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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Avoid Baby Mama or Baby Daddy Drama with your Ex

Greetings listeners of “The Miss Mo Show”

Welcome to my blog. Please check out the informative articles on various topics as well as my creative works at the links to the right of the page.

Today you listened in on my first blog radio talk show interview on the serious topic of Baby Mama and Baby Daddy drama and its social acceptability.

You can access the original published article on eHow: How to Avoid Baby Mama or Baby Daddy Drama with your Ex or view the expanded version below:

Breaking up with someone and staying civil is hard enough when it's just between the two of you, but when a child is involved, it can be a bit dicey. Having spent the last 14 years as a parent working with an ex to raise a child, these steps have made it easier to focus on what matters most-- our child.

Things You'll Need:

* An ex
* A child
* Patience

Step 1

Get rid of that label.
Stop referring to your child's parent as your "baby mama" or "baby daddy". View them as the other party involved in the creation of your little one. If the child is over the age of two, that term is definitely inappropriate.

Step 2

Communicate with your ex.
Do not use your child as a walkie-talkie. Using your child as a go between can lead to disaster. Children often play sides when it comes to wanting things from their parents. Miscommunication can develop if a message is misconstrued whether intentionally or unintentionally. It's best if you two do the talking directly.

I WOULD TAKE THIS A STEP FURTHER BY SAYING DON'T PRY INFORMATION OUT OF YOUR CHILD. IF YOUR EX INTENDED FOR YOU TO KNOW HIS OR HER BUSINESS, YOU WOULD HAVE HEARD IT FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH. NO CHILD NEEDS THE THIRD DEGREE ABOUT WHAT MOMMY OR DADDY IS UP TO IN THEIR PRIVATE LIVES.

Step 3

Keep it simple and straight forward.
Express what your needs or concerns for your child are while being specific and concise. Over doing things and indulging in longer than necessary conversations leave you open to disagreements and ill-feelings. These are not beneficial to the child and hamper the possibility of an amicable relationship with your ex.

I OFTEN ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE REELED IN, FALLING PREY TO HIS POUNCH. HE’D JUMP AT THE CHANCE TO “GET MY GOAT” AS THE SAYING GOES. I FELT SET UP, SO I LEARNED TO ELIMINATE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES. IF I DIDN’T ALLOW HIM THE IN TO LOSE HIS TEMPER, I WOULDN’T LOSE MINE.

Step 4

Don't lead your ex on.
Speak only of the child. If your own personal matters must be discussed, it should be done solely due to scheduling concerns related to the child. As long as you are not doing anything that could cause harm to your child, your personal life is your own and your ex should no longer be a part of it. That is why he or she is called your ex.

FOLKS GET JEALOUS AND WANT TOO MUCH INFORMATION THAT SHOULDN’T CONCERN THEM.

Step 5

Don't be the meanie.
Do not bash the other parent in the presence of your child. You don't have to be the best of buds, but you should at least be civil. A child can pick up on any animosity you hold for their mommy or daddy and will likely resent you for being the meanie.

IF YOUR EX IS A SCHMUCK, YOUR CHILD WILL LEARN THAT ON HIS OR HER OWN. YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUB IN THE FACT THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE PICKED THE BEST MATE TO CO-PARENT WITH.

Step 6

Make it work for both parents.
Establish a schedule for visitations, attending sporting events, other extra curricular activities, doctor and dental visits. Whether it is court appointed or set by the two of you, it can be made flexible to suit all involved.

TRY NOT TO OVER REACT IF SCHEDULES NEED TWEAKING. IF SOMEONE IS ABUSING YOUR FLEXIBILITY, THAT’S A WHOLE OTHER ISSUE. YOU’LL HAVE TO ADDRESS THAT MATTER. NIP IT IN THE BUD.

Step 7

Keep them out of it.
Avoid getting your new partner involved in matters between you and your ex. If you are strictly about business with your ex, your new mate should feel no insecurity and therefore no need to interfere with the parental system you've set up with your ex.
The catch with this step is that your ex has to be respectful and do the same with his or her new partner.

Step 8

Everyone has their place.
If you are taking the next step in the relationship with your new partner, assure your ex that no one will be taking his or her place. Make it certain that you have chosen someone who understands the importance of your child's relationship with the other parent, and make it known you're not looking for a replacement. If this seems tough, just remember that you wouldn't want to be replaced by a new mommy or daddy yourself.

Step 9

Stick to your guns.
Being too lax can lead to your ex taking advantage of you. Don't be bullied, you're an adult, you're a parent and what you say matters too.

Step 10

Be cool.
People are unpredictable. They might not want to be reasonable; they might not have a desire to get along. Just keep your composure and retrace your steps because your child is worth it.

JUST RETRACE THE AFOREMENTIONED STEPS…

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little black girls want "good hair"

Originally published on October 13, 2009 on Examiner.com.
Removed from site on October 15, 2009. CENSORSHIP
UNFORTUNATELY, THE QUOTES USED ARE FROM MY OWN DAUGHTERS.

Little black girls want “good hair”

“I want to be a white woman when I grow up ‘cause they’ve got long straight hair…,” from the lips of a 5-year-old African American female.

It begins early, young black girls and boys learn the societal images of beauty. The looser your curl, the more attractive you are. Girls want long, straight flowing hair. If not naturally, then manufactured. Boys wear “do rags” to get those waves coming in nicely.

To get the desired look of the western standards of beauty, black hair is trained by repeated pressing with a hot comb, by use of relaxers, texturizers or some other altering device or chemical. And so the internal battle ensues. Children are struggling with accepting themselves as they are and conforming to what someone else led them to believe is “good”.

As children grow they are still striving for what they have been taught is beautiful and acceptable by other’s standards. “I don’t know what to do with it,” a frustrated 14-year-old girl expresses concerning her defeatist attitude towards her natural.

She doesn’t like double-strand twists, she doesn’t like cornrows, she doesn’t like braided extensions, she doesn’t want locs, she doesn’t like ‘fros, or knots or anything close to those styles. What she wants is long, straight hair flowing down her back. What would make her happiest and more confident is a relaxer and a hair weave combination. Then she will be beautiful.

It’s not true girls and boys. You were beautiful from the moment you were born.

Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” opened in select theaters on October 9, 2009.
Releasing in theaters nationwide next weekend.

Currently playing in the following theaters near Philadelphia:

Regal Cinemas Commerce Center 18 (40.9 mi from Philly)
2399 Us Highway 1
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
800.326.3264

AMC Loews New Brunswick Theatre (46.7 mi from Philly)
17 US Highway #1
New Brunswick, NJ 08902
888.262.4386

Regal Cinemas Hadley Center 11 (48.8 mi from Philly)
1000 Corporate Ct
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
908.668.4449

Read more information on this topic by Daily News Columnist Jenice M. Armstrong and Inquirer Fashion Writer Elizabeth Wellington.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My husband isn't leaving me, I'm pushing him out the door

We’ve known one another since childhood. He says he knew when we were ten that I was the girl for him. I didn’t know it then, and I sometimes struggle with it now. But something keeps us bound. Something beyond the marriage license and the kids because “we” were before “they” grew in number. I believe that “something” is fear.

The most difficult part about marrying your highschool sweetheart is that you grow up together and in growing up together, you sometimes grow apart. The desire for life outside of your long time buddy starts to inundate your world. Wanting to break free may be brushed off as a fleeting thought if fear is what holds you back from moving forward in a different direction.

My husband has a dream, and he wants to follow it. For as far back as I can remember, my spouse has been fascinated with history. Thrilled with all that came before us, he spends hours reading historical novels and viewing special documentaries on the History Channel. At his insistence, we’ve taken family trips to museums. His second passion, very closely matched to the first, is the military.

At the ripe young age of thirty-one, my man wants to become a soldier. Technically, he wants to utilize his expertise as a professional truck driver for military detail; nonetheless, he wants to fulfill his dream. In serving his country, he will serve his life’s purpose. Ultimately, he wants to study constitutional law and feels the government can help him accomplish this goal.

I was lucky enough to realize early on what my purpose is. I am a writer and I share my mind with the masses. He has recently been encouraging me to complete my first novel and to continue to hone my craft through writing informative articles and publishing creative pieces online. Pushing my fear to the side is the only way I can achieve my vision. My fear shouldn’t comprise him from achieving his.

I may not agree with his dream, but it is his dream. I know enough to know I cannot stand in the way of something so important to him. Fear is not a good enough excuse for my opposition, so I'm doing my best to understand and be supportive.

So like I said before, my husband isn’t leaving me, I’m pushing him out the door.



Articles I've written related to this post:

How to support someone when you don't share their vision
How to prepare for the ASVAB (military exam)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Me Me Me Me Me and sometimes you

We’re told to be self confident but not self centered. You have to be self assured but not overly so. Low self esteem is a sign of insecurity and that’s both pitiful and undesirable. It’s not all about you. It should sometimes be about you, but only just enough.

Why not be a narcosis? Why doesn’t the world revolve around you? If not you, than who? Aren’t you at the center of your life, your world? I suppose, you should consider others, but you are living your life and not theirs. So when’s it okay for it to be all about you?

For a while, I was getting the sneaking suspicion that everything was happening to me. It didn’t occur to me that my paranoia had temporarily blinded me from seeing that other people have issues too.

I needed a biopsy; my family member needed surgery.

My vehicle was out of commission for 2 days when my axle broke; my best friend’s parked car was wrecked by a hit and run driver.

I need to dedicate more time to my article writing to increase income; another friend just told me she might be getting laid off.

I almost made their issues into my problems. As if simply knowing me rubbed some of my bad karma onto them. There goes that narcissistic paranoia again.

Visit the site FML (F@#% My Life) by clicking on the title above to read more stories from people with problems just like you and me. Me Me Me Me Me…

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mama is Getting it Together!

For so long I have been at home with the kids. Interacting with adults in the outside world has become a far off memory but one I want to revisit. Being able to stay at home and actively participate in raising our wild little weeds has its perks, but a lady wants a bit more than to be the leading role in the 1950s imaginary show of which I've become a character. I'm not so great at homemaking and housekeeping. I'm probably better at paper writing and turning stories into poetry.

Nonetheless, I am a mommy and proud of it. Choosing to stay home instead of "cashing in" on my degrees doesn't make me less of a woman, perhaps more so. I have chosen to forgo some of the complexities of balancing work and family life effectively. I've always thought it necessary to build the realities of outside life around my children, and although others think that's corny or unnatural, I couldn't disagree more. They didn't ask to be here, but now that they are they want to be recognized, loved and appreciated. Just as with adults, children want you to pay attention. Acknowledging their presence and letting them know it's okay to be who they are is all anyone really wants. Well, at least in our household of seven.

I often am amazed at how strong I've become. I mean I must be if I was able to suppress the non mommy parts of me for so long. I wouldn't recommend it for any woman out there! Or any man, for that matter. Find what's true and find a balance within so you won't lose sight of yourself. You can't be the best anything for anyone else if you're not being the best you for yourself. Yes, I am a mother. Yes, I am a wife. But back in the day there was an "y mami´" (pronounced I mom-mee) in place of "my mommy." (How do you think I became a mother of five? Mama can put it down.) I am a woman before all else, and being a woman is the first ingredient in my recipe of amazing.

I'm Going to Do Things to Your Mind

So these days, I am trying to incorporate more freelance writing into my routine-- and I use that term loosely. No two days are exactly the same for me. After getting the oldest two off to school safely, who knows where it'll go from there with the other three who stay home with me during the day. Mama's got to be a little more structured to reemerge in the "real world," as if I've be secluded in some type of blissful mommy wonderland all these years. Some folks perceive it that way. They have obviously not read my factually based stories on Xomba.

A Poop-filled Ride
What Goes in Must Come Out

Anyway, if I could only get past my fears, I could be some much more for me. For my family. After nearly eight years of being a stay at home mom--granted I did complete both my undergrad and graduate education during this lengthy period-- your confidence does tend to dissipate the longer you're out of the game. The best I can think of is taking baby steps. And you know I know all about baby steps.

As my children mature and grow so too does their mommy. I'm still a work in progress and am already living up to my potential. The thing with me is that I know it's limitless I just have to own it. That statement is not germane to me people. We all were blessed with a purpose and talent. You think there are limits placed on those talents? "God wants us to have not only life, but to experience it abundantly" (3 John 2; Dr. Arnold Harold, Jr.). So don't be hating on how I profit from my blessing. I'm sharing it with you right now.

And hey, embrace me workforce! Because here I come… eventually… slowly… steadily… certainly… don't rush me! I'll be there. In time. And when I do arrive, you better be ready because mama is getting it together.