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Mommy life

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“The System” Wasn’t The Only One to Fail Maleah Davis

Ever since I came across the Maleah Davis case a little over a week ago I knew something was not right. If you aren’t familiar with the case, 4 year old Maleah Davis was reported missing by her mother’s fiancé, who  the news has been referring to as Maleah’s stepfather. The “stepfather” claimed that he pulled over on the way to the airport to investigate what he thought was a flat tire when he, Maleah, and his one year old son were abducted by 3 men. According to the news he claims he was in and out of consciousness for a period of almost 24 hours when he woke up on the side of the highway with his son, but without his stepdaughter.

Right away I called BS. There’s just no way. I don’t have any type of degree in law or any professional police training and I knew this crap just did not sound right. Fast forward to the end of the week after multiple revelations of past cps cases, the “missing” car being found and Maleah’s medical history when we finally hear something that makes sense from Maleah’s mother. She suspects her now “ex” had something to do with Maleah’s disappearance.

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What to Do When You Suspect Abuse at School

When I picked RJ up from school a few weeks ago he was sitting at the table in his classroom pouting. This wasn’t that much of a shocker to me. He’s a moody 4 year old, he’s whiny and he’s a pouter much like most kids his age. But when I found out the reason he was pouting I was surprised. He told me he was in trouble for punching his teacher. Ummmm, what?! Of all the adjectives I just used to describe my child aggressive was not one of them. My child isn’t nor has he ever been a hitter. He’s a sweet kid, he’s a cuddler and sometimes he is just too dang friendly. So if I had to pin down one word to express my feelings in the exact moment he looked me in the face and told me he punched his teacher it would be… CONFUSED. 

In the moment all I could say was exactly what was in my head…. WHAT??? Why would you punch the teacher. I questioned him repeatedly once we got home about what exactly happened in the situation that would lead him to believe it’s OK to put his hands on anyone, much less an adult. The only thing response he gave me or his father as much as he asked was that he was afraid. This happened on a Friday and Sunday night rolled around and I mentioned the incident to his grandmother and in front of me he gave her the same response.

When I left, he had a completely different story.

RJ told his grandmother, after I had been asking him all weekend that he was afraid to go back to school because the teacher hit him. *cue another Ummmm, what?!* This time I wasn’t confused. The maternal instinctual feeling was rage. I had no idea how to even begin to process the 100% emotional reaction that I was having to my preschooler telling me that his teacher put their hands on him. Thankfully, the incident was resolved quickly and I’m comfortable with the outcome however, in the time we live in these happenings are become far to frequent. The news stories are highlighted everywhere and I’m wondering if people are listening to the cues from their children so that we can prevent these things from happening as much as possible.

What Do You Do When You Suspect Abuse at School?

Take a deep breath – I almost added this as the last tip but it needs to be said first. Breathe, assess and don’t react. Easier said than done, but reacting without assessing the situation could be detrimental in many aspects. It’s so important to collect yourself first so that you can respond to the situation as calmly as possible.

Watch your child – Children don’t always have the words to express what is happening. And even if they do, they may be nervous to share what they are experiencing. RJ repeatedly told me he was scared and refused to say anything else. Up until this particular incident he never expressed any anxiety about going to school. He loves to play with his friends and he loves the interaction he gets with both his teachers. Him expressing fear about school was definitely a behavioral shift, something that couldn’t go ignored.

Speak to the teacher privately – And when I say privately I mean without your child present. RJs situation turned out to be a misunderstanding (trust me, it was investigated fully) but I believe addressing the situation with the teacher privately is one of the most important steps. You want to be able to get a full scope of the situation without causing any more adverse negative effects. So in this instance, I didn’t want RJ to feel even more uncomfortable with being in the classroom in the event that he was to remain in that class.

Speak with school administrators – You want to have everything on record in the event that another situation happens. So even if the situation is “resolved” within the classroom it should still be brought to the attention of someone else and a formal report should be made.

Don’t feel any type of guilt. The safety of your child comes first.

Document everything – This again is merely another step in covering yourself in case you need to escalate. If you can have each meeting documented and signed by all that were in attendance so that there are no discrepancies.

Utilize the open door policy – I know in most cases we send our children to school with the expectation that they’re going to be well taken care of and you don’t have to worry, but if you worry then check in. My son’s school has an open door policy which I definitely utilize. Don’t feel bad about popping up unexpected. If you can check in unannounced, you may feel. It also gives you a chance to see the true classroom dynamic at any given time.

Change your child’s class – If it comes down to it, have your child moved to a different class. Both you and your child deserve to be in a situation you feel comfortable with. If you suspect or have a fear your child is being mistreated or treated differently after investigating the event, a change may be needed.

Stick to your guns and follow your instinct – This is a two in one tip. As a parent no one in the world knows your child better than you. Follow their cues, and your instinct if you feel something is amiss. You deserve to be comfortable with the care your child is receiving when they are away from you.

You’re doing amazing mamas! I’m so proud of you!

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Disneynature Penguins: Getting Your Kids Excited About Earth Day

I’m not gonna lie, the Disneynature movies don’t get the same amount of love that other Disney movies get.  Unless you’re a one year old. If Zayn is excited about any movie coming out, it’s this one. He knows what the trailer sounds like and when he hears the commercial come on Disney Junior he’s running in from another room to catch it. It’s always adorable to see him gasp and point like it’s his first time. Every single time.

My kids are animal lovers. I’m pretty sure RJ has transferred his love of animals to his little brother. We frequent zoos, the aquarium and take all chances to get up close and personal with animals. The majority of their favorite movies involve animal characters and RJ spends a lot of time perfecting his animal sounds. It only makes sense that they’re just as excited about this movie as any other one. I’m also pretty sure that they think it’s going to be something similar to Happy Feet. They still watch that movie on repeat. Continue Reading →

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5 Tips to Deal with Maternal Separation Anxiety

You never really know what kind of parent you’re going to be. I worried from the very beginning about the type of mom I would be. Would I be too easy going? Would my kids listen? Am I capable of providing my children with a life that wouldn’t require therapy some 15-20 years down the line? Parenting is a constant merry go round of one worry or the other and no one can quite prep you for just how it feels. But the one thing I didn’t expect to worry about as much as I do? Leaving them.

It’s not like separation anxiety is a new topic in the parenting community. If you google it you can find tons of articles and sites dedicated to how to deal with separation anxiety through all ages of infancy and adolescence. But what happens when the shoe is on the other foot? I know I can’t be the only mom out there whose heart beats a little faster when it’s time for me to leave my kids. My anxiety is not that bad, I’m not talk about a regular day to do basis in which I leave and go to work. However, I have been blessed with many opportunities to travel recently and it never fails, a few days before it’s time to go the voices in my head go crazy and the dread creeps in.

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People Are Always Shocked When I Tell Them This One Thing My Kids Haven’t Done

We have been blessed with the ability to live in one of the busiest cities in the U.S.. For the most part, I love living in NYC. There truly is always something to do if you’re looking. We really take the name of the city that never sleeps to heart. That being said, I probably haven’t done like 85% of the things that one would expect when you live in a city this big. I’ve never been to a broadway show, I can’t remember if I’ve been to the statue of liberty, & I’ve only been in Times Square after midnight because I used to work in one of the stores there. I feel like I was a pretty sheltered child. I didn’t REALLY start to experience the magic of the city until I was old enough to venture there alone. I’m pretty sure thats common growing up here.

I was taking the subway alone by the time I was 12, maybe younger. My brother and I would take the train and the bus, from our house to my grandmas house on the weekends. Back then I don’t think it was that abnormal to see young children on the train alone. At 12 I was probably the size of a 9/10 year old, but I still remember taking that trip when the time came. It was no big deal. It’s never felt like a big deal especially living here, until I had children of my own. Continue Reading →