This is something I’ve been dying to talk about and just had to find the right way to say it. But, is motherhood your wife or your side chick? When I say this I mean do you parent kid-first or parent-first. When I had my first son at age 19 it took me some time to get to my current kid-first style of parenting, but some of the women and men around me still have not gotten there. In part, I think it’s a misconception of what parenting kid-first actually looks like. Whether a mommy lacked a good parenting example as a child or the tug to “do me” is proving difficult to let go of, I’ve seen many mothers over the years (of all races, colors and creeds) believe that they were parenting kid-first only to find feelings of resentment and abandonment in their children as they grow older. So, if yo don’t know, now you’ll know. Here are 4 signs to look out for if you think motherhood might be your side chick:
1. Your Nights Out < Nights In: Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with ladies night. I’m an advocate of ladies night. Every mom needs time away from their kids and a chance to let loose. But if you can count on 5 fingers the nights you’ve spent out “letting loose” in the last 30 days and can only count on one finger how many of those days your kid was enjoying the fun with you, motherhood might be more like your Lil’ Kim than your Faith Evans.
2. Your Kid Has Had More than 2 New “Uncles” in the last 12 Months and None of Them are Related:
Step-dads can be a single mommy’s knight in shining armor. The addition of a significant other to your household can mean more cohesive parenting, a fatherly bonding experience for your child and financial back-up. But, your kid doesn’t deserve to be the guinea pig in your boyfriend factory. Mama, be selective about the men you choose to introduce to your children because every man who likes you may, or may not, like your child. We need look no further than the unfortunate case of NFL running back Adrian Peterson’s son to see the consequences of having bad “uncles” around your children. Further please remember that the frequency of your relationships will likely translate to the frequency with which your child allows people (good and bad) to enter their lives.
3. Home Cooked Meals = Boston Market At Your House: I only cook 3-4 days a week at my house. The rest of the week is strictly what I call quick meals. Quick meals at my house are anything from pizza, to frozen bag meals to leftovers. But, I know some people who only recognize chicken if it’s wrapped in a nugget. Your kids need fresh fruits and vegetables to do well in life. They promote brain growth and fuel the body with energy. The bonds built when teaching your children the responsibility of cooking for themselves and the financial literacy of grocery shopping and preparing meals is missed when cooking at your house only involves the microwave. There are lots of ways for a mom to get on her meal-time grind from cooking everything on Sunday and freezing it to making one of those “uncles” (or husbands) help out.
4. Clean House Only Reminds You of That Show with Niecey Nash: Hoarders is one of my favorite shows on television, but if your home is headed in the direction of Hoarders and not Clean House, Houston you may have a mommyhood problem. I’m still a considerably young mother who struggles to design my home the way I want it, but that doesn’t mean my home has to be dysfunctional. If you are having issues with your home it likely has more to do with organization skills than with your inability to put cleanliness next to godliness. As a young mother, I can relate to feelings of defeat when it comes to the organization of a home; especially when your children are young. The easiest way to conquer these feelings is to organize your home an inch at a time. Maybe this week you can start with the top of your kid’s dresser and next week do the drawers. One thing to remember for you and your kido is that a cluttered house can equate to a cluttered mind.
So is motherhood your side chick, or are you in this thing to win it?