Dear Kai, Welcome to the world.

When I first saw my positive pregnancy test, I didn’t have a physical reaction. There was no smile and there were no tears. I just kind of stood there. I knew. I felt it. I called my cousins and my best friend, even waved my fresh test in my friend’s face. Ha! Gross, I know. When I got home, my mind began to race. What do I do? Can I even do the “mom thing”? How do I tell my mom? How do I tell his father? Can I afford a child? I stayed up until 3am in deep thought.

I finally mustered up the courage to tell his father. I definitely wasn’t prepared for what was to come but I wasn’t surprised by it either. I knew. I felt it. The next day I was awakened by a response that hit me like Sharkeisha and told me “it’s time to woman up.” Though, I was hurt, I instantly went into defense mode and responded with a , ” FUCK YOU! I DON’T NEED YOU” type of text. I wanted to be strong but deep inside I felt that I did, in fact, need him. How can I raise a child alone? I wanted a family. I wanted to be a mother who was married to my child’s father. I wanted the same last name, a mailbox with our family name on it, a white picket fence, a dog, a house; the works.. and he knew it. I just wanted to understand what I did to deserve this. I convinced myself that I was being punished for the “untraditional” way my child was created. I knew the consequences of unprotected sex, but I did it anyway. And in all honesty, at the moment, I really wasn’t concerned with the consequences. You never think that you’d end up in certain situations until you’re in them. For months I cried. As happy as I was to be blessed with the opportunity to have a child, I still found myself depressed. I envied my friends who had children AND a husband. I had to keep telling myself, “Bri, you should love your friends and be happy for them.” I did. I was. But in my moments of weakness I wondered how I could be happy for them when I wasn’t happy with myself. They have everything I wanted. I went from being the single friend with no degree, to the single MOM friend, with no degree. I hated it. I was even more frustrated with the fact that no one knew about my baby besides my family and friends. Not his mom, not his dad, not even his best friend. Why was my child a secret? Why was he being hidden? I needed understanding. I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want to be another stereotype. Then finally, one day, what I wanted seemed to be in my grasp; a family. After finding out that Kai was a boy, his father and I were back on track. At least I thought we were. He had put in my head the idea that we would build from this situation, be a family, raise our son together, and live happily ever after. Then he dipped… again. I was officially broken. I didn’t want to do this anymore. I had given up.

By my 7th month of pregnancy. I was over it. Over pregnancy, over my situation, over being unemployed. OVER IT! I prayed and cried. Cried and prayed. I just wanted to be in a better position than I was in. They say “It takes a village to raise a child.” THEY were correct. But not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to keep you lifted. I spent countless days on the phone with my sister crying about how I couldn’t do it on my own. She always had a way of making me feel so strong and so able. I confided in her. I knew that she would be there through it all. She prayed for me and she cried with me. Even though she didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear, she told me what I needed to hear. By my baby shower, I felt so confident in my ability to be a bomb ass mother. My village had assured me that I would be. They loved me. They had my back. They supported me. They gave me every reason to fight and go on. A week after my shower my beautiful five pound, nine ounce baby was born. From the moment I heard his cry, I knew that being a kick ass mom was the only option. I still had the whole “I want a family” thing in my mind but I had to shift my focus to what was priority and that was Kai Michael McCoy.

Today, I can honestly say that after three months of being a mom, it gets easier to cope. It still makes me feel “some type of way” knowing that his father has only seen him twice and doesn’t seem to care. Some days are harder than others. It’s okay though. I am finding my strength in God, my son, and my family. They make me whole. I love my son more than anything. I’ve never felt a love like this in my life. I didn’t know this type of love even existed. His smile gives me life. He’s teaching me to love myself. He’s teaching me patience. He doesn’t even know how much he is changing me. I love seeing him grow. He’s “talking”, sitting up, and playing with friends. Not to toot my own horn but I’m becoming a kick ass mom. And you know the best part about it? I can do it on my own. Kai, we’re going to be just fine. Mommy has your back. I promise.

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Dear Kai, If you ask me, I’m ready.

I’ve always been a sucker for love, ya know, a hopeless romantic. Always wanting the love that I’ve seen on black romance movies. I think I have finally reached a point in my understanding where I realize that fairytales only exist on tv. I’m no Nina and Darius Lovehall isn’t writing me poems nor making me cheese omelets for breakfast. Although, I know that these things aren’t real, that doesn’t stop the hunger for love that I’ve been experiencing lately. Now I know you “self love activist” are about to charge me up with comments like “YoU HaVe To LoVe YoUr SeLf FiRsT . . blah blah blah!” *inserts dramatic eyeroll* I do. Maybe not as much as I could, but I most definitely do love myself. But what’s wrong with loving yourself and wanting to give love and be loved at the same time. It’s not impossible, is it?

I’ve been thinking that maybe I should start dating again. I initially put that part of my life on hold so that I could focus on being a new mommy. I was already having a hard time finding a balance between sleeping, working, and “mommying”. There was no way I was going to invite someone into that mayhem. Kai’s a little older and I think I’ve found a good balance in those categories but, now I want a social life. I wanna be mushy and fall in love. Lol. I think I’ve boosted my self up enough to see what is out there but, I still have a few reservations.

ONE: Availability: Before I became a mom, I was coming and going as I pleased. I did what I wanted. Of course things change. Now, I have to find a sitter a month in advance if I want to do anything or go anywhere. That still doesn’t guarantee that when that day comes, they’ll be available to babysit. I can’t get upset, though. People have lives. I made the choice to give up my freedom to move without limitations. What if Kai gets sick? What if I can’t find a sitter? That’s something I have to think about every time I want to do something or go somewhere where Kai isn’t included. I love my baby more than anything, but sometimes mommy want’s to do mommy stuff? How many rainchecks can you ask for before you stop getting invited?

TWO: I’m afraid. I haven’t really had the best history when it comes to relationships. So I want to make sure that it’s right this time. I’m not super young, but I’m not old either, so I know I still have time to figure my dating life out. I just don’t want to waste anymore time on bullshit relationships. I no longer desire waste time or energy on something that isn’t making me better. I no longer desire waste time or energy on someone who is incapable of reciprocity. Like dang,  “TELL ME WHO I HAVE TO BEEEE TO GET SOME RE-CI-PRO-CITYYYY?”Gah lee. I know exactly what I want and I know exactly what I will and will not tolerate. I’ve been told that my standards are too high. They aren’t. AT ALL! I’m just wary of who and what I allow into my space. Especially now that I have Kai. Y’all all I want is something real, unconditional, unwavering, and lasting. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.

Three: I’m can’t. This reason may trump all. I have been having the hardest time letting go of the idea of being a family. You guys. This may be one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make. I’ve been dancing between let it go and try harder for months. I know better. Well at least I should. The thought of moving forward with my life, with someone else who isn’t Kai’s father gives me anxiety. And I’m not just saying that. I literally felt my heart racing, the sweat dripping, and the lack of oxygen to my brain one day when I thought about it. This isn’t healthy y’all. I keep telling myself that we are not what we were before Kai. Hell, even before Kai we weren’t exactly on the road to marriage. It was messy. A very slippery slope. I feel like now, I’m paying the price because I’m trying to fight off the label I feel has been placed on me. Always constantly trying to prove my worthiness. Idk how I got so consumed by this. I think it’s somewhere between wanting to beat the statistics, keep up with my closest friends, and wanting to give Kai the family life that I didn’t have growing up. Now before anyone gets offended, I had a great up bringing. I’m talking about a mommy, a daddy, a sister, a brother, a house, a dog. Ya know. The Obamas. This week I have forced myself to back away because I feel that it’s needed. I’m constantly expressing my feelings but always end up feeling embarrassed. I don’t want that feeling anymore. I want to genuinely happy. Even when I try conversing with a nice young man, it doesn’t go anywhere because I’m over here looking like a damn fool thinking that Dex is going to want to live happily ever after. Then to add insult to stupidity, I literally express EVERY feeling I have about and for him, to him. Y’all I’m so shame. Sometimes I just want to run and hide. Don’t get me wrong, Dexter is awesome. I love hanging out with him. He’s my friend. We have a good relationship. So don’t think this is a bash my child’s father party. It ain’t. That’s my guy. I just want more and that’s not his fault. I can’t get upset with him over my feelings. I think it’ll be easier if he just straight up says “Bri, I don’t want to be a family with you.”  It’ll hurt, but it’ll force me to move forward too. I can’t tell you guys how hard this week has been in attempts to not text him and tell him something exciting that happened or to make a reference to an inside joke. Y’all I don’t even know what else to say . . . I know this may seem trivial to y’all but seriously y’all, it’s weighing heavy on me. Keep me lifted.

Peace and Love,

Bri 🌻

[The floor is open for conversation.]

Moms who are not in a relationship with your child’s father, at what point did you start dating again?

What helped you to move forward?

How is it working out?

What Advice do you have to give?

Dear Kai, it takes a village but..

*inhales*

As a new mom, I never knew how frustrated I would become just from the opinions of others. If you know me personally, you know that I am all for the whole “It takes a village to raise a child.” thing. But dammit, to what extent? Where is the line drawn between “it takes a village” and “I respect your decisions as mom”? As Kai gets older and is beginning new stages in his life, I find myself constantly being pulled between:

“You need to start making him walk!” and “He’ll walk when he’s ready.”

“It’s time to take that pacifier.” and “He’s just baby.”

“You need to spank his little legs.” and “Spank him for what? He doesn’t know any better.”

“Why’d you cut all his hair off?” and “He looks like a big boy.”

“Let him cry, it’ll teach him independence.” and “Don’t let him just cry like that.”

Like, I’m honestly at the point where I just want to climb to the mountain top and scream, “WELL wtF am I supposed to do? HUH?! WTF do you want me to do?! I am trying my best to be the best mother that I can to my child.” I have been so overwhelmed with the feeling of not doing a good enough job at raising my son. You wanna know why I haven’t taken his paci? Well here it is! My child is hooked. He especially likes to have it when he’s trying to go to sleep. And you know what, that’s fine. Why? Because I have to get my ass up EVERYDAY at 5/5:30am the to make sure that I make it to work by 8! So if that paci is going to help my child go to bed at 10pm instead of 12/1am, so be it. Why should feel guilty for that? Huh? I do what’s best for my household. You think I want my baby to be a four year old sucking a pacifier with buck teeth? No. You think I like seeing my friends with babies walking at 9 months walking and stuff? No. It took me a long time to accept that every child is different and what may work for Josiah and Carter, May not work for Kai and vice versa. And that’s okay.. And that goes for parenting as well.

I don’t want to come off as the “nobody can tell me anything about my child” or the “nobody can tell my child anything” type of parent. That’s not true. I love advice from seasoned moms and I expect my child to be corrected when he is out of line. I am still in the learning stages and I’ll probably be learning new skills as a parent for a long time. All I want is the opportunity to grow in my motherhood and for my decisions, as his mother, to be respected.

*exhales*

Peace and Blessings,

Bri 🌻

Dear Kai, Teamwork makes the dream work.

Doesn’t it seem like every one of my post begins with some type of excuse as to why I haven’t been very consistent with my writing? I’m sorry, you guys. I promise it wasn’t intentional. I definitely underestimated how much time would be dedicated to parenthood and adulthood.

I have officially survived an entire year of motherhood. When I first started my blog, I wasn’t really sure where my life was going. I was a depressed new mom, to a seemingly fatherless child. I was hurt, I was envious, I was weak, I was lost, I was over it. I told you guys that I would end up rising above everything and becoming a kickass mom. Well guys what, here I am, months later, doing everything I thought I couldn’t do. Lord knows this year hasn’t gone by without it’s fair share of trials and tribulations but I just thank God that things are not what they used to be.

Can we just take a minute to thank God for growth? He listens. He answers. Not in our timing but in his own. In the beginning of my journey, I felt like I was suffering at the hands of Kai’s father. I literally was so miserable that I cried everyday because I was terrified of raising my son on my own. I know that sounds horrible, but it’s the truth. There’s no worse feeling than the feeling of abandonment. Y’all, I prayed so much that God would just change the way things were going, but it didn’t seem that the atmosphere was shifting at all. For months, I remained steadfast. Then BAM! Here comes Daddy Dex in full force and ready for duty. He has been on top of his game with Kai and I couldn’t be more thankful. I was soooo worried that he’d never come around or be what I needed him to be for our son.

But any who, we have moved forward and left the past in the past. There was absolutely no way to heal old wounds if we kept picking at the scabs. Once we got on the same page, it seemed like everything just came together. He’s here quite often to see Kai. It’s a little tough sometimes being that he lives 2 hours away, though. I know that isn’t far but him actually being in Houston would be better. But hey, you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. I love when he comes to town. He helps me out a lot. I get to sleep, I get to eat, I get to take long showers. Yea, I know what you’re probably thinking. . . “Wasn’t she just talking shit about him?” I meeaaan, I wouldn’t call it that but, yes, I did have some not so favorable things to say about him and they way we started off. It was the truth. But that’s where the growth comes in. This is how far we’ve come. Dex and I understand that we are a team, trying to achieve the same goal. We just want to successfully raise our son. I love how he is with Kai. Even though, he acts like Kai is like 6. Lol. I love how he can be the tough one and I can be the softer one but it still is a perfect balance. I think our co-parenting relationship is a rare one for this day and age. We get along. I don’t hate him. He’s more than just Kai’s father; he’s my friend. He’s there when I need him. He has my back. We laugh. We talk. We enjoy being around each other. He’s a pretty cool guy. It’s sometimes hard to express my love and care for him to others because you know once you’ve said something bad about what someone else has done to you, they’ll never forgive him when you do. I guess that shouldn’t really matter to me. We’re here and we have moved on and are looking toward the future.

Now of course I have to ruin a good thing with my emotional ass. Lol. You guys should already know at this point, that I am very open about the way I feel. So with that being said. I enjoy every waking moment I get to spend with Kai and Dex. They are hilarious. They keep me smiling, but it’s SOOOOOOOOOOOO hard to lose that feeling of wanting to be a family. I feel like sometimes I have an unhealthy attachment to the mindset of having things the way I want them to be instead of seeing things for the way they are. Maybe I just think too much, dream too much, wish too much, hope too much. It gets so overwhelming at times and it makes dating hard. I could meet a really nice guy and actually like him enough to date him, but I won’t because I don’t want to waste his time knowing good and well that’s not where I want to be. Yea yea, call it what you want. But before Kai existed, I always felt this connection to him. Kinda still do. Lol. And I don’t know if it’s because we have a child, that we actually do have a connection now or what .. I just don’t want to ruin the relationship we have as co-parents because at the end of the day, Kai takes priority over my feelings. I’m not really sure how he feels nor am I going to ask. Hell, idk if the man is seeing anyone. I’m too afraid to ask. It’s like one of those “don’t ask if you really don’t want to know the answer” type of things. I don’t want to feel played. Maybe ending up with my face broken and on the floor would be just what I need to get over that stage. Lol. Well, who knows what the future holds. Like I said, it’s all in God’s time and whatever is in his will, it’ll be done. I’m okay with that.

*wipes sweat*

Glad I got that off of my chest.

As far as the baby King. He is finally one. I feel like I just had him. He is growing at lightning speed. We have finally moved pass the formula stage and into the whole milk stage. My pocketbook is having a praise break. I don’t know how many more cans of SIXTEEN dollar milk I would’ve been able to buy before I had to file for bankruptcy. Lol. Chile look . . When I say, I was over it. I do mean over it. I love that he can eat table food and feed himself now. He only has two teeth at the bottom but THE BOY CAN EAT! Okay?! He eats, EVERYTHING! Green, beans, potatoes, tomatoes. . . . YOU NAME IT! I’m not mad at him though. Mama likes too eat too.

He’s become mobile and busy af. He’s not walking just yet, but he gets into anything left unattended. I had to lower his crib mattress because he was standing up and trying to climb out. That eliminated one problem but now the new problem with that is that it’s easier for him to grab the clothes on his shelf and pull them down. Lordy! I also had to purchase a gate to stop him from going in the restroom. He likes to play with the toilet handle and go in the cabinets. All day it’s like I’m running a marathon. He has so many toys but he prefers playing with everything that isn’t a toy. I think I’m going to be bald from pulling my hair out before he even reaches the “terrible twos”. Anyone wanna buy me a good lace front?

Earlier this year, I removed Kai from daycare and placed him in the care of a sitter. I’m so sad to say that he will be going back to daycare in less that two weeks. I absolutely love and adore the young lady and her family for taking such good care of my baby and caring for him the way I would. I’m afraid that when I send him back to daycare, he won’t get the same care. Well I’m mean, obviously. There are other kids to tend to. They don’t have time to sit around and baby Kai all day. On the other side of the coin, I am excited because he’ll have other children to interact with and have a curriculum . We have to keep that mind working. Maybe he’ll start walking too.

Dexter and I started weaning him from his beloved pacifier this weekend. I didn’t realize how strong his attachment to it was until last night. My baby cried for over an hour because he couldn’t sleep without it. Over the weekend, his dad made it look like a cakewalk. Me on the other hand, I have to fight my child to go to bed. I caved. I gave him one last night. I’m so disappointed in myself because i really want him to let it go. I should have never gave it to him, but when you’re a tired mom who just wants to rest, it’s a quick fix. I’m going to keep trying. I’m no quitter.

I can definitely say that these past few months, things have been on the up and up. We’re just experiencing so much growth in all aspects of our lives. I love it. Life is good. God is good. I just pray that he keeps allowing us to grow on this journey.

Peace and Blessings,

Bri. 🌻

Dear Kai, God is with us.

It took so much prayer for me to make myself write today. I didn’t want to, but I had to.

This past week has been straight hell. I never thought that I would be saying “Rest in Peace” to my God Father. It still seems unreal. I can’t accept it. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I really can’t. It’s like there’s a mental block that’s stopping it from being real. My life has been on cruise control since July 19th. I feel like I’m just floating through life at this point.

The day I received the news of him being hospitalized, my heart was crushed. I was confused. I wasn’t sure what the extent of his illness was. All I knew was that he wasn’t okay. The entire ride to the hospital was filled with silent cries and prayers. I asked God to cover him and to heal him. If anyone was deserving of a healing, it was him. I knew he would pull through. He always did. He was resilient. You ever saw someone get a Charlie horse during a basketball game, but still finished the game like nothing happened? That was Immanuel. He was unstoppable. When we arrived at the hospital Wednesday night, I didn’t go in the room. I didn’t want to see him that way. I went home nervous, trying to understand what happened? How did he end up in this situation? I stayed awake almost the entire night. I couldn’t sleep because mind wandered ALL night.

The next morning, I mustered up the strength to see him, but it was too late. When the nurse came out, all I remember hearing was ”…take all the time you need.” I lost it. I mean really lost it. I screamed. My knees got so weak that I fell to the floor. I could feel my airway tightening up. My gag reflex was working overtime. I felt like I was going to vomit. A nurse rushed me downstairs to the emergency room. I was having an anxiety attack. In that moment, everything was a blur. After being treated, I once again mustered up the nerve to go and see him. I had to. I felt so guilty because I didn’t go in to see him while the blood was still running warm in his veins. When I walked in the room, my heart dropped. I couldn’t believe that what I was seeing was real. I fell to my knees at his bedside. I rested my head on his forearm and cried. I asked him what happened, over and over. He didn’t answer. “You were supposed to shake back, Parrain. This wasn’t supposed to happen”, is all I that ran through my head. I can still feel the coldness of his hands. I can still smell the scent of him. I planted myself by his side, his hand in mine, until they came to take him away. I can’t even explain the heartache that I felt as I watched them wheel him away. I wanted to follow them the entire way, but I knew my family wouldn’t allow me to. I wasn’t ready to let him go.

The next week leading to the service was the hardest. I cried every time I was alone. I experienced anxiety on a new level. So much so that I was given anti-anxiety medicine to help “mellow me out”, for lack of better words. My heart raced, I was shaky, and often felt light headed. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. The hardest thing was having to go to work everyday and put on a front like I was okay, when deep inside a piece of my soul was dying. I felt so empty and lost, but for corporate America I had to suck it up.

We got on the road Friday evening after work. I was okay. Something about being amongst people you love that makes everything better.

Saturday morning was the service. I was okay. Well, I thought I was. The closer we got the church, the more nauseous I felt. When we pulled up to the church we were greeted by a huge flag. It was beautiful. The church and the officers who worked the funeral showed so much love and compassion. There was even coffee and catered food. I’d never seen anything like it before. There were officers at every door. It was beautiful. The church was filled with hundreds of people. It was sort of uplifting to see everyone there to celebrate his life. After socializing with family and friends, I walked into the sanctuary to see him one last time. My heart started beating at 1000 bpm. I could feel the anxiety building up again. As I walked up to him, with my sister on my left and my cousin on my right, I broke down. “That’s not him, he’s not there.”, I heard my cousin say. It was easy to tell myself that, but after staring at his physical body, there’s no way I could separate his body from his soul. All I knew was that I was looking at a person who I loved and cherished so much just lay there. He looked so peaceful. I was glad to see that he looked like himself. He was dressed in the uniform that he would have received once he completed his training. The choir sang my favorite song to sing whenever I would see him. “Immaaaaanuel.” I’m sure going to miss singing it to him. Everything about the service was absolutely perfect. Even exiting the church and bringing him home was beautiful. The officers lined up and stood in salute as we walked out. The highway had officers blocking off every entrance ramp. He shut down the highway, y’all. A caravan of officers lead him to his final resting place.

At the burial, I though that I would finally get some closure and feel at peace. I was wrong. I didn’t. I fell to my knees again and just cried. I still couldn’t believe that he was the one in that casket. I wanted to stay there by his side all night. There could have been rain, sleet, snow, or the rapture; it didn’t matter to me. I had fully intended on sitting in the breezeway of the mausoleum until they put him in his place. I didn’t want to leave him. I wasn’t ready. Kesha walked up to me and told me that I couldn’t sit there all day because he wouldn’t want me to. That was true. He wouldn’t. So I got up, kissed his casket and left. They rest of the weekend was filled with love and support from family and friends. I’m not sure how I would have coped had I not had the family that I do. They keep me grounded.

My Parrain meant the world to me. I could always count on him to be there when I needed him. I always knew that when I called him, if he said “We’ll see.”, he was coming through. He bought my first iPhone, he helped get my first vehicle, he was there for my father daughter dance in high school, he literally came through for everything. He was a softy when it came to the love he had for his family. I could remember the days when he’d let Niazia and me drive his Chrysler 300. I’m pretty sure we put more miles on it than he did. Lol. I’m going to miss the days when I had to vacuum up the leaves in the hallway because he didn’t wipe his feet before walking in. I’m going to miss the days when I snuck in late and he took the wrap for me. I’m going to miss hearing him ATTEMPT to sing “Because of Who You Are” in the shower every morning. I’m going to miss watching him dance. My baby loved, dancing. I’m going to miss his advice. I’m going to miss the outfits he put on. I’m going to miss him buttoning his shirt all the way up to the top. I’m going to miss him asking me to just “knock a few wrinkles out” of his clothes. He hated ironing. I’m going to miss him coming home on his break to take a “power up”. I’m going to miss the face he made when he was completely grossed out about bananas or cabbage. Lol. I’m going to miss the love he had for us. I’m going to miss hearing him say “What it do?” and most of all I’m going to miss that smile. All he had to do was smile and I knew everything was all good.

Parrain, I’m going to miss you more than anything. I feel like my heart is gone. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to live life without you. Things will never be the same. I can’t even put into good enough words to describe the pain I feel. I don’t want to go to work, I don’t want to get out of bed, I just want to lay there. I feel like I’m really getting depressed. They say time heals everything, but I’ll never get over this. I’ll never 100% shake back from this. I know you wouldn’t want me to wallow in depression, so I won’t. I’ll try my hardest pick myself up everyday and do what you would have wanted me to do. Kesha told me you had high expectations of me. Thanks for the pressure. I promise I will do everything you expect of me. I promise to let your love and your ways shine through me. You’ve done a great job here on earth and I know that you’re doing a great job in Heaven. Your love, your caring personality, your humor, and that million dollar smile have touched so many people. You have left some big shoes for us to fill. Although you won’t be here to teach Kai to play basketball or help to raise him to be a man, I will definitely make sure he knows about you and everything you did for others. If I could raise him into half the man that you were, I can consider myself a damn good mother. Thank you for all the good times. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for everything. You will truly be missed, Parrain. ‘Til we meet again.

I love you, Immanuel James Washington Sr.

Dear Kai, You’re doing TOO much!

You guys, I have been so behind on posting. I’m sorry. It’s crazy how quickly time flies when you’re working and being a mommy. I am constantly on the go and sometimes losing my mind at the same time. Yea yea, they say you make time for what you want, and it’s true. I could have found time to write. I didn’t. I’m sorry. MOVING FORWARD! In my absence, a lot of things have been happening. So here goes  . .

Kai’s dad came to visit him a couple of weeks ago. Not sure if he had already planned on it, or if my “I’m done with this!” text incited him to do so. Either way,  he said he was coming and he did. I must admit that I was super nervous. After not seeing him for a few months, I felt like I was meeting him for the first time. My stomach was in knots and my heart was racing when I heard  the knock at the door. Lol. When I opened that door my mind was like “Klawd-hammercy!” Just grinning like a Cheshire Cat. The young man is beautiful. I was happy to see him. I had to be serious, though. The rest of the day we just chilled. We had a great conversation that put some things in perspective, we put some feelings out there as far as co-parenting, and moved forward. We went to IHOP and had breakfast, then to the store and picked up some things for Kai, and then he left. Him leaving was bittersweet. I was happy that he followed through with what he said he would do, but I was worried that it would be a months before we saw him again. Since he left, we’ve been talking more often than we have since Kai was born, so maybe it won’t be. I’m just going to stay positive.

Kai no longer goes to daycare. When I say that was a hard decision to make, I mean it was hard! I didn’t want to take him out for two reasons: One, I didn’t want him to lose that exposure to germs. I know that sounds weird, but it helped build his immune system. Two. I didn’t want him to lose his social skills. Not that they were super developed or anything but I just liked the fact that he had “friends” to play with. He currently goes to a sitter Monday through Friday. I think that was the best choice I’ve made as far as childcare goes. I know he is loved and properly cared for with his sitter. And the best part is, I’m not taking a financial beating! I truly believe that God places people in our lives! They have really been such a blessing to me. I cannot thank them enough for everything they’ve done for us.

My baby is officially crawling AND pulling up on things. I. AM. NOT. READY. With Kai becoming mobile, I find myself saying “AHT AHT” a thousand times a day. I am constantly taking the smallest things out of his mouth and hands. “Make sure you pick everything up off the floor”, they say. Is that even possible? No matter how well I believe I’ve gotten everything off the floor, Kai will find SOMETHING to stick in his mouth. How do you pull the carpet out of the carpet to eat? The child literally eats up E-VER-Y THING! You know, I thought milestones happen one at a time. Boy, was I wrong. It’s like the minute he started crawling, he was pulling up and attempting to side step the next day. I have to lower his crib mattress now because he might start climbing tomorrow. I am not trying to catch a charge because Kai wants to play Spider-Man. Nope.

GUESS WHAT ELSE! Baby finally has teeth coming. I couldn’t wait for his teeth to come in because I felt like he was behind. 8 months with no teeth seemed ridiculous to me. Lol. You know how “they” say “Be careful what you wish for.” Well I should have been a lot more careful. Teething has been the most stressful part of motherhood SO FAR.

Teething has given me the blues, reds, and greens.

The fussiness, the sleepless nights, the poopy diapers, and most of all the chewing on everything. I have tried so many different types of teethers, it isn’t even funny. He refuses to chew on them. If he decides he wants one, he’ll chew on it for it a half of a second and then he’s on to the next thing. He prefers water bottles, cords, packs of wipes, other peoples feet, his crib, and my area rug. I cannot deal. I don’t know what’s worse, everything being covered in drool or the poopy diapers. According to doctors, frequent bowel movements aren’t a sign of teething but I beg to differ! I think I changed about 5 poopy diapers on Saturday alone. See, I don’t mind changing them. It’s not bad. NOW SEE WHAT I DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IIIIIIS the child rolling over in the midst of me changing his stinky diaper. There was poop ALL OVER my beautiful white sheets. I guess that’s what I get for choosing to stick with white bedding with a baby.

With all this growth happening, I’ve definitely been keeping busy trying to figure out the best approach. Moms, what are some tips you have for teething babies and babies on the move? Which milestone has been your favorite thus far? Which one has given you the blues? Comment below.

Thank you all for taking the time to follow me through this journey. Your support is so needed and so appreciated.

❤ Bri

Dear Kai, What in the George Jefferson …

So I think this post may be more touchy to me than my very first one. Why? Because I feel like I’m exposing a big insecurity. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love myself and I’m happy with every aspect of my physical being but this shit right here is just flat out depressing.

One of my favorite things about being pregnant was how thick and full my hair had gotten. When I took my braids out and relaxed my hair, baby you couldn’t tell me NOTHING! I admit, I was feelings myself. I guess God said I needed to humble myself because within a few months, it began to shed. Initially, I thought I was exempt from the whole post partum hair loss thing because Kai had reached the three month mark and my hair seemed to be in the best condition it had ever been in. Just look at my beautiful edges.

Somewhere between February and Today, my hair went from luscious to “Bald head scallywag, ain’t got no hair in the back.” Except all of the hair that has gone missing is in the front. THE FRONT! When I tell y’all I was in tears the other day because I can’t even put my hair in a cute high bun or even slick it towards the back. I look like George Jefferson. Then to add insult to injury, the rest of my hair is so brittle. Just simply combing it makes it shed like crazy. I literally only have TWO options. Either a middle part, low bun or a wig. That’s it. Can y’all imagine how self-conscious I feel when I’m outside and the wind is blowing. I never prayed so hard in my life. “Lord, please don’t let this wind expose my edges.” Or even when I’m just chilling with my boo and we’re all cuddled up watching tv. “Lord, please don’t let his arm accidentally swipe my hair and expose me.” Chile look. . .

I have tried everything. I started taking my vitamins again, stopped wearing wigs  and weaves, and even purchased some Kaleidoscope drops. Nothing’s helping. Y’all. I have never been so self-conscious or felt so unpretty in my life. I’m tired of wearing this stupid low bun. I had planned to get my hair cut into a style similar to the one I had a couple of years ago but now I can’t. If I could cry everyday I would. Lol. I really don’t know what to do at this stage of bald-headedness. Haha. I really have to make fun of myself to keep me from being sad about it. I think that I would have felt differently if the hair loss was in a different area of my head, but since it’s in the front, I feel so ugly. I just need to get my edges back man.

Moms if you want to share your experiences with post-partum hair loss or give any advice to me or other moms who may be going through the same thing, please share in the comments. I know it would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Kai, I’m trying.

If I said these past few weeks were a cake walk, I’d be lying. AIN’T NOTHING about life easy peasy. Especially not adulthood. I haven’t written anything in a while, I know. So let me catch you up on what’s been happening.

Kai was battling a virus that had his temperature up and down for a couple of days. My poor baby had a 103 temp. Even though he was sick, he never once behaved like it. He remained his normal, active self. My son is so resilient. I love his ability to shake back from things so quickly. Sometimes I wish I could be that way. I pray that he carries that trait into adulthood. Within two days he was feeling better and ready to go to school on Monday.

He’s growing so fast. Its amazing how fast 6 weeks become 6 months. He’s eating from a spoon, sitting up on his own, playing with toys,even attempting to “crawl”. I think he may be expecting a tooth soon, too. Where’d my baby go? Though my sweet baby is experiencing a lot of growth, the relationship between him and his father and his father and I hasn’t made any progress. I really want to just say “F HIM” but typical Bri is still trying to find some light at the end of the tunnel. I keep reaching out to him in vain, just hoping that one day he’ll come around and be the father that Kai needs and deserves. Yea, I know y’all are probably calling me stupid but it is what it is. I’d rather reach out with a clear heart and mind than sit there miserable and bitter acting like he nor the situation exists. On the bright side, his Aunt checks on him almost everyday and makes me feel a lot better about his Father not being around. I just continue to stay prayerful in hopes that he will find his way.

As far as me. I’m a mess. A SINGLE, BROKE, DEGREELESS, hot mess. Chile, look. Let’s start with my college education, or the lack there of..

So as y’all know, in February the Department of Education snatched my lil’ coins right from under my nose. I could literally smell that money! That’s how close I was to getting it. I’m still mad. Anywho, so I instantly got on a payment plan so that 1. I could get my taxes next year. 2. Get my financial aid back. 3. Get it off my credit. 4. Get my transcript from McNeese. Sounds good, right? Well yea, it always does until it doesn’t go according to plan. Now when I set up my payment plan, the guy I spoke with said that two payments would get me out of default. LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! So I call myself sending a transcript request to my old school so that I can register for classes for the fall. Nope! Financial aid had a hold on my account. Baby, I called the DOE so fast. Of course I was given inaccurate information. Long story short, I have to pay TEN months to get out of default. So now I have to wait to go to school, yet again. Another damn setback on my hands. I just want to be extra great. That’s all. And before for say it, I KNOW IT’S NOT A RACE.

Then there’s my financial state. Baby, throw the whole thing away! Imagine being so happy and feeling so blessed because you finally got a better job with better pay and benefits and then BOOM, you realize you’re still struggling because bills are so backed up. Lol. You ever got a paycheck and it was gone before you even physically had it in your possession? Do you know how high your anxiety rises when you roll up to the grocery store with only $19 and a strategic plan to only spend $17 on something to cook, baby food, water, baby wipes, and soap, leaving JUST enough on your card to run it as credit at the gas pump and fill up in order to make it to work for the rest of the week. *takes deep breath* Chile, there’s no feeling worse than that. I was in that line praying so hard that I didn’t go over because I didn’t want to tell the cashier that I needed to put things back in front of everyone waiting in line behind me. I keep trying to use that little cliche that people use to try to make themselves feel better about being in a terrible financial situation. You know the one.. “You’re not broke as long as your bills are paid.” Baby please! That’s all good and optimistic and all, but it doesn’t make me feel any better when I know that once my bills are paid, money for basic survival is scarce. And really, I don’t want to just say I’m “broke” but I’m definitely playing catch up.

Sometimes I really feel depressed and discouraged. Not like clinically diagnosed depressed, but super duper sad. Some days I don’t even want to get out of bed. I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but all I want is for the situation to get better and to be an amazing mom. I don’t want my baby to know pain and struggle. I want him to have a house he can grow up in and great memories to carry with him for his the rest of his life.

Sometimes I want to quit. I want to give up. I don’t want to struggle anymore. I have to constantly tell myself that Kai needs me over and over just to make it through the day without tears. I get up everyday, put on my smile, and go to work remembering that God is my strength when I’m weak. I try to pray and stay faithful because I know that it’s not my will but his. Everything that is happening is all apart of the plan. I cry . . . a lot. Yet, somehow things always work out. I may have had to eat sandwiches for a week straight but I didn’t starve. I still have my car and my apartment. I have a roof over my head. Kai is fed and clothed. I can live without the extras. I made a promise to myself that this would be a year of restoration. . . mental, physical, financial, and spiritual. I will continue to fulfill my promise to myself. I have to. Kai needs me.

Dear Kai, “Oh No! What is you doing, baby?”

My baby boy just hit the five month mark about a week ago. *schmoney dances* At this age he should be sleeping through the night, right? Or at least 6 hours! Well, at least that’s what I thought. Guess I thought wrong. This little person wakes up EVERY 👏🏽 TWO👏🏽 HOURS👏🏽 to eat like he’s 6 weeks old again. Umm sir, NO! With having to get up at 4:45 every morning, most nights I don’t get much sleep. I get home at 7pm everyday and never get in bed before 10pm. There’s way too much to get done in three hours. My nightly routine for Kai runs about an hour and a half alone. Then I have to bathe myself, wash bottles and prepare them for daycare the following day, and attempt to do some kind of straightening up. Chiiiiiile! Can you say exhausted?

At Kai’s four month appointment, his pediatrician asked me how he was sleeping. At the time he was sleeping about 6-8 hours so that’s what I told her. She explained to me that at that stage there’s a thing called “4 month sleep regression” where he would go back to waking up every two hours like he did in the beginning. I wasn’t too worried because from what I could see, he was sleeping just fine. See, I’m the one who likes to think my baby is an exception to the rules because my baby doesn’t have sensitive skin, didn’t experience cradle cap, is an overall good baby, AND he’s already passed the 4 month mark into the 5th. WRONG! He is not exempt and the “Sleep Regression” is real. This past week, I have found myself fighting with him for 2-3 hours, just to get him to sleep. Most nights I can tell he’s super sleepy because he’ll start dosing off but when he feels himself falling asleep, he’ll wake up. He starts grunting, stretching, tensing up, just doing the ABSOLUTE most. Umm, Sir, just go to sleep. It’s not that complicated.

Before the madness began, I started him on a nightly routine. It was working so well y’all.

I get home at 7pm, let him play while I eat and got settled.

8pm I feed him baby food.

8:45pm I bathe him and get him in his jammas.

9:15 I give him a warm bottle.

by 9:30 he’s out until 1am.

I read up on sleep regression and the article was saying that it basically doesn’t go away. He’s in the stage of life where his sleep pattern is changing and becoming more like adults where we drift in and out from light to deep sleep. For the most part, there’s nothing I can really do because it’s just a part of the growing process. All I can do I cope and learn what his “sleep associations” are. Now I’m not normally one of those scientific, by the book parents. I like to call my family for good old school remedies and use my own discernment from there on but the article really shed some light on something I didn’t know too much about.

I’m not going to post everything I learned from reading because I’d be typing all day trying to explain to you guys. So here’s the link if you want to check it out.

How to Handle the Frustrating (and Exhausting) 4 Month Sleep Regression

Are there any other new mommies who are experiencing this? Leave me some feedback. ❤

 

Dear Kai, It takes a village.

I did a thing . . . a big thing.

As you know, I have been raising Kai alone since birth (well, parent wise). It’s tough, but doable. His dad isn’t around much and no one on his side of the family knew that my child existed. Well, until Friday, that is. After being completely consumed by the fact that my baby was ‘the secret child’, I took it amongst myself to reach out to his family. I had to. I was restless. I couldn’t sleep. It was eating at me like maggots on a carcass. I couldn’t take it anymore. I battled with whether I wanted to say something or just let it fall by the wayside. I literally got nauseous at the thought of telling total strangers that my son is apart of their family. I mean what do I look like popping up out the blue with, “oH hEy iM bRiAnNa AnD tHiS iS YoUr GrAnDsOn KaI!” Chile, I didn’t know whether they would be accepting or curse me out like some dog on the street. I was mostly fearful that they wouldn’t accept him and that his father would be upset with me. I had to sit and think about it loooong and haaaard! ONE! His dad doesn’t talk to me now so I’m not missing anything if decides that he doesn’t want to anymore. TWO! It’s not about me, it’s about Kai.

I went ahead and swallowed my pride. I sat there nervously thinking about what I wanted to say and how I should say it. Is this too much? Am I putting too much of my heart into this message? My palms were sweaty. My blood felt as if it were running cold in my veins. My heart raced. I felt myself growing more and more nauseous with every stroke of the keyboard. I just knew that I was going to vomit. Now, I know y’all are probably saying, “Here goes Bri’s dramatic ass being extra dramatic with the dramatics.” Lol. But let me tell you something, I really was about to fall out just from typing. After I finished writing down everything I wanted to say, I read over it 100,000 times. I copied and pasted the note in the message box, took a few deep breaths and pressed send. I threw my phone in my purse and sat there silently. My heart fell in my shoes. I was numb.

About thirty minutes later, I received a response. My soul left my body. Lol. I literally had to give myself a pep talk to convince myself to open it. I was so scared. My heart was POUNDING, okay? I was shaking, y’all. I didn’t know what to expect. I just sat there with my phone facing down, praying that when I turned it over, it would be something I could handle. I took another deep breath and read the message. I immediately burst into tears. The response was everything I wanted. Even with having no idea who I was or who my child was, his grandfather decided that he wanted to be there for us even if Kai’s father wasn’t. I felt the weight lift from me instantly. Over the course of the weekend, I was also contacted by Kai’s grandmother and his Aunt. I was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness. I didn’t expect everyone to be so accepting and receptive of us. They sprang into family mode even with us being complete strangers.

I am so glad that I follow my heart and reached out to them. If I would have just followed my mind, I would have continued to play the “Strong Black Single Mom” roll until his father decided to come around more. But see the thing about me is, I’m human. I have feelings and I’m okay with expressing them. I don’t always want to be strong. Sometimes I want to take things at face value and cry when it hurts or smile when I am genuinely happy. I really didn’t want Kai to not have the opportunity to meet his other side of the family and I am so glad that they have accepted us instead of shutting us out. God is amazing. I may not always understand what exactly he is trying to do but I will always continue to find purpose in my pain. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for my son.

It’s supposed to be progression not regression!

Okay, so I know I shared a post the other day but since last night I have really been upset. Now, I know I’m not “supposed” to be upset or care because that’s what “strong mothers” are “supposed” to do. But even the strongest mothers get tired. I’m human. I have feelings too. I won’t let society nor anyone else convince me that caring about the absence of Kai’s Father is wrong. I’ve already stated that I will be completely transparent and open in my blog posts because it’s MY blog. So here it is. . . I AM upset about it. I AM upset about the fact that I haven’t heard from him since my, now 20 week old child, was 6 weeks old. I AM upset about his family not knowing OUR son even exists. I AM upset about my child possibly never knowing his siblings. I AM upset about how I will always have to overcompensate to fill the void that my son may have. Shits frustrating. While I’m out here trying my hardest and busting my ass to be a good mother (not that I want a pat on my back for doing my job), he’s out there gallivanting in the streets like he’s not a damn parent. I honestly don’t want to be upset. Everyday I tell myself, “you’re good.” But that’s all a mind game. I want to say, you’re good and actually mean that I’m good. To be honest I don’t NEED him around, it’s more of me WANTING him around. Not for me but for OUR son. I can’t teach a boy to be a man. I’m not a man. I have no idea how to be. And before you say it . . . Yes Kai has positive male role models but they are not his father. I just cannot understand how his conscience isn’t eating him up! Uuuuuuuugh! Like the ignorant, ratchet baby mama waaaaaaaaaaaay deep down inside of me wants to be like “Fuck it. I’m just going to tell his people myself.” But then on the other hand, the logical me says “No, it’s not your place.” Hell, how would that even solve anything anyway. I’m so over it like.. I’m really just ready to be past the stage where it hurts.

*sighs*

I just had to get it off my chest.

Ps. I am not looking for sympathy. Just simply writing about my journey through motherhood.