31 Days and Change is Coming!

Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news or good news depending on how you see it, but a new Year is coming soon.  I know everyone will wait until after Christmas to start their new me, new this and that but wouldn’t be nice to do things a different this year?

Image result for new me gif

Instead of waiting, actually put an action plan in place.  How many years have gone by and you say the generic I want to do (insert desire) but you say it but don’t make a sure plan to do it?  I am sure quite a few.  It’s time to change that mentality and actually make a real plan.  Get things in order.  Get your house which can be the place you lay your head as well as your personal house the place where your soul and heart dwells together too.

Either way its time to do and not just talk.  I am serious.  Anything worth having is worth some work.  I know we are used to instant.  We want an update, instant.  We want food, drive through-instant.  We want to shop-instant.  Now you can shop without even having to get out of your car to pick it up.  We are used to the right now.  Let’s take that same mentality and put some action behind it.  For my house we do a vision board party.  We go and get some supplies, use my old magazines and get it done.  Some people are visual like me and it helps to see what I need to do.  So for instance my house has their vision boards in their rooms.  So we look at it often and talk about what we can do to complete a certain goal.  We have completed quite a few individually and collectively.  Yes the kids have their own too.  Now for them it may seem more of an art project, but can you imagine them getting in their spirit now how to get a plan and work their plan? They are going to have the potential to be great in their own rights.  It’s never too early to get the little people thinking in the right direction.

Image result for vision board gif

So what say you?  You spending time only getting things right for the holidays?  Your future can wait right?  Nope.  Get a jump-start now.  For instance the dreaded lose weight that people want to do yearly.  You only go hard for the first 2 weeks maybe month in January but that’s it.  Why not hang your ideal wish outfit at your eyesight.  Get a new gym bag and actually pack it.  Get you a new water bottle.  Get you some indoor videos or work out gear so that when it snows or rains you can still push.  Hope about use the holidays the time to get it.  Catch the sales.  Give others who ask your list and go from there.  Again you can work it if you are about a little action.  Get a new work lunch bag that you love. It will help you plan ahead so you can begin packing healthier snacks instead of change for the vending machine or not eating at all.  See how that works?

Image result for eating habits gif

How about the new job plan?  Have you had someone take a fresh pair of eyes to your resume?  Have you printed new copies to go into your padfolio for the upcoming interviews you are going to score?  Have you gotten a new interview outfit and shoes?  Sales people. Use this time wisely.  Even if you hate the holidays you can still love these discounts.  Have you updated the many useful job search websites?  Have you gone to a few networking events that are held now during this holiday season?  No.  Then you have not exhausted all of your means.  Finding a new job is sometimes a full-time job.  You need to be spending your time working a new plan now and not wait until the influx of resumes start loading up on New Years day.  Will people hire during the holidays?  Not necessarily but they so start looking and putting their plans into place.

Image result for new job gif

This new way of thinking can be applied to all areas of your life.  So its time to get moving towards your new future.  It’s all in how you create it. One can’t simply pray without works.  What are you worth?  I hope you see the value in yourself so others can see the same thing.  Put your action to where you mouth is….

Advertisements

Hurting the Babies

So with the holidays in full swing we need to have a discussion about mixing families. It’s no secret that people are master manipulators.  There is no fail proof way to determine if the new boo you have is the one that will honor you all of your days as well as do right by you and your children.  Even for those who aren’t married or have kids you really don’t know.  Love is about leaps.  However while you dip yourself into new love and mix families let’s talk about some of the drama with kids that we tend to forget.

Image result for crying kid gif

Growing up I was taught about being unequally yoked.  That had a lot to do with religion. However the principle is a good one to examine.  How do you link yourself up with a man or woman and don’t know their core values?  You aren’t going to agree on every little thing but let’s be  real, having kids or not is important.  How you will raise them is important.  I know of some men who marry women who have no intention of having children then bam they get side swiped and most end up leaving their wives for it.  The same holds true for men who make it appear they want to have a family but do things to ensure they can’t like get a vasectomy and never tell their mate. It’s a cruel and evil world out there.  Let’s organize how we need to protect ourselves and our children and future children from the foolishness.

Stop Marrying These Disagreeable Men and Women

How does it come off?  You have a man or woman who doesn’t like your family.  Then if something happens to you can you be sure that your child will have access to both sides of the family?  I know of evil families.  I really do.  However you deprive kids of having a relationship.  I am not going to act like there aren’t reasons to withhold kids from being around one side of the family over another.  There are.  But we as ADULTS have to be sure to separate our petty feelings over the kids.  My thing is at least try.  That’s key.  You should always be willing.  If after a sincere try to it doesn’t work then I can high-five a pull back. You knew from the time you were dating them and as time went on the person you were attempting or had attempted to yoke up with would not honor you or your kids by making things easy for your kids.  This isn’t just for folks with kids.  This is for the childless and wanting to be parents too.  Let me give you an example, my mother in law and I at one point of our relationship wasn’t on the up and up.  However whenever her and her son got into something or her and I did the same, I NEVER stopped the kids from being around her. That’s not my call.  It isn’t your call unless that parent will cause harm to the child. Then be around but don’t stop.  My mother in law isn’t here and although it was tough when we lived together I would have deprived my kids of their short relationship had I been in my bag all the time.  I am glad that my kids had the limited time that they had with her.

You know who you are married to or want to be with.  You know that they will not do right by you or your family. What is it about these disagreeable women and men that makes you throw caution to the wind and proceed.  Like most people will reveal a part of their hand if you are listening and really watching.  Instead we let sex, looks, stature determine more than it should.  Then we say I don’t know why this person is like that?  You knew it deep down.  I am not suggesting that all in-laws are evil, mine wasn’t either but what I am saying is stop bringing kids in the midst of your mess.  And you can say well I don’t have kids so I am good, you’re not.  You set the tone now for how you will do when you get kids. It’s true.  I was talking to a friend.  She made some ugly comments about her boyfriend’s kids and now they aren’t together.  She was devastated.  But I kept telling her you can’t say mean things about folks kids and think they will link themselves up to you.  If they were smart, they wouldn’t.  You have to be careful.  Sometimes the way you speak about your future especially where kids are concerned is important.  People don’t realize if you want to find out what someone is thinking just plain old listen.  People allow their heart issues to come out just from bringing up the same issues.

Image result for mad wife gif

Yes things happen that make disagreeable women and men come off as off but they are protecting themselves.  I know of a few but that is a small amount of folks.  Some people keep things going on.  Somebody has to be an adult.  Please stop allowing these issues to affect kids.  They do affect them no matter how much in your head you are telling yourself that it doesn’t.

Now unless you have made it clear that you don’t plan on taking kids around your mate’s family  and your mate is crystal clear than you are creating issues.  Why?  Children are a product of both sides.  To be honest.  You can keep kids from a side of a family and they will still exhibit some attributes of the other side.  You can’t keep kids away from folks just because you don’t want them to be like that side of the family.  If it’s in them you will be seeing parts of their unallowed family.  You haven’t solved anything.  Some family are toxic this is true.  However you have to teach kids how to be in the world and not take on everything about others.  I have friends who attend family functions with their kid to protect them from certain sides of families that may be toxic.  But guess what?  They tried. They didn’t just automatically cut off.  Being a parent means at times setting our issues aside for what’s best for the child.  Try with kids even if before things were bad.  Always be willing until people prove to you that you can no longer take your children around.  When kids grow up and you have tried, they will see things for themselves.  But can you say you tried when deep down you haven’t.  Kids will form resentment towards the parent that withheld them from their family when you don’t at least try.

Image result for sad kids gif

I think people hear what they want to.  There is no way my mate could tell me our kids are not allowed to have a relationship with my family without real warrant.  And I wouldn’t have yoked myself to someone who would be like that.  You better know that you know that the person you take vows is really on the same team.  Everybody hollering Team (insert last name) is really on the same team.  Some will be on the team as long as its beneficial.  That is why being who are gold diggers end up creating at times family households that causes more harm.  Yes I said gold diggers and let’s be clear gold diggers are both men and women. I don’t care what society says there are some greedy men who want what they want to.  You bring kids in the midst and treat kids like pawns.  Kids aren’t bargaining chips.  Please stop having kids just to shut your mate up.  Yes I said it. You didn’t want kids so I will have this one just so they can get off my back.  Many parents don’t even form bonds with these bargain kids because of it.  Kids need sound households not perfect ones.  Make sure the well-being of your kids is the vocal point.

How people treat your kids is key

If you are married to someone who allows there to be separate treatment of your non biological kids versus the biological kids that you share, they are not the man or woman for you period.  Now when you are dating you will have bumps in the road, but once you marry a person and you HAVEN’T worked all of the kinks out you are creating a disservice to yourself and your kids.  Do you know of the petty things adults do to kids? Like get biological kids gifts for the holidays  but not the non biological kids? Do you know some ugly petty adults will make comments in front of non biological kids that makes them feel unwelcome? Let’s keep this 100.  You should definitely not be on the Earth messing with kids.  I really do believe that.  Kids don’t have a choice when adults decide to link together.  If you or your family treat a certain set of kids differently, mean or etc. that is the worst thing you can do. Kids may not understand why but they turn into adults that never forget.

Image result for upset kids gif

I have been in situations where I remembered how some folks treated me as a child.  My step-dad never treated me like step anything. He raised me from a young child and I would go to toe over him. I only highlight step to illustrate for this blog.  However the same can’t be said for the rest of his family.  I am not suggesting that I was abused, nor overtly mistreated, but I remember comments made in my presence.  I remember my mother making sure that no one would overtly mistreat my twin and I different from my brother. We need parents to step it up in this category.  There are some adults that I still don’t vibe well with.  However as an adult now I make sure that no one does it to any of my children. I also don’t have to entertain the same adults now.  I remember getting into a conversation with my dad and he made it clear to me that I could just be an adult and withdraw.  He wasn’t encouraging me to disengage but he made it clear that instead of getting more and more upset, walk away.  It was the best idea.  I never wanted as an adult to put my dad in the middle of any issue with another adult at this point.  What is done is done.  But like the saying goes, you will never forget the way someone treats you.  Be careful of how you treat step kids.  You got grown adults walking around being hurt now over the way step families treat them. I did my job by going to counseling and anything else I needed to do to deal but most do not.  And it matters to a step child to get it right within themselves. If you are a step child (adult) still hurt over folks that will never admit, never apologize please get help.  I refuse to let people who don’t influence my life for the positive to have a hold over me.

To any of my family that I am sure is or will read this, I am not opening up anything so miss me with the texts or the phone calls.  These are my experiences and nothing is going to change that.  I don’t need a pow wow, move on like I did and do what you need to do like I did for me.  No family no matter how perfect we all want to look like will get it right.  

Kid will pick up on the wrong

Every kid no matter how nice and perfect their households were will pick up on the things that aren’t right.  I know for me things didn’t come up for me until I had my own kids. I can’t say my childhood was bad because it wasn’t.  However things that most kids didn’t have to deal with we did.  It made us strong.  My parents did the best they could and as far as I am concerned I came out of it with the will and tenacity to be a good adult.  I am not perfect by any means but watching my parents struggle definitely made me handle tough situations now. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon and it made me want to go that much harder in life to be great.  Kids pick up on the good and the bad no matter how you try to shield them.  You do your kids a disservice by not handling your issues.

The holidays are upon is.  It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year.  However this is the time when adults do the most passive aggressive stuff to kids who are victims in the midst of couples who link together.  Please know your limits and be honest with yourself BEFORE you marry.  Stop getting married thinking time will work things out.  You can’t change who you really are when you really don’t want to.  You are just lying to yourself for the sake of marriage or having someone linked to you.  Just stop.  You are bringing in future kids and messing them up before they even have a chance to be in this world and be messed over.  I have had many talks with parents of mixed families before writing this piece.  The sentiments are different  but sadly the situations turn ugly. I have a friend that confided in me that he or she doesn’t want to be married due to the fact that they don’t want to have kids.  The sad part is they gave hope to a mate that they would have kids and now they don’t want to.  That isn’t fair to their hopeful mate. I couldn’t sugar coat it because they are a friend to me.  It’s a messed up situation.  There are years lost now.  I pray that their union can hold on because to me that is a place of betrayal that you can’t deny.  It’s one thing for both partners to be on the same page about not starting a family. However to lie and knowing you aren’t is devastating.

Please step families, stop mistreating kids. I know you really want to get back at the biological parent because you don’t like the fact that your biological family member could have done better in your eyes.  Stop.  Grown folks can be grown and make their decisions. Who someone links up with doesn’t stop your breath, doesn’t make you fat, or bring money into your home.  Leave kids out of your issues.  Let me say that karma never misses so if you intentionally hurt a child please do NOT think that you will reap that.  You and I both reap what we sow.  You get what you dish out so be careful of the servings you dish. Kids should always be respected at all times.  Be underhanded to the adult if that is what you want but don’t do it to a child.

Image result for never forget gif

One last thing, be careful that you don’t fall in love with a monster and it cost your child their innocence.  Too many kids are killed and molested by “step” families and for what? There isn’t enough sex or money in this world for me to sell my kids over to a monster. Please be careful and listen to your kids.  Sometimes what you think is hate from a child could be a cry for help.  I would rather you get a vibrator or a blow up doll before you link up with someone who will mistreat or harm your child.  Oh and it’s sometimes not the step parent but some of these raggedy biological parents are a mess too.  No one is exempt.

Ask yourself the following before you link up with a person?

  1. Do you want kids?  Like actually birth or parent them? Be honest with yourself and the person you are with.  Do NOT give false hope.  Situations may  not be perfect so while you wait for that moment to happen, please be careful that you aren’t hurting your mate in the process.  No one should bring kids in mess, but be honest and open during the hard times too.  It’s not fair for someone to wait for you and you knew you weren’t going to be open to a family.  Allow that mate to make the decision if they want to be open to your maybe or no response.
  2. If you have kids from a previous relationship is the person you are thinking about marrying willing to be a full-time parent?  Are they treating that child with the same respect as if you and he or she birthed that child together? Does the family of your beloved treating the child or children with the utmost respect? Watch how people treat your kids in the bad times because the good times will not cancel out a hurt child over petty inconsiderate comments.
  3. Do you parent a mixed home with the same rules?  Having separate rules for one set of kids over another is creating issues.  Be clear that parenting is a dual partnership in every sense of the word.
  4. Do you have open communication?  Can you child come to you and tell you that one parent has hurt them and you set aside your love for your beloved and investigate? Love is blind.  You should never dismiss a child until you have found out what your child’s issues really are.

Happy Anniversary ToiTime

Today is the day.  I am so excited.  It’s like a birthday and an anniversary all wrapped in one. So today I want to do some self reflecting.  One, I can’t believe its been 2 years already. It seems like yesterday I was sitting at my laptop debating how to start this blog.  I knew I wanted to be dedicated and bam, I said let me go ahead and do it.  I did.  I was scared.  Like why would anyone care what I have to say.  Like on the real I struggle everyday to be on point. I don’t put too much pressure on myself to the point where I can’t focus, but I do want to be better than my day before.

With that being said, I want the blog to excel.  How do I measure it? Sometimes by the emails I receive from readers when they say they were struggling with a topic that I covered and feel more equipped to handle it.  Sometimes by likes, comments, and shares, its sometimes all about the numbers.  I am grateful that my site allows me to see how many people read a certain blog and what country the reader is in when they are reading it.

Now to the fun stuff.  I have learned a lot about blogging in my second year that I wasn’t aware in my first year.  For instance, timing.  Often times I would just post and never pay attention to the time of day.  But it matters.  Readers are all around the world, but there is generally certain days and times that I find that engage readers the most.  I would just post as soon as I was done typing and editing.  I love that I am figuring these things out because in the line of content, getting it out when it matters most is super important.  The other lesson in blogging is having a tough skin.  For my first year I got so many people telling me how much they enjoyed it that when I got my first bad review it took me back a little. I had several readers regardless if it was real or internet trolls tell me how much they hated it. My thoughts were hate it or love it at least it was read.  My sentiments are still the same. In real life I am not everyone’s cup of tea.  So on the internet the same is true.  I had to approach blogging in the same way that I approach real life, let it roll off.  I am not saying I am above feelings because I am not.  I am quite the opposite. I am passionate about what I say and do however I rarely allow people to get to me.  I do things like journal, work out, have sex with my husband, or play with my kids before I allow folks who most likely are unhappy with themselves get to me.  I know that’s blunt but that’s the realness of it.  I used to worry about what others thought until I thought about how at the end of the day most are working their own lives and one opinion don’t stop the show.

The most important lesson that I took from year one to year two is never force a blog. When I blog it is usually something I can’t stop typing.  The words flow because it’s coming from a real place.  So that is why outside of life events I may have gaps in my blogs for  a few days because I would rather it be real and authentic than to be forced just to make sure there is a daily blog out there. Blogs for me have been literally a happy thing for me to do.  It’s not a grudge when you love what you do.

Also I try not to talk politics or religion.  I have my opinions actually very strong opinions on both  but at times I try not to go there.  I am not ashamed of my beliefs.  However I know that people get really irritated by these types of conversations.  I do draw on both at times so if you are a reader you can tell.  I am a preacher’s kid.  That is the largest lifestyle that I know.  Often times I make fun of myself because I feel like I have lived in a bubble for most of my life at least until I was an adult.  So I will allude to it. I have gotten people emailing me talking about why would I talk about it like that?  I say what anyone under that lifestyle wants to say.  I hold nothing back.  I respect all but this is my life.  I can’t and won’t doctor it up to fit another mold.

Image result for content gif

A few things I did for today’s celebration was bought some business cards.  You would think that in the 2 years ToiTime has been up and running I would have had all of that together however I didn’t.  So I got me so much organizational things for the blog as well. I am a visual person so anything that is bright, colorful and about organization which I excel in is super helpful.  I can’t wait to share the items as they come in.  My goal was to make my blog right before 2017 so when the ball drops I want to be fully operational and ready to rock out with all of you.  What are some of the things you want to do but are waiting for something to line up to do?  Squash that mindset and make things line up as much as you can.  I was always taught that you do what you can and everything else will line up in place.  Let me say that as a person who has stepped out on faith a million and one times it works.  It’s not a magic trick.  You can set yourself up just from doing the right things.  So step out.

Image result for scared gif

Blogging is fun for me.  So when others ask me how do I blog so often, work full-time, be a wife, and mother to 3 beautiful children, I let them know simply this is my happiness spot. No matter how crazy the topic we discuss this is my happy spot.  We all need a happy spot. Something that defines us as a person.  Something that makes us smile.  And ToiTime is it for me. I hope you enjoy ToiTime because in 2017 the website is going to be changing as well as my domain.  I want to be able to offer more and to do more means I have to make room for more blessings.  So in this last month I am moving things around and getting ready. I am not waiting for 2017 to come in to make life pop and neither should you.  Put what you need in place now to be successful.  Thank you for year 2!! We rocking into year 3!!

If you haven’t done so, don’t just read the blogs, share them.  Follow me on all of my social media as toitimeblog.  Yes we are very active on social media so don’t be a stranger.

Image result for follow me gif

 

My Thankfulness

I know that is clichéd but the reality is for those who celebrate it, it really is about being grateful.  It’s the one time of the year where you hold all the sour faces would perk up.  We know you can’t control everyone and sadly there will be some who are still going to find a way to complain but when I think and look back on this year that is almost over I have to be grateful.  Please take a moment to realize your blessings.  I know in my family we usually go around the table and tell each other what we are grateful for.  Even if that is not what you and your family does, take a moment to acknowledge your blessings.  Even if you are dealing with the most lowest part of your life and you feel like you can’t have another thing fall, trust me I have been there take a deep breath and hold on.  You are still blessed. There is a lesson in your struggle.  You won’t see it if you aren’t open to learning.  If you take your eye off the problem and find what is that you aren’t getting that you need for your next phase the answer will reveal itself.  Take my word for it.  I have been in things I thought no way I would make it.  I got calm.  I opened my ear and spirit, prayed and the answer came.  Refocus your eyes.

Image result for grateful gif

One of the recurring themes in our home is that we can do nothing of ourselves but everything together.  When it’s just been us 5 we have remained strong in the darkest of hours.  I am grateful for all that HE has done for me and my family.  I am grateful for my little people who keep me grounded.  They are little bundles of joys to be around.  They really are a blessing.  Even if they work hard to do the opposite of what we ask.  They are still our gifts.  I was going over the story of the children in Chattanooga and my heart got so heavy.  If I got a call that my children were taken from this Earth over some dumb, prideful, irresponsible adult I would be losing it right now.  My heart goes out to each and every parent that is dealing with the tragedy of that lost and any loss of a child.  The pain is overwhelming I can imagine.  I had nothing but tears in my eyes as I hugged and kissed my kids last night.  That has to be a hard pill to swallow.

Image result for grateful gif

I am grateful for my husband.  I have seen him take some amazing stands this year in his life, our relationship and as a father.  I can’t even begin to complain about him.  He really is a great man.  He was so super thoughtful and continues to be even with him dealing with his own tragedy this year.  He is still pressing on.  I know his mother would be proud of him.  She loved him more than anything and that’s not just a statement.  As an only child he was her world.  And he honored her until her last breath I can surely attest to that. I love you Marques.

I am grateful to my extended family on both sides.  I am so blessed for my family wrapping their loving arms around us.  They have been such a great support system during all of this year.  The ups and downs and all the late calls and texts.  You guys are the real MVPs.

To my amaze balls friends you guys rock. To be honest my friends are really just family. The ways that you have stepped up this year and have continued to help us in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.  Thank you all!!

Please again count your blessings, name them one by one.

Image result for grateful gif

How to Survive Thanksgiving with Annoying Family Members

You can’t choose your family.  At least that’s what they tell me.  So what happens when you don’t feel like hearing Aunt Sally that don’t ever have her own crap together come questioning you on your life at the Thanksgiving dinner get together?  Simply know what you want to respond to.  Some things don’t always need a response.  However if you are quick on your feet you can send a clear message that gets the job done and keep your sanity.

Image result for irritated gif

  1. Know your family: you know who in your family is messy.  Keep the conversations to a minimal.  No need to defend yourself against a person who likes to keep the foolery going because they think they can.  It will only annoy you.  Learn to pick and choose your battles wisely.
  2. Stay calm-others will attempt all they can to be “themselves” and inherently working on your nerves.  Don’t let them see you sweat.
  3. Bring a game or activity.  Nothing says distraction like a game and thus Aunt Sally can worry as to why her husband is sitting with cousin Shana and not with her and everyone is whispering about her.
  4. If you know alcohol isn’t a good idea for some then attempt to limit the amount that is brought into the picture.  Some folks will leave as soon as the liquor is gone anyway.  That is called doing yourself a favor.
  5. Ignore all that you can and learn to walk away.  Unless they are at your home for the holiday dinner, you can get up and leave.  You don’t have a set time to be around your family.  Leave and come back or just leave altogether.
  6. Phone.  I know we frown upon family having to be so close to their phones because it takes away from true interaction,  but the reality is that some phones are saving the lives of raggedy family members all around the world.
  7. Make sure some topics of your personal life are off limit.  One Thanksgiving I had a family member ask me if I was still dating an ex.  That’s normal banter.  However when I gave him/her the response they attempted to ask me a few more times.  I looked at him/her and asked them to leave the situation alone and worry about him/herself and didn’t have to hear from that family member on that topic again.

The bottom line even in the best of families folks are folks.  You aren’t going to be able to get people to act like they have sense.  Common sense isn’t common.  Some folks think that their titles means that they have exclusive rights to your life and your life choices. That’s simply not true.  You can let in or keep whomever you want at bay.  Keep in mind you came to enjoy your family, eat a great meal. and depart.  This isn’t World War II so if you drop your anxiety a little before you go in often times you can have a level head and upper hand.  One thing at the end of the day remember that you’re an adult.  Adults can speak to one another and move along.  I know in most families we want to look at folks like they are still 12 but as long as none of your family members are paying your rent then you don’t have to answer to no one.  Keep it pushing and enjoy the Turkey and egg nog without going to blows…

Image result for erica and scrappy gif

If all else fails then at least make sure you don’t start a fight and go home and have a glass to celebrate that you didn’t have to smack anyone.  For the families who love each other and its all good than I say, enjoy.  However since we live in a messed up world, this advice will be spot on.  Families fight and fuss but at the end of the day most are willing to be there for one another when it counts. Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy.

It’s a Process!

I can’t say that I have been my usual on top self.  I have had bursts of my normal self but since the passing of my mother in law, life hasn’t been the same.  One thing I can say is that children really keep you grounded when you are dealing with a tragedy.  My kids are brutally honest.  I guess I can’t complain about that part.  My son specifically have been very vocal about what he thinks is right in regard to his “mom-mom.:  I know this is all apart of the process.  My kids have asked things like “did the doctors kill their mom-mom?” I have had to be honest and of course say no but attempt to paint the picture we kept them from and allow it to make sense.  I told them they can ask questions any time they want to.  They can have moments of sadness, cry, or even be angry.  My son is the one I am watching very closely.  They all had different relationships but since he’s my husband’s mini me I saw how his mom-mom gravitated towards him more.  He feels the pain a lot more openly than my oldest daughter.  So I find ways to meet them both at their need.

The hardest part is watching my husband struggle.  He is getting more sleep now but in the beginning he wasn’t.  He has had a cold for weeks now and it’s really just due to his immune system being compromised.  How can he fight off this cold when his own personal defenses are not where they need to be?  His emotions are ranging from sadness to clueless.  As a wife who hasn’t lost a parent there’s no words that can make this better. I just listen.  I don’t offer advice.  I don’t try to fix, I just listen. Nothing I will say will make anything right.  I make sure he eats.  He rests. He is not overwhelmed.  Right now that may means me be the primary parent in many aspects.  He has spoken to his mom everyday of his life.  He looks at his phone often times and I can tell he is still waiting for a call that will never happen.   It breaks my heart.  I sometimes find myself taking calls with my mom and dad when I am not around him.  I do feel a slight guilt that they are still here and she’s not.  He has told me that I don’t have to do that but a part of me is still struggling.

Image result for emotionally drained gif

My own emotions are all over the place.  I have videos of her in her last days and moments that still sting.  I was told that the videos and pictures would give me peace but I can’t feel that feeling all the way yet. I do have peace that she is no longer suffering but selfishly I want her to tell my kids give “mom-mom a hug.”  Tomorrow is grandparents day at my kids daycare.  My parents live almost 2 hours away and work.  So we have asked her best friend of over 40 years and aunt (she married my mother in law’s brother) to step in.  I know that will enjoy the time with them but it still makes me upset that their grandparents aren’t there.  However life is about making the best and I don’t know of someone who is better to step in then her best friend.

I just got the Christmas tree up this weekend.  Yes I know it was before Thanksgiving but the reality is that our house needed an extra dose of joy.  I allowed the kids to do whatever they wanted to do to their tree.  I usually do.  There will be a time when they are too big to want to participate in these activities.  The one thing that the passing of my mother in law isn’t just the cliché that time is short its to love and show love with everything I have. I have thought about what my last moments will be.  What stories will my children share? Will they remember the time I invested, the love I have shown, the cookies we make, the fun holidays we make and we celebrate them ALL.  That means more to me than what others outside of my home think of me. I am not perfect but each day I find myself asking myself what I can do to make sure that my kids are solid individuals.

Image result for emotionally drained gif

I am more interested in making sure that every time they leave my presence that I was loving towards them even though parenting means I have to be stern.  I can love with a strong hand and still be gentle enough to apologize when I miss the mark with them and smart enough to shower them with kisses.  As the holidays draw near, and we surround ourselves with loved ones, my husband’s mom will not be in attendance.  I won’t be able to hear her ask me if I am going to smile today.  I won’t hear her ask me a thousand things to get her, go to the store, or help her in the kitchen.  I can still hold on to the warm memories, keep the not so pleasant ones in mind, and love on her grandbabies and make sure her son is okay as well.  I hope that as you all convene with your family that you remember to make each interaction meaningful.  Do not take for granted that you will have a re-do.  Life is about living and living the best life you can.  Love intentionally.  Do not slack due to what others seem to give you.  When you love it’s already a risk.  Choose to take the risk to love passionately.  When you leave your loved one especially if you’re in marriage or committed relationship make sure you have no regrets because an argument can be just that an argument.  We all have them but I make sure that my last moments are not filled with words that don’t matter.  Be clear even when solutions aren’t found that the general love is still there.

Image result for relieved animated gif

You may not be dealing with a loved one’s death.  You could be dealing with frustration, an end of a relationship, etc.  Whatever it is that you are going trough make sure you take the time to be clear in your actions.  You don’t need to add-on to the situation. Life will unfold.  You can make sure that you find your joy and if it’s no there create it.  I have found ways in these last few weeks to take care of me while I take care of those in my home.  It can be things like a little me time, relaxing, delegating and allowing others to assist. Either way the process will not be up and have happy tones all the time.  However when I can get those happy moments I have learned to take them.  I have also learned to shut the world out too.  I have probably shut my phone off more in the last few weeks than I have ever had in the past.  The reason is simple, I can’t help me while everyone is in my ear.

You having a boy?

Ladies, ladies, ladies, this is one of those questions that if you are expecting a bundle of joy you semi welcome.  Not when you step on the scale at the doctors and they tell you lost a total of 12 pounds and you been working hard to get it right is that question ever okay.

Image result for phaedra gif

For me unless it’s a woman who I know for sure is pregnant I don’t ask.  I consider it to be rude.  I don’t know what the struggle of that woman may be going through.  She could have gained weight and is struggling to conceive.  She could not want kids at all.  Another woman’s uterus is not my concern.  So today I am grabbing a few snacks and that is the question I am faced with.  IF you ever been around me you know my face speaks before my mouth does and I am sure that I gave the questioning woman the grizzly.  I said I have a son he’s 5.  She attempted to look off.  I said my youngest is 2 and I am working hard to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.  She looked off because she and I both know she looks dumb as hell right now. My issue with her is she sees me daily.  Did I get pregnant overnight? You just saw me and said I looked trim yesterday in my outfit but today I am pregnant?

Image result for embarassed gif

I ain’t even gonna front, I was humiliated and hurt.  Like WTF?!  Yeah I said it and I am sure you ladies who have been on the receiving end of that said it too.  Like wait I will have to wait until I am Instagram model ready to be considered snatched.  I am doing this on my own with the help of my gym and doctor.  I have no personal chef but have switched up my eating habits and choices.  I have no personal trainer either but I don’t let up and make sure I am consistent.  Even now typing I feel like I have to justify my size when actuality I have climbed out from where I was to where I am now.  I am more confident but even with confidence dripping off of me I wanted to crawl into a hole at the moment she wanted to know if I was having a boy.  Do you get what she was asking me.  Not only am I pregnant but I look pregnant enough for someone to guess the sex of this imaginary baby?! Oh Sweet Jesus what in the world?  I haven’t been a size 2 since my days at Penn State.  I have 3 kids all from c-section and no multiple births.  I am a healthy size 10 and I am okay with that.

Image result for embarassed gif

I really need some people to think before you speak.  Pushing things on folks that do not exist can really set them back.  Let’s be clear we all have our things we need to work on so let’s be more gentle with others around us.