Dear Mama

With Mother’s Day approaching I thought it would only be appropriate to talk about my favorite girl, my Mommy! Tupac said it best “ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place”.

There is so much to be said about the woman who birthed me and brought me into this world. She goes by Nikki but her real name is Juanita. I call her Mommy and feel so incredibly blessed that I was chosen to be her daughter. My mom and I have an incredibly close relationship. She’s my best friend and often refers to me as her “little homegirl”. Anything can happen in my life and she’s the first person I call. When I need to share a laugh, when I won’t let anyone else see me cry, or when I need validation for cussing someone out, she’s the person I run to.

Beyond being my safe place, she has been that and more for my kids. My mom has taken care of all my boys while my husband and I worked or went to school. From babies until I was comfortable with them being in day care all three of my boys have been partially raised by their “Nene”. This woman has quit jobs, sacrificed what she wanted to do in life, so I could be comfortable enough to go and pursue what was important to me. She’s taught them ABC’s, numbers, colors, and sometimes teaches my husband and I things about our boys that we didn’t know. Her selflessness and patience has played a huge role in the development of my boys and we give her a lot of credit when it comes to their early development.

I praise my mom whenever I can because we came extremely close to losing her. One morning she went to the emergency room for what she thought was a bad headache and it turned out to be a brain aneurysm. She was told that she would have to have emergency brain surgery and was immediately taken to a different hospital. On June 13, 2014 my life stopped for a minute as my mom went in to have her surgery. I can never truly put into words how in deeply destroyed I was by this. I still get overly emotional and am shook to my core over this, which is why I rarely speak of it. I don’t do well with emotion and the thought of my mom not being a phone call away was more than I could bare. Thank god that wasn’t a reality I had to face because in true fashion, she pulled through and has been stronger than ever.

This experience made her stronger than she already was, and it made me love and appreciate her more than I already did. To me my mom is all things beauty, strength, love, light, and patience. I don’t know if I could handle this thing called motherhood without her. So, to you Mommy, I just want to say how much I love and appreciate you. Thank you for allowing me to be myself and for loving me unconditionally. I could go on forever and ever talking about the greatness that is you. I hope that my boys grow to appreciate, respect, and love me the way that I do you. You are truly an angel on this earth. Thank you for teaching me to be the best mother I can be. I will continue to apply the lessons you have given me, and I will do it with love.

-Mommy aka Key-boo

Motherhood Is A Career Choice

A mother’s job is challenging and endless. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed we never turn off from mom mode. Sometimes we must deal with late night wake ups and early morning breakfast cries. When a woman has a kid and makes the choice to raise that kid, it is at that moment she makes a career choice. That career choice is MOTHERHOOD. This applies to all moms, whether you choose to be a working mom or a stay at home mom.

For some reason there has been a long debate over who has it harder, the working mom or the stay at home mom. Coming from someone who has done both I can honestly say each has its own difficulties and hardship. From my personal experience being a stay at home mom takes such a toll on you mentally and that made it so hard for me. I tip my hat off to women who make the choice to be stay at home moms. If I had a choice I would love to stay with my kids, I just don’t know if I’m mentally strong enough to do so. My anxiety is too high, and my patience is too low.

Don’t get me wrong being a working mom (40 hours a week) and a mom of three (endless hours) is extremely difficult and tiring. However, unlike the stay at home mom I get a little break. Whether you want to admit it or not, every mom needs a break, sometime to decompress and recharge. I’m not taking anything away from working mothers. It’s hard, it’s all hard. Being a working mom, I’m expected to be the best mom I can be and still succeed at work. I must maintain my home and my career. I constantly feel guilty for having to leave them and not be available all the time. I can’t pick my kids up from school, I miss some award ceremonies, even sometimes when they’re sick, I can’t be the one to take care of them. Does that make me a bad mom!? Nope, not even a little bit. Or at least that’s what I would like to think.

I fear my kids will remember the moments I wasn’t able to be there because they tend to out weight the moments I am. A big part of me envies the stay at home mom. Even though it’s no walk in the park, the freedom it allows you to be with your kids is priceless. I know that my kids know my heart and know everything I do is for them but I do think to myself if it’s even worth it. Is spending 9-10 hours a day away from my kids for a job I don’t even like worth it? Is the tradeoff going to be worth it in the end? I struggle with what the right choice is as a Mom. There’s a fine line between satisfying my own needs and still making the right choice that will benefit my kids the most.

For a long time, I was only motivated by others. By what others were accomplishing, what others said was success, how other people were parenting. In my head, that was part of the reason I felt I needed to be a working Mom. A mom that could do it all. Now I motivate myself. I use myself as the standard. What I achieve, how I grow, what I accomplish, and how I choose to parent. I gained that confidence through motherhood. As I’ve grown confident as mom, I feel that whether I chose to stay at home or work I am still doing it all. Every mom is a superhero in their own way. Everything I do for my boys, every decision I make, will always be rooted in love.


Genuine Love

I had a moment this weekend when I looked up and saw all three of my boys running, laughing, and smiling from ear to ear. This moment of genuine happiness made me emotional and made my heart ache. I was overwhelmed with how much love I have for them and how much their happiness means to me. I was taken back by how much their joy brings me joy. Being a Mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I sometimes forget how lucky I am. 

As a Mom, I feel that I constantly get caught up in making sure everything is in order, everything is clean, and everyone has done whatever it is they need to do. Very rarely do I stop and enjoy the important moments. The moments of uncontrollable laughter, corny and very unfunny jokes, and endless stories that make no sense at all. I’m realizing how often I allow myself to get consumed by things that hold no value in comparison. The truth of the matter is before I know it these moments will be gone, and I will be sitting wondering how I could get everything I allowed myself to miss back. Instead of being filled with regret years from now I am willing to acknowledge that I need to step back and enjoy being a Mommy now. 

Being a Mom is one of the most fulfilling jobs I could have. From having intelligent and meaningful conversations with my eight year old, to watching my three year gleam with excitement from being able to write his name, and the moment my heart fills with happiness because my one year old claps from excitement because he accomplished the goal of showing me where his nose is. As a Mom I get to experience all these different stages of life up close and personal. I get to celebrate each accomplishment and every triumph.

To know that I am one of two people that my boys will turn to for every problem, every accomplishment , and everything in between brings a feeling to me that I will never be able to describe. I just wanted to take the time and celebrate the genuine joys of motherhood. I wanted to take the time and really appreciate all that motherhood is. Unfortunately, motherhood isn’t a club that all women get to join, and I was blessed enough to be chosen. I don’t want to waste that blessing I want to take it in for all it has to offer. 

Realizing I need to take in these moments as much as I can and lose this idea of being some form of a “Super Mom” I have made a promise to myself to just simply enjoy my boys. I want to allow myself to let some of their child like joy rub off on me. The simplest moments are the ones that hold the most value. I have shifted my priority as a mother and will focus more on the hugs, kisses, and genuine love they shower me with. I will sit back and watch them continuously grow into strong, happy, and functioning men. I’ve given myself a gift in understanding that I can still enforce rules and set boundaries while still being able to laugh uncontrollably with my boys. I’m still figuring out this whole Mommy thing and will continue to learn from my boys. 

This journey is so special I can’t wait to see what it brings. I will approach it openness, understanding, and of course with love.



That Kid Said What To You!?

I grew up in the 90s and early 00’s, times were different. Everyone wasn’t so sensitive, things weren’t as heavy. Even the subject of bullying wasn’t something I thought about. I was fortunate enough to never have experienced it. I never had to deal with being bullied so I never saw it as a major problem. Besides, I feel the definition of bullied back then was completely different from being bullied today. Growing up it was normal for other kids to taunt you or say stupid things every now and then. It’s a part of growing up, that is my honest opinion. I do feel there is a fine line between grade school taunting and bullying. As I got older, I became more aware of just how horrible bullying had gotten and the horrible effects it caused.

In the times we live in today, with social media and the ability to reach someone so easily, bullying has seem to be growing at an alarming rate, or one would think. I couldn’t help but wonder if this problem has been just as bad all along and I’ve been ignorant to the importance of being aware. Obviously, with social media I’ve been seeing the causes of bullying every time I pick up my phone. Being a mom, I started to pay a lot more attention and decided to educate myself on just what was happening with our kids today.

I have three boys that I have spoken to plenty of times about bullying but I haven’t given too much detail on who they are. I have Jayden, who is my oldest, soon to be 9 years old. Jayden is the most sensitive out of my kids. He wears his heart on sleeve and literally sees life for everything good it brings. He wants everything to be fun and he wants everyone to be happy. Then there’s Kameron, the middle child, soon to be 4 years old. He’s my fire cracker, my wild child. He’s unapologetically himself at all times and could care less how you feel about it. He’s a bit more aggressive, but just as happy and loving as Jayden. Lastly, we have Tristan, the baby of the bunch, freshly 1 year old. He’s still pretty new so we are figuring him out. He’s seems to be more of a chill, go with the flow type of kid. He keeps a smile on his face and isn’t bothered easily. Why would anyone pick on these kinds of kids? Could these kids be bullies themselves?

My kids are loving, sweet, smart, and so much more. Why would anyone ever want to hurt them or make them feel bad? More importantly, why would anyone want to have to deal with me!? Because if you mess with my kids, you’re messing with me. When it comes to my boys all logic and any level of understanding goes out the window. I just know you wouldn’t be able to get me to understand why someone is hurting my child, physically, mentally, or emotionally. As a mother, I have a real fear of any of my kids being bullied. The thought of one of them suffering day after day breaks my heart. To try and avoid this heart break for my kids, I decided to educate myself.

In doing a lot of reading, I found that there is no clear way to stop or prevent bullying. Which is understandable given there’s no clear understanding of what makes someone a bully. One in every five students REPORTS being bullied. Females are more likely to report bullying than males (which wasn’t surprising). Studies show kids who don’t get enough attention at home, see violence at home, or are picked on themselves tend to become bullies. But studies also show that bullying comes from a group of kids, very rarely is one kid bullying by themselves. I also found it very interesting that bullying is more likely to stop when another peer steps in rather than an adult. The main reason kids are bullied? For their physical appearance and race/ethnicity.

I could go on and on with all the “stats” and findings I read about. One thing was clear, bullying is a serious problem that needs to be talked about and assessed more. Even though with growing awareness it seems that bullying may be on the decline. I still feel it’s a huge problem that parents need to make themselves more aware of. It’s important as parents we keep communication open with our kids. Talk about bullying openly and honestly. Make sure they feel comfortable letting us know when something is wrong. It is also important to make them confident in being comfortable with speaking up when something wrong is happening.

I am a huge advocate of my child protecting their personal space and not allowing anyone to violate that. I give them permission to act accordingly if someone violates their space. That includes if someone gets physical with them. I’ve made it very clear I would have their back if they had to protect themselves. Where I struggle is getting them to understand they can also be violated mentally and emotionally. And how important it is to protect that space as well. The thought of being completely helpless if my kids are going through something like bullying really makes me upset. But all I can do is make sure I create a safe and open environment to make sure if something like this does begin to happen they will be willing to open up. I also want to make sure the environment I create doesn’t turn them into bullies. I just want my boys to be well rounded humans. I will give them my all and do it with love.


Self-Love is Self-Care

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s OWN well-being and happiness. This is the definition of SELF-CARE.

As I’ve grown as a woman and a mother, I have come to realize how important self-care is for me. If I don’t get my alone time to get my nails done, go to the gym, or meditate everyone in my house will feel my wrath. It’s not that I’m dying to be away from my family, it’s just that alone time helps me recharge and reconnect with myself. I didn’t always view this as a priority because I felt as a mother, I didn’t need any alone time. I need to be with my kids as much as I can, so they don’t feel neglected.

Fast forward to 3 kids and a husband, I now know that I deserve that alone time. I do everything for everyone and by doing that it becomes almost second nature to forget about yourself.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been blessed with an amazing husband who has continued to push me to not forget about myself. He allows me to make myself a priority, probably because he knows if I die out the house will go down in flames. That alone is even more of a reason to focus on keeping yourself 100%. Going to the gym, pampering yourself, reading, journaling, listening to music, sleep, drinking coffee (yes coffee is a form of self-care) etc. These are all amazing examples of self-care, most of which help me maintain my sanity. However, on this journey of self-discovery that I’ve been on I have learned that the best form of self-care has been allowing myself to be ME.

I’ve always been super comfortable with the person that I am. I like me, I love me. But somewhere along the way I lost that confidence in me. I’m a very open, understanding, blunt type of person. I don’t mean any harm I just believe it’s best to speak up for yourself and say what you feel. I’m not sure how or when but for a while that quality left me. I didn’t realize it until my husband brought it to my attention. I had to take a step back and figure out what happened. That’s when I realized I wasn’t making me a priority. I was consumed in the thought that I should be doing more at the point in my life, that I hadn’t accomplished anything, and I was looking to others to validate my self-worth. This feeling, this behavior lasted for a while.

It wasn’t until I realized I need to do me, that I began to become myself again. I started going to the gym, eating better, changed my way of thinking towards myself and just like that Keyanna reappeared. It was the self-love I was depriving myself of that helped me focus more on maintaining my self-care. They both go hand and hand. It is so important to make sure you like the person you are. Self-Love is such a powerful thing and it can help you overcome so much.

How could I be a great wife and mother if I was dying on the inside? There’s a saying that your kids don’t need a perfect mother, they need a happy one. This saying touched my soul. Even though I didn’t realize it, the emotions I was putting off touched each one of my boys. I had to recharge myself. I had to dig deep and put myself first. It wasn’t easy but I did it and I did it with self-love.


I’m Sorry.

You can only be as happy as your saddest child. This is something that sticks with me. This is why I feel my biggest job as a mother is to make sure I protect their happiness. A part of me feels as though I owe my kids an apology for not being able to completely shield them from this horrific world. I feel like I need to say I’m sorry for bringing them into a place that is filled with so much hate.

I’m Sorry.

The innocence of a child is one of the most beautiful possessions they bring into this world. Their ability to find happiness in almost any situation is what I try to protect most as a mother. I am fully aware that as they grow older they will become completely jaded by the harshness that is our world today.

Sometimes I catch myself getting upset at my children for always wanting/trying to play. I have to catch myself, take a step back, and ask myself “why am I upset at their joy”? Why would I want to stop them from having this happy moment?

I learned with my first son, Jayden, that the way a kid sees the world is nothing like we adults see it. There was a moment when I asked Jayden “why are you always trying to play”? And his answer was simple “I just want to have fun Mommy.” That’s it, that’s all they want. That’s all they know. My struggle is deciding when do I, as their mother, let them know that life isn’t all fun and games? When do I begin to show them the true scariness of this world? When do I begin to take away their innocence?

My parents never sheltered me as a child. They recognized my level of understanding, adjusted, and raised me accordingly. I am forever grateful for that. They allowed me to navigate through the world and learn for myself while always being there and helping me along the way. The lessons they taught me were blunt, honest, but always loving. Their willingness to allow me to be myself and learn for myself shaped me into the person I am today. Becoming a parent myself, I now see how hard that must have been. I am extremely hesitant to let my children go. I want to protect them from everything. I want them to never feel any hurt or any pain, but that’s just not realistic. The truth is, I have to let go and allow them to see this world for what is really is. As a mother, I just have to make sure I prepare them for what this world might throw at them.

My fear is that if I try and hold onto this innocence they posses too long they will become naive and unprepared. I don’t want to do them a disservice and emotionally stunt them or keep them from being able to cope with the realness of the world. Raising three boys I have to find the happy medium of giving them enough love to where they understand how to love and making them strong enough to not get eaten by the darkness they will face. Honestly, I just don’t want to screw them up.

I can’t help but feel truly sorry for bringing them into a world that hates them just for being themselves. I am truly sorry for having to explain to them that someone might want to hurt them just because of the color of their skin. I am truly sorry that they will experience the pain of someone close to them trying to bring them down because they appear to be doing better than them. No matter how trash this world is, I will do everything in my power to allow them to live a happy life, while still making sure they understand that everything won’t be perfect. I will not shield them or lie to them. I will do my best and do it with love.

– Mommy

Selfless vs. Selfish

When I think of a selfless person, I think of a person who very rarely does for themselves. I think of someone who is constantly putting others before themselves. I think of WOMEN.

When I think of a selfish person, I think of someone who doesn’t consider others in any aspect. Not that they only think of themselves, but they just don’t consider other people first. I think of MEN.

There are many things that women and men disconnect on. We are both wired differently from the way we show affection, how we handle our emotions, how we approach a problem I could go on and on. So, it only makes sense that when it comes to how we think of others we would go about it completely different. I became interested in this selfless vs selfish situation last week. My husband and I were talking about something and his response made me give him the hardest side eye ever. I lucked out with my husband in the sense that he’s extremely loving, caring, affectionate, understanding, but also selfish. Not in the obvious type of way but in that way that made me question if this behavior from men is something that is instinctual, something that is taught, or maybe some of both.

Being a mom of boys and a wife, I see firsthand how this behavior can be taught at a young age and then nurtured as a wife. As women our selfless behavior causes us to go above and beyond in all situations. It causes us to make sure everyone else is taken care of and then, maybe, if we have anything left, we will try and take care of ourselves. But how much of this is selfless behavior and how much of this is us wanting to control? Us wanting to know it’s done right, us knowing no one else will do it so we just do it ourselves. Can we blame the men in our lives for them expecting we cater to them? Can we blame them for expecting to be put first? And since they aren’t wired the way we are, can we blame them, for in some cases, thinking of themselves first? I am completely aware that this is not all men and that it is based on the individual. I think that men love different from women and while some mean no harm, they don’t see the error in their ways.

A while ago, my dad told me that a “woman must find a man that loves her more than she loves him because women naturally give more”. This is something that has always stuck with me. I guess my question is, do we as women do this to ourselves? I think we expect men to love like we do and to care like we do. But that will never happen. Although a man loves differently that doesn’t mean the way he loves is wrong. Maybe it’s just our perception as women that men are selfish beings because they aren’t as selfless as we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way taking all the blame as a woman for the asshole tendencies most men have. I am just saying if we saw the roles we played in the situation and then began to change how we react to certain things maybe we would see a difference in their behavior.

While trying to somewhat understand men and understand why they are the way they are. I realized that maybe I can try and teach my boys how to be less selfish. As their mother, I can try and change this behavior and see if I can make a difference. Will I be able to completely remove the asshole that is all men? NOPE! Will I be able save their future thot girlfriends from heartbreak? NOPE! But what I can do is try to get them to understand and see things from a woman’s perspective. And I will do it with love.





Why Me!?

I’ve never been the type of person that made excuses or felt sorry for myself. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. Shit happens, you suck it up, deal with it and move on.

Somewhere along the way I lost that belief. I stopped sucking it up and didn’t deal with anything. I became someone who constantly felt sorry for themselves. I became someone who sat in self-pity. I felt like any and everything that went wrong in my life was a personal attack on me. I would cry and say, “why me?”

Why can’t I figure out a career? Why can’t I find a job I like? Why can’t I make more money? Why can’t I lose my baby weight? Why do I have anxiety? Why me!?

Who was I? Why couldn’t I pick myself up and deal with my problems like I did before?

I knew that I was making myself the victim, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of the world being out to get me. I just felt like no one wanted to see me succeed and even worse no one cared. That’s when I realized what my problem was, it was me.

I was lost in life because I allowed it. I allowed my personal goals to fall to the side and I made being a mommy my main priority. That’s no excuse for not making myself a priority but that was something I had to learn later.

So, what do I do now? I’m consumed by self-pity and I don’t know how to believe in myself anymore. I now look at others for validation, for a chance, for any slither of positivity. But that’s not working because that’s not what I truly need. What I need is to believe in myself. What I need is to give myself a chance. What I need is to push positive thoughts onto myself.

The power of the mind is so strong it can be our down fall, or it can be what pushes to accomplish the impossible. Our subconscious thoughts can enslave us, or they can empower us. Once I realized how important positivity towards myself was, I made the choice to not feel sorry for myself. I made the choice to see the greatness that is me. I am raising three humans, three whole humans. They are smart, they are healthy, and they are happy. That’s amazing! I am working a full-time job 40 hours a week, I cook, I clean, I maintain a marriage with my husband. I am learning that having a successful career or making a lot of money aren’t the only things in this world that add value to your life. Having your own definition of self-worth is way more valuable than that. I’m believing in me now. I am building myself up instead of tearing myself down.

Why me!? Because I can handle it. Why me!? Because this is a part of my journey. I had to go through this harsh journey of self-discovery to really see how strong of a woman I am. To really appreciate everything that I am. I’m not perfect but I have a story that is like no one else’s and that puts me in a league all by myself. It’s not selfish to love yourself. It’s not selfish to believe in yourself. It’s not selfish to go after your dreams. I no longer feel sorry for myself. I no longer ask myself why me? I take it all as a lesson and really try to see what I can learn from any hardships I have faced.

What did I learn? I can’t sit around and wait for someone to see how great I am or to believe in my abilities. No. I’m going to show everyone who I am and what I’m capable of doing. I am strong enough to now stand on my own two feet and create my own opportunities. I don’t need anyone else’s validations because I am finally enough for myself.

I can’t be broken at this point I am ready for whatever life has to throw at me. Why me!? Because I am being built to handle something so much greater than me. I was being built to be a mother of three boys. I must be strong, confident, understanding, and I have to do it with love.


Running from Fear

Have you ever been so scared of failing that it cripples you from even trying?

Have you ever doubted yourself so much that you won’t even allow yourself to want better?

Have you ever talked yourself out of trying new things because the fear of failing outweighed your belief in your own abilities?

I have been dealing with all these issues for years and have allowed myself to be ran by fear.

The fear of constantly being disappointed in yourself can take over your whole mind and handicap your body.

My journey of motherhood started when I was 20 years old. I was still figuring out life and I wasn’t exactly where I had pictured myself at that age. I was terrified and had no idea what to do, what to say, where to turn. So, I shut down and I can say that is where my fear started to grow.

Jayden was the best thing that ever happened to me and I would never want to change that. Becoming a mom changed me for the better. I saw a different side of myself that I didn’t know was there. I was forced to learn to put myself second and start to live for someone else. That creates a different level of fear that I wasn’t ready for. I adapted to motherhood quickly, and easily, but as I completely took on the role of Mommy, I started to lose Keyanna.

Cut to 9 years later, a husband, and two more kids and the fear that lived within me has only continued to grow. Now on top of my fear, I have bad anxiety and Keyanna as the individual is lost, scared, and has no understanding of what her purpose is. I have allowed myself for years to live in fear and mask it as being consumed with my kids and husband.

The truth is, I’m so afraid of failure because a part of me feels that I have failed about giving Keyanna a chance. For so long it has been so easy to put others ahead of myself, but when it came to do for myself, I felt selfish, unprepared, and scared. I’ve been my biggest sabotage. I’ve been my worst critic. I’ve created this world of fear that has been so suffocating, I’m not sure how I make it through my day to day.

I’ve been suffocating for so long that I have just decided to allow myself to breathe. And by allowing myself to do that, I am giving myself the chance to be something, to say something, to simply just be.

I’ve recently found Keyanna again and while there is nothing greater to me than being Mommy I’ve decided to give up on fear and give myself a chance. I can say that the moment I found myself was the moment I got tired of the person I allowed myself to turn into. I allowed myself to stay in the negative place. I allowed myself to not move forward. And when I realized that the place, I found myself in was a result of me, I had to sit with that realization and hold myself accountable.

So here I am, letting go of my fear and working on me. For me to be everything my kids need me to be I must be the best version of myself. My kids are my motivation, my pride, my happiness, and I need them more than they need me.

At the end of the day, I just want to shower them with love.