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Fly Mamas: A Look At Modern Black Motherhood

vanity fair 6

Welcome BuzzFeed Folks! Thanks so much for coming to see more beautiful images of Black motherhood! Learn more about me on my About Me page. I’m a former single mother, kind of newlywed, pushy Bay Area girl. Get to know a sista! A photo posted by Brandi Jeter Riley (@brandijeter) on Mar 30, 2015 at […]

The Summer Of Yes

Kohl's Summer Collection

One summer, when Ayva was 2, she and I jumped on a NJ Transit bus and headed to Atlantic City from Philadelphia. We didn’t have an agenda or a schedule, and as a matter of fact, we didn’t even have hotel reservations until I called to make one as we were making our way down […]

Mary Is My Mama Inspiration

disney rileys

I’m putting my heart to paper this Mother’s Day thanks to Hallmark. #PutYourHeartToPaper #ad I always knew what kind of mother I wanted to be. My goal from day one of motherhood was to be a loving, attentive, and supportive friend to my daughter. I know some parenting experts suggest that you’re not supposed be […]

Extra Squishy Mommy

ayva and mommy

Ayva loves to snuggle. On the rare occasions that she catches me with both hands free, she cuddles up to me and pulls my arms around her tightly. On days when I have a gazillion hours of work left to do, and I’m on a deadline, that cuddle can feel like a distraction. My mind starts trying […]

Savor The Moments Because There Will Be New Ones

Ayva Daddy Daughter

I am so confused. The last thing I remember is being in the hospital holding an itty bitty baby thinking that there’s no way anything could top that feeling. When did that itty baby turn into an outgoing kindergartener who declares herself to be a “totally people person” with loves hugs, reading and fancy dresses? […]

25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

25 Things I Want My Black Daughter To Know

Long before I had my daughter, I was a mentor to hundreds of Black girls all over Philadelphia. We laughed together, cried together, but at the end of the day, I sent them back home to their mamas. Life is a lot different now. I’m raising my own little Black girl, and all of the worries […]

Daddy’s First Dance

Daddy Daughter Dance

Here’s something a little different for Mama Knows It All. My husband, Terrence, is sharing his thoughts on the blog today. He wrote this post, on his own, without me asking, and I’m really so incredibly proud to share it with you all: This weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying Ayva to our first (of […]

I Don’t Know How To Play With My 5-Year-Old

How To Play With A 5-Year-Old

The other day, Ayva said to me, “Mom, why don’t you ever play with me?”. I reminded her about all of the things that we do together, shopping, cooking, reading books, but she wouldn’t let up. “No, Mom. I mean, like playing. In my room. You never play with me.” Ayva was right. I don’t ever […]

Encouraging Positive Behavior In Kids

Encourage Positive Behavior In Kids

  When Ayva was a toddler, I discovered Jane Nelsen, Ed. D and her Positive Discipline pedagogy. At the time, Ayva was still doing things like biting and throwing tantrums, and I needed some sort of support to manage that behavior without losing my mind. Learning about positive discipline was a parenting game changer for […]

Raising A Thin Girl With Healthy Self Esteem

raising a thin girl

I’ve always been thin. Small breasts. Little waist. Booty that was slim to none. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve started to fill out. Growing up a tall, skinny Black girl wasn’t great for my self-esteem at all. Middle school pretty much sucked. High school was a little bit better. By […]