My mother has been one of the most important blessings that God has bestowed upon me. Her maternal instincts, to her wisdom, humor, guidance, and tough love have aided in shaping the man you read before you today. Whether leading by example or speaking her mind (which she never has any issue offering opinions), she gave me a roadmap of how to maneuver the world as a man and a decent human being. I’m not a mama’s boy (I don’t think), but I care for my mom and have conversations with her about all aspects of life. My interactions with women won’t always be prevalent in these discussions, but when she wants to assure that her philosophy is embedded in my mind, she will drop knowledge upon my soul that will resonate throughout time. I wanted to share the lessons my mother taught me about women and dating that have helped shape my interactions with the fairer s*x:
I Aint Raising No Babies!
My mother works in healthcare and sees a whole bunch of crazy sh*t daily. High amongst these wild occurrences was a rash of teen pregnancies. We’ve all experienced teen pregnancy at some point in our lives. I still remember being shocked when one of my home girls showed up to school and was 5 months pregnant. It was taboo back then, and not glorified on reality TV as it is today. My mom would hear none of that, so she made sure to inform me that 1) She doesn’t have the money to help raise a kid, 2) We don’t have space in our crib for a crib, and 3) to keep my d*ck in my pants to avoid such problems, and if I can’t then I better be wearing a condom. I promise you this was our de-facto “birds and the bees” conversation and it was equal parts disturbing and hilarious.
I heard the message loud and clear, and avoided that early pregnancy bug. More importantly, my mom taught me that she would NEVER raise a deadbeat dad. I would hold equal weight for any child I brought into the world. She was a single mom for a time as well, so I saw the struggles she endured, and she let me know that a woman will do what they have to do for their kids, irrespective of the man, but a true stand up man would take ownership of that responsibility and not be a typical absent father. I understood the importance of safe sex, and how YOLO should never be applied when condoms aren’t available. No coochie is worth the trouble, not to mention the potential risks of STD’s. Sidebar, it’s funny how years ago I would’ve said avoiding a pregnancy > avoiding a STD. Then again HIV/AIDS were still mysteries. I digress…
No Means NO
I dedicated a whole section of my e-book, and shared it here with the masses on my mother’s teachings on this subject. Here is an excerpt from that article:
I would say that it has to be a gut feeling, mixed with the analysis of non-verbal communication. See, I’m always weary of trusting intuition. As a youth, my mom ingrained the following mantra: “If a woman says no, No means NO!!!” No matter what I thought she really meant I would stop when she says no. There’s a difference between a verbal confirmation and physical. There will be times when things get hot and heavy between a woman, and she might do a gentle push away or the classic “Let’s slow down” phrase, while she’s getting increasingly aggressive, but once she says to chill, I chill!
Almost 2 years later, those words are still gospel. With the current highlight on rape and the mentalities of our young men in blogs and social media recently, I make sure to perform proper due diligence on myself and my actions so that I don’t get caught out there. Call me paranoid, but you won’t have to call me in jail!
Women Will Judge You (and Your Mom) by the Basic Skills You Possess
If you know anyone who grew up in the Haitian culture, you know that Haitians have an obsession with what other people think. Anything negative I ever did as a kid, I got the same scolding speech, warning that “people were going to talk about me” because I [insert not so serious transgression here]. When I was younger (and even right now) I never saw the point of making my bed. If I was going to come home and mess it up again, why present it nicely for an empty room? My logic as a youth was witty yet flawed, and my mother was right there to tell me about myself. She would tell me that there are basic things a man should be able to do himself without assistance from a woman (cook, iron clothes, clean, make beds, etc.). Although societal and gender roles might dictate the woman to perform more domestic tasks, a man who was unable of performing these tasks would be looked upon as weak and helpless. “You better make this bed right. Don’t have women out there talking about me!!!” my mother warned, and I obliged. I’m very self-sufficient, and wouldn’t want any man or woman to say that I couldn’t take care of myself, so I honed those simple skills and made sure to be a more well-rounded man.
Never Lose Your Mind Over a Woman
I was going through a bad breakup years ago, and my mom saw that it was affecting me greatly. She asked me what was wrong and we spoke. I explained my broken heart, my confusion and my anger. She told me two things that day. First, she said “you need to speak up more and make sure you talk to someone about any issues you have, because wallowing in self-pity and bottling things inside can only lead to bad mental and emotional health”. The second thing she said is one of my top 5 most gangster quotes about women I’ve ever heard “There are millions of women in the world, why are you losing your mind over ONE?!” I swear if I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought these were my father’s words and he wasn’t even that blunt! This was the maternal equivalent of “Eff these hoes man!” and I loved it! It was the tough and uncut words I needed to hear to snap me out of my funk and back on the scene and remind me that the world wasn’t ending due to a bad relationship.
Men and women will agonize over the opposite sex, and it’s not healthy. Always know that you’ll be ok no matter what the situation and you’ll be straight.
Don’t Be an @sshole
My mom would always tell me to handle myself with dignity when interacting with females (*ducks*). I remember one conversation she overheard with an ex where I MIGHT have raised my voice. She was on me like a lockdown NBA defender, chastising me for allegedly screaming at her and to watch my tone. My immediate reaction was “but you don’t even know what this b… woman said to me first Mom!!” but I didn’t react. I heeded the wise words and used more tact in my discussion. Later on, my mom would nicely tell me not to act like an asshole towards women. She says that I should always show respect and class when interacting with women, and never disrespect. Women deserve good treatment and I shouldn’t stoop to any level regardless of the circumstances. This is great for relationships and the workplace, and I apply that lesson is all areas of human interaction with great results.
Those lessons imparted on me by my mother helped me to think rationally and sensibly with women. It made me self aware of my actions and provided some clarity to the ever evolving enigma that is the female psyche. There’s nothing like a mother’s love and a parent’s wisdom.
Fellas, any lessons your mom or any women in your family have taught you? Ladies, are there any lessons that your dad (or mom) taught you about men?