Warriorz-Recap from 7th Annual Valentine’s Banquet

On Sunday evening, February 17th, 2019, SingleMomzRock in partnership with Victory Mission + Ministry held our 7th Annual Valentine’s Banquet at a new location, Doubletree by Hilton Springfield.  Over 200 single moms were treated to a glamorous evening of fun and fellowship created just for them! 

The evening started off by the moms being escorted to their tables by gentlemen in tuxes and roses in hand. Delores Albers Photography, as well as CRNewell Photography, was on hand to take snapshots of the moms all glammed up, dinner was catered, and they were treated to live music by two local choirs that joined forces to bring the house down. It’s truly become the largest event in our area for single moms. It was such an inspiring night.

Our theme this year was “Warriorz.” When thinking of a theme each year, we try to find something that will resonate with our single moms. Struggles they go through. Considering all the battles we fight every single day, and how we truly are warriors, it was a natural fit to choose this theme. Moms were treated with bracelets that matched the theme. 

Our featured speaker, Jennifer Maggio, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of The Life of a Single Mom out of Baton Rouge, LA. Like I mentioned that night, for us to even be able to pull off having her among us was confirmation that we are doing something right! She is well renowned in the single mom circuit and sought out all throughout the year for speaking engagements. She told her story of living in poverty, dealing with abuse of all kinds, teenage pregnancy, abandonment of family, going to college while raising two babies, securing a job in a Fortune 500 company and ending that successful career to start a single mom’s ministry. She is proof that you still get to work towards the calling God has placed on your life it may take a lot more work than you thought it would but being obedient will also bless that path! There was not a dry eye in the house after she spoke, our moms were encouraged!

Daniel Ogunyemi was the first male speaker EVER to come and talk to our moms. He let them know that they are strong, loved and to never give up. Anastasia Phelps performed a special spoken word for our moms. Titled “Rise Up,” Anastasia brought intensity and passion to her words. Check out here facebook page, Beautiful Not Broken

And did I mention THAT CHOIR? Sanctuary of Praise and Urban Praise Choirs joined to bring three songs full of hope, praise, and encouragement in the house. We got to worship together, pray together and encourage each other. It was a moment I will never forget, you could feel the movement that was taking place!

We brought back the element of having women community leaders come to the banquet to be table hosts. We had over 80 women leaders come and sit amongst our moms and pour into them, some even brought extra goodies for their tables.  We also brought back our SMR Ambassador program, where we chose three moms who we knew had been working very hard this past year to make very positive changes to better them and their children’s lives. We were able to present these three moms with $100 gas cards on behalf of Victory Mission + Ministry as well as a “shield” pin that was specially designed for this year’s banquet. 

To be able to host the banquet this year at the DoubleTree was very special for all of us. We had their largest ballroom space, and it was beautiful. After six years of using a church space, for us to be able to host it in a lavish venue just amazes me.  IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

Thank you to all that pour your heart into this event each year in order for it to happen. We are very blessed indeed to have such strong support from our community and churches. I don’t know how we will top next year…but I’m already thinking of ways ☺


Janelle Reed

Founder, SingleMomzRock

MILF

(Caution this blog does contain adult language.)

I am done with this word.

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The first time I heard it, I was outside of Caesar’s Palace in Vegas. A drunken frat boy came up to my boyfriend and asked him how he landed a “MILF.” Some time later, a friend introduced me as his “MILF friend.” A couple of years ago, another friend said when introducing me, “She has kids, but is a MILF.” I’ve heard this as motivation in the gym, as a (not really a joke) joke on social media, between moms as a compliment, and from young people who think they are bestowing a sought-after title. I know I’m not the only one.

It is nice, right? To be running around all day feeling like an under-appreciated, insomniac hybrid of a maid-chauffeur-chef-nurse who cannot perform any of her jobs sufficiently, pretending the wad of greasy hair on our head is “messy on purpose,” in sweatpants dotted with unrecognizable child residue, and to finally hear that we are human, nay, desirable. In the chaos that is motherhood, any compliment feels like a Swedish massage for our threadbare souls. We want to know that the exhaustion we feel isn’t splattered across our faces the way we think it is. We want to be reminded that the scars of motherhood are beautiful mnemonics of the power of our bodies. It feels so stinkin’ good to hear that we are not just “Mommy.”

But, can we stop for a second and remind ourselves what MILF really means?

Mother I’d Like to F*ck.

Yeah, I said it. And, it’s not so cute when you pull it out of its fun acronym, is it? It means that, despite being a mother, someone would screw you. Lucky you! When unpacked for even the briefest moment, it is pretty mind blowing that this is a compliment.

It is fairly obvious that society does this to women all the time. If we are smart, it must also be noted that we are pretty. If accomplished in any way, hopefully we are also attractive. Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard it. “She is a ____________(impressive profession or achievement), but a hot ____________ (impressive profession or achievement).” As if, somehow, random-man-certified attractiveness makes a woman’s position less threatening.

“So, this man would have sex with me even though I am a mom? Wow! Thanks so much for the overwhelming compliment of being willing to do that!” No. Nope. THAT is not a compliment. It is a poisonous reduction.

In this time, when women are fighting to be seen as whole people, why are we accepting this as an accolade? Why are we touting it on our coffee mugs? We are not less than other people in terms of our ability to be seen (and to see ourselves) as whole because we have given birth. We are not somehow lucky to be desired by a man (even) after we have created life. We, like every other woman, are complex and complete entities; who, like every other woman, are valuable because of so many things that do not involve some guy’s willingness to have sex with us.

In every other situation, we, the mothers of the world, tell our daughters, our friends, and even social media connections that their worth does not come from the value men place on their bodies. So, why then, are we rockin’ “Milfin’ Ain’t Easy” shirts, even with a wink and a nod? Seriously, “Hey kids, some random guy wants to have sex with Mommy, even though I’m your Mommy,” is not the message I want to be sending to my daughters.

Here are some actual compliments:

You are so good at your job.

You are smart.

You motivate me to do better.

I love hearing your thoughts.

Here are some new slogans to replace your “Certified MILF” t-shirts:

GOD’S MASTERPIECE

STRONG, UNSTOPPABLE, WORLD-CHANGER

PEACE-IMBUING GIVER OF LIFE

INTRINSICALLY WORTHY

I can go on, but you get the idea. There is so much more to me (and every mother) than motherhood. But breaking out of the stifling designation of being “just a mom” should not be dependent upon sexualization; and it is certainly less-than-freeing to be yanked from one suffocating category that strips mothers of their multidimensional lives to be plopped right into an objectifying category that does the same.

I will not wear as a crowning achievement the fact that I am screwable. That is not an accomplishment, it is an active disregarding of everything that we are and every thing that we do, every day.

Can we just be done with this word?

A. Smith