Self Care/Self Improvement

September is a lot of things.  I don’t know what it is about September but its a jammed pack month.  However this month is self-care and self-improvement month.  So if you follow this blog, and on any social media feed I am always pushing self care.  I think it’s becoming a thing or a term that is thrown out a lot but not a lot of people understand what that means.  Although it can mean different things to the person who is using it, the bottom line is you have to care and love yourself enough to engage in what YOU need or disengage in the things YOU don’t want to be involved in.

The opportune word is YOU.  That is essentially what self-care is all about.  Only you can determine what you need or what you don’t need.  For instance I can go to an event and if I am ready to go I position myself to know what type of environment I am going to be in to know if I should drive myself or not even for family events.  I try to in the instance of family events to stay as long as possible especially since my husband attends my side of events without issue and I do the same for his side of his family events.  However depending on what the event is he and I have it set that if one of us is not wanting to stay longer to communicate and make an exit.  If the individual wants to stay than its fine too but we make sure that no one person can put pressure to stay longer than mentally capable.  Sometimes walking away, leaving, or excusing yourself is self care.  I literally refuse to stay in a place I do not want to be in.  I used to feel guilty however I have learned to do whats best for me.  Self care may be not attending an event.  I can’t tell you how many times I have not gone to something because I may have needed to relax or do my own thing.  I may have needed not to be in an environment that is toxic.  I happily will decline an invitation at this point.  If asked I will say sorry but not sorry I can’t attend.  A part of self care especially for me is realizing I am an adult I don’t owe individuals an explanation.  If someone sends an invite its my decision to politely decline.

Another part of self-care is knowing when enough is enough.  I had someone contact me. I didn’t even respond.  I knew I may have responded wrong or come off as if whatever was done in the past was an issue when reality is the person didn’t add or take away from my life.  However silence is always golden and I didn’t even need to engage so I didn’t.  It doesn’t have to make sense but it was to continue in my peace.  Anything that will have you mentally up in arms I don’t engage in.  Anything where I would give more than 15 minutes to hash out is probably not for me.  That’s why I am clear and don’t go back and forth with adults.  There is no need to.  That is a right that I have earned from stepping into adulthood.  I can’t think of a reason for back and forth at this point in my life.  I can agree to disagree and still go home and love on the ones I interact with daily.  I can even disagree with the ones in my home without messing up the atmosphere of my home.

Self care may look like disconnecting.  I am a lover of social media but I take small breaks away from it.  Yes its great for pushing my blog, interacting with family, but sometimes it can be doing the most so I disconnect.  I had a situation where I was arguing with a family member that I would have argued with offline but the point was, online for what?  That one was on me.  I was offended, but so what offenses will come. The world didn’t need to know that I was mad.  I could have handled that better so I take ownership of it and will not allow it to happen again.  I simply state what I feel and if someone comments, oh well.  There are probably screenshots of that very conversation floating around and for what?  So sometimes I don’t delete my social media that’s just crazy.   I am in control.  I never understood why adults can’t simply just not get on an app but that could be a part of their self-care so it is what it is. It’s no different from deleting or blocking.  I could just not engage but for me blocking works.  For me its simple my rule is simple I don’t socially block who I wouldn’t block in real life.  I check my block lists every now and again and if I sit and engage with you than no need to block you.  If I don’t and don’t plan on breaking bread with you, and I block your access to my real life, you can stay blocked on social media.  I don’t need a door opened where I wouldn’t give you access to me otherwise.  So no you don’t need to know about what me and my kids do when I don’t even reach out to you, talk to you, text you, email you, etc and don’t want to.  Its simple.  My life is simple these days because of the steps I take to keep it that way. Do you know the quietness but fullness of life I still have?  Trust.

Self care and self-improvement by far is the biggest goal in life outside of raising healthy children and having a good marriage between my husband and I.  It’s self-care daily practices that I use ALL the time.  I buy myself weekly flowers, I love them and they make me happy.  I journal daily because it keeps me grounded.  I work out 2-3 days a week because I am maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it keeps stress down.  I will go to bed and be okay with my husband putting the kids to sleep because I don’t have to do it all.  I can take a mental time out because that is what is necessary for me.  I can make sure that I am engaging in the little things that make me strong and healthy.  Please find that out for yourself and instead of engaging in bad behavior. Find and engage in what is going to make you a better person.  Also remember it may not make sense to a single soul, but if it makes sense to you, is keeping you grounded, positive, and hurts no one else than do it.

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For self-improvement we all can improve on ourselves, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.  Everyday you should be striving to be better than your last.  With that in mind I don’t really ever feel like I have fully accomplished my goals.  I may complete some of them but there’s always another goal right in its place.  Even in relationships I know there will come a time where the relationships that need mended will mend.  The ones that don’t won’t. Everything is up to be changed and I am more than willing to walk in that change.  You have to do the same for what your life needs.

So again as this month is supposed to encourage you to be about self care and self improvement.

Ask Toi: I got questions….

So because I haven’t been doing a good job in answering questions that come in publicly so today is an Ask Toi drop.  I am answering a series of questions publicly that I have already answered readers privately.  Looks like some of you had some personal ones for me too, that’s fine.  If you have a question remember you can ask it at toitimeblog@gmail.com

  1. Have you ever gotten into a fight with a woman over your husband? No and yes. When I was in undergraduate school I have gotten into some verbal tussles even though I knew basically my husband aka boyfriend at the time was the one who had gotten me into the situation in the first place.  There was a girl on campus who he tried to talk to in the very early stages of our situationship at the time.  We were not an item but my thing is I didn’t take too kindly to him pushing up on the girl and the girl and I lived in the same dorm.  I didn’t verbally attack her, she was pretty and I definitely saw what he saw.  However I let the both know at the same time in front of others that I wouldn’t be the one playing a back and forth game.  He must have agreed because as far as I knew it stopped that day.  Another time on campus he took a number from a woman and the woman knew we were dating.  I blamed him for that and let him have it.  However my friends and I still call her a little nick name and I let her know that I wasn’t the one for the undercutting.  Since then its been little petty things prior to marriage.  At this point in my life, we have known each other too long, I ain’t fighting.  I’ll go Lemonade and he will “lose his wife.”
  2. Have you ever lost a job and if so how did you handle it?  I was only laid off on one job when I had my daughter.  They laid off about 40 others at the same time.  It was hard.  My oldest daughter had asthma and I had to be off a lot to take care of her.  I believe in my entire heart that is why they allowed me to be in the number to be let go.  However it was the best thing in the way to happen to me.  I got engaged a week before, I was able to take care of my daughter full-time, and it pushed the move to Philly that helped to shape me into a better version of myself today.  Now back to how I handled it, at first I was pissed.  Technically I could have gotten an attorney.  I just completed my paperwork to protect me from the very thing they were doing but at the time I had too much on my plate and didn’t feel like going back and forth.
  3. What should I do if I feel like I am burned out from my job? First you need to do some soul-searching.  Are you burned out due to the fact that you shouldn’t be there any longer? Sometimes we stay in places we shouldn’t and then wonder why we are burned out.  You may have stayed longer than you need to be.  It may be time to find a new career path or a new job.  Anytime you are in a parking lot crying or willing yourself to a place you are in the wrong place.  You may just need to take a few days off.  Even if you can’t go anywhere, a staycation is what you need to get your spirits together.  Over working yourself is never a good thing.  So make sure you place breaks and stops in your work and home balance.
  4. If your man hasn’t proposed should you stay?  This is something that ONLY you can determine.  You have to balance what makes sense.  If you have only been together for a few months, marriage shouldn’t be in your horizon so soon.  I truly believe staying with a person through at least all of the seasonal changes is ideal.  You need to get a sense of how that person deals when they are angry, upset, hurt, or feel betrayed as a few examples.  These things still look like Power Puff Girl cartoons in the early stages when men are still in the impress you stage.  So get to know a person.  I am not one for giving an ultimatum.  I think as a woman you need to give yourself one.  If you say that you have been with this man long enough and you have stayed through the tears and fears and he just won’t put a ring on it, make a date in your mind and stick to it.  Do NOT share this date with anyone but yourself. You don’t need your friends in your ear telling you a bunch of stuff they WON’T do if they were in your shoes. You don’t need a please don’t leave me ring either. It should be genuine.  I had a date in my mind and my now husband never got to it. We have been married for 5 years.  If you can’t keep a promise to yourself on a date and stick to it, telling him won’t change that either.  That is why the ultimatum to yourself is more important.  If you tell him the date you will leave if he don’t do, you will regret it because you will always wonder if he did it for you to stay or not.
  5. If sex is a deal breaker how can you tell a man this without hurting his ego?  You can’t.  Sorry but not sorry a man and his sex is a package deal.  For some men its there one go to.  So to tell a man who the sex isn’t good and he’s not pleasing you will not go over well.  I am not saying that many people haven’t had this talk and it worked out, I am saying is that they will be bruised.  IF they love you they will try to step it up.  However when you say that sex is a deal breaker this means to me that you have had the talk and no matter what is being said it’s not working in the bedroom and now you are ready to leave and find the one where sex is amazing with.  Be careful and make sure that is what you want.  Sex is important.  I don’t buy into the whole sex is secondary bit especially in a committed relationship or marriage.  When you speak of staying with one person and not cheating than sex should be satisfying and it should be for both partners.  I have dated a man in the PAST where sex wasn’t even close to be satisfying.  I left.  It was a personal decision for me and I was fine with making it.  I was honest and I tried to make it work after I had “the talk” but it didn’t work.  I was crystal clear in letting that man know that if I stayed knowing the sex wasn’t working I would cheat and I felt it more honorable to leave than to stay.  He may not have liked it or agreed with me but again it should be satisifying for both.

Life Lessons from a Former Stay at Home Mom

Listen having a child is a Christmas miracle. It is not to be taken for granted. Every time I hear of a Mom who lost their life-giving birth it hurts my heart. Women and their bodies go through the most to bring forth children that you hope will be productive citizens.

As a former stay at home mom I got lost many days. Between food on my clothes and wipes in my hand I had no idea what days were what at times. I learned so much about myself that I thought I had mastered until I was home with tiny humans who needed me for everything and I STILL apply the lessons to this day.  Even if you don’t have kids these are all lessons we can gleam from:

1. Time outs are not just for kids

Yes it’s okay to take a mental time out. I found I got mine when the kids went down for a nap. Now that I am back to working full-time I find that I have to push to get a time out but they are super necessary. You need to sometimes unplug and catch your breath. Life throws curb balls and in order to be ready I need a clear mind. Take a break and catch your sanity.

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2. Keep yourself fabulous

This is hard in this age at times as body issues and time can sometimes not be on our side but the years I spent complaining about what I looked like I could have done better by getting my entire life together. Listen in my stay at home days I couldn’t afford nail and salon appointments so I had to get creative. There are alternatives but keeping yourself “up” isn’t about a spouse or the world. It’s about you. It’s also for the little people who are watching you and taking in what you say and more of what you do. Hard times don’t have to show up in our appearance. My mother and I lived in a shelter and everyday she spoke over us to not look like where we lived. Has anyone not known we didn’t even look displaced. That takes strength even with your strength is depleted. Thank you Mom for that lifetime jewel.

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3. Exercise your NO muscles

Do you know how many times you have to tell a child no? Too many to keep track. Why do you get as an adult and feel like you on a yes choir?! No is powerful and one of the first words we learn as a child but is sometimes the hardest to exercise.  Your no is valuable but you have to use it. NO you can’t get up and do for another able-bodied adult. NO you can’t be used today. NO you can’t be a punching bag physically or mentally. NO! Use it! It will save you time, stress, and heartache.

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4. Have a plan and work a back up plan

All moms know what I mean when you have a toddler with a soiled outfit but no extra outfit. In life you will need the same plan. Things fall but you don’t have to fall with it. Failure isn’t failure until you give up or in whichever you allow first. Get up and work!

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life is life.  Its designed to change at a moment’s notice.  Do not waste your energy or time on things that you can’t change.  Unless you are a breastfeeding mom, don’t cry over spilled milk.  If you take the hurt and pain to channel that into positivity your day will be that much better.

There are times when life will be super rough. Like 3.36 in your account, Ramen noodle eating, marriage on the brink, need a vibrator, and deadlines at work type of tough.  It will seem to be closing in at any given moment. However it’s not what’s happening to you that is the issue it’s what you allow in your response that matters. Get up, get dressed, care about life, work your plan, back it up and if your back is against the world well stand and make something happen.

Mother’s Day Gift Giving Guide

Mother’s Day is around the corner literally and the struggle to get mom the perfect gift is on.  I have a few suggestions to help you along the way, but first let’s think what would mom want.  The gift that you give should be about making mom smile.  No amount of gifts will ever pay your mom or even can contribute to the amount of love that your mom gives to you and has given to you.  But be creative and think about HER.  This is the time to make her smile.  Do not get your mom anything related to health unless she has requested it.  I am a fit mom or trying to be it would not offend me because I am actively on that journey.  However showing up with a fitbit for a mom who is not ready for that or hasn’t expressed it could send mom into a whirlwind.  She may need it but the day is for things SHE wants.  Tread light on gifts that could be offensive.  Moms are still women and women and their body image is an issue.  Let mom get to a point than support her but Mother’s Day may not be the time.

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  1. Flowers-even if your mom gives you the whole I don’t want or need anything nothing says thanks than a flowers.  They are a simple but thoughtful gesture that makes everyone’s day.  There are flower stands all over the place even some along the road.  Don’t go to moms without any.
  2. Hand written notes even in cares are still appreciated.  Moms want to know what’s on your heart.  Cards are beautiful and a lot of moms save them but your words are best.
  3. Gift cards-If you get them and they can be gotten just about anywhere at least make sure they are stores she likes.  Please do not get her something that you want.  That is not cool. Let mom do her thing and shop and get what she wants.
  4. Macaroni Pictures-these are okay if your child is in elementary school, however if you are grown and you are making her something let it be from the heart and not something you scribbled down last-minute.  She is worth energy in your creativity.
  5. Upgrades-if you plan on getting mom a tablet or new phone do try to program it and spend some time helping her operate it.
  6. Church-moms love seeing their kids in church.  So go if you can.  Expect the parking lots to be full between Mothers day, Easter and Christmas these are high church times.
  7. Food-get upgraded favorites.  This is the time where mom can indulge in a few tasty treats.  Chocolate is good so make it a good purchase for her.  She would appreciate it.
  8. If you have small children and even if you’re co-parenting, she may not be your mom but you can help your child or children get her something nice. Kids don’t have jobs but they do understand getting mom something.  Don’t disappoint your child trying to “stick” it to your child’s mother.  You may not like her but you laid down and had a baby honor her for the work she puts in when you don’t have the responsibility of having to do most of the care for your child.
  9. Give mom a break-do you know that allowing her to go out WITHOUT the kids for a few hours is a gift in itself.  How about a nap?  How about dinner cooked if you don’t want to brave the restaurants?  Anything that takes the load off of her would be super appreciated.
  10. Pampering-if your mom loves a little manicure or pedicure or maybe she’s so busy handling it all that she doesn’t have the time, a certificate to get these things done is great, or make her appointment and take her there.  Relaxation is always a great idea.

The idea is taking some time to love on mom.  Don’t make it about you.  Make it about her.  Give her a break. Show up with flowers.  There are so many that wish they could give flowers to their mom and instead will have to give flowers on a grave.  While you still have her, shower her with love and gifts.  She deserves them!! Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies that put in that hard work when appreciation is far and few!!!

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Mother’s Day Do NOTS

So yes it’s Mother’s Day and the day can be super beautiful however there are a few things you don’t want to do:

  1. If a woman isn’t pregnant or at least hasn’t confirmed it with you, do NOT ask her when she is ready to have some.  Not every woman wants a kid.  This day can actually be hard for women who have been trying to have kids and for whatever reason can’t.  It’s simple, don’t ask about another woman’s uterus.  Let me help you out further, its called MIND YOUR BUSINESS.  It doesn’t matter if it your daughter in law, cousin, etc do NOT ask.  It’s non of your concern.  You are not helping by asking.  You are being OFFENSIVE.  I said it and it’s true.  MIND your own business.
  2. Don’t call mom-everyone knows you have to at least call.  So for those who still have her here, call her.  There are moms who have strained relationships that don’t get calls from their kids even on these types of days.  Its unfortunate.  You and your mom don’t have to agree but you can agree to say thanks and hi.
  3. Please refrain from male bashing.  I know it’s mom day and its a day of reflection. Some use this day to come at the father of their kids to remind him of what you do. Let me give you some advice, that man knows and some how will not care.  Stop wasting your energy on him.  Enjoy your day.  Yes you do a lot or even all of the work, but coming at his neck won’t make him realize the error of his ways. Tagging him all day on social media won’t either.  If you have been fine this far without him, keep it pushing.  Why even give him your energy?!
  4. Do not give your kids a hard time about the gifts gotten.  There is a mom would love your portion.  Stop with the pressure.  Not everyone can afford to lavish their mom with diamonds.  I love my mom and if I had it like that I would give her the world. However some moms make it a big extra where the giving comes from a place of not wanting to hear your mouth over real desire to show love.  Take it easy on your family and loved ones.  It’s not a competition.
  5. Chain mom posts.  We are beautiful mom, the tag a beautiful mom is not needed. We all work hard.  We all provide constant love for those who choose to.  Do not send chain texts.  We ALL know what day it is.  I am surrounded by a lot of amazing women in my life and a great network of mom friends.  I actually send them individual texts if I don’t call.  I know they are all being loved on but individual texts makes it more personal.  Not only that 9 times out of 10 you don’t even change the name and they know.  If you love them like that, them send them amazing text messages and leave it at that.

This is a simple list.  There are probably a dozen more things you SHOULD know.  Rule of thumb is to make sure you do for mom what you want someone to do for you.  That is the golden rule anyway.  Love on mom and leave drama at home.  Even if you and mom aren’t in full speaking terms its best to call or drop by and leave than to stay and mess up both of your day.

Lastly Mother’s Day is always best when dads who are around participate.  Nothing is more beautiful than a man showing his children how they need to honor their mother. My husband has lost his mom but the kids saw what they needed to do to honor me even at the point of death.  Teaching is always happening.  It’s important for kids to know how to make it work.  So do your part!!

Continue reading “Mother’s Day Do NOTS”

The wind has been taken out of our sail….

So as mother’s day comes I always have been in mind of those who do not have their mom.  It is a hard thing. It doesn’t matter if the relationship between you and your mom was the worst on the planet, everybody needs their mom. Outside of Christmas, this time of the year is one of the most hardest times for people.  This year to our surprise we are dealing with the same.  My mother in law passed this past November and it seemed as if life has most definitely changed.

My husband is going to experience his first mother’s day without his mom.  Today I need to put my thoughts to paper and honor her at the same time.  When she passed it happened so fast. There was no moments to breath.  She got sick just about a few days after her birthday in July and never really returned home outside of maybe a day or two. During this time the kids were in the middle, too young to understand but wanting to know why they couldn’t see their mom mom when they wanted to.  Regardless of past times when our relationship was rocky I prided myself on always keeping an open door with her concerning the kids.  If her and the kids requested to see her we made it happen.  This was in addition to regular visits and daily phone calls.  We lived together for quite some time.  As with any mother in law and daughter in law relationship the struggle to be in charge was there.  Its hard in my opinion for two women to live under one room.  Our common ground was always the kids.  If she wanted to do something for the kids as long as it didn’t go against their diet as far as their allergies I was okay with it. She always forgot what they could an couldn’t eat.  She wanted to be able to give them anything and everything she had.  Sometimes it was my need to assert that I was there mom in the way.  Other times it was the “you live here” that got in the way.

Her love for her son was unmatched.  Often times the thin line between separating the relationship of him as a son and him as a father and husband seemed to be the issue if ever there was.  However she loved her son and he loved her.  He is an only child.  We meaning my friends and I and his friends always made fun of him because of it.  He would be the poster boy for the picture perfect momma’s boy.  He hated the term.  He in his mind wanted to be the boy who loved his momma instead.  He was there for her.  She had been sick for quite some time off and on and thus it prevented him in ways from moving away after he graduated college.  She needed him.  So as someone who was fully aware of their relationship before marriage I knew what to expect.  There were conversations between he and I about what I expected in a relationship.  It was never a thing for me to interfere with theirs.  They had their own challenges.  Often times even she wanted my opinion on why he wasn’t as close to her at times.  I remained the same, staying out of it. You know things go, if I speak up on something I would become the bad person and I had went through that once.  I am a quick learner so I quickly hit stage left in the middle of their arguments.  She and I had our trying times.  When we moved out it got much better. It took me some time to visit.  I needed space and I needed it to be on my terms.  I needed time to restore the peace and I wanted it to be because I wanted to come not because I felt obligated.  She felt like I should have just come just because she requested and she was right in some regards. However I needed it to come from a good place and not forced.  I do not and still do not feel that relationships with people should come from title alone.  Love and respect have tobe mutal and sometimes respect earned from both parties to make it work.  You can’t love someone you don’t respect.

In spite of it all, the time apart paid off.  I found we texted more often.  She called more often.  She asked me to come over usually to do stuff but in that she opened up more. It was a relationship forming.  As she got sicker and had to be in and out of the hospital I stepped up as a daughter in law making sure the doctors were doing what they said.  I even almost came to blows with one doctor.  My thing was making sure she had the same treatment as my own mother.  No one wants to be mistreated in hospitals and nursing homes.  During this transition I did what I always did in the background, let marques be a son.  It was his season to do so.  He needed to be there for her.  His job and his family became secondary.  I would have it no other way.  As I look back it was the best thing. Had I put pressure on him he would regret me.  He is already dealing with enough my antics wasn’t needed and I gave him none.  She needed him and in those moments I just watched.  I tried not to ask too many questions.  Just not stressing him was what he needed.  On the faithful day that she took her last breath, I had gotten to the room and had some alone time with her before others arrived.  She and I just talked a week before alone.  She planned to make my favorite meal, pepper steak when she got home.  She wanted me to get the kids Christmas gifts too.  She wanted me to plan a trip to Disney World.  She laid it out there. However at this one on one moment she no longer could tell me what she wanted.  I sat quiet because I had no idea what I was supposed to say.  I just kept telling her that I would look over her son and grandkids.  I told her that I loved her. I was glad that she and I had a really long talk the week before and said love you to each other.  She told me that I wasn’t the issue.  She just wanted to be included and felt like she wouldn’t be and that she and I can talk about what boundaries she would agree on. That was her way of saying let’s make it better.  I took notes, but sadly I watched scared to death as she took her last breath holding my husbands hands that got weak.  I am afraid of death.  I don’t even go to funerals like I probably should.  But I was there.  I still see images of the whole thing unfolding.  However it was peaceful even though it was hard.

At the funeral the part that broke me was that my son who is and was super close to her had been out-of-pocket all morning.  When they wheeled her out of the church he screams somebody get me my mom mom.  I broke.  I was trying to be strong for the house but in that moment reality set in.  The woman who wanted to be there for everything was gone.  My world was changing.  I felt guilty too.  My mom was at the funeral sitting what felt like forever away from me and I wanted and needed her.  I couldn’t calm my son.  He was besides himself and rightfully so.  I ran to my own mother. I just needed to hold her.  I felt bad and still do for my husband.  He is doing as well as he can be these days.  This year I plan on going to my moms the day before so I can be there for him all day Sunday.  I pray that although his lost is great that he will find comfort in knowing that he did all he could for her.  He was there for her.  He loved her and she loved him.  I pray peace and love in his heart this year.

My family and when I say that I mean my immediate family the ones I live with have been hurting since she left.  We know she’s in our hearts but there are times when thing happen and we remember that she would have loved to be there.  We remember she would have had something to say about whatever was going on.  I haven’t taken her number and name out of my phone. Sometimes it comes up when I go to call my own mom.  Her influence in my life will never go away.  I have shared tears, arguments, food, and living space with someone.  I love her and I miss her.

 

Here are the lessons I learned from my mother in law,

  1. Bills-Pay them on time and keep accurate records.  When I tell you as we went through the things that were left behind she kept her bills from the 90s.  She was always calling making sure she watched every coin that left her account.  She made sure her money was together.
  2. Love-she loved her son and when she passed it was like she passed the torch to me. She showed me what it was really like.  When I leave my kids daily I am more careful of the interactions I have with them. I go above to make sure I say I love them and give hugs and kisses.  I want that if I should not return for their last memories of me to be that of a loving mother, not a mother who was too busy.  My husband’s mom worked for 40 years at Social Security and as a single mom, she still made time and everyone around her knew her son was her pride and joy.
  3. She was strong-although she may have been wrong she was strong in her convictions.  If she believed it was so, she made sure that others knew it too.  I doubt there was anyone in the family who didn’t know where she stood.  Even the ones who may have to say hey that don’t make sense, they knew she wasn’t changing her mind that easily.
  4. Family-she believed in it. This one is a struggle for me.  She knew when people were using her, or if and when others wouldn’t drop everything for her when she needed it but she still was there.  She talked often about doing for her family and how she just wanted everyone to get together more.  She loved family.  I admired that about her.  I had a hard time opening up and letting others in.  It’s usually had to do with once I do and then they do something to hurt me I would push them away so I wouldn’t feel that way again.  She always put herself out there regardless.
  5. Worry-she was one that worried a lot.  Watching her having all kinds of desires that she wanted to happen let me know now to stop putting things off until another day. She wanted to get a new car, travel, and she was retired.  A large part was her health that held her back.  Sometimes it was just thinking if she did for herself in one area it would cause another issue in another area.  She always told me not to do that.

As this Mother’s Day comes along, the memory of Deborah Ann Wilson-Storr shines bright.  For that I honor her!!  Happy Mother’s Day in heaven and thank you for leaving love here on Earth in Marques and your grandkids!!

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.