Love is….Misunderstanding

Whew! That’s all I got! It started off tonight in so much love! Then it dipped into the abyss of foolery and real quick.

End of day when you are in a relationship and one or both are unfulfilled it breeds problems. It don’t matter if you are a popsicle stick licker or a CEO of a company, being unfulfilled will damage you both! I’ve never believed that you can’t be with someone from different parts of the pond but make sure that your partner is on their way to finding their passion!

Let me take a moment to shout out Angela in owning her moment. Black women getting the chance to be in the “boys club”and be successful was unheard of! Nuri needed to focus on her career and choose. Choose between love and relationship. Sounds familiar?! Even now the tax to be a woman, mom, and a great employee or a business woman is always up for debate….

It’s undeniable when you finally get your moment the glow up is real! Nuri is shining but Yasir……

Sometimes Love is….Triggers

We think that once we find love that it’s so intoxicating but one part of intoxicating love is that it brings to the surface things that you try to repress. Love makes you address yourself. This is why even when you become a parent, this new love for your child can do the same thing.

Love triggered Nuri to address some dark parts of her past. It made her the most vulnerable with Yasir in a way she wasn’t prepared for. I can definitely understand that love. I know for myself when I met my husband back in 1999 being able to let my guard down was great, scary and unfortunately fortunately (yes I meant that) uncovering.

So understand that I would encourage a lot of singles to work on themselves more than just seeing the world, more than securing the bag, but taking the time to address mental, physical, and emotional issues as much as possible. This is the work that will continue throughout your love relationship. This is why you don’t want to interlink yourself with just anyone. Don’t give your vulnerability to just anyone who doesn’t have the ability to openly love on you but love you through………..

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Breastfeeding Month: The Real

So happy breastfeeding to all the mommas who have chosen to embark on the journey. Let me say now that my only major concern for babies is that they are healthy and are fed. I have 3 kids and they all have been breast and formula fed. I’ve never been the type to advocate so much for breastfeeding that I’ve mommy shamed another woman for choosing what works for her. Breastfeeding is not just about getting milk to a baby but it takes a toll on a woman’s body and mind. Do what’s best for you, your baby, and your mental health. Let me break down from my experience the real behind the scene issues:

My eldest baby

My eldest is now 9 and won’t remember if I gave her formula or not but when she was born 6 weeks early I wasn’t sure what method of feeding I would do. I considered formula for the convenience. Soon as she was born I was encouraged to breastfeed to help her get stronger. I wasn’t able to have her latch so I pumped her milk. I was doing well but even with a lot of production she wasn’t gaining a whole lot and I was told to put her on a formula that was specifically for premature babies. If you have ever paid for formula you know that it’s not cheap to begin with. So this new formula was even more expensive.

I didn’t feel a sense of guilt for stopping the breastfeeding journey. The delivery was so traumatic that as long as she was healthy I didn’t care. I didn’t have a lot of folks shaming me and to be honest she was in the NICU and between visits, healing from a c-section, and my emotions all over the place I might have given out a 2 piece to folks. My body was doing the most but I do remember being super engorged, in pain, etc. Getting past the pain and making the choice I did for her worked out for us.

The Middle Child

My son, whew he was the picture perfect pregnancy. He was due September 20th and came September 12. So having gone full term I was just happy. I wanted to breastfeed right off the bat because when I had the eldest the nurses was so good at helping me that I wanted to try again. So I embarked on the journey again. He was 7 pounds 4 ozs. at birth and yet I was told he was too small and I was pretty discouraged to breastfeed from my nurses and told to formula feed him. This was not what I had experienced the first time. I think because I was dealing with serious postpartum depression I didn’t even speak up for what I wanted.

Guilt set in. But the guilt was being hammered by the postpartum and I gave into the formula feeding to be honest. My son went from newborn clothes straight to 3-6 months clothes. He was huge. All of the doctors saying “see what I said.” Let me say what I know now is that I should have asked for a Lactation consultant. I should have trusted my intuition. I could have kept on going but I allowed other voices to be my guide.

My littlest

My younger baby boo and I had a traumatic pregnancy and delivery. From the blood clot in my brain to hemorrhaging and having to be readmitted for internal bleeding I was still determined to breastfeed. The extra week in the hospital I was readmitted the same day I was discharged and that was when my milk came in. The nursing staff actually had to pump me physically. I had too many things going on and was focused on living. Shout out to University of Penn for the amazing nursing staff!

My husband had all three kids and I pumped what I could and supplemented with formula. The week came and went and I was discharged and went home nervous that after a week my newborn wouldn’t latch. She did and that started out our journey!!

However let me highlight a few things that most if not all breastfeeding moms know:

  • My daughter wouldn’t take a bottle. It didn’t matter if the bottle was shaped to be close to an actual breast or not. When I first had her I had her at work with me for 6 months and when I took her to daycare despite having a ready supply of frozen milk she wouldn’t take it. She would literally not eat all day until I picked her up. I took her to a Lactation consultant and her pediatrician and eventually had to stop working to nurse her on demand.
  • Yes I tried the give her a bottle with her dad or another family member, she wouldn’t even take it not even from me.
  • I spent more nights worrying about her intake
  • I was worn out and stressed out
  • I was a human pacifier and bottle
  • The Benefits

    • Not having to worry about making a bottle and always ready
      Weight loss I went down to my pre-pregnancy weight with nursing before my 6 week check up
      Baby was healthy and is my healthiest child now
      Bonding was immeasurable-til this day she’s super close to me

    What folks don’t talk about:

    Nursing is a mental and emotional job! I say job because outside of general care of a baby, there are cluster feeds aka when your baby can and will want to eat more than the 2 hours apart. There are growth spurts. There is mastitis. The pain and agony to get passed that has my breast hurting as I type. Also if you don’t have a lot of encouraging family surrounding you it makes it hard. You have support systems that say mean things like, “you’re not giving them enough.” “That baby would sleep if you gave him/her cereal.” “You’re doing this so nobody else can hold the baby.” “Cover up.” These are the types of reasons why breastfeeding involves more than that just feeding a baby. It is mentally and emotionally demanding.

    Pumping mothers

    This is just as hard to do as it is to have a child directly breastfeed. Some women are hard pumping at work all day and that is a lot of work! Some women prefer pumping over the traditional breastfeeding. It is not easy. You see pictures of women who have these stashed or milk that look like they could feed an army or babies and then you second guess what you are producing. Some women naturally over produce. Some do not! A women especially if she’s going back into the work force after maternity leave are stressed out trying to prepare as much milk as they can!

    Saying things like eeew that’s gross, just stop! Even if you never had a child learn to mute your words if you can’t find something positive to say! Mommas are our here giving life to our future! Formula or breastfeeding it don’t matter. What you don’t understand don’t always need a clap back! Learn to support one another no matter!

    Would I do it again? Absolutely but luckily I don’t have to!! I enjoyed the time with each child in their journey and it didn’t matter that I had to supplement, pump exclusively, or have that time cut short. I made it through and did what was best for me at the time.

    Grateful for my time!

    I was about to go 2.5 years with my youngest and that is a super power well within itself! All of the crying I did over spilled milk! Yes this is a thing. After I worked hard to get milk together having it spill will evoke real tears! All my breastfeeding mommas know what I mean!!

    So to all moms do not mommy shame someone else for their choices. If you breastfeed you know the mental and emotional anguish you have chosen. As natural of a process its supposed to be, there are women who can’t and women who feel bad for not choosing the option! All women who are taking care of babies could use a little extra love for its not as easy as we mommas make it!

    Recently the law was passed that all mothers in all 50 states can breastfeed in public. Regardless of where you stand on the covering up of a mother or not she has a right to feed her child. I personally never breastfed my child in public without a cover but I’ve seen other moms do it and it doesn’t bother me. I usually give a smile or head nod to let them know that I understand!

    Little side note: most babies burn up under those cute little cover ups and they will pull themselves out of it but still nurse! So sometimes the babies are letting you know let them alone!

    If you have chosen to breastfeed, congrats on your journey!

    Extra Nugget: Let me end by saying to all women or men please mind business when it comes to asking a woman whether she’s having a baby or not. It’s her decision and you don’t get a choice in meddling in someone’s uterus. If you see a woman and she looks like she put on weight, it’s disrespectful to ask are you pregnant? If she wanted you to know she in her time would announce it! It’s actually disrespectful to ask how far along are you?! You don’t know what’s going on with that woman! Let us be our brother and sister’s keeper and be mindful of our words and gestures!

    Happy national breastfeeding month!

    To Toi or Not to Toi…Throw her back edition

    My kids when see me jamming out to an “old skool” jam always ask how was I before kids? I always laugh and tell them I was super fun. I was but I try to incorporate that into my present life as well. However my life from its blast from the past until now is not quite one in the same.

    Social Butterfly Natasha

    Back in the day especially in college I was a lot more adventurous. I remember coming home from college that first semester and being super disappointed because the clubs weren’t the same. The people I was around wasn’t as outgoing as they were at Penn State. I was bummed out. I actually like a true nerd walked around Walmart crying when I saw the back to school supplies and knew I wasn’t going back to school. Either way without alcohol I still was the type to not miss a party and not miss the opportunity to dance the night away! Now I have moments when that happens. I’ve exchanged my dancing shoes and that’s fine too!!

    I had an alter ego like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and her name is Natasha. I say is because I can call on her in any moment. She’s definitely ruthless and more cut throat in her techniques. She’s outgoing and doesn’t care. Natasha is on standby ready to be tagged teamed in.

    Drama Queen

    Depending on who you ask I still have residual drama queen tactics and will call upon my petty when necessary. Back in the day I never came out of petty mode. I used to be dripping in petty. I could pop off without being provoked. Now a days I stray away from that instinct because it really isn’t necessary. No more days fighting and arguing with folks over stuff that don’t matter. Momma I’ve made it!! Super far cry from the past! Now I just watch people more and if something doesn’t seem right I just disengage. I try not to get too involved with things that no longer serve a greater purpose. I know that sounds cliche but the reality is I don’t have that kind of time like I had or gave into!

    Who got feelings?!

    I definitely had feelings but a lot of times I would be the one to say what I needed first, oh how dumb I was in my early 20s. Hurting people’s feelings should have been a class cause I would have aced it!! I wasn’t always as diplomatic or politically correct as I try to be now. Such a defense mechanism to hurt first so the other person wouldn’t realize they hurt me. As a full adult who takes credit for her wrongs I know that isn’t the way to handle things.

    Sharp as a whip

    My mouth really is a two edged sword. I really can end people or at least that’s how I came off. First of all I like to argue. I like to go back and forth and in the right energy which most times were the worse energy I could end you without breaking a sweat. I definitely grew up around no nonsense parents and they ain’t play and I felt like I definitely took that and ran with it. I could appear the good girl and catch you off guard and come for you. It’s funny how all of these reality shows show this type of woman and I could have given any network major ratings before it became a style. Now I’ve stopped watching these shows and moved on from this behavior.

    All of these things could be seen as negative. I could hear someone say why even tell people this?! Simple it’s what made me, ME! Flaws are a spice of life. Although the parts of me that are deemed negative, I’ve worked constantly on. This is how you have growth. When I could have read someone for filth but I have to eat it, I know that’s growth!! This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever tap into any of these parts when necessary. I will and do. If Natasha has to come out then so be it. She can make an appearance but she has to go back in the vault. I don’t live in negative spaces like it’s a full time job.

    Oh and by the way even if you never blog about it, you too have to live with the private and public persona and challenges. You too have to make a decision to allow what’s made you over take you! We all are flawed I’m just the first to admit it!

    So for today’s #tbt (throw back Toi) I can admit that my life has changed from my younger immature days. I am constantly proud of my life and I’ve come a long way when I was taking over from the 99 and the 00! (I know you read that in your best Juvenile voice)

    Ask Toi: How do I deal with my Parents thinking I’m not following old school parenting with my own kids?!

    This is multilayered. This could have come up if you’re making comments about new school parenting is better. It can come up if you do something that an old school parent thinks is too new school. It could come up if you ask for advice from old school parent but then do the opposite.

    Depending on when it comes up is how you proceed. There’s no doubt that old school parents believe and hold to their old school values. That can be from diapering to discipline. So if you are stating how better the new school way is better often times old school parents hear “you think you’re a better parent,” or they hear, “you think my ways are wrong.”

    If the argument of who is better comes up during a time when the new school parent does something in front of an old school parent that could mess with the new school parent and you think you’re not good enough. You may feel pressure for approval and it can mess you up if you aren’t feeling it. If you ever ask an old school parent advice and then don’t take it, it could come off as a “why you ask?!” This is probably the most irritating interactions.

    So here’s the thing:

    1. Parenting is subjective: you won’t ever get to the point where you feel 100% feel that you are quite finding your rhythm and old school parents are super high fiving you! It would be nice but not everyone has that happy mesh.

    2. Old school and new old school ways are within you. You will fuse them but only how much depends on you.

    3. Try not to take everything said to heart. Between your own parents and finding your way and the world with their long laundry list of to dos and not to do it will be hard to find your actual way. It’s okay!

    4. Trust your instinct-this is hard but necessary

    When I had my first child she was born 6 weeks early and had to stay a few days in the NICU. I was fortunate that it wasn’t a longer stay. I relied on my own mother to guide me. She gave me basic parenting skills. However my child had a lot of health issues therefore I had to rely on the doctors for a lot that first couple of years. Probably more than I would have all things considered. A lot of folks was knocking me for it. I trusted my instinct, and did some give and take with those around me. I pushed through! You’re not choosing one side over the over. You’re choosing what you need to feel successful in parenting. Also it’s okay that old school won’t agree. Parenting comes with thick skin. Take things with a grain of salt. No the things that our parents did when we were younger will work now, times have changed but what’s the same is wanting better for your child, keeping them safe and healthy, and working hard to provide. Be gentle with yourself but stand strong in your decisions.

    Love is…A Reality Check

    Momma can call your shit out like no one else. You can pretend for anyone but yo momma and this episode sweet Jesus didn’t come to play.

    Man that don’t take care of his family….

    One kudos to Nuri for making Yasir was accountable to his child. No one on this planet should ever be with a man who doesn’t take care of their child. Period! If you’re dating a man with a child and you aren’t helping him be a better man, and father you are trash. Men have to be better at being there for their own kids. I was always taught by my own momma a man who won’t take care of their child, won’t take care of anything in regards to you.

    So let’s talk about the big blow up with Nuri, Destiny (Yasir baby mom) and Yasir:

    Momma called a spade a spade. Although she is one who contributed to a fault with how Yasir ended up she was still willing and able to let Yasir know to knock it off and respect his child’s mother. Nothing is sicker to me than a mother who enables h r son then plays dumb when the ish goes left!!! Sorry but the reality is you know your son ain’t worth the dust on the ground either help him to be better but don’t cradle him in his mess. I can’t even respect a mom who does that. Thankfully Loretta Devine, held no punches and had me standing up like get him momma!

    Destiny showed depth to her small role as Yasir’s son mother. The anger and the pain she portrayed. Listen when you see a woman who laid down and gave her all even in child-birth to a man and that man leaves for whatever reason; that pain is incomparable. It’s almost too strong for words. She is doing the work to give life to his dream while she slowly dies…. no wonder the anger we think we see in black women is misplaced. The weight of the world is sometimes too much.

    Passion of Black Women

    Listen, the hard work, long hours, etc are a lot. However after going into work and having to deal with stereotypes, and people being passed up, etc for a job that you can’t even be passionate about is something that WE know oh so well. Being told that as a woman you’re not good enough or you’re too much maybe next time, is debilitating. It’s hollow, senseless and numb that we can be the vision that a job needs and sometimes the favor of a department and still not be enough… whew the hypocrisy.

    I was sooooooo happy to see that a project came up for Angela but the roles were so scarce in the 90s. All of this black girl magic and we are left to find ways to create in places that wasn’t made to hold our creativity?!

    There may be more blogs from this one episode cause I plan to re watch it again!!

    Fizzle Chronicles

    Oh love you are amazing! You give me goosebumps! You make me feel like I can do anything! Ever have that feeling? It’s amazing isn’t it?! However if you really been in love with the right one you know there are times when things can go left and quick! So how do you deal with the fizzle of love?!

    What’s love got to do with it?

    I think one of the many faces of love is work. We have been conditioned from society and movies that a man finds a woman and they live happily ever. So sweet! What we know is that happily ever comes from two happy, sound and whole individuals who arrive at a balance and work together. Love is amazing but without keeping it balanced will lead to this false sense of what love looks like. This can be super damaging.

    Love stories vs Real Life

    When I first got married I had every intention of having anything and everything say wife. Wife shirts, wife socks, cups anything. I was going to wear lingerie at least 3 days a week and make extravagant meals. Oh how television can be a real drag when real life hits! Can you do all of those things yes you can but keeping it spicy means getting spice and being realistic. I definitely didn’t meet that expectation I put on myself in our first year! However truth moment: I didn’t put any effort at all. So between being a sex kitten and sleep deprived there is a happy medium.

    Celebrate the Moments

    When I first got married I asked seasoned married folks what they did to survive. I got all kinds of answers but the one that stuck with me the most was celebrating moments. I talked to my husband and we decided to incorporate that in our own marriage. So we celebrate man-made holidays, our own fun and we celebrate each other’s successes and laugh and cry together at our failures. So that may mean a glass of wine for landing a new client, to celebrating each other individual success such as when I hit 1000 followers on Twitter for the blog. Every little thing is celebrated as much as possible. This keeps things light even in the dark days that come and go! The way you celebrate can be super small from a favorite treat to a great day night.

    Women can plan date nights

    My husband is A1 on dates. That’s always been his thing! From our first date to the most reason he knows how to plan a night for two. As I’ve gotten more secure in my own skin, I’ve stepped up to the plate. This means planning and organizing dates from the sitter to the drop off. I definitely feel like a boss when that check comes to me and I can happily pay for it! I also just like he does me make sure he knows he got to put out at the end! It’s fun! It’s fun planning and watching him enjoy a night just like he does for me!

    Sex

    We all know the one area that love can fizzle and that’s in the area of sex. I don’t know about you but whether married or not if I’m in a committed relationship, sex is happening. There are a millions reasons as to why sex becomes an issue. The solution is connecting outside of the bedroom so it can be lights out in the bedroom. If your partner isn’t getting what they need outside of the bedroom then the couple AND individual have to do their part to set it straight. Ladies I get it, but don’t let that man suffer in the bedroom because you and him aren’t willing to do the work outside and same for the men!

    It Takes Two

    Thanks to Rob Base we know a lot of things takes two and it definitely takes two to make a thing go right! Two individuals bear the responsibility in their individual and coupled success. Work needs to be done! Fizzles happen the most when you take your eyes off of the balance in life. Kids are a handful, work can be draining, and life well it can suck! However you have the power to balance yourself and balance the love you and your sweetheart have made!

    Take the time to focus on the fizzle and spark it back up! You owe it to each other!!

    Summer Sneak Off

    So I had a little time yesterday so I thought I would sneak out and head to the pool. I called my girlfriend and she grabbed her girls and we made it into a day! Did I mention that it was like an entire heat wave?!

    Let’s back up to Sunday. I woke up in a great mood but just moods they waiver. By mid to late morning I was over the day! I had a party to go to, work to do, etc and I was over it. My husband shout out to him in recognizing when I get like that encouraged me to press through it. By the time I had gotten to the kid party and got a baby fix I was better! We even stopped for some ice-cream and you know ice-cream makes everything better. Side note I have to start finding places that can accommodate non dairy. I paid greatly for that frozen yogurt!

    Monday was looking clear and so I made a day of it. The pool and the heat was exactly what I needed. Sun and water always make me feel like a million bucks. Even with all of this melanin I enjoy laying out with my sunscreen getter darker! Tan lines make me feel good. Thankfully with the heat index I couldn’t say there wasn’t enough sun! I enjoyed my pool day! Thanks K! Being able to recognize when I need something for myself and not being afraid to go and get it has been viral for my self-care!

    Oh and this week I’m doing no meat. I am committed to doing one week in each month until the end of the year meat free! Ohhhhhh but I have found some yummy dishes that I’m really like I can keep this going. My goal is slowly transition myself into more of a meatless lifestyle. We shall see how far I get. Thankful for my friends sending me recipes, hints and ideas. I had a full day and I wasn’t hungry!

    Oh and just like days there are ups and downs I ended up hitting a parked car! All is well do not worry! I’m grateful that I handled it well and it will be just fine!

    So let me end by saying as much as I am a planner by nature it felt good being able to just get up and be spontaneous and enjoy a Summer day!! Sneaking off without the kids felt great and I didn’t have to share my food although since it was meat free they might not have wanted any of it anyway! So I’m hoping to have a few more sneak off days soon and I need to complete my Summer to do list! Summer is almost over, what have you not done that you want to do?! Get it done!