By Winnie Gaturu

Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company," "You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

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Sometimes I want to yell, "STOP telling me to have more kids!
Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!

That said, I have a couple of reasons why I'm not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you'll say I'm selfish but that's just how it is. Unless you'll pay the child's bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.

But I won't lie and say that these comments don't get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.

Considering everything, I've made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP! 

Do you mind people telling you to have more kids? 
 https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.



By Winnie Gaturu

Since my son started walking, I've received a lot of unsolicited advice from acquaintances to complete strangers: "You should have another kid to keep your son company," "You should have a girl," (as if I can determine the child's gender), or the one that bothers me the most..."You should have more kids in case one dies." That's downright disturbing!

Continue
Sometimes I want to yell, "STOP telling me to have more kids!
Some of my friends share the same sentiments. For instance, Emily, a mother of one feels offended since most of the people telling her to have more kids are the same ones who told her she was too young to be a mother in the first place. She doesn’t understand how the dynamic changed from her being too young to her being old enough. On the other hand, Valentine, a mother of four, feels that spacing kids out is wrong and the maximum age difference between siblings should be two years. That way, you get them all out in one go and get done with it. She’s also very vocal in telling other mothers, me included, to have more kids. Sigh!

That said, I have a couple of reasons why I'm not considering having another child now or in the near future. For starters, raising a child is not cheap. I want to offer my children the best I can and at the moment, I only have room for the one I have. Secondly, I have my hands full at the moment. I know you'll say I'm selfish but that's just how it is. Unless you'll pay the child's bills, help me carry the pregnancy to term, and raise the child for me, you have no business suggesting when or how many children I should have.

But I won't lie and say that these comments don't get to me. At some point, I even turned to Google to find out whether raising one child would make them spoiled, entitled or lonely like most people keep saying. To my relief, all these concerns are just myths. As a matter of fact, only children are as lonely as any other child with siblings, and being an only child doesn’t make them more antisocial than their counterparts with siblings. They also get to enjoy more perks since their parents can afford to provide more for them. Only children even end up developing a higher IQ. However, there are some disadvantages too, like only children feeling an immense amount of pressure to succeed by their parents, or feeling suffocated from too much attention.

Considering everything, I've made a decision to be content with my one child, at least for now. So to the people telling me to have more kids, STOP! 

Do you mind people telling you to have more kids? 
 https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DnsMSFjLFNw/We9aV3iBeiI/AAAAAAAADII/F9HbMPX6PfYe6aCJqc-eDi3Wgmu41YE4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Winnie%2BG..jpg
Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her on yourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.
Via XoNecole.com
By Tee Elle

I scroll through my Facebook news feed admiring the chubby-cheeked faces that my high school classmates post. The happy babies are dressed in toothless grins and two-pieced grownup outfits looking like little men and women. I smile in recognition of the toddlers who are complete miniatures of the people who upload the photos.
“Aww look at her,” I say to myself. “Too cute.”
Then I read the caption. It refers to “my grandbaby.”
Grandchildren? I’m not old enough to be anyone’s Grandma! Am I? But I’m not even a parent yet! Never mind that, I’m 41. And then I start to do the math, which has become an increasingly growing habit these days. I calculate how I could have a high school student right about now. Or a college student. Or (gasp!) a college graduate. Then, yeah, I guess it would be possible to be a grandmother at 41 had I not thrown the proverbial biological clock across the room and postponed motherhood.

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Michelle Obama
By Mwabi Kaira

Michelle Obama was recently interviewed by poet Elizabeth Alexander at the first annual Obama Foundation Summit.  What she said about parenting is not a new sentiment.  Michelle said, "It's like the problem in the world today is we love our boys, and we raise our girls. We raise them to be strong, and sometimes we take care not to hurt men and I think we pay for that a little bit and that's a 'we' thing because we raise them.  It's powerful to have strong men but what does that strength mean?" she asked. "You know, does it mean respect? Does it mean responsibility? Does it mean compassion? Or are we protecting our men too much so they feel a little entitled and a little, you know, a little self-righteous sometimes? But, that’s kind of on us too as women and mothers, you know, as we nurture men and push girls to be perfect."

Here's why Michelle's words gave me pause.

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She doesn’t have sons.

Yes, I realize this was a general statement but had she related it back to growing up with a brother and the apparent different treatment they received with being nurtured versus being pushed to be perfect, pause would not have been necessary. Actress Gabourey Sidibe took to Instagram with Michelle’s clip and captioned it, “I love her so much. I say this all the time! Even my brother will tell you that we basically lived in completely different households, even though we were under the same roof.  Can we start raising these boys to be strong black women cuz I’m very tired.”

Gabourey Sidibe's instagram
Maybe I’m overly sensitive when anyone speaks about the shortcomings of boys because I am a mother of two teenage sons who has gone out of her way to raise my boys and not just love them.  Add raising them in this climate where we have seen Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Mike Brown be killed just because they are boys who happen to be black, and this mothering black sons thing takes on a whole different turn.  I know nothing about raising daughters and would never speak on it.  I have lived long enough to know that being vocal about a subject is completely different from actually living it.

Michelle Obama said what I have heard since I was a young girl.  Because I heard and saw it, I made a conscious decision to work extremely hard to raise my sons to become strong, intelligent, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, feminist men.  I have taught my sons accountability since they were toddlers and I challenge them on not only being responsible for the parts they play in situations but to own them as well.  I encourage them to treat everyone the same from the janitor to the CEO. I have taught them to show respect to everyone and to handle adversity with grace.  I have taught them that rejection is redirection to better things and to not take it so hard.  My sons are not perfect and I wish they were better cleaners when it comes to their rooms but overall they are on the right path and I am proud of them.  I am trying my best to love and raise them and I know I’m not the only mother of sons who feels this way.

Should a mom without sons speak on how they're being raised?
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

By Erickka Sy Savané
“Can we go see ‘The Lion King’?!” asked my five-year-old daughter, while getting dressed for school. It’s a question that comes up every morning when they start showing these Broadway theater advertisements. Yesterday it was ‘Cinderella.’ Usually I tell her that we’ll be going soon, but today I just wanna be honest. “We don’t have the money.”

She looks at me like, not that again, we never have any money. I want to say something comforting, but the truth is, money has been tight and a lot of those fun things we used to do when money was more plentiful have been put on hold. The money issue is being addressed, but sometimes we've been good to put three square ones on the table a day. It’s a reality that I would like to shield her from because while I want her to know that money is necessary to do and buy things, I don’t want her to start feeling poor, that without money she can’t have a life. It’s a concept that I'm still coming to terms with as an adult. One that started when I was young and saw my mother struggling to make ends meet.
So I have a real question about how to deal with my daughter during this challenging financial time. Do I tell her when I don’t have money for things or do I just say "No, because I said so," like my mom did me? 
It’s a question I pose to my girl Milla during a play date. Milla is originally from Hungary and off of one paycheck, holds down a family that consists of her unemployed husband, two kids–ages four and seven–her hubby’s out-of-work brother, and two-year-old niece. She is never NOT broke. What does she tell the kids?
“Just last week I bought them some new clothes and didn’t realize that I had dipped into our grocery money. So I explained to them that milk for cereal was more important and I took the stuff back. It’s important that they know it takes time to buy things. That’s why I give them money for chores. Even if it’s making their beds and brushing their teeth. I want them to know the value of money.”
On one hand I get that it's important to teach kids that money doesn't grow on trees, but is seven and four-years-old too early to start earning their keep? What if they start wanting to be paid for everything? “Look ma, I wiped my a*s. Where’s my $5?”
Perhaps it’s wisdom from someone older that I seek. I call my friend PaMela who I know from a California Goddess group. She’s got four grown kids and from prior conversations I know she went through it.
During the toughest times, what did she tell the kids?
“Well, there were times when I had to tell them that we couldn’t afford a tree or presents for Christmas, but we would eat well. That was my motto. As long as they didn’t go to bed hungry...During those crucial times when our lights got turned off I told them that no one knows our situation unless you tell them, so always keep your head up.” 
The good news is the kids didn’t get too scarred because they’re all doing well. Two own their own Daycare businesses, one is a news anchor on the number 1 news channel in Hartford, Connecticut and one is a cable tech.
Okay, perhaps I'm making too much of this. It sucks to be strapped for money, but nobody is dying. The kids always have something to eat and they will survive me having to tell them no for a while. Sometimes I'll explain that the reason is money, other times they won’t get the details. When I really think about it, a lot of times money isn’t the only reason I say no. Sometimes what they want isn’t necessary.
Once again, this is less about them and more about my insecurities around money and how it starts making me feel like my wealth as a mom is dependent on how much I can spend. It’s not true. PaMela shared a story about how they huddled around a candle and played cards when the lights got shut off. Far be it from me to romanticize the situation, but it sounded like it brought them closer together as a family. Maybe this is an opportunity to get creative and do some things we wouldn’t normally do. Funny, because just the other day I pulled out a deck of cards.
Game of Fish anyone?

This article appeared on Madamenoire.com
Do you believe in telling kids you're broke?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com