Back to School: Parent Edition

Are you excitedly awaiting for back to school? Your kids have eaten you out of house and home? A couple of them you’re not sure what to do? I get it! Rejoice! It’s back to school time! So I’ve written a blog for how you can your kids ready for back to school. It was filled with all great and helpful suggestions. I am quite proud of that piece, but now it’s time to shift gears for the parents. Yes the parents.

I told you how you can get the kids successful but it’s the parents turn! You are the one in charge of you and helping you get ready for back to school first helps the kids get aligned!

Plan Early

Listen I’ve had some years where I’ve gotten supplies last-minute. It happens for various reasons but plan and do as much as you can early enough to cut down on anxiety. I for one will bargain hunt for supplies. So for me aligning sales is important to me. It’s important to know that I’m saving money. Let’s keep it real, having 3 kids means that back to school expenses expensive. I’ve never understood my parent’s life until recent years. I as a child just thought parents just went to the store, paid and rolled. I had no clue until I had my own that there is work to be able to do it all!! Shout out to parents who are trying to do their best.

Make a list and come up with a plan to attack school uniforms, supplies, tuition and back packs. It’s imperative to figure out as early as possible your game plan of attack!

Look over previous report cards

Although it would seem that this is exclusively for your child to do, learning to see trends will assist you as the parent to outsource help. It’s not ashamed to not know something it’s a shame to not do all you can to identify ways to make your child as successful as they can be. This may mean helping to fine tune their skill sets. We noticed a few lacks in concentration and so we started taking it back with practice work to help our children get better in that area. There are several sites that offer free printouts. Also you should have been tuning in often times the previous teacher is a great place to start. We had the kids start their Summer assignments early. We also increased reading and I looked online for other books to add to the reading list.

Get the Kids on their early back to school 3 weeks or more

We used to wait until the week before school and then send them to bed early and wake them up like a test run. This year outside of a few movie nights we have kept them on the same schedule. We didn’t even implement our normal Summer schedules. They are in camp all day and it’s easier for them and in reality for us. So far with us doing that and making them keep after camp studying at least 2 days a week it’s been helpful. My son is zooming through his sight words and our daughter is arising to the occasion in her work. It sounds harsh but some kids can’t really break too much and for the parents the house can have that well deserved rest time!!

Reorganize

It’s important for you to either place a station or two aside for the kids ahead of time for paperwork. One of the worst things is getting a slew of papers and have no clear direction of where it is. Our kids school don’t play and will give you an eye roll if you request another copy. I used to get so mad if they gave me an attitude. I soon stepped back and realized the lesson is helping the kids understand that you don’t always get the chance to fix things. I also started making copies or scanning forms. This way I didn’t have to bother with things. We never let on to our kids that we had the back up. We would depending on what it was give a consequence like delayed electronic use for having us assist in obtaining or using the back up.

Attitude Check

We all know back to school is coming. There is zero no reason to be upset, frustrated and upset that money is going to have to be spent. Even if your child is public school there will be money to be spent. You can attend a free back to school event in your town if you need it. However adjusting your attitude will help your child to adjust as well. They are relying on you to show them the ropes. Having a good attitude in general is helpful! Trust me going from this:

Versus this:

You decide!! So may your wallet be blessed, your nerves settled as we all push onward and upward towards our children education. Also may your wine glasses be bountiful as the time draws near!!

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Ask Toi: How do I adjust my feelings over my sibling sharing his/her HIV status publicly?

The biggest way to adjust your feelings is to understand who’s issue it is. The sibling is the one carrying the biggest weight of her health status so it’s up to him/her if they want it to be shared. Often times people see HIV as a death sentence. Her ability to share that whether on social media, on YouTube, a blog, etc could be a place of peace and healing. Adjust ownership of where the pain of your sibling’s health issue is. People always say when others share things such as health issues that they are over sharing but people don’t realize the peace that comes from being authentic and open. To not give something that is deemed so negative space. To help another person make better decisions while listening to or watching you make mistakes and owning it and not allowing it to own you.

I’m not being insensitive that you will have people who do not understand your sibling or may even shy away from him/her and maybe you feel like you want to protect him/her. It isn’t your job to do so. Your job is to support and love.

Another way is to speak to your sibling about how you feel about the openness they are willing to share. Maybe releasing it will help you adjust. Be understanding when your sibling acknowledges your feelings and still decide to walk in their truth boldly. It is their right to do so!

I would also research ways you can assist. HIV just like with any other health scare has ups and downs. Find ways to support your sibling when the times get rough. Find ways you can be their peace instead of thinking of only how you may feel. Although technology is ever changing and cures are being found daily, this is a battle that needs to be fought daily! He or she will need to know that you have their back no matter what! Focus on that instead of the sting or stigma you think will follow.

I wish you well and I wish your sibling well!!

Stay in Your Lane

Happy Monday! Today is going to be filled with highs and lows. Keep in mind that you have to go into any day knowing that. However one thing that can set your week apart is to have empathy for all but stay in your lane. Folks personal lane is just what it is-personal. I learned the hard way as a kid to stay in my own lane. I had to know the tea and my mom made sure to remind me and when I would get caught up in someone’s lane she would remind me- stay in your lane!

Lane as gifts/talents

We all have gifts whether we use them or not. Often times we try to use gifts that were not given to us to do things not gifted to us. This is when you find at times the road being super hard. You are already going to have challenges even in your gifting do not pick up things in other folks lanes. If you’re not a singer, don’t tell another singer how to run their show! If you’re not a baker stop baking stuff for the company potluck. Stay in the lane God gave you even if it’s picking up the utensils!

History repeats itself

I took a good run yesterday and during it my oldest was using her scooter. She was struggling not because she lacked scooter riding skills but because she wouldn’t stay in her lane, concentrate, and stay the course. I kept telling her to stay in her lane. This was for her safety. Other kids were doing the same thing and she needed to see them and be seen. Eventually she got the message and was fine. I laughed to myself repeating the same things I wouldn’t receive!! I’m just glad for now my daughter seems to be semi more receptive. Shout out to every mom who hears and sees them after the fact!

Staying in your own lane is for your own safety sometimes. As I see the many folks that jump into lanes not made for them and then get mad when nothing comes from it, drama is started or just the inability to sustain it and another lane not made for them it becomes super apparent that staying in your lane is a life skill. This is why regardless of what is shown on social media everything ain’t for me to respond to.

While you’re in your work place, stay in your lane. Work and do what you have to and sometimes that means moving in silence. Everybody don’t need to know your every move. You don’t have to combat it all! Stay in your lane. See other lanes and keep yourself intact. If you are finding yourself getting upset over something that is in another person’s lane and it doesn’t affect you, take stock!

No I’m not talking about the stories on the news, I’m talking about folks personal lanes. Stay out of them and stay in your own lane! Today as you truck along, spend some time finding ways in which you can make your personal journey that much better. For the last few years my journey has been more on watching my mouth, correcting wrongs and being a whole woman! What’s your journey?! Focus more on that and stay in your lane!

Stop Wasting Your Weekends

It’s the weekend!!! You can begin to let your hair down.  You need to be doing the most of the things you need.  As much as blogging has me on social media a lot sometimes I dedicate on the weekend for a little cut back.  I only watch those things that I feel build me up, make me laugh, make me smile, etc.  I honestly feel that as much as social media can be a blessing it can also be a curse.  What I take in matters.  I also do my beauty reviewing or turn my bathroom into my spa.  Whatever you choose to do, make your weekends count.

Do not waste time giving energy to people who do not matter. If you have a friend that you know is a great waster of time, pencil them into the work week.  Leave your weekends to those whose energy levels match.  I have several girlfriends and some who do not all have the same energy as I do. I got a few who are down for anything. I got some who I have to be a little more patient.  I got some who they are the types that love to brunch and some are chill.  Whatever the occasion I love that my friends can be an oasis and on the weekends hanging with a few is super restful.  It’s renewing.  Its refreshing.  Weekends with good girlfriends make the weekend that much better.

If you are the type that finds that you need to let the friends rest a bit, then maybe some personal me time is right up your alley.  Find ways to make that alone time.  Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Spa
  2. Bed and Breakfast
  3. Curling up To a Read a Thon
  4. Shopping Trip
  5. Reorganizing a room, apt, house
  6. Long Bath
  7. Pintrest a few things
  8. Hair appointment

The list can be endless and be frivolous or as glamorous as you would like.  The point is refuel. You can let your creativity carry you wherever you desire.  Come Monday, the words of I did nothing unless nothing is what you desired should have taken place.

For me as an on the go woman, mom, and wife sometimes movie time with my fam bam and not having a schedule is all I need.  I am always planning and now I plan days of nothing.  I also do stuff where only my family are invited.  I will do a full themed party for us 5 to celebrate anything. I do Winter Solstice parties, Fall Preview dinners, anything creative and just for those in our house.  I put energy into them.  I make the meals surround the theme, decorate, the whole nine yards.  These types of events make me ecstatic.  I used to tell folks but now part of self-care is learning that if I post it, you will know if not sorry Charlie! Less is best.  I stopped doing full albums into my life and now just do snippets.  I love renewing with my family and that renews me.

Booed up is always a great way to wind up and reconnect.  It’s easy to go with life and just exist with your loved on, so maybe take some time to find an outing you both enjoy.  Commit to your outing.  If you are supposed to be dressed up, dress well. If it’s a game and more relaxed, be comfortable and enjoy it.  Yes I know money is an issue and one of the number one reasons couples can’t get out.  When you have been with your boo for a minute do not feel pressed to spend all the coins.  There are some awesome date ideas for going out or staying in.  Be creative! The memories created will mean the most and will be what you can lean on during hard times.

Summer is for outings.  All year is but if you choose to be miserable in the Summer I have concluded you may have this experience all year round.  Get out.  Learn to enjoy.  You know life is for living. I get tired of those complainers who take the joy out of the weekend.  If someone is happy to not have to be at work, let them.  If someone is happy to be a brunch with friends, let them.  Let people live.  If you want a glass of wine, enjoy it.  Do not waste your entire weekend with energy suckers or doing the things that will get you grounded for the work week.

Take some time to renew spiritually too.  This s most important.  You need something you believe in that guides you.  You need an anchor that when you can’t get together with friends, your money is funny on hitting an outing, or you feel depleted and can’t tap into self-care you can renew and open your mind and heart in the right directions.

Enjoy the weekend, Mondays come quick.  Don’t let it come and you find you have done nothing you wanted, or had time to enjoy it!

Weekly Recap Friday June 22, 2018

Hey ToiTime followers!!

I hope all is going well. We just celebrated the first day of summer! Yes a new season and this one is one of my favorite ones. I hope that you have a few plans of your own for the next upcoming weeks!

I encourage you to find activities in your own backyard. I know my fam bam will be doing more local events but that doesn’t mean that our fun will be any less! Just the other night we started our summer movie series where we watch movies outside with snacks, ice-cream and snow cones, etc. There are several locations throughout Philadelphia and for us it’s a great way to make memories, get outside and have a little fun during the week. Our kids are on their Summer sleep schedule. I know some folks talking like let the babies stay up late but um that’s a nope! They are in camp while we are at work and the wake up times haven’t changed!

Personal Goals

I am making sure to do my self-care daily. Say what you will if you don’t with all the news alone can make a person go nutty! I am running in a night run on Saturday for S⬆️2C Stand Up to Cancer so that should be lots of fun. Also going into next week I have a lot of projects before the 4th of July coming up. I also will be training as if I really stopped for some Fall running events and will keep you posted! Of course I will be scheduling at least 2 beach days for myself and at one for my kids. The verdict is still out if my husband who doesn’t enjoy being at the beach will attend!! Nonetheless the beaching must go on!!

Blogs

I’ve been emailed and asked if I’m taking time off in the summer and the answer is no. I took time off in April so unless something comes up I will let you know. Remember if you have a question for Ask Toi to send an email to ToiTimeblog@gmail.com I will always email an answer privately and then do it for the blog anonymously. Also as I attend events I blog them more in the Summer! So be on the look out.

Summer Blessings

I pray that you get out and have a great time. I also hope that you stay safe. With summer is more drinking and one of the most avoidable causes of death is drunk driving. In 2018 with apps such as Uber and Lyft there is no reason to ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle and put yourself or others at risk. Also for my single and dating, be careful that you aren’t getting catfished or let your guard down when meeting new people. Stay visible and be vigilant.

May the sun be present more this season. May you be able to enjoy the hotter months and have the best time. Have a great summer and we are looking forward for to more blogs!!

Acting Real Focused

Why is it that people tell you to reach for your goals? Simple if you keep going even if you fall, one day it will pop! The second you do you’re acting funny, cute, or like you got it like that. No the part your missing is I’m acting real focused. I know where I am going and I’m striving to get there. I can’t stop to make you feel better that I stayed in your lane. Either get a new lane or come up! Simple and plain! Also you have no idea what a person goes through behind the scenes in order to make their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication comes at a price always!

Who is going to push for your dreams more than you? Not one soul. Not one person is in charge of your journey like you are. You have to keep trying and keep going. There is an idea inside of you so keep on pushing until someone who needs to hear it does.

Do you know even in blogging there are moments when you snag that national account and moments when you don’t. There are moments when thousands read your work and days when they don’t. Never give up! Persistency is how you win! So this is why I keep going. I started my blog 3 years ago to a crowd of a few and now that crowd has grown and continues to grow. I’m more determined to keep going until I get to work with the likes of Essence or Mother Oprah. Why? I know I can reach the goal and I know that goal it’s attainable.

So whatever goal you have, crush it! Don’t quit or let the folks see you sweat! Use your voice to get the folks together and press on!Your yes is on its way!

Self-Care Your Week

So I told you about how last week was pretty rough. Between me not realizing that camp was delayed for a week to working from home, last week was tough. So I looked at what I did that worked and what didn’t work and came up with a few things we all can do to self care our week:

1. Drink plenty of water: today in Philly it will be almost 100 degrees no need in not taking care of your health so drink up!

2. Take a break: go outside that’s the one saving grace that made the difference last week. Being outside helps your mood

3. Go offline: I love social media but take a break even if it’s for an hour

4: Mind your business: this should be done often but the amount of negativity that we take on always stirring the pot of someone else’s lives can be better used in focusing on ways to improve ours.

5: Work out: you will lose some unwanted pounds as well as relieve stress

6: Get some sleep: watching television is great but sitting up every night while it watches you is not. Going to bed earlier a few nights a week does amazing things for your morning

7: Eat Right: overeating or even under eating is a problem. Make sure you also eat more fruits and vegetables your body will thank you

8: Read: take a magazine with you or a book and when you have down time while you’re taking that social media break, read!

9: Favorite Drink: sometimes having your favorite drink will make a great difference. Now that it’s hot Pintrest some Summer drinks and enjoy something cold and refreshing

10: Plan-setting brings into place will not make your week magical but it can cut down on a lot of stress of having to find things

Whatever you do make sure that you find little things that make your day and week that much better. You can do a thousand one things such as lighting candles, going to a favorite spot, etc

Choose to set the bar high on making sure you aren’t simply getting through the week but that you spend some time being good to yourself.

Have a great Monday and a great week!!