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Books

Caribbean American Heritage Month: Join the Caribbean Book Club

We want you! You are invited to join the Caribbean Book Club on Facebook.  We read books about the Caribbean or by Caribbean authors, and discuss them in the group, on Google hangouts, or on Twitter.  Our members either get review copies of books sent to them through the book club, or purchase on their own, and then join the discussion.

The book club has several authors who share their new works in the book club, and join in the discussions as well.  For most Google hangouts, the author joins us and answers questions.

To watch some of our online discussions, click here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbWnuot4UOOJCvSplJBDS8URt3Ez16ZJZ

To join the Caribbean Book Club, click here and request membership.  Make sure you have notifications on so that you can be the first to know when review copies of books are available.

We have some great selections coming up, and would love to have you join us.

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Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Caribbean Book Club: Meet "The Jumbies" Author Tracey Baptiste

[CLICK HERE TO READ ON OUR NEW MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE]

Jacket Art by Vivienne To; Author photo by Latifah Abdur

The first time that I realized that my kids had no idea what jumbies and the like were, my youngest son 6 or 7 and was going to be in a pan concert There was a play included with a little part about douen.  I didn't go to the rehearsal, and my Christian American husband called me... confused.  They had explained it all to him, but he still didn't love the idea.

In America there are plenty of fairy tales that keep kids and teens from doing certain things... How do you keep kids from being vain and spending too much time in the bathroom?  Bloody Mary. Well, maybe that's not the point of that one, but either way, the husband wasn't having any of it.  He could play in the concert, but that part of the story was off limits. Dead kids with their feet on backwards? Nope. He wasn't going for that - no sir.  I didn't argue.  I have to admit, like any Caribbean kid, these stories freak me out.

So enter Tracey Baptiste's new book, "The Jumbies ." I wasn't sure that I was ready to revisit any of those stories.  My parents didn't spend much time on them really, but I knew enough to be scared as a kid.  This book was hard to pick up, bringing back that fearful little kid who preferred a night light, but even harder to put down once I got started.  The foreshadowing is masterfully done, the descriptions are vivid, and when it’s scary? It’s scary.  When I think about it, it probably isn’t too much more frightening than the American fairy tales that I grew up with… I mean… some woman lured kids to a candy house and tried to eat them, or something right?  If you really think about it, that’s some pretty scary stuff too.

Recently, I will had the pleasure of talking with Tracey Baptiste, author of book for young readers, “The Jumbies

Watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8rpxrVCLs

Tracey Baptiste on TwitterFacebookWebsite (click "visit" to schedule a school visit)

Socamom Caribbean Book Club:https://www.facebook.com/groups/caribbeanbookclub/

Buy the book: On Amazon - The Jumbies

Here’s some more information about her latest book, published by Algonquin Young Readers - http://algonquinyoungreaders.com/book/jumbies/

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Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Woman Problems

It seems that every woman has a certain level of guilt that she has to deal with.  No matter what the race, community, background, lifestyle, citizenship family structure, marital status – there’s always some guilt related to that singular fact – she is a woman.  The more facets there are to your life, the more titles after your name, the more guilt.

As a mom, I have this constant stream of questions going through my head… most of the day.

Do I have a vegetable planned for dinner?  What are we even having for dinner?  Will I have enough time to make dinner?  Are the kids getting enough rest?  Are they active enough? Do they have shoes for playing?  Do they have dress shoes? Do their shoes fit?  Is baby girl’s hair still presentable?  Did the boys get haircuts?  Did they pack enough food for lunch?  Do we have food for them to make lunch?  Should I be getting up earlier to make lunch?  Am I doing something wrong by making them pack lunch for themselves?  Did I make the dental appointments?  Are they supposed to go to the dentist twice for checkups or do the visits for other things like sealants count as visits?  The list goes on and on. Twenty four hours worth of questions – yes – I even ask myself these questions in my sleep.  I go to bed exhausted, and wake up in a panic, wondering if I got it all done yesterday, and if I will be able to do it all today.  Not likely that the answer to either question is “yes”, and that’s where the guilt comes in.  Should I have been able to do it all?

You would think that having the support of my husband, family, and friends would help lessen the feeling, but no – not really.  I am grateful, but I still feel like I should have been able to do it all on my own.  Sometimes admitting that I can’t do it all and relying on someone else makes the guilt even worse.

So what do we do?  What can we do to lessen those guilty feelings?  Here are three things that I do when it all seems like it is too much.

My mom said that talking to yourself doesn’t mean you are crazy, it is when you start answering yourself that there could be a problem.  So first, I admit that I am a little… ahem… touched.

Second, I answer those questions that I ask myself.  Should I be getting up earlier to make lunch? No.  No I shouldn’t.  If they can reach all those near impossible levels on video games, and weave intricate bracelets out of rubber bands, they can put peanut butter on some bread and put it in a bag.  Are they getting enough rest? Probably.  They are welcome to sleep in the car – since they aren’t driving.  Unless I am poking them with a sharp stick during hours that they should be sleeping or making them work the nightshift on a job, it isn’t my fault if they are tired.  They have plenty of opportunities to sleep.  I welcome bedtime – if they choose to stay awake and giggle or tell stories? Not my problem.

Third, I end each one of my answers with, “…and that’s okay.”  Because you know what?  It is.  The kids are happy (for the most part), fed (something), and clean (enough) … and that’s okay.

Do you have a constant stream of questions going through your mind related living life as a woman?  What about the ones that usher in the “Daughter Guilt” or the “Single Woman Guilt” maybe the “Woman in a Position of Power Guilt”?  Anyone dealing with the “All the AboveGuilt?”  Let’s chat about it in the comments!

This post was inspired by The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by journalist Jenny Nordberg, who discovers a secret Afghani practice where girls are dressed and raised as boys. Join From Left to Write on September 16th as we discuss The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan . As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Mom is Funny

My kids swear I am the funniest mom ever – they probably mean sarcastic, but thanks to me, they can’t really tell the difference. Some lovely people from Huffington Post Parents noticed that I was sharing some of my funny mom moments on Twitter, and I ended up having my tweets featured in their "Best Parenting Tweets" for a few weeks.

I told the kids, who were initially excited, but after week 2, they were like... but you are always funny - that's just YOU. What they don't understand is, I'm not the funny one.  They are a HUGE part of what makes me funny.  I just have internet access, and they don't.

People who know me and my crew, know that this is just the tip of the funny bone.  I can honestly say that I have a wonderful time joking around with the kids and listening to them as they develop their own sense of humor.  Their knock knock jokes are painful at best, just not funny at worst, but their spontaneous moments, conversations, and observations are fantastically funny.  Every now and then I’ll ask them, “where’d THAT come from” when they say something particularly amusing.  They always say, “well, my Mom is funny, sooooo…..”

If you say so.

Dad is Fat  ::  Socamom.com

This post was inspired by the novel Dad Is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan who talks about his adventures co-parenting 5 kids in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 22 we discuss Dad Is Fat . As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

Reasons My Kid Is Sleeping

I was looking back at photos in Facebook and realized something. My family gets into a lot of stuff!  There were all kinds of great pictures of the kids all over the country, on climbing walls, fishing, at the beach, running, jumping, working, studying, traveling... just doing.

Mixed in with all of those pictures of them enjoying life, were several of them asleep - most of the time in the car. We really are a family on the go.  I just finished reading Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke in which he gathered images of children... crying... and captioned them.  I have not one single picture of my kids crying. Not one.  Makes me feel some kind of way I guess - whipping out a camera to catch them at their worst - nose running, face contorted, with upset eyebrows.  I don't think that would make them feel any better about whatever is causing them to weep.

So since I couldn't find any crying photos, I figured I'd share these.... Reasons My Kid is SLEEPING.

I love taking pics of my kids when they are asleep - as you can tell.

It tells me that I have done my job as a mom, and given them some exciting adventures to dream about. I probably won't have pics of them crying any time soon - unless they are tears of joy... then hopefully I'll be too busy celebrating with them to even think about pulling out my cell phone.

This post was inspired by the Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke who captures frustrating parenting moments through captioned photos of unhappy kids. Join From Left to Write on April 15 we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

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Author Profile: Eva Wilson  - Website

Eva the author of Anancy's Family Reunion, and the winner of the 2012 Black Weblog Awards for Best Parenting Blog and Best New Blog. Find her on Twitter at @socamomdc.

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