After I had my children, I felt that I was certified as a fully grown woman. My life before, in my eyes, was pre-woman. Those stripes on my belly, my rapidly developing patience, that refocused center of attention from “me” to them, gave me my diploma for motherhood. It taught me maturity, and wisdom, I never would have learned childless.
I was an only child raised by a single mother. There were no other children in my family. I had to figure out how to be a parent through trial and error, especially when my mom died suddenly when I was 26. My first-born was just two weeks shy of one year old. I knew I was on the right track when my mom said to me that I was a good mother. That set my path in a positive direction. God revealed that motherhood was my calling. And though I pursued a satisfying career in the advertising industry and have stayed happily married for a quarter of a century, my biggest achievement is making sure I raised my kids well. I’m not saying there wasn’t a little bit of hell raising along the way, but you live, learn and pass the knowledge on.
I’ve spent almost two decades serving parents and children as a volunteer adviser and parent educator. As former Brooks middle school chapter president of the organization, “African-American Parents for Purposeful Leadership in Education” (A.P.P.L.E.) I instituted a tutoring and mentoring program. I also counseled parents on communication and advocacy. This was important because I had to learn how to deal with the school system because both my sons had learning difficulties. I’ve also mentored teen moms, some in foster care. I’m currently mentoring three children who are in middle school.
I’m hoping I can offer a few nuggets of wisdom to young moms and dads who desire to be the best parents they can be. I don’t have all the answers. In fact, there is more than one effective way to raise children. But at least I can share with you my way. My goal is to turn this information into a quick read reference book for young parents.