Ask Toi: Is it Right that my Boyfriend of 3 years Family Didn’t Invite me to His Birthday Dinner?

Yes this is wrong.  You are not a random girl that he has been dating.  3 years is more than enough time for them to have included you in a birthday dinner.  I would talk with your boyfriend as he knows his family more than you would as to the snub.  Was it assumed you would be there therefore no formal invite took place?  When I was dating my husband they just told me where it was going to be since I was a fixture in his life it wasn’t a discussion of if but when.

How is the relationship with the family?  What underlying issues are happening that you are aware of?  Sometimes we not there is salt in a wound and if given an oppportunity would snub them just the same.  If that is the case and you want to be included than you have to sit down and have a talk with whomever is the matriarch or patriarch of the family and iron out some differences.  However if your boyfriend has any sense than he has already spoken on your behalf. My personal rule is to always allow the person whose family it is to talk it out at first.  I am hoping it was just an assumption.  How did you hear about the party?  This is key too.  If his mom told you but sent no formal invite by mail then its safe to say you just need to go and celebrate your man.  Is it a surprise? Then speak again to whomever is throwing the party and go from there.  Sometimes taking the first step in communication will be beneficial.

Ask Toi: I recently overheard a song that I used to share with an ex, my current boyfriend thinks I should stop singing it, what should I do?

Nothing.  It’s a song.  There is nothing that your current boyfriend can do with the fact that you have a memory with an ex.  It’s life.  We all have them.  I have them.  The point is to see it as a memory only and keep moving.  As long as you aren’t throwing the song or any memory in his face, he will be okay.  He may just be upset because he feels that another man has shared something he hasn’t.  My thing is that is the way dating works. You will never really share everything with one person.  There is space although small that we all bring in from someone else.  It’s no different from a cologne or perfume smell.  It’s all a memory.  It reminds me of the song by Jill Scott, “Cross my mind.”  In the song she talks about a memory in the form of her ex’s cologne and she attempted to have the next one smell like the last but it stunk.  Everything isn’t for everybody.  It really isn’t. Your boyfriend has memories of other women he just happened to know about one of yours and it stung him a bit.  He will be fine.  Let him know that there is nothing to be worried about and let that be that.

To the part where you should stop singing unless you have a mic or a made up mic and are literally in his face with it, he will deal.  Songs come on.  I know of one of my husbands songs for his ex and I just mention it and move on.  I have songs for my exs and it is what it is.  I don’t sing it like I am attempting to make American Idol but its a memory good or bad and it fades.

The Mirage is really A smoke Screen

People, good people, good morning.  Listen let’s have a serious talk about what appears to be and what is.  We ALL have put out into the atmosphere our very best self.  We post the best pics out of the 100 we took.  We use filters because let’s face it they are pretty. However there is one thing that we all need to be reminded.  Everything that glitters isn’t gold.  This isn’t the first time we have heard it but let’s talk about it some more.

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We get caught up in the ideas about of what people put out. Some people post about solid marriages and have the most flakiest ones.  Being real is about being loud and yelling instead of just being honest and transparent.  Just because you yell you keeping it real doesn’t mean you are.  That’s a free nugget of wisdom for someone.  People struggle. Relationships and marriages struggle.  People don’t air out their dirty laundry or rather they shouldn’t.  We base our lives off of others and do less work on our own.  If you see a woman get flowers, you go home and complain you aren’t getting them.  However you haven’t expressed you wanted them before.  You don’t go and get them yourself because you enjoy them.  You are waiting, hoping that the man you are with will finally take this initiative and do and missing out on the love you really do and can give yourself.  You realize that if that love won’t measure up and you practice self-love, nature will separate you from what you don’t need to be with.  Again another freebie for you.

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Please learn to take some stock in YOUR life.  I give great advice but I try to eat and nibble on it before I give it.  I hold myself accountable.  For instance let me give you some realness.  I was having the worst anxiety attack.  I didn’t want to go to an event because I knew some of the people there I don’t vibe with.  I had to be reminded that its more than talk, I will NEVER vibe well with them.  I can’t live with brakes on.  SO I got dressed and made it happen.  I wanted to be in my defeated world and just go to bed.  I ended up having an amazing time.  The point is simple, it’s about getting past the hiccups with action and not just lip service.

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We have to get past our favorites smoke screens.  I love LL Cool J and Morris Chestnut and both are married.  Like my marriage there are days even with all of their fineness that their wives are ready to trip them because of something they did or didn’t do.  No different from my own marriage. I have friends who I look up to but when they close their doors they have things they are working out in their lives.  So you have to understand that and learn to live life on your own terms.  A lot of people selling this message of love your spouse, or job or life to the fullest don’t always mean they receive it or live it everyday.  Be careful who you put your highest stock on.  Everyone on your pedalstool will disappoint you if you don’t keep things into perspective.  No different from when the report of  America’s sweetheart Jesse Williams called it quits with his wife.  Everyone like lawd if they can’t make it what we gon do?  You gon get over it and make your marriage work.  You need to use the information to make yours solid.  Love harder, listen more, don’t take things for granted, etc  That’s what you do instead of attributing everything good and going into doom and gloom when it doesn’t add up.

Live your OWN best life!!

 

 

I Got You Ma…

Well where I live it’s about to be a nice 90 degrees.  This is a signal to every female of what to expect in the coming months.  It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, or an alien, if you are female the foolery is going to happen.  For my single ladies, this cat calling will confuse you if you don’t have your wits about you.  For some we can get cat called on daily but for those who may be a little rusty and looking to step back in the dating field, let me give you a few details to remember.

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I got you ma personality-this is the man with all of the promises in the world but NEVER comes through. Also watch for the ones who are hit and miss with the promises.  They were waiting on you to drop your drawers and didn’t want to go all in-trust me. I met a guy a million years ago that was like, I got you: nails, hair etc I ain’t seen him in a million years.  He was all talk.  It may seem like part of the game but there are a lot of cues to this type of man.  Look at if you get that far how he interacts with those around you.  If he is the flashy type of guy that makes it rain in the club but ain’t making it rain in his own home, there is a problem.  We all love to go out and have a good time but if you find the man you are entertaining is the type that don’t have his stuff together, run.  In your 20s living it up is what folks do,  but anything past 20s is screaming “run the hell away.” If this man can’t get your nails and hair done but keeps promising you, what are you wasting your time for? Not that you need him to do it. Let’s keep this real during the time I met the I got you ma man, I was at the nail and hair salon bi-weekly.  So his donations weren’t needed. I wasn’t the woman looking for a come up.  My momma already taught me how to maintain without a man.  So for the men on some oh she trying to get the ladies to be a gold digger you can relax that’s not even the case.  Be clear that a LOT of men will approach a woman especially when they think she and he are comfortable with the let me get you lies.  Women don’t even have to give it up.

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How many times has a man said I don’t care that you’re married?  Trust me a lot.  How many of them said I can get you whatever and you can look in their eyes and see they full of it?  A lot.  Ladies, you know I am telling the truth.  The problem is once you have gone out on a few dates we tend to forget that it’s all about the chase.  The I got you ma man isn’t staying around to really wine and dine you past getting the “cookie.”  So you have to see if that man’s words have weight. The game doesn’t change.  The issue is that some women will find that man who does make good on what he says and messes him over.  This does happen.  Be careful in the world of scammers.  Not all men are scammers but trust there are some.  Some men, will put only a little bait to see what you are willing to do.  You want the expensive restaurant, it’s going to cost you.  You want a new handbag, it’s going to cost you.  The cost to them is mere pennies to what it cost you to think you finally found the one and are left with a broken heart.  Unless a wet spot on some sheets is all you need than I say go for it!!

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I had a guy tell me he was going to buy this and that I have yet to see it but guess what, I bought it myself.  End of the day its simple, be your own boss.  Go to the table with more than hips and thighs.  You are not a value meal.  Learn to smile and give them a little snazziness back when they start talking that game.  Learn to weed out the losers that really just want to get laid.  Always remember as a woman when you walk away from one there is another so don’t waste your beautiful times on a bunch of lies.  Its warm, Summer is coming and skirts and dresses make these men lose their mind.  Don’t lose yours….

The Dirty Mirror

Well good morning.  We are all coming off from either a good Mother’s Day or one we would not rather talk about. It is evident in the posts I saw on social media. However let’s shift our gears a bit to relationships this morning.

You ever found yourself admiring another couple?  You love how they love on each other.  Love is supposed to be inspiring.  However inspiration is only a small part in life. I have found myself really admiring a couple to the point where you forget that people are human and just like you are working stuff out on your end they are too.  So here is the dilemma. How much can you take in for face value?  How much of what appears to come from someone or a relationship can we take as the real?  Up to this point I thought I had the whole premise of admiring from afar down pact but I found out that I may not.

So here I go my emotions all over the place in what I thought another couple was showing me.  So here’s today’s nugget, the grass is never greener on the other side.  Yes water your own but stop looking at the grass altogether.  I have to admit often times when you are looking at someone else, what others have, what you don’t have is because of your own insecurities.  How many times had I argued with my husband on what he doesn’t do when in reality I could do it myself.  Not on the level of I don’t need him but doing it for myself to show what I needed from him or anyone to be honest.  People treat you the way you treat you.  So during this new focus on myself I have changed that about me.  I am not looking at what someone can do for me.  I am not looking at other couple and picking at the parts that I like about them because their struggle to get to what I think I see may be flawed.  That is the lesson that I learned over the weekend.

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I have asked myself before I got married what I wanted.  However I never really explored the actual question past fantasy and whimsical things.  The things that I had set up in my head never went as planned.  Nothing has gone as planned.  I could use that as an out and say well it wasn’t meant to be and there is someone else for me.  The reality is no one knows if there is someone else out there for me.  I am not looking let’s be clear.  I am not taking applications.  I am simply noticing that if I treat my mate the way I want to be treated that if he doesn’t treat me in the same high regard than that alone will be what I will use to determine any changes in my marital status and not because he isn’t doing what another man is doing for his wife for me.  That other man can be showing the world all this love and literally could be going through hell behind the scenes.  Same with the woman.  I am learning to have my own expectations.  I am finding out what I do like and what I don’t like.  How about I am doing all this NOW.  This is something I encourage the ones that are not married to do while single.  This is dangerous to do while married but its better to do than to keep going and lying to yourself.  I am not suggesting that while I am doing this, I am finding that my husband is not measuring up. Right now he and I are fine. We are stronger actually than we have ever been and that speaks volumes.  This is about me.  However some other couples can go through this and find that they are no longer suitable.  Please single people figure this out before you get married.  This will save you some time.

What happens if I get to the end of this and find out that my husband and I don’t mesh, I don’t need to worry about that right now.  I believe we will be fine.  We will be fine because this is an important part of maturity. I would hate to have been such a nag, and prolong this out without knowing myself.  Relationships will change. I used to be upset at the thought but they are supposed to change.  I am not the same as I was when we got married almost 5 years ago and 3 children in.  I am different.  I am expected to change. The work gets harder in love.  Love and lovey dovey feelings aren’t the glue to hold it together. It’s about knowing yourself and working things out inwardly.  It requires faith to believe that love is meant to be.  It’s being okay and not falling apart just because it may not. I am not overly concerned about getting to the end so I can feel as if we are okay.  We are okay and that is all that matters.

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So for the other couples that are finding themselves in this wave, ride it out.  Through the ups and down you will find out that the person you looked starry-eyed at will be there and maybe they won’t.  If you are really doing the work on yourself you will find that if things do end it can be amicable and you can move on without carrying the weight of the what ifs.  You will know in your heart that you loved hard and did what you needed to do.  I am not scared in this process.  Oh and for those looking for cracks in my marriage, there are none. My husband and I talk about this more now than ever before.  I am not looking to get out, this is just how it needs to be.  Is it uncomfortable? In the beginning it was because I kept thinking the worst was going to happen. Not that we were or are going to divorce.  Divorce wasn’t the issue, being miserable in my own skin was. Not because I was unloved but because I needed to set my personal parameter on what respect, love, etc looked like for me.  I thought no one can go through this shift and survive it.  No one can began to question marriage and still be okay.  However life is what it is.  Questioning is not an issue, doing nothing and simply existing is the issue.  I needed to take charge of my love life and I am.  I have had moments where I wanted to talk to my friends about it but I choose not simply because there wasn’t any advice they can give me.  Even my married friends this wasn’t about getting everyone’s opinion. This was about my voice, my issues, handling this OUR way.

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For any couple in this shift, it’s okay. Every fear you have someone else has had.  For every question you ask, someone has asked those same questions.  You can love someone to infinity and beyond, but you have to be able to know you are giving that same love to yourself.  This will either propel your husband or wife to do the same or show you that they aren’t and never was.  Could I honestly say that my husband was doing all he can if I wasn’t?  No and there was the issue it started with me not him.  I don’t have all of the answers but I love that I have someone who sees the shift, embraces the shift, and we are doing our work together and although it seems as if it may being done separately it’s not.

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.

Protect your Babies-Step it up!

I was watching a video of a judge that was reprimanding a couple.  The mother of the child that was brutally beat and killed was held responsible too for the heinous death as she should be.  However the part that stuck out to me is the fact that while the mother was working the man was home not working.  Now do not confuse this with men being stay at home dads because the wife has a higher paying job. I understand that.  I was a full-time stay at home mom for many years.  The cost of daycare can be a person’s whole salary or very close to it.  Sometimes it’s not cost-effective to have two people working if the income coming in will not put a dent to anything.  If the man is the one making the less money it makes sense to have him stay at home and keep his kids no different from it is for a woman.  I do not think it makes him any less than a man to do so.  I would rather somebody be financially responsible than struggle any day when you don’t have to.

My issues aren’t with the stay at home dads but the fake stay at home dads we have in the society is who I am coming for.  You are not a stay at home dad because you don’t want to work and are comfortable with your woman taking care of you.  I don’t know where we strayed with the next generation but if there was ever an epic fail like it is today, men are missing it.  This is not a hate men blog.  No this is hey get it together blog. There is no need for any man sitting at home waiting on his woman to bring home a check while he does nothing.  You not even selling lemons on the highway?  Not flipping a burger?  My husband has worked 2 jobs to make things work.  Not because he wanted to but because he had to. You won’t be able to convince a real woman to a man not working is a good thing.  I have a wonderful father who barely took 5 days off of work since I was a preteen.  That speaks volumes.  My grandfather is in his 80s and he is “retired” but still works and does odd jobs like busting concrete and ground work.  For lazy men let me school you that means the government says you have earned your keep you can relax and he says naw son let me get out here so my wife can relax and make sure she good. His kids are grown.  He is still out here doing what needs to do to make sure there is steady money coming into his home.  I spoke to him last week and told him he really could give a few young cats a lesson on what hard work looks like. So from where I sit I am not here for no non working, sitting on his ass, don’t want to work but would rather play video game man.

The toddler was mostly in this do nothing man’s care as she endured over 50 injuries and most of the injuries were brutal even for an adult.  So this man didn’t work was a monster and decided to beat the hell out of a child.  Too much idle time on his hand.  A job would have not given him that much access to that child.  Would he still be a monster?  Most likely but damn he literally day in and day out over a short period of time beat a child.  I can’t even fathom that baby’s last moments.  I look at my kid and they frustrate me like no one can. To think I would lose control and inflict pain is unimaginable.  I barely beat their behinds let alone abuse them.  We have to step it up. Both the mom and dad was wrong if that was her dad.  The amount of men who are beating and killing our kids don’t even be the dads.  It’s usually a no account boyfriend that we freely turn over our kids to so they can rape and hurt them.  Let me school you like my momma would school you, there ain’t that good of the D to allow me to put my kids in harm’s way.  I will not turn a blind eye to my child over a man.  These babies are defenseless and we are the ones leading them to the foolishness.  We already have to wonder if a stranger is going to manipulate and mess with our children however its the monster you know.  Let me say I can’t tell you as a woman how long you should date a man before you allow them around your child.  I do say you need to spend some seasons with him before you leave them unattended.  Watch how he looks at your child.  Watch and see what he does when he gets angry.  Listen to your child.  Check your children.  Be prayerful.  Stop getting a new man and being so head over heels that you leave caution to the wind.

What can you say if you aren’t mindful of your child when something happens.  Yes its the monster who did wrong but if you didn’t pay attention you bare the responsibility. The mom knew that the child had at least one serious head injury.  This man with blunt force hit this baby so hard that she had at least 10 dents in her skull.  Think about that for a moment.  She was hit that hard and no one noticed negative signs from that?  Or it was noticed but the care level wasn’t there.  I shutter sometimes when I read these headlines about abuse and death of children.  Everytime one of these precious babies die it only shows the potential the world loses for these beautiful lights to have given something back to it.  We need our babies but the only way to guarantee that is to do better and screen who we allow them to be around.  Let me also tell you that you got to watch friends or family.  There is not one member of my family or set of friends that I would put anything past.  That doesn’t mean I have them pegged as anything that simply means that I will never allow my relationship with them cloud my judgement. If my child said something happens I got their back first and foremost.  I will never take anyone else other them as they were given to me to protect.  I won’t even allow them around folks who I have tested myself and see they don’t add up.  I do not make one apology for that.  I could care less about your spoiled adult feelings on that.  They are mine and my husband and there are no do overs.