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Teamwork Make the Dream Work!

Vision Team

In case you have been hiding under a rock let me tell you about an amazing event coming to Cleveland, Ohio this October. Are you ready???? THE SINGLE MOMS CONFERENCE (ding, ding, ding sound the alarm). The Single Moms Conference is being brought to you by Cleveland YoungLives, https://clevelandyounglives.younglife.org/Pages/default.aspx and From Lemons to Lemonade, http://fromlemons2lemonade.com/ . These two dynamic groups formed a vision team that will bring the conference to life for all the attendees. I’m so excited to be on this team, I can barely sip my tea this morning. If you haven’t heard about the conference and your interest has peaked, follow the link, http://www.singlemomsconferencecleveland.com/home.html, buy a ticket, buy a ticket from me, I need to sell 8 help a mom out (lol). This conference promises to be a great experience for all involved.

So I was thinking about our vision team, we all come from various walks of life, some single, some married, divorced (raises hand), entrepreneurs, mentors and mentorees. I can honestly say that each person on the team brings very different skills and gifts to the table. I have to admit I thought it would be hard to work with a group of women, you know people don’t think women can work together, especially when one might outshine all the others. But I can say this is not the case with this group of ladies. We all have a passion for moms and seeing those moms and their families’ blossom. When you have a passion and a desire to see all the thoughts in your head become a reality then you can truly embrace a team and make those dreams come to life. I love being able to reach other moms and start conversations, it’s why I started the blog, to engage others. To see this come to life in a conference is amazing to me and the icing on the cake is working with a dynamic team to make it happen. I know there are people out there who are passionate about making things happen on their own and that’s fine, but let’s admit, especially us moms, we need help sometimes. It’s hard to admit that but we do. This team has shown me it’s okay to ask for help and to be the helper. I’m learning, teaching, and experiencing some amazing happenings among these ladies.

I can’t be all rose colored glasses without admitting that everything isn’t always peachy. Just like in our homes, conflict arrives. It can be from choosing color palettes to food tasting. We all are different and therefore our opinions vary. The important thing to remember when trying to make this vision come to life is RESPECT. I can’t express enough how much RESPECT plays a role in making the team’s vision come true. We may not always see eye to eye and we don’t have to agree but we have to RESPECT each other. This goes for our homes too moms. Our kids are being raised in a different time then we were where their being told constantly that their opinions matter. Some will disagree but we should show them respect in our homes even if what they are saying will not change your mind, it’s a matter of teaching them to express themselves. Now if your child is outrageous you have to reel that in and determine how much expression you will allow in your home. I know this for a fact, I live with a rebel (Symone), but I also understand that when you don’t feel you are getting your point across or feel disrespected (and yes our children can feel disrespect) it’s frustrating. We teach our children how to interact with others and how others should treat them. They learn their value from us. They learn team work at home first, because the family is their first team.

At the end of the day we all want to be a part of something successful. Sometimes we are able to accomplish those tasks alone, other times we need a team. Realizing that we all have goals, dreams, and desires and respecting those from all people involved will make the team work and the dream a reality.

“People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” -Dr. Alan Fromme

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MY KID’S LIVES MATTER

9.18.15.6My heart is so heavy.  There is so much going on in my city, in our country, in our world.  So much violence and killings.   With the recent murders of two babies one 5 and the other 3 I really wonder how far #livesmatter is really reaching.  Is this just another hashtag and people, well these cowards doing the shootings, don’t really realize what that means.  Well, I’m here to tell you, MY KID’S LIVES MATTER!!  Their lives matter to me.  See the people who are picking up these guns and doing random shootings may not understand that when I gave birth to my children it was not intended for their target practice.  I have hopes and dreams for my children.  They have their own hopes and dreams.  I’m a 100% sure that those don’t include being shot up at the park, grocery store, front porch, school, while playing outside, or sitting in a car.  From the day that they were born I knew it was my job to protect them.  It’s one of my divine purposes, so I feel.  I provide them with the necessities of life, groom them to be productive members of society, and plant seeds that I would love to see blossom in them.  I know I’m not the only parent that does this.  All for some jerk to decide one day he/she doesn’t like so and so, or so and so dissed (do kids still say this?!) him/her and snuff out my child’s life.  MY KID’S LIVES MATTER.

We are planning funerals for our babies instead of determining what schools to send them to, their first dance, going off to college, first job, their wedding day.  Do you realize some of us may never see these events take place?  It breaks my heart to think that these children never saw the first day of kindergarten.  WHO THE HELL DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?!  Don’t they see the potential in these babies, don’t they see a future for these babies, my God don’t they see any of this for themselves?!  As these questions swirl through my mind I’m reminded of a conversation I overheard while waiting in parking lot, two young men obviously upset ready to retaliate for whatever injustice they felt had befallen them:  “I’m ready to die!” “We all gotta die someday!”  “I don’t give a f**k, it is what it is!”  Lord knows I know we all are going to die someday, but where did these children get the mentality that their lives are not worth living.  I learned a few weeks later it’s from us.  I overheard (yes I ear hustle) two adult men having the same conversation (IDIOTS!).  Why, why doesn’t your life matter to you?!  Where did we as a community, parents, schools, or leaders go wrong?  I know some will say I’m raising mine right, these kids are out of control and so are their parents.  It’s true you can barely speak to some people without them giving you attitude.  But we have to start somewhere.  We can’t keep watching the news and seeing children die at the hands of these morons.  We have to do something.  Sometimes it feels like there are only a few of us out there who want to be responsible.  I know this is not true, but where do we start.

It starts at home.  Pray, pray over your children’s lives and the lives of their friends and families.  Find ways to have conversations with your children about the people they hang out with and what’s going on in the world around them, sometimes we as parents don’t see everything.  Stop flipping out, use constructive ways to re-direct behaviors, this will be hard for some because let’s face it not all children take constructive criticism well, but so what love on them anyway.  The problem may not be in our homes but you never know who is watching you or your child’s behavior and you may have a positive effect on their life.  WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!  MY KIDS LIVES MATTER!

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My Mom, the Single One

(Featuring my daughter Symone)

momism

Q1: What is your definition of a single Mom?

A1: A woman who was born with the skills to build and sacrifice anything for their child

Q2: Do you view being a single mom as a negative:

A2: No, because you’re still there for the child instead of abandoning the child. I think widows are the strongest single moms because they once had a partner and now they don’t due to death. They have to remain strong and deal with that loss.

Q3: Have you ever felt bad at an event because only one parent was present?

A3: Yes. I have felt bad at an event when my mom was the only parent there. I feel like you have two parents but the other one is not interested in you so just mom shows up.

Q4: How do you feel about your mom dating?

A4: At first I was like why would you let another man take my father’s place. Then I sat back and looked at it from my mom’s point. This person made her happy, I want my mom to be happy. Her happiness is important to me.

Q5: Do you think other people think negatively about single moms?

A5: Yes. People only think negatively because they view men as breadwinners and how can a woman support a household on her own with no man. To me a woman has a closer connection with wanting to take care of the family because she actually carries the kid.

Q6: What would you tell another child that is embarrassed because they’re being raised by a single mom?

A6: I really don’t have any advice. I’m not embarrassed. This is our life, my mom is doing her best.

Q7: Do you feel like a child in a two parent home has a better chance at life that one that comes from the home of a single mom?

A7: No. Either way all parents should add to the support system. A home to should be a happy place for all kids no matter who lives there.

Q8: What would you say to someone that has a negative view of a single parent home?

A8: People outside the home need to watch who they judge. They don’t know the reason why there is only one parent in the home and unless they are willing to help that person should keep their opinions to themselves.

Q9: Does coming from a single parent home change your views about one day having a family of your own?

A9: No. My life and the way I live is separate from how I grew up. If I decide to get married and have a family it will be by my own decisions that I make. I have to live my own life.

Q10: What advice would you give a single mom that may be feeling guilty about being a single mom?

A10: Don’t be ashamed. Your kids are a blessing and if the lame that left you can’t understand your worth or the worth of your kids they’re not good enough for any of y’all.

Symone is my oldest daughter. She recently graduated from high school and is pursuing a degree in culinary arts. She is my most, so far, opinionated child and has a firecracker personality. (all answers are straight from her, with grammatical errors corrected by mom)

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Single Mom Here, Hear me ROAR

Single-Mom-Power-Junior-s-TeesSo let’s start this conversation….I am a proud single mom. Let me define that for you because this topic has gotten me in hot water before. I am currently in a loving relationship with an awesome man, who has my heart (you’ll meet him later I’m sure) but according to the government and a few old ladies from the church, until he puts a ring on it there’s a big fat scarlet “S” on my chest. So for anybody who saw the single and got excited, sorry this lady is taken! But back to the topic at hand, so society labels me as a single mom, I’m not a wife, so my only other option is to claim this. As I thought about this topic I thought about all the negatives that go along with this title. “People” can come up with their own stories for why you are a single parent in their heads without hearing your story or knowing your life. Not all single moms are drama queens, looking for a check, don’t want to work, living off the government as most media would portray us. There’s more to us then our income, how many children we have and whether or not we have a man.

Take for instance my interaction with a few married moms the other day. I’m a proud vision leader for The Single Moms Conference CLE, http://www.singlemomsconferencecleveland.com/ I was so excited to pass out the flyers supporting this event at my son’s school. Why wouldn’t I be, what better place to start then where my kids spends most of his time. I’d already spoke to the assistants about leaving some flyers and they both at the time agreed. I opened the office doors, did my usual greetings, speaking to all in the room and happily handed flyers to both assistants. The first was excited asked a few questions and said she would hand out the flyers. The second however, let’s just say not as excited. As I approached the second assistance whom I’ve known since my oldest child attended the school appeared to be offended. She was having a conversation with a teacher and I thought I’d interrupted, I apologized and quickly handed her the flyers, few to her and one to the teacher standing there. All they saw was single and I heard the gasp, they quickly handed the flyers back to me and exclaimed they were not a part of that group. The look on my face either said bewildered or resting b%&#@ face because they began to explain, they were not single moms, are happily married and wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I thought disease had broken out on my face from the way they looked disgusted as if being a single mom was something they could catch. I could have flipped, I could have given statistics, I could have done a lot more than what I did, I pointed to the young lady sitting in the office waiting to be seen and asked if she was a single mom, she stated yes, I took a flyer out of my purse and handed it to her. I then turned to both ladies and stated there are single moms in your midst, would you mind giving the flyer as an offer of encouragement, thanks! They both nodded and I was out. (GESSSH)

That small but powerful interaction got me thinking. Do people really view single moms in a negative light? I joke about it sometimes, but I guess I was really unaware of the true negative persona people associate with being a single mom. I’m thinking there’s enough going on in the world, enough evil at that to not place another burden on someone who may be trying to do the right thing. I mean I really want to know if people perceive me and other single moms as a burden/slight on society. I think those thoughts crept in for about two seconds before my fierce personality snapped me back into myself. See, when I look in the mirror I don’t just see a single mom, I see: (drum roll please) God-fearing, Prayer Warrior, Confident, Intelligent, Gorgeous, Sassy, Self-aware, Happy, Faith-filled, and Fierce, woman of God. I could go on but I will stop with those few. I don’t see a broken down person, dreading each day, fearing moment to moment. I’m sure I don’t project that either. I have my moments where everything is not smooth and I break, but don’t married moms have those moments too?! I’m just one hot mom out here doing her thang!

So single moms let’s be good and kind to each other. Let’s encourage each other to be great, not to show society but to break the generational curse that stands before us and to make our children proud. Join me and some other HOT MOMS at the Single Moms Conference CLE, http://www.singlemomsconferencecleveland.com/ and watch as we (hair flip) WERK!