Posts Tagged ‘Home’

The Lord Will Make a Way: When Tragedy Reminds Us To Be Faithful and Trust God [For R’ Mani]

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment


It was mostly her eyes.

Doe-eyed, some would say. My granny would’ve said, “that baby done been here before.” They were wide with wonder. Framed with eyelashes that waved at me like fans in slow motion. It was like she could see me. Really see me. And I saw her.

She was juicy in a way that only babies can be. With cheeks that made you want to kiss them forever. Only a few months old when I held her the first time, I felt an ache in my heart. I wanted to take her home with us. Adopt her if it was possible. She was the god-daughter of my husband’s best friend and his wife. The mother was a struggling teenager facing a tough life.

I suppose I didn’t realize how tough.

We didn’t take her in. Although I firmly believe that God placed that baby girl in my heart, I listened to my circumstances instead. I’d just had my first miscarriage so “maybe I was just feeling emotional because of that.” Hubby and I were newly married so “could we really afford to take in someone’s child?” And given the issues, “maybe the mother didn’t want to leave her baby.”

I listened to every other voice but the one I knew was true. Read more…


Are Black Moms Meaner Than Most? {MyBrownBaby Open Thread}

October 17, 2013 Leave a comment

by — Oct 17, 2013

Angry black mom

The little girl had to be about two, not much more, and she had this little purse thingy that she was absolutely fascinated with—much more so than the high school football game her mother had dragged her to. I noticed her waving it in her mother’s face, an attempt to get her mama to play with her. The mother? She wasn’t having it.

“I don’t want to play with that,” she snapped, without even looking at her baby.

When the little girl gave another feeble attempt to get her mother’s attention, the lady was all sharp edges and thunder: “I said, I don’t want it,” she seethed through gritted teeth. “Sit it down, shit.”

Now Nick missed all this, but my heart just sank when baby girl wandered away from her mother and her two friends, and started trying to get my husband’s attention. He happily obliged her attempt to join her in playing with the purse. I chimed in with compliments on her shoes and telling her that I loved her afro puffs—something, anything, to make her smile. To deflect from the fact that her mother was acting the donkey toward her baby girl, who was looking for some motherly attention on a Friday night at 10 p.m., when she should have been home in her pajamas, in her crib, sleeping in Heavenly peace.

Peace wasn’t on her mother’s mind. Neither was kindness, particularly when it came to her daughter. Still, though I was disgusted by her behavior, it wasn’t at all surprising. I know Black moms love our babies and that we care for their every need just like any other mom—even and especially when we have to make a way out of no way. But my God, the cursing, the beating, the emotional abuse that I see some Black moms unleashing on their children in the street, at the mall, on public transportation, in school, out in public, hurts me to my core.

Now I’m not stranger to the mean mom. Y’all need to ask about my mom; she’s legend with “The Look” and, yes, the switch. With her, children were to be seen, not heard, and any misstep, no matter how slight, might incur the wrath. She was a great mom. But mean as all get out until I got older and had babies of my own. And she wasn’t alone: I grew up surrounded by Black mothers—women I loved and who loved me back—who were just plain mean. For no good reason. Read more…

More Moms Cutting Maternity Leave Short Because, Well, We Need To Get the Dollar Bills, Y’all.

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

by — Sep 30, 2013

More Moms Cutting Maternity Leave Short Because, Well, We Need To Get the Dollar Bills, Y’all.

On this much, I am very clear: when I had my first baby more than 14 years ago, I was blessed to be working at a time when the economy was strong, a good job with benefits could be had, and a decent maternity leave was still possible. Between a year’s worth of vacay and sick days, the federally-mandated 12-week maternity leave and a few more months unpaid maternity leave I coaxed out of HR, I managed to scrape up a full nine months worth of leave with my Mari—time off with my baby that I could afford because the hubs and I had some money saved. I recognized that what I pulled off was huge, even in those prosperous times, particularly for a Black mom. But it’s clear that had I needed maternity leave today, I’d probably be in the same boat with 40 percent of new moms, taking one to four weeks of maternity leave or worse, none at all.

From Today Moms:

About two-thirds of U.S. women are employed during pregnancy and about 70 percent of them report taking some time off, according to most recent figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. The average maternity leave in the U.S. is about 10 weeks, but about half of new moms took at least five weeks, with about a quarter taking nine weeks or more, figures showed.

But a closer look shows that 16 percent of new moms took only one to four weeks away from work after the birth of a child — and 33 percent took no formal time off at all, returning to job duty almost immediately. Read more…

16 Years, 16 Lessons Learned!

October 5, 2012 Leave a comment

By Deveter Brown

Today I wish my beloved husband a very happy 16th wedding anniversary. Over the past 16 years I’ve learned some rather useful lessons. Of course I won’t share them all but here are 16 for every year of wedded bliss.

BTW I borrowed 14 of these from my blog post in 2010 when I was a list driven blogger. They are still true so I figured I’d just add 2 more lessons. Hope you enjoy.

  1. Never say never – I said I never wanted children and then I was bit by the baby bug and here we stand the proud parents of three
  2. Over communicate – Saying you told him/her about the party two weeks ago means nothing. Put it on the family calendar, create an event on Google and FaceBook, send a text, tweet or put a post it note on the fridge listing how many days are left until the event. Read more…

I’ll Always Love My Mama: Missing My Mom On Mother’s Day (Redux)

May 11, 2012 3 comments

By Denene Millner

Post image for I’ll Always Love My Mama: Missing My Mom On Mother’s Day (Redux)Mother’s Day is a little tricky around here; it makes me incredibly happy to celebrate motherhood with my family and friends, but incredibly sad, too, because I’m reminded in a big way that my mom is gone from here. This will be the ninth Mother’s Day I’ll have without her, and though I anticipate it’ll be nowhere near as painful as the first, I’ll still wake up Sunday morning wishing I could hear her voice, see her smile, wrap my arms around her waist, and tell her one more time how much I adore her. I’ve been thinking a lot about the following post, which I wrote when I first founded MyBrownBaby. Every once in a while, I’ll dust it off and run it again, in honor of my mommy, Bettye Millner. Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy. I love you. Read more…

#WarriorPoet- The ‘Package’

February 28, 2012 4 comments

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With tears in her 7 year-old eyes, she states, “But mom, I told you I wanted a birthday cake with cherry frosting!!!” Before her mother could even reply, the door bell rings. “DING-DONG” The 7 year-old girl opens the door and the UPS man hands over a box to her. She fakes a smile to him, closes the door, slams the box down on the counter and goes back to the argument with her mom. She continues to express her passion about the specifics of the cake (that she told her mom weeks prior to) that she wants for her birthday. As she pleads her case, her mom opens the box and unpacks it. As the tears continue to flow from her disappointed eyes, the mom continues to unload flour from the box… As well as eggs… As well as cherry extract… As well as a rubber spatula and a few other things. Her mom listens attentively, while laying all of the contents on the counter. The little girl, gets even more annoyed at the fact that her mom isn’t paying much attention to her “Cake-Cry,” but instead is opening a butter wrapper that she also pulled out of the box. At this point, the mom is trying to hold in her laugh as she goes to turn on the oven yet is still listening to her daughter share her pain, and dissatisfaction of not being able to have a cherry cake for her birthday. At this point the little girl storms out of the kitchen to her room, slams the door, and throws herself under her covers to finish crying. The major issue here is, She didn’t recognize THE PACKAGE… Read more…

The 3rd Valentine’s Tale: Finally, One That Rocked

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

By Eva

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you probably saw my tweets announcing my Valentine’s Day Blog Series: Two Tales of Woe and One That Rocked.
On this Valentine’s Day, the final installment, also with a twist. See, this one actually ties into the end of last week’s tale. Remember that abbreviated version of “I Got Dumped 4 Days After V-Day”? Well, this sprang from that. You’ll see.

Read more…

Even When You Try, Keeping Teenagers from Having Sex in Your Home Can be Complicated

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Post image for Even When You Try, Keeping Teenagers from Having Sex in Your Home Can be Complicated


Should you allow your teenager to have sex in your house? This was a question posed by Clutch and like many, if not most, parents, my initial answer was a loud and resounding, “Aw, hell nah!” It’s about respect, about honoring the rules and the sanctity of the home, and, especially if you have younger, impressionable siblings lurking in the house, it’s about setting the right example.

But having actually brought a male child through those rough teen years, I know that the actual answer, like most things, is a bit more complicated. As anybody out there who has ever been in the presence of a teen knows all too well, teenagers are some sneaky little so-and-sos. You try to the best of your ability to set boundaries, to lay down rules, to monitor their behavior, but the average teenager envisions your rules as the obstacles set down by the enemy. That means the rules actually establish exactly the things the teenager wants to do as much as possible. If my parent says this behavior is bad, then that’s precisely what I want to do with my evening. If my parent says this behavior is okay, then it must not be bad enough. Read more…

Love Of My Life: A Black Mom Celebrates The Wonder of Motherhood

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

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I have been a mother for almost half of my life. I had my first child when I was still a child myself. At 19 years old, two years out of high school and four years into what I thought was true love, I became a mama for the first time. As I pushed my 12 weeks-premature, 2 lb., 8 oz. baby into the world, I knew I would forever be changed. And I was right; unknowingly, I stepped naturally into the role that was tailor-made for me. Read more…

{Ask the Adoptive Mom} 8 Ways To Afford Adopting A Child

November 22, 2011 1 comment

Post image for {Ask the Adoptive Mom} 8 Ways To Afford Adopting A ChildNovember is National Adoption Month and to advocate for and celebrate a family for every child, MyBrownBaby contributor Rachel Garlinghouse, adoptive mom of two brown babies, will be answering adoption questions. Have a question about adoption? Email Rachel at whitebrownsugar [at] hotmail [dot] com.


If you’re thinking about private adoption, be clear: it’s pricey. Domestic adoptions generally cost between $15,000 and $30,000 per adoption, and international adoptions cost even more. Add in legal counsel, paying birth parent expenses, and travel costs, and adopting a child can really take its financial toll.

Adopting a child is expensive because adoption is an industry; there are staff members to pay, court costs, expensive price tags for background checks, travel expenses and much more.  Still,  you can make adoption affordable. Consider the following to cut costs and raise capital for one of the most rewarding, enriching choices any one person can me—becoming a parent through adoption: Read more…

Ice Cream Promises: A Son Yearns For True Love From & Connection With His Father

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Post image for Ice Cream Promises: A Son Yearns For True Love From & Connection With His FatherEditor’s Note: Moved by last week’s post about Jay-Z’s decision to delay becoming a father until he was ready to deal with his father’s absenteeism, my longtime friend, artist Rod Perez, shared this piece he wrote to his own absentee father, with whom he’s since re-connected. I’m honored to share it here on MyBrownBaby.


Dad, I’ve grown up to be a good man. I want you to see that. I want you to see that the boy you left behind is fine. The boy you’ve made “ice cream promises” to is fine.

I was hip to your game, you know—how you would show up just enough times to squelch your guilt. I’ve known for a long time now, Dad. You claimed to have missed me, but all I know is that you missed my birthdays. The creative mind of innocence made excuses for why you never came when you said you would. I actually believed them, too. The hearts of children. Belief is pure. But soon enough, it finds out the truth. Read more…

{On the Parenting Post} Young, Gifted & Black

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Post image for {On the Parenting Post} Young, Gifted & BlackThis week, as part of a blog-a-thon hosted by’s Mom Congress, I wrote an open letter to my daughters about what their father and I plan to do this year to help them succeed in school. Here’s a snippet of what I wrote:

Please understand, the southern caste system that kept Gamma Bettye and Papa Jimy from getting the educations all children deserve made them value education like no other; they came from a generation of African Americans born and reared in the South—where black babies were relegated, by law, to substandard schools and books and jobs and neighborhoods and services. And so the first chance they could, they high-tailed themselves up North, first for jobs, second to find each other, and third to give their children the opportunities they were denied when they were little. But for your grandparents, there was no time for PTA meetings and school bake sales, no know-how when it came to writing essays or figuring out tough algebra problems, no advocacy with teachers. Maybe they felt like they couldn’t handle it. Perhaps it was what parents like them did in their time—trust that teachers are professionals capable of doing their jobs without parents getting in the middle of it all. Read more…

{On the Parenting Post} Happy Labor Day To the Hardest Laborers Of Them All: Moms

September 5, 2011 1 comment

Post image for {On the Parenting Post} Happy Labor Day To the Hardest Laborers Of Them All: MomsI’m almost certain I walked into the hospital backward, bent over and pointing at my spine when I went into labor with my Lila, groaning, moaning and maybe yelling a little bit about how the only person I wanted to speak to was the anesthesiologist. He, after all, was the one with the needle filled with the magic juice—the stuff that would at least temporarily put an end to the wrenching pain that was squeezing every ounce of lifeblood out of my baby-filled gut. ‘Nuff respect to the mothers who, for whatever reason, go the natural route and bear the excruciating pain that comes with pushing a big-headed human being out of their loins. When it comes to childbirth, some mothers are heroic like that.

I ain’t one of them.

Though my labor with my first daughter, Mari, was rather reasonable considering she was my first birth—two hours and twenty-one minutes of labor, including 20 minutes of pushing, and she was getting her nose cleared and her booty smacked—I remembered every… little… teeny… weeny… second… of… searing… throbbing… push… pull… stretch… and tug… that came with getting that child out of me. And that was with an epidural. I did not want a repeat of any of that business, no ma’am. So with Lila, I asked quick, fast and in a hurry for drugs. Lots of them. Read more…

Financial Book Review: The Frugalista Files

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

by Patrice Cunningham Washington

“I don’t leave my low-paying, dead-end job, because I need money to pay down my rent, car, and school loans, and to bring down my credit card bills.”

Sound familiar?

If so, you’re not alone. And that was the great part about reading Natalie P. McNeal’s The Frugalista Files: How One Woman got Out of Debt without Giving Up the Fabulous Life. Knowing you’re not alone in getting a possibly long-neglected financial house in order is one of the most important steps in beginning your journey to financial freedom.

As a sister in the “fab while frugal” struggle, I adored Natalie’s transparency.  She shares more than just her passage from being a pauper to becoming the poster child for personal finance success, but includes candid insight on her professional transformation, personal obligations to family and friends and the real life challenges that take place in a single woman’s life, all while juggling being a staggering five figures in debt.  The way Natalie utilizes metaphors to explain her money woes are both hilarious and relatable. “My student loan is like an old boyfriend who just won’t go away. We had a good run, but it’s time for the relationship to end.” Read more…

Perfectly Mixed: How A Baby’s Eyes Reminded One Mother To Love Her Own

August 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Post image for Perfectly Mixed: How A Baby’s Eyes Reminded One Mother To Love Her OwnI imagined what our child would look like years before my daughter was born. The whole idea was a mystery, but more so than most couples I believe, because he’s white and I’m black. Not only were we curious about eye color and if she’d have hair, we wondered what shade she may be. It didn’t matter of course, but it was something I pondered.

When I deliberated over what our daughter would look like, I secretly hoped she would have my eye shape and my husband’s eye color. He has very wide, stunning blue eyes. They were the first thing I noticed when I saw him, and still one of my favorite physical qualities of his. Read more…


August 21, 2011 3 comments

By Betsy Ice

Recently, a friend hooked me up on a blind date. She had described the man and he too, gave me a concurrent account: dark skinned, 6”4’, low Caesar haircut, and athletically built. My friend also mentioned that he was close to our age. When I met the fellow, I immediately thought forty years old. I would need a telescope to see forty since it’s so far off.

We had a pleasant enough dinner, wherein I discovered he was forty-seven years old. He would be better off dating my mother, I thought, but decided to enjoy the time together anyway until he uttered some deal breaking words. He was recently divorced from his wife of eighteen years, with whom he had four children. Two of his “children” are close to 25, and the youngest is a senior is high school. You know what that means? They talk back. I can’t deal with a man that has grown kids whom I’m more likely to be partying that rocking the step-mommy title.

So folks, this post is inspired by that date, an unexpected bonus. Oh yes, Mr. 47 and I are not going out again. It was an unspoken farewell message in our good night hug.

Without further adieu, part 1 of my deal breaker list (in no particular order):
Read more…

The Number of Deadbeat Moms Is On the Rise

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment


by Antoine Scroggins, Your Black World

There used to be a time when you could not mention “Mother” and “Deadbeat” in the same sentence (It was considered blasphemous). That phrase, for quite sometime, has been reserved almost exclusively for fathers–until now.
Recent studies show that the numbers of mothers dodging child support payments, walking out of the lives of their children, and basically not caring whether or not they’re a good parent is growing. The troubling part is that those numbers are steadily increasing.

5 Ways To Save on Back to School Shopping

August 5, 2011 1 comment

by Patrice Cunningham WashingtonImage Hosted by

The summer is quickly coming to a close and schools all over the country will be opening in the weeks ahead.  From knowing what you already have to taking advantage of tax holidays, here are 5 simple ways to save on all of your Back to School needs:
1.  Take inventory. We usually do ourselves more financial harm than good by running out and buying every school supply we can find. If you found them on sale, wonderful. But wouldn’t it be more wonderful to not waste money, no matter how small or insignificant the amount on stuff your kids don’t even need?  Before you go anywhere, take inventory of what you already have and of what you may actually need.  Many households already have the paper and pens that kids need to start the school year. So check what’s lying around on shelves and in drawers before buying piles more. Read more…

5 People Who Shouldn’t Buy a Home

July 29, 2011 1 comment

By Patrice Cunningham Washington
Despite what you’ve heard, buying a home is not for everyone. Pre-Depression, many people who shouldn’t have purchased homes in the first place, went against their better judgement by doing what “so and so” said they should do and ended up worse off for it.

The old-school home-buying rules (well, not your granny’s old school, more like 7 years ago old school) told us:

       A.      To buy as much home as we could afford, ahem, qualify for, with as little money down as possible.
       B.      To buy the biggest McMansion in the neighborhood so everyone would know we “made it.”; or
       C.    We’d always make money, because homes “always appreciated.”
Now that we know how awful that advice was, what do we do?  Well, it’s time to figure out if you happen to be one of the people who probably shouldn’t be buying a home right now.
Here are five personalities who may want to wait before they buy: Read more…

{Bringing Up Boogie} Birthdays Are the Worst Days: Bassey Ikpi On Turning 35

July 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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I love birthdays; mine especially. Every year for the last decade, I’ve thrown a party called a Basstravaganza! Yes, I am a Leo. Why do you ask? I feel like birthdays are the only holiday that everyone can celebrate regardless of religion or country or culture. You were born! Yay! (Unless you’re Jehovah’s Witness. Then *whispers* you were born. yay.) I’m always looking forward to my birthday and start talking about it at least a month in advance. Read more…

A Message For Young Moms: You CAN “Make It Happen”

July 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Post image for A Message For Young Moms: You CAN “Make It Happen”


Sleepy and still aching from my C-section, I took a quick walk to the mailbox to get some fresh air and actually remember what it was like to feel the sun on my face. Only a week since my daughter was born and I was already going stir-crazy in the house all day.

I pulled out an envelope I got from the hospital. Thinking nothing of it, I tore it open and found a bill for $27,000. That emergency C-section and seven-day hospital stay for both mother and baby was hella expensive, it turned out. Read more…

Should a Mother Be Jealous of Her Own Daughter?

July 8, 2011 1 comment

By Anslem Samuel

i hate my mom t-shirt

Dear NWSO,

I just recently turned seventeen and I’m always so ridiculously horny! It’s not even funny. I can even get off by listening to Robin Thicke’s “Sex Therapy.” I’m almost always thinking about sex and masturbate quite frequently. At school I imagine being taken advantage of by my male teachers and I mentally bang almost every good-looking person I see.

Read more…

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