The Importance of Being Reese: February 2017

How to Be the Perfect Mom

10 simple ways to be the worlds most perfect mom


If you've ever hung out in the comment section of every major parenting blog ever, you know by now that literally millions of perfect moms exist seemingly for the mere purpose of schooling us mediocre moms. So in an effort to tip the scales a bit, I'm here to provide you with 10 super easy ways to be a perfect mom. Really it's so easy, anyone can do it. Don't believe me? Give it a shot.

On The Go with Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

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My on the go beauty routine with  Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

When you’re living the mommy dream, sometimes basic beauty routines can take the backseat to life. Lately, my super-secret mommy weapon is Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant, which is why I’m so excited to partner with them for this post. Dove Advanced Care is refreshing enough to rejuvenate me, and small enough to travel with me on the daily. Which sounds crazy, but as a mother, some things are a given, for instance:

1). When you are in a rush, your children will inevitably move as though they are stuck in a vat of molasses, with cement blocks strapped to their ankles.
2). Yoga pants will become an essential part of your wardrobe.
3). Your purse will become storage for all of your children, your husband, and in some cases, your family pet.
4). As a mother, you will sometimes forget to take care of basic beauty routines, such as, but not limited to: shaving, showering, applying makeup, and sometimes, even putting on deodorant (hey it happens, I'm not judging).

SoBakeable: A Monthly Fix for your Sweet Tooth



Confession: I'm a choc-holic. Cookies. Cake. I can't get enough of it. Unfortunately for me, summer is around the corner, and my metabolism has come to a screeching halt since I hit 30. Still, an occasional fix for my sweet tooth is necessary to keep me from going off the deep end and going on a nightly binge. Which is why I'm so excited to feature SoBakeable this week.

If you've been a longtime follower, you know I'm a big fan of subscription boxes. It's always fun to come home to an unexpected surprise every now and then. Enter SoBakeable, a monthly fix for your sweet tooth. SoBakeable is similar to other food subscription boxes in that the ingredients all come pre-measured and packaged neatly for easy baking, but it's got a pretty sweet twist to it.

DIY Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap

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DIY Moisturizing Liquid Hand Soap




Disclosure: I've partnered with the Vaseline team to share my thoughts and ideas for how you can incorporate self care into every aspect of your daily beauty routine. All thoughts, opinions and photos belong to me unless otherwise stated. Enjoy! 

Confession: I have the world's driest skin. It's flaky, it peels, and it makes me incredibly self conscious. As a result, I tend to carry lotion with me EVERYWHERE.

In my purse: Check
In my car: Check
In my backpack: Check
One my side of the bed: Check

Winter has been known to cause my skin to dry out, so every year, between the months of October and March, I make an extra effort to incorporate lotion into my everyday beauty routine. I'm a firm believer that self-care begins with skin care, Even so, my dry skin gets extra dry during the winter. So I swapped out my go-to lotion and started using Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Cocoa Radiant™ lotion, and oh what a difference it has made.

The Day My Daughter Rejected My Blackness



"Mommy, I don't want to be black like you." 

It came so unexpectedly, in the bath and beauty department of Target, while I was precariously perched on one foot attempting to get the last Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie from the shelf overhead.

Almost instantly, I could feel the eyes of strangers upon me. It was as though a spotlight had suddenly appeared overhead, and dozens of shoppers spontaneously generated behind me, all eager to see how I would screw up this moment.

Any second I expected a voice on the intercom to come on alerting the oblivious shoppers to the incident.

"Attention Target shoppers. We have a black mother dealing with an identity crisis on aisle 3. I repeat, we have a black mother dealing with an identity crisis on aisle 3."



Of course none of these things actually happened. In reality, I took a deep breath, took my daughter hands in mine, and hugged her.



Because the truth is, in that brief moment, I was terrified. I didn't want my daughter to be black. Because to be a black woman in 2017 is a lot of things. And none of them are easy.

It means pretending not to hear comments that are intentionally designed to provoke a reaction of you.

It means you'll battle with double consciousness and are more likely to silently struggle with depression.

It means you'll deal with daily micro-aggressions that will eat away at your self-worth.

It means struggling not to buckle under the unbelievable pressure of being the model minority.

It means that no matter how many injustices you have experienced, someone, most likely from your inner circle, will have a counter argument at the ready designed to undermine and invalidate your experiences.

But mostly, it means your journey will be emotionally and physically exhausting.



The reality is that my daughter is so young she likely doesn't yet understand the complexity of racial identity, or the heavy burden that comes along with being black. But, she's not so young that she's hasn't started to notice the subtle difference between my husband and I, namely our skin color. And that's why this conversation was so important. I couldn't afford to wait until someone else took control and led my daughter down the path of self hate.

Control the conversation, or let it control her.

Unlike myself, my daughter will have a whole new dynamic of racial identity to explore. And that's something I can't figure out for her. In that moment, I realized that no matter how eloquent my speech, my words could not physically protect my daughter. In a manner of speaking, biracial kids are in a giant paradox. While they are simultaneously two different races, they are never fully able to exist as one or the other. That's a lot to process. Even as an adult.

So there, in the bath and beauty section of Target, I took a deep breath asked, "Babe, why don't you want to be black."

"I dunno." She she whispered, looking down at her feet.

"Being black isn't a bad thing. I told her.  "In fact, I'm black. Right?"

She looked at me for a moment, "Yeah."

I continued on, "And you love mommy, right?" She nodded. "It's just sometimes, as a black girl, you have to fight some bad guys that others don't notice. It's just like being a superhero. We just don't always wear a cape."

She looked at me thoughtfully for a moment before asking, "So if I'm black, does that mean I get a cape?" 

I hugged her again. "It sure does. In fact you can get a matching one. Just like me." 




In that moment, I realized that it's wasn't that my daughter didn't want to be black, she was simply struggling to deal with her perception and understanding of who she is.  Realistically, I know how the world will view her, and I can't shield her from it. What I can do is make sure she knows who she is, that she is loved, and that she loves her self, fully. I can make sure that she owns every bit of melanin in her body, no matter how much, or how little.

Too often I hear other mothers proclaim "I don't teach my children to see color," and that worries me. The world is a colorful place-- whether or not we choose to accept it. We can either have the difficult conversations with our children while they're younger, or wait for the world to teach them how to treat others. Color is a part of life. Just as I want my daughter to know about her heritage, I expect her to know and understand others. When you understand, you can appreciate.

As she gets older, more questions will come.  I'll be better prepared and have a more eloquent speech. Like most parenting moments, you fumble, you struggle, you prepare, and you pray that next time it gets better.

And sometimes it does.