Can you take care of yourself?

This is a post for the ladies, specifically for those of us with kids. In my online and even to some degree real life dealings, I know a lot of women who are stay at home Moms. Now I have no problem at all with stay at home Moms, shit I have been there myself and even now I am not a full fledged work out of the home mother since I still do a great deal of work from my home office.

However I keep stumbling across a theme with many stay at home Moms, that frankly scares the shit out of me. Many woman who are at home with their kids who I have run across say they can’t afford to work because whatever they earn would be eaten up by the cost of childcare and after paying childcare, and other related working costs, at best they would break even.

Um…..I have to say something and yeah its gonna be bitchy but I need to speak my truth. If your job skills are such that you can’t earn enough to provide a bare standard of living for you and your kids, well you need to address that skills deficit ASAP. Look, as women we get caught up in the emotions and some times that is not such a good thing.

For many of us as women, we envision a world where girl meets boy, falls in love, marries and has babies all with the expectations that boy will be the breadwinner. Ideally this is a great plan, problem is real life interferes and what happens if boy drops dead? This happened to an acquaintance of mine, our girls are  only days a part and her beloved husband died before their daughter turned 1. Thankfully my girl is an accomplished professional and was able to continue providing a decent standard of living for her and her child. Yes, losing a mate is hard but I can only imagine its a lot harder when the only income you got is those survivor benefits. Grief is hard enough without adding financial strain.

On the equally as serious side, what happens if your man just leaves, maybe after you have the babies and get caught up in the Mama love glow, maybe he decides your new size 14 ass is just not what he wants and then decides to be a bitch and not even be fair with financial support. Or maybe he does pony up his 20% for support but it turns out you can’t live on it….this happens a lot.

Lastly, what if you realize after a while you just hate his guts, maybe he is abusing you emotionally, physically or mentally? Yet with no ability to provide you choose to stay or you leave and you are forced to live a transient lifestyle while you try to rebuild.

Look, none of these are places we want to visit but life happens and as women we need to be prepared. Its one of the reasons that despite marrying a man I felt and still feel will be my life partner until I am a crusty old bitch, I went back to school and have always worked. I was married once to man who was a asshole and had I not been working and earning enough to support me and my son many moons ago, kicking his ass to the curb would have been a lot harder.

Ladies, I am not saying don’t stay home with your babies. Shoot, I stayed home with mini-me full-time the first year of her life and when I did go back to work I was only teaching part time. Yet I believed in staying plugged enough so that I never have to start over with no contacts, leads, etc.

Part of being an excellent Mama and parent is making sure we are looking at basics and basics do include boring shit like food and shelter. It truly breaks my heart to know a woman is stuck with asshole because she has no means. Its just not good.

OK, that service announcement is over, feel free to tell me how you feel.

Sex is just sex, got it?

Catchy title? Heh. No seriously, between reading various blogs and some women I know in real life, I just feel like saying something to all my sistern regardless of race.

I’m a old married woman (nah, I am not that old but it just sounded nice to say that). I have been married twice, first time was for half a second and this marriage will be 11 years this fall, 13 years total that we have been together. Between discovering my sexuality early shall we say, and between husbands, lets just say that I learned a few things about the menfolks. First thing is just because a man hits the sheets with you means nothing, no seriously.. men rarely turn down the goodies. Much like offering a kid a freeze-pop on a hot day, if you tell a man come on over to your place after a meal, and slip into a sexy nightie and make it clear you’d like to cuddle, probably 92 out of 100 heterosexual men will be all over that like flies on shit, no matter what race they are.

Now, when young women equate sex with love, part of me expects it.. Lawd knows I been there too. My issue is when women old enough to know better fall for the okie-doke, that’s when I feel like ripping my locks out. Better yet when a women gets pregnant by a man she has known all of a few months and then 2-3 years down the road when the sperm donor barely comes around and is MIA with the child support then the woman is crying the blues. I know, it takes two to tangle and yes a man should be a man and step up to the plate but the reality is having a kid with someone you don’t know is generally a bad idea and should the sperm donor turn out to be a asshole, why are you surprised? Shit like that, I suspect even Stevie Wonder could see coming.

No, I know a lot of women in their 30’s and 40’s still get caught up like this and I don’t know why? Now another blogger, Lisa at Black Woman Blow the Trumpet has a great series that delves into a lot of the issues that I suspect lead to Black women ending up in these sorts of situations. Other bloggers such as  OG and a few others have also touched on it as well but I just gotta say when will women realize not all sex is about love and commitment? Ideally in the perfect world we would all have sex within the confines of a committed loving relationship, yet that is not reality for many folks.

Instead women specifically have got to learn that in being empowered in a way that I hope I can get across to my own daughter as she grows up (see my Girl Power post) that its ok to just have sex for no other reason than they choose to do so. Yet it takes being emotionally healthy and balanced to get to that place where we can admit our needs and own it and feel good about it but I think if women can get to that place, there will be a lot less women running around thinking that every man they sleep with is the one. Sometimes you don’t need the ONE, sometimes you need the one that is available right now and a healthy and mature woman understands the difference.  A woman who can get to that place is a woman who will not find herself caught up in bullshit but instead will own up to her part in a messy situation without throwing blame.