Mama Said: Motherhood Inspired
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see the ultrasound. On the day of her birth, I had one of my co-workers call Afghanistan, and my husband immediately called my cell phone. My happiest moment was when Demarlo brought the kids to Korea to visit their newborn sister and me. I got back to the States in July.

There are those who think we military moms don’t care or don’t have our priorities straight: “How can you do it? How can you leave your kids?” Some people think it’s easy, but it does get hard maintaining the balance of family and work.

My love for my children is deep. I am willing to sacrifice all for them so that they may have a wonderful life. I love the fact that they share their most intimate fears, struggles and joys with me. When I’ve had a rough day, they know to grab my hand and pray for me.

The kids have learned early how to adapt to change. We move every three years or so. When I came back from Korea, I had to prepare Zion and Hezekia to move to another school. At first they were apprehensive because they were leaving their friends, but they have adjusted well.

Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” I hope that the values and beliefs that I have instilled in them will carry them throughout their lives. I will know that despite whatever struggles they face, determination, perseverance and passion will push them to keep moving forward.

I am so looking forward to Mother’s Day this year because I will have the wonderful

opportunity to spend it with all four of my children—together!

The Stay-at-Home Mom

“Black moms who homeschool are in the minority.”

Sabrina Priest, 31  |  accounting student/owner, bellisimababybags.com  |  Fredericksburg, Va. Children: Xavier, 10; Dorian, 8; and Brianna, 6

The big myth about being a stay-at-home mother is that we are supposed to have a sparkling clean house, dinner at the same time every night and all the time in the world. Well, it can be quite chaotic at times. I have laundry to do, appointments, activities, college courses, the demands of running a small business—and the list goes on.

I made this choice out of necessity. At age 4, our oldest son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum and also with Attention Deficit Disorder. I was working full time, but doctor’s visits and therapies for him became more important than my job . My husband, Paul,  and I decided I should quit. To adjust to one income, we moved to a less-costly town.

Xavier did great in a head start program, but when he started first grade, I didn’t feel he was getting the proper support despite having an individualized education program.  In 2009, after much stress with public school administrators, I decided to take my son’s education—and that of his siblings—into my own hands.

Since I’ve been homeschooling them, I’ve been in a unique position to see my children grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. We talk freely and are very honest with each other. My special-needs son has finished all his therapies and continues to progress.

Not having to abide by someone else’s schedule is truly liberating, but maintaining one of my own has been a work in progress. I try to enforce a daily schedule for learning, field trips, co-op groups, music lessons and other activities to infuse structure and routine into Xavier’s, Dorian’s and Brianna’s days.

Homeschooling in the Black community is an interesting dynamic. Moms like me are a minority—even among those who stay at home. I’m proud to be a member of a national nonprofit for stay-at-home-moms of color, Mocha Moms, Inc., in which I’ve found other mothers to whom I can relate. I enjoy moms’ nights out with fellow Mochas for dinner, seeing a movie or having a potluck.

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I truly understood what a blessing is. I have experienced every emotion known through my kids. I love when they disagree about something but a little while later are running around playing or cuddled up on the couch reading or watching television together. They are adjusting well, especially our oldest.  Sometimes, none of us feels like a lesson, but we will learn something new through a video or field trip.

I don’t have a parenting manual. But if my kids grow to become adults who have a sense of self and of responsibility, who understand their purpose in life, who respect others even when they disagree, and who replace the words “can’t” or “don’t know” with “I’m going to figure it out,” then I will have succeeded.

The Urban Mom

“My kids have grown closer to me through the hard times.”

Dana Rankin, 46  |  ordained minister/owner of exhaletoexceljewelry.com  |  Kansas City, Mo.   |  Children: