June is the month that we celebrate hopefully the first significant men in our lives…..Yep, our fathers. Sadly, in this day and age, many individuals biological dads are not the first significant men in their lives. Often kids are born when the parents are still very young and young men, okay boys at this age are not equipped to see the bigger picture. The child that is easily influenced. So some men, not all but some take the easy road and become “the sperm donor” in their children’s lives. For the men out there who are struggling to make sure their kids are taken care of….kudos to you. I have often heard the saying any man can make a baby but it takes a real man to be a father. To all the real men out there….thank you for your time, money, guidance and most importantly love. Although, it make not always be visible…..you are loved beyond measure. My daughter absolutely adores her dad and I am so glad, I married a man who holds family values in high regards. He may not always get it right but he is present and he makes an effort. That is all any of us can do. For all the men doing their part…..keep up the amazing work. For the men out there who have fallen short…..it is never to late to start being the wonderful father I know you can be.
What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it … Dad Author Unknown
Formation by definition means to get into line There seems to be a new rave around Beyoncé’s new song Formation. I really do not see what the hype is all about. I can see the significance of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and I understand that it was the anniversary of the black Panthers. I applaud the fact that she had an all-black all female background support cast and most importantly, as an African American woman, I really appreciate the use of natural hair on all the women. I thought it was BEAUTIFUL. The problem that I have comes in with the song. The song has absolutely nothing to do with anything remotely related to black power. It is just another song, to me, that Beyoncé has used as a platform to tell people off. She understands that many people do not find her husband attractive and that many have called her daughter’s hair unkempt. All these things though, are personal. Below are some of the lyrics to the song.
“Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess. Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh. I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin’). I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces. My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana. You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama. I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils”.
Personally none of these lyrics make me proud to be black women nor make me want to march for a cause. In actuality the just sounds good. There are a few references in the video like the don’t shoot clip or the paper with Martin Luther King Jr. on it that have to do with ‘black power’, but for all intents and purposes the video, like the song has nothing to do with civil rights of any kind. As a matter of fact, I think it is reaching to say that the song Formation has anything to do with civil rights. Especially when there have been previous ladies such as Lauryn Hill, Angela Davis, Erykah Badu, and Nina Simone have been trying to get us as a culture (females in particular) to ‘get in formation’ for years. I also think the use of hurricane Katrina was in poor taste. I do not believe that anyone who lived through that tragedy will take comfort in the depictions that are in her video. I do though want to make it clear that I am in no way bashing Beyoncé. She is a wonderful artist and from what I hear very active in the black community with charity and time. What I am saying though is that maybe she should had rethought the video and the message that she wanted to convey through the video.
Infidelity, cheating and unfaithfulness has been around since the beginning of time; however it has become even more complicated by what constitutes being unfaithful in relationships. Traditionally, cheating was classified as having a physically intimate relationship with someone other than your partner. But nowadays, cheating has many faces and colors. Of course, this is not to say that physical intimacy with someone other than your partner is a lesser offense than any other type of unfaithfulness.
One type of infidelity is the texting and phone affair. Flirty, suggestive or sexually explicit text messages or pictures are sent to someone other than your partner. You also can over share intimate information with this person as well. Another type of infidelity is cyber cheating. Again, this is flirting or over sharing with another person. You may also be searching and/or posting on dating sites. It can also include viewing porn regularly that negatively impacts your emotional and sexual relationship with your partner. A third type of infidelity is emotional cheating that starts off as an innocent friendship with a “work spouse” and/or your best friend. You spend a lot of time with this person and, before you know it, you are confiding and sharing your thoughts, fears, dreams, and secrets with this person. You have an affection for this person that is typically reserved for your partner. Often times, emotional cheating can lead to physical intimacy. And lastly, there is physical infidelity. Simply put, physical infidelity is sexual intimacy with someone other than your partner.
No matter what type of infidelity it may be, it is equally damaging to a relationship. If you are doing anything that you wouldn’t want to share with your partner (or God), or you know it would hurt your partner, then you probably are doing something that you should stop doing.
Listening well is a necessary skill as it impacts the quality of our relationships with others. How many of us have heard our children, friend, and/or partner say, “Are you listening to me?” or “You never listen to me.” With the listening we do all day long, one would think that we all would be so much better at listening. However, many times we are only hearing the other person because we are too busy performing several other tasks at the same time. Other times we are deep in thought about our own attitudes, thoughts, and feelings about the subject. Then there are times we are just too sleepy to listen attentively. And of course, we are all guilty of selective listening.
Listening well isn’t just hearing what the other person is saying, but also paying attention to verbal and nonverbal messages as well. So how can we listen by concentrating on how and what they are saying as well as what they are not saying? It’s interesting how the lessons that we learn in childhood prove to serve us well in adulthood. Below is a song that some learn in preschool. Next time you really want to practice listening well, try implementing the words of this song.
After having their baby, new moms may experience intense feelings of long-lasting sadness, or postpartum depression. Postpartum Depression isn’t synonymous with being a weak or bad mother. It is a medical condition and, like other medical conditions, can get better with treatment. Remember that many new moms experience a range of emotions from excitement and joy to fear and anxiety about bonding and bringing home a newborn.
Some signs that what you may be experiencing is more than the “baby blues” are feelings of intense and severe depression, thoughts of impending doom, withdrawing from family and friends, confusion, trouble bonding with your baby, fearful to be left alone with your baby, and contemplation about hurting yourself or your baby. We are still unsure as to what causes this, but the good news is that we can treat it! Untreated postpartum depression can last for several months or years. If you notice any of the signs above, tell someone and/or inform your doctor immediately. He or she will be able to link you with counseling, support groups, and medication.
With a whole month dedicated to awareness around postpartum depression I hope this will encourage more mothers to speak up and get the help, care and support they deserve.
The idea that “every couple has unsolvable problems” sounds depressing. That statement probably wouldn’t make a single person eager to get hitched. Even thought this is a fact but it doesn’t spell doom for most relationships. Once you comprehend this reality it’s a bit freeing in a sense.
“There is value in choosing a long term partner and realizing you will be choosing a set of unsolvable problems you’ll have for the next ten, twenty, or even fifty years.”
Most divorces and affairs occur due to these “unsolvable problems.” Don’t kid yourself by thinking the grass will be greener with someone else. If you leave your husband or wife and pick someone else you will only be choosing another set of unsolvable problems. Perhaps the second set of unsolvable problems will be worse than your first set. Problem is that often times couples don’t have a clue what these problems are until they are married a few years. You will not find a marriage without perpetual and unsolvable problems.
For instance: Wife is a neat freak and husband leaves his underwear on the floor of the bedroom because he’s got “big” things on his mind. This drives the wife NUTS! She has repeatedly nagged him to “just put them in the laundry hamper!” Husband claims he just didn’t think of it because he has been preoccupied with getting the bills paid, which he always manages to do even with the family’s small income. But wife trades in her husband for another man that shows interest in her and who is a super neat freak. She thinks “this will solve the problem I had with husband number one, him not keeping the house clean and respecting how hard I work to keep a orderly house.” So she realizes new husband will keep the house very clean and she has less to do around the house and for a few years she is in heaven! But the honeymoons ends abruptly. After a few years wife begins noticing some patterns. Husband number two is not concerned with how they will pay the bills and in fact often spends lots of money on things they don’t really need. In a few short years this leads to their financial ruin. Wife wishes she‘d learned to cope with underwear on the home’s floor in marriage number one because now she doesn’t even own a home; the bank foreclosed on it!
The difference between a happy marriage and one in trouble is how you address and cope with perpetual and unsolvable problems. Realize that the grass is not green on the other side of the fence, it’s just a different type of grass but all lawns have weeds!