Step 1: Naked Baby—I let my little one run around and play naked while I intently and purposefully played with him and watched him for his signs and tells that he needed to potty. This was the hardest part for me because messes will happen. He pooped on the floor; he peed on the floor. He did it over and over again until I learned his signs and began to anticipate his pattern.
Step 2: Commando Baby—Then I had to put him in pants with not diaper and no underwear. The washing machine became my best friend. I contemplated buying more clothes for him because I felt like I couldn’t keep up, but I remained strong and focused that this time would pass. We stayed at home initially most of the time because I was afraid of what would happen outside. But I learned that we couldn’t stay locked in the house forever. I learned to pack extra clothes, and to monitor and time his fluids if we had a planned outing. I learned how to pull over on the side of the road and help him pee outside.
Step 3: Emerging Independence—it was so cute how after he started getting the hang of things he started wanting to help empty his own potty and wanted to flush the big commode. I eventually learned to let go while he carried the bowl to the bathroom. I learned to move the potty further away from me and allow him dignity and privacy (though he often calls me into the bathroom and often sits in the bathroom with me ??♀️)
Step 4: Growing in Steps—we tried moving his step stool to the big commode however with no handles I got worried about his turns and transitioning so I went to Amazon and bought Potty Toilet Trainer Seat with Step Stool Ladder. This has him using the adult commode like a champ!
I know that eventually I will need to teach him how to potty standing up and will need to work on night time potty training but as this process has taught me. Everything in its season! ?
As a parent and a single mom my life significantly changed with the arrival of my son but I will say I NEVER thought I’d have to change my face cleansing routine!
BONUS:::LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask:::
I love this sleep mask for my lips. I don’t know where it’s been all my life!!! I put it on at night and in the morning my lips as so kissably ? smooth.
As I go through the process of trying to rid my life of things that I no longer need I am surrounded by lots of things that I purchased in anticipation of my newborn that looking back almost 3 years later I never used or hardly used.
Here are my 5 top purchase regrets:
Hope this list is helpful on saving you from traveling down the road I did but if you are anything like me you might just do what I did. Read them, chuckle, and say…”I’ll be different she just didn’t know what she was doing” LOL! 😂🤦🏾♀️😂
What the heck! No wonder I went into a slight depression when I took my newborn son home. Here I am charged with raising a child on my own. Which I was all fire ready and prepared to do and now I have a son the the haunting sound in the back of my mind was that you “cannot raise a man on your own”. I prayed nightly and daily for strength. Finally my prayers were answered through a conversation that I had with another mother. She asked me to write down what attributes that I looked for in a good man.
So let me start off by saying that I am not your doctor. I am not advocating that you follow what I do. Let me also state that as parents our job is hard, the decisions we make for our family is even harder and while you may not agree with my decision I ask that you respect my choice to make it...if you can’t do that then this blog post is not for you so you may just want to skip this one but hopefully you’ll come back for my other content 😃
I stopped putting him in the bassinet and put him in the bed with me and my mother—she was sleeping with me at the time to help me🤦🏾♀️. In an effort to try to be as safe as possible in my decision my mother suggested that I buy an Owlet. For those who have not heard of this product let me give you a quick rundown. It’s a device that goes on your little ones foot that tracks their oxygen saturation and heart rate. If there is abnormal readings based on set parameters it will alert you and it will also alarm on your cell phone if you have it programmed. While this device is not intended to be used in the manner that I did; it did bring me peace of mind and helped me rest a bit easier with my little on by my side.
As Jeremy got better with latching it made breastfeeding easier. As he got older he would find the nipple all on his own and I would wake up to his suckling 🤱🏽. Now that he’s weaned from breastfeeding we co-sleep for necessity due to out inter generational living situation (i.e. I’m staying with my parents house—stay tuned for a vlog about that 🤣).
However, I also continue to co-sleep because it gave me a bit more time with him as a working mother with late hours. The freedom to hug, kiss, and pray over him during the night all from the comfort of my bed is a joy. For me waking up to hear him laugh in his sleep is reward from the months of being awakened by him crying needing to be fed and changed and cuddled. Laying in the bed with my eyes clothes while he stirs is such s joy. It’s so cute to experience all the different moods and ways he wakes up. Sometimes he wakes up because of a bad dream. Other times he wakes up with a “Hello! How are you?” as he turns uses his hands to force my eyelids open.
Now of course I miss being able to sprawl and sleep all over the king sized bed by myself. I miss relaxing and sleeping in lazily. I miss getting up and going to the bathroom without fear of arousing him (he’s a light sleeper at times). I miss having the pillows and covers to myself. I definitely could do without the intermittent foot kicks to my belly and occasionally my face when he turns to lay perpendicular to me 👣👶🏾. I miss watching the news first thing in the morning in favor of watching Paw Patrol and learning all about what is going on in Afventure Bay 🤦🏾♀️.
While I would not recommend co-sleeping for everyone I will say that it was the best decisions for me and my family. I would advocate for always operating in what’s best for your family mode, taking care to try and mitigate possible pitfalls with decisions that go against the grain and always be prepared and educated in regards to the risks that you are taking. While I’m sure I’m making some cringe I hope I empower and support others who have made this difficult choice and feel judged by others for their decisions.
It’s fast approaching…Mother’s Day. I used to think that it was over commercialized and not necessary because isn’t every day a day for a mother???!!!! Heck no!!! After having my little one I realized that there are very few days that are for mothers and sometimes even Mother’s Day is not for mothers.
A lot of us are hoping to be asked what we want for Mother’s Day because we know that the people in our lives have no clue about what we want or really need for Mother’s Day because if they did—Mother’s Day would be more a frequent occurrence than just once a year.
However, I know some are still not going to ask because then there would be no “surprise”. So here are some suggestions I have based on some of the mothers that are in my life. While mothers are typically a great meld of many different strengths hopefully this will spark inspiration depending on the “type” of mother you are celebrating:
THE TIRED MOTHER:
For this mother I would suggest a dinner out at her favorite restaurant (NOT ON MOTHER’S DAY) because as we all know service on Mother’s Day tends to suck and the restaurants are packed. Another option if she has expressed interest (that’s where it pays to listen) is a cooking class. If funds are a factor try cooking her favorite meal—just make sure you clean up the kitchen after you wine and dine her. 😉 Another present that’s is sure to please would be a coupon book (yep it’s been done before) but this would be coupons for free cleanup of the kitchen, free help in the kitchen, or even a coupon for breakfast or dinner in bed.
THE CREATIVE/ARTISTIC MOTHER:
Creativity is a must for most mothers, as we creatively juggle a 36 hour day worth of activities into a 24 hour day. This mother however had a penchant for making things, or repurposing items and making arts projects. She may even have a side business centered around something she makes or does-like a blog, book, bath salt bombs, soaps, lotions , or hair products. She is always ready to see the potential in mess and clutter. She is the one that the kids run to for last minute projects that are due and she is always able to make something work.
THE SINGLE MOTHER:
Time alone is typically at the top of this mom’s list. Just a moment to void in peace, actually take a bath/shower without racing through to beat the little ones from destroying the house or fighting with each other. A night out with the friends, time to curl up with one of the many good books on her nightstand table that she has every good intention of reading but can’t stay awake long enough to get past page 3. This mother would probably like most mothers love the gift of a photoshoot with her children as she is typically found behind the camera and rarely in front of the camera during memorable times.
THE ORGANIZED MOTHER:
Whatever you do...DO NOT buy her an organizer! You will likely get the wrong kind. With all the things she juggles in the air she is likely putting herself last as most mothers/parents due. Giving her an opportunity to put herself first would be a great gift. Shuttling the little ones to play dates, the library, sleep overs, etc would be an awesome gift. This mom also might love a massage, pedicure, manicure, or all-in-one spa day.
I hope you found inspiration in the paragraphs above for gift giving to that special mother in your life. Good luck and give your mother a hug for me on her special day!
The only personal example I have of the SAHM life is my cousin Bethany. First let me say If you aren’t following her on YouTube you are missing out on a treat, she’s on a slight hiatus right now with her new babies—2 little girls and her new business—Texas Reign. However when she is back on YouTube you will find that she’s hilarious, a bit country, and very resourceful. You can check out her previous vlogs here. After I had my son and had to return to work my jealousy of her only increased. At first I was jealous of her for 3 reasons:
Now I had to add a fourth reason: She has the ability to be a stay at home mom while I don’t. I would love the be able to stay at home and raise my son, however that is not a possibility for me long term as a single mother who is not independently wealthy. I would dream that her days at home were better than my days at work. I would imagine that she was cooking delicious meals from scratch for her family every day while I was reheating food precooked on the weekend if I was lucky or getting fast food if the meal didn’t cover the whole work week or I didn’t have time to preplan. I imagined that she was more rested than I was and was able to engage more with her child.
I realized that subconsciously I was guilty of making assumptions just like the “Transformed Wife”. While the grass appears greener on the other side it wasn’t. I soon realized from the brief conversations that she and I were able to have with both our hectic schedules that we have a lot in common in adapting to our new roles as mothers. Often there is a pitting of SAHM (Stay At Home Mothers) against WOHM (Working Outside The Home Mothers). Motherhood is not a competition; it’s a journey to be shared with others. As I have temporarily changed my role from a WOHM to SAHM I am blessed to enjoy this new season of my life and I truly cherish the gift and opportunity realizing the grass isn’t greener on the other side it’s just different and has to be cared for differently.
The one constant in life is change and I’m making a big one. It’s hard to be in the position of realizing that what you love to do is negatively impacting your loved one--ME! I have always grown up believing that as a woman I could have it all—and foolishly believed that meant at the same time. I don’t know where is got the idea from—certainly not from my mother! But someone planted that seed and I allowed it to grow unfettered and unchecked and it became an overwhelming weed in my life garden. As black women we are held up to be this pinnacle of strength; we can handle whatever comes our way. We are considered impervious to harm and HER-oic when facing adversity.
As I have aged I have realized that I having it all at the same time is not realistic for my life in this instance. While I feel horrible abandoning my patients it is a matter of self care. If my cup is empty how can I continue to pour into them? I need to put my own oxygen mask on first! What this all looks like—I have no idea. What my plans are—the Lord will reveal. But as a planner I do know what is on my schedule for March 11th—my son and I are going to Krispy Kreme so he can experience his first doughnut! 🍩.
In the age of electronic marvel having a child raises the questions of what do I expose them to and when. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding screen media before the age of 18 months...WELL I EPICALLY FAILED THAT ONE! LOL. But aside from iPads, tablets, phones, etc what about his everyday toys?
When he was younger my only worry was breast pump supplies, diapers, wipes, onesies, and giving him all the love that I could. As he has grown up I have delved into the land of toys. The landscape has become unrecognizable from what I remembered as a child; and to my parents it seems completely out of this world! Everything seems to have multifunctions these days, nothing seems to do just one task. Now of course, I exaggerate for the sake of dramatics but I don’t feel I’m that far off.
Growing up I had this old hobby horse. I loved that hobby horse. I would get on top and I would bounce up and down or back and forth. I would pretend that I was a cowgirl riding in to save the town from the villain or that I was an Indian princess who was riding in to save my tribe from the silver tongued liar who aimed to take our land. (Too many westerns as a child mixed with an over heightened sense of fairness).
My mom; seeing the love that my LO (little one) has for bouncing and jumping on things in addition to his love of westerns--acorn doesn't fall to far from the apple tree; set about looking for a hobby horse for my son reminiscent of the one she bought me. Mine had long since been lost in the many moves that our family has made from the south to the north. Unfortunately to our dismay we could not find one hobby horse (within a reasonable price point) that was single function. All the ones we found either lit up, made sounds, or sang songs.
So the hunt began. I turned to my trusty phone (whatever did we do before smartphones 😊) and started searching and finally my mother came across one horse from amazon.com (Love Love Love this website! PS My #1 Mom Hack was creating and account and paying for prime membership it has saved me so much time and effort). *nonsponsored*
So I bought the rocking horse thinking mistakingly that my loving father was going to put it together 😒 for his favorite grandson (never mind that he’s the only). Boy was I ever wrong!!!! So #blackgirlmagic to the rescue my mother and I assembled it and boy was it a treat.
There is something magical for me as a parent watching my little one experience something new for the first time. Looking through this eyes with wonderment and pondering what he’s thinking as he touches, tastes, and eyes with slight skepticism a new exposure. Then add to that the knowledge that his experience was something that I lovingly put together with my own two hands, fingers, and sweat—yes there was sweat!
I know that he will encounter technology and he is exposed to electronic marvels daily but I find that sometimes the simplicity of certain toys leaves his mind open to exploring all the marvel of his mind and imagination. And the opportunity to physically put his toy together with the added benefit to play with him and watch his mind expand is like relieving my childhood all over again!
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.