Holiday Reminder-Watch your Children

This blog is meant to educate not to scare you.  As parents we are doing the best that you can to raise great kids but as long as evil exits we can always do better, and be warned of the dangers that our kids face:

Now I am a mom and I think a pretty good one. Having kids in this world these days has created the most anxiety as our entire purpose is to raise children that are healthy, supported, and safe.  Now what I am about to talk about is super serious.  As we progress into holidays and gatherings its important for all parents to be vigilant about your children.  Know where they are, who they are with, and stop having familiar relationships that you put a wall up because you think your friend, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc would never. I do not prescribe to that notion. Everyone is a suspect as far as I am concerned.  Not that I have ever had to wonder about anyone around my kids thus far, but just know I am not a blind parent to put more stock on relationships with folks over my kids.

First of all raise your children with the proper names of their body parts.  If you ask my kids they not only know all of the cute names parents give their kids but they know the names of their body and especially their sexual organs. Man-mans can only take you so far when you are teaching your son to know where his penis is and to know what a good touch and a bad touch is. Same for my girls they know they have a vagina and have been able to say it properly since they could talk.  I read a story a few years ago about a man who raped a girl who was around 3 and he got less time because the girl couldn’t properly say if she was penetrated vaginally or anally.  How sick that someone’s lawyer was able to get a child molester less time with that notion?!  It forever changed how I raised my kids and this was before I even had them.  I might have been pregnant with my oldest. I know some parents don’t agree but for me its important to empower them to know from the gate that anybody who touches them in a bad touch way is going to get the business from me and their father and I mean on site.

I check my kids when they come from other people’s house, have open and honest age appropriate conversations, as well as make sure they know that anything they tell me I believe. I also don’t force them to hug and kiss people to spare adults feelings. No they don’t and won’t sit on your lap cause you bought them a gift.  The appropriate response is thank you, not a lap sit. They don’t and won’t be made to be feel as if they owe you a kiss regardless of your relationship just so you can feel like an outstanding adult. Work on your own emotions. I have had family members say they need to give (insert relationship) a hug and as their parent I step up to the plate and kindly and politely let folks no, they don’t have to. I teach my kids to acknowledge them so in our house a hi, a hand wave is good and appropriate until they are comfortable.  Some kids need time to warm up.  Whatever the reason there is apprehension from my child, I just watch.  Kids have more sense than some adults and the vibes they feel is often not wrong.

The number one reason why I don’t force my kids is that I want them to know they have power over their bodies at all times in hopes they keep that power and if God forbid someone tries to take their power from them, it won’t be because they were being groomed by me to allow certain behaviors to continue that they were uncomfortable with from the gate.  I do not devalue their feelings on vibes they receive from adults.  my kids have said, why did (insert family) act like that, say that, etc.  They know.  We tell them there is no secrets policy as well. So we have told them that if someone says don’t tell, they need to be open to us and tell us anyway and realize that as children they aren’t wrong for speaking up.  Now with all of that background there could be an adult male or female that may try to take their precious innocence. I pray that it NEVER happens but will publicly state that my husband is licensed to carry so let’s keep it at just that.

Sometimes as you venture to homes to celebrate the holidays, you start to let the kids roam off. Be careful of that.  Not to scare you but you’re number one job at ALL times is to protect your kids.  So be vigilant in where they are, who they are with and around, and not to be so intoxicated, miscalculating, etc that you let your guard down.  I know of children and we all read of children who daily are being sexually abused, mistreated, preyed upon, missing, etc and I just want to be sure that my kids won’t have that story to tell.  I know I can’t protect them every second of the day, but I along with my husband are doing the best we can to ensure that they know they matter, they should be respected, and just because they are kids no one will just do anything.  I am more than willing to end relationships with anyone who challenges me about their safety. Our kids are precious, all kids are, and you can bet we will try not to allow foolery to happen.  So enjoy the holidays, but be careful that someone doesn’t prey on their innocence and use this jolly time as an occasion to take what didn’t belong to them.

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Ask Toi: Holiday Edition

I am afraid to tell my parents that I do not want to stay at their house during the holidays.  How do I do it?

I would have the conversation now before the holidays really shift into gear.  Try to talk to them about the why.  Your why is the biggest reason as to why you made your decision and you need to be clear about it.  Also be prepared.  Some parents will be fine with it and will still want to spend time with you regardless.  Some parents are petty and unfortunately may take it a step further and cancel you even dropping by altogether.  You know the climate of your parents but being an adult means sometimes you have to do what’s best for you.  You not staying at their house doesn’t make you any less their child. Its going to come down to you being okay with their response, show respect always but not letting them or anyone tell you or convince you that your decision is wrong.  Usually unchecked emotions and conversations that should have been had will creep up during the holidays and this is why you need to break the news to them now.  You don’t need to create issues during the actual holidays if you don’t havea to. It will be easier to get it off of your chest and heart.  It may not be as bad as you think, the stress of having someone over during the holidays could be relieved for you and them.  You won’t know until you do it. Put your big girl panties on, talk about it and go from there.

Will my boyfriend propose?  It is making me nervous and I don’t know how to deal.

I don’t know if he will propose.  I would think that you know the status of your relationship.  Are you ready to be wife is the question.  Are you ready to take in another person because you have done all the work to be a whole woman?  You can have the proposal in the back of your mind.  Holidays are a perfect proposal time but don’t play your feelings to be all ready for it and it doesn’t happen. I always tell women to be ideal in the timeline of their relationship. If you haven’t at the very least been with a man through all of the seasons, have been past the honeymoon stage, seen him angry, seen how he does with his family, been around his family and know the dynamics that WILL affect you in your relationship down the line, pump your breaks.  You need time to get there.  Also if you feel that you have are you ready to be a wife vs a bride. There’s a difference.  There are many who love the idea of a big party, and pretty dress, flowers, and photos but don’t want to be a wife that has to deal with when your man for an example loses his job and needs to lean on you.  Be careful that your ideology of what marriage looks like isn’t taking over.  Also have a time in mind that you refuse to sit and wait.  Yes create your own ultimatum but do not tell him.  This isn’t be secretive this is real.  If you won’t honor yourself in what you will or won’t tolerate than you won’t make him honor you either.  Make your moves and stop waiting around for him to do anything.  We put so much pressure on the man and not enough on our own happiness.  This will be key if you want to be a wife so you can be that bomb wife but still complete and go after your own goals.

 

If you have a question for Toi, you can send the questions to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Ask Toi: We got some questions

Is it okay to air out a grievance about a company or individual who didn’t offer a good service or a faulty product? 

If they have a social media page for their work than yes.  Business is business.  In this social media age, how you deal with folks will air itself on social media.  So if you got to Toys R Us (I say them because last Christmas I aired them out) and they failed, reach out to their customer service.  If that gets you now where its fair game.  I find often times you can get them to respond better if you drop a dime on them on social media.  Make sure when you do that you are okay with others seeing it.  Most times these are not private comments.  To business owners, it would be in your best interest to make even mistakes right, social media has been known to end a business as customers have been known to drag someone for filth.

Is it okay that a grandparent doesn’t babysit a child? 

Yes grandparents are not expected to baby sit.  They are not the golden ticket to your social life now that you are a parent.  Many grandparents are out here living their best lives now that they are no longer tied down to kids of their own.  However grandparents should be involved in their grandchildren lives in other forms.  This means supporting them in school functions, attending birthday parties, holidays, etc A grandparent who doesn’t do these things should be held to a higher standard than them not simply wanting to babysit at will.  If you are experiencing other issues where the grandparents have checked out, it may be some deeper issues. I know some grandparents who do not and miss out on a lot of experiences and it comes out in how the kids interact with them.  Again they will lose precious time, try not to forget that.

How do you deal with a mate who has checked out emotionally?

One you have to communicate and find out why.  Find out if that mate even knows it.  Sometimes they may have things on their hearts and minds and makes it hard to even know that they are missing in action. You are not a mind reader, simply ask. If there is resistance.  Give it some time and space.  However you will have to revisit and if the resistance is still there, try counseling.  Do NOT nag them.  Trust me no one wants that. You are both grown so talking and communicating although not easy still has to take place.

Do you have to exchange gifts for the holidays with your mate?

I think I may have talked about this before but no.  This is something that is between couples.  Some couples do so much all year-long that they don’t see the value in giving gifts to one another. They not only give gifts but they invest in their mate, i.e taking them to the things their mate likes, getting them gifts for no reason, bringing flowers just because its Friday, getting tickets to their mate’s favorite team-overall thoughtfulness. I would opt in some other tradition.  I think that couples should build together.  Maybe instead of gifts you make a new pot of savings.  Maybe make the pot a vacation together, purchase a house, etc. You can decorate it, and place money from both partners.  This way you have something visible to show that you are moving towards goals. However as many complain about these commercial holidays many don’t find out their partners love language and definitely do NOT show them they love them all year. Love is not gifts.  Love should be how you speak, how you protect, how you engage.  Do not give your mate the excuse of not giving gifts on top of an already raggedy relationship.  What is the point in losing all the way around?  No a gift will not mask things but everyone likes to receive.  Its better to have a solid relationship than a bunch of stuff but its horrible to have nothing both in gifts and treatment as well and then try to hide under the no holiday guide as well.  Do better in how you love and show love.  All the ones complaining about getting all year, don’t mean they AND their mate feels that they are being loved on all year-long. Only you know that, also if your mate still wants to give don’t make them feel bad or pressure them to have the same mindset as you do.  Give them a gift because they want to for the holidays.  Relationships isn’t about being one-sided or going along with the dominating mate either.  It should be mutually respected and enjoyed by all.

 

 

 

Check Your Own Body

I have so many tips for doing different work outs but I am not a professional so I really have what works for me.  I don’t even act like my fail proof plan is a Godsend for all, however there comes a time when you have to be on top of things because let’s face it, who else will?  I remember a reader asking an Ask Toi about gynecological exams and if they should continue to have them done after they were married. My answer then and now is an absolute YES!

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Marriage doesn’t mean you sexual health is perfect. You as a woman need to be aware that now that you got the ring and are one, you can still be one at risk woman.  I always wish happiness and great sex for married couples but if anything you should know right now, everyone ain’t on the up and up.  Not only that outside of getting an unwanted and unexpected non gift from a mate, is the risk of ovarian cancer. It is your job to do all you can to live a happy and healthy life.  Part of living a healthy life is to be about your health and sexual health is important.  No ring or marriage certificate will keep you safe.  So my advice is simple, get checked.  I’ve told the story before how when I was pregnant with my youngest, my OBGYN asked me if I wanted to get the STD panel done.  My answer was hell yes. Her response is well you’re married and you have kids.  I asked her who licensed her again because if you are giving me of sound mind this advice what in the holy hell was she telling other women.  Ladies get checked regardless of your status even my born again virgins that ain’t had none since Jesus was a baby, you need to get things checked too.

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No married woman should be told, you good and that’s it. Again the amount of women who die from ovarian cancer is enough for me to check.  Also like I said I do not subscribe that my husband is so perfect that there is a chance that I am going to be okay. I do trust my husband but how many women rely on trust alone and find out after it’s too late that there husband was on the “down low” and they have contracted something that a pill or a shot can’t cure.  I have told my husband plenty of times that I love me and my kids enough and I get that sometimes men take chances on getting some new %ussy but I refuse to live my life where I just throw caution to the wind. One of us has to love themselves enough to get things checked out.  So far after 5 years there hasn’t need to put the “man” between us.  I do not live my life on the edge.  If something is wrong I want to know, get a plan and keep it moving. This is why I encourage my ladies and my men to know what is going on with your health.  Avoidance is a sure fail way to not live your best life.  In order to have a good life you need to be here.

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So find what works for you in general.  I would also encourage all to see your doctor as well as a nutritionist.  These two are key to getting your health on track.  What you eat is literally a large component to how healthy your life is.  Eating the wrong things can contribute to high cholesterol, weight issues, etc.  Overall health seems so overwhelming. I think when I am trying to drink enough water, exercise, take care of my kids, go to work, have a good sex life, be good to my husband, and anything else life throws how much it takes to be on point in each other.  This is why I believe in balance.  However when it comes to my health, I believe in going in, getting things checked and then attacking each area.

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Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine

I am still reading this but have you ever had a moment of pause? I just had mine today. I am almost done with the book and I had to take a pause. There are a thousand and one things in this book that made me jump, cry, or just sit and pause but today’s pause I have to share.

In her chapter, “On mean women and good dogs, Gabrielle describes a boxing session she had with her trainer and life coach.  The coach asked her what 10 things made her happy.  She couldn’t think of 10 things.  The coach reminded her if she couldn’t find 10 things to make her happy what made her so sure she should have gotten married. Pause. This was my pause. I have been in this dark place.  I cried thinking of how I cried in marriage counseling with my husband snotting and having an entire fit over what he was doing, what he wasn’t doing, and why I was ready to leave him. Pause.  I was ready to leave my college sweetheart for a few reasons.  One we have an extremely long and interesting history.  It spans over 10 years almost 20 to be exact off  and on.  This alone was not a recipe to be married.  Two, I got married because I loved him but I also loved what I thought he was when we were together in college.  Pause.  This is not marital love.  This is not one of those things that you rush down the aisle for. I was miserable in my own skin.  I loved my husband, I knew we had been through HELL and back but I didn’t know who I was.  I was a 30/31-year-old women who had put all of my eggs in one basket and with this basket he was supposed to come in and do all the work.  He was supposed to make me smile with gifts. He was supposed to initiate sex while I went with the flow. He was supposed to be my happiness.  How did that work out? Not good if you can imagine. He did it for a while. He opened my life even when we met in college to the finest of things. If things was what I wanted, he got it. His love language is gifts.  He did it well. I can’t even remember what I could have wanted that he wouldn’t have worked his entire behind to get me.  However after the gifts, what did I have to give. Not a damn thing. He was supposed to do the work while I sat pretty.  I was more like pretty damn miserable and it was causing a wedge in our marriage and relationship.

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Ladies this is not how marriage starts off.  This is how marriage will end.  Had I not taken a chance to go to martial counseling the divorce would have been finalized.  Ladies, had I not gone to counseling on my own after that, I would be a miserable rut. NO man or woman is your source.  Let me repeat that for the folks way, way in the back-they are not your source.   You have to come with more than some thighs or checking account to make things work.  You have to be able to be whole before you can unite.  We had done it backwards or at least I did. I take full responsiblity for my part. I came in looking for a dream.  College sweethearts unite, marry and build a family. It sounded cliché and enough until it wasn’t.  Gabrielle is spilling the tea that every woman and man better get with as your progress through life. If Gabrielle or you or me can’t find things that make you happy, that gives you purpose how in God’s green Earth are you to survive?

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Take a point in this book and the tea I am spilling on what I did or didn’t do to get secure.  So many women and men want marriage but have done zero work on themselves.  You haven’t pulled one credit report to fix your own junk.  You realize that when you get married they marry that junk.  You can’t just let it pile up and hope it goes away because it won’t.  You work a job instead of finding a career.  You have never been out of the country or traveled with friends or even by yourself but you’re ready for marriage or just life.  Remember not everyone wants to be married. Marriage is not the end all.  So to my married friends stop selling these fast dreams.  You walk around with your piece of rock and feel and act as if you have made it.  You are the main ones like me (I was) out here stunting on your single friends like you got some badge of honor.  Your husband ain’t seen a genuine smile out of you in years.  You are miserable and you making his life just as miserable. Just stop.  Your husband or wife ain’t seen the real you since Jesus was a baby.  You hide with the lights off and you fake like everything is everything-just stop!

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Get clear.  Self love is important. You should be able to name more than 10 things that make you happy.  These are not to be thought of things that make you temporary smile.  I mean 10 genuine things that make you happy.  The things that makes you smile about yourself.  If you can’t say that, work on that before you connect with another person. Do that while you are with another person. I had to be real with myself during the months it took.  I was frustrated with the fact that I had to go to counseling but I was serious that even if he and I went our separate ways, at least I could walk out whole and happy even if that meant I had to revert to my maiden name.  Ladies and gentleman the time for this soul-searching is ever-present.  Get there and get clear.  To say it lightly, I need a glass of wine just bringing up these old emotions. Well played Gabrielle, well-played.

Her Own Empire

So I was watching Starz’s Survivors Remorse and on the show Missy Vaughn played by Teyonah Parris and Reggie Vaughn played by RonReaco Lee are married.  It came out after Reggie was playing cards and lost $123,000 with “big wigs,” that Missy’s father had him sign a prenuptial agreement since Missy comes from money before they were wedded. Now the issue was the signing as well as the fact that as a married woman she didn’t work. Her claim is she keeps the house together aka a stay at home wife.  By the way they have no kids.  The father once he sat down with Missy and explained that the reason he made Reggie sign a prenuptial agreement is so that if the marriage failed, her husband wouldn’t be able to take her money and leave her high and dry.  Her mother interjected that she needed to work too.

So the issues that stirred:

  1. Prenuptial agreements.  Are they a thing to get if you have money or property?Some would argue that you are setting your marriage for failure.  Some would say it is in everyone’s best interest to get one.  Marriage is a partnership and apart of the partnership includes money.  Love is beautiful however being broke is ugly.  We need to talk about the importance of being financially sound before marriage.
  2. Stay at home wife-contributions and withdraws of said money-I was a stay at home wife for many years.  For me it was the best solution to paying high daycare fees.  It was more cost-effective to be at home.
    1. The Pros:
      1. Get to be the COO of your home.  You are the one that organizes and get the home together
      2. You if you have kids don’t have to wonder what your kids are doing cause you are the ones doing it for them
      3. You save money in the long run
    2. The Cons:
      1. Not having your own money comes with the challenges of having to depend on your husband to give you money or allowances. This works for some and not for others.  It depends on the husband that you have to be honest.  Most men talk a good equality talk on the surface but you have to get to the real nitty and gritty if that man means it.  Sorry to say most do not but they pretend to.  You have to be able to talk about it and be clear on what that looks like.  Does the wife still get to get out and do things women like to do such as keeping herself up, shop, or get a coffee if she wants?  If so what does the budget look like.
      2. Not having adult interactions because you are in the home most of the time.

Now let me put this is terms where my life fit in it and what I got from this.  Money in our home has always been an issue. I am going to be transparent because I KNOW for a fact that a lot of women go through this.  I love things.  I like the ability of being able to get the things that I like or want.  The drawback to this when I was a stay at home mom is that my husband rarely said no.  However what he had to do in the background to make sure that every time I swiped was part of the conversation that I didn’t want to have to have. I got to the point of not having of my own and having to rely on him.  This is a dangerous place for most women including myself.

Who puts it back if its gone?

The ability to do for myself is a beautiful thing. I know some women do not care, but for me I do. I am striving to be the type of women that if my husband does it is a bonus and not out of need.  The reason is my husband plain and simple is not the husband from the 1950s who takes shoveling out money on the chin.  That doesn’t mean he has an issue giving me the things I need and some of the things I want.  However there has been times when in conversation he would say it.  In the beginning I would read messages he would text on his phone. AKA get into his phone and find negative messages about what I was doing on all fronts of the relationship not just money by the way.  These are the things they don’t tell you about marriage or relationship especially ones that have only one partner being the only bread-winner or the main bread-winner.  If you have one that is constantly spending and not putting it back-who puts the money back?  The working husband and sometimes the working wife since men stay at home too.  If the husband or wife is stressed trying to figure it all out than the issue isn’t in the spending its in balancing.  I think both partners should be honest about that.  However ladies I know I have heard it and if you’re not careful go back to doing whatever at no respect for his hustle too.  The man may want to do more but if he stressed trying to put it back all the time maybe that’s the issue in your spending and not just in him giving or not giving.

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Now back to Reggie and Missy I could relate to the shock when Missy mom told her to get a job.  It’s the life of Riley when you can swipe and kick off to wonderland until you realize your mate doesn’t respect the fact that you have him working harder than ever to put the money back you keep using.  I know, it would be east to blame the man until you take your emotions out of it and come to reality that at the end of the day, money is made not wished upon.  She had the look of disgust when it came to the fact that she needs to work and secure her own so her father or her husband couldn’t make any issues with money. I am realizing more and more and maybe it’s because of my personal dealings that there really is no real we.  To be honest, he that makes the gold makes the rules.  Its frustrating but it matters on who you are with to be honest. And regardless of who you are marrying to recognize the financial state that your family is in.  Red bottoms when you are saving may not be in the cards. Asking for them and getting but not caring if that man has to work extra hours or cut back in another area to get them is an issue.

Get your hustle on too

I would encourage every woman to know the financial dealings of your home.  You should know the ins and outs of what accounts are in effect.  Know the numbers, know where the important documents are in the home.  Please use one of your gifts to make your own money even if your money isn’t as long as your husband.  Every now and again say no to your husband’s swipe.  This means that you will have to have something of your own to swipe with.  I know this world would tell us that we are women hear us roar, that’s cute too but roar with some dollars it’s one of the ways to keep respect in the finances of your marriage.  To those who do not have that issue, kudos to you.  For the rest of the world, always securing your own bag is best.  Trust and believe these men will respect you more when you can do a few things independent of you.  Even the ones who claim they are here for your personal growth lie constantly so get your coins all the way up.

The big issue is to ask questions and be transparent with your spouse about money. This goes for both parties not when and after your completely frustrated.  Money was always scary to me and I never wanted to take the time to get the full picture. I do not want to paint my husband into a tyrant that by no means is the reason of this blog.  It’s to highlight an area that causes more divorce in the country within marriage. Not having a conversation and having expectations that don’t match with reality.  Men you must have a conversation and be honest too.  Ladies we have to be willing to listen without emotion.  Most husbands want to see their wife happy they just don’t want to die killing themselves to get you to that point. Come to the table with something or find ways to always reinvent the wheel to bring things to the table, coupon to cut corners.  Then when you cut the corners don’t spend that too, save.  Help the household not just you or your bottom line. Also shout out to my dad who before marriage ALWAYS then and NOW drills the importance of having your own.  He would never want me to be totally dependent on my husband.  It has zero to do with my husband controlling me it has to do with being free to make decisions on my own and being totally depenedent is and will never be healthy.  Shout out to my husband who has behind the scenes has helped me be financially debt free, and to make sure that I am empowered to have my own.  He doesn’t stop me but encourages me to be my own woman.  Some can’t say that. Work out the dealings of your home and if you feel like things aren’t being heard on any side, than I would suggest getting someone who will not take sides to be a mediator.  As much as people think the issue of money is no big thing, it is a huge part of living with another person and working things out.

Also know that things will NEVER make you happy. Get your spirit together as well. Sometimes the desire to excessive spending could reveal something on the inside that you are dealing with that shopping bags can’t fill.

Kevin Hart: The Pull Up Chronicles

Every woman is different.  What one woman will put up with doesn’t apply to all.  You never know what you will do until you are in it.  Let me explain why I would be ready to do a pull up edition on Kevin Hart.

The cheating or the act of having sex outside your marriage isn’t the full issue for me. Maybe it should be, but it’s not.  My issue is that Kevin wanted to prove so much to the world that he was the poster boy for changed behavior and KNEW he had been slipping and tipping around with another woman.  For me that is cause for a pull up.  I would be ready to get him on that alone.  He wanted to act as if this new wife was so much better than his last.  He wanted us all to believe he had changed his mind-set so much yet in reality he was doing the cheating in plain view.  Cheating in plain view is when you have a conversation with your mate and denounce people who would do the same. They stay visible.  They are on social media talking about you being the light of their world.  Then without warning the light must have dimmed because they get caught with another person.  Nothing irks a woman more than being embarrassed.  I can say the same for men too.  It’s the type of hurt that won’t go away with flowers and jewelry.  It’s the type of hurt that burns your soul.  You go all out telling others how wonderful your mate is and then you are blindsided.

Listen what Kevin doesn’t understand is his kids are older.  When he cheated his kids may have been unable to read or know what is going on.  However they are in private school.  One thing about private schools is they are usually smaller in attendance and everyone knows everything about each other.  They have to walk around where other kids ask them if its true.  They may feel the need to defend their dad even in his wrong doing.  Once you involve kids in your messy affairs that’s when the gloves comes off as a mother for me. I feel bad for Eniko that she is being embarrassed.  I feel bad that she thought the same way you got em, wasn’t going to be the same way she would lose him. That is a principle in life that doesn’t care about your economic status.

So to Eniko who is pregnant and doesn’t need this stress, have your baby and work in your own mind what you want to do.  We all have opinions but YOU have to live with his cheating and that will always overshadow your relationship.  To other women who are going through this or will, know that cheating is horrible but make your next steps a decision you can live with daily.  Don’t do what others think you should do as they will forget the cheating you can’t!