Why Mom University?
My desire to form Mom University under my non-profit comes from challenges that I have faced and are facing as a mom raising girls. I grew up with a mom that was constantly stressed, angry and made me feel that I was her worst enemy. My mother struggled as a mom and it affected me on many levels, self esteem being one of them. I grew up not understanding how a mom that was supposed to love and nurture could be so distant, unloving and unhappy. I felt this way for many years until I became a mom of two girls. Funny how life turns the tables on you! I found myself doing the same things to my teen daughter that were done to me. Constantly angry and unloving. As soon as I hit the door after a long day of work I attacked anyone in my path! It hit me like a ton of bricks. How could this happen? How could I do the same hurtful things? The crazy thing is I was doing all of this while helping to run an community based organization for girl (G.E.M.S. & Jewels Empowerment Group for Girls)!
I immediately had to take a step back from it all and look at my life. I was over stressed, running in a billion directions, taking care of everyone else, working full time, being a wife and trying to make a difference. My health was deteriorating and I was just not happy.. totally burned out. I have "done and am continue to do the work" as one of my favorite empowerment leaders Iyanla Vanzabt says. To create more balance in my life, take time out for myself, exercise and work on communicating better with my daughters and becoming a better woman and mom.
So that brings me to today, covers over my head worrying whether or not to move forward or cancel my upcoming classes. I think of the little girl who suffered for many years, I think about my mom and the many things she was facing in her own life and now seeing the difficulties of raising my own daughters my many worries, ever changing hormones, boys, sexuality, self esteem and other issues I realize I have to keep going, no matter what it looks like. We must take time as moms and women to invest in ourselves since we pour out constantly! I want my Mom University classes to be real, transparent, educational and fun! I love a great event/party and the chance to get out and away from my duties. Mix that with empowerment..pure heaven!
Why Sexy Baby Film?
In thinking about classes I wanted to provide I immediately thought about parenting in a digital and social media age. I remember on one occasion finding out that my then 8th grade daughter, 13 at the time, was talking to a 16 year old sophomore in high school via cell phone. Mama bear politely called this young man and politely advised him that it would be in his best interest to leave my daughter alone and stick to someone his own age. All done in love of course! On another occasion I found out that she was able to chat online with a man through a child friendly website she had created in the 6th grade. She got scared when he talked about meeting somewhere and ended up telling me about it. We quickly shut that down as well. The fact that in the comfort of my own home men and older boys were able to reach my daughter all without me knowing was just so scary! That feeling of not being able to protect or control your child was hard to deal with. Coupled with our over sexualized culture and the fact that we are bombarded with sex and the new norm to be sexy just can make a parent feel helpless.
Screenshot from Miley Cyrus' music video Wrecking Ball
Why is she naked!!!
I stumbled upon the Sexy Baby Film on cable one evening and was horrified to see extreme cases of how sex and our porn culture is effecting girls and women through many platforms like social media and technology. I had a sick feeling in my stomach after watching it and realizing I was slowly seeing little things in my youngest daughter who is 9 and her desire to be able to text, getting online or hearing her sing lyrics to the many songs that are out there in mainstream media.
Rhianna Music Video "Pour It Up" (Explicit Lyrics)
So I decided to get the rights to the film to show during my Mom University workshops but also to share with teens, parents, educators, college students, high schools and middle schools as a way to start the conversation and create social change. I hosted a small screening in my home with my oldest daughter and 10 teen girls and a couple moms and everyone was blown away to see how our society shapes the way we think and act. After everyone left my daughter opened up to me about pressures she feels and sees at her high school to be sexy and other challenges. It was just so amazing to see the light bulb go off for her and the few moms and teens that came.
Founder and Her Daughter
Check out the film trailer below. (Will be showing the high school version appropriate for girls 14 and up)
So I will continue on in hopes that my efforts will help moms dealing with real everyday issues and help raise awareness and create social change on the many issues we face today. I am confident that there is a need and the real effects of all of these challenges are only going to get worse. So I will continue forward to put resources in place to make a difference. One of my big dreams and wishes is to get funding, grants, for my new initiative to offer these things for free. I know that it will come I just have to start somewhere.
Big thanks to the Work Spot for being the home for our 1st series of classes! My hope is to have our own empowerment center to be the home for our wonderful programs! If you are interested in attending our parenting in a cyber and sexy age class join us on 10/20/13! To attend the event or get more info click here!
To view and register for our upcoming Mom University classes please click here or visit our website www.empowerherinc.com .
To support our mission consider making a tax deductible donation HERE. Empower Her, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization.
I would like to send a big thank you to my husband, daughters, mom (she is now my biggest fan and supporter), dad, family, friends and mentors for always supporting me in my 'want to give up moments'! You ALL ROCK!!
Empower Her, Inc.