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parenting

What A Man?!

It’s been about 2 weeks since my son officially ended his junior high career and is now ready to embark on a new journey to high school. This was a tough time for me. He is my ONLY son and being the main parent in his life brings me joy and a bit of sadness.

jamiel post 1I love watching my kids grow up and advising them as needed. They are all strong-willed individuals (got it honestly) and I know it’s my job to help them grow into productive, creative members of society. All the girly conversations I have with my daughters my mom had with me, the territory that I am unfamiliar with, the one that causes me anxiety are the conversations I feel a dad is supposed to have with his son. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of men in my son’s life who can have these talks with him, but I feel as though he is cheated because he can’t have these conversations with the one person who should be thrilled to do so, HIS dad. (Some background, my oldest two children have the same father, due to circumstances out of my control, he is unavailable to co-parent at this time, I’ll just leave it at that.) As I picked out his suit, helped him get dressed for the events that marked the end of this chapter of his life I often wondered how he felt about his dad not being present. Well why wonder when I could just ask, so I did! My son with his tall, lanky, poised face said, I’m good mom you’ve got this! He kissed my forehead (he now towers above me) and gave me the biggest hug.

jamiel post 2
jamiel postAs I watched him look at himself in the mirror I was beyond proud, WHAT A MAN! My son despite his situation is growing into the most amazing, compassionate, strong, bold man I know. I would take credit for all the great things about my son, but I know without the help of the men who constantly and consistently stand in the gap for him, he might have turned out differently. I am humbled by how without breaking a sweat they show up for him on a regular basis.

So single moms if you are doubting whether you can raise a man…let me leave you with this- You may not be equipped for every talk, or every walk, but you are equipped with the love you have in your heart to raise an individual who will go out into the world and be who God destined them to be. What more could you ask for?!
jamiel post 5

 

parenting

There’s Hope: Holiday Cheer!

christmas fireplace.jpg 1Hey Hotties! The holiday season is in full swing. All around town we can see Christmas lights, trees, shopping bags EVERYWHERE. With all of this you would think the Hottest Kids and I  would be joining in. We have not. To be honest we haven’t even put up our tree. I’m not sure what’s going on with us, we just can’t seem to catch that good ole Christmas spirit just yet. That was until the other day we when we experienced what I call the true spirit of Christmas.

Last Saturday the kids and I went to Crocker Park to do some holiday things. We’d read an article, 10 Things to Do at Crocker Park this Holiday Season and curiosity got the best of us so we ventured out. Now we live in Cleveland where one day it will be 85 degrees sun shining and the next it will be below 0 and a snow storm brewing. On this fine day it was 21 degrees, which would be bearable if the activities were taking place inside, they were not. Here we go, yet another activity I picked and the kids are just not into it. It’s disappointing as a mom to be excited about doing something with your kids and they don’t feel it. I was determined to keep a smile on my face and theirs (the smiles were probably stuck do to the wind chill). We went inside a variety of stores making our best attempt to enjoy ourselves, due to the temperature other families had the same idea so now we are in this super crowded space. Still smiling!!!

arch christmasI was just about ready to head home when I saw this super cool light arch. I put on my biggest grin and implored the kids to take a picture. Now trying to fit 3 of us in a selfie is always a task. It’s a height and attention issue. As we are trying to get the perfect angle, I feel a tap on my shoulder. This lovely young couple compliments us on what an amazing looking family we are and they would love to take our picture. Now you know how you want to get the perfect picture, but what stranger wants to take multiple pictures until we get it right. Well let me tell you, this young couple did. We had a great little photo shoot right there under the arch. The young lady hit angles, made us laugh, and directed traffic around us. I was appreciative that she had us all smiling and that she wasn’t bothered taking multiple pictures. As we parted ways, we hugged and wished each other a Merry Christmas. This may seem small but in the hustle and bustle of life all too often we forget to show human kindness, she was kind. As we walked the kids began to warm up (figuratively) and they were not so eager to leave so we decided to keep walking. We found a really cool fire-place and of course me being mom was like just one more picture. As we are getting organized again, guess what happens?? A mom with her daughter and teenage friends walk up to us. I’m thinking let’s hurry up and get our picture and get out of their way. Again she offered to take our picture, the girls held our bags as we posed and laughed. As we depart ways the kids high-five each other and the mom hugs me and again wishes me a Merry Christmas. Despite the cold weather there was a warmth that came over my family and I that day. After that we were cheerful, holding doors for people, expressing well wishes and walking around with smiles that didn’t just come from the wind chill factor.

I am always grateful for the time I get to spend with my children even when they would rather be doing something else. I know as they get older they will have friends and their own families to do things with so I don’t take this time for granted. I am glad we were able to see the Christmas spirit in others that flicked on the spirit in us. We finally went shopping for tree decor and will be putting up our tree this week.

How are you and your family spending this holiday season? How do you get over the holiday blues?

parenting

Our Adventure In CANDY LAND!!!

Hey Hotties! Last Saturday Anissa and I took a little Christmas journey to Candy Land at the Penitentiary Glen Reservation. Growing up Candy Land was one of my favorite games. The colors and different characters allow you to transform into a world of gumdrops, lollipops, and dreams. I don’t know who was more excited to go on this adventure myself or Anissa. After about a 30 minute drive where my partner in crime fell asleep we arrive to the magic…

blog 12.3We were greeted by forest rangers who gave us our magical game box. Inside the box were cards just like the game with each flip of a card we were told which space to go to next. We enter the gates of Candy Land and there we find Christmas replication of one of my favorite childhood board games. Anissa is ready to play, I on the other hand want to take in the life-size model of the game. Instead I play, we flip a card and find our square, we continue to flip and find our next move until we reach the end of the game. But guess what, that wasn’t the end for us because we played 6 more times. It was great seeing my little lady enjoy the game as much as I did as a kid. Once we tired of hopping squares we turned in our magic box for our next adventure.

blog 12.3-1At the ranger station we were given a clipboard and clues. Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt. We were gifted with two scavenger hunts one for outside and one for inside. As we explore the inside fo the building we begin to notice things we hadn’t before. Each clue gave us access to another room/exhibit that we were seeing with new eyes for the first time. With our explorer hats on we touched and read about the animals there and the history of the center. We had an amazing time and learned so much. We started to head outside and then found a craft center. We Hotties love crafts so we enter. We were given the choice to either make a S’mores Bunny or Turtle. What?! We get our craft bag and inside we have materials we need to use to create this ornament. What a great time we had.

To go outside or not to, that is the question. As we put our coats on for the outdoor scavenger hunt it begins to rain. A little rain won’t hurt us, but as Anissa pointed out no one was looking forward to wash day (our hair) so we opted to stay in and grab a snack. We ventured into the gift shop where we found great treats, educational materials and a few furry friends. We decided ice cream treats for the day and a new snake to take home and prank Jamiel.

If you are interested in going on the Candy Land goes Wild adventure click here and take your own journey. What are you all doing to celebrate the holiday season and create new traditions?    blog 12.3-2

black women, health, women

Being Nanekia…GirlTrek A Walk To Self Discovery!

nik girl trekA little over a week ago thanks to #BlackGirlsInCle I had the opportunity to attend Girl Trek Cleveland Edition. I was excited 1. to find out more about Girl Trek, 2. To get out of the house on a Friday night for a little me time. Go on over and read my review of the event on www.blackgirlincle.com. The space, the vibe, the sisterhood was overwhelming and as with each experience I get to learn more about myself. So what did I learn this time around…Keep reading!

I’ve been living this outside my comfort zone lifestyle for a while. I’ve been many places alone, which no longer bothers me, this experience was different, it took me to a new level of being uncomfortable and I was completely there for it. I’ve had to do a lot of self reflecting and soul-searching lately, this was a decision I did not take lightly as in order for me to become better, to be available to encourage others to be their best selves, in order to live by example, I can’t be bullsh*tting myself. If there was any of that left, the #girltrek experience pulled it all out.

  1. All the ladies in the room were told to stand silently against the wall and leave all judgements including judging ourselves outside the room, there were a lot of ladies but we manage to do it. Then we were told to really think about ourselves and be honest with the answers we were giving. Step forward if you have improved your healthy living lifestyle, step forward if you have left an abusive relationship, step back if you remain in an abusive relationship, this went on with multiple questions until we were uneven. As I gazed around the room I saw women who were just like me, standing on my own in life figuring things out. I’d experienced some gains and losses and I wasn’t alone.
  2. As we remain in silence we were brought to a circle to do a rhythmic dance exercise. Honestly I had no clue what we were about to do, but the spirit in the room was refreshing and inviting. There were so many melanated faces in the room as we looked at each other the music began. First there was a slow beat, which we swayed to, then the build up and as the music began to heighten we were instructed to dig, scooping low (floor) then releasing at the top (above our head) as we scooped the sound was one of great pain from each person, but then the release was a roar, like we had found freedom and we needed everyone to know. The more we scooped the greater the release until you could feel the humming in the room get louder and louder with every release. Not sure if my description is giving you the full picture, but imagine being weighted down and you feel like you can’t get up, but then you manage to get up and now you can’t even feel the weight of what you were carrying. I felt all the pressure of that day being removed from me, the issues with co-workers, kids not cleaning up, missing date night, loss of friendships, too many meetings, goals not reached, the weight of all the issues I’d been having I could no longer feel. What did I feel? I felt my sisters carrying me, I felt with each hum of their voices they were helping me release. This was magical because let me tell you, a girl was extremely tired of carrying that weight!
  3. The Wonder Stories of Wonder Women! This part of the evening was amazing. You all know I like a good story and these were stories of women right here in my community, sharing defeat and triumph. With each shared story I felt closer to these women I did not know. We experienced joy, pain, laughter, anger, so many emotions and so many divine connections made. Once the stories were over we were told to grab a sister, hold her hands and look her directly in her eyes. No smiling, just studying her face and seeing her story in her eyes. Have you actually ever looked at another woman? Not her outfit, make-up, shoes (we know I love shoes), not her smile, but what’s in her eyes. Staring into this strangers eyes I began to notice things I hadn’t about her and we had been sitting next to each other for at least 2 hours. If you are so inclined really look at someone, and you will see their story. This was magical for me and I’m not going to lie the tears began to flow, because I knew my story, that behind my smile, behind the jokes, I was crying my eyes out tired and I didn’t see rest in site. That sister hugged me so tight I felt my body go limp and finally rest!
  4. Finally we get to the walking part, LOL! I mean all this emotional stuff and now you want me to walk. If you read my #blackgirlincle article then you know that 137 black women are dying each day due to preventable diseases. For me personally I know stress correlates directly to some of my health issues. Being able to relieve some of that stress and set myself free was amazing. So what does walking have to do with this? It’s a form of self-care we should start taking advantage of. When I’m angry, take a walk, when I’m sad, try taking a walk, when I’m happy take advantage of that boost and take a walk. Our ancestors found freedom in walking and you can find it too just take your first steps.

Girl Trek is on a mission to get a million African-American women to join the movement by 2020, I’m one of those women! My road to travel in getting me together started when I decided to take that single step, to live a life that defines me and no one else. What will your walk look like? Will you join us?
onika jervisOnika Jervis, Chief Engagement Officer. Girl Trek

Veronica VeryVeronica Very, President & Founder, Wonder of Women

Morgan DixonMorgan Dixon, Founder & CEO, Girl Trek

parenting

I Don’t Wanna Go Broke!

blog photo 11.20.18Hey Hotties! How many of us remember that Toys R Us kid’s song. I knew when I heard it around the holidays Christmas was fast approaching. Well now Toys R Us is no longer around ( insert sad face), is that due to poor financial planning, biting off more than they could chew, like the Tootsie Roll commercial “the world may never know?!” What I do know is I don’t want to see any parent going broke trying to provide a “Christmas” experience for their family. So below you will find a few ways I am curbing my spending during this upcoming holiday season.

Forbes predicts that parents will spend $495 per child. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, parents are pouring out big bucks for electronic items, collector items, and lifetime experiences for their children. Our children are living their best lives and we are going broke for them to do it! So how do we stop the cycle of unnecessary debt and enjoy this season. I’m going to tell you what I’ve done and hopefully it helps you.

  1. I made a list of the individuals I was going to purchase gifts for. I would love to splurge on all my nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, and cousins but that’s not feasible. I’ve kept the list very specific and assigned a dollar amount to each person.
    (example)
  2. Name Amount Spent Remaining
    Symone 150 75 75
    Jamiel 150 63 87
    Anissa 150 92 58

    Once the amount allocated is gone that’s it, there is no more to spend.

  3. I started shopping 2 months ago. I allotted an amount from each paycheck to go towards the holidays. This way I wasn’t rushing to buy things just because I had to get a gift and I was able to budget between bills and extracurriculars. Also while I love a good Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, there have been some amazing sales going on if you sign up to receive promotions from those stores or vendors. While the emails may get to be a bit much at times, I love being the “first” to know about the sale and getting that extra 15-35% off because I signed up with them.
  4. All gifts matter! Here’s is where your parental guilt may cause you to break the bank spending this season. DON’T DO IT! If you can’t afford it, then that’s it, making a choice between paying a bill and your child having the new Jordan’s is a no brainer. Now don’t get me wrong I love seeing the excited look on my children’s faces when they get the gift they really want, but I’ve also instilled in them that appreciation for the gifts they receive is the greatest gift they can give back to me as a parent. (cause let’s face it they not breaking their little banks to buy us gifts). You are doing the best you can, don’t allow social media, TV, YouTube, or other parents make you feel guilty about what you can and cannot afford. You run your household and you know what you need to keep the needs of the family first not just the wants.
  5. Now if you are one of those people who just have to get EVERYBODY a gift, but you know you can’t afford it, here’s my back-up plan. Get photos of you and your family and have them printed, then create a holiday memory book for family members to display in their homes. Get artsy with it, no grandparent can resist a photo album with the little painted baby hands on it. Or you can bake cookies and give them out, this allows for you all to do a family activity and share with others.

Debt is something we should start teaching our children early to steer clear of. As much as we want to fulfill a want, discipline in spending habits will go a long way to secure their futures. What is your budget looking like this holiday season? How can you save?

parenting

My 5 Favorite Blogs/Social Media/Podcast! (My best friends in my head!)

createherstock-2018-Boss-Lady-Neosha-Gardner-11Let me start off by saying it was a difficult task putting this list together. There are so many wonderful HOT MAMAS out there doing their thing, these are just a few I feel have helped me in wanting to grow my brand, get my edges and my life together. I hope you go and support them, engage with them, and show love!

If you don’t know who Halani Lobdell is then your waist can’t be snatched or at least not snatched with the flame she can give you. Halani is @Mrs2Weeksout, GO OVER TO INSTAGRAM and be inspired! Initially I followed her because I was interested in the RI28 Days Challenge. I joined and let me tell you, it was not easy, 28 days of discipline, focus, and prayer that my body would transform. I’m happy to say it was all worth it and my weight loss journey was again going in a positive direction. I mean look at her, that body is a HOT MAMA dream, but that’s not the reason I continued to follow her. Halani has an inviting spirit, I didn’t focus so much on looking like her as I used her example of pushing my workouts, enjoying my family and loving one a man (HER HUSBAND IS FINE), to grow me as a person. Her confidence, her glow, her love for those around her attracts you to her. I wanted to know her and you should to. Thank you Halani for being an encourager!

#BWAFGU if you don’t know this hashtag by now, get into it. The dope queen behind this is Stevona Elem-Rogers! I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a self-care retreat in NOLA! She is my spirit animal. When I think of the revolution not being televised I know it’s because Stevona has put pen to paper and we need to READ those word and FEEL it! She has a magical way of drawing you in and giving you the tools to be your own revolutionary. When I think back on her conversation with this group of women I shared a space with I remember this, I AM A BLACK WOMAN AND I AM NOTHING TO PLAY WITH! I was empowered by every word that dripped from her lips, she snatched wigs fixed it and put it back on so that your crown is a natural hot mama delight! Since this time I can honestly say I have lived unapologetically, remembering I am a black woman, I am grown, and I am a force to be reckoned with. Stevona you inspire so many with your words and actions, thank you for living out loud that we may not apologize for who we are, but instead embrace it and wear it like the jewelry our ancestors intended us to be robed in!

If you don’t know you will know now…I LOVE THERAPY! I believe everyone should have a 6 month therapy check-up if you don’t already have regular sessions scheduled. There’s something about getting the point of view from someone outside your circle that allows you to grow. When I can’t get my therapy I tune into “Therapy For Black Girls” hosted by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford. Now as Dr. Joy would tell you this is no substitution for a session with a licensed therapist, and she provides a way for you to find one. I love this podcast because it’s an inviting space for me to get well and have it formed for how black women think and understand others. You may think “how different is the way a black woman thinks?” If you asked that you will never understand our complexity and therefore let us have our therapy moments. Dr. Joy covers all aspects of our lives and it’s beyond encouraging to know we are not alone in the issues we deal with on a regular basis. For a long time I thought these thoughts are not normal and therapy isn’t for me. But I know now I should not be ashamed for loving my therapist and the time we spend together. Dr. Joy thank you for being a true comfort for allowing a space where black women can seek out the help they need to live empowered lives with our family and friends.

Grab your edge control you’re going to need it ANYTIME you encounter Sarah Jakes Roberts. I have to mentally prepare myself whenever I listen to the podcast Woman Evolve. I know that Sarah is going to bring that fire, that flavor, that heat!!! All that sauce and so much more. Sarah will bring you to the feet of Jesus and continuously remind you why you enjoy being there. Her love of God and her fellow woman is so powerful. She reminds you of who God created you to be and why you need to be uniquely you! I’m reminded that this world is not the final destination but simply a means to an end that is glorious, but that along this journey it won’t be easy, but that’s okay. We all need that friend that will keep it all the way real with you and doing so in love. Sarah your wildness has allowed me to unleash my own beast, to know that God loves me for me and that the more authentic I am the more people will see God in me. Imagine that God being seen in you! AWESOMELY AMAZING!

Are you looking for that person who will CHECK YOU?! The “normal” down to earth person that pops flavor and drips sauce?! Look no futher…Mattie James has come to give you all of that and so much more. I found Mattie James while making my re-branding plan. I was looking for specific women who were doing what I wanted to do, to get to know them and how they became successful. In this blogger game information is key and sometimes people are not willing to share their information. That is not the case with Mattie! She is encouraging, inviting, really real, she has those AHA moments that make you think as well. AND she shares information! She wants you to grow! Mattie is nurturing souls not only with her business savvy but with doing it God’s way. She realizes He is the Plug, He is the business model. It’s truly a blessing to know that there are other women who are not ashamed of their faith or feel their faith will hold back their business. God has the plan and desires for you to have it too. Who would have thought?! Mattie Did!

These women have given me so much to think about, they’ve planted a seed within me to not give up, to remember who I am in God and to not be ashamed. We all need those friends! So go on over and get what you need, I promise you won’t be disappointed. What are some dope peeps you follow that help you live your best life? Drop them in the comments.
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parenting

The Ministry of Sisterhood: The Ansari Girls

img_0425If you haven’t been paying me any attention then you missed the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Want to know what it is/was?! My sister, Ayesha, and I have launched a show on Facebook LIVE, IG LIVE, and YouTube to discuss the ministry of sisterhood. We are giving you a behind the scenes look into our lives. How are we handling success, balancing family life, being social, and keeping our groove, all while maintaining our sanity and our close relationship with each other and our devotion to God? That’s a lot to view. So what made us think that our lives were so special that we needed a show. Let me take you on a little journey…

It’s no secret to the people who know us that my sister and I DID NOT get along growing up. We were like oil and water, if and when we did agree it was probably to agree that we didn’t agree with each other. This is how our relationship was for most of our childhood and on into our teenage years. My parents were so annoyed with us, but the older we got, our bond began to form. Now we didn’t stop arguing or fighting, we just didn’t have to do it in front of our family or friends, we each had our own homes and our hang up game was strong. So when did our relationship finally turn around. I really can’t tell you, one day I just looked at my sister differently. I no longer saw her as the brat that was driving me crazy, I saw her as another woman, someone I enjoyed being around. I didn’t just love her because she was my sister, I actually liked her as a person, someone I WANTED to hang out with. As others began to see us together they noticed the difference in our relationship and wondered what changed us. Our conversations were now inspirational and encouraging, our phones calls ended in laughs, we began to appreciate our time together.

So what change? Our faith! As our own individual relationships with God began to develop he granted us access to see each other differently. I began to see where I’d slacked as a big sister (yes, the secret is out, I am the oldest) and I allowed her to see the vulnerable parts of my life I’d kept hidden. It was in these moments our bond was solidified and we could actually see each other. As we began to share our story, our struggles, our journey, people paid attention and they wanted to hear more. If you tune into Just One Hot Mom the podcast (available on Itunes) some of my favorite shows are with my sister. But Just One Hot Mom is my baby, and I can’t share it, so what could we do that would allow people to hear and learn from our stories. Nothing but get in front of the camera and share. So on Tuesday, October 2nd, we shared our first story on “The Disciplined Art of Essentialism!” (check it out on our FB page/YouTube channel The Ansari Girls) Every other Tuesday at 8pm, we are opening the doors of our lives and sharing them with you. Our hope is that by being transparent with you about our lives, you will become confident in who you are, inspired to share your story, and encouraged that you are not alone in this life. I wouldn’t want to do this with any other person.

So your assignment, go like or subscribe to our pages and share in our journey!

Facebook: The Ansari Girls
Instagram: thensarigirls
YouTube: The Ansari Girls

parenting

Being Nanekia…UPDATE- Weight Loss Journey

1F234308-FEEE-4A06-B707-A18D0FF9417BWe are still on this journey!!! For the last year and a half I’ve been doing what everyone says will help me lose weight. From taking a bunch of workout classes, to adjusting myself to different diet plans, trying weight loss shakes/teas and supplements. All of these things are popular because I’m sure just like I do, you see them all over social media and along with them you see the pictures to prove their results. So what have I lost?!

When this journey first began I wanted to lose 50 pounds, that was my main goal. I focused only on that and nothing else. From week to week I would see loss and gain. This rollercoaster was driving me crazy, there was so much to keep up with. And then the devastating fact that I had not lost 50 pounds within the time period I’d given myself set in. I was disappointed. Would I ever drop this 50 pounds?! As I was getting dressed I noticed my pants didn’t fit anymore, they were significantly bigger. I was annoyed thinking something happened with the laundry, I go look in the mirror and there I saw it. I looked different. My body had formed this nice little shape that I had not noticed. I was so stuck on losing 50 pounds that I never took the time to embrace the changes I could actually see my body going through. I was looking and feeling better! Should that have been my goal?

What have I gained? A new-found respect for others and their weight loss journey, an even greater dose of self-confidence, the ability to be consistent with my workouts and love for myself at all stages of this journey. I’ve also learned about what I really want on this journey and as much as I want to look good, feeling good has become more important. I can keep up with the people in my workout class, I’m not out of breath when playing with my daughter, I’ve become even sexier (eyebrow raises) I feel good. I’ll take those gains over any amount of loss!

What journey are you on? Are you taking the time to enjoy the course or are you so focused on the goal you can’t enjoy the journey? Take time out to enjoy it all, it will be worth it in the end.

parenting

The Tantramatic Kindergartner- Tantrums After the Toddler Years

cry anissa 2
If you recall awhile back I wrote a piece The Tantramatic Toddler I talked about how to deal with temper tantrums with your toddler. We all think that once our children pass the toddler phase their temper tantrums will end. THAT IS A LIE! I know from experience the tantrums never end, life happens and sometimes we as adults throw temper tantrums. We, hopefully have learned to deal with them better than our younger days. But what do you as a parent do when your out and about and your older child has a temper tantrum, I’m talking 5-8 years old. It’s embarrassing, it makes you anxious, it questions your authority as a parent because we all know you are getting those looks, the look of disgust from someone who will not sympathize with what you are going through. Yes, parents, children over 4 throw temper tantrums and hopefully in the next few paragraphs I will help you learn how to deal with them.

Let me set the scene for you…We are in Target I know exactly what I need to get and then I need to get out. Of course Anissa wants me to make a quick stop by the toy section, which really isn’t an issue, I explain that we are just looking (my mistake) we are not purchasing. I set the timer on my phone for seven minutes so that we can look and not purchase. The timer goes off and I prepare to get in line, I move but the little hand I am holding has stiffen and is not moving with me, I look down and I see the sad face. I bend over so that she and I are eye to eye and I say it’s time to go, I get back up and move, yet again no movement from my little friend. I look down and she is holding her ground. In my stern mom voice I say let’s go. That’s when it happens, the tears, the negotiating, the loudness. It starts off slow and as I try to remain calm, but as I refuse to agree with her demands it gets louder and louder and now I cam see people beginning to stare. What should I do, how should I handle this?! Should I cave and just buy the toy, should I threaten her, should I get loud??? The should list can go on and on. So let’s start the conversation how should I handle the Tantrumatic Kindergartener?

  1. Recognize that trying to calm her down when she is upset may not work. Think about when you are upset, someone telling you to calm down is the last thing you want to hear. So what should I do? I get back down to her level so she can see my eyes and I can see hers, I then ask her to explain her feelings to me. If she’s in huffing mode and can’t calm down, I gently rub her back and attempt to soothe her until she can talk. If she can talk right away I listen to what her issues is. We discuss, she will either remain calm or remain upset, but the thing is I HEARD HER! Will she be upset maybe but I’ve done my part, in helping her to hopefully deal with her emotions and feel like her voice matters.
  2. RESET! I’m almost positive your child’s school has a method they use to correct behavior. Anissa’s school uses the reset method. The behavior is given minimal attention, the student is asked if they need a reset. A Reset is the opportunity for them to change their behavior themselves. They are in control of their emotions and they can choose to reset them to help have a better outcome. Find out what your child’s school/teacher does and try that out. If it works for them at school why not practice it at home. A Reset can last from 30-60 seconds and can be implemented as many times as needed.
  3. BREATHE! This is more for you than the child. Nobody wants to be considered a bad parent, but the first thing you think of when a child throws a temper tantrum is that you’re going to be questioned and deemed a bad parent. We’re all “bad” parents. As I’ve told you before, none of us left the hospital with a manual on how to raise children. Just like we are learning so are they. It’s important that despite wanting to scream yourself you remain calm. You getting upset and displaying those emotions will only heighten a situation you are trying to de-escalate. Children cry! They cry when they are upset and frustrated, and don’t feel like they are being heard. So let them cry! Now I’m not saying continue shopping while they ball their eyes out. If you can make your purchase then by all means make the purchase, but if not save your sanity and make your exit. It’s okay do not feel any shamed.

While we would love to control our environments and all the behaviors in our environment we can’t. Somethings are out of our control, feelings tend to be one of those things, how you deal with those things and how you teach your children to deal with those things are up to you. Your children are a product of what you pour into them. You are the example so be the best example you can be. Don’t be afraid to show your child your emotions and how to deal with them in a healthy way. We truly do our children a dis-service when we pretend we don’t get upset, or mad, or hurt. The way they learn to deal with their emotions is by watching us.

How do you deal with temper tantrums? Do you have any suggestions that may help another parent, drop them in the comments.

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This is the saddest little face ever!

parenting

The Pregnant Pause!

pregnant pauseHey “Insecure” lovers, this is for you. This season “Insecure” was fire! We see Issa and her friends evolving. A few episode back prior to the finale we see the dynamic of the friendships change as Tiffany is clearly pregnant and the girls are clearly trying to live their best lives. What happens when one of your friends makes a life altering decision that not only will change their lives but effect how y’all operate?! Let’s get into this Pregnant Pause!

In the episode Tiffany looks to be about 7-8 months pregnant but she is still holding on trying to hang with her girls. During Beychella, it’s proven that this is a bit too much for her to handle. The other girls are still up to their shenanigans, thanks to a “special boost” and Tiffany is left as the so-called responsible one. By the end of the episode we learn that the dynamics of each friendship is draining Tiffany. She wants to be a part but let’s face it, trying to maneuver a pregnant belly and party with your girls is not easy, trust me I know from experience.

Let me set the scene…September 2012 I was about 6 months pregnant. I was having an amazing pregnancy, glowing, growing, and still able to party with my girls. We’d all made a pact that I would not be a couch potato and that we were going to be twerking all the way to the delivery room. I remember the night clearly, I was in the bathroom getting dressed about to head out for the night when One Handsome Dad enters and gives his opinion. It was time for me to sit it down, I was way too pregnant to be going out with my girls and the subject was not up for debate. First, I know y’all can imagine the look on my face, I’m a grown woman, I do what I want, I was always safe and monitoring my environment, I needed to breath and get out before my last little one arrived. Apparently that did not matter to him as he walked out the door for HIS night out! No biggie I’d just call my girls to pick me up. That’s when the betrayal really settled in. Apparently they’d all had a discussion without me that it was time for me to enjoy my pregnancy on the couch. My friends, bless their hearts, were just looking out for me, but in a moment where my hormones didn’t belong to me I was hurt. I just wanted to hang out and be a part of the grown up crew before my life changed and everything became about this sweet little person we were waiting on. I needed a reality check.

Reality- I was too pregnant to be out partying. I knew it, I just didn’t want to accept it. I’d made a life decision and I wanted everyone around me to accommodate that decision. Yeah, I can be a little selfish. As a pregnant mama I had to realize that just because I couldn’t be out with my girls didn’t mean we were not friends, friendships change and that’s okay. So, I settled into my comfy clothes and shoes, grabbed a good book/tv remote/cell and partied right there in the house. What did my friends do? They still went out that night! But they made sure to plan activities that would include me and my belly. See that’s what really matters in friendships, that you make sure you all are growing together, loving on each other, and taking care of each other. I’m grateful I didn’t have to feel like I was being left behind.

pregnant pause 1Don’t forget your friends! Maybe she’s not pregnant, but has something else going on that could change your friendship, don’t count her out. We need each other, to support each other, to share secrets with someone who knows you and your heart. How has a decision you have made or your friends have made change the dynamics of your relationship? Are you all able to still maintain your friendship?

parenting

CURLS Poppin!

IMG-0895I don’t know if this was marketing genius or the marketing gods shining down but this weekend was a beast when it came to natural hair affairs! First was the release of Nappily Ever After on Netflix and then Curl Power Delux hosted by our favorite naturalista HeyCurlie! Both of these changed my perspective on what the next step in my own hair journey will be. So sit back, relax and enjoy this natural flava!

The long-awaited release of Nappily Ever After starring Sanaa Lathan did not disappoint. Honest moment, I never read the book, which is usually a big no-no for me, I went against my norm and watched the movie anyway. The story takes us along the journey of Violet who is perfect, long straight hair, perfect clothes, beat face, the woman that captures every man’s and woman’s attention when she walks by. Should I say SPOILER ALERT now?! Not to give anything away, but imperfection rears its ugly head and turns her world is turned upside down. In a dramatic scene we see Violet (Lathan) shave her head bald. Have you ever had one of those moments where you just need a change and you do something you might regret?! I’ve never shaved my head but I’ve had a few of those moments myself. Violet discovers she is more than just her hair, she is perfectly imperfect and embraces her natural curls. This revelation allows her to become the person she wants to be all along and we see her evolve from her mom’s puppet into a beautiful, confident woman. Natural hair journeys are a very personal experience, watching Violet transition, although only for an hour and a half, will hopefully open hearts and minds of others to realize that this journey is about more than just hair, this journey is about self-love, self-acceptance, self-care.

I am not a natural hair girl, but Anissa (the youngest Hot Kid) is. So why not take her to a place where her fellow naturals are gathering…we enter the Queendom of the Curl Power Deluxe and it was an amazing experience. Let me first tell you that Anissa watches all of HeyCurlie’s videos she is always asking me to give her a bun or side ponytail like HeyCurlie. For her to go to an event hosted by her she was more than excited. Personally I sometimes feel rejected by the natural girl community. I relax my hair, which means I use chemicals to straighten it which makes it unnatural. As we enter into the room though I don’t feel rejected. All the volunteers and vendors are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about natural hair and their products. This was the first time I’ve felt like I could ask questions about transitioning my hair without someone getting annoyed by the number of questions I have or how uninformed I am about my natural hair. I never got that, how am I suppose to learn about my natural hair if no one answers my questions. But in this place, with all these curls my questions are answered.

I learned curl patterns, transitional products, what it means to co-wash, I learned how to wear my head wraps, and most importantly I found a community of naturals that did not judge my straight hair but instead embraced me because this event was about more than hair. This was a self-love experience. Each and every conversation I had was amazing, women telling other women how beautiful they were, embracing each other, laughing, dancing, eating, drinking and being merry. Then as luck would have it I’m in the lounge of the restroom taking selfies with Anissa and two women walk in. One I recognize from a conversation earlier the other has a hat covering her face with the HOTTEST dress I have seen in a long time. This dress is made for this curvacious curlie, I’m a curvacious cur–, well you know. I compliment her dress and begin to ask questions, yes I ask a lot of questions. I ask her for her IG name so I can follow her and get this dress. She laughs and as she does her head tilts back and I recognize her, Lois Reid-Hines, the CEO of Tropic Isle Living and our speaker for this event. I have a fangirl moment, since HeyCurlie introduced her I have been IG stalking. This is super cool as I was going to have to exit the event (mommy duties) before she takes the stage. In the lounge of that restroom I listen to her, her spirit appears sweet and gentle and welcoming. She answers my questions with grace, we embrace and she is off to make every other curlie feel as special as she made me feel. This event has been awesomely informative and I grateful to HeyCurlie for bringing it to our city.

With all the information I gathered and the warmth received at Curl Power Delux, I’ve made a decision…This straight haired lady is going natural! Please stay tune and follow me on my natural hair journey as I let my own curls POP!

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