Another Health is Wealth Moment by Guest Blogger, S. L. Efua Joe



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!!



Warm Weather Mixes

So if you live in the East you may have experienced some unseasonably warm weather lately.  Let me encourage your heart, it’s not the real Spring.  So although I say get out and enjoy it, there a few things to remember:

  1. It’s not really Spring.  I know you want to walk outside with no sleeves, no coats, no hats and all that jazz but remember there is a possibility that since we are in still in February that the cold will come back.
  2. If you feel the need to forget anything go back to statement #1, it will save your life
  3. Please continue good hand washing.  We all know by now that unwashed hands is one of the biggest ways to spread germs.  SO do us all a favor and wash your hands.  I can’t speak for the men but I am sure the same holds true, the amount of women who walk out of the stall to the door and don’t even glance at the sink let alone turn it on irks all 5 of my souls.  Wash your hands.  Cute and trifling don’t go together. Trust me they don’t.
  4. Flip flops and tank tops needs to stay in the warm weather bin.  Trust me there’s a difference between 55 Winter weather and 55 Fall or Spring weather.  If in doubt refer to #1.
  5. The flu season is still here.  I had 5 co-workers out with the same thing in the same days.  You can still mess around and get sick.

These are fun things you can do to feel like Spring but not break rules 1-4.

  1. Get a mani or pedi that is with bright colors.  Nothing signals that Spring is coming like switching up your nail color.  This can give you a Spring preview without getting yourself super sick.
  2. Wear brighter clothes this does the same thing that the mani and pedi does and it will uplift your mood.
  3. Book a Spring or summer trip.  This will get your wheels spinning in the right direction.
  4. Start buying Spring clothes but do NOT put your Winter clothes away just yet.
  5. Book yourself some “self” appointments like maybe a wax or a facial.
  6. Try for a new workout class.  Maybe you have slacked on your New Years Resolution and this would be a great mental booster as you step into Spring (but soon not yet)

There are many options but just don’t break down and do it all.  Pace yourself.  Spring is coming but it’s not here just yet.  I am not suggesting that if you dress like a mummy either and that if you do that you won’t get sick.  What I am saying is use some wisdom. Soon as folks see a lil bit of sun they lose their minds.  Put your clothes on and still practice the same precaution you once did when it was cold, snowy, and icy.

Safety First Halloween Edition

Well in this day and age this list I am about to bring to you really should and could be enforced all year-long.  There are way too many stories of people doing the most and you say to yourself and yourself says, Huh?!  Why?  Really its due to people losing it.  So for this Halloween season, let me help you stay safe.

  1. Stay off your phone as you are going to your car, or out trick or treating.  I am bad at this and have been trying to do better.  The reality is often times being on your cell makes you a target because we aren’t aware of our surroundings.  Think about when the Pokemon game came out.  People were crashing cars, falling off bridges, and running into parked cars because they were distracted.  If you are taking young kids out stay off your phone.Image result for get off your phone gif
  2. Turn your location off on your phone.  Do NOT live chat while you are out.  Why does others need to know your location and what you are doing.  You’re sending a message to anyone who wants to find you that you aren’t home.  I live the live feature for others I just don’t know how much I will use of it myself.
  3. Do NOT let your kids eat the candy until you checked it.  We know that unfortunately bad people exist.  It’s one of the reasons that I didn’t take my kids out in past years. Check for things like drugs, razors, pins, etc.  Especially with heroin on the rise there are some ugly people willing to let kids get sick to make them feel good.  Kids don’t know any better they love candy but be vigilant about protecting the little people who are in your care.
  4. If you choose to dress like a clown, may the force be with you.  Let me tell you now if you come in my neck of the woods I am not taking any chances. There is a greater chance that if you even make the slightest of advances to even scare my kids I am whoopin your ass.  Let’s just be clear on that right now.  I know my response was supposed to be that I should pray but sorry not sorry not today.  I will take a clown down so its best for you to pick another costume and stay in your lane.Image result for homey the clown gif
  5. Follow up to that is stay in your lane.  Leave families alone.  Let little kids enjoy this holiday.  Go to adult parties and act a fool but leave folks and their kids alone.  And let your older teens know the same.  I don’t care what age you are if you knock and I got candy I will give you some, but let’s be real knock and act a fool well we know how that will go.
  6. Makeup doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s Halloween so some folks regular makeup with finally blend in for the occasion.  However try to get as close as to what you are trying to be.  No need to look like Elsa and you were really going for a pumpkin.
  7. Uber and Lyft are great means of transportation especially if you are going to be drinking and partying. Make sure that you pay attention to the car you are getting in.  I always tell others and send them the information as well so in case I don’t get to my destination they will know.  I know that with all of this technology it would appear that I wouldn’t have to do that, but I always am more safety conscience than anything.
  8. Know your limit.  This again is something that you should know all the time.  You shouldn’t have to drink to have a good time.  It should be you like your drinks.  So be very choosy on what you intake.  Do NOT drink to the point where you don’t know who you are or where you are.  Too many people sit and wait for you to be in this state to take advantage of you.Image result for know your limit gif
  9. If you feel uneasy about anything trust your gut.  Do NOT advance.  Sometimes things within you have more sense than you allow.  If if don’t feel right stop and retreat.
  10. Have fun, be safe, but be aware!!!

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Asthma and Fall are not Friends…

One of the things about the Fall that I do not like is when the crisp air comes, then comes every sickness, virus, asthma flare ups, etc. known to man.  2 of my 3 children have asthma.  We had to get them on an asthma regime that we start at the end of August to prepare their body for the colder weather.  It is one of the things that being a mom hurts my heart.

Since my first child was born, the amount of time I spent in a hospital has been out of this world.  It got so bad I would always stay with an overnight bag that I kept in the trunk of my car.  No matter how much I followed every protocol of my doctors, she would end up in the hospital.  I had so many uninformed people tell me things like why don’t you keep her covered up?  Oh you mean put something more on her other than a t-shirt, socks, clothes, coat, blanket and a cover for her car seat since I had a car and we didn’t need to walk, yeah those things…. I think honestly black families that think that t-shirts are going to cure everything and oh don’t forget cough syrup which doesn’t help as asthmatic child at all.   If that was the case, she would have never been sick.  I used to get all worked up by having one of my older family members who never had a sick child let alone an asthmatic child tell me how to care for one.  Not one time did any of those folks, show up to the hospital. Not one called to check on her progress but everyone had an opinion.  This is why as a parent you are going to get many people telling you what you should or shouldn’t do. After awhile I carried on with my parenting and did what was best for my family.

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My son when he was born had the same issue.  Asthma is not the friend of the colder months.  The way I care for my family when the temperature drops is different from what I do for them all year-long.  I already increase hand washing but I turn into the General of hand washing or hand sanitizing when the colder months come.  Anyone who walks in my home must abide by that rule.  There are no exceptions.  I know that no matter what I do how much I clean, no matter if I am on top of them, they may still get sick.  It is my job to ensure that they spend as much time out of the hospital as possible.  Let me break my life down for when one or more of them get an uncontrolled asthma flare up.  It is usually from a virus.  They will get a fever.  If that fever is picked up at school or daycare that’s an automatic 24 hours out of school.  My kids have a threshold of 3 days before I am to automatically take them to be seen by a doctor.  If they go to the doctor after doing 2 different asthma pumps, that’s an automatic chest x-ray to see if they have gotten pneumonia.  These series can go from September until about May.  This means that as parents my husband and I have to play Russian Roulette on who takes off because this means they could be out of school from a few days to a week.  Sounds great right?  Not so much.  These are the things parents or people with asthma have to deal with.  A common cold can knock my kids out the park.  Oh and think about it in terms of socially for them as well.  Any parties or activities planned have to be cancelled sometime at a moments notice.  This means that often times my kids miss out on things because its important to clear them to go back to school than to attend an event.  In kid world they would rather flip that.

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I love hearing stories of people who do not know this lifestyle say the most insensitive things. For me I am pretty strong and could care less.  This is our lot until they either grow out of this or we can find a sure system to prevent it.  Asthma flare ups can disable a home. So the next time you see a family or know of a family that is going through this, do them a favor.  One, be more respectful in how you judge them.  Take that family a meal. Trust me between running back and forth between doctors and hospitals a home cooked meal goes a long way.  Offer to take the child or children who aren’t affected by the illness out.  Trust me if the parents can’t get out the child or children who are in that home can’t either. Make a movie basket to send that the family can enjoy a lot of indoor fun while recuperating. This is why I always have back up plans to my back up plan.  It’s the only thing to do to prepare for such events when they hit.

Mama Bear Doesn’t Play

So in this week I have been the most out of way since I found out I was pregnant in 2009. To say that this has been “one of those” weeks is a true understatement.  So let me tell you in the best way I know how and that is to write about it.

So last week my youngest contracted the infamous foot, hand and mouth virus.  If you have ever had a child get this or been around a child you know that its one of the most irritating sicknesses to have.  When we found out about her having it on top of her ear infection we pulled her out of daycare.  She was practically out for a full week.  So then fast forward to last Friday when my son gets it.  We took him to the doctors who stated that as long as he wasn’t having fevers that he could return and how common it was.  I had never even heard of it before.  So we took him out until Tuesday.  After we dropped him off we were called back to get him.  My husband was about 5 minutes to his job when he had to turn around.  How irritating but he got him.  Daycare stated he had to stay out until he had no visible signs of anything happening to him.  So we dove into parent mode and found a sitter to keep him.  We called the daycare to inform her that the girls would still be coming about 630pm.  At 1139pm I get a text message that states that your children are no longer welcome back at daycare.  Let me help you out, this was at 1139.  I don’t know where you live in your part of the world but most daycare facilities are not open to do tours and to get kids placed in.  We went into a brief panic.  I immediately told my husband let’s pray because God got us and this. Was I upset?  Um, most definitely.

How do you text a family at 1139pm?  Like not for nothing, how is that possible?  We have always been on time with payment as we do not get any assistance.  We have always followed her rules.  How do you text someone when you had the opportunity to say they couldn’t return at 10 am at pick up that day.  Even at the 630pm call that could have been stated but nope you go from it being okay to none of your children are welcome.  This is a common virus not someone who has AIDS or HIV and knowingly affects others.  This is a virus like any other virus.  When a child is at school and a virus goes around, do you expel the first child that shows symptoms?  No.  I can’t believe that a daycare facility would be this ignorant in how they operate.  SO yeah this is where we are with them.

The first thing I thought about was my kids.  We had been with the same daycare for over 3 years.  How can someone kick them out of daycare because other kids had contracted a virus. There was no way to say it came from my kids just because they were the first to show signs.  My oldest who lives with us obviously didn’t get the virus.  If 2 other kids got it just like kids viruses, they come and go.  One thing I have learned with putting kids in daycare is that it’s a cess pool of germs.  When my kids was home with me full-time they didn’t have these issues.  I thought about how attached all of my kids had been to the daycare. I thought about the growth they had experienced.  How hurt they would be when they woke up to have to literally change their schedules. I was devastated.  I don’t break easily but this moved me.  I had to tell my kids when they woke up and the looks on their face made the sting that much harder.  My son kept saying it was his fault since he got sick.  I had to reassure him that it wasn’t the case.  We never told him why he was kicked out we just kept it that its time for change and that change is hard.  I do not think kids should have to absorb adult issues and I refuse to allow that to happen now.

Now if you know me you should know that I do NOT play when it comes to my kids.  I have already made the necessary calls that I need to on my and their behalf.  I will let karma get her but whatever is in my power to do I will. I will not sit and idly let another person or business take advantage of anyone like this.  This was one of the most unprofessional things I have seen in quite some time. You do not do people like that and expect any good to come back your way.  I do know that she will get hers and I’m not wishing evil on her but it is what it is.  Karma gives you what you deserve.

Although the kids have someone keeping them temporarily so we can get through this work week, it’s hard to see how sad my kids have been when I pick them up.  I know kids bounce back like nothing after a while but they are kids and they have a right to be disappointed.  I can’t imagine what their little hearts are feeling since I know the anger that I feel now.  Trust me I know I will let it go that’s what I am supposed to do but that will come with time.  Once I get them in a place that they love then I will be relieved.  Until that time I am on edge everyday about their care.  I am a good mom and I do not belief in having kids just watched.  I need my children to have continued education stimulation with play. So we are almost at the breaking point of finding them care.  I am glad about that, but it still makes me sad that we had to do so like this.

Publicly I will not release the name of the daycare, but for the ones that have asked I have graciously given a very bad review of what we have gone through and some other little things that we have experienced as well.  Like I said this momma bear doesn’t play and I know in time that my kids will be back to their bubbly selves.  In the meantime we are just loving on them more and working through their anxiety as they transition.  The family will arise from this, but until then healing takes time.  My son’s scabs fell off the next morning after the 1139 pm text.  He is physically fine and that is a blessing.  For parents who may have found themselves in a horror story for daycare I get it.  This is the first time anything like this has happened to our family and it will be the last if I can help it.

Throwback Thursday to my Former Life

Shout out to all of the SAHM (stay at home moms).  Shout out to my working moms too. Yes shout out to each and every one of you.  Yesterday I had to stay home with my youngest due to an ear infection.  If you have a child and they have an ear infection you know that’s like the end of the world to them.  Oh and did I mention she is 2?  Yup, if you add an ear infection to the downfalls of the terrible two’s you should just stop what you are doing and hold a vigil for me.  Yes now to my readers who do not have children, kudos to you and let me explain right off the bat that I love all 3 of my children but they are work.  If you never read a blog by me and are looking for one of those power puff girl responses about my day at home with a sick 2-year-old, do yourself a favor and stop reading.  Click off and click off now.  Why?  I am real and my 2-year-old sent me to my wine bottle and she made me question everything about being a mom in less than 24 hours.

Dealing with my 2-year-old lately has been almost like being hazed.  I don’t condone it or make the rules but that’s about what it is boils down to.  She is sassy and direct and I love that about her personality.  However the down fall to that is that her demands although normal for her age are quite a lot to take in.  She is in control and we are attempting to teach her and make it out alive.  No really we are.  She is the last of our clan and she knows it.  So let’s start with normal meltdowns that toddlers experience. They ask for a snack you give them one and what happens?  They don’t want it.  What?  No you didn’t just reject this good snack?  But sadly she does and did yesterday. Everything was on a thousand.  I get it.  If my ear was ringing and paining I too would be less stellar but let’s keep it real as parents it’s hard to practice more patience all the time.  So back to snack land I go until now I have to eat the snacks to not have them wasted.  Did she actually eat a snack?  Of course not!!

Now I was a stay at home mom for 3 years straight. Then I went back to work and had to do it for another few months.  It was great.  I had set lessons for my kids, I had warm meals on the table and a fairly clean house on a good day.  However being a stay at home mom is the toughest job there is.  No one gets the lack of adult interactions that stay at home moms have.  Its like being in a bubble and the only thing you have is your kids and noodles stuck in your hair.  It’s hard work.  Long gone are the days where stay at home moms get to watch soap operas daily and eat chocolates. No even the basic of stay at home moms have it hard too. Can you imagine having to put a child that refuses to sleep and still have a load of laundry and dinner to put on the stove?  Yes if you are doing it right the balance never seems to fit.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, because I did it and did it well. However on the flip if you aren’t the type that is intentional in keeping your sanity you can and will lose yourself quickly. You will hear your kids doing things when you finally do get a moment to yourself.

Mommy guilt is real and trust me every emotion I felt when I was home with the kids came rushing back.  I was so hands on playing with my daughter’s friends.  By friends I mean Mickey, Minnie, and Donald while trying to get her to do simple tasks like eat or at least drink.  I was in the moment when we colored.  I was in the moment when we did flash cards. How hard was it?  When my husband was on his way home I had 2 glasses of wine. Why? I like wine and after the first sip it felt like I was in a sea of beautiful flowers.  It didn’t matter if I didn’t have the house clean.  All that mattered was there was a hot meal on the table and I had managed not to flip out from all of the ups and downs.  I had managed to count to 10 when my 2-year-old knocked the cup of water down purposely.  I had managed to do pick ups with the older two as my 2-year-old cried non stop without taking a breath because she didn’t want to wear a seat belt.  I had managed after she got out of the seat belt to safely pull over and re-tighten her belt and keep driving.  Now grant it I went back to work whistling because I knew that my daycare provider had her.  It was only one 2-year-old but if you have had to watch a 2 year old you know they are like little confused adults.

I love my kids and would make the sacrifice to be a stay at home mom if I had to that has been proven now twice.  I love being home with them but I am an honest woman.  I know that they can have more mood swings than a little bit.  I know if I am honest with myself that little people can drive you crazy even if it’s for a few moments.  I think with motherhood whether you are a stay at home mom or not motherhood is 24 hours.  Even now at work I am calculating what it will take to get home, get dinner done, get my oldest to practice, etc. It never stops.  In the world where we act and pretend like it’s just a walk in the park than when other moms step into it and overwhelmed we make them feel like hey you got pregnant suck it up. No.  If you are a mom and you are reading this understand that I get it. You love them but you really have to sometimes lock yourself in a room for a few minutes so you regain your thoughts and come out and do it right.  I would rather a mom do that then to snap and kill her kids.  You know if we talked candidly about these things that we all will go through people won’t feel so isolated.  To my moms stay at home, and full-time working moms I get it.  We are not perfect and I for one won’t pretend to have it together.  I may have to revisit the wine store cause the bottle is gone. Why?  Cause simply I did what I needed to do with my kids and that was be present and put my frustrations to the side.  My reward, Moscato and happy kids.  Now that’s real. Stay strong fellow moms.  To the ones that are thinking about having kids please understand that life isn’t like it is on television.  One day is never the same as the next.  Count up the cost.  I wouldn’t have it any other way because the love I have for my children is strong. However  I am woman enough to say that they drive me to start off each day with fresh eyes.  Parenting is frustrating and rewarding.