Three Things I Don’t Have To Worry About as a Boy Mom

Three Things I Don’t Have To Worry About as a Boy Mom

I’m a proud mom of two vivacious boys. They keep me on my toes and inject laughter into the fiber of my every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yet,  I still get approached about having a girl. I’m a tomboy at heart, I grew up with two brothers and mostly male friends, boys are sort of my jam. While I would never be disappointed it either of them were a girl, I must admit, I enjoy being a boy mom.

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This world can seem crazy most days and raising a young girl to be a strong and independent woman frightens me. Especially as of late, where it seems, there are so many issues that effect females entirely while young men seem unscathed. Yes I am aware there are issues about raising young boys that anger me, like growing up in a society that teaches boys to ignore their feelings / emotions. I do my best to battle these troubling masculinity issues and explain that there are all kinds of differences in people, and all feelings matter. Still, there are some issues they will never have to face, and to be honest, I’m grateful for it.

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Sexualization

Everywhere I look these days it seems young girls are being exposed to more and more sexualization in childhood. There are heels for toddlers, bikinis that compete with Swimsuit Illustrated for young girls, and the majority of Halloween costumes bearing a mid-drift. My contribution can only be to raise young boys into men who know the true value of having women as equal partners in this life, and to always exhibit this  manner of respect at all times.

Body Shaming

Whether its weight issues, or body image. Women are far more likely to take a beating regarding their physical appearance. It can be quite discouraging to know that you can do anything and everything that your male counterparts do, yet still be reduced to something as menial as your appearance. Women are criticized for showing too much, or too little on a constant basis. My only hope is to raise young men who see beyond appearances and can appreciate women who show up and give their all, no matter what line of work they are in.

Education Opportunities

As willing participants, my boys will have every opportunity at an education that their ambition will afford them. There is no glass ceiling, the opportunities are endless. This can also be attributed to the region in which we were born. There are still so many countries in this world that do not provide education for young girls. Almost instantly they are denied opportunities so that their male siblings and neighbors will have a chance to get an education. CARE.org is a global humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting poverty through educating young girls and women. They believe wholeheartedly that the salvation of these communities lies within the women of the community.

It breaks my heart to realize there are so many young ladies that have gone without the opportunities they deserve simply because of their gender. The voices that haven’t been heard. The thoughts, ideas, hypothesis, and theories we’ve gone without because of a person’s sex. It seems so simple, yet still so far from becoming the norm. The folks are CARE.org are doing all they can to break this cycle and encourage communities to support the women that support them. #SimplySaid is a campaign developed by CARE to bring awareness to young women all over the world with a thirst for knowledge. Allowing these young women to put their dreams and aspirations on paper and state what it is they wish to achieve in this lifetime.

We just returned from a three-day trip to Legoland for my oldest sons sixth birthday. I sat back and watched as he thoroughly enjoyed himself freely without a care in the world. It brings me joy, while still reminding me of how lucky we are, and how much we can take for granted. Six year olds in other parts of the world have the same desires as my son, but do not have the resources available to express those desires.

You can join CARE by writing your own letter of hope to a child in need. Our word have power, and becoming a beacon of light and hope to a child who would otherwise not have any, can very well change the course of their life.

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Essentially yours,

Erika


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The Most Inspirational Movie of the Year

The Most Inspirational Movie of the Year

The most inspirational family movie of the year hits theaters today!

Queen of Katwe has already received critical acclaim for its inspiring portrayal of real-life chess champion, Madina Nalwanga.

Here are a ton of clips to inspire you to head to the theater and experience the best chess move for yourself!

HSN is excited to partner with Soular Backpacks! For every Soular Backpack purchased, a solar-powered backpack is given to a child in Africa to help study at night. Currently, children are using kerosene lamps, which can cause health complications. Soular Backpacks use natural energy from the sun during a child’s walk home from school. Make a difference today: http://gohsn.co/gh6NNz

Queen of Katwe is in theaters nationewide Friday, September 30th!

Essentially yours,

Erika

What is Process Art? A New Spin on Creativity

What is Process Art? A New Spin on Creativity

When I married my husband I knew he was an artist at heart. This means I was well aware that it would be perfectly normal for me to find paint stains on the dining room table, and I’ve even grown accustomed to it over the years. I’ve even learned to embrace his creativity when he decides to focus his capabilities on clothing (RIP to my jeans). He was able to channel his artistic energy and find joy in a profession (men’s grooming) that allowed him the freedom and creativity he longed for.

Between his painting & drawing skills, my musical ear and writing aspirations, we were pretty convinced we were going to have artistic children. I prepared myself for paint stains, and he’s ready to embrace a love for Broadway musicals. Our oldest has already expressed a love for music, while our little guy has been able to hold a pen / pencil / crayon properly since he was one years old. For this reason we’ve embraced the arts and always have fun crafts and materials on hand at home. On any given Sunday afternoon you can find us dancing in the living room listening to vinyl records, or painting side by side with each other at the dining room table (sigh, still no change there).

Since having children, I’ve noticed a change in how society relates to children’s art. We live in a world that expects young children to cut a straight line in pre-school, and color inside the lines. We visited a local library recently for their “Crafter-noon” session and I was surrounded by a dozen parents taking over the entire craft. There was an example at the front, and everyone’s goal was to make theirs replicate the example. The kids looked confused and lost focus, while the parents all compared how well they each did. Where is the fun in that?

Pottery Cool

What is Process Art?

According to Wikipedia: Process art is an artistic movement as well as a creative sentiment where the end product of art and craft, is not the principal focus. The ‘process’ in process art refers to the process of the formation of art: the gathering, sorting, collating, associating, patterning, and moreover the initiation of actions and proceedings. Process art is concerned with the actual doing and how actions can be defined as an actual work of art; seeing the art as pure human expression. Process art often entails an inherent motivation, rationale, and intentionality. Therefore, art is viewed as a creative journey or process, rather than as a deliverable or end product.

This makes perfect sense!

Life, I’ve learned over the years, is all about the journey. Art imitates life, so why wouldn’t art be about the journey as well? For this reason we do not encourage crafts that mimic any particular example, or put adult judgements on children’s art.

Example: “The sky should be blue.”

If that child felt like drawing a purple sky, it’s valid and should only be admired. We also do not estimate their work with praise or criticism.

Example: “That flower is so pretty, good job!”

Pottery Cool

By placing a rank or judgement on the child’s creation you almost steal the moment. We’ve found a lot more success just describing what we see and watching as the pride beams through their eyes. They feel self-gratification for their creation and decided for themselves how they feel about it. This is a really wonderful feeling to watch as a parent.

One of the best ways we’ve been able to encourage process art at home is by getting the children involved in projects that use every day materials, or require a lot of sensory involvement, i.e. touch, smell. This gets the children engaged and if we step back as parents, this is where the real magic begins to unfold. This isn’t possible to see with typical crafts. How much of a child’s personality can we really see shine, when they are all striving to create the same outcome? Art is very much about interpretation, and that’s the beauty of it. Three artists can look at the same piece and see something different. We all have something different to bring to the table and that’s the beauty of art.

Pottery Cool

Pottery Cool

Pottery Cool is an awesome at-home pottery wheel that is putting a new spin on creativity at home. It allows kids to create whatever it is that they want using clay and a unique turntable that lets gravity do the work. Real crafts they can easily create themselves and actually use! They make great gifts for friends and parents, and the clean-up is simple enough to get them involved as well.

Pottery Cool

Pottery Cool provides fun for hours! Just place a clay disk on the turn-table and spray it with water, then watch as they have a blast creating the shapes they want. Once it dries, the fun continues as they get to paint their creation.

Pottery Cool

Here are some fun examples:

This kind of investment can follow kids throughout their lives. Allowing them to get to know themselves and really develop who they are now, will set the groundwork for a secure individual who will always be comfortable with themselves and doesn’t need to follow the crowd.

Pottery Cool

Pottery Cool is available at your local Walmart.

Essentially yours,

Erika

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Pottery Cool


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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