their daughters, what message does it send ? Now you may say that "training" a child is different from a husband hitting his wife. Really why ?? Why do people become so enraged to hear of a young man  getting violent with his girlfriend, but listen attentively when a friend says "I whooped my child's butt..."  We should be equally outraged at violence against children. Adults can defend themselves. Children cannot.
I wish I had the magic cure for child rearing. As Im writing this I see that Raising Hope is dealing with the issue of spanking on this week's episode. Im curious to see what will happen. The "cry it out" episode was funny. I used to be quite militant when it came to the issue of cry it out. I was absolutely against it.  So perhaps when it comes to the issue of spanking, I will have to rethink my position once the teen  years truly set in.
On another note, am I really in the minority when it comes to African American mothers and spanking ?? Let ,me know

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mom Madness on Harlem Talk Radio will return in February !!!

Hello fans of Mom Madness on Harlem Talk Radio. We are pleased to announce that Mom Madness will return in February with brand new shows. Log on and get connected.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cant wait for Next Week's Show

Next week we will be live talking about Text4baby. Have you heard about Text4baby. Check out this link:

Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth.

Although my "baby" is going to be eight. I think this information is very useful. Cant wait to talk to them. Remember text baby to 511411.  Its absolutely free !!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ive been soo neglectful

Hello my friends. I have been so neglectful. I mean wow, so much has happened on Mom Madness since May of last year. Im almost ashamed to even talk to you all. First of all, I moved and that took up alot of my time. We are now in a great apartment not too far from our old home but far  enough for the morning madness to be even worse.

My oldest is now in Middle School. She is in a Gifted and Talented Program. Its alot of work and she claims to hate it. She loves her teachers and loves the program but its challenging and that is what she needs.  My middle daughter is in 4th grade and this year has been very difficult for her...and me. My little sweet one is in the second grade. Still as happy go lucky as ever.  Its amazing to have a child who actually listens. The other day I told my oldest to put her hands down, well my seven year old thought I was talking to her and immediately put her hands at her sides, I was shocked and amazed. This doesnt usually happen in our home.

However the saddest and most heart breaking thing that happened is that my beautiful mother passed away on December 26, 2010. When I last posted on this blog last May, she was alive and well. Doing her thing. Cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of her hair..gardening, walking, living and loving life. She never complained. She was strong, honest, caring, loving, exceptionally beautiful. Smart. I miss so her so much. My heart aches so badly each day. I know she is in a better place. She is with her Lord. She is with her mother, Aunts and Cousins. all of whom have missed her as much as we will. I still cannot believe I will never see her again. Im comforted by the fact that it happened now that Im an adult with my own children as opposed to being a child. I cant imagine living in that house without my mother..

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Tomorrow's Show..The Process

Last week a well meaning friend sent me a text regarding a job. My first thought was to be insulted. Are you saying that what I do isnt work ? I proceeded to defend myself.After giving it some thought, I came to realize sometimes people just dont understand.

Harlem Talk Radio is a collaboration of many great minds. A year ago, I walked into the studio and met the Executive Producer Nizer Saunders. Now Ive worked with MANY start ups. More than I care to count. I sit back and take note of a few things before I consider working with a start up. Have you changed the name of your company several times ? Is the phone working LOL ?? From day one, it was about a mission. In fact my interview turned into my first day on the job. The message was clear: EMPOWER THE HARLEM COMMUNITY. Certain media outlets will only tell one side of the story. When it comes to the underserved, the message is usually a negative one. "These people dont want to work, they are out to cheat the system..."
This is not true. 

Harlem Talk Radio gives an opportunity for our listeners to engage in a weekly town hall. We are working closely with many agencies. I was honored to talk to HRA Commissioner Robert Doar last spring.  How many times do you get to hear straight from the top what changes will be made. It was my pleasure to give feedback on what the HRA clients are saying and their concerns. Harlem Talk Radio listeners have a voice. We also spoke to the Office of Child Support Enforcement. What a difficult topic !! Our listeners had the opportunity to learn how they can collect child support from an unwilling non custodial parent.

When I first told people I was going to have a Talk Show they probably expected me to try to be the next Wendy Williams. I couldnt do that. But HOW YOU DOIN' WENDY !! (had to say that ...) They expected me to be my usual goofy, joke cracking self.

Perhaps if this was 2002, I would have been that way. However since 2003, I have experienced so many things I never thought I would experience. It has inspired me to help others face the same challenges. I have to take that back, since 1998 I have experience things I never imagined experiencing.

So each week, I reflect on something I have gone through especially as a single mother. If all I can do is enlighten another woman, then Im all for it. Many times mothers feel tremendous loneliness, shame and embarassment for different reasons. They need a place to feel secure. They need to hear, "I went through that too.."

Alot of thought goes into the process of planning the shows each week. The first step is getting the show idea approved by the Executive Producer. If he doesnt feel like the topic will help the masses, then its not a go. Try something else. Getting the guests is rarely a problem. Organizations are always willing to spread the word when it comes to meaningful projects. Once the guests are booked, the research begins. Wednesdays feel like Im back in school. I have to do alot of reading, studying etc. After all, would you want to call into a show and the host knows nothing about you ? A strong introduction is crucial. Can you imagine your first question is:"So...what do you do again.." or "For the third time..tell me your name..." After the research is complete, the questions have to be written. Good questions are extremely important. You dont want to ask questions such as: "do you like your job ?" Your questions have to reflect the research you have done.

Once all of that is done, its show time. The show goes faster than you think, and then its time to start the process again.  Tomorrow, we are re airing the interview with Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of Her message cannot be missed. We need to get healthy foods into EVERY neighborhood. I say we hold the media partially responsible. The media constantly gives the message skinny is beautiful, yet they target the minority communities with the McDonalds and KFC commercials. 

A few small changes make a big difference. In my household, I stopped buying white potatoes and white rice. I cook sweet potatoes and brown rice. I try to buy alot of fresh fruit. We only drink 100% juice or water. I still have a long way to go, but Ive tried to make some changes. My weakness is definitely fried foods and sweets. What tasty weaknesses lol.

Well gotta get ready to talk to you all tomorrow..Take care and tune in...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Party of One/ Girls and Friendships....

How do we teach our children especially girls about friendship ? My eleven year old is very eager to make friends and considers practically every girl she knows a friend. However, from the outside looking in Im often compelled to tell to ask herself "Is this person really a friend ?" How much should I say to her and how much should I let her learn on her own.

It seems as if girls are forming cliques at an earlier age these days. Everyone seems to get along up to the third grade. My first grader has no problems getting along with her peers. My third grader had a falling out with her best friend of three years. I tried to encourage her to talk out their differences and become friends again. They dont even speak to each other anymore and thats sad. At the beginning of the school year they were still attached at the hip. I dont know what happened but one day I was pulled aside by their teacher. She said that the two girls had been physically fighting. That turned out not be true, but the friendship has not been repaired.
They put up a good front for us parents for a short while, then went back to being sworn enemies.

As for my fifth grader, things have been pretty rough this year on the social front. Last year, the get together invitations were flowing like honey. It seemed like every other week, we were going somewhere with one of  one of her friends. I would grit my teeth , thinking cant I have a break for one weekend ? 

This year her popularity level plummeted. She acted like it didnt bother her, it bothered me. But I digress. In adddition to that, she spent a great deal of time being alienated this school year., All it takes is one person to say something negative and everyone else follows suit. For two weeks, she was calling me to come and pick her up early from school. When I arrived at the school, she was sitting in the teacher's lounge doing a puzzle. The sight of her sitting alone, made me want to cry. When this continued to happen, I spoke to her teacher about my concerns. I knew something was going on. My fears were confirmed. Things have improved, but the whole situation and the way she has been treated this school year has left a sour taste in my mouth.

What makes kids decide to alienate one child or suddenly decide they are not good enough to be around anymore ? I know she has had cruel things said to her because she comes home and says the same things to her nine year old sister. I have tried to tell her not to do this because she knows she doesnt like it when it happens to her. She denies anything is happening and says" "I made it up myself." Her solution to being picked on is to laugh at herself in much the same way the overweight person will make fat jokes,  I was the same way growing up. However when you laugh at yourself too hard, you dont value yourself. You begin to see yourself as a joke,.

One day my eleven year old asked me for over twenty dollars. I asked why. She showed me a list of snacks her friends wanted and that she promised to get them. Now she was buying friends. I told her that real friends wouldnt ask her to buy things nor would they accept such gifts knowing you dont have the money to buy it. I was surprised that she actually listened. The question still remains how do we teach our children what a real friend is ? A friend that you always call and they never call you back is not a friend. A person who smiles in your face and talks behind your back is not a friend nor is someone who wants to hang out with you only when they have no other options. As adults we often learn the hard way.

We dont want our children learning the hard way, especially when it comes to friends. I can honestly say my eleven year old doesnt have a mean word to say about anyone. She is certainly no phony. This is why it hurts even more when she encounters fair weather friends. I suppose I have to keep my mouth shut for the next eight years and let her learn who her real friends are.

Hey we can learn together because Im still learning who my real friends are...