Dear Diary, Like most bloggers, I spend most of my time not only writing but reading. I’m always on the lookout for websites to add to my top African American mom bloggers list. I’m inspired by their stories and encouraged to share more of my own. No matter how they became mothers–through conception, adoption or in vitro fertilization, they all have one thing in common–a love for writing about their families. They give advice, share secrets and let strangers behind the closed doors of their lives–all hoping their words will impact others long after the readers shut down their computers. Although Diary of a First Time Mom is written with all moms in mind, the ultimate goal is to take control of the stories being told about African-American mothers. Our voices must be included in conversations about raising America. We have a wide range of experiences—some mothers are married, single, working, staying at home, young, middle-aged, educated or raising children in interracial and interfaith households. But unfortunately, we are sometimes placed into one bucket. And when single black mothers are discussed, they are often stereotyped when in fact they each took different paths to parenthood. Some women failed at relationships, exited abusive situations, divorced or were widowed. But rarely in mainstream media are these women credited for making rational decisions to leave. Instead of the circumstances being connected to income or education levels, society sometimes sees only race. When I announced my pregnancy at age 34, relatives wanted to know why I wasn’t getting married. That triggered tears. I cried because a ring wasn’t on the horizon. I cried because people thought I couldn’t raise a healthy, happy child without a husband. I cried because I was no longer a golden girl when one cousin commented that I wasn’t so perfect after all. Then another one embraced me, saying that I was an adult and motherhood was a gift from God. So my blog became my tissue—my writing dried my eyes and raised my self-esteem. Since conception, my family accepted my daughter and loved her to the moon and back. They joined me in celebrating, not shaming, motherhood. And that’s what these Black bloggers do. They celebrate. They support. They love. And they write. Here is part one in a series about online mothers of color. Baby Making Machine Newsmaker turned baby maker, Jennifer Borget gives you a behind-the scenes look at getting pregnant and becoming a domestic diva (even if she hides the frozen food boxes from her dinner guests). She also playfully participates in a he says/she says battle of words. You’ll fall head over heels in love with this family and Jennifer’s photography, especially her 365 day series celebrating her children with photos and love letters. Brown Mamas Cindy Mendoza, the Brown Mama behind the screen, merges meeting moms online and in-person. Readers can log onto her website to read how to master motherhood, or if they live in the Pittsburgh area, they can attend events. I attend her vision board board recently and took my daughter to her Mommy and Me costume party. She is an amazing mother and advocate. Currently, we’re partnering on the Kidsburgh Community Initiative and have a few other activities up our sleeves. Baby Shopaholic Too.Cute.For.The.Internet. If I want to get some fashion inspiration, little P puts me down with the latest toddler trends. Since most moms, like me, spend their time shopping for their kids and letting their own wardrobe suffer, Baby Shopaholic is a great online shop because it also informs me about what moms are sporting to the playground, the office and everywhere in between. Candid Belle Martine is redefining what it means to be a mom blogger. Yes, she pens stories about motherhood and marriage. But she also created an entire lifestyle brand committed to helping women achieve their personal goals and create the lives they want. Through meaningful content, speaking engagements, workshops, and coaching, Martine strives to help moms live the lives they were meant to live. Cleverly Changing Perfect parenting doesn’t exist, but informed and attentive parenting does. That sentence hooked me on Cleverly Changing, a mommy blog that covers a wide range of issues. Under the parenting tab, readers can explore articles on breastfeeding, potty training and going green–something I’m attempting to do. Right now, I’m more like an aqua. This mom is sure to inspire and empower you before you log off. Fab Haute Mama M.J. Levine isn’t just one of my fave Black bloggers. She has became a friend and a part of the DFTM family. On this site, she shares stories about exercising and eating while pregnant and how to get fit once you become a mom. At her home on the Internet, she continues the conversation about fitness, fashion and family. She takes readers inside the gym and the kitchen, whipping up mouthwatering (healthy) recipes. She also lets moms know how they can turn playtime into a workout. Four Hats and Frugal According to my father, have champagne dreams on a beer budget. That’s why I log onto to Four Hats and Frugal. The New Jersey mom, wife and airman–did I mention she makes bombs by day and dinner at night?–teaches me other ways I can save. Amiyrah Martin proves that frugality can be fun and writes about food, finances, fashion and family. Headband for Today I first met this amazing mom at a Blogalicious Conference. Kendra, along with Brandi from Mama Knows It All and I, won our categories in a video competition. I spotted Kendra with her headband from across the ballroom. On her blog, she focuses on real women, like her, who are constantly juggling multiple headbands of marriage, children, family, career and trying to keeping a little piece of their time for themselves daily. I Choose the Sun We all have a choice in this world, and Nae chooses to live a life on purpose. She pursues passions, such as family, food and film. Her site is more than a blog–it’s a resource for women to experience life to the fullest, especially those living in the Washington, D.C. area. Here in DFTM, Nae chronicles her journey as a first time mother. Janeane’s World Lawyer turned Household CEO, Janeane believes every working mom can succeed and be happy with the right encouragement, inspiration and motivation. And that’s exactly what you’ll find when you log onto her site. If you need a boost of confidence, click on words of wisdom. If you need a cheerleader or a friend to turn to, you’ll find that support system on her site. Janeane is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and her compassion and kindness come across in everything she writes. Houseful of Nicholes I met the author behind this Chicago based site on the other side of the country–at a Blog Her conference in California. She doesn’t know it, but I wanted to smuggle her back to the Burgh in my suitcase. She was full of joy and laughs in person and a magnet, attracting everyone who was within fifty feet. She brings that same positive energy to her website. She shares how to become a better mom and better homemaker–although I don’t think I’ll ever bake bread that looks as fresh and tasty as hers! Mama Knows it All Brandi Jeter knows a lot about parenting, but she isn’t afraid to reveal her ups and her downs to her readers. She chronicles her life as a single, working mom to a very fashionable five-year-old, and most recently wrote her happy ending. She announced her engagement and later shared a story about her fiancé and her daughter celebrating their first Father’s Day, which made me shed tears of joy. Her personable and viral posts draw readers in and keep them coming back for more. Plus if you’re a new blogger, her famous Blog Strategy Reports will help you make improvements and money! Moms New Stage Before Keesha was a mom, she was a dancer. Her days were filled with taking and teaching classes–everything from ballet to jazz to modern day dance. Now, she’s carving out a new creative space for myself–a place where she can share her mommy mayhem; where she can entertain, uplift and maybe even enlighten. This time she’s doing it with words instead of movement. Mom Talk With Denise LaRosa Another member of the DFTM family, Denise La Rosa provides a fresh voices to the seasoned stories of parenting. When I’m too tired to read an article, I can visit her site and listen to her stories. She produces a top rated parenting podcast that empowers and educates all listeners, not just those with children. With a master’s degree in education, Denise injects her passion for learning and advocating for improved school systems in everything she creates. Mommy Talk Show Emmy-award winning television reporter Joyce Brewer delivers news parents can actually use. The former television anchor turned stay-at-home mom reports on the latest trends, current events and product reviews. If you live in the Atlanta area, you can tune in to her Mommy Talk Show as she takes you inside top family-friendly attractions. With her broadcasting background, she delivers quality content and must-see videos. Mommy Works A Lot Like M.J., Vaneese is a part of the DFTM team. She shares a fresh, millennial mom perspective on working and raising a family. She proves that you can indeed have it all–a career and kids–without sacrificing one for the other. Her voice is authentic, honest really. She talks off the mask of motherhood and weaves a tale throughout good and bad experiences. She also teaches you how to be a good mom even when you are exhausted. Moms ‘N Charge Work-at-home mom Christine St. Vil empowers mothers to take charge of their futures. She encourages women to step out on faith and step into their true purpose in life. She has endless tips on how to feel good without feeling guilty and how to pursue your personal passions as a parent. And she she isn’t afraid to bite her tongue. Christine, Sheree (Smart and Sassy Mom) and I often bump heads on parenting opinions in a regular Twitter Chat called #MamasMashup. Pharr Away Pharr Away–that’s exactly where Nicole Pharr takes her readers when they log onto her website. It’s my little escape in the midst of a hectic work day. I can read how to become more connected to God and more connected to my family. her site inspires women to love as a wife and mother; to grow as a woman; to change into a submissive, nurturing homemaker; and to finally live in a way that they never lived before–truly happy. The Afropolitan Mom Afropolitan is collaboration of “African + Cosmopolitan”. On Kira’s site, you can read everything from parenting to technology and fashion to family travel. Her modern layout and perspective makes me realize that I don’t have to lose my cool or my freedom when I became a parent. The Mom with Moxie Like the Cayman Islands, I’ve also adopted Michigan as my second stomping ground. So when I came across one Michigan mom’s blog, I felt right at home. Bree blogs about her kids, her marriage and her job. What impressed me is her honesty. She reveals that she has dealt with every type of issue you can imagine–health, money, weight, job, and in her words, made her mess her message. Smart and Sassy Mom Sheree, a working mom of three, spends her day blogging about motherhood, marriage and meals. She provides easy to make, mouthwatering recipes to readers and smart and sassy advice on parenting. Sheree also shares her stories on being a stepmom and how to create loving and supportive blended families. We often go head-to-head with Christine (Moms ‘N Charge) when we take to Twitter for the #MamasMashup Chat. Although my Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sister for life, we often must agree to disagree on parenting opinions! Soca Mom After spending seven years working in Grand Cayman, I became an honorary West Indian. Now that I’m back home in Pennsylvania, I always wonder what it would be like to raise my daughter in the Caribbean. Then I log onto to Soca Mom, and the Trinidadian editor Eva projects island living into my living room. My daughter dances to the soca songs as I cook curry in the kitchen. Sophistishe It was love at first sight when I logged onto Sophistishe–pronounced so-fis-ti-shee. Before I read one article, I was gaga over the family behind the blog. Sheena Tatum met her husband and father of her two gorgeous little boys, and one baby on the way, when they were in middle school. Sheena shares their stories and lots of pictures on her inspirational and emotional journey through motherhood. I log on faithfully to read her DIY articles. I’m not big on do-it-yourself projects, but her posts are simple and sophisticated. The Young Mommy Life When my best friend got pregnant our senior year in high school, I wasn’t filled with parenting advice. Heck, the only advise I dished pertained to prom dresses and college admission applications. Although I offered my arms to embrace her and my ear to listen to her, I didn’t know a lick about kids. She did an amazing job and sent her son to college last year, but I’m sure she would have loved to have Tara of The You Mommy Life in our circle of friends. Tara offers understanding and advice to young moms and moms-to-be. In addition to her online efforts, she brings women together for in-person conferences. Weather Anchor Mama When she’s not chasing storms while working as a weather anchor, Stacy-Ann Gooden is chasing her two toddlers. Stacy blogs about raising b-racial children, often featuring her kids in fun, learning videos. Her posts range from serious subjects, such as facing racism head on, to light weight reads, like managing multi-cultural curls. 4 Responses Arlett R. Hartie May 24, 2015 Happy to see some of my favorites on the list like Nae and Tara. Looking forward to getting to know everyone else on the list anf learning all I can as I prepare to join their ranks in the future as a Single Mother By Choice. Currently trying to conceive a baby on my own. Reply MJ May 24, 2015 I am honored to be including with the ranks of these beautiful brown mamas. Thank you Heather. You sure know how to make a mama with a newborn smile when she is otherwise exhausted and overwhelmed. LOL Reply Alisha May 24, 2015 What an awesome list and as a brown blogging mom I’m happy to say I know several of them personally as well! Reply Cindy Mendoza May 26, 2015 thanks for including BrownMamas.com. I love it! Congrats to all of you ladies! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.