ToiTime Celebrates Father’s Day

I love my dad.  There is no debate about that. I think that all dads should be celebrated. The issue with Father’s Day is that we don’t honor them. I know I am not blind to the fact that many dads don’t step up. I get it.  I get that some homes only have mothers and grandmothers and women taking care of what should be a two parent job. However, does that mean that as a woman who has an outstanding father I should diminish my love for great dads? The answer is HELL NO!

Image result for great dad gif

I see the amounts of money spent on moms and I am like where is the respect for dads? Growing up I could be in the classroom where only a handful of us talked about having one. I felt bad for the ones who didn’t and I still do. However my dad is just a great man so you’re going to have to cry thug tears today if you don’t want to hear about it.  Let’s start with my grandfather. Hands down the hardest man I know. I could care less what anyone says, that man is the best.  He is over 80 years old and still does odd and end jobs to take care of my grandma. He gets up at like 4 in the morning to start his day. He is the last to go to bed sometimes.  He travels and sings and he is the one that feeds everyone and is super helpful.  There isn’t anyone in the family that can say a bad thing about him. I am sure he has flaws but as a grandfather he covers everyone married or not. He is there and is consistent.  So no wonder my dad is definitely a chip off the block.

Image result for great dad gif

My dad is the type that I can call crying and he would stop the world to come to my rescue. Growing up he was hard on us but he definitely showed love.  He is THE BEST dad ever. Not just because it looks good to say but off social media and this blog he is there.  So when Father’s Day comes around I like to make sure that I give what I can to show him how much I love him and respect him.  He has seen me in my worst, still loves me.  He has yelled at me when I needed it, still loves me.  He has taken me out on our little dates together, still loves me.  This man has done it all.  He has worked hard at jobs he didn’t even like to support us all. He has stayed up late hours if we were sick and went to work like it has never bothered him.  He is the one that everyone knows and respects no matter what.  He is just a great dad.

Image result for crazy dad gif

Then go from my dad to my husband. He is the best dad to our kids.  He plays with them. He does whatever is necessary.  He is the total opposite of what his dad was to him. That’s not a knock to his dad but it is facts.  He works hard to make sure that he isn’t giving our kids what he was given growing up.  People say that we are a product of our environment but that is a choice.  My husband is the dad that sneaks the kids stuff behind my back.  Like most dads he gets to play good cop for the most part.  The girls have him wrapped around his finger.  They give him them eyes and they get what they want.  My son is his twin and I swear he uses that to his advantage often. So they have a great dad.  I wanted them to have the same experience that I did growing up and I believe they do.  My husband is hands down the best dad the kids could have asked for.  I want to publicly let the world know how much of a great dad that my dad, my husband, my grandfather and my uncles are to their families respectfully. It is super empowering to know that these men have our families back.  I love you all!

So those who have great dads, please celebrate them. Give them the same love you would give your mom. It’s a dual job.  They are both equally important.  For the ones who experience pain during this holiday, I pray peace and calm.  It is hard not knowing what it is like to have your dad take you out as a daughter and show you how a man is supposed to treat you. To know that a man isn’t supposed to hurt you.  To know that when the world is crazy that your dad’s voice and actions are to be protecting.  If the world gets to crazy that your dad is supposed to raise hell.

Image result for dad gif

Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads in the world.  To the ones with secret super hero capes, you will never go unnoticed here at ToiTime.  Enjoy your day!!

 

 

Single Moms Survival Kit

So life of a single mom has usually a few things tied to it, stress and time.  There isn’t anyone that can help lighten their load.  They play the role of both parents which is almost nearly impossible.  They have to do it all and smile as if it doesn’t bother them. Let me say that is foolishness.  Single moms are not happy about their state of singlehood.  I haven’t found one however not being happy in singlehood doesn’t mean you can’t do a few things to change your personal perception.

Image result for single mom gif

I was born to a single mom.  My dad well he had the ability to check out like so many other men who make that choice.  The children are caught in the middle of it all.  Every child needs both parents.  However when life serves up the craziness, you have to find ways around it and make it work regardless.  So it was a little later on that my mom would find real love and my dad aka my step dad although I never call him that entered our lives.  What was life-like before that?  Full of adventures.  No two days were alike. Sometimes my mom look effortless and other days you can see the struggle in her eye.  I have said it once and I will say it again no mother is perfect but my mom got us through displacement, homelessness, and struggle and she doesn’t even appear to look like what she came through.  No mom ever wants this life.  However let me tell you what lessons I learned from the best to do it:

Image result for single mom gif

  1. Don’t look like what you are going through.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t have bad days but my mom not only told us this she showed us too.  We lived in a shelter and our clothes were always pressed and clean.  She made sure every time we stepped out the door we looked right meaning hair done too.  She made sure she had her make up done too.  Did that mean we were to the 9s all the time?  No but definitely most times.  It was about looking good and feeling good past the craziness behind the scenes.  No mother wants to have children in a shelter its a sign of not being able to provide. However my mom told us it was temporary and that in life you have to be able to go high even when things got low-trust me this was before Michelle Obama.
  2. Things work out when you work hard.  In life things get hard.  There will be times when you want to pull your hair out.  The kids will not make it easy either, however you can do your best and make moves instead of excuses.  You have 24 hours to cry and die like my mom would say but when you are done, wipe your face and handle it.  Keep searching even if you get a NO, keep going.
  3. Get help-if you have one person willing to help don’t cut them off.  Do not try to do it all yourself.  It takes a village.  Someone is ready and willing to assist let them.  It doesn’t make you less of a super mom to get the help you need and that means in all forms.
  4. Smile- yes your heart hurts.  You may have watched the sadness in your child face over a disappointment of the lack of the other parent, but your smile let’s them know that things aren’t perfect but they will make it. I know for a fact that watching my mom do the same in her life, when life gets hard she won’t one sugar coat life for me and she definitely taught me to smile through it all.
  5. Journal it out-everything ain’t for everybody.  You have to be able to have an outlet.  Single moms don’t always have time for hobbies and meeting up with friends but you have to be able to get it out.  Keeping things in will do more harm than help.
  6. Never let anyone come between you and your kid.  Listen to them because kids see and know more than you think.  Don’t let them dictate your life but don’t want a “life” so bad that you throw caution to the wind.
  7. Take care of your children.  Stop the dropping them off to momma and nem so you can be at the club working on your next kid. A break is a break it’s not forever.  It’s not weekly.  It’s a break-a brief moment.  The concept of dropping responsibility is not going to work.  You had them, you raise them.  Help is one thing, damn near walking away and visiting your kid is another. Its one thing if you can’t take care of them but if you are in the picture than be in the picture.  Give your kid 100% instead of them not already having one parent and then only having 10% of you because you are fed up with the life you created.  No you didn’t create it yourself but at some point the focus needs to be off of you and more on the children who didn’t ask to come here.

Why are you dragging La La over Carmelo’s alleged affair?

So the tea is circulating that Carmelo Anthony may have gotten another woman pregnant.  I could care less her profession.  My thing is why are you dragging La La for not staying with him?  Did I miss where in the vows it states to honor?  Where is it honorable to sleep on your wife with anyone regardless if you get them pregnant?  Now I know a lot of basketball players and people in the industry get blamed for cheating but it sort of comes with the territory.  Look at all of the examples where these women who marry into this deal with the ups and downs of the many women who just want a piece of the action and slide into the hotel rooms of these men?  Everybody ain’t telling the same lie!

Image result for carmelo anthony marriage

If and I say if because as much as these stories hit the airways, at the end of the day marriage is between 2 people, that this is true than she shouldn’t have stayed and high-fived his raggedy behavior.   I do however believe where there is smoke there is fire.  So something other than the stress of his NBA career is happening.  The reason I say that is simply due to the fact that when kids are involved people are more than cautious to not play games with separation with kids in the middle.  Even if it’s just this one public story do you know the other things that have taken place between them?  No you don’t but like any married couple who is real and honest, I bet you it was more than just one thing.  It’s never one thing.  If you want to make a marriage work, it boils down to give and take, and going through the mess and wiping it off, working it out and trying.  However when enough is enough you walk away.  Marriage is forever when both parties are in it for the forever.

You not going to convince me that it don’t still take 2 to Tango.  So we gonna need the ones dragging La La to just stop.  Stop the foolishness of this misconceived notion that wives are supposed to be dumping bags for junk.  She didn’t leave Carmelo high and dry. She did what was best for her and her child after the many sacrifices to her had been taken.  Carmelo will be fine.  It’s unfortunate that after so long with the Knicks but career stress isn’t a valid excuse to be out here slipping.  The most disrespectful thing you can do to a wife is to cheat and have a child with another woman.  Some women deal fine with it and others only deal because they have to but that don’t mean they stay.  No different if the shoe was on the other foot. La La would be called every hoe and bitch there ever was.  You won’t be able to drag her for leaving a cheating man over here at ToiTime.  I am a wife and I don’t play those games.  I will never go on record talking about what my husband won’t or will do but I will snatch your edges if you try to drag me for walking away from some crap like cheating like that’s supposed to be happening in a marriage.

The best thing that can be done is one, make sure you ain’t still with Ray Ray that has been knowingly sleeping with your friend for years.  It amazes me the amount of hate within women who have been in the same situation or worst that tell others what they should do, talk about them, and then go home to do the same thing.  We are women we can be better than this.  I know it a bunch of men blogging and dragging La La and making comments.  Not that men don’t talk because they do, but this is some insecure women crap.   My thing and my stance is you don’t know what is going on behind doors and until you have been in the trenches, leave folks alone about what they do with their lives. Secondly there is a child in the middle of this very adult situation that will get older and have to read about both of his parents.  How they handle it needs to be handled with delicacy.

Get Your Ass Home

So recently my husband celebrated his birthday with a birthday trip with some of his closest friends.  Now I am team enjoy your birthday and before we married we took trips separately etc.  So him going away wasn’t a big deal.  I am usually with the kids not because he isn’t a hands on dad but our schedules and how our life is set up that’s just how the cookie crumbles.  I think every parent needs time apart from their kids.  I think every couple needs some alone time as well to renew their mind. I think it makes the relationship and familyship healthier as well.

This particular trip took me for a whirlwind.  I enjoy my kids. However in the midst of his trip we are in the process of moving as well.  By the way we are still packing and prepping for that move.  So between my work schedule, my kids social schedule, and packing boxes to say that I was a bit overwhelmed is an understatement.  It was natural and normal for me to feel but I learned  few things about myself during his absence.

My anxiety was the most increased at night.  I don’t know if it was because I am used to him being there or not but it was.  I found that I went to bed with the kids for a few good reasons other than just being tired.  However I couldn’t sleep and that bothered me.  I get missing your significant other but I really do not want to get into a pattern where I can not do the things I would normally do at night or in the day because he is not in the home.  To me and this is MY opinion I do not want to get to the point in my relationship where I become co-dependent.  To others this could be nearly a temporary feeling and one would just move on but when we were in college I used to wait for him to do the least bit of things.  So I am super aware of getting into these ruts where I literally will wait for him to suggest a move.  So the first night I was uptight.  By the second night I found myself forcing myself to get past my temporary feeling and simply exist and be okay with that.

Image result for exhausted gif

The second thing I noticed was that my patience meter was low.  Now for someone who has their kids all the time one would think this trip would be no big deal but this time it wasn’t.  I had to find ways to go into my bathroom and shut my door to gather my thoughts.  It may be that their level of missing their dad and some anxiety I had been rubbing them and me the wrong way.  I have never in all of my almost 8 years had to shut myself in a closet to stop from hearing my little people’s request.  They were truly making up stuff. Asking if they could take a boat trip, wanting food we don’t even normally eat, and wanting to go everywhere.  Whew.  I am grateful for being in control of my emotions but I swear I had dip mentally to another place.  Everyone who knows me knows I am the queen of ideas and my kids are never bored but truth moment I was exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed.  I am okay with admitting to that it was what it was.

Image result for exhausted gif

What I did to get through it other than take a few more time outs that I usually don’t have to take was dance parties.  I turned the music up and me and the kidlets let loose.  We had a blast and it allowed them to get their sillies out making it much easier to deal with them. We ate great food and I didn’t cook much.  I cook just about everyday and this time during his trip we went on a mini vacation.  So bring on all the bad good food.  Why? Because we could.  We enjoyed every bit of it.  I also played a lot of games.  Yes, games and keeping the kids and me distracted instead of hearing the words, “when is daddy coming home” saved us.  I also watched a lot of good movies that I had been wanting to see.

So when the day came for my husband to come back the grin on my face was super wide.  It wasn’t that I just missed him but knowing that even if I am doing a super lot for my family. There is huge comfort in knowing he’s around.  Even for the nights he works super late and misses bedtime with the kids etc he’s always there as a comfort in our home.  I am super happy he is home.  I am super glad until the next trip he may take that I am well prepared for my emotions and my anxiety will be a lot better.  I am not attempting to be super mom.  Every super woman and super woman can and will experience what I felt during his trip.  I am tuning into those feelings, acknowledging it and making more of a better and clear path for next time and until the tables turn for my birthday trip….

Image result for relieved gif

Ask Toi: How do I get my husband to step it up and help parent our kids?

Simple you ask him.  You also let him step in.  He is grown.  Those kids were not made alone.  If you are saying he needs to step it up that means to me that he does do something but not all that you want.  Have you voiced this?  Not just said you don’t do a,b,or c.  Often times we really don’t express what we want from our mate especially when it comes to parenting.  What do you want him to do?  What will parenting together look like not just from your view but his too?  Are you willing to let him step in fully?  Will you support him as he is to support you?  Yes these are questions to ask yourself.

If you always take over, he may be reluctant to help.  Recognize if that is something that you are doing and step back.  The way men and women parent is different.  Often times as a mother you are expecting it to look like your way and it won’t and vice versa.  Step back. Once you do and you are still not getting a result and this is after you have told him your concerns, than you need to know that you are dealing with someone who is checking out. It could be that he doesn’t know, however that excuse will only take him but so far. Women are expected to know and do while men if they are in the physical home are praised.  Simply coming home at night is not enough.  We are not the generation of our parents and grandparents.  Men can and are vital parts of the home.  Simply just being is only half of what is needed.  We need men to engage even in the things that naturally they wouldn’t for our sons and our daughters.  Parenting is a full-time job.  It requires both sets of parents to be engaged.  Yes your husband may not know what fatherhood looks like, but if you have and start a family, its your responsibility to go after the skills that don’t come naturally to you.  There are way too many parenting classes, resources for the I don’t know excuse.  So find out what it is and make it happen TOGETHER.  One of the greatest challenges a married couple will have is when you have children.  This is why it’s important to really know a person, their background, how they were raised, and what they believe when it comes to raising children BEFORE you marry.  Even if you never met your mate’s entire family please believe me when you have children you will.  Your child/children are a mix of both of you and therefore it is not uncommon for children to bring out the best in you and the worst in you as well.

Work together.  It’s hard as a woman when you naturally are more nurturing to let go. Parenting isn’t easier but there’s something in us that makes us step up in ways that only if you allow will allow a man to not have to take his rightful place.  Your husband and you should always have a united front as you work out things in your parenting styles. Remember you are bringing in two different experiences into your unique home.  That in itself takes a lot of finesse.  Talk to your husband and LISTEN and not just hear.  This isn’t a point the finger time, but a time to establish some goals, create a space of healing, and unite to make your children great and productive citizens in this world.  Your children deserve to have both of you in their lives.  Make sure both of your ideals are heard.  Also make sure to never hit below the belt.  You don’t need to signal every negative thing about each other’s upbringing, parents, etc to make a point.  You can communicate better than that and still get things done.

Ask Toi: How do you Co-parent?

One of the things I can say is that I do not have to do the traditional co-parent with my husband now.  We are married and we live in the same house.  However we had some real conversations once our daughter was born and some things we implemented before we got married to help in that regard.

When our daughter was just a few months we had broken up.  Not that type of earth shattering break up where you throw crap out of the window but it was a breakup.  We decided early on since we weren’t married at the time that we had to establish some ground rules early.  One that if things went left we would not use our child as a pawn.  We acknowledged even in some difficult moments that as parents we were solid as a rock but as a couple we needed to work through some things.  We decided early on that we would keep the same friendship as a focus point.  Now I know for a fact that this can be hard depending on how things break off.  Keep in mind that the children are in the middle and since you both are on opposite sides of the fence, look to your children in the middle and keep that as the focus.  I didn’t say that it would be magically easy.  He during our short-lived breakup would still come and get her on time.  He would bring her back on time.  We communicated only about her.  We were vigilant in making sure that she was taken care of on all levels. Oh and I didn’t mention he didn’t even live in the same city.  It helps when both parents are committed.  The issue is often times one parent wants to dominate the situation and it can’t be that way.  Agree. Agree to be there, to be a presence instead of just sending presents and child support.

Image result for angry parent gif

I would encourage you to get a custody or even a visitation agreement in writing and go to the courts to have it established.  This is helpful for when things go left to establish things while you’re calm instead of it being a hateful issue.  Learn to know a few things:

  1. The relationship is over. Unless you come back together and often times you don’t stop making that person pay for the relationship ending through his kids.  I have seen where parents forget that a child is a lifetime commitment.  Saying things like I never want to see my ex is fruitless unless you plan on having a 3rd party involved. You made a life time decision that didn’t work out but you have a full-time and lifetime child that needs the love of both parents.
  2. Refrain from talking badly about the other parent.  Nip this in the bud.  Little kids hear and understand more than what we give credit for.  Learn to refrain talking in their presence and that means even on the phone.  Bashing him does more hard to the child than it does to relief your anger.  After you have bashed him or her it didn’t change the fact that you both are parents and have to work together.
  3. If you are the parent that makes promises than keep them.  Often times the parent who has the child full-time has to deal with tears, broken hearts, etc. It’s not fair.  Be an outstanding parent.  Be there no matter what.  Do not allow a bitter ex, a new boo, a job or anything get in the way.  Keep in mind if your children are your priority you will find a way.

Get a mediator.  Let that mediator not be a family member or close friend.  This is when folks start taking sides.  You aren’t there in a boxing ring to find out which of the parents were wrong in the relationship.  The mediator is there to act as a liaison for the child or children who are in the middle.

Image result for angry parent gif

Make real solutions that can be honored. Do not make alliances on things you don’t have in your heart to do.  It’s better to be honest than to lie and hurt the child.  Be open to communication.  If you would separate bitter feelings often times you can at least decide to be there for the child.  Hurt people hurt people but its an excuse if you don’t own the hurt and make necessary changes.  Just because you are hurt doesn’t give you the license to hurt the other parent.

Image result for angry parent gif

Lastly let’s briefly talk about the get back.  When one parent messed up in the relationship and is the direct cause for why the family isn’t together the get back says you have to do all you can to that other parent so they can see how that feels. So after you slashed a few tires, aired out the dirt on Facebook oh that can always be gotten back no matter how hard you try to delete, called the person’s job and lied to get them fired, showed at his or her momma’s house to make a scene, suggested things that didn’t happen, what have you accomplished? Nothing.  You are still the parent of that child or children and someone has got to be the bigger person and make better decisions.  Let it be the both of you.

Image result for angry parent gif

Ask Toi: My husband doesn’t help with the kids and I’m a stay at home mom…

Let me start off by saying a Stay at Home mom is hard work.  I was in your place for years so I understand the struggle.  My answer to your problem is stop making your 2 parent home into a 1 parent home.

Yes we as women have the capabilities of multitasking.   Sometimes that can be a curse and a blessing.  We don’t always allow our mate to lend a hand because they don’t do it the way we would.  Stop.   Yes your husband works outside of the home but there are things he can do to assist.  Be open.

It’s about teamwork.  You and your husband have to both let go whose job is it to do when.   That means there isn’t women’s work and male work.  There is let’s come together and get the job done.  You guys will have to be flexible in order to run your home as partners.  If he’s watching television and you’re giving baths, he can help by folding some clothes.  That way the time he took in folding can be used for other areas for you.   Helping around the house doesn’t diminish his manhood.  It’s about working to get the kids to bed and maybe some quality time together.

As a woman we have the power to get our men to help.  Don’t talk down or go behind him and correct unless it’s something life changing or saving.  If his dishes in the drying rack looks polar opposite of what you would do,  leave it and thank God he cleaned them.  I think as 2 parent homes we have the luxury to complain when reality there are many single parent homes who would love the help.  Get your husband to understand it takes more than income to run a home.  Teamwork makes the dream work.  Find a system you both can live with.  Some men think we as women don’t need help.  We play a responsibility in some of that.