My Favorites

I want to share a few of my favorite posts from the past 6 months.  There are so many, but here are my top 5, please enjoy.

Celebrating Black History & Black Love

Being Nanekia…. 5 Reasons I Exude the Confidence I didn’t know I had

The Convenient Toy

GUILTY!

Mommy, I’m Grown!

BONUS

Hot Mommy Moments

Real Fathers, Real Moments

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The Struggle is Real: Balancing It All

balancing mom

OMG already! Can someone step in and organize this thing I call life.  Have you ever had that feeling, that moment when you feel completely overwhelmed and you need Iyanla Vanzant to come in and fix your life.  We are over the halfway mark for 2016.  In the beginning I had lists, charts, files, I was organized.  As life happens, each month I became a little less organized and now I am all out of sorts.  What is a girl to do?

Recently I’ve made a list of what I want to do versus what I need to do, there is where the struggle lies. How can I determine wants and needs when some of my wants I feel I need. Confusing right, but if your anything like me you get it, somethings you just have to have but others may not consider them a need.  Needless to say these lists keep getting longer and longer, coupled with my children’s needs and a few of their wants, I am one heaping pile of lists.  So moms how do you do it, how do you meet your needs, your family’s needs and those things you all want.  I’m seriously asking because this young lady right here needs some help.

Here’s what I’m trying to do: lose 60 pounds, complete a blog project, network, get more involved with my kids schools, spend more time with friends, spend more time with my kids (doing something besides chores), spend time alone with my significant other, spend time alone with me, improve my credit score, apply to grad school, buy a house, look for a new car, take a mini vacation, find more money, start Christmas shopping, plan little hotness’ birthday party, plan my blog-a-versary, conquer the world.  So you see, you see why I can seem to get these lists together, there’s so much to do I don’t know where to start.  Life shouldn’t be this difficult, right?!  I mean ultimately I want to have a great life, one that I enjoy with people I love and who love me, and complete one of these damn lists.  The struggle is definitely real.

How will I do all of this? Well here’s my attempt, please feel free to comment your suggestions.  I’ve purchased a planner.  I know that my phone, my tablet, and my laptop can keep tabs of all of this for me, but I’m a writer, I need to write it down physically.  Also, I need a break from these gadgets.  I’ve also decided to bring the good old chore chart back from the basement.  For a while I was on a kick of allowing my children to just be children, they would have enough time in the future to do chores, go out enjoy your choreless life.  This lasted for 6 months, at this point in order for our home to remain a peaceful refuge, we all have to chip in, I admitted it to them, I need their help.  Create lists for the major areas of my life, home (includes children), work, blog, self, on each of these lists I will list 10 things I am trying to accomplish for that week.  Anything over 10 becomes a list for a list and I need to condense.  I got the advice of only listing 10 things from my dad, he says 10 things is manageable and even if you only complete half, it looks a lot better that not completing a list of more.  I’ve given myself list rules- 1. I will not punish/shame myself for not completing a list, 2. I cross off and celebrate my accomplishments, 3.  Life happens so if I have to go off list it’s not a problem.  Prayerfully this will help my overwhelming feelings of not accomplishing anything because I’m freaking out.

That’s a start! I’m hoping you all can give me some feedback to help me and anyone else reading, “Fix Their Life”.

Put A Ring On It (Part 2)!

put a ring on it 2Okay ladies, you heard from some of your sista friends (well at least my sista friends) a few days ago about why they are not married. Me being who I am wanted to find out what the fellas had to say.  So sit back, sip whatever drink you have and read on.

The question posed to these awesome guys was “What stops you from popping the question?” I asked a variety so that we could get some insight, from the white collar to the blue collar, from thug life, to hustle man, to wall street, see their top 10 reason listed below.

  1. They want to prove to her family and friends that they can take care of her and deserve their respect. Most feel they need to prove to the family that they are worthy of the woman’s time and attention.
  2. Guys have a hard time expressing emotions. When they actually find the one, it’s hard to believe you actually found her, the one. The task of trying to express your love and asking her to be your wife is nerve wrecking.
  3. FINANCES!!! Families cost money. If they don’t feel they can provide a great life for her, then they won’t ask. Some admitted that they want to give their future wife the option to not work if she chooses, and in order to that their finances must be in order.
  4. Overthinking is a dream killer for most of us. This plays a role in why they are not popping the question. They may know that she love them and they love her, but can either of them truly commit to this for a lifetime and if they do commit for a lifetime, will life be boring, and if life becomes boring how will they get the excitement back, will they go elsewhere, will she go elsewhere. You get it, overthinking.
  5. Fear of commitment! Along with overthinking you begin to wonder about if you can really be monogamous. Is there really one woman for each man? Am I a man that can commit to this? Forever is a really long time.
  6. Pride! I love and know me. I AM THE MAN!!! Will she realize all that she is getting and appreciate it?! I trust and know me and that I’m living a good life, can she keep up?!
  7. Women who press to get married and have a family are a turn off. There is a natural progression to getting to the point of him popping the question. If you press them about it the more they want to pull away from you and your interest in marriage. If on the second date you are asking about their sperm count, you can count them out.
  8. Men need support. We live in a society where woman are being liberated from the oppressor and so they receive an enormous amount of support from everywhere. Men are considered the oppressor and therefore why should she feel like she should support me, it’s her time to shine, he needs to take a backseat. If she can’t realize that I want to support her and I want her to support me as well, then there’ no point in discussing marriage. She has to be willing to cheer for me, like I’m cheering for her, even if it requires for her to just hold the bench down.
  9. Tired of the games. He needs to know who this woman is outside the waist trainer, eye lashes, weave, and make-up (apparently some of them are watching the YouTube tutorials with us). Once a man crosses the line with you and decides to commit to dating only you, they want to know who you really are, flaws and all. As much as almost ALL admitted to double tapping on IG models, but that’s not what they are looking for in a real relationship and if they have to play games to figure out who you are, then it’s just not worth it.
  10. Ultimately they ALL agreed that guys know what they want. If your guy is not talking marriage with you or appears uninterested when you bring it up, more than likely they are not interested in marriage with you. If marriage is on their mind they will discuss.

Well ladies, there you have it, a few answers as to why he may not be popping the questions. What are your thoughts?  Do you need to re-evaluate your current situation?

 

Put A Ring On It (Part 1)

put a ring on itSo the other day I was giving the youngest hot kid a bath, when she asked me why I didn’t love her. I said, but of course I love you.  She then said, if you love me, then why you won’t marry my daddy?! **blank stare** When I looked around and saw that this wasn’t some surprise proposal scheme, I focused my attention back on to my little one, she needed an answer.  My youngest is 3 going on 35 her mind, reactions, and ability to hold these conversations always makes me smile, she’s a smart cookie, but in this instance I wanted a 3 year old that wasn’t so inquisitive.  I decided to give her the breakdown I felt appropriate for a 3 year old.  I told her that Daddy and I both love her very much and that we love each other that is how our family is set-up, our love makes our family.  BOOM!!  There, love was the answer.  My 3 year old is a curious little something so of course I should have known she would need more than love as her answer.  She gives me some major side-eye and decides to let me know that she can’t wait to attend the wedding.

Out little bath time conversation got me thinking, not just about me getting married, but why other single moms I hang out with are not married. What’s the hold-up, where are the rings?  I had to do a little investigating.  A quick poll of my village gave me a little insight as to why these strong, independent, intelligent women I have the pleasure of raising children with are not married.  Most of the women polled are certain that they would love to get married.  So many came back with YAS!  (FYI: YAS takes Yes to a whole different level of agreement).  So many yeses, yet these women are not married, so I asked why.  Below please find the top 10 list of why the women in my village are not married (as of today)

  1. Unwilling to compromise on family issues. They have been raising their family on their own for so long, not sure they are willing to concede power to someone else.
  2. The person they want to be with is unavailable. Pause, my crew does not mess with married men or men in committed relationships, Play. The unavailable person is either incarcerated, living in another state, or emotionally unavailable due to some issues that need to be resolved before marriage.
  3. Waiting to be asked but, afraid throwing the hint out there will jeopardize what they currently have.
  4. It’s hard finding a person that they like, their children and family will like as well. Due to the children playing a major role, the person has to be approved by them and get their permission to marry their mom.
  5. Not enough available prospects. These women have accomplished a lot and would like for the beau to have accomplished a lot and for them to accomplish more together. The fixer upper is no longer an option for these established ladies.
  6. They’ve gotten good at being alone. At some point in your life you realize that you like you, you enjoy your own company and you become cool with just being with you and dating here and there.
  7. THE WAIT!!!! Waiting on their child (ren)’s father to get his life in order and propose to make their family complete.
  8. Afraid of commitment (Yes, fellas, women can fear commitment also).
  9. Don’t believe men and be monogamous. This came from quite a few ladies. In a sense that there’s competition because the “supposed” few eligible bachelors, know that there are few of them and tend to play the field.
  10. The belief that the institute of marriage has been tainted by society.

So, there you have it at least 10 reasons why single moms are not getting married. I’m sure you could have guessed a few, I hope this brings you some enlightenment and great conversation between you and your friends, no bashing.

All those yeses and one no, no she was no looking to get married, stopped a long time ago, and does not plan on changing her mind. She only had one reason for her no, people marry for all the wrong reasons, it’s like they expect the fairy tales they see on TV, and when their happily ever after turns into a nightmare, instead of trying to piece the story together again they give up, pay the fee, and get divorced.  We as a people no longer believe in for better or worse, for richer or poorer or in sickness and in health, we believe in the come up and if you not helping me come up then you are no longer useful.  I was all team yes, until this conversation (I’m still team yes, I’ll put a picture of the ring at the bottom of the post, let my future husband know what I like, lol).  But I can completely understand where she is coming from.  Being a divorcee (married at 19) I can say I got married for all the wrong reasons.  I was pregnant, we should get married, we were high school sweethearts, we should get married, my friends wanted to attend a wedding, we should get married.  Now that I’ve matured I have I can reflect on her thoughts and agree with her.  I still however believe in marriage, I believe marriage is what the two people make of it.  It won’t be easy and it’s so not a fairytale, but if you can find the right person it’s totally worth it.

So what about you, why are you not married? What are your feelings regarding marriage, let’s discuss.

my ring

 

 

Being Nanekia….Beware of Paused People

pause.jpgRecently I was having a conversation with a friend.  We were doing our normal catch-up, when she asked me about my relationship with other friends and had they changed over the years and how I handled it.  Previously I’d written a post about friends and I’m always referencing the blog (get used to it) but I’d really been thinking about the dynamic of some of my relationships lately and gave her my most honest answer.  While I love all my friends and will always encourage and support them, I can’t stay on pause in relationships any longer.  After a few giggles, because of course I added some colorful language to my remarks I explained to her like I’m going to explain to you about paused individuals.

See I truly believe that we are all here to encourage each other.  Because we are all different it takes certain individuals to be in your circle to offer the encouragement you need.  See, the Village isn’t just for child-rearing it’s for us as a people to become the best we can be.  Sometimes in your Village just like in your family emotions run high, life happens, and things don’t always go as planned and it upsets the Village.  When things like this happen I believe you have to take time to “pause” if you continue on in a mess with your emotions running wild, life throwing balls at you that you can’t catch, it’s almost impossible to function.  But, if you put yourself on “pause” for a moment, gather yourself, get encouraged, and rejuvenated mind, body and spirit, then life can go on and you can begin to win again.  The issue comes in when you decide to remain on “pause”.  When you wallow in self-loathing or throw an ongoing pity party you are paused, it’s virtually impossible to interact with others, let alone encourage them or yourself.  You become like the village statue just there for decoration serving no real purpose.  Who wants to live life like that?

Go ahead, do it for yourself, place a movie on pause and leave for about 10 minutes.  10 minutes isn’t a long amount of time, but I bet when you return the TV is on sleep mode, the system is not built to just remain on pause.  Paused people in your life do just that, they are paused then fall into sleep mode.  Don’t get me wrong you should not ignore paused individuals, they need help, but you can’t allow them to consume you or you, yourself will be paused.  What happens when a person is set on pause is normally an event that they were not prepared for happens and they can’t deal or they decide not to deal.  They would much rather just stay in that moment instead of trusting that brighter days are ahead.  There’s no time limit for a people pause, however when dealing with a paused person you have to determine how long you will allow your time and opportunities to be influenced by their pause.  But, because you are a friend and you want to be helpful an encourager you stay with them in this place because, well, they need you too.  You encourage them, you laugh and cry together, you do what you believe is necessary for this person to push play again.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  When it doesn’t work is when you have to make the tough decision for yourself, what is your next move?

We all have a purpose and are called to do great things.  We can’t do great things remaining in the same situations, doing the same things.  In order to elevate you have to be willing to come off pause.  But when you decide to unpause be prepared for those paused people to talk behind your back, ridicule your dream, and lash out at you.  You may think that you all were never friends, but remember you are dealing with an individual who at that time can’t function with your next level of elevation.  You have two choices, 1. You can decide to remain on pause with them and you both miss out on life and its amazing opportunities or 2. You can rise to the occasion, become the best version of you and pray for your paused friend.  We are all moving at a different pace to the top of the ladder.  Some will get there before others and that may damage your relationship with them.  I hope that if you were good friends that the damage can be repaired once they are off pause, but if not, remember there is a time and season for everything, including leaving paused people.

Today evaluate your relationships with people, is there someone who is living on pause, what’s your next move?

The Birds, The Bees, & Everything in Between!

The-Birds-and-the-Bees_3899-l

I’m laughing at myself now as I thought this title up awhile back, never thought I would be going exactly through this at the moment I was slated to write about it but here we go.  How do you have conversations that could potentially be difficult or embarrassing with your children?  There’s no manual for this type of stuff we are out here winging it so why not help each other by offering some tips or asking for help, Lord knows I need help with this.

The “Period” talk.  I am sure there are women that look forward to this talk and consider it a rite of passage, I know I did.  I went to B&N purchased the period book and over a month Symone and I would go over the book and discover her womanhood, this would be a bonding experience for us both and we would be better women because of it.  That is not at all how it went down.  I remember the call from my mother, “Did you know Symone has her period?” I almost fainted, when did this happen, my little girl had become a woman before we could bond and gather flowers in the field and talk about freshness.  She was only 10 or 11, this was too soon I wasn’t ready, but at last the day had arrived, I had to put on my granny panties (ladies know why) and have the talk with her about being a woman.  Talking to someone about something that is natural, that we all go through seems simple enough, its natural, right?! No this conversation was anything but natural.  I skimmed through the book got my basics for the conversation and started to approach.  Now some may say how can a woman not know how to talk to another woman about something we all go through, but note, this isn’t just any other woman, this is a woman you are raising, a woman you want to be better than you are, you’ve got to get this conversation right as it sets up her future for other conversations you may need to have.  We sat opposite each other on the couch and before I could open up my mouth, she starts the conversation.  Mom, I have my period now and I like pads not tampons (what the what?, wasn’t prepared for that), mommy it takes 5 days for my period to go away (I fainted). See we live in a society where kids are catching on to things fast, they know stuff that we didn’t at their age, and if we did, these children appear to know a lot more.  She knew that now she could have a baby and that her period will come once a month and that she would be in a bad mood.  After she gave me the talk, I clarified a few things for her and we’ve been able to openly discuss our womanhood ever since.

Now not all talks have come that easy for me.  There have been times where I didn’t know how or what to say and in those moments I have had to rely on my family and village to help me find the right words.  Our talks have ranged from divorce, friends, STDs, dating, stranger danger, diet and exercise, our relationships with God, to who should be the next president.  I have always had an open door policy with my children so that they may feel free to express themselves.  While some of these talks have been painful, eye opening and caused me to self-reflect multiple times I have always reminded my children that we always need to be open to each other.

My challenge to you, talk to your children not at them.  Be open to the discoveries they have made about themselves and the world around them. Listen to them before you speak and let them know that while you all are not friends that the love you have for them gives you an open heart and mind to help guide them through life.  Speak in love!

Dear Jamiel

Dear Jamiel,

I am not afraid of you! So you just got out the car and I just gave you “the talk”, a talk I knew from the time I found out I was pregnant with you, I would one day have to give.  The talk about you being a young black male in America.  As we talk I am filled with so much emotion, but you, you are calm, you are reassuring me, your mom, that you will be okay.  Although I know you are trying to make me feel better I know after your next words, you don’t feel okay.  “Mom, I know you love me and care for me, but this world doesn’t, I know this!”  I heard you say those words and my heart just broke.  As always we prayed together, I gave you a hug and watched as walked away, not knowing what would unfold for you throughout the day.  I started to pull off and realized I was crying, not just tears slowly streaming down my face, but full out didn’t even realize I’d made a noise crying.  My son, your feeling of hopelessness is a lot for me to bear.  What can I do, what can I say to let you know that you matter?!

Jamiel, you matter, you matter to me. You are an amazing young man, full of life and love.  Everyone that comes in contact with you has told me that after being in your presence they feel amazing, that you wear your character and they can tell that’s who you truly are as a person.  You are caring, kind, loving, intelligent, a gentlemen, and boy when you put your mind to something I’ve seen you accomplish it.  With all that why would anyone want to stop you from being who you are?  Why can’t people see that gifted, multi-talented person you are?  Why, Why, Why? I keep asking myself these questions and baby boy I have no answers for you, I don’t understand why.  That right there is like a knife in my heart not being able to answer this question for one of my truest loves.  And son, you are one of my truest loves.

Jamiel, I am not afraid of you, but son, there are people out here who are. Those people don’t see you the way I do, and even if they get a glimpse of all your goodness, their own fear won’t allow them to embrace you.  There are grown men who have told you to trust them, that if you need help to call on them, these same men are envious of who you are yet to become.  The future you makes them very nervous.  We laugh and joke about you becoming the next Top Chef or the next big dance star, but son someone out there is afraid that you will accomplish those goals and it means less for them.  You asked “how can a grown man be jealous of me?”  Because son, you are the unknown, the X factor, people are afraid of what they don’t know or understand.  Jamiel, you at 12 years old, 5’3”, about 110 pounds are scary to some grown men, but not to me, not to your sisters, not to your family.  We are not afraid of you, but the fear of the target these individuals have placed on your head is real for us and thus I’m holding you a little tighter, Symone is nicer, and Anissa needs more suga from you.  WE LOVE YOU, YOU MATTER TO US!

As I get your text of love and Mom, I’m alright, I still have no answers to give to you. I know that today you are just trying to be the 12 year old young man enjoying camp, enjoying life.  While we’ve talked about what’s going on in the world, your world consist of football, swimming, making root beer floats, having a tea party with Anissa, or creating dance videos with Symone.  My promise to you son is that I will fight, all my armor is on for you, for you to be able to live your truth, for you to be able to enjoy your childhood, for you to continue to grow into the awesome man I know you will become.  I have faith your story has already been written and it’s one that the world must prepare itself for.  Fearful or not.

 

You Are The HOTTEST MOM!!!

esha and girlsSo I’ve wanted to see this person appear on the HOTTEST MOM wall for some time, but I had to wait and see if she would be nominated.  Finally, I’m proud to be this hot mom’s biggest fan and big sister, congratulations to Ms. Esha Ansari, You are the HOTTEST mom for the month of July.  This hot mom is the mother of two amazing young ladies, Regional Coordinator for Cleveland YoungLives, and the Owner/Proprietor of Classy & Clean Girls.  Her love and passion for other mommies is what earned her this nomination.

When asked why I should consider Esha, I was curious, I mean I know my sister is an awesome mom, but I’d like to know what others think.  Her girls from Cleveland YoungLives had plenty to say.  They stated that she is open with them about her flaws as a mom, she doesn’t pretend to be perfect.  One said that watching Esha in action with her own children allows you to see how she really acts as a mom and it’s not fake.  I know for a fact that transparency is very important in this youth group, being able to do real life with the members is something Esha has stated numerous times.  The young women of this group admire and love Esha and recognize they are lucky to be doing life with her as well.

So for being an awesome example of motherhood we salute you!  You are the HOTTEST MOM!!!