ToiTime Celebrates Father’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

When Basics are Celebrated

Please do not get me wrong.  I think anyone doing anything positive is good news.  I love that people are attempting to move past the backward thinking that has seemed to take this world over.  However, can we just be real for about a few seconds?  When basic behavior is like the best thing since sliced bread than we have a problem.

You are in a dating situation the man of your dreams is wining and dining you and pulls your chair out, etc now you are like see my man loves me?  I don’t doubt he does.  In a world where men and no not all men are too busy getting caught up in the negative things, playing video games and no job, making babies with no responsibility this could seem like a breath of fresh air.  However the issue isn’t in the mere manners, it needs to be our own personal standards that have gone on a decline. Even when I dated the most thugs of boyfriends they pulled my chair out.  It was the way I carried myself that lead them to know from the gate that if they never pull a dime like myself they was going to step it ALL the up.  So opening up doors is normal for me during my dating processes. Opening doors was basic.  It wasn’t because I carried myself in a stuck up way, I didn’t I was laid back but my mere demeanor said hey buddy, this is going to be a classy outing. Now this didn’t always mean I was at 5 star restaurants all the time either.  I could go to a night of dancing in the hole in the wall but still be treated like I wasn’t living in the hole of the wall.  I set the standard!

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If you are married and your husband is super caring, we uplift them. We start labeling relationship goals right off the bat because a husband kissed their wife.  Okay I get there are sexless and boring marriages (all by choice) but a simple kiss even a romantic passionate one making relationship goals only means that there are a lot of married couples who do not enjoy the union they are in. Kisses are done simply at the altar or union as a seal of commitment.  So….yeah we have got to raise the standard.  I had a conversation with my own husband and we acknowledged the highs and lows of our relationship and how outside things and distractions are often celebrated when we lack the self-sufficiency to love on each other and ourselves in the way it should be.  A husband who simply comes home is celebrated as if he isn’t supposed to return home after his outside of the home obligations are done.  He is celebrated and the phrase, “well at least he’s not cheating” comes into play. Like is he supposed to be cheating?  I know cheating is big but let’s not give more respect to the cheater than the faithful?  We live in a messed up world.  The only way to make the world smaller is to learn to leave the outside world OUTSIDE. Spend more time making YOUR world what YOU want it to be.

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If you are married and have kids and your husband doesn’t lift the finger to assist you with the kids some of it on you because you won’t speak up and other reasons is because he doesn’t think he should, I hear well at least he’s in the home.  So many men are locked up or leave after they make the babies.  This is true.  However him being in the home still living like an absentee father is even more crazy.  You do know they exist.  They are simply bodies but they don’t do a thing but get the greatest father in the world book just because they stayed.  Um, if you have a baby and make a baby it is YOUR responsibility to be there, provide, and dare I say interact and assist in the raising of that child.  It is simply not okay to come in the home, say hi, watch tv and send the child to bed and think you have arrived in parenting.  NO you need to be a force in the home.  You need to be helping with whatever it takes to make sure you have healthy, loved and supported children.  Ladies, if you have a man who is simply there don’t expect it.  Also speak up and don’t berate him because he doesn’t do things like you do either.  It’s give and take once ALL parties pay their part.

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I believe in rewarding kids but kids are supposed to do good things if they are influenced in the right way.  For instance every time your child does something he/she will NOT always be rewarded.  Teaching integrity means that at some point they learn to do the right thing simply because it’s right and not because someone is watching them or will give them something.  This is why some kids feel a sense of entitlement because you love your little love muffin and use rewards for everything.  Reward systems are awesome.  It can be used to motivate but should not be in the place of all parenting techniques. These little angels grow up and think the world owes them something and you and I both know that really isn’t how it works.

Like I have always pushed, balance is key.  Never do more on one side over another. I know this whole not wanting to be “basic” is a thing but the reality is there are times when going back to the old landmark really does still work.  The standard you set in your life and how you work through it should still be set by a measurement.  If a person is worth your time they will know what your standard is.  That is why some people go ga ga over things like good sex.  Is sex supposed to be bad?  Yes there are some sexual partners that don’t always do it right off the bat and you have to set the standard even in that on what you will accept or not.  However some folks get one strong sexual partner and will throw caution to the wind over some wet sheets and weak knees.  It’s like having a stack of cards and as long as one suit is good, you don’t pay any attention to anything else.  Set the standard.  Know you are worth to be treated the way you want and make no excuse for it.  In time once your basic needs are met the other items will line up because you are looking through balanced eyes.

Single Moms Survival Kit

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

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

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

Weekly Wrap Up: April 7, 2017

So I am having a pretty good week.  My weekend focuses will be a wedding I am attending today, the Phillies game, and some much-needed TLC for me.  I love when I have my pamper time.  It gets me super focused on me for a little bit and always me to slip back into mom and wife mode a little happier and easier.  So this has been a little bit of a week with the news and such so let’s recap it all.

 

News

  1. Syrians were attacked by the chemical Sarin which is a nerve agent.  It killed countless innocent victims both young and old.  My prayers to those affected and their families in this senseless tragedy.
  2. U.S. launched a missile strike against the Syria chemical attack.  We will have to give time to see the ramifications of what this could potentially lead to.
  3. Bill O-Reilly has had several endorsers pull away from his brand due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Personal Highs

I lost another 3.4 pounds this week bringing my total weight loss to 32 pounds.  My clothes are still getting bigger and I am not ready to buy anything new just yet.  I am close to my goal and when I get there as promised I will update with a full body picture. I also had a good week closing the relationship I had been struggling to find a common ground with.  It was a bit of a tough situation that had too much gray area than most things I deal with.  I also was able to get some things organized.  I have had a lot of over time this week so I had to really get things in order to make sure nothing went slacking at home.

Blogs

  1. What your friends won’t tell you about marriage-this was released today and it deals with 10 things married people struggle with or know that they don’t always talk about.  People have this souped up idea about what marriage is and sadly it doesn’t always pan out the way the mind thinks.
  2. This has got to go-talking about my continued weight loss journey.  Are you interested in making some changes?  Are you trying to be Summer time or lifetime fun but find it challenging?  I talk about the piles of clothes on the bed and floor because the clothes you want to wear and what you actually can fit or don’t want to fit in are too much.
  3. Losing your mind-its stress awareness month and this week we talked about the mind and what to do if you are having a setback.  We talked specifically what to do if once you are attempting to change your way of thinking but are feeling overwhelmed and need help.
  4. Mental setback-dealing with the little ways we can reset the mind so the thought process doesn’t take over our minds to the point where we struggle to function.

Personal Lows

I am dealing with an issue with my daughter.  I obviously won’t go into yet but working on responses to your children that are appropriate and mirror what you are used to do vs what should be done for the betterment of your child. I am not a perfect parent actually no one is.  The balance of making sure everything is done to uplift a little person is a great task.  Often times it’s not as clean-cut as we hope in our minds it would be.  So if you are a parent just know there will be some lows but the key is to pick yourself up and try to continue to love.

 

So enjoy your weekend. I am hearing in Philadelphia there may be a little warm up next week and after this week of rain and cold I sure could use a little sun on my skin.  Be safe and continue to check in-blogs drop without warning sometimes.

Get Your Ass Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mommy Loves You Notes

So I get it when your child goes off to the land of education there are far more things to be worried about other than their education.  In this day and age you have to make sure you tell and teach your children what to do in case of a crisis.  You have to worry about if their being bullied.  You have to worry if they are in a position where another child or even teacher isn’t breaking them down mentally to where they aren’t attempting to harm themselves or others.  Whew.  It’s too much.  These are some of the things that when I was in school, I just didn’t have to worry to much about.  So with that being said, let’s fast forward to my daughter.  I am making her after school snack, and as usual I write mommy loves you on the front.  No big deal right?  Absolutely. I try to write this note on every last after school bag.  Sometimes if she makes her snacks herself, I add a little treat that she finds with a note. I’ve been doing this since Kindergarten.

My daughter says mommy can you sign your name on the bag?! I signed it not thinking of it. I finally asked her why.  So when she told me that the kids in her class think she is writing her own notes and that there’s no way her mom could love her, I got mad.  I know my response should have been off the cuff in a loving manner and deal with my daughter and I did after my first 5 second reaction which was pissed.  How dare some child think that as sweet as my child is that her mother wouldn’t love her enough to say I love you to her daily.  Then as I went into parent mode to love on her, I reminder her that she is too lovable for me not to write I love you everyday.  She smiled.  I felt like I had won.  However I further explained to my daughter that some parents may forget to give these little reminders to their kids. I told her that some households have a lot going on but in our households above making sure they have what they need, the most important need is showing love.

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Now let me be clear before the pitch forks of parents start rolling into my inbox, my letters to my child or the notes on her snack bag doesn’t mean I love mine any more than yours. It means that is MY way to be able to show her love and she looks forward to my messages. The message I needed to make clear with my child is that she is loved in this way and there are some homes who don’t take the time to show love. That is a fact.  You don’t have to like my fact but if you are bothered by it, than step up and do what’s best in your home. Far too many times we exchange gifts and electronics as means of love when reality is some kids are dying for a hug, a kiss, or just a few minutes of your time.  I am no where a perfect parent but it doesn’t matter if I will be late to spend a few minutes in prayer with my kids.  I make sure that above all that before they leave me that any issues had our squashed.  You know why?  How many children have to leave their home and never return where parents say I wish I had said I love you.  Now that my daughter is of school age, my stress is always up every time she goes to school.  I need her to know that I love her, I am here for her and her siblings, and that if anything should go down that her last impression of me is love.  It doesn’t matter if there will be times when she doesn’t like me, I love her and she will know it.

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Listen every mother has a birth story for every last child, but my life has literally been on the line for my children and I have gotten every dramatic life altering thing possible during my pregnancies.  I loved them before I even met them.  I want them to know that above any thing I ever do or give them.  I don’t know what the future holds for my children, but they have to know that there is someone in this world that loves them unconditionally.  I and her father will be that to them.  Now for other parents, aunts, grandparents, friends, etc. reading this blog. Let’s do better.  As much as I want to say that the child or children who made the comment are off as 2 left shoes, the real issue is that the child or children are growing up in homes where this seems abnormal.  Even if it’s not in cute notes, please make sure that the people who you raise, help raise or influence KNOW that they are loved.  They should see the manifestation of that love in more than your responsibility to them.  Yes you have to work, sometimes under paid and deal with the most ugliest of adults in how their spirit and mouths are towards others, but it cost nothing to give an extra hug. Please show kindness so our children can see this around them.  I am reading too many stories of kids killing themselves and they aren’t even out of elementary school.  We aren’t doing enough to surround our kids with affirmations.  I know we are busy.  I am busy.  I however pledge to make a difference in the lives of the 3 that call me mom. I would rather what I want to take a back seat so that they aren’t on some couch of a therapist over some stuff I did or didn’t do for them.  I want them to be sound individuals who know what love loves like and what it feels like.

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Please increase love and how you show love in your homes.  Our children are hungry for the affirmation.

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