Author Archives: Bolaji Williams

Dear TIME Magazine: I Am ‘Mom Enough,’ Thank You Very Much

Dear TIME Magazine: I Am 'Mom Enough,' Thank You Very Much

TIME magazine has taken the “Look Ma, there’s another Ma who’s better than you!” media trope to a whole new level by disingenuously asking “Are You Mom Enough?” Meanwhile, a previous issue had writer Bonnie Rochon, herself a mother who claims to be a breastfeeding advocate and who breastfed her own child just two months shy of her third birthday, had the balls to say, “Nursing even a hungry infant on the subway strikes me as fairly gross.” That’s right, she said “gross.” How old are we here? And is this the voice of female empowerment?

These are the stories that give me pause, but only because it’s not strictly men who police the bodies of women and try to legislate the ways in which women choose to interact with the children they care for; increasingly, and most vocally, it’s women. More »

Thanks Self-Help Books, But My Child Is Actually My Parenting Guru

Thanks Self-Help Books, But My Child Is Actually My Parenting Guru

Children don’t come with a rule book, however, if we look closely enough and pay attention more clearly, we’ll see that the rules are embedded in the child. It certainly doesn’t take a parenting expert to tell us that our busy lives are busy or that sometimes our own needs overshadow the needs of our children. And most of us don’t require an expert to remind us that we may occasionally miss these emotional cues because they happen at inopportune and wholly inconvenient times. You’ve been there, right? I know I have. The test of course is what we do in the moment despite how lofty our expectations regarding the outcome of what an ill-timed parent-child exchange “should” look like.

For example, last month, one March Break day began like any other day. Except my 7-year-old decided that she didn’t want to take a bath before spring Adventure Camp and felt that the most effective way to communicate that to me was via a hysterical meltdown. More »

Sorry Kids, Moms Make Mistakes Too

Sorry Kids, Moms Make Mistakes Too

The last few years of parenting my girls, aged 4 and 7, has been nothing short of eye-opening. Like you, I’ve been immersed in the minutiae of other parents’ day-to-day lives through the lens of moms and dads on the internet. I’ve also heeded much of what the wide variety of child experts and child advocates have suggested, but nothing has taught me more about myself and my “parenting style” than those crazy moments in which my parenting bubble has burst and I have found myself faced with a situation in which I’ve had to apologize to my children. More »

First World Problems: Who Cares About My Daughters’ Girly LEGO?

First World Problems: Who Cares About My Daughtersâ Girly LEGO?

As the mother of two daughters, I have not suddenly become paralyzed with indecision when it comes to choosing pink and girly LEGO over non-pink LEGO for fear of raising marginalized or gender-conforming human beings. Nor have I lost sleep over the fact that Princess Mulan now wears a ball gown instead of traditional Chinese garb. Why? Because I’m not entirely convinced that policing Lego colors or banning princesses is the way to go. More »

Sorry I Can’t Talk, I Have Kids!

Sorry I Can't Talk, I Have Kids!

The art of having a conversation while children are present is my biggest pet peeve. And believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. It’s supremely frustrating trying to talk above and through the chattering haze of children with equal parts grace and respect. And if you’ve been the person with children attempting this, or the person who doesn’t have children trying to talk to your friend whose child has taken center stage in your conversation scenario, you too can relate.

Surely I can’t be the only one who feels ridiculously short-changed and slightly embittered by the real-life consequence of these perennial interruptions? More »

Are We Doomed To The Dysfunction Of Our Parents?

Are We Doomed To The Dysfunction Of Our Parents?

There are certain things that my mother does that I have had to make a concerted effort not to do with my children. She was a big proponent of the “Do as I say, not as I do” school of parenting. Which means my two sisters and I were not ever “allowed” to question her. You read that correctly. If my single parent mother decided something was “best” for us, there was to be no argument or discussion as to why it was best for us. It just was. And that was the end of the discussion.

Now that I’m a parent, I often wonder if this was some sort of self-protection device she used to lessen the amount of talking and explanation that was necessary to “corral” her three children into doing what she wanted us to do at any given moment. If that was the case, I can totes relate.

Some days, all I want to do is not talk. Period. Which I explain to my family by actually saying, “I don’t want to talk anymore.” This non-too subtle way of saying, “I do not have the patience or energy required to explain anything, and I neither do I have the energy, nor the patience, to break down each initiative as if it were a science project.” It simply means that my parenting reserves are empty. Depleted. Dry. More »

Help! I Can’t Stop Telling New Moms How To Parent

Help! I Canât Stop Telling New Moms How To Parent

Last week one of my husband’s very good childhood friends had a beautiful baby boy. He and his wife and are in their mid 30s and this is their first child. The first photos of the babe reached my husband through a private messenger chat page quite early. There’s a shot of him being cleaned up, an adorable shot of him stretching and crying, plus pictures of a relaxed, smiling mommy and a joyful daddy. And then there was a shot of the babe with a soother in his mouth.

“Already?!” I gasped, hovering over the photo with hawk-like precision. “He’s like a minute old, why would they put that thing in his mouth so soon?” More »

My Kids Can Cope With The Holiday Stress. I’m The One Who Can’t

My Kids Can Cope With The Holiday Stress. Iâm The One Who Canât

I’m not going to lie. I’m tired. Exhausted. Irritable. Stressed out. And the short fuse that was already considered too short, well, it just got shorter. What is it, you ask? Chronic Fatigue? PMS? SAD? Some incurable ailment? No, it’s called parenting. More specifically it’s the parenting jog that begins in September and ends rather blissfully a few short days before Christmas. In fact, at the time of writing, the break will be a few short weeks away. Did you hear that? It’s the sound of imaginary champagne bottles popping! WOOT!

But here’s the thing: Rather than indulging in a self-absorbed mommy-rant – and, believe me, I fully support the occasional outburst – I want to talk about the myriad ways in which parents are supposed to suck it up and keep it moving right along without so much as a crack in the veneer to suggest otherwise. More »

Chronic Asthma Will Not Define My Daughters’ Lives

Chronic Asthma Will Not Define My Daughters' Lives

I have asthma and both of my children have asthma. No, we are not “cursed” with bad luck, as my Asian in-laws believe. I swear our genes are AWESOME, and we are blessed in other ways!

I’ve had asthma since I was 11 months old, which means that asthma is something I’ve lived with my entire life. They used to promise that I’d grow out of it, but I never did. Now they tell sufferers that you manage it. For me it’s really not a “big deal” in the sense that I don’t know of any other lifestyle. More »

Parents, Get Over Your Fear Of Unvaccinated Children

Parents, Get Over Your Fear Of Unvaccinated Children

Recently a mom wrote a post on this very site with the title, “Your Unvaccinated Kid Is Not Welcome Play With Mine.” When I read this headline I couldn’t decide if I was more troubled with the headline, the article itself or with the ensuing commentary. Shortly after, Time tweeted a link that suggested “1 in 10 parents don’t vaccinate their children,” to which I RT’d, “That’s because 1 in 10 of parents are assholes.” More »

Defrocked: Our Beloved Priest Was Actually A Pedophile

Defrocked: Our Beloved Priest Was Actually A Pedophile

After high school I travelled to Lille, France to become a jeune fille au pair. Much like my older sister who paved the way, this was to be my year off towards self-discovery. While in France, I received a devastating letter from my mother that would inevitably change the way I viewed religion, God and humanity for the rest of my life.

I recall my mother’s letter being very brief. It also contained a yellowed newspaper clipping. If memory serves, there was a shrouded image in the foreground – much like the darkened images they use on TV to protect witnesses – of the young boy who had accused Father Charles Griggs, my childhood priest, of sexual abuse. More »

I’m A Mother – And A Bully In The Kitchen

Iâm A Mother â And A Bully In The Kitchen

This summer, after my family and I spent a delightful week at the cottage with our very good friends and their son, plus another longtime friend and fellow cottage-goer, I came to the foregone conclusion that I am a bully in the kitchen. The good part is that I was able to reach this conclusion on my own. The awkward part is that while I recognize that the bully/control freak in me could be a direct result of the life-threatening allergies my daughters’ have, my fear of contamination could be interpreted as slightly overwrought. More »