Happy New Year, Lovelies! It’s 2019 and I promise you, life is so beautiful. My babies are healthy, work is plentiful, my friends are magic and rainbows and I’m… free. Finally, everything feels like it’s falling into place and I know it’s like this because in the past year, I put the oxygen mask on myself—made some hard decisions (moved into my own place, got myself a divorce), adopted some hardcore self-care practices (I’m meditating, making art, reading for pleasure and going to a gazillion live music shows, my absolute fav pastime) and learned how to give the flat hand to anything that does not bring me joy. In between all that, I’ve made a point of being deliberate about what I want and just, like, going for it.
That last part is important—especially this early into the new year, because so many people pour their goals into the first few weeks of the year. Puff up their chests and make them grand and go hard for what they think they want.
And then they crash.
This is basically why I don’t do resolutions. For me, they’re a waste of time—a bunch of useless wishes strung together, only to fade away faster than a New Year’s hangover. I’m going to cuss. I’m going to eat some things that aren’t necessarily good for my body goals. I’mma dress like I want, do my hair and wear make-up when I feel like it, hit the gym to be healthy rather than to look a certain way and enjoy my dranks. I refuse to be pressed about anything else beyond doing exactly what Denene wants to do, so long as it doesn’t bring me serious harm.
This is a conversation I’ve long had with my babies, but it’s been more urgent of late. Because of the space I’m in personally. Because they are older and looking to me to figure out how to navigate womanhood thoughtfully. Because I’m their mom and there’s never been a day in their lives that I haven’t been open and honest with them—no matter how high or how low a space I’m in, no matter how difficult the subject.
Which brings me to something mad important to me—a new partnership I’ve formed with responsibility.org to help parents do what I’ve done with my girls since the day they were able to understand the words coming out of my mouth: talk early and often about things that matter to their safety and well-being. Responsibility.org’s mission is to help parents #TalkEarly to our kids—beginning as young as age 6—about underage drinking and responsible decision-making when it comes to beverage alcohol. The #TalkEarly programs, found on its website here, serve up resources to help parents, teachers, and other caregivers create a culture of conversation with children, showing us parents how to be confident about our own decisions regarding alcohol, to model healthy, balanced behaviors, and to create a foundation for starting conversations with our kids from an early age.
Beyond #TalkEarly, Responsibility.org offers parents of tweens, teens and college-aged kids educational programs and materials for conversations that will serve them for a lifetime.
Take a look at what #TalkEarly has to offer; you and your babies will be the better for it, for sure.
I’ll be writing occasionally about my conversations about alcohol that I’ve had—and continue to have—with my daughters. My hope is that you’ll find use in the #TalkEarly info and my personal experience as you take your own parenting journey.
Here’s to a spectacular year—full of wonder, truth and what’s real.
I’m a proud #TalkEarly blogging ambassador and I’ve been compensated for this post, but trust and believe, these opinions are my own. You know I’d have it no other way.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.