Unprotected.

I’m a black woman. I’ve always known I was black. From the moment I understood what race was. However, I never let it define me. I’ve just been a girl who became a woman. I never felt the need to put my blackness in the forefront. Never really saw how it affected me until recently.

When we talk about race, we automatically assume it’s about racism. Although I recognize that racism is all around us, this is not that kind of post. This is about me. A black woman. A black woman who doesn’t feel protected and I’m not sure if I ever have (with exception of my dad). And I’m wondering whose fault is that?

Protection does not just mean physically. It means emotionally as well. I have not felt emotionally safe in my relationships. I have not felt safe to rest. I have had to be strong constantly. I have had to be a work horse; always with 2 jobs or more. I have had to worry about everyone around me, take care of everyone around me, and neglect myself. I mention my blackness because this seems to be a theme for other black women I surround myself with and encounter.

And we are tired.

Who protects us when we have breakdowns? When we’re depressed? When we are exhausted? When we absorb all the anger and pain of our loved ones? When do we get to be soft and rest in our femininity?

Who takes care of us?

Is it our fault that we exude too much strength? Does it come from our distant past of being slaves? Working in the fields, in the house, taking abuse, being raped, breastfeeding all the babies, cooking all the food? Being ripped away from our husbands and children? Has that ability to take on pain just been passed down from generation to generation and we accept it as gospel?

Some could blame our men who have not learned to art of protecting, providing, and leading us. Most of them (including us) have been apart of broken homes and we have not been shown or taught what that type of household looks like.

I could come up with many excuses and reasons to why black women don’t feel safe. Many reasons why I don’t feel safe now. But the real issue is, how do we change it? Based on Malcolm X’s famous quote, this feeling, this issue is not new. But it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Protect the black woman.

Loving You.

My daddy tried. He tried to teach me how a man should treat a woman. He opened the doors for me. Took me on dates. Walked on the outside of me when we walked down the street. Showed me what affection looked like. And somehow I still ended up with men who did none of those things.

What I’ve realized is, no matter what he might have tried to show me or tell me I deserved, deep down I didn’t believe it. My self-esteem was non-existant growing up and even up into adulthood (I’m still working through finding the root of it).

I would write on sticky notes that, “I am the prize” and place them all over my house. I was hoping that if I saw it enough, I would adopt the mindset.

But I didn’t.

Every relationship I’ve ever been in, even in marriage, I’ve treated men like they were the prize. Like I was the lucky one if they gave me the time of day. If they called or texted me. If they took me out. If they wanted to be with me or marry me. Somehow that approval made me feel like I was worth something. Being something to somebody. But in reality, it is only made me feel even more unloved. Bitter. Resentful. Angry.

Until I love myself properly, I will never be loved properly by others. Until I see myself as worthy, no one will see that either.

I should be telling myself I’m the shit because I am. I’m as humble as they come, but I have to hype myself up. I’m intelligent, I’m ambitious, I’m hard-working, I’m savy, I’m financially stable, I’m a damn good mom, I’m sensitive, I’m compassionate, I’m empathic, and I don’t look too bad either. When I exude that confidence in myself, everyone around me sees it and responds to it.

That’s what I’m working on. Loving myself appropriately. That’s what we all should be working on. Doesn’t matter if you’re married, single, black white, green, or gold. When we treat ourselves with respect, kindness, and love, others have no choice but to do it too.

So how are you loving you?

Jayden’s Mom

I’m a boy mom. I’m praying that I don’t become the mom that everyone complains about.

The “My son is my King” mom.

The “Nobody is good enough for my son” mom.

The “My son does no wrong” mom.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard. Because my Jayden is just a great human. He’s so full of life! He’s curious. His laughter is infectious. He’s bright. He’s bold. He’s absolutely adorable (which he gets from his mom by the way).

He’s only been on this earth for a few years, but he’s taught me so much about patience, patience, and more patience. But oddly enough, he’s taught me a great deal about love.

Like this dude loves me. Like really loves me. Likes me even. I realize that this may change as he gets older. He’ll get mad at me for taking his phone away or not letting him go to a party or giving my opinion about a girlfriend. But for now, my toddler likes me.

He looks for me when I’m there and not there. He gives me hugs and kisses when I ask and even when I don’t. I think he thinks I’m funny and fun to be around. He dances and sings with me. He enjoys me. He’s taught me that I’m a pretty great person to be around.

He sees me. And boy, oh boy I can’t tell you how important that is.

To be seen.

This little dude has set the standard. He’s shown me how to love myself better. How to take care of myself so I can take care of him. And he’s shown me in his small, unawaring way, how others should be treating me.

Like I’m somebody. Because I am.

I’m Jayden’s mom.

Do a Durant.

I’m a football girl myself, but I follow basketball enough that when I saw this meme, I hollered. Durant made that move and got what he wanted. Some didn’t respect it, but he did what he thought was best for him and there’s a lesson in that.

Since this meme was directed at the women, I will speak from a woman’s point of view (being that I am one).

I think we forget that when we are single, we are free agents. Even when I am in a relationship, I am still considered a single woman. I file single on my taxes, I possess my dad’s last name, my name is solely on all the bills, etc. etc. In a nutshell:

Unmarried = Single.

Don’t get me wrong, I am respectful of my relationships. When I am with someone, I am not actively looking for anything else. I do not entertain others and I remain committed. However, I do realize that I am single until there is a ring on my hand, a marriage certificate, and a last name change. I am free to walk out the door at anytime or end the relationship because I have not stated any vows that require me to stay. There is a certain freedom in this thinking, but don’t get me wrong, I strongly desire marriage and family which leads me back to this meme.

When women like myself desire marriage and children, we are often ridiculed about our timelines. This is only because men are not on the same timeline as us. They do not get the side eye from doctors when you are over 30 and you still haven’t had children yet. They do not have to hear the lecture on the risks of having children after 35. Men can go out, get a younger women, and have children at 50 if they wanted to. Women however, have to think of birth defects and safety risks as soon as we hit the big 3-0.

That’s why we do not have time to waste. After 30, for women who want to be married and have a family can’t sit in these 3-5 year relationships with an additional 1-2 year engagement. And that’s being modest. There are plenty of women who have sat in longer relationships, 6, 7, 8, 10 fucking years. No ring in sight. But really, why do we do that? Hope? Loyalty? Fear? Probably a combination of all. We wait, hoping that we are the one, that this guy we love loves us enough to give us his last name. We assume that the number of years we’ve spent together is an longterm investment. It may be for us, but a lot of these men don’t see it in that way. I’ve heard from the male point of view that marriage is a scam and there is no benefit for them. (Although, research shows that married men live longer, but that’s another topic). 

Despite the negative comments and unproductive debates about marriage that I have been involved in with men, I still believe there are a great number of them who desire it. They want a wife and children. That’s why I refuse to stay in a relationship that does not have that end goal. And just because we talk about it and agree we want the same thing, doesn’t mean we are on the same timeline. A man may very well want to marry you, but it’s going to be when he’s ready. It could be a year, hell it could be 10 years. It is his prerogative, but you are not required to stay and wait. Listen to what he says, but also watch what he does. A man that wants you as a wife will make arrangements and prepare to do just that. His words will align with his actions.

After 30, and this is just me talking, you don’t need years to determine whether you want to spend a lifetime with someone. So don’t feel guilty about the timeline you have in your head (I’m speaking to myself too). Don’t let anyone waste your time and best years of your life.

Go get your ring.

Lebron did it.

Durant did it.

So if you have to….

Just do it.