Shape Your Own Story

As a BW, I like to be a teller of my own story. I am very aware how BW are portrayed on social media and media in general. We tend to have very one dimensional personalities. With social media, we’re able to shape our own narratives. We can fill in the dimensions that other story tellers won’t tell. And this is just where we are, not a complaint, the reality. The writers and ppl behind the scenes of everything are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male, and they have written BW so flatly since forever.

So I speak for me, a big personality full of color, dimension, and pizzazz. I like to show my happiness. I show it not to brag, but bc I’m a mom, a black mom. And sometimes we tend to show or be portrayed as the attitudinal and mean moms. I love this gig. I take pics. I make posts. I post videos all over my various social medias. Folks finna see a happy black mom and her family.

Obviously there has to be balance. I show that too. It ain’t always rainbows and tacos. There’s frustration, sleep deprivation, and constant cleaning, but that’s life. And a good life comes from dealing with alladat and maintaining relationships, keeping yourself healthy, and keeping things in perspective.

Dying of Whiteness: Book Review

This book is illuminating. Jonathan Metzl is sitting down, talking to WP as a WM, and getting some of their stances, and I’m 😳. I shouldn’t be too shocked at the mindset of WP. Not in the slightest bit knowing and understanding history. It’s just so interesting listening to their cognitive dissonance.

I’m in a chapter about the medical system in Tennessee. Jonathan set up 2 groups to speak about health and the medical community. He had a black man lead the black men and he lead the WM.

The WM group…These men were poor and unhealthy. Like a dude with an amputated foot, a man with HIV, a man who was obese with HBP and worked for a fast food company, and a couple of men pulling oxygen tanks. These men were on various assistance programs, yet didn’t believe in Medicaid bc (insert the typical right wing talking points). These men were being taken care in some capacity, yet they were railing on others who might take advantage.

And this was before Covid. I really wanna know how Tennessee is doing health wise. They chose not to expand Medicaid bc (insert the typical right wing talking points). So this thing has to be decimating families financially.

There are actually more gun deaths via suicide than homicide. And WM killed themselves 80-90 percent more than everyone else

My Fitness Journey

I started my fitness journey back in the winter of 2008. A lot of what I did and learned were based on trial and error, not bc I was an athlete or raised in a health/fitness household. I became a certified personal trainer in 2010 at the very gym that I started my transformation. Many of the same ppl who saw my transformation with their own eyes became my clients. And some ppl who weren’t my clients would ask me my “secret”, I’d say lifting heavy and eating right. They’d give a wink and a nod as if I were holding some other secrets close to my chest.

Anyways, in this time span, my message in real life and online has pretty much remained constant. Health is bigger than JUST losing weight, but getting healthy overall. I give tips, shown meals, shown how to incorporate kids and fitness, alla dat. Health is mental, physical, emotional, financial, and your relationships with others.

Ppl understand at some level that this health and fitness stuff requires consistency, time, and energy. You have to prioritize their health. And that’s why I don’t attribute our obesity crisis to just ignorance. It takes awareness, a lifestyle change, and making it a daily habit. It takes working on yourself mentally and physically.

Some Book Recommendations

I am a black woman, wife, and mom. I am into fitness, history, politics, and current events. Many of my book selections stem from these categories and some are suggestions or random choices. Here are a few of my recent book choices…(this post has affiliate links)

1. “Bag Man” by Rachel Maddow. This book was engaging, full of history that I was not remotely aware of, and filled in some of the pieces of history that I had some knowledge of. I like Rachel’s voice and her approach to the topic. She’s thorough and uses newspapers and interviews well.

2. “Jane Against the World” by Karen Blumenthal was a great history lesson of birth control, abortion, and how these two things have transformed women’s lives, freedoms, and rights in this country. Man!! The amount of control that men wielded over women legally, medically, and financially was a bit much to absorb. But the changes that have come about have been monumental.

3. “The Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes was AMAZING! Her voice is great. And she’s very transparent about the obstacles of motherhood, being a black woman, juggling a career, and finding her footing with fitness. This is a great book.

4. “Medical Apartheid” by Harriet A. Washington. Woowee, this was a deep, hard, and heavy read. The history of racism in the medical field is vile, violent, and inhumane. And what we’ve endured here as black ppl at the hands of racist white ppl cannot be sugar coated. The things I read…horrifying. This book is necessary, but hard to get thru. That’s a warning.

5.-6. “American Royals” and “Majesty” by Katharine McGee. Sometimes my readings get wayyyy too heavy. Lol. So this was a random pick made to lighten my spirits. It’s told from a fake perspective of IF America had a royal family. It has a good balance of drama, entertainment, and a good story line. and

7. “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw is a compilation of short stories and entertaining. What goes on in some ppl’s minds, homes, and relationships might cause the Church Mothers to clutch their pearls. This is a good book to entertain yourself with. And if you were raised in the black church, I def recommend it.

8. “Hood Feminism” by Mikki Kendall is a wonderful book that highlights issues that get swept under the rug. White women feminism is and was necessary, but it was still marred by racism and tone deafness where it came to poor ppl and ppl with disabilities. This book is vital to continuing the conversation and making further strides for equity.

9. “Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid is an entertaining coming of age story of a young black woman who finds herself employed by a wealthy white family. I liked this book, the pace of the story, and themes.

10. “Kill Switch” by Adam Jentleson. This was a wonderful history lesson regarding politics, the filibuster, how it’s been used to further racism, and how it’s used now. This is a great book that gives a foundation to racism of yesteryear playing a role currently.

What Type of Parent are You?

There are all types of parents that range from Helicopter parents to Free range parents to absolutely neglectful parents. They are ranges and levels and mixtures to all of these. And I know that experts have identified and created many labels for the different parenting styles. I appreciate being able to cultivate and tailor my parenting style for both of my kids personalities.

Being a stay at home mom creates opportunities to fill the days with WHATEVER. Literally there are no boundaries. This type of freedom can be a double edged sword in that there are no checks, balances, or any one watching and dictating what you should be doing. Some ppl work best with directions and lists. Some ppl work best with the flow. I think I fall somewhere in between.

Before I became a mom, I just KNEW there were gonna be things we did together. I thought that the kids would sleep in their beds and actually take naps. I thought they’d love homemade foods. I just knew we’d go to coffee shops and I’d read while my littles napped. (Insert hearty laughter 😂😂😂) Yeah, no. Lol.

I am soooo glad that I had my kids in my 30’s and that I was in good mental and physical health. Why? Bc they are so active and inquisitive and I have the energy and patience to spare. They are both so different. And in being home with them, it’s given me the opportunity to allow them to mostly dictate their own path and “likes”. They are literal sponges, and I see a lot of me in my children. But they are still very much individuals and I love it.

The controlling parent tends to be strict about their beliefs and daily schedules. There are consequences for bucking the system, talking back (aka attempting to have an opinion), and/or slacking on the rite activities. These types may seem overbearing and can have issues with their kids on the back end once the kid leaves.

The helicopter parents create a different problem in that they hoover and just do things for their kids. They don’t let them fail, they clean up their messes, and it creates humans that may not be equipped to solve problems. These parents will fill out paperwork and call teachers to “fix” grades. They look at issues as problems outside of their households to fix vs teaching kids to adjust. This COULD create dependency issues later in life.

The free range parent kinda just lets the kid go. I won’t go so far to say neglect the kid, but depending on where you live and how the house ends up looking “neglectful” could be appropriate. Setting the kid up with the basics of survival and letting them do their own thing COULD help some kids develop into the humans they wanna be, but it could also send humans into the world with absolutely NO structure.

I don’t really have a label for my style of parenting. Mine is definitely a shade of gray on the parenting scale. I like to think of myself as a steward of their safety, but I slow them to take the lead on some things. My kids are YOUNG. So that means that my approach is early and obviously subject to change. I give myself that grace that I can change as necessary bc my kids will change as well.

Anywho, what is your parenting style and if you don’t have kids, what parenting styles did your parents have? What styles have you observed thru friends, family, and the outside world?