S1E20 - Reflecting on Season 1

Episode 20 June 07, 2023 00:39:56
S1E20 - Reflecting on Season 1
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S1E20 - Reflecting on Season 1

Jun 07 2023 | 00:39:56


Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

The first season of Start to Finish Motherhood has been a truly incredible journey, filled with blessings and a deep trust in the path set before me. I've had the privilege of sharing meaningful, human stories from diverse perspectives, emphasizing the importance of connecting on a personal level. Through my own experiences and a desire to pay it forward, I've focused on normalizing black voices and stories, amplifying their narratives alongside those of others.


Within the Single Mother by Choice community, I've found my calling, empowering individuals to live their best lives. By presenting a comprehensive portrayal of the journey, I've aimed to capture the full range of experiences and emotions. I'm immensely grateful to all the guests who trusted me with their stories, and I'm excited to continue highlighting the essence of each interview that resonated with listeners.


These Episodes have videos that can be found here on my YouTube channel:


S1E2 - *Video* On Why Self-Care Should be a Priority (Part 1) with Tennielle Brew


S1E10 - *Video* How to Plan a Life-Changing Sabbatical Abroad (Single Mom by Choice Style)


S1E15 - *Video* On Financial Planning for Single Mothers by Choice w/ Wilson

S1E17 - *Video* On Navigating Donor Sibling Relationships w/ Edrenna and Rosanna Hertz

S1E18 - *Video* On Using a Known Donor - w/ Elaine


Audio only episodes:

S1E6 - (Part 2) On Shooting for the Stars as a Single Mother by Choice parenting with a Disability

S1E8 - On Making Mommy Friends w/ Vikki

S1E9 - On Ending the Single Mother by Choice (SMC) Journey and Moving on w/ Rahmah

S1E16 - On A Mother's Legacy w/ Dawn Wright

S1E12 - On Sisterhood Among SMCs w/ Shivonne and Kim

S1E14 - Parenting the Child in Front of You (rebroadcast)

S1E21 - (Part 1) On Challenging the Assumption that Single Mothers by Choice Hate Men w/ Clinton


You can find my guests:

@gisnorthstar (Clinton Johnson)

@blackexpatmom (Jas)

@brewwellnessCollective (Tanielle)

@moneyspeakeasy (Wilson)

[email protected] (Rosanna Hertz)


Honorable Mentions: 

@shopangeliquerene (My Stylist)

@vaycarious (Stephanie Perry)

@shida (Roshida)


My Facebook Community:

Melanated Single Mothers by Choice Community 


View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] this is the last episode of season one I wanted to reflect back on the season. I wanted to reflect back on where I am at this point in my life. life is great. It's amazing, blessings abound. One of the things that I will always tell people is that god knows where you're supposed to be and I believe that my steps are ordered sometimes I don't always hear when I should, and then when I do get that nudge, I don't look back. I just put one foot in front of the other, and I ultimately [00:01:00] trust God to open up the right doors for me and put the right people on my path, and God has always done that. So I will say that I love. Telling other people's stories. I love creating spaces for people to be vulnerable and tell their stories, this podcast series has given me that opportunity to really delve in and tell deep, meaningful stories the way that I think that they should be told. People are people, regardless of where they are in the hierarchy, what they do for a living, how much money they have. At the end of the day, we connect as people, and I will call that kind of like. a carry over from my childhood. As I've mentioned in premium episodes, I go through the whole story, but I did lose my parents at an early kind of pivotal point in my life. As I was going into adolescence and becoming a teenager and I was looking for a home, I was struggling at those points in my life and making that human connection. Had been [00:02:00] like a lifesaver to me. So I guess this is my way of paying it forward to all the people who have ever imparted and touched my life in any kind of way. I wanna tell the human story, so I rarely talk about people's titles. I rarely know what my friends do. My friends rarely know what I do because the way that I operate is just on a very human level. And so, For me in particular, I don't hear enough black women's stories out there or black people's stories out there. And so while my audience is global and universal, I really want it to normalize telling human stories from a black perspective because we open books, we open magazines, we turn on the tv, and we hear so many and we see so much normalization of human stories, but told by white people and white characters. And so I was very intentional about making my [00:03:00] podcast series as. Black, as diverse as it can be without stating the obvious, because we should be comfortable hearing our stories told from people in different skins just to the things that bind us are the things that we have similar in terms of just being human. All right, so life. is fascinating. There are so many lanes that you can choose, I've always been the type of person, I'm more reserved when I am in a group of people, and I don't always say a lot, but I do choose my lanes accordingly so that when it is my turn to speak that I can speak in a meaningful way that connects. To other people. And so I feel like my lane, my comfort zone is with the Single Mother by Choice community and empowering people to just live their best lives. so I do absolutely feel comfortable in this lane. I came to the Single Mother by Choice path [00:04:00] from a place of joy, from a place of love. And I hope that has come through in the stories that I tell I truly enjoy people. When it came down to me deciding how I wanted to tell the stories, I wanted to not just highlight the Single Mother by Choice journey. I wanted to tell the full story of how one gets to the point of choosing single motherhood to going through all the things that we do logistically the ways that, you know, we hit those highs and we hit those lows. I really thought that it was important that if I was going to tell this story, I would tell it from the broadest spectrum possible. And I hope that that did come across in this first season. So let's get into, I really wanted to thank all of the guests who trusted me with their stories, who trusted me with editing their stories and just sharing it out with the world. so I wanted to go through, And individually pull out what I thought was a [00:05:00] quote or something that just kind signified what the entire interview with the guest was about. Tanielle. Appeared on episodes two and three of the podcast and we focused on self-care and we talked a little bit about black trauma and the black excellence and setting that aside and how she did that using yoga as a practice in her life. I think. The reason why the interview with Tanielle was so important to me was because she had caught me at a crossroads in my life. I was in the process of having to schedule her and then having something unexpected happen and having to reschedule her, and she handled it all with such grace and such love. And I believe that, that love, that sense of peace came across in the two part episode that I did with her. And so I was fortunate to capture some candid moments with [00:06:00] her. So here's just a clip of one of those moments this fertility journey has really developed my level of patience and surrender. Okay. ? I'm just gonna go on a little journey with y'all. Okay. I was 16, 16, 17. I never had my period. Okay. Just never had it. So we went to the gynecologist, they did all the tests, I have all the parts. It just wasn't happening. Come to find out, my brain wasn't communicating with my body. Cause we all think everything happens down the pelvis, but really it's your brain that gives you those signals to have your period. Well, mine didn't happen. Okay. So I knew from age of 16 17 that when it's time for me to have children, I would have to go through some kind of fertility treatment. So that wasn't a surprise to me. So Dina appeared on episodes five and six, and I so appreciate Dina for the richness, the levels of her life in navigating life as a [00:07:00] Single, Mother by Choice who just happens to have a disability and it has not stopped her her career, has soared, I mean, literally soared. She's a, a program manager. She is an all around amazing person and mom to a son who is four, just like my daughter. So, So, God bless you Dina. I know what you're experiencing I am a science geek and we are able to just connect and I light up because what kid in science doesn't grow up wanting to be an astronaut or wanting to be, to walk on the moon one day or sometimes go into zero gravity. And so here's my favorite clip from my conversation with Dina. (Insert Clip of Denna) so there is an organization called Astra Access who has been partnering with organizations like Zero G, Virgin Galactic, blue Origins Sierra Space, a number of different companies [00:08:00] to answer that question of how will people with disabilities engage in space exploration? So they set, set up an opportunity for. Individuals with disabilities like myself who are in STEM careers who can design research experiments that will test out what are some of the practical challenges that we need to solve in a microgravity environment. So recently I was selected as an astro access ambassador, and I completed my first zero gravity flight in December. And with a team of 14 other crew members with various types of disabilities along with other astronauts, and we designed and implemented research areas that really answered that question as, as a blind person, how can I navigate safely in zero gravity? Which for [00:09:00] me was an incredible experience to, you know, float and fly and turn and flip , uhhuh like a kid while also doing research, you know? Now Vicky appeared on. Vicky appeared on episode eight, and Vicky is one of my true to life. Single Mother by Choice friends. We fell into each other's lives during the pandemic. When Vicky threw out a call like, Hey, Does anybody, does anybody have a recommendation for a body of water that I can put my kids in this summer? And so I rose to the call. I'm always open for an adventure with good people because you just don't know where life is gonna take you. And life introduced me to this wonderful person, her wonderful family, and she is just, you know, a soulmate of a friend. Vicki is easygoing. Her kids are [00:10:00] easygoing, they're kids. They're amazing. Our kids play well together. I think this particular clip that I chose just kind of sums it up and it is Vicky to a nutshell. It's a joy having her as a friend and definitely a value add to my life in this season. (Insert Clip from Vikki) I mean, it takes two though, right? Mm-hmm. , I mean I consider myself an introvert. I speak to a lot of people. I guess I'm a, an extrovert at work or whatever. Mm-hmm. , it takes two, right? Mm-hmm. I don't beg anybody. So I really appreciated that you reached out because, I look back and you always think that, well, I'm an adult now. I won't make any more friends. Mm-hmm. , everybody has their routine. They have their family, they have their social groups. Yeah. No more. And so this evolved naturally, which was great. And it's been great for us because, DC is a new part of our life. Another gem. I, I think I told you this when we, we got together for lunch and I told you [00:11:00] that there is a, this particular clip, every time I hear it, it just resonates. The degree of spirit that you have as a person. You radiate joy, you radiate peace, you radiate like, I'm a, I'm a, I'm a woman with a plan and a woman with a map, and I so appreciate you trusting me to tell your story of moving on from your Single Mother by Choice journey. I think that it's a story we don't tell enough, but it is very real. And there comes a point in the Single, Mother by Choice journey of some people where they have to make this choice. And I, when I coach people, I often coach people to think about where you want this journey to go. Let's consider the ups and downs, but also know in the deepest core of who you are, that there is life. After this journey, whether it succeeds or fails, you still get to live [00:12:00] a wonderfully fulfilled life regardless of the outcome. And my conversation with Rahmah was just that I'm so glad to that we continue our friendship and I look forward to seeing what the next parts of your journey entail. So here's my favorite quote. (Clip from Rahmah) So kind of long story short when I was 37, I was at this llama vineyard outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in the mountains. I love the mountains. I do my best thinking in the mountains or on the beach. And I decided that if I was not in a very serious relationship, like we are on a confirmed path to marriage. By the time I was 38. that I was going to become a mother on my own Jazz from episode 10. I mean, there was a lot that happened in December of 2022, and I found a lot of support just from being in black communities and. [00:13:00] Jas and that entire community of Exodus women, Stephanie Perry, have all been a beacon of how much more expansive life can be if you continue to push outside of the box. Becoming a Single Mother by Choice was a step right? A lot of black women, a lot of women are finding themselves in positions to have to think outside of the box in order to find ultimate and true, authentic happiness. Happiness that makes your soul sing. And these women. Us women are truly our sisters keeper, I value that as a, a deep abiding pledge in my life. And that doesn't mean that everything will go as according to plan and, and that I discern the best character in people. But ultimately I have a decision when things happen to me and how I'm going to respond to those, those things, and how I'm going to to care for the other people in the situation. And whether or not we agree or disagree, I'm [00:14:00] always going to handle you with care. Even if that means loving you from a distance and leaving you where you are, and then finding community so that I can heal and then continue to live my best life. so when I encountered Jas, it was with that in mind. And as I was listening to women talking about taking a sabbatical, I really thought that becoming a parent meant that I missed out on that great adventure to live in another country for an extended period of time. And to enjoy that type of adventure with my children and through changing my mindset and thinking about taking a sabbatical with my kids, I can do that. The stars have aligned and it is possible for me to do that. So Jas was a beacon of sunshine because I get to enjoy travel planning with someone who has done it, who has been there, who has a school-aged kid, and they traveled during their summers. It has been such a blessing for me to be able to follow the story and the adventures that she has with her [00:15:00] daughter. Jas is black expat mom on Instagram, and you can follow their journeys too. But here's my favorite excerpt from our episode. (insert clip from Jas) I had a multitude of reasons to try to say. This just can't be life. It is just not this, it's not just working. Now we're stuck inside with the pandemic. What's more, I think in my generation it's like the American dream. But I always knew that I wasn't gonna be a part of the American dream. And when I reached things of the American dream, I still wanted more. So that summer I said, you know, We're gonna go abroad, we're gonna go somewhere. Cuz I knew moving abroad or traveling abroad would be significantly less than summer camp with a lackluster experience would be more valuable. So Chevon and Kim appeared in episode 12, girlfriends. For girlfriends in my head, girlfriends on my day to day girlfriends. And so I get to watch their friendship blossom [00:16:00] as, as a fly on the wall. And sometimes an interloper into their relationships. And it is such a joy to, to watch women in particular, black women, take such good care of each other. So their episode was on the importance of sisterhood and black sisterhood in particular. And there is a way that we care for one another, which is almost unspoken. And it's like, you know when you least expect it, and you're going to battle. And you take that step back and you step on somebody's foot and you turn around and you see the legions. A woman who are there to just support you. That's what our friendship is like. I am truly blessed to watch their friendships evolve and so, yeah, I think one of them hit it on the head when they said that there's this unspoken, we don't even have to talk. We just look and we know and we show up. And so here's my [00:17:00] favorite clip from that episode. (Insert clip from Shiv and Kim) But for me it's one of the biggest things I would say with black sisterhood specifically, is there's just, there are just some things that don't need to be, you don't need to enlighten them on in the way that you have to enlighten others. So that's what black sisterhood really represents for me. And even just beyond things that black people get, there's certain things that like black women get because like, yes, we are just, we have a compounded struggle that we're going through. And there are things that, like jokes about things that the black community overall won't get, because some of them are based in not only race, but misogyny and sexism. Black sisterhood allows you that time to like breathe and quiet your brain and just like, unload and talk without needing to like, Be a glossary or like encyclopedia for someone, you could just talk and like they get it. So like that's something I always appreciate in my life and foster those relationships because as much as I love my friends that aren't black and they're good people, they don't always get it. so for me,, , black [00:18:00] sisterhood is everything. Now, as a fair-skinned sister, I have always dealt with, at least when I was younger, not being black enough and not being white enough. I've always felt black. I've always believed in the support, the pouring into the being there, the, you know, ride till you die to take in secrets to your great, like all of that stuff. And then just being able to have a conversation and feel seen. And feel heard, and like Kim was saying, not having to explain anything because you guys are on the same page, like culturally, like we know each other. So as an adult I definitely embrace my sisterhood with my black sisters, which of course my, my relationships look different now, but there's a mutual respect, there's an understanding, there's an acceptance you know, for one another. So Christina and Jillian, you appeared on the Parenting The Kid in front of you. So good. I had to do it twice [00:19:00] that episode. I, I am not sure. First, the value that you both bring into the Single Mother by Choice community. The conversations, what you added through that episode. And I, I told you during the episode, I have watched both of your parenting and it has just blessed my soul and has made me a better parent for it. And so as an SMC, I know the cost it takes to show up. On a holiday to show up at an ungodly hour of the morning just so that you can be there and you can impart your knowledge to a community. I fought for this episode as if it were my baby, and it's the cornerstone of how I parent, how I choose to parent. I choose to parent, I choose to connect with people where they are. At least that's, that's my, my goal always in relationships is to connect with people where they are. We don't have to think the same. When I talk about diversity, it really does [00:20:00] matter to me the differences. There's value in that and. When we did this episode, there was a chance that this episode was not going to happen, and I was not going to let that happen. It was a beautiful episode. It's one of my favorite episodes, and I listened to it often, and knowing the backstory is, truly golden. I thank you both for showing up. I thank you both for your patience. And here's my favorite clip from that episode. (insert clip from Gille and Christina) but I did want to be, really generous with love, which sounds so obvious, but my sense was that young boys, particularly young black boys, I just have this. Sense that they are loved to a certain point, and then it feels like there's like a cutoff. And then you have to be rough and tough and present this image to the world of, you know, strength and not ever being hurt. And I think that the damaging way to live, it's certainly not all men, and I don't want to say, you know, suggests that everybody has this experience, but one of the things that I just said to myself is, I [00:21:00] want this child to feel loved all the time. This does not mean that I'm happy with him all the time, , but it means that he will always have a place to come Home will always be a comfort for him. Home will not be a dangerous place for him. This is tough. Sometimes we're, it's just the two of us. And sometimes mommy gets mad. Sometimes the mommy has to tell, tell her like, you need to give me a little break, honey, so that I can have a moment to myself to come back to myself. I'm gonna say that at home I try to be a little bit more. And a little bit softer because my worldview and the things that I think I kind of grew up with was like, don't question adults. Not necessarily from my mom, but just in general. You know, you don't speak to adults this way, you do these certain things. And then so I just try to be a little bit softer. I allow them to come back at me and let me know what we need to discuss. But yeah. Try to be softer and try to be open. Try to be humorous, Wilson Wilson Wilson from Financial Planning episode 15. [00:22:00] I still feel your judgment over my Amazon packages but thank you so much. For, for coming on the podcast, for sharing your story with me, it gives me so much insight to your family and your siblings. because of that episode, I'm more intentional than ever in talking with my daughter about finances and where money comes from. So we've been having lots of money conversations, we've been having lots of conversations about how we. Prepared to go out into the world with a purse and what that means. I do talk to her now about the packages that show up on the doorstep because as a Single Mother by Choice, I am not taking two kids into a store to putt putt around and shop. So I do a lot of online shopping. But because of the conversation you had, I'm much more aware of what packages showing up can imply to my kids. And so I do share with them. Where the money comes from, what the package is for, and how I am slowly ticking [00:23:00] things off a shopping list. Because this year we're preparing for a few family vacations and I do have a, a list of items that I need to get for. The entire summer that I'm checking off. And so when things come into the house, I do have conversations with the kids and I do talk about how I've broken this big shopping list down into smaller parts. So thank you for coming into my safe space and having that conversation with me. So here's my favorite clip from my episode with Wilson. (Insert Clip from Wilson) Yeah, I think it is important, particularly for young kids to have tangible cash, cash tender. Mm-hmm. You know, part of the transition from cash to cards to digital currency part of it is efficiency, It's just more efficient to pay that way. You can get more transactions done. You're not worried about, you know, losing a, paper dollar, you know, whatever. it's just all computerized. It's all digitized. But there is stuff to be lost every time we get further and further away from something tangible. And from a personal finance standpoint in behavioral [00:24:00] economics or consumer economics, they call it the pain of payment. Now, I'll give you an example. if you think about the last time you went to a gas station and paid cash, like walked into a gas station and handed money to a cashier your behavior changes based on the mode of payment that you make. Dawn. Dawn. Dawn. Oh, I'm so glad and thankful that you agreed to do the Mother's Day episode, which was episode 16 and. I thank you again. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear your story and to hear the story of you and your mom and just the, the great accomplishments that you've achieved. Going to the deepest part of the ocean, I mean, deep sea diving and just hearing the, the arc of your education and your career and being on the front lines to see it all evolve. Thank you for trusting me with your story. When you mix personal and business, it always [00:25:00] feels risky in the moment, but you know that it's a story that needs to be told and it has relevance in the space that you occupy. So thank you for trusting me. And here's my favorite clip from our episode. (Insert clip from Dawn) But with, with people who are truly special in our lives like our moms, like the, the way that I'm sure you will be to your, to your daughters mm-hmm. There's this, this presence and this assurance that is always there. And I think with, with my mother, we. She gave me a birthday card when I was five years old, and it was a Batman and Robin and I was already a Batman comic book fan. At that young age. And the card said, it's you and me against the world. And also at that time there was a hit song, Helen Reddy. So this is gonna date me. This was in the sixties. Helen Reddy had a hit song, you and Me Against the World. Mm-hmm. And we have just been good friends. I, I know there are, there are situations where, the parent has to be the authority figure, of course. But it's so nice when that authority figure [00:26:00] can just be your friend too. So my, my mother had the perfect mix of being a leader. An authority figure a protector but also just my best girlfriend. Edina and Rosanna. Our episode was a lot of fun and it was really thought provoking. So I love to bring together the academic and scholarly research with boots on the ground evidence of a life well lived, right? So what does it all mean when we read a journal article that talks about data and talks about. Descriptions of characters in research like Single, Mother by Choice. What are they navigating donor sibling relationships? It sounds like some kind of a roadmap, but what does it really mean in a really connected and human way? And to see how all of that plays out. I love the fact that Adriana and I were on two opposite ends of the spectrum. So I'm more reserved when I need, you know, new people and new families that [00:27:00] I didn't exactly choose. And then Adriana is just like all out there and all welcoming with her arms open wide. And I love that. And I need those friends in my life. I need I need people like Rosanna to ask me questions, you know, what were you thinking? Here's what the research shows did you. Experience that. And then to have people like Adriana who's just like, yeah, I tried this and it's ok, try it, Aisha, try it. So you need that positive peer pressure in your life and you know, the beacon is always going to be doing what's best for your kid. And so I thank you both for a wonderful and illuminating conversation. So here's my favorite clip from our episode. (Insert clip from Edrenna and Rosanna) I will say, I guess best practices is and I'm learning from my own lessons, is really taking the opportunity to understand as much as you possibly can around the, the, the adult, these adults, right? That are, you know, that use the same donor. and I think that [00:28:00] kind of having, not having big expectations, that's another, like, don't have big expectations cuz I had this grand expectation of, you know, this big network and, going on vacations together and stuff. Cause I'd heard other folks do this. And so I think, keeping your expectations in check and understanding that other people are at different levels and different places in making these connections and kind of. going at it in a slow way. You know, and I, and another do I think is really talking to your child and just kind of keeping the fact that there are these folks that they're genetically connected to. You know, keeping that at least as a conversation so that when they have the opportunity and want the opportunity, they already know about it. It's not like a surprise. There's, you know, 14 other kids that are half genetically like you. So that, that type of thing. so I think, and I [00:29:00] love your response, Edrenna you should become the expert here. So I, you know, in some ways I think that we need to prepare parents and children for the fact that not all donor sibling. Donor siblings, in quotes, or their parents are gonna become close to one another, that at this point it's possible that there's gonna be 25, 30, 40 people families involved or kids, which is huge and you can't possibly become friendly with everyone. And these relationships also, as Aisha was talking about, are pretty the groups themselves are not stable. You know, on this year there's like 10, and next year there's 20. And so kids come forward and as they become teenagers, more of them will be doing, will, maybe searching on their own. But overall it's the parents or the mothers who made those first attempts to try to find out who the others were. Both outta curiosity more so than anything else. And then some of them have formed connections. But I think that the critical issue there is that whether or not everyone. On bonds with one another becomes problematic or [00:30:00] not necessary. And I also think it depends upon what age donor conceived kids meet one another. So I also think that that matters because teenagers, if they meet for the first time as teenagers, you know how teenagers are you know, they really, they have other interests than, family and that kind of stuff. So when they meet younger, they meet older that, that, that have different relationships. I do think for some of the kids that I've interviewed who are donor conceived, they did view these relationships in the end of saying, I really would like to, I imagine myself being an aunt to some of these kids going forward. Mm-hmm. So I think, telling donor conceived kids that their donor conceived and disclosing that means, I think also disclosing at some point early on the fact that there could be other kids out there. That we could know at some point who happened to also share that donor. So when a kid goes to kindergarten and says, so how many kids are you in? Are in your family? Don't be surprised if your kid turns around and says, well, I have 10 siblings. They're not all my moms, but you know, [00:31:00] there are, 10 siblings in my network, whatever that means. And then you have to explain it to the teacher. Elaine, thank you. You allowed me to be kind of like just a fly on the wall and get all of my weird questions asked and answered about donor sperm. I mean, I've been, I've always been the type of person who is just like, yeah, you know, I will take the end product, but I want nothing to do with. Touching, sourcing or any of that. I think I said I barely wanna touch human body, par body fluids of my own kids and so to, to just hear you tell your story and the candor with which you spoke, and it just was very normal. It's like, these are the things that we want to do if we want to become parents. Here's another way of doing that. Here's another option. For people that comes with its own cost, pros and cons and let's talk about all of the options and then [00:32:00] balance and make an informed decision for your life. And so you have two wonderful children as a result of it, and you are actually doing a world of good and being a mover and shaker. And I appreciate you being sometimes a lone woman on the admin team in these different spaces. So you definitely opened my eyes. And I thank you. We'll have opened the eyes of many of our listeners, so thank you. And here's my favorite clip from our episode, elaine's episode was episode 18. (insert clip from Elaine) I should be, but one of my babies was produced in the bathroom and I was for, in a seated position, but it still worked. Okay. Uhhuh, I mean, that happens often with the donors. They're like, can we meet at a Starbucks? My donor is known for saying, can we meet at Target? Mm-hmm. It's just, you really don't know them, so you wanna meet in a public place. Mm-hmm. And so they will give you the sample. They should not sit it on a counter or cold or hot surface. They should sit a napkin or something [00:33:00] down most of the time. And then they, they hand it to you. How does that work? And you said don't sit it on a temperature sensitive surface. Right, right, So you want them to actually either hand it to you or put it on a surface with a napkin or a tissue underneath it because you don't wanna do anything to shock the sperm. Cuz once they have that extreme temperature change, they're going to start to die. Of course you want to insert it as fast as possible and keep your, hips elevated to help with the process of tilting the pelvis and to try to get the sperm as close to the cervix as possible. And Clinton. Clinton. Clinton. Clinton Johnson Clinton was featured in episodes 21 and 22, and so those episodes will air after this one comes out after this one is released. And it was not necessarily intentional, as I was scheduling everything, trying to push it out so that our episode would be the Father's Day episode. So can I say that I'm so lucky that while we missed working in [00:34:00] the same office together, that I did get a second opportunity. To get to know you and connect with you and to actually be a witness to your own rise in your own journey. As the executive and one of the co-founders of North Star, I am also a co-founding member of North Star, and it has been. Such a wonderful experience trying to carve out space where there was no, no space. Create a lane where there was no lane to actually walk. That walk about diversity, representation, equity and inclusion and what that means. I met some wonderful people along the way and Clinton is just one of many wonderful people, wonderful men and women that I've met along the way. And so. When I sat down to think about our friendship, and I sat down to think about the people who I trust [00:35:00] around my children, and Clinton is one of those people. I asked Clinton one day, how did he become such a feminist? And he told me it was through the. That he experienced and shared with his mom, his grandmother and his aunts, that allows him to look at things differently and to that man that supports black women. And for that, I grateful. Clinton is not perfect. None of us are, but Clinton allows me to nudge him and he's just so cool and such a laid back dude. And I, I appreciate being a part of poor witness to, to what he's doing, to, to change the world. And I think that there are a lot of good men out there. And so when you think about friends who are taking the Single, Mother by Choice journey, understand that it is an act of love. [00:36:00] And it is solely based on their vision for their lives. Things didn't align, stars didn't align or what have you, but most of us, we go into becoming Single, Mother by Choice from a place and a position of love. And I hope that that love radiates through everything that we do and every life that we touch. So here's my favorite clip . (Insert clip from Clinton) So when I was in my twenties, I looked like I was a teenager and as a young black man who to some people look like a teenager who had a child at work, It was, a problem. It became more and more a problem for me as I moved closer and closer to, tech, to enterprise level as I was climbing up the ladder. Particularly as a, a single parent. I was co-parenting with my son's mother, and we used that language co-parenting. But when he was growing up, there were times when, he lived primarily with me and spent weekends with her. And that [00:37:00] spanned a number of years and then it would flip. But we always operate as if we are both a hundred percent responsible for him. And I remember the first time. When I got, to the tech space, when I mentioned that had a child suddenly certain work opportunities started to disappear. People were making assumptions about what I would or wouldn't be available for. So I started to just not talk about being a parent at. , for the stigma around it and for how it was starting to show up impacting my career. And there you have it. You know, this first inaugural season, and throughout this entire process, it started in November, up until now in June, where I have just evolved and. I feel like I have blossomed. When you are working just with the sole purpose in mind of connecting with people and being the change that you want, see, I've met and I'm continued to meet lots of amazing people, and I hope to continue to bring amazing guests on this [00:38:00] podcast for you. So stay tuned for summertime. I plan to have a open workshop that will be free for people who are considering a Single Mother by Choice path for our family members who are interested in learning just a little bit more about the path and how you can support your family member on their journey. I am taking a hiatus because I have kids, and summertime is a thing, and so I plan to take off the summer and then reconvene and come back to you all in the fall. So until then, Thank you for supporting me. There will be periodic content released on my YouTube channel. Follow me on Instagram for updates on how the summer is going. If you are looking for ways to support me and the podcast, if you go to my link tree, which would be in the notes down below, you can check it out. And there are just tons of ways that you can support. You can share the content, you can monetarily support, you can show [00:39:00] up at the workshops, you can follow me on Instagram, you can share it out, you can invite your friends. There are tons of ways that you can support really great and really rich content, and on that note, I say thank you. And until next time, bye now.

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