I don't know what it's like to be a single mother, but I do know what it's like to be raised by one. I was blessed to be raised by a great mother, and although I'm not perfect, I turned out well in the end. I owe much of this to my mom.
At 80 years of age, my dad's had his share of hard knocks, from losing a son after a long battle with mental illness to supporting another adapt to life in a wheelchair. Yet while I'm clearly biased, I believe he's one of the most loving and lovable men you'd ever meet.
Wind blasts off the Continental Divide and across the playground, making it almost too cold to play outside in the winter sun -- but not quite. My daughters are nearly oblivious to the crazy gusts as they scream and laugh and run.
Momma's, I encourage you to embrace your faults and celebrate your perfections. I encourage you to embrace the mother in you and the woman in you. Feel sexy, feel accomplished, feel proud of the sometimes difficult yet wonderful job you are doing.
How do children learn? Certainly, it's our job as parents to send our kids to schools, be their advocates in getting a fine education, ascertaining special services as needed, and taking the time to learn how the curriculum is organized. But what about our role at home?
My son will have questions, and my husband and I will be the guiding forces. We want to raise him with a strong black identity, but he is also half white and Jewish so we want to raise him with that identity as well.
I want her to look in a mirror and think she's beautiful, not because she looks like a supermodel, or because she looks like someone with Down Syndrome, but because she's herself, Jo Jo, and that's an amazing thing to be.
I have learned to appreciate the humility that comes with parenthood. It is an equalizer and therefore a relief. All the families I know -- the happiest, the richest, the smartest -- get dirty and fight and sometimes don't sleep and have bad days.
Don't wallow in misery even if you do have to drag the dumb heavy car seat and diaper bag with you everywhere because the great news is you won't be walking into kindergarten with it. Take care of yourself NOW, so you don't feel beaten down tomorrow!
My sweet girls, growing up in this world is going to be tough, but I will be right here with you every step of the way! In my 31 years of life I have lived a lot, experienced much, and grown into the woman you see before you. So today I share with you all that I have learned.