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This black history month I wanted to take the time to shine light on all black people, No matter the walk of life. One thing we overlook when it comes to great black heroes we celebrate during February is the single mother heroes behind a few of these people. It's a lot of sacrificing that goes behind the scenes on behalf of the mothers. It's already hard being a mother in this crazy world, try being a single mother. I mean, I really can relate. My mother was fantastic trying to raise me, it wasn't until I got older when I realized how thin she had to spread herself so that I had everything I needed. Now wants was a different thing, I had some of the dopest gifts only around Christmas a kid can have growing up. I remember you telling me how many games and new shoes your growing boy received last year lol. That boy is really doing his thing in school and on the baseball field. Every time we catch up, your telling me about some elite achievement your son has had on the field. He is always the best player on really good teams, and really puts in the work. It's one thing to play sports, it's another thing to really put in the work. When I was a kid my mother had me at every practice, I played baseball, basketball, bowling , and even tennis for a year. I was around 13 years old, my mother made room
In her single household income to get me a YMCA membership. She couldn't be there to work me out or pay for trainers, so I would Inquire about workouts and jump with weight on me for my hops. You and I had this conversation before, many people don't look at the dynamic of a two parent household. Usually there's a father there working out their son lol not what I was doing on my own. Being 25 now I recognize how far that commitment my mom made for a membership probably kept me out of trouble amongst other things that benefitted me in the long run. As a kid you don't realize how much gas for the car all that takes, how much meal prepping took place, how many hours your mother had to put up with a tough boss at work, how her credit may be affected due to taking out loans for your advancement. I can go on for days.
Just know all the sacrificing won't go to waste and your son will remember it all, your sacrificing will set him up for a life that will allow his kids to do less sacrificing, so on & so on, I see it all as a formula for true long term wealth. I look at white privileged families objectively. Its clear as day to me because I understand the sacrifices whether evil or good the generations before them made centuries ago. Yes, enslaving people was a huge sacrifice to their moral compass. Trust and believe they knew that, but look at their kids in 2017 that are ahead. The single black mother is truly nothing less than a true diamond in the rough, a vessel. For us as African Americans we are fairly new to this freedom thing, we have so many more sacrifices to make, so many more generations to go to get ahead. The single mother like yourself who pushes their child to be great is amazing. Turning a disadvantage situation into a Goldmine. The single mother that doesn't give up on their family truly represents hope and advancement
Gerald: As a parent what's your biggest fear considering what's going on in America today?
Brionda: As a parent my biggest fear is failure. There's no cookbook for parenting, it's by far the hardest thing I've had to do. We live in the suburbs, so although I'm not as worried about him getting shot in a drive by. I do worry about racism and profiling. It's scary, I've had to teach him about his skin color and how he's already born with a strike against him. It's a cold world out here...I hope today's America doesn't kill my son's spirits. Or reverse everything I've worked so hard to instill in him.
G: Do you have a work & reward system? Lol, I remember getting $5 for each book I finished.
B: Yes, lol. I do a weekly reward system. It can be something as small as going to grab frozen yogurt. But enough for him to know I love and appreciate his hard work in school. Now as far as chores go, there's no reward for cleaning his room and bathroom...that's a given. But I'll pay him if he does something in the yard, or if he cleans my bathroom as well.
G: As we know the work will only double and the grind will only get more serious as your son gets older playing sports. What little positive things do you look forward to each day to keep pushing through?
B: Omg, being a sports mom is a job in itself!! This year he's had to work extremely hard as we've ventured off into full time travel baseball. To make sure he's positive we make up little scenarios. He'll say "Ma, what if I'm first draft pick, are you going to move to the state of the team I'm playing on?" Lol it's corny, but it works. It puts more focus on "I'm going to make it without a doubt."
G: How pride of your son have you been lately? How do you keep him humble ?
B: I'm so very proud of my son. He is my biggest accomplishment. Just recently he received the first home run of the season. To keep him humble, I give it to him straight up no chaser. No matter how good you are, there's always someone working to be better. But of course boys still have their little egos 🙄 lol.
G: What advice do you have out there for single mothers with little black boys ?
B: The biggest piece of advice I can give to single mothers with boys is to focus on what you can do, and not what you can't. It's hard, you'll be tired, you'll be frustrated, you'll question many things. But seeing your son grow, seeing them be passionate about something, makes it all worth it. I've made so many sacrifices for my son, and I don't regret not one of them. He's made me into the woman I am today...couldn't imagine life without him.
G: What's the biggest challenge in your eyes raising a son?
B: The biggest challenge in raising a boy as a single parent, in my opinion, is feeling as though you can't fully relate to some of the things he may experience. I can only try my best, but I know there are traits hard wired into him that I just won't be able to tap into. I keep him engaged, and around as many positive male figures as possible.
G: If you could go back would you swap him out for a girl? Lol
B: When I found out I was pregnant, you better believe I wanted a girl. I didn't know what I was having because the kid refused to open his legs during the ultrasound! Honestly, I absolutely would not swap him out for a girl! Lol girls are a different ball game. Plus that mom/son bond is beyond amazing!
G: Many times in the black community we love to down talk or be negative towards people who are doing well for themselves or act like they are doing some sort of magic lol I've seen many times single black mothers with a higher quality of life simply off grinding. Almost like black people are ashamed to have access to different privileges. What's your thoughts on that?
B: Oh no doubt, I've experienced this even within my own family. My only thoughts concerning the matter is to not think about it. I can only focus on providing a good example to my son. I'd rather him see me bust my you know what, day in day out. Then for him to watch me settle, or put us in a box. There is no magic potion. Nothing but hard work, blood, sweat and tears.