Something You Should Consider Before Having Children

If you ask any parent to give a list of things to consider when thinking about having a child, the lists may sound similar, but will vary. However; there are quite a few that should be at the top of the list. They sound a little something like this:

(1.) Think about your finances: Diapers, formula (if breastmilk doesn’t work for you), daycare, before and after care, clothes, shoes, the type of car you’re driving (Is it big enough for all of you?) food, pull-ups, school, extracurricular activities. They all cost when it comes to your children.

(2.) The pain: This isn’t at the top of my list to say to people, but it is for others. I don’t believe in scaring women with birth stories. Everyone’s experience is different. I do share mine, but I always reassure women about the beauty of it all.

(3.) The risks– For black women, you’re honestly risking your life to give birth in a hospital setting. The healthcare system does not serve black women and babies properly, and the maternal/infant mortality rates are out of this world. It has been a huge concern for decades, but is more recently catching TV time and headlines.

(4.) Sleep deprivation: You legit won’t get any sleep for at least two years. Thats the nice way of putting it. You really don’t get any sleep for the rest of your life. Once children sleep through the night, they do everything in their power to fight naptime and bedtime. When you finally hit the weekend and think you can sleep in, you can’t because of Saturday activities! Not to mention, you’re still trying to do things for yourself in between and have alone time. That usually takes place at night. You find yourself enjoying the peace and quiet that you stay up way too late and now it’s morning again.

(5.) Libido changes: Everyone’s experiences are different, but many will say that the desire for sex dies after having children. Most women say it’s because they are so tired from the baby crying, nursing, working, taking care of home, no longer feeling sexy and more. I’ve unfortunately heard of men no longer desiring their significant other because of her body changes (ie. stretch marks, a larger stomach, weight gain) and not seeing her sexually attractive because they are disgusted from her breastfeeding their child.

This list could go on forever. But let me help you out with one huge, forgotten thing to consider when having a child. It’s potty training. Many will share the various stories they have about their child’s huge blowout (when the poop explodes out of the diaper, up the back, down the legs, etc.), but won’t share the pain, struggle and hard work it takes to potty train their children. Well, I’ll be the first to do it.

I hate it! Potty training my oldest eight years ago was a much easier process than it has been for my newly two-year-old. I tell people all the time. My oldest daughter did nothing to prepare me for her little sister. I feel like she tricked me into thinking I could parent again, without giving me the whole truth! If you’re wondering… yes! I just blamed my daughter for my having another child. LOL She begged my husband and I for a baby sister for four years. She even asked my father at his gravesite! Clearly it was his and I doing, but she played a part. She was (still is) such a good kid, I really thought it would be a breeze this time around. I was so wrong. The potty training experience has only been one part of the torture. But it’s a huge part.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched my daughter sit peacefully waiting to poop, then all of a sudden she stands up when it’s coming out. Yepp. So now I’m cleaning up poop off the floor, her legs and the pot. I thought I would have to call poison control because I randomly heard a sucking sound and caught her sucking poop off her fingers. What irritated me about that experience the most is that when I yelled “No, stop!” her face was frowned with disgust from the taste. However, she needed a little more to taste in order to confirm that it was nasty. Thankfully, I’d already made it to her before her hand could reach her mouth again.

We are currently in between using a transitional potty training seat and her pot that goes on the floor. She knows how to say, “Mommy, bathroom” or “Mommy, pot-pot,” but chooses to grunt as if she’s already taking a poop. So I find myself almost breaking my neck running to her and taking her to the bathroom. She’s too young to be trusted in there alone. I’ve left her alone on the pot on multiple occasions and learned my lesson each time. Not deliberately, but because I ended up having to pee while she was waiting to poop. When I return from the bathroom, I buss in the room to find her little naked butt on our bed. Thankfully, she hasn’t had poop on her during those moments.

I’ve also noticed that my daughter uses going to the bathroom as a way of escape from her playpen or high chair. In addition, she’s obsessed with washing her hands (not a problem at all until water is all over the sink, floor and her clothes). I still put her on the pot anyway in order to not take any chances. What happens? Endless tears and screams. Snot everywhere, and demands for foods and drinks.

I’ve found myself in a conundrum. I no longer want to pay for pull-ups, but I loathe the moment where I have to wake up in the middle of the night again for this little girl. Making bathroom runs during the night, or having to change her clothes and bedding because she’s had an accident. Having to be on call to wipe your child’s but after every bathroom visit or being traumatized when you realize they’ve used the bathroom and didn’t call you to wipe! Oh and let’s not forget how close you are to a heart attack when the newly potty trained child needs to use the bathroom while you’re driving. In addition,  my oldest has to use the bathroom nonstop (she gets it from me). She specifically finds a way to have to use the bathroom after when our food has finally come when we’re at a restaurant. At this point, I’m convinced frequent bathroom visits from my children will aide in my weight-loss journey. The amount of times that we have to run back and forth to the bathroom. The unfinished meals… Pray for me…

Sincerely,

An “I’m over this sh**”(literally & figuratively)

Queendom Wife and Mother

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Movies with the kids? Nope!

Like everyone else, my husband and I anticipated watching Black Panther on the big screen. It had been a long time since we had gone out and enjoyed ourselves as a family, so we decided to take the girls along. In addition, we really wanted our oldest daughter to see women and men with her skin color uplifted, shown as Queens and Kings… people of color being shown as heroes!

Huge mistake! 5 minutes into the movie, our youngest, who was 4 months at the time, had a vocal awakening. Every scene where there was no loud music or action, my baby said “it’s my time to shine, ACTION!” I’ve never heard that little girl talk so much until that moment. I had to stand up in order to quite her down a little. That didn’t happen until I nursed her about four times and she finally fell asleep 10 minutes before the movie ended. Yes, I stood the entire movie.

While I took care of the baby, Jayla, James took care of our 6-year-old, Taniya. His journey began 15 minutes into the movie. That’s when the first request for the bathroom happened. I believe she had to go a total of five times. Mind you, she will only ask a total of one time during a kids movie.

Whenever I had the chance to sit down, maybe five minutes at a time, I spent my time saying “Taniya, there is nothing to be scared about!” “Taniya, you have to watch the movie to see what happens.” “Taniya, it’s just a movie. These people are all actors.” “You better not cry!” I won’t say which parts made her emotional in order to not spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but in the last action part of the movie, homegirl started rubbing my back and shoulder. I thought she was rubbing and loving on me because I spent the movie standing and keeping Jayla quiet, but it was really her calming herself from being afraid. I accepted it regardless because her gentle touch helped soothe both her and I.

From what we saw of the movie, James and I thoroughly enjoyed. We agreed that we would leave the girls home next time and see the movie again, ALONE. For now, we’ll only be seeing kids movies as a family.

I wasn’t embarrassed at all during the movie experience though. Jayla was actually a great baby. I just didn’t want to ruin the experience for other movie goers with her constant baby talk and occasional cry for the breast and sleep.

While I wasn’t angry with Taniya, I was slightly annoyed. I couldn’t understand her fear. I couldn’t understand how she couldn’t see the value in that movie. If you actually sit and have a conversation with my daughter, you’ll understand why it’s easy to have high expectations on her way of thinking. I tried to explain the movie a little and it’s importance for the black community. Her response was, “Mommy, I just don’t like seeing evil and death. There were people being killed or almost dying and that scares me.” In that moment I was reminded of who my daughter was and how my husband and I raise her.

We shield Taniya from a lot of things because we believe that a child should cling onto their purity (mind, body and soul) and innocence for as long as they can. We share the truth with her in pieces as she matures. Black Panther was the first movie with violence that Taniya had seen. I was being selfish when I expected her to be okay with something she never experienced. She has attended only one funeral since being born, and she was so young she doesn’t remember. At this age, my husband and I have decided that when someone dies we won’t tell her unless she asks about that individual. So at the end of the day, she doesn’t witness death unless it happens in a kids movie.

Many people may not agree with our parenting method(s), but it works for us. Some people call it sheltering the child and creating a false image of reality, but we call it letting a kid be a kid. Our daughter is highly intelligent. She doesn’t ask questions suitable for a child her age. She has always asked questions that should be asked by someone 4-6 years older than her. So we like to let Taniya think and act (be) like a child as much as possible.

Who knew that a trip to the movies would be a learning lesson for a mom and dad? Well, besides the fact that you shouldn’t bring the kids to tag along for a movie you actually want to hear and see.

It’s still Wakanda forever though!