Back to School 2017 Edition 

Now let me say that I think education is a beautiful thing. Hello I have my undergrad degree. So I would have had to like school lol. None the less these back to school commercials I know for a fact are setting parents anxiety levels and even more our teachers. 

Now I know some parents couldn’t get their kids into Summer camp so the awaited back to school commercials are a welcome. What I’m going to need you to do is start early next year and get the babies somewhere to go. I heard parents in the grocery store talking about they just dumped their kids off to their moms all Summer. I’m like how nice if momma is fun and can handle them. If not momma or big momma don’t want your kids either. I know we all got to work but lawd don’t do momma and big momma like that. 

So now it’s time to focus the coins and get our minds set on back to school. There are a few things you can do to help your school year be better than last year.

1. One month before start sending them babies big and small to bed like they were going to school. Try like 2 or 3 days a week. Then when the time gets closer make it everyday. This will take the dreaded back to school complaints because they will be used to taking their behinds to bed.

2. Take electronics out of their room.  I’m telling you if they don’t pay bills in your house they don’t need to surf a web nor text a soul at bedtime. All you are doing is stimulating their minds and they aren’t getting quality sleep. We kept our kids on the same school year schedule with their electronics. So no crying and dying going on. Plus they are going to bed charging these things trying to cause potential fires. Who got money for all of this? You don’t so don’t start these bad habits. 

3. If they haven’t read a book all Summer please get them a book. Have them present what they read to you. Most schools have a Summer reading list. It’s meant to keep their minds sharp. You aren’t helping them by ignoring the list. Get them reading. If they can whip and nae nae they can read. Guess what that will take? Energy on both you and them.  

4. Start early. Parents this is going to sound ignorant but I promise you it’s not meant to be. You know when school starts every year. Yet these kids go to school and got a long list of the ain’t gots. They ain’t got a pencil, ain’t got a piece of paper. Are you the parent? If you don’t teach them to be prepared how will they? Little Johnie going to be an adult that got the same list of the aint gots too. Put them coins away and get them ready. I swear I be ready to go ape on my kids’ school when they send that please have the right this and that during the school year. My answer to it is send this to the parents whose child isn’t complying. I know some parents don’t have it. I get it. But let me say I know some parents who push past that. The ones who complain they don’t have be the first one grabbing all the free backpacks up from the needy kids but have 100 Jordan sneaker but no pencil the first month of school. Do better plain and simple. I don’t have to mence my words for grown folks.

Along the lines of start early is to buy more of the supplies they are liable to be used the most during the school year. Always get more pencils, markers etc. Get them on sale. Start at the Dollar Store than outsource the rest. But do not wait until the last minute unless you had it last minute or just like the thrill of going to 3 stores the night before.

Also I’ve said it before but pack lunches, snacks, and bags the night before for them and you. You will appreciate it when you hit  that snooze button too many times. Kids are forgetful.

5. Get a calendar. Yes a planner is beautiful but also get one of those wipe away calendars too. It keeps the whole house right especially if your kids are beyond 1st grade. Visualization is a beautiful and stimulating thing. They can read. Place important dates and assignments on there. Also spend some time with the back to school papers they send home in the first weeks. Write things down or set alerts in your phone. I’ve been doing this since I was in grade school. Please ask any of my teachers I’ve never missed a paper or deadline. I apply the same with my kids too. The system of being prepared works. 

6. Breakfast. I am super grateful that many school districts are giving all kids meals. There are some who do not. Please make your child’s breakfast important. As an adult I will tune you out or be super angry if I haven’t eaten. How much more for a kid? Feed these babies. There are many discount stores that make it easier for parents to not have to choose food over bills. Time is hard but we have to invest in our kids. What they eat is important. I ain’t even gonna front like my kids haven’t had a pop tart a time or two but make better choices. I see kids eating chips and soda in the am and regardless of parenting styles none of these options are nutritious.  Keep good options in the house and see that they take it serious by you taking it serious too. 

7. Clothes. I used to think that uniforms were a dumb idea but in general they are a good idea because you don’t have the drama of figuring out clothes even if you pick at night. FYI, just like with lunches and bags packed, having clothes ironed and ready to go either the night before or for the week is another time saver.  If your child didn’t earn descent grades last year please invest the same thoughts into their cloth choices and sneakers. As much as I personally wouldn’t buy my kids expensive shoes, if you have a good child and you want to use your coin for them than so be it. Let them earn it. Why are you buying Johnie a pair of Jordans and he repeating the same grade from last year? Trust me his recycled teacher has seen it. Kids feet grow too fast to be making that type of investment. Don’t invest in super fly clothes for these non deserving kids. 

8. Bullying. This to me is an at home issue way before it comes to the school. As I have always been on my kids asking questions, being involved and present please do the same. Kids are afraid. Take a stand to be sure you aren’t sending bullies from your home. I will say I’m not tolerating one excuse from any administrator about “sensitive” kids. I’m not tolerating making one set of kids go through hoops meanwhile the aggressive child sit untouched. I rather be the biggest pain in the ass to my kid’s school before I sit back and loose my kids to a bully. We are not living in my time when kids could nit pick and just move on. Maybe kids should be stronger. I teach mine to be strong. I teach them to speak up but words hurt. I will not hesitate to do pop ups on schools. You know your child and if you know your child is a problem handle them at home. This past school year in Philly a 10 year old took his own life. A child decided that somebody’s unruly child was talking to them, hitting them too much and he had no one to help him and ended his life. Potential gone. His gift to the world unimagined. I personally will blow the whistle on any school, daycare, or teaching facility who dusts under the rug a bully and I truly mean it. 

The school year is coming super fast. August is literally a few weeks away and that is when the dash to get our kids ready will take flight. Please get their minds right while you get their clothing and shoes right. School is important so if you make it a priority so will your kids. I wish all the children a successful and stress less and protected school year.  My hope is that no child is taken by gun violence and that each child will be super successful!! I can’t wait to see all of the back to school pictures. Until then get them reading and enjoying their Summer. 

Ask Toi: How do I tell my mom that she can’t smoke in my house when she visits?

You just have to take a deep breath and tell her. You don’t ever have to be disrespectful in telling her. The flip is that you don’t have to feel that by telling her means you are being disrespectful towards her.

Often times parents establish respect from the gate as they should. However when you become an adult you sometimes you go back to the child like mindset in thinking that speaking up means disrespect. It’s not true. Your house your rules. You have to know that in telling your mom she either has to accept that rule and still visit, she can get a hotel of her own and still visit or she can choose not to visit at all. 

My hopes is she will visit regardless if she stays. I know plenty of others who have that as a rule and most times it’s understood. Smoking is a personal choice. Just because she’s your mom doesn’t mean her personal choice has to go over your rules. You’re an adult and being an adult means you have to be able to handle difficult situations. I know plenty of parents who taught that if you live in their house you play by their rules well the time has come to flip it to your mom honoring your rules in your home. And no it can’t be on the notion that her visit is only temporary so you can enforce the rules once she leaves. Even if a person who smokes outside will still bring the smell of smoke inside of the home. For a non smoker that smell can be too much. I know for me there is no smoking in our home nor around my kids.

I respect all who choose to smoke I just won’t even allow it around me and mine. Your mom is adult she can handle not smoking in your home. You just need to realize that you need to speak up without feeling like she is going to disown you for it. If she does it really reveals bigger issues that I’m sure you have been dealing with all along. 
Good luck!

Silent Treatments is Abuse 

I got a letter or email I should say from a reader who is experiencing this. Holidays are great but the holidays regardless of what it is for brings out the worst in others. My prayer to my reader as I’m turning your question into a full blog is for you to get the strength to know that silent treatments of any kind is a form of abuse. That you know that the silent treatment should never be okay in a relationship of any kind…

Silent treatment will work if you want to break a person down. What will you do once you have them broken? Reprogram them to fit your miserable mold?! Than what happens when they figure out you ain’t worth the dirt they walk on? Your hold won’t last forever. 

There is a unique difference in taking a cool down period when dealing with others. Sometimes as a parent you have to take a cool down so that when you attempt to actively deal with a child you are doing it in the correct spirit. Sometimes in relationships you have to take a cool down to allow you effectively communicate. However the art of ignoring a person to break them is a form of abuse. I literally do not care in how it is being done there is never good will when using the silent treatment. Oh and by the way it doesn’t matter if a man or woman does it. It goes both ways! 

If you want to break a person to see just how loyal they can be it works. A person who is being silenced will go above and beyond to get you to talk to them. It’s a way of feeling this sense of love from a person. You plead with the aggressor and want them to talk to you only to fall on death ears. The aggressor knows you want their attention.  They play this scenario until you are about ready to cry because it’s a point of control. So you plead some more. Finally the silent treatment is broken temporarily until the next time. You feel better so you walk on egg shells in hopes not to upset the aggressor again. This is a cycle that can only be broken by You who is being treated this way.

News flash adults are not kids. Even kids should never be treated this way. But if two consenting adults have to be treated like kids the relationship can last 20 years but it won’t be a happy relationship. Your mate isn’t your child no matter how childish they make act. It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear couples talk to their mate like kids, tell others their mate is a child, or to berate them in public or private. You don’t own another person. People aren’t puppets. 

Some parents pull these stunts too and it works. However I’ve never known for it to have long lasting effects of positivity. You aren’t teaching the child to comply to gain your love or do to what you say. You are simply at the point of inflicting a silent pain that is almost effective as hitting them. The sad part and the statistics don’t lie it’s just as equal. So you think you are handing the child well? You case the child out. Go out of your way to be in that child’s presence just so you can ignore them. You win but really you lose. You have just made this child reach down into themselves to figure things out without you. Sounds like good parenting skills until that child realizes you are a negative point of contact.

Eventually for the stronger child they are able to recover. They turn off emotions to the aggressor and sometimes go towards others in a romantic relationship who employ this same sense of “love.” We teach our kids now a days that love doesn’t hurt.  We push this to make sure the child doesn’t get into an abusive relationship but we fail to remember that emotional abuse is just as bad if not worst.  So what happens to your precious little girl goes for the man who uses these same tactics and has your little girl doing the most just to see if that man loves her? Yes she’s not being beaten but she is being emotionally abused and under the man she ran to who gave her the same love you did.  

Silent treatment in any relationship is bad news. It needs to stop. It’s abuse. You are attempting to break a person.  A broken person is no good to you or to themselves. This is why people gravitate from this form of emotional abuse to physical because the lines are almost blurred to be the same. We say why would a woman or man allow someone to control them? The mind is a very powerful gift and sometimes a curse. To break them inwardly is to control how a person thinks and therefore it’s the first part of how an aggressor works. This is why so many say the man or woman they were with didn’t appear to be bad news. They wine and dine and say the right things until they start to employ these tactics. 

If you are in a relationship and are of age get far away from this type of personality. Most times this is the type of person who can’t be satisfied. Nothing won’t be okay because they themselves have either been broken or lack the ability to go after what they want without tearing down others along the way.  There is no reason to ask another adult a question more than twice and for them to look you in your eyes or you know right well they aren’t deaf for them to ignore you until they feel like you are worthy of an answer. Or until they feel like gracing you with an answer or dealing with you. If you are giving them the vibe of not wanting to be bothered more than they like to be around you, get out. Why stay? What is going to change? Oh yeah you will say or do what they want and then be good enough to be around? You know the answer is you will NEVER be enough, do enough, or act accordingly. 

Get out! Get a plan to be out but get out!! 

Just because dad says so

Growing up in our house my parents had their individual voices. They never told us wait until the other got home to handle us. They would speak and they knew they would be heard. It was never this thing of respect our mom because our dad said so. It was respect your mom because respect is required. 

I as a parent don’t have all the right answers so this isn’t a blog to set off mommy and daddy wars. If you’re a parent you know right what that is. This isn’t the blog to measure your sense of parenting against. It is simply my opinion on how I was raised and what works best for our household. In our house we do the same as I was raised. I don’t let the kids stew until dad gets home. I handle them and then when their dad gets home he’s told and if he feels the need to speak up he will. There isn’t the sense of dad being this only disciplinary and they should listen to dad and be nice to me.

I was watching a vlog where the father was at work. He had instructed the child to listen to their mom and the child didn’t. The mom wanted to assert herself while the father was giving out the discipline but the father had the ideology that he told the child and the child didn’t listen. That isn’t an issue. We need dad’s to be apart of the parenting equation since we’re they not apart of the equation at conception?! I do think children should be taught respect. Boys and girls should be taught to honor each parent. Respect is taught. We all have seen what happens when respect isn’t being enforced.

All of the back and forth was going on while the child is waiting on its punishment. My thought was they should have had a clear understanding what the issues were before the child could divide them. Had the child knew from the gate that he didn’t listen to mom just because mom said abc he wouldn’t have needed to wait for dad to back mom. Mom would have backed herself and dad would have just been the high fiver of the situation. So the kid has taken off after while leaving two parents arguing over who is wrong. Then it was hey comment below on whose right. Even if it was for a cute vlog the issue began way before dad got home. Dad was supposed to be this enforcer of the law but the child continued to break the law (rules) with mom. 

The point is to respect both parents as a unified team. Not as a respect mom because it’s nice. Respect mom because she’s mom. In discipline it’s a team effort. Too many times it’s on one parent. That is an easy way to have your kids play the conquer and divide game. I was a stay at home mom for many years so it felt like at times I was the disciplinary in charge. However often times with mom especially stay at home moms it’s easy to run the home as a business. You get the CEO title without the pay. So you want to veto dad. Then dad not wanting to hear you say the kids never do this or that steps in and saves the day with the listen to your mom mantra cause I said so. 

You had kids as a family. As a family each member is valuable. Mom and dad can handle the kids in their own way without needing the kids to listen only on the premise of the requesting parent. Establish respect and agree in front of the kids as a unified unit. This will give each parent their rightful voice that is earned before the kids come into the world. If you start young it will be established. Both parents don’t need to fight over who’s in charge. Never let the kids know there is a crack in the line up.  Trust me it will save you headaches down the line. 

Oh and ladies you know men are different from us. If you fall back and let them handle the times when the kids are with them in their own way except for abuse, you won’t need to feel like you need to be a warden either. This will cross over into getting me time. Don’t pull that you didn’t do it this way or another with a man and then wonder why he won’t participate. He won’t because he is tired of hearing how wrong he does it. As long as the kids are alive and not starving sometimes count your lucky stars and then align the home back to normal at a later time. Everyone can be empowered when you remember it’s not one parents way over the other. 

When I went to Chicago recently for a few days the kids told me of all the stuff they did. A lot of it I wouldn’t have allowed but guess what, they were there in one piece when I got back. I was able to have a good time. I never said to them oh my God you know I don’t do it that way. They made memories with their dad and had fun while I was having fun. Case closed. Everything should be brought back into respect for each parent. You end up with respectful kids in the long run ask my parents….

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.