Emotional Wellness Month

There are so many things going on.  Look on the “What’s Coming Up” section on this site for all of the month observances.  With the shocking Las Vegas shooting that took place October 2, 2017 it is more important for us to develop some sense of emotional health.

Emotional health doesn’t always mean that your life is in order.  Most times it may be the exact opposite.  However in order to have your wits about you, you have to take time to get your emotions in check in order to proceed with your goals.  So how does one get their emotional wellness in order?  Here are a few ideas on how to maintain good emotional health:

  1. Know what your triggers are.  Triggers are things that automatically send you into a tail spin.  These triggers can come from loved ones, yourself, or strangers.  They are words that are said, vibes that are given, and actions that take place that make gets you all kinds of upset or off your game.  Know them and try your hardest to avoid them.
  2. Watch your company.  Sometimes its in our company that we end up finding ourselves in the worst situations.  Not everyone means you well.  Once you realize this it will not always be easy but it will be necessary to make sure that you weed out those who no longer serve the bigger picture in making sure you are healthy from the inside out.
  3. Watch how you talk?  Did you know that you can speak things into your life without even knowing it?  It’s true there is power in your tongue so be careful how you speak to yourself, you are listening. This morning I had the cutest outfit but because swelly belly came out today I was thinking oh no I look ugly, fat, etc I had to change how I felt and speak the correct words.  I do not need all of that negativity to follow me throughout the day.
  4. Say no-this is powerful.  The two letters in NO can make people back off and up.  If you are asked to do something that you will complain about later, than don’t do it.  It’s like someone asked you for a ride but you don’t want to.  You give them the ride in the thought of being nice, but others around you has to hear about how you didn’t want to, how they didn’t give gas, etc.  Saying no will not harm you or them. They will find another way.  You do not need to be the one who does everything for everyone.
  5. Take a time out-I say this with every self-care, self-love piece that I write but its true.  You need a time out to regroup and gather your thoughts.  There is something that will enlighten you when you learn to take some time to yourself.  This doesn’t mean it will be an entire day but if you can take it.  Sometimes it may be a few moments.  It reminds me of the times I have to lock my bathroom door to prevent my kids from just walking in.  Sometimes I am in there having a snack I don’t want to share, saying a do not kill prayer, or just reading a magazine without interruption.  Take a break.
  6. Turn off electronics.  I love my phone and laptop, but there are times I have to say no and not even engage.  The way social media works, it can bombard you at a moment’s notice.  A social media tune out is necessary to connect with others or those around you.

Your emotional health is just as important as your mental and physical health.  Having hurt and pain follow you and yet you are doing nothing about it makes no sense.  Tap out so you can tap in.  Go see a psychiatrist if you need it.  Go speak to an unbiased 3rd party if you need it.  Deal with past hurt and pain so you and the people in your present and future won’t have to deal with what you won’t heal.  Confront some things.  Sometimes we think things are no big deal but I know for experience, bottled pain is the worst pain.

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I had a friend recently share about her failing marriage and the concept of loving safely.  People think that because your life from the outside looks perfect and you have things that you are in a lovingly safe environment. That could be furthest from the truth. Many hide from emotional abuse and do not speak up for themselves.  God forbid if you are being financially abused on top of that and this is why so many stay in situations because they see no way out.  Please make sure that you are loving safely.  Loving safely no matter who you are with, or what your life looks like.  Deal to heal.

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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.

Stress Awareness: Emotional Stress

Emotional stress is one of the stressors that attaches itself to one of the other stresses we discussed.  If your mind is all over the place, allowing you to think about all kinds of thing it will affect your emotions and can cause physical stress.  You can’t really be mentally or physically stressed and it doesn’t mess with your emotions.  They are sidekicks to yourself.

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However you can calm your emotions to began to handle things and alleviate the other stresses.  One of the reasons is that out of your mouth your heart speaks.  What you talk about, give life to shows where you are.  When you say you are over something and you think you are but keep talking about it still has you.  When you aren’t phased by something is when you let things go.  So how do you handle emotional stress?  Getting to the root of what is tugging at your heart.  If you are hurt you tend to hurt others in your words, deeds, etc. Lashing out sometimes only reveals what is really going on.  However don’t expect the world to give you a pass just because something is bothering you. Everyone around is having a hard time and only really mature people even take the time to weed out your mess and want to assist you.  Others will tell you that they are here for you but aren’t.  These types of heart issues have to come from you doing some work on the inside out.

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I have said it before sometimes writing things down or even saying it gets it out.  Once out you can own it and then find ways to fix it.  Not everything can be fixed.  There will be tines when apologies will never come from the very ones who are fully aware that they did you wrong.  There are so many people in the grave who have power on those of us who are living because we won’t forgive.  And although some take it as cliché, forgiveness is really for you.  It frees you.  It makes you whole.  You can be whole without someone apologizing to you when you learn to drop the charges against them.  It doesn’t mean that they deserve it.  It doesn’t mean you will forget about it.  It just means you don’t need to carry the weight of what others have done.  Let’s be honest, people are rude People are inconsiderate and people say and do mean things.  You don’t have to like it but nothing that someone else has done should make you not live the best life that you can. It’s like being miserable while the others around you continue their life.  This happens all the time.  It’s hard to forgive and move on but its worth your peace to do it.

Take some time not to mask what you feel but to deal with it.  You may not be able to get closure but you can close the books to your heart and move to a positive place in your life.

 

Stress Month: Mental Set Backs

So it’s Wednesday and I have just gotten to getting my life together for this week I think. April is stress awareness month.  For the month we will try to break down stress in all categories possible.  This week we need to tackle the mind-set.  This is the first level of stress that actually occurs.  Yes we know that life happens and there are events that send us into overload but the reality is that the mind is the playground for most of our trouble.

So what is a mental setback?  It is usually made up of our thoughts.  We think something and then become that.  Like for instance keep telling yourself that you are fat.  You might be by scientific measures but your mind keeps thinking “I am fat” and you spend less ways trying to fix the issue, but more ways of downing yourself for the weight and nothing happens.  You will remain fat.  I know there are some who let their minds control them to the point that they can’t do anything until they “feel” it.  This is a lose lose situation. Your feelings start with your mindset.  I know you have heard at least once in your life that if you change your mindset you change your life.  It’s very true. Now we all need a come to Jesus moment every now and again where the mind is so polluted and its hard to crawl out so here are a few ways you can reset your mindset.

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  1. Think.  Yes how you think is how you are.  Change the way you think about the situation or person.  Yes your light bill is due and there is more money going out than in.  Think, what can I do?  Have you tried to call and make arrangements or find programs that can work with your income level?  Have you attempted to find out what changes in your home you can make to lower your overall cost?  Have you thought about things in your home you could see that you don’t use or don’t want and sell them? Do you have a talent such as baking that can generate extra income? These things take the doom and gloom out of the situation and makes you responsible in finding positive outcomes.  You use your mind to make a solution or progress and less time wallowing in despair over it.
  2. Clear your head.  Did you know that going outside for 5 minutes helps your self-esteem.  10 minutes and you have changed your ability to see things differently.  In 20 minutes your energy level increases.  30 minutes helps increase blood flow and decreases your depressive mood.  Wow it didn’t say you had to go out and be physical which is also a great mood stabilizer as well but it means simply being outside. Fresh air is quite a mood helper.  Get outside.
  3. Bounce off others-not literally.  However sometimes a conversation with a trusted friend may help you see things different and then change your mindset as well.  It can help you put things into perspective.  Find someone who is uplifting.  I have said this a thousand times and its true, Negative Nancies don’t do anything but bring your entire spirit down and that’s the last thing you need when you are dealing with mental stress.
  4. Take a time out-some parents use this tactic to calm a child and get them redirected.  It works the same for adults.  Corners aren’t always necessary. However taking a few moments to yourself to gather yourself can be life changing even if it’s for a few moments.  Do this often no matter how great or bad things are going.
  5. Change who you associate with-this is major.  Have you ever been around someone with a problem with someone and then you either start not liking who they don’t like or you start nit-picking others just from being in the same room or atmosphere as someone who is like that.  Change who you are around to help keep everything that you do and who you are around the way it needs to be.  This doesn’t mean life will just get better but having the right people in place is key
  6. Work on loneliness-this is true especially for single people.  An idle mind is the playground for unsavory things. I know that being single is hard.  You want someone to eat with, laugh with, and yet you go home to an empty home or home with just little people in it and have no one who makes you just want to be happier with. Well the time to change that is now.  Start finding your passion or an activity that you enjoy. The little known secret when you get married is that you don’t always have to give up your activities but sometimes you have to limit the amount of time you do them.  If you are focusing on the loneliness you will not see the beauty in coming and going as you please.  Create a little schedule and balance yourself so that you aren’t sitting around “bored.”  Trust me and its true happy people not just bubbly people attract the right people.  You are more attractive when you are happy and content.  That doesn’t mean you must have it altogether or have everything in its right place.  Being happy in your skin is an amazing and is more beautiful than any concealer or foundation can provide.

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So we will dive more into our mindsets because we have to start from the top in order to have happy and less stressful lives.  How do people who have the very bottom of their lives fall and still smile?  They don’t let things in their mind overtake them?  We will explore next what to do when after you have tried it all and you may need to see a professional.  I know its taboo to talk about it but if we were honest getting help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

Keep your Hands to Yourself

So today while out grabbing breakfast before work I see a man shove a woman.  I am livid. A man comes from the middle of no where and grabs this young man up and inside I am happy.  A lot of men do not step up in these days not because they believe a woman should be hit but because these young idiots out here stay strapped.  Back in the days of my dad and grandfathers, men stepped up.  Yes there were men hitting their women but men didn’t sit idle and allow this mess to continue.

Last weekend I went out with my husband and his friends.  I had a really good time despite my initial apprehension.  None the less as I was coming back from the bathroom a man approaches a woman and out of no where this man punches this woman square in her face.  I moved back initially because I wasn’t sure what this man was going to do.  A man came out of no where again and punched the unsuspecting man dead in his face.  I was like go head and get em.  I applauded that man.  He didn’t have to come to her rescue but again it should never be okay to hit a woman regardless of the situation.  On the flip of that I don’t agree with women hitting men neither.  I have seen countless videos on social media where women are balling their fist up and hitting these women but then dying when that man hits back.  I don’t think as a woman I could take on a man and just flat-out win.  It would take a lot of effort.  But I don’t run up on none either.

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This is the day where women are more and more at risk for such violence and it’s getting to the point where it don’t have to be from a domestic dispute.  I just read a story where a woman asked a man in the store if he knew how to bake a pie and he leaves and comes back and knocks her out.  No one in the store stepped up  They sat there and just watched and filmed the whole thing.  The video I am sure will be great evidence later, but how about rendering aid?  No?! Where do they do this mess?  Like I am really trying to find a reason and I am coming up blank.  Like I am the type of women that has way too many men that would stand up for me.  My husband, my dad, grandfather, just too many men that have been outstanding in my life to think that this is how you treat a woman.  It’s not.

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Ladies violence is wrong.  If you are in a situation where you think this is love, we got some talking to do.  I know it starts off as mental abuse first before they graduate to physical abuse. This is why I advocate for women to get their stuff together before you link up with someone.  Men need to do the same quiet as its kept. Some of the things that are in your past lies dormant until you link up with another person or have a child.  It’s important to be whole in your mind, body, and spirit.

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To the men that think this makes you a man, I am a woman and can’t tell you what it takes to be a man but in the eyes of women and most men this is definitely not a requirement. You are put here to protect women, all women.  Not to put your hands on them.  Do you realize that the woman you hit is someone’s daughter, mother, sister, etc?  What happens when you have a little girl and she’s watched you batter her mother?  She thinks its okay. I watched another video on social media where a man had an actual leash on a woman and paraded her through the block calling her a bitch.  She smiling thinking to herself I am sure that at least she got a man.  A man that walks you around calling you a bitch with a leash would have gotten his ass beat by my dad and thats real.  Matter of fact my dad might have gotten me too if I allowed it.  That is crazy.

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Walk away. Get some help. But it won’t be until you run up against another man that makes you accountable that you will see the error of your ways.  Or you must have that woman you beat get enough strength to realize she don’t need your sorry ass then the power you had on her will be gone too.  It’s easy to hit someone who isn’t a worthy opponent.  Please evaluate yourself.

What irks me is the men who don’t have the good sense God gave you.  Back in the day women were being beat and hiding behind black eyes,sunglasses, and makeup.  Now y’all bringing behind the scenes beatings to the street.  It don’t make no sense in this day of camera phones but what do I know. I am not advocating for you to take it back in the house either.  I am simply saying you have to be special kind of special to do it with witnesses.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Relationship Overhaul: Time to Go!!

So the next Ask Toi was how do you get out of a relationship?  My mom always told me it’s easy to get in one and sometimes harder to get out.  It depends on why the relationship is ending.

If you are in an abusive relationship and regardless of kids or not you must have a plan. If he is financially supporting you than you still have to be strategic.  At no time and hear me clearly do you just get in someone’s face and tell them you out. This isn’t the way to go.  It doesn’t matter if they are emotionally or physically abusive, get a plan.  One thing my mom always told me is folks got to go to work.  Your plan should always be when there is a large stretch of space.  You should continue your interactions with that person as you normally would not to give them a heads up of what you may be doing.  Always attempt to moves with cash.  Often times you can be tracked by joint credit cards.  Tell someone you ABSOLUTELY can trust.  This is key.  It can’t be someone who can be easily broken to spill the beans.  I would make a call to many of the abuse hotlines to get tips as well.  Make sure that when you call to do so from a prepaid cell phone.  Often times your mate if they are abusive have a tracker or some way of tracking your calls.  They will call to see who you called or texted in a day.  Do not allow this phone to be in sight.  Whatever you do learn to move quietly. Make back up copies of important files and place them or mail them to someone who will hold them for you.  That way if they destroy things you will have what you need.  Also along the same lines of tracking send your bank statements (ie always attempt to have your own bank account) to a friend or family member.  Remember its all about getting a trusting network.

Always make moves sooner than later.  In the news alone in the last few weeks women have done the above and still have ended up harmed or dead including their children. Please know the signs of abuse such as not allowing you to see or spend time with loved ones, controlling behavior, etc.  You are grown. Controlling behavior and jealous behavior doesn’t mean he loves you a lot neither is it cute to see a man or woman mad over you. These are tale tell signs that you need to pick up on.  Many men and women will harm you and then love on you and tell you it’s not you its them and they will do better.  If he pushes, he will hit you.  If he hits you he or she will hit you again.  Please be safe and think outside of the box.  Do not just continue letting it happen you are worth more than the negative words and evil that the person in your life is speaking over and in your life.

If you are just waiting to cut the string to a relationship that no longer serves you.  Know the reason why.  Stand on that reason and then make the best decision.  If you have talked about it and yet it’s not going anywhere, than do what you must.  Be clear.  Do NOT think that giving a person an ultimatum is going to save your relationship.  Most times it won’t especially when you don’t live up to your words.  If you are a person constantly making idle threats with no back up then best belief that he or she will not take you seriously. Understand one thing about ultimatums are for you not the person.  You need to have it in your mind when you are going to be done and stick to it. If you wont honor your own desires no one else will either.

People sometimes give ultimatums for marriage.  If you don’t propose by the end of the year then I’m out.  Think of a few things before you start making these proclamations. Outside of you being together for too long what else suggests that the person is marriage minded.  Have they inquired about their credit and if there are things that need to be fixed what are they doing to fix it?  What are you doing to fix yours?  What is the current living situations for both of you?  What are your goals and what are you actively doing to make it happen?   Marriage is not to be entered in lightly. It’s not something you do just because you been together for 2, 5, 10 years.  If you have done the things you need to do to be married and your mate hasn’t maybe they just don’t want to.  People make excuses for their significant other but if we step out and see it from different eyes, we can see intentions.  One last thing potential sounds good on paper but potential can have you sitting and sitting and never on the side of production.  So be clear with yourself.  You don’t want a hush ring.  A hush ring is something you get from a man who says here you go, get the thrill of the ring over with but then you will sit for another few more years still waiting to become the wife.  Is that what you want?  Make it about you not the other person when it’s time.  Do NOT revive or attempt to revive dead relationships. If it doesn’t serve don’t hope it to life.  Faith without works is dead.

Few things that I need to address.  Letting a man or woman degrade you, talk down to you, call you out of your name, talk to you any old way is something that YOU have allowed. The second that a person does any of the above they don’t respect themselves or you. These are automatic reasons to dismiss a person. Why in the world of love would you allow this? Yes being single can suck when you aren’t doing the things you need to do like making memories, having adventures because you are waiting for someone else to join you, not living to your highest potential.  You need to evaluate your life if you see a raggedy man or woman in your life being more important than a quality man or woman who protects you, loves you and cares for you.  Take that temporary L and get you together.  While you are enjoying your life one will come to you but you got to be something to join to.

Lastly since this issue isn’t addressed as much-women stop hitting men. I am tired of seeing women telling other women to hit their men.  I would do this or I would do that, stop. Even if you did you were wrong.  If he did the same thing you would have an uncle, daddy or some other male ready to beat the man up but its not okay.  Time after time we push men and then say you better not hit me.  Respect yourself.  You can be a pitbull in a skirt but still get got.  NO I’m not advocating men hitting women, haven’t you been reading? Nobody wants to be hit or pushed.  Keep your hands to yourself and teach your daughters and sons the same.  This mess has to stop.