Tag Archives: daughter

{Tracie’s Story} No “Steps” in this House

During the month of October, The Real Wife Movement™ will be featuring stories from wives who have blended families. They will share what they did to ensure their families thrived beyond 10 years.

Be inspired by Tracie’s Story.

Donnell and I met in 2005 and we married in 2006. (Yes we dated only a year before we got married.) When I met my husband, he was a single father of two young children and I was a single mother of one son.

When people find out we are a blended family, they wanted to know how we made it work. They asked questions such as: Did you let him discipline your child and vice versa?

I want to share our story to encourage you:

Donnell, Tracie, Antonio, Bria and Tyson

When Donnell asked me to marry him, one of the things we did was what we called a pre-family meeting with our children. We wanted to create an avenue where they could be open and honest with us from the beginning.

Now don’t get me wrong, we had our challenges with all three of our children, however we let them know up front that they would be treated the same, to include discipline. We agreed they were all our children.  We let them know when someone asked us how many children we had, we would proudly say we have 3 children; (2) Boys and (1) Girl.

My husband and I both came from blended families and it was obvious who the step-kids were and who the biological kids were: we were made to feel that way.

Because of this, we agreed to allow our children to make the decision about how they wanted to address us. We never pressured them to call us mom or dad and we made it very clear they had already had a tracie-and-hubbymom and dad. Our role would be that of an assistant, alongside  their parents. We never liked the words “step kids” or “step parents”. To us, it indicated they were the outsider and no one wants to feel like an outsider, right?

Donnell and I decided that even though we were blending our family, we would be a family with “No Steps.”

Tracie Douglas is a personal stylist, blogger, wife and a mom of three. She enjoys encouraging people and teaching the next generation of teen girls. Instagram @tracienichole_ FB: tracienichol Blog: tracieslookbook.com
Tracie Douglas is a personal stylist, blogger, wife and a mom of three. She enjoys encouraging people and teaching the next generation of teen girls.
Instagram @tracienichole_ FB: tracienichol
Blog: tracieslookbook.com
Why I Took My 13 & 16 yr old Kids To visit HBCUs

Why I Took My 13 & 16 yr old Kids To visit HBCUs

This past week, I took my two youngest kids, 13 and 16 years old, to visit a few Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I had several people ask me why I took them at their age and why did we only visit HBCUs. Before I go into my explanation, here is some background for those who never heard of them.

my 3 kids
My Kids – Jakim 13, Gabi 24 (Coast Guard), Doni 16

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of secondary education�that were established before 1964 with the intention of primarily educating African Americans. ��“White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities”. 2008-04-11. Retrieved�2008-04-23.�Most were founded around the Civil War era and post-Civil War to educate freed slaves who desired an education.�HBCUs graduated various prominent African Americans in all fields of study as well as famous athletes and politicians. Some notable individuals who attended HBCUs are Steve Harvey, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.

Even though I graduated from University of Maryland, University College, I attended Hampton University my freshman year. I loved Hampton but I loved partying much more, so I was sent home on academic probation. My parents decided to teach me a lesson and I was made to pay for college. I missed Hampton terribly and was sad I could not live out my Hillman fantasy on that beautiful campus.

beta bruhs 90s
Hubby and Frat Brothers, Beta Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated circa 1990s

Since I am not an HBCU graduate, I really want my kids to have the experience of attending one. Hubby is a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and he has been bombarding them with his memories of the “good ‘ol days” on the yard, at step shows and the like. Even though my kids are only 13 and 16 years old, I felt like I had a responsibility to expose them to their potential future and their ability to create memories of their own. They could feel their dad’s energy from his stories, but I felt like there is nothing like being there; hence, taking them on HBCU tours.

beta bruhs
Honey and Frat Brothers, Beta Chapter Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated 100th Anniversary (2014) photo credit Jamal Parker

I decided to take them this early because I want them thinking about this now and I believe it plants the seed early about the reality of what�s next after high school. It�s easy to talk about going to college but to never set your foot on one until you are in your senior year, seems like it can be overwhelming for parents and their kids. I believe in starting them young and my kids know that college is not only a dream, it�s the plan for their lives.

This list is not complete but it gives you an idea of my reasons:

  1. Culture – I love Black People. Whether they are in the islands or here in the USA, I love my people. When on the HBCU campuses my kids were welcomed by people who look like them. Each tour guide pointed out the rich history of their school and the way their previous students navigated the Civil Rights Era and more. The history of my people was shared with my kids and you could tell each guide believed and felt what they were saying.
  2. Family Environment -�Every tour was genuine and we felt like we apart of the family. Since most HBCUs have smaller student bodies, my kids won’t just be a number. We visited campuses who had student bodies no larger than 8k so they didn�t feel overwhelmed with the walk from the dorms to the buildings where classes are held. I want them to have a sense of belonging and ownership of their campuses. My goal as a mom is that they stay connected and graduate.
  3. Support – I cannot express the amount of support each school gives to not only their current students but to incoming freshman as well. We had professors stop us and engage the kids in real conversation about their interest. This impressed me so much.�As a mom of an African American son, I felt that it was so important for them to hear from those who are living on campus, what that experience is like. From getting yourself up for class to buying books, my kids were educated by students who could relate to them.
Doni and Jakim Asking Questions at Bowie State University

I feel that the early exposure to the HBCU campuses was so beneficial for my kids. They are now talking about what clubs they want to join in college and what sports they want to play. My son is now thinking about his GPA going into the 9th grade after hearing a football player talk about the importance of grades to being on the team. I�m so glad this is just the beginning of our HBCU tours. I am just as excited, if not more excited as they are about the potential of them attending one of these illustrious institutions of learning.

Did you attend an HBCU? Would you consider sending your children to one?