Wow the circles keep getting smaller as we do these mama interviews. This next Mama was nominated by Mama Amira, and I also went to high school with her, her name is Starr. It’s funny I see her from time to time, but again like most of us I keep in touch with her through social media. Isn’t it funny how you can look at someone’s pictures on social media and almost get a sense of who they are, and who they have become. When I look at Starr’s pictures, I see a mom who is strong, honest, loyal, open, loving, and will do anything for her family. I can tell family is first, because 90% of her pictures are of all of her cute kids and husband. As you will see in her story, she is everything I thought and knew she was and is. It’s all in her words, and believe me she is one honest mama.
I met my husband Mike in junior high. We did not date until after high school. We broke up for a while but remained friends and in that time I had my son, Isaiah from another relationship. We stayed close and eventually got back together. His relationship with Isaiah was so strong and so close I had gained even more respect and love for him. Mike and Isaiah are two peas in a pod, and I love it.
I got pregnant with Mariah, and we got married shortly after and had Scarlett 4 years later. I love that our kids, Isaiah (13) Mariah (8) and Scarlett (4) are spread apart nicely but I’m also dealing with three different stages that can sometimes be difficult when one is a teenage boy going through the stages of a young adult, Mariah is cool right now but and at the other end is a complete diva going through not getting her way. So many things are thrown our way as parents that we are not prepared for, but I just try to make the best decisions I can for each child.
I made it a habit to have a conversation with each kid every day about anything and everything. It gives them an opportunity to talk or ask questions about anything that is on their minds. My kids know that I am a VERY honest parent. I do not sugar coat anything that I say, which I believe is why they trust me so much. However, I only give information according to what is appropriate for their age. I’d rather them hear the truth from their mom then something different from their friends.
We are a mixed family, so a topic that has been brought up in the last six months is different cultures. I love that my kids are comfortable enough to ask things such as what is the difference between white and black. I respond by saying the only difference is our personalities and backgrounds. Our skin color does not determine the type of person you are, your personality does. I believe, whatever we teach our kids at home, is what they will pass on to other kids and kids of their own.
I have also made it a habit to have conversations with Mike every day. It may be at night over a glass of wine or in the morning over a cup of coffee. He is a Head football coach/teacher at Pacifica high school and a personal trainer so I’m always interested in what’s going on with him and players or students or we just talk about anything we have thoughts or opinions on. The topic varies from our kids, my work, politics absolutely anything and everything. It’s great for our relationship. Communication is huge in our family, that’s the key to staying close.
I am also a hairstylist; I work 2-3 days a week. Which is sometimes hard but I make it work because it is my passion and the extra money helps. Sometimes, I cannot take as many clients as I want because I have to take Isaiah to track practice or Mariah to Basketball or sometimes I just don’t have a sitter for Scarlett. Being a mom comes first, and I am blessed that I am able to juggle everything. I have definitely had my fair share of breakdowns (I’m only human) so I definitely go out with my friends or family once a week or once every other week for an hour or two. Mike and I feel that it’s important for me as a mom to get out of mommy mode and enjoy some time alone which helps me be a better mom. Most of the time, we end up talking about mommy stuff any ways, but it’s still important to make some time for yourself.
We are huge on sports in our family. Every weekend we are busy doing something active whether its football, basketball or track. Scarlett will be starting soccer this year, so that throws another sport in the loop. We love going to Mike’s football games during the season every Friday night to support him and his team. We have made it a tradition to go, bundle up in our hoodies and scarves and cheer them on.
My personal activity is working out at the gym or home at least four times a week. It’s a good release of any stress or frustrations I have, and it keeps me in shape! My kids see how active I am so it makes them want to do some jumping jacks or drop down and give me five pushups (we have contests). Anything I’m involved in most of the time my kids are too. We pray together, we make up dances together (not Isaiah of course) and also do gardening together which is fun, so there able to watch things grow. I feel it helps them understand if they take care of things whether it be our garden, our bodies, our family or our friends it will grow into a beautiful thing.
It’s taken some time for me to understand what it means to be a good mom. I’ve gone through experiences myself and with others that help me know that nobody is perfect; we all make mistakes, and we grow from them. As long as we show and tell our kids how much we love them, that’s all that matters.
I tell them every day in one way or another that I love them, I appreciate them, and they are so special to me. Every night, before we go to bed, we all say goodnight to each other because it’s important that they know when they go to sleep that we are all here for each other. I have had a lot of great influences throughout my life some here, some in heaven but I truly thank God everyday that I had and still have an open ear so that I can be the best mom I can be.
What lessons do you want your children to learn from their childhood, and take with them in their adulthood?
First and foremost, I want my kids to learn respect for others. Having respect for others goes a long way in life and it’s what many people lack most of in our society. The pure respect for one another. If people were taught this at an early age in a household, I believe there would be less problems in the world. In our household, everyone has respect for each other, as I have taught my kids if you respect me, I’ll respect you. It must go both ways. Another lesson is being humble and not taking anything for granted. Anything that is given can surely be taken back so you must appreciate everything God has given you and consider it a blessing. A good work ethic is one of the most important things that we can teach our children. Mike and I have always been hard workers and we have taught our kids that you get ahead in life by working hard and taking advantage of opportunities as nothing is handed to you. We have taught them that hard work pays off if you establish goals and work to reach those goals. Finally, I want my children to learn how to put their priorities in the correct order of importance. It is important to make time for yourself and your family. We get so caught up in life and everyday things that it sometimes makes it hard for us to just enjoy the moment. We have made staying active with each other a priority in our lives and that has helped keep the strong relationships that we have.
Something I fear most with my kids is not teaching them their self worth. While they are young, I’m embedding in their head how special they are. I praise them for their talents no matter what they may be. For example Scarlett is only 4, so I praise her for her ability to dress. That girl can put together an outfit better than most of us in the house and I know it sounds so silly and small, but it makes her an even more confident person to hear that. Whether or not Isaiah does amazing at his sporting events, I make sure he knows the good things he did for that game and how he contributed to the team. We also talk to him about how he can improve but it’s important for him to know he is an amazing kid whether he makes 20 points or no points at all.
What pressures do you feel as a mother?
I just recently started realizing that the role of a mother is incredibly important to everyone, including society!! This means that whatever you teach your kids is what they are going to know for the rest of their lives and they will pass it on to their kids’ lives. That’s a lot of pressure! As a mom, if you don’t correct the way they treat people or negative things that are said, they can grow up thinking the wrong things are ok. Have you ever heard the saying…”…didn’t your mama teach you better…” They’re talking about us ladies.
Gives us an example of when you feel the most loved?
The best moments when I feel the most loves is when they tell me I’m a good mom. Being a mom is so hard so it makes me feel amazing when they recognize my hard work. I often tell them how much I love and appreciate how they’re such good kids, so it’s AWESOME when they tell me the same thing in return. When I come home from doing hair all day and instead of coming in to them bickering, they tell me how they missed me and ask if I’d be down to play dominoes! That’s LOVE!
My kids have definitely taught me that there’s more to life than money and material things. My love for my family is priceless, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and I love it. My kids have taught me that people, including my little ones, are always watching. We feed off of each other’s energy so no matter what obstacles come my way, I try to stay as positive as I can with everyone I come across. You never know how that can affect someone. There has been a couple times that I have almost snapped on Mariah, but instead I said to her, “You’re having a moment, I’ll give you some time to yourself and I’ll be back.” This DOES NOT happen every time. Sometimes I do have to check her, BUT like I said I try to approach it in a positive way. I come back to her room and she tells me that something was bothering her at school which had an effect on the rest of her day. That’s handling the situation in a positive way because instead of getting angry I was positive and we figured out what was wrong and fixed it. This is what my kids have taught me and I’ve used it now in so many other ways in my life.
Now that you have told the Mother Effin Truth, who do you want to nominate to tell their story as a mother? And why?
I would love to nominate my girl Julz. She is a busy working mom whose husband is in the military. She such an awesome mom and wife, I’d love for you all to hear her story!
Thank you for listening to my story! Sending blessings and positive energy to all you mommies!