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You Went Back…. TO HIM?!

Boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy falls in love with girl, they have a happily every after, right? I always hated these Cinderella stories because no one ever told you what happens AFTER the happily every after. That’s when all the real magic starts- when boy always leaves his boxers on the kitchen counter and girl has her hair all in the bathroom sink and no one has washed the dishes in a week. When life settles in and you start complaining about how much of an insensitive dirty little man boy is to your friends, this is when the real magic starts to happen…..

How many times have you complained about you significant other to your friends and family? “You won’t BELIEVE what Peter did to me last weekend, ooooohhhhh I hate his ass so much!” Sound familiar? It’s normal for us to vent to the people who are closest to us about the issues going on in our relationship, but do we realize the effect that causes between our friends/family and our partners?

I remember being in a relationship with my ex who treated me horribly. He constantly said mean things to me but they were only said at home, behind closed doors. When I finally started talking to people about what was going on, I looked crazy! Because after I vented and cried to my friends for hours, I would hang up and go right back to my partner. I remember my one friend flat out told me to stop calling her when something happened because I would only end up going back to him so she didn’t want to hear about it. At the time, that cut like a knife and severly tained our relationship. But looking back at it now, I see and understand EXACTLY where she was coming from. We tend to talk about the bad THE MOST in our relaionships. Our partners can cook, clean, care for the kids, fix our cars, be handy around the house, and break our backs during sex- but because he can’t figure out how to put the bedframe together on our new bed set he’s a worthless, useless man. I think it’s human nature to make the bad a big deal, but that usually results in our friends and family only seeing the bad in the person that we are dating. That’ll bite us in the ass eventually.

There have been plenty of good men in relationships who have been thrown under the bus by their partners because of something that happened that was vented about to her friends and family. And once that FIRST situation happens, the rest is downhill. Now, whenever they see him, it’s a side eye, a whisper, an unenthusiastic hello. And all the while things have gone back to normal in your relationship and in your house. You’re in love, and they think you’re stupid. So I came up with a few ideas (or pointers) on how to keep your spouse from looking like the bad guy:

  1. Keep your arguments private! If something isn’t going right in your relationship, talk to your partner about it. If you must get outside help, call a therapist or someone who has mediation expeirnce. They do not know either of you and will remain impartial and non-judgemental.
  2. If you have already vented to friends and family about your partner, apologize to them and ask them to forgive your partner also. And explain to them why you forgave your partner, and remind them of all the good that they have done for you up until that point.
  3. Take a step back from the issue and take a break. When you are angry and in the middle of a situation, you tend to say mean and hurtful things to them and anyone who will listen. If you are unable to remain calm, table it. Go for a run, take a hot bath, do something to ease your mind. Only AFTER you have calmed down should you talk about it.
  4. Unless you are in an abusive relationship, only tell people about the GOOD! Despite what you may think, people love drama and tend to hold onto the negative things that you tell them. This keeps others from seeing your partner in a bad way, and it will help others root for your partner if things do go bad and they find out about it.
  5. Make the choice to love your partner despite their flaws! One of the reasons why we complain about our significant others so much is because we choose to focus on the bad instead of the good. My kids are ungrateful and mean little shits. If I focus on that aspect of them, I can complain all day long and start to grow a resentment towards them. But, if I focus on the fact that they are smart, helpful, playful, full of ideas, always ready to play and have fun with me, they motivate me to be a better person, they compliment me for no reason, and they love me- well, it helps to keep me focused on the great aspects of our relationship, and the bad parts don’t seem so big. The same applies with your spouse. Choose to see the good so that the bad doesn’t hod much weight.

As long as you love your partner, you’ll never want others to see them in a negative light. But YOU are the person that has control over that. If you don’t mind looking crazy for always going back to your partner- by all means, talk to everyone about what goes on in your relationship. But if you want peace and positivity shown on your relationship, keep it quiet. Keep it to yourself and work on your issues in house. You’ll be happier in the long run.

As always, be legendary KING; be extraaordinary QUEEN!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsDecember 17, 2020 Comment

Everyday I’m Momming It

School started in September (I think) and my kids are being homeschooled. Well, virtual school- which means my kids stay home and are on the computer while I get to run my businesses from home. Intitially, I thought that this was going to be a great thing for them and for me. Now, I need them out of my house. Like, yesterday…

Now hear me out… My daughter is amazing at virtaul schooling. Her teacher walks her through all of the steps of what she needs to do and she manages everything on her own. She’s extremely independant and outside of having a ton of craft objects all over my office desk and floor, I don’t have any issues with her. My son on the other hand doesn’t understand the concept of online schooling. At all. Or maybe he does and he just doens’t care. Either way, him and I are having major issues and I am completely over him being home.

I know what you’re saying- it can’t be THAT bad, he isn’t as bad as you say he is. First and foremost, yes he is. He’s a little terror and I really need to find the receipt for him and send his ass back. Second of all, I tested it out. We went to Georgia to my moms house for a week. He was with myself, my brothers and sister, and my mom. The first day that he was at the house doing his virtual lessons, EVERYONE asked me how I made him sit still at home. My response was “I give up on him”. School starts at 8:30a. We eat breakfast from 7:45ish until 8:25a. We then transition from breakfast to online. By 8:35a he’s asking me for something to drink. Around 8:40a he wants a snack. By 8:55a he needs to use the bathroom where he spends at least 10 minutes upstairs and when he finally appears he comes back with a handful of toys. At 9:05a he’s dying of hunger and his dinosaur says that his stomach is hurting because he hasn’t eaten for 2 days. At 9:10a he’s rolling around on the floor because his legs are super itchy and he can’t scratch it from the chair. I wish I was making this stuff up. I had a meeting one morning and left him in the house with someone. That eveing I received an email from his teacher stating that from 10:15a until class was over my son was missing from the computer. I cannot imagine what other parents are dealing with when it comes to their child, but this kid is giving me a run for my money.

The funny thing is he is extremely smart! He is learning his sight words on first try, his math skills are exceptional, he’s finishing his online tests without any help from me in under 10 minutes, and he can finish a puzzle in under 30 minutes. A major part of me believes that he is a genius and he’s just bored in class which is why he won’t sit still. The other part of me is annoyed that he won’t sit still for more than 5 minutes and is equally confused on how he is able to retain ANY information if I never actually see him focus on the computer. Maybe if I wasn’t trying to run like 5 businesses from home it wouldn’t be so bad because I would have the ability to focus on him. And maybe, just maybe, he needs to just sit his little bottomless pit of a stomach down in his chair and listen to what his teacher is saying. Let’s not even get into the amount of snacks that this kid eats in one day… I spend more money on groceries and snacks with the kids being homeschooled than I do when they are home during the summer! I love my children! They are my everything! But school needs to open back up because he has got to get out of my house. Let his teacher deal with his hyperactive self so that I can get back to killing my computer keyboard.

*Please know that I am joking about kicking my son out of my house to go back to school. This was just a funny post about how much I am struggling with my son being home. As I am sure that other parents are also.*

Do you have any tips on how to manage this virtual school stuff? At this point I’m just parking myself next to the kid while he’s on the computer. That’s been working for the last day or so, but the way my son is set up that won’t last very long… LOL! Maybe I should bribe him with more snacks…

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsOctober 14, 2020 Comment

How Momma Got Her Groove Back

Since March, I have been stuck in the house with my children. Not that it’s a bad thing, but now I’m stir crazy and I want to go out and enjoy myself. I just can’t. Well, I’m not supposed to I should say….

While I have been home with the kids, we’ve been experimenting with food, cooking out on the grill, creating new dishes and recipes, and having lots of fun playing with our dog. But, I gained weight. A lot of weight, more than I would like to admit. I woke up one day, looked in the mirror, and was not happy with what looked back at me . I made the decision to fix it (because you know, I’m a fixer). I asked around and found some products that I wanted to try. I ordered Herbalife but it needed to come in the mail. I also wanted to try Iaso tea so I ordered it online and it came quicker. Simple enough, all I had to do was drink the tea. I love tea so that wasn’t an issue for me. I started with the tea (which didn’t taste as horrible as I thought it would) and went about mu day. The only thing that I really noticed was that it made me go to the bathroom- a LOT! I was ok with it though because I was trying to find something that would make me regular, so this worked perfectly. Because we also now have a new pet, we have to walk our dog daily. Well, I walk the dog daily because the kids somehow manage to come up with every excuse under the sun why they don’t want to go walking daily. Our walks started off just around the block, but we soon started to venture father and farther and I realized that my walks were lasting 45 minutes+. Again, I didn’t mind. One day I walked past the mirror after taking a shower and said “OH SHIT! MY STOMACH IS SMALLER!” I called my friend on FaceTime and did a 1440 (which means I did 4 360’s. Lol!) and asked him if he saw a difference. “yea, you’re getting smaller” he says nonchalantly. To him it was no big deal but to me he just sang music to my ears.

By now, we are about 3 months into quarantine so I ALWAYS have on glasses, sweat pants, a t-shirt, and my hair in a bonnet. I made the conscious decision to do more around the house, walk the dog for longer and more often, and try to find a personal trainer. But, as life would have it, work started to pic back up, the kids and I went to visit my mom, and my eating habits went down the rabbit hole (because Haitians love eating rice and pasta). I came back from my “vacation” and sort of gave up on the progress I made because I thought that I had undone it all. Starting back from scratch was what I told myself- until I tried on a pair of jeans that were normally skin tight and we had hella room around the waist area. I couldn’t allow myself to get excited because the jeans could’ve just stretched so let me try on something else. Dresses fit better, jeans fit looser, and my ego was boosted. This freaking tea works!

The icing on the cake? My cousin had an event for her birthday. I said that I was going to lose the glasses, wear some lashes, and do my hair. When I was finished and I looked in the mirror and I finally remembered who I was before I had kids; before quarantine hit; before I gained the weight. Momma is definitely starting to get her groove back!

Moral of the story: don’t let quarantine, kids, and weight gain distract you from the beautiful, sexy, and bad ass woman that you are! You were HER before you became a mom! So, let your hair down, apply some lipstick, plump up those lashes, and swing your hips a bit extra as you walk- let’s get YOUR groove back too honey!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsJuly 20, 2020 Comment

Parenting For Beginners

For the past 5 years, I have tried to be as transparent as possible with my experiences on parenting and dealing with abuse. The problem (that I’ve encountered) is that people normally tell you the good and pretty side of parenting, which leaves you totally unprepared and unequipped to actually be a parent. Let’s break down some parenting truths. New moms and soon-to-be-moms, this is for you!

I have 2 children- a boy and a girl. My oldest is 6.5 and my youngest is 5.5. I haven’t been a parent for very long, but I’ve been a parent long enough to be able to give out some sound avice. I wish someone told me this when I was starting out- it would’ve saved me from a lot of headaches….

  1. Girls are EXTREMELY sassy! I don’t care how well you raise them, they talk back. They have attitudes. They think they know everything. And they don’t listen. Some start young, some start older- but they ALL get sassy. The trick is establishing dominence. If they know early on who the boss is, you can control the amount of behaviors that come out of them. But be warned- they attack the worst when they first wake up (if YOU disrupt their sleep), when they are hungry, when they are tired, and when they don’t get their way. And do not, I repeat DO NOT!!!!, interfere with the relationship that they have with their father! Dads do no wrong, just accept that fact and you’ll be fine.
  2. Boys are walking trash cans. They eat eveything. All the time. Every day. With no regard for anyone else. When my son was 2 years old he ate my entire snack cabinet in 1 day. I learned very quickly that I would have to keep that thing stocked regularly if I wanted to keep the peace with him. The older he aged, the more he ate. Just last night he sat at the kitchen table and ate 5 mangos, a plate of rice and chicken, and asked for a snack less than 30 minutes later. I told my mom that he needs to get a job because I cannot afford to keep feeding him.
  3. Kids are dirty. There is something in their brain that doesn’t process properly when it comes time to clean. No amount of training, praising, incentives, or threats will be effective enough to ensure that they clean. Because the SECOND you give them leniency they will destroy your house without a second thought and walk away like it’s nothing. My toilet seats are riddled with pee stains, my carpets have every type of bacterial stain imaginable, my bathroom sinks are covered in toothpaste stains… The list can go on. And they see absolutely nothing wrong because they can still use everything as is so “it’s not that bad”.
  4. Once they get old enough to sleep on their own, KICK THEM OUT OF THE BED! For several reasons. They become trained karate assassins while they sleep. They punch, kick, jab, karate chop, body slam, and choke hold you in their sleep. I am not quite sure how they learn these mysterious moves but it is detrimental to your health to sleep with children! If they are being potty trained, you will wake up in pee. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. Unless you have plastic on your mattress or unlimited sheets to change daily, it’s just not worth it. You can’t sleep naked. I’ve tried it- remember I mentioned the karate skills they acquire while sleeping? I’ve had some…. unpleasant kicks in some unpleasant areas while I was sleeping. I think one of my boobs stopped growing because of it. And finally- they eventually steal your bed. At around age 3ish they start to claim your bed as their own if you don’t kick them out soon enough. Then you have to take them to court to try to evict them and it becomes expensive and time consuming. Take my word for it- the sooner you kick them out the better!
  5. YOU WILL NOT WIN EVERY ARGUMENT!!! I had to capitalize that so that you could understand how much emotion I put into that sentence. I grew up in a very traditional Haitian household where I was always wrong. I learned very quickly when I became a parent that I was right (a LOT) when I was younger and my parents didn’t want to admit it! Lol! My children are extremely smart and I hate it sometimes! Especially when I’m trying to get them to do something and their reasoning as to why they shouldn’t have to is extremely logical. There are times when I just walk away from them because I do not have a rebuttal for the argument so I just give up (and it’s usually my daughter who is Ms. Smart-Ass-Logic that gets me to back down). Be warned and be prepared.
  6. Kids have a LOT of energy! And I mean a lot. My son wakes up on 1,000% of energy every single day. My daughter takes about an hour but she gets to 1,000% soon after. And they stay there, on that level, until they go to sleep. And they will NOT say that they are tired! You’ll just look up and one of them is snoring somewhere. So make sure to keep them entertained. Have acitivites planned, go for walks, get them a dog to play with (because cats don’t care about you until they’re hungry), and buy them an iPad because if not they will write on your walls, pour bleach on your carpet, find experiments to do in your kitchen, cut their hair because they see daddy do it in the bathroom, etc. Save yourself the headache and just plan ahead and accordingly.
  7. Kids are freaking expensive!!!! Not because you have to constantly buy them shoes and clothes to keep up with their extraterrestrial growth spurts, but because they want everything they see! We can literally just finish eating breakfast, get into the car to go somewhere and they see a Dunkin Donuts and all of a sudden they are hungry and their stomach hurts from the hunger pains. Or they are watching a commercial on Nick Jr and now they want whatever they just saw. Or at the age of 6, during a quarentine where they can’t leave the house and schools are closed until God knows when, they decide that they need a cell phone because what if they go outside and something happens to them and they can’t reach me to let me know…. Where the eff are you going outside at?!
  8. The BIGGEST truth that seasoned parents hide from us? If you have more than 1 child, your house immediately turns into a WWE wrestling house that never shuts down until they are alseep. It’s to the point where if I don’t hear anyone crying I don’t even worry about them. I was with my mom and my daughter fell going up the stairs. My mom panicked and jumped and I immediately stopped her and told her to wait. My daughter shook it off and kept it moving. I told her “mom- if you don’t hear a cry or scream, DO NOT ENGAGE! You will only force them to fake an illess and now the whole night is ruined!” She laughed, but I was super serious. Kids fight ROUGH! They punch, kick, slam, throw each other, call each other names… I was worried about my kids being bullied in school but they bully each other so I know for a fact that they have tough skin. Thumps through the wall, loud bangs, crashes, and things breaking are a normal part of daily life. As long as no one is hurt and what’s broken wasn’t expensive, I’ve learned to just ignore it and keep on with my day.

Parenting is an experience. It can be the best and worst thing that’s ever happened to you, simultaneously. I used to say that I wanted another child because I love children, but yeah….. I’m done having kids. The way my blood pressure and nerves are set up, these 2 are enough. They give me a run for ALL of my money, and they’ll more than likley kill me sooner than I anticipate dying. But I wouldn’t imagine living my life without them.

Do you have parenting questions? Shoot me a message or an email and I promise to keep it real with you! Lol.

As always, be legendary KINGS, be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsMay 29, 2020 Comment

The Perfect Love

Growing up, we all read the fairytales about a princess being saved by a price, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. No one told us that wasn’t how it really worked out. The prince doesn’t always save the princess, and if he does they surely don’t live happily ever after. There are bills, kids, work, schedules, and did I mention kids? Here is what a real love story should be written as….

Emily is raised in a dysfunctional family. She has daddy issues and starts dating at 13, loses her virginity at 14, and meets an abuser at 19. She stays in that abusive relation for far too long and ends up with emotional issues and a baby. Fast worward 5 years later- Emily is now 24 with a 3 year old baby and hella baggage. One day she wakes up and says that she can’t live like this anymore and leaves. It’s hard- Emily has no degree, a dead end job, and a mouth to feed. With her tail tucked and her head bowed, she goes back to her mother’s house. She enrolls in school, start with therapy, and gets custody of her child. Fast forward 5 hard years, and she is now 29 with a masters degree in nursing working as a head nurse for a pediatric department in a hospital.

One day Dan (an older man) walks in with his daughter that is extremely sick. He’s been to 2 hospitals before and no one can figure out what is wrong with his daughter. His wife passed away 4 years ago and he has been struggling to raise his daughter on his own. As he is leaving the hospital one afternoon to grab something to eat, he passes the Emily in the parking lot. Despite everything he is going through, he takes note of how beautiful she is. He gets into his car and drives off. A few days later, Emily is on shift on Dan’s floor and is making her rounds. She stops in Dan’s room and he notices her again. This time is he struck by how beautiful she is up close. Emily has been monitoring Dan’s daughter’s chart and she believes that she knows what is wrong with her. She discusses the probelm with Dan and tells him of the treatment that she would like to start. 10 days later, Dan and his daughter are getting ready to leave the hospital. He tries to find Emily, but it isn’t her day to work. So he leaves, and plans to come back to find her.

A few weeks have passed, and a mysterious bouquet of flowers shows up to the nurses station addressed to Emily. The card states that they are from Dan and he would like to thank her for saving his daughter’s life and asks if he could take her on a date. Against her better judgement, Emily accepts. Their first date is amazing- they go to a picnic in the park and realize that they have a lot in common. Between their daughters, their upbringings, their love of food and music, they seem to be a good pair. They date for several months, their daughters meet and get along, and Dan decides that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Emily so he proposes. She accepts and they get married.

Two years down the line, they are married and living together. Their daughters are both in the same school and one is getting picked on and the other doesn’t stand up for her. It causes tension between the girls. Emily has picked up extra shifts at work because she would like to be able to purchase a bigger house with Dan, but Dan makes over $100k a year and doesn’t believe that Emily should be working so much. She’s never home and he doesn’t have quality time with her. Their house is now a constant fighting zone and they both have no idea how to fix it. One day, Emily is again fed up and decides that she doesn’t like what’s going on. But this time, instead of leaving she asks God to fix her marriage and to help them find each other again. A week later, Dan suggests that they go to marriage counseling and in order to do so Emily has to give up her extra shifts. She decides that the sacrafice is worth it so she cuts back her hours and goes to counseling with her husband. They fidgure out what’s causing them to not see eye-to-eye, and they invite their daughters in to fix their issues also. A year later, their home is happy, Emily is pregant, and they just closed on a bigger house.

Happily ever after isn’t real. But happy is, if you work for it. We are all like Emily- we all have choices to make, and the choices that we make affect the outcome of our cirumstances. We can choose to fight for what we believe in, or we can choose to let go and just accept what is. Love is work. Love is choosing the same person over and over again. Love is choosing to overlook the hurt, flaws, baggage, and shortcoming and seeing the best in others no matter what. Love is being the best for others no matter what.

Will you choose love or life?

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsMay 7, 2020 Comment

Getting My Mind Right

Over the last several months, we have all been quarentined and stuck in our houses. I didn’t mind this one bit because I can work anywhere from my laptop as long as I have internet access. The kids loved it because they love running around my house and eating up everything that I buy. What I didn’t realize was that I needed this time off, this slow down, this “break” to help me mentally stabilize myself. I had been unable to focus and be productive for over a year and I was unable to figure out why until I was stuck in the house and on pause with the kids.

The year 2019 was such a difficult year for me mentally. I had to deal with so much both physically and emotionally and I hadn’t realized how much it affected me until it was time to complete work for my clients. Things that I would normally be able to accomplish in an hour would take me a week to get done. Whenever I looked at a computer my mind would go blank. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t think, couldn’t be creative. I was trying to figure out what the issue was, but that was cut short because something else popped up in my personal life that caused my mental health to get worse. This isn’t to say that I wasn’t able to accomplish many things in 2019- I wrote and published my first workbook, started my podcast, bought my house, started 5 home care agencies for my clients, amongst other things. But the time that it took me to accomplish those things last year was tripled because I was going back and forth to court with the father of my children for custody, child support, a restraining order, and a civil suite. In my free time, I was holed up in my house because I wasn’t sure if that particular day he had decided to send someone to my house to harrass me with flyers. It got to a point that one day I combed my hair and chunks came out in the comb. That was when reality hit me.

This time being home has helped me to ease my mind; calm my thoughts; refocus my creativity. Being home has allowed me to take a break- both mentally and physically. I wasn’t running on fumes anymore- I had the time and ability to woosah. It has done an amazing job on my mental health. This time home has made me more productive. I noticed myself being able to work on the computer more, finishing work faster, completing more assignments in a day, and adding more onto my schedule. I have new ideas for my businesses and I have more ideas for my podcast and this blog. This quarentine was just what I needed to get myself together and back on track.

There have been some days when I missed being around people, but overall I am very grateful that I was able to take this break- for myself, my businesses, and my children. I picked up a new hobby: planting! I have over 40 plants in my house (and counting because I believe I have a few coming in the mail) and I have been teaching the kids how to care for the plants. We water, repot, and rearrange the plants around the house to ensure that they grow well and now the kids keep asking me to buy more plants for their rooms (just great- lol!). Creativity back, a stable mind, and hella plants. We are doing good over here!

As always, be Legendary Kings; be EXTRAORDINARY Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsMay 2, 2020 Comment

Relationships Ain’t Easy!

Over the last several months, I have been speaking with people who have been having selfish realtionship issues. And I use the term selfish because they were’nt able to look at the issue from both sides in order to come up with a solution to the problem. I’ve been noticing that issue more often.

I am by no means a relationship expert (although I am starting to think that maybe I should go back to school for that), but I have picked up things over the years and have been intentional in learning how to make my relationships better as well as help those around me improve theirs. At the end of the day, I wholeheartedly believe in love and I will always help anyone who wants to make their relationship work. But, I think that we need to go over a few things because obviously not everybody momma taught them correctly.

Relationships aren’t easy! Under no circumstances should anyone think that making a partnership work will be a cake walk! You are taking 2 people who were raised differenlty, think differently, have had different experiences, have different expectations and you are trying to fit those differences together. There will be arguments, there will be headbutting, and you will get on each others last nerves. THIS IS NORMAL!! Anyone who tells you that is isn’t has no idea what they are talking about! By no means does this mean that constant arguments and abuse of any kind is ok; this does mean that you will see things differently and have differences of opinions on how to handle and fix issues that arise. It also means that you should take into consideration what and why that other person has those reasons for disagreeing with you on whatever the topic is.

I can recall having a conversation with someone about them being mad at their significant other for something they did that didn’t sit well with my friend. My friend (male) kept going on and on about what his partner (female) did. So, I listened, and when he was done I asked him why was she acting how she was acting. He paused and was quiet for a minute. I then proceeded to explain the female’s point of view on the situation and helped him to see the other side of the argument. He then told me that he was going to call me back. A few days later, I spoke to him again and he told me that he went back to his partner and spoke to her with my explanation on his mind and they were able to come to an agreement on the issue. He couldn’t stop thanking me; what I had to explain to him was the he couldn’t be selfish in how he handled his disagreements. I understand that we are selfish people and tend to see things from our own lenses, but when we conscioulsy make the decision to merge our lives with someone eles, we must now take on the role of seeing things their way as well. I promise that it will help you have less diagreements.

Stop expecting what you can’t provide! I hear so many people (both men & women) asking for their partners to provide things that they aren’t able to give themselves! And I’m not talking about money right now (although that’s a big portion of it also). If I am not good at communication, I cannot expect my partner to have great communication skills with me. Eve if the come into the relationship with great communication, my lack of comminucation will cause them to either stop communicating with me, or theyll just start communicating with someone else. If I lack the ability to open up and let my patner in, I cannot be angry if my partner refuses to put in the work needed to break down my walls. We need to be well rounded in what we can offer, especially if we are expecting the same in return. Now, we can add the money part in. If I am working and making minimum wage, I cannot expect my partner to make 6+ figures and provide for me in a relationship because I am pretty sure my partner wants gifts and trips just like I do. If I can’t offer him even a portion of what he can offer me, is the relationship truly compatible? Females especially tend to put this immense amount of pressure on men to provide, yet rarely offer anything other than sex in return. Then I hear “well all he ever wants is sex”. If that’s all you can offer him, what else could he possibly want from you? We tend to forget that men are people too-they have emotions and feelins just like we do, and those emotions and feelings need to be fed just like ours do. It’s great if you can offer a man money, but can you offer him time, understanding, patience, forgiveness, truthworthiness, and most importantly peace? Men need peace above all, especially African American men. Can you provide him with that?

Understand that love can be enough! I have had people argue with me and tell me that it takes more than just love to sustain a relationship. At first I had to think about what they were saying- there held some truth in that notion; that we need more than just love. But then I had to remember- a parent ONLY needs love in order to fight to be the best for their child. God ONLY needs love to provide and sacrifice for us. An animal ONLY needs love to be loyal to us. So why can’t love be enough for us? We as people are imperfect. We have mean and selfish tendencies that can be extremely hard to deal with at times. We tend to put ourselves before others, and we want more than we are willing to give (for the most part). But when you meet someone that takes your breath away, that makes your heart skip a beat, that sends you over the moon. When you meet someone who made everyone who came before them look insignificant, love is absolutely enough. The love that you have for that person is enough to make you want to become a better person, is enough to make you change your perspective, is enough to make you want to fight to keep the relationship and make it better than all of the others that you have had before. Love most definitely is enough. Patience, communication, and amazing sex is great too though. Lol.

You are not always right! I am absolutely speaking to myself on this one! I have been handling things and doing things my way for the last 30+ years and I think that I turned out pretty good. But, put me in a relationship with a strong man who is a leader and we have many a fights ahead of us. Because I always think that my way is the right way (and so does he probably). It took an extremely long time (and a countless amount of arguments) for me to realize that I wasn’t always right. And NEITHER WAS HE! As adults, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that the way we want to do things is the right way all of the time. As a single person, that is absolutely true. But in a relationship, that’s grounds for breaking up. We have our own ways on doing things, but so does the other person. Normally, those ways are absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, the minute that we decided to get into a relationship, those single-minded thought processes automatically became the enemy. Whatever you did alone you now have to change because you are no longer thinking about yourself- you now have a whole other person that you need to be mindful of and take into consideration. Thinking that “my way is the right way” will lead you back to being single. Put that too the side and now find a way to incorporate your partner into your decisions. Someone once said to me” it is not you against him in a problem, it’s you and him against the problem”. That resonated with me so much! It taught me that I needed to stop fighting my partner and always trying to get my way and to start finding a way for the both of us to tackle the problem. This is not always an easy task, but it is definitely one that has me in it for the long haul.

Like I said earlier, I think I will go back to school to become a relationship counselor. It’s something that I am starting to find a passion in. In the meantime, Let’s take these tips that I mentioned and apply them into our relationships (both romantic and parental!) and see how we can make everyone’s lives easier.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsApril 10, 2020 Comment

Parenting With Intention

Over the last several weeks, I have been talking with parents about parenting and being intentional in the methods that they use to parent their children. I know that some people just mimic the tools and methods that their parents used to raise them, but what worked for them may not necessaily be what’s best for you and your child. Thus, I wanted to cover some ways that we could be intentional parents.

Figure out what works: I was raised on beatings. I was beat for just about any type of defiance. But that method didn’t work for me because I still did what I wanted to. The minute that I knew I could get away with something, I did it. I did NOT want that to be the same for myc hildren so I made the intentional and conscious decision to talk to my children about their actions BEFORE I punished them, and made the punishment fit the crime. For exmaple: my son loves to snack but doesn’t always finish his food. So if we sit to eat and he claims that he doesn’t want to finish his meal, we talk about WHY he doesn’t want to eat, and I let him know that if he doesn’t finish 80% of his food, he can’t have any snacks for the rest of the day. Or if one of the kids hits/pushes/talks mean to one another, we talk about WHY they felt the need to do that particular thing, and their punishment would be maybe they can’t participate in an activity that I am doing at the moment or they can’t get on their iPad for 30 minutes. Hitting my children is not my first option, and I was intentional on making sure that I created other routes to discpline my children.

Create a routine: with everyone having a busy schedule, sometimes it can be difficult to create a steady routine for and with your kids. But it is necessary! Even if your schedule is subjected to only the weekends, this gives your child(ren) the ability to count on you. This is extremely important! It allows us to teach our children that they can rely on us and other adults. Plus, it allows us the ability to spend time with our children. I know that I get out of work early at least 1 day a week, so on that day every week I do something fun with the kids. We cook together, go to the park, watch movies while eating popcorn- something. The kids know that they can count on me to pick them up from school and spend time with them. They look forward to it, and if it doesn’t happen I hear about it. We also have chores in the house that have to be completed on certain days. The kids started off not being too happy about that so I made it fun. We do the chores together, sing songs, play music, and dance around. It teaches the children responsibility and accountability- if their chore isn’t completed then they do not get their iPad. We haven’t has an issue yet.

Teach and reinforce healthy habits: my children have been subject to verbal, mental, and psychological abuse so I made the decision to put them in therapy. I also used that as a way to open uo communication with them about everything. We talk about feelings, how our day went, what bothers us about the other (my daughter had a rather long list of things that mommy does that she doesn’t like) and how to better handle situations when they arise. I was extremely intentional about talking to them about everything, specifically because when I was growing up I bottled everything. By the time I was 21, I was a walking/ticking time bomb. I did not want my children to have to deal with that pressure, anxiety, and stress, so we talk everything out. My daughter will probably tell you that I talk too much. I encourage the children to use different methods in handling issues (solving problems, tying shoes, figuring out why the tv stopped working, etc.). Our motto is “can’t isn’t a word- you CAN do anything, you just have to try”. The kids know that we don’t have to yell to get our point across, we don’t have to be mad if something doesn’t go our way, it’s ok to not always be the center of attention. Oh- and we hug and kiss for everything. I think I did that too much because now the kids won’t stop hugging me. My daughter tried to come into the shower to hug me this morning. Lol. We hug things out, we kiss to show affection, and we encourage each other daily.

Don’t be so hard on yourself: contrary to public misconceptions, there is no rule book to parenting. You do not have to do things the way your parents did, the way your brother/sister does, the way your friends do. Parent the way that works best FOR YOU! One thing that I learned in my 6 years of parenting is that everyone’s opinions don’t mean shit to me. I’m the person that has to be home with my children and deal with the consequences of my parenting style. The tantrums, the yelling, the doors being slammed- they are all directed towards ME. So I learned that only I could figure out how to coach these little people to be good, honest, caring, and well mannered little brats. Do I always get it right? Nope. There are days where I lay down and think “girl- you really could’ve handled that better earlier”. There are days when I know that if I sleep too hard my daughter is going to come into my room and smother me with a pillow while I’m asleep. And there are days when my kids make me feel like I am absolutely crushing this mom thing. But every single day I try to be the best parent and role model to them. And that’s all that matters!

Parenting isn’t easy. It’s never been easy, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. But I am always here for advice and an ear if you need it. And you can go to my podcast to listen to some insights and tips on how to try some new tips on parenting. You can find it here: https://kishnaj.buzzsprout.com or you can look up “Balancing Life & Kids” on any podcasting platform: Apple Podcats, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or Google podcasts.

As always, be legendary QUEENS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsFebruary 26, 2020 Comment

Home Staging Tips for Busy Parents on a Budget

Selling a home is a lot of work on its own, but when you’ve got a small budget to work with and kids at your heels, prepping your home for sale can feel like a never-ending nightmare. But it’s far from impossible! Although you may not be able to remodel your kitchen or install a new roof, there are several budget-friendly methods you can use to sell your home more quickly and for a better price.

Stage Your Home for Showings

Staging your home for sale is one of the most important things you can do to influence potential buyers. While working with a professional could cost you thousands, if you do it on your own, it’s cheap! Before staging your home, visit some open houses in your area to get an idea how other sellers are staging their homes. While staging goes far beyond cleaning and redecorating, purchasing a few new items can help you add those little touches needed to make your home feel move-in ready. For example, you may want to pick up some new bathroom towels or some elegant candles from affordable retailers like Kohl’s. Just be sure to grab some coupons before you shop online to stretch your dollar even further, and if possible, shop when they’re having one of their beloved clearance sales.

Remove Clutter, and Make a Cleaning Plan

An important part of home staging is decluttering and deep cleaning. You want to turn your home into a blank slate in which potential buyers can picture their own lives. Plus, decluttering your possessions means you won’t have to spend money moving them—you may even make some money by selling them!

According to Early Bird Mom, there are a few key areas to focus on during your decluttering. First of all, remove anything that is personal, such as collections, family photos, and quirky décor. Take care of excess furniture that’s crowding your space and making your rooms feel smaller than they are. Don’t forget to declutter your storage spaces as well—overflowing closets give the impression that the home lacks storage. Get your kids to help out by sorting through their own possessions as they pack up their rooms.

Since it can be difficult to maintain a clean home for showings with kids running around, keep some items in strategic places around the house for last-minute cleanups. Position a couple of empty bins in a closet where you can quickly stash toys, clothing, papers, and other items lying around the home. Also, ask your family to use only one bathroom so the others stay clean for showings.

Make Cost-Effective Upgrades

Once you’ve given your home a thorough cleaning, consider making a few low-cost upgrades. Luckily, some of the most affordable home upgrades have the highest ROI for sellers. Give every room in your home a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color to boost your sale price—keep an eye out for weekly ads from home improvement stores like Lowe’s to pick up your paint at a bargain rate. If your carpets are looking a little too tattered to fix with a cleaning, replace them with cheap vinyl or laminate flooring. Additionally, replacing the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom will give these areas an instant modern upgrade. You may also want to replace light fixtures that look outdated.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

Finally, make your way outside. Of course, the exterior of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see. Good curb appeal can help your home sell more quickly and for a higher price. Fortunately, optimizing your curb appeal can be accomplished on any budget, and it’s a great way to get your whole family working together in the fresh air.

Start by tidying up your yard and front entrance, removing clutter and refreshing the paint on your door. Ensure your grass is uniform—you can fix bare patches by planting grass seed a few weeks before the first showing. Remove dead bushes, incorporate new plants into your landscaping, and add attractive mulch to your flower beds. For more budget-friendly ideas, check out this article from HGTV.

When your home is up for sale, keeping the place spotless is essential. Fortunately, decluttering, cleaning, and making a few affordable upgrades can go a long way toward finding a buyer. If time just isn’t on your side, get your kids involved in the tidying and staging processes. This may be the perfect opportunity to teach your kids valuable life lessons and make lasting memories!

Guest post by: Kris Louis

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsFebruary 4, 2020 Comment

This Is Depression….

I woke up and just laid in the bed. I had to force myself to roll over and try to get up. I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to move. But I had to get the kids up for school and I didn’t have anyone to help me in the morning. I coached myself; move your left leg, then your right, then your arms. Sit up, stand up, now walk. I walked past the bathroom because I just didn’t have the energy to brush my teeth in that moment. I went into my daughters room, took a deep breath, then smiled as I proceeded to try to wake her up with kisses and a song. I repeated the same act for my son, sent them to the bathroom t brush their teeth and wash their face, and I laid back down on the bed. I was exhausted and the day hadn’t even started yet.

I was living 2 lives- 1 where I smiled at everyone and tried my best to act as if I was ok and 1 where I didn’t want to get out of the bed, eat, sleep, or do anything. I was always physically in pain, and I couldn’t sleep so I was always tired. I didn’t cook. The kids ate leftovers that I pilfered from someone’s house or frozen foods that I purchased for this specific reason. They didn’t seem to know- they always smiled and jumped on me and kissed me like everything was ok. Or maybe they did and I was just too depressed to notice. At that time, they always wanted to sleep in the bed with me and always wanted to sit next to me and hug/kiss me. But I didn’t want the affection, I just wanted to be left alone so I would always tell them to go play somewhere else and not to bother me. Of course they didn’t listen, but I didn’t have enough energy to yell at them to I just let them play.

I cried myself to sleep most nights. I couldn’t figure out how to climb out of this hole. I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to hurt me, would want to scare me, why someone would want to tarnish my name and ruin my brand. Of course I know the answer is because people are cruel but that didn’t stop me from struggling with this intense weight that was on my shoulders. I woke up everyday checking the whole house to make sure things were the way that I left it. I peeked out the window to make sure there wasn’t anything or anyone waiting for me. I looked over my shoulder when I walked to work. I was scared to be in my own house, and I was scared to leave out of it. I was in a lose-lose situation.

I lost weight. I couldn’t eat anything, and I had no appetite. My hair was shedding. I started to break out with pimples and blackheads. I was moody and grumpy. And whenever I stepped out of the house I plastered a smile on my face and made everything seem like it was ok. I tried to put a smile in my voice, and I did my best to hide what I was going through. After I was able to pull myself out of my depression, I asked my mom and my partner if they knew that I was depressed and they said no, they didn’t have a clue. I guess I did a good job at hiding it. Being a mom while dealing with depression was almost impossible. There was no way for me to completely come out of my depression to provide the kids with attention and affection. It took too much energy. The kids often went to bed early because I was tired and needed to sleep. The kids fetched their own foods to eat (thankfully lunchables and fruits were always readily available for them). They learned to take baths independently, and they often put themselves to bed. I used all of the little bit of energy that I had during the day at work and I had barely any left to be a mom.

I woke up one day and said “I”m done!” I was tired of being physically in pain. I was tired of not having the energy to be a mom. I was tired of being scared to be in my own house. No- my situation didn’t change. I was still under an immense amount of stress, and I was still dealing with the foolishness of the father of my children. But I made up my mind to not focus on all of the negative things that I was dealing with, rather to focus on the fact that I had children to raise and a business to run. 2019 was probably the hardest year for me emotionally, and many friendships suffered because of it. My business suffered, my cashflow suffered. I distanced myself from almost everyone because I just needed to find my peace. Of course, many people had issues and took it personally, but my mental sanity was more important to me than someone’s ego.

I was able to pull myself out of a hole. But it wasn’t easy. In fact, it was almost impossible. It took an immense amount of willpower and dedication to change my thinking and my outlook on the situation. And therapy. Talking to a therapist really helped me put things into perspective and understand that my situation wouldn’t last forever, and that I needed to start looking at tomorrow instead of focusing so much on today and right now. I HIGHLY recommend a therapist if you are suffering from depression (whether situational or clinical). I also recommend that you find help with your children. Suffering with depression is already hard enough; having to be a parent on top of it (ESPECIALLY a single parent) makes it unbearable. Find someone that you trust to take the kids for a while and allow you time to decompress as much as possible and try to relieve some of the pain that your body is feeling. I was in extreme physical pain when I was going through depression, so soaking in a bath helped me a lot. Massages did also. I didn’t attempt to keep up the same workload while I was suffering through my depression. It wasn’t going to happen. I was barely able to read 5 emails, let alone complete a grant or application. If I was able to complete 5 email, I was productive. Small and simple tastes are ok, and build up your energy until you can get better and go back to your normal routine. Give yourself a break and time to get better. It may take a week, and it may take a year. But allow yourself the time and opportunity to get better.

Depression is real, and depression can severely abrupt your life. Do what you need to get yourself better.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo Comment

New Yea, New Tings

I am so excited to be announcing something new to you all! I have been going back and forth on whether or not I should start a podcast. It was something that I have been thinking about for several months, but wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit for me. Then, I had a few people reach out to me and let me know how much my blog has helped them deal with a situation, or how refreshing it is to have someone be so open and honest about parenting and dealing with the kids at home. I realized that I was helping people. That was my pushing point.

I’ve always wanted to help people- that’s why I work in youth development and it was why I did direct care for years. Talking about my experiences has helped people, so why not broaden that platform? I am super excited about this venture. I’ve decided to not only do a podcast, but to record it as well and put it on YouTube. There will be plenty of ways to get what I am giving!

I have updated my website to include a space where the podcasts will be easy to access and listen to, but they will also be uploaded to iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud. And the YouTube channel will be live under Kishna J.

If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, please drop me a line! I would love to have you! In the meantime, check out my Facebook page where you can get a clip of one of the interviews. Just go to Facebook and look up Kishna J.!

Thank you all for reading my blogs, sharing my posts, and leaving such inspiring comments and notes! This is all possible because of you!

Happy Sunday!

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsJanuary 19, 2020 Comment

Sex After Kids

Having a baby is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Being able to give life is something I think that every mother should experience if they are capable. But what happens when you’re now a mom who has a little person on your tail with a husband or a boyfriend who’s starting to feel neglected? Or a vagina that starts to crave attention?

Having sex is a joyous act- at least, it used to be. Once I started having little people it became like a game of chess. When, where, for how long, how loud can I be- these are all questions that now have to be answered just to get a little dick action. And for a lot of women, their sex drive decreases and they can’t get wet. I can’t count how many times a mom has told me that she just doesn’t want to have sex anymore because it hurts or she’s too tired. Ladies: WE NEED TO GET OUR SEX ON! I am a huge advocator of sex, especially as a parent. Because if you can’t find any peace in your house, you gotta grab some. And sex is the perfect way to grab even just a small portion of peace. And dick. Let’s talk about it!

  1. Play with yourself! Get to know your vagina and your clitoris. Start off small- buy water-based lubrication. Go right to Walmart and get the KY Water-Based Gel lube (or the Walmart brand version for a couple of bucks cheaper). Pop the protective shield off, squirt some on a CLEAN finger! (because I’ve made the mistake of eating spicy hot wings, wiping my hands with the cleaning wipes, then deciding that I was horney and not actually washing my hands and almost ended up in the emergency room) and get to exploring. Or use a detachable shower head and spend a little extra time washing off your vagina area. You know, just to make sure she’s clean. Or you can buy a “bullet” vibrator from Amazon. You won’t need the lube, just a battery, and place it ever so gently against your clitoris until you’ve reached your satisfaction. Trust me- you’ll be happy that you did!
  2. Go on dates with your partner! One of the issues why sex and intimacy start to fade after a child is because the time spent being intimate with your partner decreases (sometimes even fading!). Bring back that oneness, that togetherness, make each other feel valued and important again. Alone time with other adults is important but alone time with your partner is crucial. Laugh, talk, cry, and learn each other again. It will make sex that much more special.
  3. Get some ME time (or in this case, YOU time)! Yes- you are an awesome mom but you need a break. Pack some clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles, toys, food- whatever. Pack it up for ALL of your kids and send them off somewhere. You need a break. You won’t feel sexy if you’re always tired and chasing after a kid. You need to sleep because no man wants a woman who’s going to lazily throw that ass back. Rest, take a long hot bath, light some candles, and relax. Get back your energy. Then throw something sexy on, do your hair and makeup, drink some wine, and fall in love with yourself again. You’ll be way more comfortable and way more open to sex once you are rested. You’ll have the energy too.
  4. If all else fails, watch some porn! I myself don’t particularly like porn but I have plenty of videos between myself and my ex-lover that we used to pass back and forth. Those always get me in the mood to be frisky. Mostly because I love watching myself have sex. Hey- kids didn’t stop my sex drive, what can I say? Record yourself! Even if you’re just dancing in the mirror- do something sexy and record it so that you can watch it later. Or record some porn. Something that definitely turns you on and will definitely get you in the mood.

The whole goal of this is to have sex! Release your body from the everyday stress of being a mom, and let go of pent up tension, aggression, and whatever else you are holding in your body. Sure, you could go to the gym and just work out but it won’t feel as good and it won’t bring you closer to your partner. Sex not only helps YOU out, but it brings you closer to your significant other, allows you to have a healthier relationship with the people around you (because if you are clear-headed, you can approach situations differently), it will help you burn calories, and it’ll at the very least give you a break from the kids. Whether it’s for 2 minutes or 45, that’s time spent in pure pleasure.

Oh- and have sex when you’re angry. I know that almost every woman that I know says the complete opposite, but that’s when I have sex the most. I can be in the middle of an argument with my partner and I’ll just blurt out “come fuck me right now!” Why? Because 1- the argument probably is something that can easily be solved if we both take our emotions out of it (which sex will help with), 2- now I am frustrated and angry and need to release all of my anger (which sex will help with), and 3- that allows me to gain back power and control over the situation and the argument because me down on my knees with my man’s penis in my mouth, his balls in one hand, and his nipple in between my fingers will get me whatever I want.

I could go a lot further into detail, but we’ll leave this post as PG-18 as possible. Have sex, I know I will. Matter of fact, let me call my boy toy now. I’ll catch up with you moms (and dads) later.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsJanuary 10, 2020 Comment

Surviving My 6-Year-Old Daughter

Six years ago when I found out that I was having a daughter, I was the happiest mother-to-be in the world. I thought “this is going to be so much fun! I can dress her up in tutu’s, braid her hair, making her look so cute all the time!” While that has been true for the most part, no one prepared me for the monster that is clothed as a young girl.

My daughter is amazing! She’s extremely smart, very friendly, can hold a conversation, loves to try new things, dances and sings like she’s a rockstar (even though she can’t hold a tune or twirl to save her life) and she loves to help me cook and clean around the house. This very same amazing daughter of mine rolls her eyes at me, talks back, disobeys my orders, talks with her hands, and defies my orders. Blatantly. Then lies about it to my face. I don’t remember signing up for this part of parenting. To make matters worse, she is a big sister. Well, more like she’s a big terror to him. And nothing that I try works in getting ger to be nicer to him.

So, you’re probably saying “it can’t be that bad!” Well, let me tell you a few stories about this beautiful little monster of mine. Story 1: both of the kids were laying on my king-sized pillow top mattress bed (because the fact that I bought them their OWN pillow-top beds to lay on and their own 65″ PROJECTOR tv to watch means absolutely nothing) watching a movie. The boy was jumping up and down and irritated the princess. His toy fell, so he asked her to move her leg so that he can get it. She moved her leg alright- when he tried to go over her, she lifted her leg and tripped him. He went tumbling down off the bed and busted his lip. There was blood everywhere. When I asked her why she did it, she replied “he was bothering me. He should’ve gone another way down.” Story 2: just a few days ago, I sat her down to braid her hair. I had to take out her old braids to do new braids because she had school the next day. As I am taking the ballies out of her hair, small chunks of hair are coming out with it. I paused, thought for a second (because just the night before we had an incident with scissors) and asked her “did you cut your hair?!” She replies “yea, I felt like I needed a trim.” Very plainly and matter-of-factly. Then she turns around and continues to watch tv. Meanwhile, I’m sitting behind her wondering how long it would take for someone to notice that her body is missing.

I love being a mom! But my daughter can be an asshole. LMAO! I was always told that if a child is well behaved while they are young, they’ll be hell when they get into their teen years and if a child is hell when they are young, they’ll be amazing as a teenager. I have absolutely no clue if that is true or not, but I do know that I cannot take this sassy little thing growing into her teen years like this. I’ve already been prepping my mom to know that she will have a live-in teenager if she grows with this mini ‘tude that she has. Even my mom sees it now- the other day she told her nana “what do you want to talk to me about so badly?” When she told me what my daughter said, I instantly burst into laughter. I’ve been telling her about my daughter for a while now, so now she gets to see live and in person what a little brat this kid can be. What makes matters even worse is the fact that she’s me! She is a miniature version of me! And I cannot stand it! One time I asked her to do something and she gave me the smartest rudest answer ever! But it was an intelligent response that was filled with logic and rationality! And she’s only 6! I was stuck- I couldn’t even answer her back and in my mind, I’m thinking “this little heffer really just got over on me!” LMAO!

She makes it really hard to deal with her sometimes, then she does small things like come up to me and tell me how much of a great mother I am, or she’ll snuggle up next to me while we’re watching a movie. Or she’ll come home with a homemade card and I’ll be this superhero mom that always saves her day. I have no idea if I should be sleeping with one eye open or if she’s doing a pre-puberty-lets-see-how-much-estrogen-I-can-pump-out-before-I-turn-10 thing. I don’t have this issue with my son. My biggest issue with him is that he keeps eating everything out of my damn house and he is the most active little person that I have ever encountered in my life. Make that strong-willed and active. There’s nothing worse than a 5-year-old who’s determined to try to find a way to slide down the steps on his tiny toy race car track while watching his iPad on his way to go rob my snack cabinet. The number of toys that I have tripped over and the numerous wrappers that I’ve found around the house are enough to warn me that we’re going to have at least 2 hospital visits before he turns 18 and that I need to make my budget for groceries a lot higher. I can handle those issues. My daughter on the other, sometimes I have to double-check her birth certificate to make sure that she really is only 6 years old.

I’ve made it this far people! We’ve made it to 6 glorious years in which I haven’t given her up for adoption. Or at least, sent her to go live with my mom. I was on the phone with my mom the other day and I said “mom, please tell me that she’ll get better as she gets older”, and she said, “I can’t make any promises”. Great. Just freaking great. And I’m not one of those parents that kick their child out at 18, so if she decides to stay home while going to college… Lord, please let this just be a phase that she’ll grow out of; PLEASE!! I am absolutely in love with the little person that I created. But sometimes, she’s a little shit. A smart, pretty, helpful little shit, but a little shit nonetheless. I guess that means that I’m a big shit huh, since she literally acts just like me. Oh God- now I need to re-evaluate my lifestyle choices and somehow be less of a shit so that she can follow that example. LMAO. Please provide me with tips because I can’t take very much more of this!

*Disclaimer* This blog post was made in FUN and HUMOR!! Yes, dealing with a daughter that has a mini ‘tude is frustrating, but I wanted to bring humor to it. Please- no radical comments about how I shouldn’t be a mother if I feel this way because you’re a mother that struggles with your kids as well. Parenting isn’t perfect nor is it always pretty flowers and sunshine so if you don’t deal with THIS particular issue, just laugh and keep it moving. Thanks love!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary MOMS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsJanuary 2, 2020 Comment

For The Love Of My Belly

I am a mom of 2 amazing children. They aren’t amazing every day, but overall they do a good job maintaining that title. What wasn’t amazing was the state in which they left my stomach. It’s been 5 years since I gave birth to my last child, but it has been a struggle to get my stomach to go back to a size that I am comfortable with.

Now, if I am being honest, my work schedule doesn’t always allow me the opportunity to work out and stay active the way that I would like. And my stress and eating habits aren’t always the best. I could probably do a lot better with eating healthier and working out more. With that being said, I am not big. I still maintain a slim-ish figure and I am in a healthy shape. But pregnancy destroyed my stomach. I’m talking stretch marks, stretched skin, stretched everything!

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I often had people ask me if I was carrying twins in my stomach because it was so big. Now, I am very self-conscious about it. I wear loose-fitting clothes to try to hide it, I wear high-waisted jeans, and wearing 2-piece bikinis in the summer is out of the question. Realistically my stomach probably isn’t that bad, but in my head, I look pregnant again. And I hate it. I have been to the gym (until I found out that I had arthritis in BOTH of my knees and had to stop) but I didn’t see any change in my stomach. Everywhere else toned up nicely, but the baby belly still stayed. This fupa-pouch is a determined little sucker.

This issue played on my self-esteem. I’m not fit enough to wear certain outfits, my stomach is too big to be attractive, people are going to think that I’m pregnant. These are all thoughts that constantly swam around in my head. Then, I met someone who completely changed that. After 2 years of giving birth to my last child and dealing with this belly issue, someone walked into my life and changed the way I looked at myself. He knew I wasn’t too thrilled with the way it looked and always went out of his way to kiss my belly, hold my belly, and tell me how beautiful I looked without any clothes on. He took me out of my own head and showed me how beautiful I was despite what I thought about myself. His favorite line was “but you gave birth to 2 kids and you still look sexy as shit”. He would get mad at me for calling myself fat, would hate when I wore a waist trainer, and always snuck me snacks and foods. He didn’t see anything wrong with how I looked, so why did I? Let’s not mention the fact that my kids think that my “squishy” belly is the best toy in the house. I told my daughter that I was going to cut my belly off and she became visibly sad. I asked her why and she responded, “now I won’t have anything to lay on when we’re having movie night”. I had to quickly run out of the room and burst into laughter.

I say all of this to say 2 things. 1- we put way too much pressure on how we are supposed to look. We pluck, tweeze, squeeze, pinch, prod, and cover up a body that literally brings life into the world. We are amazing people and we need to accept and love our bodies. And 2- get out of your head! We tend to think the worst of ourselves, and if something is wrong and you really don’t like it, make a change. You are worth it, and then some. So stop limiting yourself, and go out and get it done! No one will ever love you more than you love yourself, so make you sure you fall in love with YOU over and over again!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsDecember 30, 2019 Comment

Pregnancy And Nausea

Being pregnant was something that I never thought that I would experience. I was overjoyed when I found out that I was pregnant. I didn’t care if I was having a girl or boy or alien- I was just excited to be bringing in life. Then, the symptoms hit me and I wasn’t so overjoyed anymore.

Both of my pregnancies caught me by surprise, but the pregnancy with my daughter gave me a run for my money. I was pregnant for almost 8 weeks before I found out, but the minute the pregnancy was confirmed my body started acting up. And I mean something MAJOR! At the time, I was living with my ex. I couldn’t stand the smell of him, of his cooking, of his cologne- nothing. I could not be anywhere where someone was cooking because it would make me throw up. I couldn’t eat or drink anything because it would make me throw up. If you looked at me for too long I would throw up! *Ok, that was an exaggeration, but you get the point.* This was my first ever pregnancy so I didn’t know if it was normal or not so I didn’t say anything to my doctor. But I couldn’t keep anything down. And I could only eat 1 thing- fried chicken wings PLAIN! No sauce, no salt, no seasoning. And I could NOT be in the house while it was being cooked. (I specifically remember the one time the kids’ father was cooking it for me and I had to go into the bedroom, open up all the windows, and put towels under the door just so I wouldn’t smell it. I think I even lit a candle to mask the smell. It was BAD!) And if it wasn’t fried hard- if the skin was any type of soft or mushy- I was throwing up. This means that I couldn’t eat any wings from the Chinese store, the corner store, the restaurant- none of them. Why- because the oil had flavor on it and guess what? I would throw up. You could imagine that this made it very difficult for me, my ex, and anyone else who was around me at the time. It got to a point where my doctor became concerned because I lost a total of 30 pounds within the first 4-5 months of my pregnancy.

Finally, my OB stepped in and was like “I think you’re having a problem keeping foods down, so let’s try something”. Or something like that, I don’t remember exactly but come on this should’ve been a red flag the minute I didn’t gain ANY weight within the first few months. (Ok, in his defense I also had other medical issues that we were dealing with like panic attacks, heart murmurs, fainting and dizzy spells…. Yeah- my daughter was a little pain in my side since the womb. Let’s not even mention how she made my hair fall out…) Where was I? Oh- the cure. This tiny little minty pill called Zofran that saved my life! One pill on my tongue, let it dissolve, and I could eat again. Pizza, mozzarella sticks, legume with red rice and beans, lemon pepper chicken wings- you name it, I now could eat it. I think I might have kissed my doctor at the next appointment. Lol. I started holding food down and gaining weight. I lost 30 pounds but I only gained back 20. I didn’t care though- I could eat! And my favorite things to eat were vanilla milkshakes from Crown Fried Chicken and a Haitian meal called lalo. I could eat it with white rice, red rice and beans, bread, by its self, with avocado- you name it, I was eating the lalo with it.

If you are feeling nauseous during your pregnancy, ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR ZOFRAN! It will save your life and your eating habits. Thank me later. (They really need to add emoji’s into this thing!)

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsDecember 29, 2019 Comment

Snackin in Peace!

As a mom of 2 younger children, my house stays stocked up with snacks. The rule is as long as you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner you can snack as much as you want. I just never thought that meant that I wouldn’t be allowed to have my own snacks anymore…

I have recently found myself eating my snacks while hiding. Or when the kids are asleep. Because otherwise, I won’t be able to eat my stuff in peace. You would think that them having their own stash of stuff would allow mine to be off-limits right? Wrong! Apparently, my stuff is an aphrodisiac and must be consumed by little stubby fingered people because “it tastes better than ours!” Even though it’s the same thing. I made shrimp for everyone as a snack, mine was done first. I bought ice cream for them and ice cream for me. Which one was finished first? I now buy my food and snacks while I am driving home, park in the driveway, and eat it all before I walk into the house. I even have gum to chew on so they can’t smell it on my breathe. Yes- it’s really that serious.

I am trying to figure out how I even came to the point of hiding my stuff in MY house! Lol. I hide chips, chocolate, ice cream, popcorn- all stuff I probably shouldn’t be eating anyway since I am trying to lose this 5-year-old baby belly. That’s beside the point though- I should be able to eat in peace in my own house gosh darn it! I just bought chocolate-filled marshmallows to make smores. For myself. I wonder how long those will last. Which is how I came up with my rules- if you don’t eat all of your regular food, you can’t have snacks. At all. Don’t even look at the snack cabinet! Has it worked? Of course not because kids are sneaky little people who lie about eating snacks when I go to looking for some to eat. I need to find new hiding spots.

Want some good hiding spots to eat snacks in? At this point, I’ve mastered it. Here are my 4 favorite spots:

  1. in my car in the driveway. They can’t come outside without an adult so there’s absolutely no way for me to get caught. I just need to make sure my breath doesn’t give me away so I have to chew gum or candy to hide the scent
  2. in the bathroom with the door locked. Maybe even inside the tub for that matter. And make sure you clean all the crumbs because their eyes are trained to see the slightest bit of evidence!
  3. in the closet! This one only gives me a few minutes of hiding (because my kids are dependant little things who can’t go 5 minutes without seeing my face) so they start looking for me really quickly. This is only for small quick snacks.
  4. in my room AFTER they’ve gone to sleep. But I have to wait until they are asleep for at least 30 minutes to make sure they won’t hear me opening up the bag of snack

These spots have helped me consume many a snack in peace without detection. But you need to be careful- the kids that are trained know how to smell it on your breath. Those kids are tricky- they even count the number of snacks that are in the closet to know how many are missing (if any). That’s my daughter. She’s a hard one to deal with. So now I just buy extra and don’t put my snacks in the snack cabinet. She just can’t be in the kitchen when I’m putting everything away so she won’t catch me. Lol. The life of a mom, huh?

If you have any tips and tricks, please share! Because at this point I’m running out of ideas! Kids, huh? Lol!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsNovember 30, 2019 Comment

Mastering Carrides With Kids

As a mother who is always on the go with her kids, trying to get them not to fight in the back of the car has been the hardest thing to master. Even with the 2 car seats on opposite sides of the car, they still manage to find a way to kick and punch one another. So how did I become a super mom and calm the storm that is my backseat?

1. Music! I love to sing and dance and make up silly songs with the kids in the house, so naturally, my children love music. I purchased an FM radio transmitter from Amazon for under $20 and plugged it in, dialed my radio to the selected channel and BOOM- we have kids songs. I wanted to see just how effective it was, so one day I didn’t turn on the music and within 3 minutes they were arguing and fighting. I waited for another 5 to see if they would calm down (and they didn’t) so I turned the radio on and BINGO! We have happy singing kids. Works wonders!

2. Storytelling. I have been reading to mu children since before they were born, so we love stories and books. When I want to try something fun, we take turns making up stories and characters and tell silly stories to each other. They love this because the come up with the silliest stories.

3. I spy with my little eye. I just started playing this game in the car with my kids, and it has turned into the most outrageously fun game that we have ever played! Mostly because kids do NOT follow rules and make up their own as we go. But it’s ok because we are having fun.

4. Talking! It sounds crazy, but I actually talk to my kids while we are driving. I turn the radio low and we pick a topic and we talk. We even created a mantra that we say every morning now- “I am smart; I am talented; I can do anything I want to do; I can be anything I want to be; I am amazing!” Then we talk about what the kids want to be, how we treat others, how we want others to treat us, and how we can all be superheroes. When I told my kids that we all have superpowers, they told me that I was crazy, until I explained to them that our superpowers were being kind to people, and how that can have a positive effect on them. Now they are walking bodies of kindness.

5. Snacks! I saved the best for last. Lol. If I pack snacks with me (even if it’s just a short 30-minute car ride) and let them munch on something they tend to calm down and not fight (unless one finishes their snack before the other and now they want the other to share and they’ve said no). I’m not sure if your kid(s) is/are like mine, but they can literally JUST finish eating dinner and still ask me for a snack (eye roll). My car has suffered because of it, but the kids are happy and I don’t have World War 3 in my backseat so hey- it works.

These methods have work wonders for me! Try them if you haven’t. I know that I could easily just toss them an iPad and let them play (and I have a time or two) but I don’t like my kids having too much screen time. They become little zombies and I can’t talk to them. I am old school- I like talking to my kids and having constant contact with them. I want them to be comfortable with talking to me about anything now so that we can try to maintain that as they grow older. And I want to be the fun parent. Dads and step-dads always hold that title. I’m taking it back, a small step at a time.

Let me know if these tricks work for you moms!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary KINGS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsNovember 23, 2019 Comment

Words Sweeter Than Honey

I’ve been around long enough to know that how we talk to our spouse makes a huge impact on how the relationship goes. The more we speak life into our partner, the better the communication. The more we talk down to our partner, the harder it is to talk to one another about stuff. I’ve learned this the extremely hard way and made the promise that I wouldn’t fall into that pattern again.

My last partner used to call me fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, and a bad mother; this made it extremely hard to see a beautiful young lady when I looked in the mirror. It killed my self-esteem, and it killed our relationship. The amount of therapy that I needed afterward proved to me that how we talk to one another is extremely important. I made the decision to never allow anyone else to talk to me like that. And in return, I do not talk to others this way, including my children. Simple phrases like “you are your father’s child!” or “you remind me of your dad” hold more weight to a child than we know. Even in anger, I never talk negatively to my children. And neither do I to my partner.

In a relationship, your partner becomes your best friend. They learn you inside and out and know what buttons to push. This should NOT be the weapons they use during an argument. I can proudly say that in my most current situation, I do not argue with my partner. Well, he doesn’t argue back. Lol. He simply lets me get my anger and frustrations out, then we figure out a solution to the problem. When he does get angry with me to the point that he can’t talk, he calms down, then we address the problem. We do not say mean and hurtful things to one another- things that we cannot take back once the dust has settled. But it’s so much more than how we talk to our partners and children.

Have you ever walked down the street and simply said “good morning” to someone? The look of bewilderment that they give you is shocking. People don’t remember what being kind to one another is anymore. My neighbor shovels my snow every time it snows. He puts away my trashcan after trash has passed by. He speaks every single time he sees me. And all he asks in return is a simple conversation and a “thank you”. That is kindness. And it is so rare to come by. I tell him how much I appreciate him regularly. But he does the same for our other neighbors and they don’t even look in his direction, let alone say hello. When I call 800 numbers, I ask the customer support agent “how are you today?” and wait for an answer. One time, the agent told me “I’ve never had someone genuinely ask me how my day was when they called in; thank you”. We’ve lost our ability to be kind to one another and say kind things to each other.

Words have always had a major impact on people. When I was younger, I remember singing “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. This is so far from the truth and I wish that I could warn my younger self about that. Too often, we hurl out hurtful and insulting words to one another, then try to cover it up with an “I’m sorry” or “I was just angry and didn’t mean it” all the while the person on the receiving end of the insults has to pick up the pieces of their hurt. I am constantly redirecting everyone around me with how we speak to each other. I like to think that I can make a difference, even if only in my small circle. Because whether we like to admit it or not, words hold more weight than sticks and stones. Those wounds last a lot longer and can cause a ripple effect. If we make more of an effort to use words filled with honey rather than vinegar, how much happier and closer would we be to the people around us?

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsNovember 18, 2019 Comment

Are You Procrastinating on Life Insurance?

By: Tiana Cuevas from Consumers Advocate

If you’re a parent, and you haven’t purchased life insurance yet, the thought might have been hovering in the back of your mind for a while. So…what’s stopping you?

Maybe death is a subject that’s too scary to think about. Or you think your health history might prevent you from getting a policy at an affordable price. Or, like many, you’re confused about which policy to choose and for how much.

However, as this guide to the best life insurance for families shows, it’s just not as complicated or scary as many tend to think.

Simply put: while there is a wide variety of policies available, most parents would do best with term life insurance, which is inexpensive and covers the years when your children would most need your financial support. For example, for parents of very young children, a 20-year term life policy—one of the most affordable options—would be active all those years from childhood into college.

On the other hand, parents of kids who will need financial support for their entire life, like special needs children, will find that a whole life policy would keep them covered regardless of age. Although more expensive, that policy will remain active as long as the premium is being paid, without an expiration date.

Thinking about your family’s debt

Making the decision to buy life insurance accomplishes a lot more than just having X amount of money set aside in case the unthinkable happens. While nothing can replace the loss of a parent, having financial support can at least help children have a sense of stability by letting them stay in the same home and school that they’re used to, surrounded by friends and teachers who know them and can support them. Having a strong financial net also prevents a surviving spouse from having to seek additional income (which sometimes means a second job) all the while they’re still trying to grieve.

But there are other benefits to buying life insurance. Among them: modeling great financial behavior for your kids.

As it turns out, both money and debt are inheritable in more ways than one. Studies show that children will tend to model their parents’ financial habits—whether that’s the tendency to save for the future or the tendency to fall into debt. While some of this has to do with children’s personalities, much of it is learned from what they see their parents do, and how they see them approach money.

First, in practical terms—if you are in debt now and you’re ready to buy life insurance, it’s essential to keep that in mind when choosing coverage. You want to choose enough coverage to help your children pay for any debts and bills that they will be responsible for, including mortgages and household-related expenses.

But, just as importantly, purchasing life insurance can be a big part of a smart financial strategy, and in teaching your kids that, when it comes to finances, it’s best to think ahead rather than just reacting to emergencies as they happen.

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsNovember 11, 2019 Comment

The Truth About Being The “Strong Friend”

I am known as the “strong” friend. The one who everyone goes to for advice, money, a sitter for their kids, a place to crash. You name it, I’m the person for it. But that becomes a very hard title to carry when you have your own issues beating down your door and you have no one to turn to for comfort…

I started to feel the pressure in early 2018. I was growing increasingly tired of the house that I was living in. There were people being shot on the next block over, there was always trash in front of my house, my neighbors argued at 3,4,5, and 6 in the morning, my children’s father was passing out defaming flyers about me to everyone in the neighborhood. I needed a change, so I fought to get one. I wanted to buy a house, but I needed to fix my credit. Then I needed a co-signer. Fast forward to 2019, now I needed a new mortgage person to help me because the person I was working with took 3+ months to let me know if I was approved or not. *Come to think of it, I still never received an approval OR denial from her!* I finally got my approval and for way more than what I was expecting. Thank you co-signer! Now I’m searching for a house. Did I mention that I decided to start a new business? And they cost money- lots of it. On top of the fact that I am still going back and forth to child support and custody court with my ex (and every court date means I have to pay my lawyer). I’m at a point now where I am literally spending over $3,000 almost every month; I have no idea where the money was coming from. House hunting is stressful. Down payment money is stressful. Closing cost money is stressful. Then I find out that I have a stalker that was actually coming INTO my house = stressful. I am severely understaffed at work = stressful. My kids are being abused at their other parent’s house which I am learning about from therapy = stressful. It got to a point where I would run my fingers through my hair and come out with a handful of hair. I dismissed it and figured that I just needed to take more vitamins and lay off of flat ironing my hair. So, I braided it up and threw some weave into it and kept it pushing. Never once managing my stress, just covering up the effects of it.

I started having extremely painful menstrual cramps- I usually never get menstrual cramps. I started having panic attacks. I started getting major migraines, and my face started breaking out again. Yet I still never stopped and paid attention to my body and what it was telling me. Until I got a period that was so bad that I thought I was having a miscarriage. I went to my doctor convinced that I was pregnant and didn’t know and I lost the baby. Me believing that was a wake-up call for me. I told myself that I needed to stop. Stop working, stop stressing, stop overdoing it with my body. Then, I took my hair out and this happened.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much of my hair at once in my hands, even when I was pregnant and my hair was falling out. I cried when I saw this. Then I cried again after I washed my hair and saw how much hair was in the sink. The reality of how much stress I was carrying on me hit me like a ton of bricks. This moment was it for me- this was the moment that I made up my mind to do everything that I needed to do to take care of myself. No matter who feels slighted, neglected, who’s angry at me saying NO, I have to put myself first. Because losing that much hair is absolutely a sign that I need to stop. My schedule is changing. My day ends earlier. I’m home more. And I am spending more time with my kids. I cannot change everything, but the things that I can change are changing. If I lose business, friends, and money over it, well… I can always get it back. Cuz if I die, they won’t matter anyway, right?

Situational depression IS REAL! I would have never known this had this period in my life not happened. And the effects of it can be detrimental. Just ask my hair. If you feel anxiety about a situation, it’s time to rethink and reevaluate it. If you’re having panic attacks, something is wrong. If you have unexplained migraines, something needs to be looked into. And LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Weight gain, weight loss, loss of appetite or wanting to eat all the time; lack of sleep, or always wanting to go to sleep- these are all signs of depression. Wanting to be alone all the time, having a short temper, not being able to manage your thoughts, or having trouble finding a positive side of a situation are all signs that something is wrong. And these are all signs that I had and I overlooked because I thought that I was “just tired and needed some more sleep”. Allowing depression to go unnoticed and unmanaged (either through therapy, meditation, or medication) can cause serious physical, emotional, and social damage- to you and others around you.

Please- seek help if you think this is you!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo Comment

4 of the Top Apps for New Parents Right Now

Post By: Emily Graham

Welcoming a new baby is a huge milestone, and it’s the event that most changes couples’ lives. As Very Well Mind admits, having children adds another level of stress to a marriage. Fortunately, working together with your partner—and taking advantage of technological support—can help reduce stress and make you a more engaged parent.

Why Choose Apps for Parenting Tips?

Utilizing the power of smartphone apps can give you access to expert advice and information. When you second-guess every decision as a new parent, trustworthy sources get you through. Having an app at your fingertips is like having a good friend helping you through difficult times.

If you need a new device to help you manage the next few years (and thousands of photos) with baby, consider grabbing the latest iPhone. iPhone 11 gives you full creative control thanks to two cameras—perfect for snapping selfies, curating boutique baby snaps, and zooming in for quick shots. It also has upgraded security features, which makes it one less thing you have to worry about.

Water-resistance is a must, of course, and exceptional battery life will keep your device going for much longer than you, sans coffee. Not an Apple fan? Consider an upgrade to a newer Android device, such as a Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Google Pixel 3. Excellent photo quality and Google Drive compatibility make connecting and sharing simple. You’ll also find a long list of compatible apps for Android.

WebMD Baby

Every piece of advice from WebMD Baby is confirmed by a physician, making this a trustworthy source for parenting tips. Between videos starring WebMD’s pediatrician to over 400 articles on parenting and infant health, there’s an answer to every question you might have.

Plus, a built-in baby book section ensures that even busy and sleepless parents document their children’s milestones. Trackers let you note and review feeding and nursing times, sleep sessions, diaper changes, and even height and weight measurements.

Cozi Family Organizer

For new parents who struggle to manage their busy lives, Cozi Family Organizer can help get you and your partner on the same page. You can list events and activities in the app, then share with your family. Make grocery lists, note recipes, and even connect from the computer if it’s more convenient.

As Stanford Children’s Health explains, family meals are crucial for children’s development and family relationships. Starting when your child is an infant, sharing time enjoying food is an excellent habit to establish. Cozi Family Organizer can help you plan meals and get everyone to the table to enjoy them, too.

Cloud Baby Monitor

If leaving the room when the baby sleeps is nerve-wracking for you, Cloud Baby Monitor has the solution. You can transform your Apple or Android device into a Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitor. Leave one device with your baby while you take the other with you. Then, check in wirelessly from any room in the house.

Noise and motion alerts add another layer of security, and two-way audio and video lets you monitor your little one from afar. The range is unlimited (use 3G, LTE, or Wi-Fi), and you can use built-in white noise and lullaby functions to soothe from the next room or the backyard.

Baby Sign and Learn Lite

According to Psych Central, teaching sign language to babies is beneficial for both infants and their caregivers. Whether you use ASL or modified signs with your baby, you will enjoy bonding and better communication with your child.

For older infants who are ready to communicate, Baby Sign and Learn Lite is a helpful to-go instructor. You can review signs—with the help of a digital baby—and learn how to teach them to your child. Interacting with the app together helps you learn new signs and share them in conversation.

As a new parent, you have a lot going on. Fortunately, today’s technology can help in many ways. From long-distance baby monitors to white noise machines, there are many tips and tricks for moms and dads to survive the early years. And thanks to modern apps accessible from your smartphone, you can do so much more as a first-time parent than you thought possible.

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Girl Code, Sis!

There are many things that I can share with my girlfriends and not think a thing about it. I can share my food with them, my drinks, my clothes, shoot I can even let them borrow my bundles if they need it! But one thing we will not share is my man. He’s off-limits, always and forever. BUT!! Is there ever a time where he isn’t?

I read a post on social media that explained that 2 girlfriends had a dilemma- friend A dated a guy several years back, but decided that it wasn’t going to work out because he was “too nice”. Friend B kept in friendly contact with him over the years, and the guy eventually asked friend B out and she accepted. Friend B then went to friend A and said that she liked the guy, and would friend A be ok with them dating. Friend A said absolutely not. What would you say?

When does “dating” take a guy off-limits? Is it immediately when you start talking to a guy that no one in your crew can talk to him? Is it if you guys have had sex? Is it if you were in a relationship with him? This is a tricky situation because as friends, do we honestly ever sit down with our girlfriends and establish these boundary lines? I have girlfriends who won’t even look twice at a guy that their friend dated, and I have friends who think it’s ok if one of us has never had sex with the guy, and the lines fall somewhere in between. So the question then becomes- can you really be mad at a friend that dates one of your exes or flings if you’ve never really discussed and established what is off-limits and what is not? Because like common sense, friendship-ex-dating lines aren’t commonly known. If I dated a guy 10 years ago while I was in college and I never slept with him, is it right for me to stop a girlfriend of mine from dating him? What if he is her soulmate and I am standing in the way of it? Me personally, I don’t even look at the guys my friends’ date. They’re lucky if I even remember their names (no offense to the guy and no shade to my friends dating them, but y’all ain’t married so he can easily be replaced. Imagine me remembering every single guy one of my friends dated. I can barely remember my husband’s name! Lol!) I’m just kidding boo, you know I know your name. Sometimes. Haha! I’ve put my foot in my own mouth enough times to refer to everyone’s current dating partner as “your boo”. On top of that, when I was still dating, a screenshot of the guy went into our group chat followed by “does anyone know this one?” Lol. I can’t cross any boundaries if I ask questions from the beginning. Maybe if more friends practiced that method, less would fall out over a guy that’s being double-dipped.

Do I personally have dating partners who are off-limits? Listen- if you wanna take your chances with my ex-husband/baby daddy, go for it. I need SOMEONE to make him happy so he can leave me the hell alone. But, I will forewarn you, his ass is crazy. My ex-fiance, you can have him. He’s currently in South Carolina and he’s still working as a barber. The sex was great. My first year of college boo was a wishy-washy user with great head and a huge peen. If you can get him to be consistent, go for it sis. My high school prom date is married- approach at your own risk. My point is, I’m personally not blocking any blessings. BUT!, if you know what he put me through and you still want him, whatever happens during that dating period is your own fault cuz you knew better. I myself have no desire to double-dip with any man that has had even a lengthy phone conversation with one of my girls. But my guy- my cuddle buddy? My peace when I wanna strangle someone? My kids step-dad? My sugar daddy, honey bear? Yeah- he’s off-limits. That one, I take super personal and I’m falling out with my own momma for him. I’m just saying. Even if (God forbid) we ever break up- because the bond there is super different. But again- can I fault someone for crossing a boundary that I never previously established? Because sisters sleep with husbands, moms sleep with boyfriends, and no one thinks that there is a line that is being crossed. Yes- we SHOULD know what is acceptable and what is not, but the truth is that many people do not. Let this here be me staking my claim: MY HUSBAND IS OFF LIMITS! Everyone else is up for grabs, take that headache if you want to sis. Will I look at you differently? I probably will never allow you close to my partner again, but that’s a choice that you’re choosing to live with. No game nights, no girls nights, no family dinners, nothing. Stay your ass home babe cuz if I catch you glancing in this man’s direction the plates will start flying. We can do lunch next week though.

Talk about the girl codes ladies. Once those lines are crossed, you can never go back.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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PostPartum Almost Killed My Baby

I had my first child at the age of 26. I had never been pregnant before, but by then I had helped to raise at least 4 children. I knew some of what I was getting into, but I had no idea I would deal with depression. And that depression almost killed my baby.

We always hear stories about people who suffer from postpartum and think “that wouldn’t happen to me”. I was one of those people. I actually didn’t think about it because in the black community we don’t talk about stuff like that. We just tell the women that they just “need a break” and blame them for either having a child with a man that won’t help them or not being strong enough to handle being a mom. We don’t actually tackle that subject, because it’s “TABOO” for us. So, when I started feeling like I was frustrated, tired, and couldn’t do it anymore, I kept it to myself and figured that I just needed to be around more people. I tried that, and it didn’t make the situation better. It actually made it worse because I started to feel like people were judging me for wanting to take a break from my child.

Add on to that the fact that I wasn’t getting much sleep at night because the baby was up every 2 hours wanting to be fed. And anyone who knows me knows that Kishna with no sleep is not a very pleasant person to be around. The situation became worse. I picked fights with her father for no reason, I always wanted to sleep- I started to feel disconnected from my baby. I cried constantly. I didn’t want to eat. I just wanted to be alone. I found myself yelling at my baby. All the time. For no reason (I can logically say that now, but at the time I felt like she wasn’t listening to me and was being difficult). She had collic and was always fussy and crying. That was NOT a good mix with someone going through postpartum. I remember one night sitting on the bed with her between my legs; she kept crying and crying and crying. Her father walked into the room, having just come in from work, and saw the look on my face. He asked me what was wrong and I yelled out “she won’t stop fucking crying!” I picked her up and threw her. He ran in the direction that I threw her, caught her just in time, and just looked at me. I walked out of the room, went down the steps, sat on the couch, and started crying. What I did just hit me. I actually threw my infant baby across the room as hard as I could to get her away from me. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

Her father and I came up with a night time schedule to help with the baby to allow me to get some sleep. I also started going out of the house more and started talking to other people. He and I never really talked about what happened, but something about that situation made me wake up. I have no idea how I came out of that on my own without therapy or meds, but it happened. All thanks to God is all I can say.

We do not give postpartum the attention that it deserves. Postpartum, or postnatal, depression is estimated to affect 10-15% of women in wealthier countries and an even higher percentage in countries that are less wealthy. Women who have postpartum depression develop symptoms an average of 1 to 3 weeks after childbirth, but the onset can be anytime during the first year after childbirth. Women who have moderate to severe postpartum depression at 2 months and at 8 months post-delivery were found to be more likely to experience depression 11 years later. And as we all know, depression doesn’t just affect us- it affects our whole family.

I never spoke out about my depression before. I always kept it a secret because hey- we aren’t supposed to be depressed and we damn sure aren’t supposed to talk about it. But I almost killed my baby 6 years ago. I’m hoping that me being open about my story will help someone else in a similar situation, and let them know that it’s not just you dealing with it. You can get help.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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My Story Is Yours

Written by: Nikki Janet

“Ms. Roney, do you understand what’s going on?”

As those words echoed through the room, yes I understood what was going on but I mentally couldn’t wrap my head around just exactly what I was about to endure.

This was my first adversity as an adult, that mommy or daddy just couldn’t take away. I couldn’t grasp the fact that I was losing my first child.

“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.” C.S Lewis

Almost every woman yearns to be a mother, our bodies are biologically designed for it. So suffering from Cervical Insufficiency was not apart of my “mommy” plans. I have read tons of books, took vitamins, watched what I ate but none of that could have prepared me for this.

I snapped back into reality. Watching my husband argue with the doctor because I don’t think he was able to emotionally grasp it. We watched our baby’s little feet move around on the ultrasound like he had not a care in the world. How could we be losing our son he looks fine. I held my stomach and let out the most gut-wrenching cry. I couldn’t see from the tears clouding my vision. I couldn’t hear over the nurse’s chatter and machines beeping along with my own sobs.

I could only feel, not physical pain or sadness but his movements. So, I took that moment to embrace the time that I knew we had left.

We rolled right into our room on the maternal delivery floor. Which was complete torture. We watched as new mommies napped with their newborn babies swaddled in the bed next to them. We saw as fathers rocked their child to sleep with glee in their eyes and we knew that today that wouldn’t be us.

As I was induced into labor it felt like time stood still. We waited patiently in the delivery room for it all to be over. For all of us to get out of that tight, uncomfortable ass room. No one knew what to say to me, so it was complete silence. No one knew how to console me, so my visitors hurriedly paced the floor looking down to avoid awkward eye contact at all cost. I focused on my son.

So many questions ran through my head such as: “Is he feeling what I’m feeling?”

“Can he sense the hurt that I literally feel aching in my bones?”

“Can he feel me?”

None of that matter, I just wanted to hold on for as long as I could.

Hours passed and the room was now dark from the sun setting.

Now was the time for me to push. I panicked because there had to be another way! I couldn’t imagine my body mustering up the strength to actually go through with this. I didn’t want to push, I didn’t want our connection to end. Pushing gave me the feeling that motherhood for me was over. The nurses took him to get cleaned up and I remember my mother in law coming back in the room. Her words were forced as if it hurt, more like a lump the size of a watermelon was in her throat. “He was a boy.”

Based on how I wrote you would have thought that was something we already knew. No. We were 4 days shy of getting the anomaly scan done. So, no we never knew we just felt. They brought in the most breathtaking baby I have ever seen. My heart jumped out of my chest. My son in all white. Though he was no longer with us in the physical presence, I just wanted to love on him in the physical form. He looked so peaceful as if he was sleeping.

“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn how to swim.” Vicki Harrison

We went home as parents with no baby.

You know the hardest part about having a miscarriage or a stillborn is that your body doesn’t know. My body could not recognize that their was no baby. My breast still swelled and I still was bleeding. You start to blame yourself because it feels like your body betrayed you. I couldn’t have my baby, now I have to go through this! That happened until my body was able to catch up with reality. I write my story for people to understand the feelings associated with losing a child that you didn’t have a chance to build a bond with. For the women still on the journey to becoming mothers. Or for any woman yearning for her happily ever after. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel or that you’re young enough to have more or even that everyone goes through it. Does a paper cut hurt any less because everyone’s had one?

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found there way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Nikki Janet

Blogger, Talker, Queen

Instagram: instagram.com/Lip_Tease_

Blog: urroaylty.wixsite.com/liptease

Questions/Comments: lipsiapp.com/liptease

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Basic Financial Planning Advice That Every Parent Needs to Know

By: Sara Bailey

Although having a child can contribute to money stress, it can actually be the push you need to finally get your financials in order and help you better plan for the future. Whether you’re preparing to welcome a new child into the world or you’re finding it difficult to meet the financial demands of your baby, planning will help you accomplish your goals of financial stability. Follow these tips to help you get started.

Set Financial Goals

Setting financial goals helps you remember what you’re working toward. Instead of simply putting money in a savings account without a future purpose for it, you’re building up funds for your child’s college education, your own retirement, or for a down payment on a home. Have regular discussions with your partner to talk about your goals and evaluate your progress. Many parents make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin by trying to accomplish too many goals at once. Instead, The Balance recommends prioritizing your savings, whether that means starting by building an emergency fund or paying off credit card debt.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Making a budget will help you evaluate your progress toward your goals and track your spending habits. This will allow you to make cuts if you’re spending more than you’re making. On the more positive side, a budget allows you to do more of the things you want to do if you discover a surplus. In essence, budgeting ensures you will always have enough money for the things that are important to you. If possible, try to set up a budget for your next six months to a year. This will let you plan for large expenses and ensures you will meet your savings goals.

Get Life and Auto Insurance

Consider getting life and disability insurance now that you’re a parent. According to Money Expert, your life insurance should cover the expenses of your family if you’re no longer around to provide for them. This should protect them from the costs of things like childcare, but also your mortgage and your child’s education. Similarly, disability insurance will protect your family in the event that you are no longer able to work and bring in an income.

While you’re shopping for life insurance, it’s also important to ensure to take a look at your car insurance. Should you have an accident, you want to know that you’re covered, especially if you suffer a severe injury. And while all states require you to have basic auto insurance, it’s important to consider upgrading to collision or comprehensive coverage if you don’t already have it. Full coverage could be your best and most cost-effective option but remember that insurance rates vary, as such, it’s important to shop around for the best policy. Note that your premiums will depend on a variety of factors: your driving record, the make and model of the car you drive, and your age and gender.

Track Your Net Worth

Keeping track of your net worth will allow you to monitor your progress toward financial goals, but also help you make better financial decisions. For example, it can help you decide if it would be more beneficial for you to pay off your credit card debt or begin saving for your retirement. Your net worth is essentially a report of your financial health, taking into account everything that you owe as well as the value of everything that you own. This includes things like savings accounts, investments, and your house. You can calculate this on your own, but you’ll need to figure out the value of your home while adding up your assets. You can do this by using online home value estimators or talking to a local real estate agent. You should also figure out the monthly costs of owning your current home and whether you can afford to live there with a child on the way.

Prepare for New Baby Costs

The initial costs of providing for a new baby can cause parents to go into debt. Make sure you plan for these costs when making up your budget so you can cut back spending in other areas. You’ll have to purchase nursery furniture, a car seat, a stroller, diapers, food, clothing, and many other accessories. You’ll be able to reduce spending if you look for second-hand items. However, don’t skimp on a good car seat, since this is vital to the safety of your child. Take a look at your household income and see if you can live off of just one salary before deciding to have one parent stay at home. Remember, this will cut out the cost of childcare, which can often be very expensive.

Becoming a new parent is scary when you think about your important role in raising a happy and healthy baby. However, add in financial worries, and parenthood can feel like an anxiety-ridden nightmare. Ease the burden and stop sleepless nights by doing some solid financial planning. That way, you’ll know that the future of your family is safe and sound.

When Sara lost her husband, she quickly learned there is no handbook for those who have lost a partner and suddenly find themselves raising children on their own. She created TheWidow.net to support her fellow widows and widowers.

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Women Don’t Ask To Be Raped!

I am a woman. I like to get dressed up when I go out. I wear tight clothes, heels, makeup, I do my hair really pretty. I get with my girls, and we go out to have a good time. That isn’t an invitation for a guy to have his way with me.

I’ve had conversations with friends, conversations with police officers, and now I am watching this documentary on Netflix, and I am baffled at how people blame the victim for being raped. “She wore a tight, short skirt”; “she was by herself in the alley”; “she was drunk and all over him”. No matter what “she was”, no one asks to be violated. No one asks to be taken advantage of. There is never a reason for a man to use his strength, power, and control to overpower a woman and rape her. It’s not our fault. We can wear whatever we want- that doesn’t mean that we want it. I’ve had too many conversations with men who say that women ask for it when put in a compromising situation. Think about it- whenever a female says she’s been raped, the very first questions asked are “how do you know you’ve been raped”, or “what were you doing?”, “what did you have on?” What I wore doesn’t qualify me as a candidate for being raped. Me drinking shouldn’t make me a contender for being raped, nor justify someone taking advantage of me. And I have to prove, aside from the bruises and tears on my vagina and or asshole, that someone did something to me that I didn’t ask for? Now- let’s take a breathe and admit that there are women who lie about being raped for whatever reason they do so. I am in no way justifying or condoning that. But for ACTUAL rape survivors- why is being a female automatically the reason why we are raped?! If I do not openly say yes, it’s rape. That means don’t kiss me, touch me, finger me, fuck me, nothing. If I’m drunk, let me be drunk. If I’m high, let me ride my cloud. I shouldn’t have to cover up or wear baggy clothes or not be at a party alone because a man doesn’t know how to control himself. I am not your toy. What saddens me is that other females will shame a rape survivor rather than go to her defense. Another woman will quickly blame a rape survivor for being raped- like the exact same thing couldn’t happen to them!

I have a rather large behind and large lips. I hate going out because of it. The stares, the gropes, the sexual advances. I was told that I had “dick sucking lips” all throughout high school. So yeah, I believe that I could easily go out at night and have something happen to me. Because in a room full of people and cameras, men still make unwanted advances. At this point, I’m thinking thank goodness that I am not a drinker and I don’t go out alone. I don’t believe that any woman should ever be raped (and yes- that includes transgender and homosexual people as well). Getting someone to sleep with you in this day and age is extremely too easy. There’s no reason anymore why anyone should feel the need to “take it”. I’m not going to change my clothes, I’m not going to button up my shirt, I’m not going to not drink. Men need to learn that NO means NO! Not maybe, not in a few, not after another drink. NO!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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3-Meat Chili

I have a major love for food, cooking, eating, and savoring good food. I like to try different things, throw some stuff in a pot, and hope it comes out tasting amazing. It usually does, so I think I can call myself a master home chef. While I was “way on vacation” (as my mom used to say), I watched an episode of the chew and saw a recipe for chili that I wanted to try.

So to make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, spicy beef hot sausage, shrimp, onions, green peppers, chili powder, chili beans, chicken broth, cayenne pepper (if you like spicy food), white rice, and love. I’m Haitian so we don’t measure stuff- we just add some seasoning and taste until it’s perfect.

I start off with cooking my ground turkey and chop up my spicy beef hot sausage and throw them in so they’re cooking together. I also add chopped onions and peppers in to cook. Once everything is added and cooked, I add the chili beans and some chicken broth. I then start adding some seasoning, the chili powder, and the cayenne pepper. Season to taste. Once you’ve perfected the taste, the last thing you add in is the shrimp. They cook quickly so they don’t need to be in for long. In another pot you can cook the white rice by putting on a pot of water, salt, and a 3 tablespoons of oil. Once it boils, add rice to the middle of the pot until it pokes out of the water. Spread out and turn down the fire to simmer and let it cook.

It’s easy- simple to make and tastes amazing. I have neighbors and friends who are constantly asking me to make it for them. Lol. Check out my highlight on Instagram (@_flawed_beautifully) labeled “Dinners!”. I have a video of the final product that doesn’t do this picture any justice!

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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The Poop HERstory

Do you get the title? It’s supposed to be history but I’m a female so it’s herstory. Whatever I thought it was funny. Yesterday, I woke up fine. Ok, not fine because the kids insisted on sleeping in the bed with me and my daughter sleeps like a wild banshee so I was nearly pushed off of the bed and only slept for like 4 hours, but my STOMACH was fine. I woke up unbloated, not gassy, and I ate breakfast. Lunchtime came around and it was a different story. My skirt that had hella space earlier in the day was extremely tight around my waist and my stomach was hurting. Here we go again…

People don’t talk about their gastrointestinal tract. Ever. We talk about getting colonics and drinking smoothies and herbal teas that are good for our insides, but that’s about it. We don’t actually talk about our system, our poop, and what’s healthy and unhealthy. I know my system is unhealthy- not because I don’t make the effort to be healthy. I eat my fruits and veggies, I’m mindful about eating beef and pork, I work out. I take vitamins. But my system just has a mind of its own. I can go days (sometimes even a week) without moving a bowel. When I was pregnant, I was a bit more regular, but still inconsistent. And it causes major issues for me. I am always bloated, gassy, uncomfortable, and when I poop it’s either bloody or it hurts. I have to drink something to help make my body go to the bathroom. I tried a few different products, but they were super harsh on me and made me cry when I was going. That’s a no-no for me. Lol. I talked to my mother about it, and she told me to try this tea called Ballerina Tea.

This tea has been a miracle worker for me. I go easily- no harsh reaction, no pain, no tears. Lol. I just go. Please be mindful that the first day or 2 after you take it, you’ll get rid of everything that’s been back up inside of your GI tract. Let me say it plainly- you’ll be running to the bathroom. I hope you run fast and the bathroom isn’t far. Lol! I’ve almost had an accident once or twice. And DO NOT TRUST ANY FARTS! Please! If you need to fart- RUN! Just to be on the safe side.

I didn’t know that our poop tells a story about our bodies and what we eat.

What even triggered all of this? My daughter pooped yesterday and asked me what color was her poop supposed to be because it was greenish-brown. So we talked about it, looked it up (your poop should be brown) and determined that her poop was normal for her age (because we eat lots of greens at home). But mine isn’t. Mine was green and foul-smelling (which can be indicative of malnutrition, dehydration, and not getting enough fiber in my diet). Check, check, and check. Had you asked me before, I wouldn’t even have thought twice about it. But the color, consistency, and smell of your poop really tells a story about your health. And because I’m more conscious about my health, I am conscious about my poop now.

Remember I was gassy yesterday so I drank the tea? I pooped this morning and felt as light as a feather. A friend of mine texted me “good morning, wyd?” while I was going, and I said “pooping”. That didn’t go over very well. Lol. I think that we should be able to talk about our poop without it being labeled “disgusting” and “weird”. You go, I go, everyone goes. Apparently all the time. So why can’t we talk about it? Especially because certain poops will help tell you if something is really wrong with you. I talk to certain friends about everything and they help me self-diagnose myself. Lol. We should’ve gone into medical school because we are really good doctors. And the stuff we can’t figure out (like why I cannot poop more than once a week) I go to the doctors for. Maybe me pooping once a week is normal for my body, so now I just need to make sure that the poop that is coming out is normal.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS! And make sure you poop!

-tootles!

xoxo

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The “Mom-Bod”

I want to start this blog off with throwing ALL the shade to moms who have multiple children and still have amazing bodies. All you mothers who had amazing pregnancies, glowing skin, all your hair, and amazing genetics that allowed your shape to return after you had the baby. All of you moms despise me. (I’m joking for those who didn’t get it. Lol). I’m 5-years postpartum and I have people asking me if I’m pregnant again . Not exactly the way I pictured it.

It’s been rough trying to get my body back. Actually, I’m lying. When I had both children, I was very skinny so I snapped back pretty well. But I was unhappy and I hated the way I looked. I started to gain the weight back without going to the gym and toning at the same time. Big mistake, because now I can’t lose this belly fat to save my life. I have an amazing set of people around me who lie to me all the time and tell me that I’m still sexy and attractive and that my stomach isn’t as bad as I think it is. And I love them unconditionally for it. But I know they’re lying . It’s been a struggle trying to control what I eat and not eating beef ribs, fried shrimp, crabs, rice, Haitian mac n cheese, 3-meat chili, shrimp and chicken Alfredo penne (should I continue or do you get the point?). I just recently had fried Oreos for the first time and now it’s my new addiction (since I’ve banned myself from eating a whole chocolate cake) . I have a love- an obsession- with food and its making it so difficult to be consistent with eating right (which always equates to healthy and healthy foods are so bland and non-filling).

The gym you ask? Well, between hating going alone because I have no idea what I’m doing, hating when guys ogle at my rather large behind, hating that I feel awkward because I’m absolutely sure I’m using the equipment the wrong way, not having a babysitter, and running 3 businesses, my schedule and pride doesn’t always allow me the opportunity to go CONSISTENTLY. And truth be told, I’m a lazy f-word, so if I don’t have someone pushing me while I’m there, my workouts last all of 30 minutes and I’m done. Not to mention that I now have been diagnosed (finally!!) with arthritis in not one but BOTH of my knees…. I can’t do all of the things that I used to be able to do. Yay, now I have to wear knee braces, I can’t run, lift weights, or put stress on my knees. This is going to be really easy .

I am quite sure that I am not the only mom of beautiful little monsters who say “mommy, can I jiggle your belly please? It’s just so squishy” at least once daily. I feel for you mom! I understand your plight and I am here with you! We need to stand up and take back the “mom-bod”! All of these people in the media who say we need to have a flat stomach and perfectly toned arms and legs don’t have to wake up at 6am to get little terrors up in the morning ready for camp/school, then get yourself ready, figure out breakfast for the kids, rush out the door to beat traffic, drop them off and get to work only to remember that you didn’t eat breakfast at 11:18am when your stomach starts to ask you why you think she was created. I propose that we just shamelessly walk with our stomachs out- proudly! Just make sure you shave that strip of hair first. My strip grew a mind of its own after the 2nd baby. I didn’t have it before and now I can’t get rid of it .

Mom, let’s take back our confidence, our beauty, and let’s shame these heffas with flat stomachs. Because if I can’t have one no one can! 

As always, be legendary QUEENS, be extraordinary KINGS!

-tootles!

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4 Key Tips to Help You and Your Partner Stay Connected After a Baby

Written by Emily Graham

Many people fear what will happen to their relationship after a baby. There’s no point in sugarcoating it: it is hard. Studies have shown that relationship satisfaction tends to decline twice as fast for couples with children, which is a scary statistic, to say the least. However, it is important to realize that this often happens because new parents don’t make an effort to remain connected after the baby. Here are the basics of doing just that.

Open Communication

 Open, honest, and regular communication is the most important part of any marriage, but this becomes absolutely crucial when you have a baby. A few keys of good communication between spouses include speaking softly, listening actively without interruptions, and honoring each other’s opinions — even when you disagree.

It’s a stressful time for both of you, so empathy is key. Remain a positive source of support for each other, but make sure you are never trying to fix your partner’s feelings. If one of you needs to vent, the other should allow this to happen without judgment or taking responsibility for it.

Communication is harder when you have a baby thanks to the crazy schedule and the constant exhaustion. You may not always have time for long, in-depth chats; however, a daily check-in can do wonders. Marriage Laboratory has a guide to the 10-minute check-in: Go over the good and the bad of the day, express your gratitude for each other, and wrap it up with a kiss.

 Date Night

Making time for non-baby things is one of the things that are going to keep you sane in the coming years. According to Kindred Bravely, you should definitely institute a date night, whether that’s simply watching a movie together, hosting a board game night, having a nice dinner (in or out), or just hanging out together like you used to before the baby. This quality couple time will strengthen your relationship, encourage communication, and ensure you both still feel connected to each other as people, not just parents.

Make Time for Friends

 When you become a parent, a sort of rift can form itself between you and your friends. It is important you fight against this, both for your sake and for your marriage. After all, your friends act as a sort of emotional buffer between you and your spouse — if you don’t have anyone else to talk to, it is easy to become codependent and resentful of each other.

Real Simple recommends you find a balance between your new lifestyle and that of your friends, keep regular contact, and focus on being a positive influence in your friends’ lives. Some friends may be harder to connect within the early baby stages, and that’s okay — it doesn’t necessarily mean your friendship is over.

 Take Care of Yourself

 It feels counter-intuitive for some, but when you take care of your own mental and physical well-being, you are better prepared to take care of both your baby and your marriage. A lot of parents feel guilty about taking time for themselves, or they feel like it’s impossible — but it isn’t! For example, you may think you don’t have time to exercise, but there are plenty of ways to fit it in. Going for walks with your baby, joining exercise groups for mothers, or just investing in some kit to work out at home while your baby is napping can help you stay in shape.

Another great way to fit in self-care is meditating. It’s easy to fit into any schedule (there are meditations as short as three minutes long), can be done anywhere, and a sustained practice does wonders for mental health. You can even apply mindfulness concepts to be a calmer parent and spouse; when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, stop, take deep breaths, and focus on your sensations, thoughts, and emotions.

 Having a child is the best and most terrifying thing you will do together — but never forget that you are doing it together. This fact alone bonds you in a way nothing else can, but it’s not enough. Remember that you may be parents now, but you were people, partners, and friends first. Learn to tap into who you both used to be before the baby and to make your relationship a priority. You will both be so much happier for it.

About the author: Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways

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I Have Grey Hairs!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am dedicating the whole month of July to parenting. And if you don’t, know you know too. Lol. I find that too many new parents feel as if they don’t have anyone to turn to when they have “parenting woes”. Shoot, us seasoned parents don’t always have people to turn to that won’t judge us also! So I wanted to dedicate this whole month to issues, topics, and concerns that parents might have but are afraid to speak on. And I promise I won’t judge, so feel free to send me your messages and if I have an answer I will gladly help you out.

So- my most recent past time with the kids is keeping my son from playing with his penis blatantly in front of people, and helping them understand that they cannot say certain things out loud. Let’s tackle the latter first. Children have absolutely no filter. I am learning that more and more as they get older. I cannot get mad- they don’t understand why what they say is wrong; they’re just curious and want to know why something happened. For example- I used to take my next door neighbor’s children to school. They attended the same school as my daughter and I hate children walking alone so it was a no brainer for me. Every morning one of my children would go knock on their door and tell them that we are ready to go. Well, one morning while on our way to the school, my daughter bursts out and says” why is your house so dirty?” I honestly feel like the whole car instantly got quiet. I might be crazy, but I believe even the radio dimmed down for a few seconds.

I said, “Bell, that isn’t nice”.

And she replied, “no but mommy their house is really dirty”.

“Bella, I said that isn’t nice. Please stop!”

“But mom, our house is so clean and their house has stuff everywhere. They need to clean up.”

“Bella, I asked you to stop!”

Neighbor’s son: “Na uh, our house was dirty that day but it’s clean now!”

Bella: “no, it’s not. I just saw it”

Me: “Bella!”

Neighbor’s daughter: “well, we cleaned downstairs, now just upstairs is messy”

Car: dead silence. And I swear the radio shut off too! Lol!

I always drop my neighbor’s kids off first because I walk my daughter into her classroom, so when they got out I finally spoke to my daughter and helped her understand that she wasn’t in trouble, but she made the other kids feel bad when she said something about their house. I explained that not everyone cleans their house like we do, and sometimes mommy’s are too tired to clean. Just like sometimes our house is messy and I have to clean it or pay someone to clean it for me. Her response? “Well, maybe they should pay someone to clean their house too”. I burst out laughing- this little girl is something else!

Another example do you ask? Sure, why not. I have a neighbor who only has one arm. My kids see him all the time. He talks to us daily and even gives the kids pastries or ice cream occasionally. I guess those things shadowed the fact that he only has one arm. Until one day… I was getting the kids and I out of the car and into the house and my neighbor asked if I was still selling my car. I said yea. From behind me, my son yells out “Hey! What happened to your arm? It’s missing!” I froze. Two seconds later, I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep me from bursting out laughing. Of course I wanted to know the same thing, but I wasn’t about to ask him that! Lol. *In case you’re wondering, no he didn’t answer him*. Teaching our children to be mindful of what they say, how it can affect others, and being appropriate in our questions can be extremely hard. Especially if they are young like mine. I just have to keep reminding them.

Now for the pee-pee playing. This little guy has figured out that he can play with his penis, make it hard, and it feels good. So he does it- everywhere! He used to come out of the shower and take lotion and play with his penis in front of my daughter’s face. After constantly telling him no and stop, I decided on a different approach. I spoke to his therapist and we both agreed that we should redirect him- not to stop doing it (because that’s the age where they learn what it is, that it feels good, and that it’s not just for peeing) and explaining to him WHEN and WHERE he can do that. So I had a talk with him and told him “if you feel like you want to play with your penis (yes- we use the actual word), you need to take a few minutes and go into your room because that is a private thing and other people do not want to see you do it”. I didn’t criminalize him or the act, just simply explained that it’s only for him and when he’s done then he can come out and finish whatever he was doing. So now every night after he takes a shower, if I see him lingering in his penile area too long, I ask him does he need a few minutes to go play with it. The very first time he looked scared as he was walking away (I think he thought it was a test! LOL!), but now he knows. If it’s pee-pee playing time, we go to our room. When he’s done, he comes back and finishes lotioning his body for bed. And it works. No more inappropriate behavior and everyone is happy.

I admit- I handled it wrong at first. I yelled, I punished him, I probably made him feel bad about it. And the minute I realized that I was not approaching the issue correctly, I sought help to fix it. Had I not spoken to their therapist to help find a solution to the problem, I might have associated a negative reaction to him playing with himself (which is totally normal). That wasn’t what I wanted. I just wanted him to understand that he could do it as long as it was in private. Seeking that help for a solution saved us from having an issue every night. There is power in asking for help, so don’t think you have to parent alone. I still have hella grey hairs because of them though. Lol. Seeking parental advice is always for you and the child(ren)’s benefit. It won’t make you any younger, but it will make your job as a parent a lot easier. Let’s build this village, together.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

tootles!

-xoxo

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Traveling With Kids

As you all know, I have 2 beautiful children. Annoying, but beautiful. We have a 3-day holiday weekend and most of the family went out of town so I decided to give in to my daughters constant nagging and bought tickets to fly out too. It’s not easy flying with children, so here are a few tips that I’ve mastered over the years. Hope they help!

Tip 1: make them sleep early the night before! Although for me it’s a pain because I always end up sleeping late and having to get up early, it allows them to wake up energized and ready for the trip. I even let them sleep in their traveling clothes so that when they wake up, we just brush and go!

Tip 2: pack lots of snacks. If your kids are anything like mine, they want everything they see. So to combat that, I pack all of their favorite snacks in their bags so they have something to snack on. And hopefully their mouths are too full to ask “mommy, can you buy me that?”

Tip 3: download favorite shows and movies onto their iPads/tablets the night before. We always go to Netflix and download at least 1 movie and a few shows to keep them entertained while waiting to board and actually on the plane. I sometimes pack activity books and crayons too- anything to keep these hyper kids from running up and down the plane. Lol!

Tip 4: please bring a sweater! The last thing you need is a kid whining because they’re cold and there is no blanket in sight. My kids either wear long sleeves or have a light jacket.

Tip 5: wear tight shoes (sneakers, back strap sandals, shoes)- something that you can run in. You never know when it’ll come in handy.

Tip 6: remember when I said I bring snacks? I also bring gum. The ascending and descending of the plane almost always make our ears pop, and the younger the child the more uncomfortable it can be. The snacks and/or gum helps un-pop the ears and makes them more comfortable.

Tip 7: bring headphones. I’m sure the people sitting around us on the plane today were not too happy that I forgot ours. Between their iPad, the Nintendo switch, and my son shouting every time he jumped successfully over a rock- my isle was pretty loud.

Tip 8: make the trip exciting! We talk about taking “an airplane adventure” at least 2 weeks before the actual trip. I started doing this since the very first time I took them on an airplane 4 years ago and it helped them to not be scared of flying and enjoy the sights outside the window.

Lastly- have fun! It can be a little overwhelming (specifically if you’re flying with them alone) but the more you make it exciting for the kids the better the experience. Plus, they have something to tell all their friends when we get back home.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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A Love Letter To My Ex-Love

When I first met you, I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life. I needed advice, and God brought me to you. I only needed advice- what to do and how to do it. But you gave me so much more…

From our very first conversation you made me laugh and feel safe. So when you asked if it was ok to call me later, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. From that moment on we’ve talked just about every day. You went from giving me legal advice to bringing me peace, calm, stability, and love. You’ve been a role model to my kids, a voice of reason when I wanted to snap, my business partner, and a very good friend. I don’t know when it happened, but I fell in love with you. It caught me completely off guard because my past relationship was still lingering, still pestering, still trying to bring me down. That didn’t stop you though, didn’t scare you, and didn’t keep you from being there for me. You became my love.

It was definitely a struggle! With my ex on my end and your job and children’s mothers on yours, finding time with each other became difficult. At one point it was non-existent. But you managed to find a way to come back to me to show me how much you needed me. You always found a way to show me how much you needed me, even if you couldn’t find the words to express it.

I’m struggling now to understand how we got to where we are now. Struggling to understand where it fell apart. No matter what happens, I want you to know that my love will always be what it is because of you. Because of the way you fully accepted me. Because of the way you never judged me. Because of the way you never stopped loving me even when situations made it difficult for you.

Thank you for loving me.

I still love you…

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I am not always right

I’ll be the first to admit that I think I know it all. I think I know the best way to handle things and fix situations, which is what makes me a great business woman, but that doesn’t always transfer over into our every day lives.

You only understand as well as your brokenness allows you to. The truth and profoundness behind this statement is scary (never mind the fact that it came to me while I was washing dishes. Lol). The hurt that we experience as children and in past relationships shape our understanding, thought process, and logic. For too long, I was dealing with people and situations with the assumption that I knew how to fix “it” and make it better. When in fact, the ONLY thing that I’m right about is that I don’t know crap. I’m learning every single day- learning how to love, how to heal, how to parent, how to maintain my business, how to trust, how to listen. I’m realizing that even when I think I’m right about something, I may have gotten a small part or fact of it wrong. As an imperfect perfectionist, this used to drive me crazy! But the more I let myself go and just listen (to God, to others, to myself) the more I understand that’s it’s ok to not know everything; the more I learn.

I don’t know how my kids are going to turn out. All I can do is teach them what I think I know and pray that God covers the rest. I don’t know what love looks like. I thought I did, but I’m learning that it has too many shapes and forms to be able to place a label on it. I’m learning that healing doesn’t always mean peace. I can be healed and still have to go through storm after storm. I’m learning that forgiveness isn’t easy, and acceptance first comes from knowing God. I don’t know it all. And I’m finally understanding that it’s ok not to.

I’m not right about a lot of things. But I’m right in loving despite the hurt. Because the love that I give isn’t always about or for me- it’s for the one person who feels like no one has ever loved them so they don’t need to love others. Or the child who’s bounced from placement to placement and doesn’t believe that anyone could love them. It’s for the woman who finally found the courage to leave her abuser, but believes all the lies he told her about no one loving her besides him. It’s for the man who heard all his life that he was soft and didn’t deserve the respect of being a man. Too often we make life about US; it’s not. It’s about everyone.

Let’s let go of what we think is right, and listen to what the universe and everyone in it can teach us. You’ll be surprised at what you learn.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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Never Give Up!

I’m not sure how many of my blogs you’ve read or if you’ve been following me on social media but if you have you know that I’ve been going through the wringer with the father of my children. All I’ll say about that is that my kids have always and will always come first!!

What I want to talk about is making it through a really rough patch. For several weeks, I battled with depression. Ok- more like a couple of months. It started off with just a bad day here and a bad day there, but the more the problems and stress continued the more depressed I became. I was constantly tired; I stopped having the motivation to do anything, including work; my patience was very thin with my children; I didn’t want to be bothered with people so I stayed home all the time. I woke up one day and said: “God, I am depressed and I don’t want to be but I don’t know how to pull myself out of this”. The depression got worse, and I didn’t know how to shake it off. I signed up for domestic abuse counseling and the counselor referred me to a therapist for depression. I just didn’t know what to do or how to get better. It got to the point where I was home one weekend alone and I cried. The whole weekend. To every movie, to every song, to every commercial. I just cried. I didn’t answer my phone, I didn’t eat. I just slept and cried. Finally, I told my mom and my closest friends that I was depressed, but this was after typing and erasing the message a million times (just imagine the text stories that type a message then erase it then type another one then erase it- that was me. Lol). I thought that they wouldn’t care about MY problems, MY issues, MY depression. I begged God to help me pull myself out of this because I knew that the longer I stayed depressed the harder it would be to come out of it.

My mother was in town; she called me up the day after I told her that I was depressed and told me that she wanted to pray with me. I’m not sure why, but I smiled. She came over, and as she started to pray I cried. But this time it was because I was releasing everything that I had been holding on to. The hurt, the disappointment, the fear, the anxiety, the feeling of helplessness. I was letting it all go, and I could hear God telling me that I was going to be ok. Immediately after we were done, I didn’t have that dark cloud over me anyone. I wasn’t tired; I didn’t want to shut myself off from the world. I was back.

My take away- never give up. I’m not sure anyone else would have been able to deal with the amount of stress that I was dealing with and last as long as I did without going crazy (not saying it’s impossible, but it was A LOT!). This taught me just how real depression is, and how quickly you can fall into it. Especially if you don’t know the signs and symptoms. I knew I was depressed and could not fight my way out of it, and I think that I am a pretty strong person emotionally. So I can only imagine how hard it is for someone who isn’t aware of the signs. *Please be mindful that there is situational depression and clinical depression. Depression brought on from a situation/stressful issue can be just as dangerous as clinical depression. If you think you might be depressed, please call the depression hotline or reach out to someone. The world needs you, and so do the people around you*

Life is hard; people and situations can make it even harder. Dealing with it on your own and not being aware of your mental health can cause you physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual problems. But you are not alone! (cue Micheal Jackson song) There are people who have been exactly where you are, have dealt with your pain and struggles (I’m talking to myself too here), and can help you. Talking does help (again, I am talking to myself here), and people do actually care. People love to say “I was born alone and I’ll die alone” but that saying doesn’t hold any truth. You were born with your mom, the doctors, the nurse(s), and whomever else was in the room at the time. We came into this world with people, we live in a world full of people, and we can make it through every tough situation with someone. Just don’t be afraid to ask. I fought for months with my depression and I kept sinking. It’s not easy to come out of alone, but the minute I said I couldn’t do it on my own and I spoke up God sent his word through people and prayer to break up that dark cloud and allow me to see the sun again. Please don’t fight that battle alone, and don’t give up!

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles

xoxo

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I’m Not A Survivor…

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that I was in an abusive relationship. The theory is that once you leave that relationship, you’ll start the process of healing and being able to let go- you become a survivor. Well, what happens when you’re still being abused, even after you’ve walked away?

Approximately an hour ago I heard a banging at my door. I initially ignored it because I didn’t anticipate having any guests come over. The banging came again, so I decided to check it out. I asked “who is it” and I heard “the sheriff’s department”. I immediately started to panic- I’m getting locked up again. The first thing that popped into my head was “who’s going to get the kids, they have school in the morning?” But, I was being served with a restraining order. I read the order- I’m accused of having a gun stored at my house and threatening to use it to kill the father of my children, I’m accused of being overheard on the phone saying that I was going to kill him, I’m accused of screaming profanities at him in front of my children, I’m accused of so many things. I’m accused of hiding behind my cop boyfriend and thinking that I’m invincible. The reality is that I’m scared out of my mind.

To think that once I was in love with someone who could do something like this to me. I’ve been harassed, stalked, threatened, called a disgrace of a mother, had my name thrown into the dirt, my reputation soiled, and he keeps attempting to take the kids away from me. I’m still being abused, 4 years after I walked away. I’m not a survivor. I’m alone. I’m scared. And I don’t know what to do next. Every time I turn to someone for help, they tell me there’s nothing they can do about it. The cops won’t step in because “technically he hasn’t committed a crime”; lawyers won’t step in because “it’s just a civil matter that the courts can handle”. Who’s going to protect the kids and I from this man who’s doing everything in his power to destroy me? Who’s going to step in when he decides to cross the line and get rid of me for good?

I don’t know what it’s like to be at peace. I don’t sleep at night. I’m constantly looking out the window to see if there’s a car that’s out of place or if there are any new flyers on the cars and windows. I screen every call, I double lock all doors and windows in my house, I even bought a security system. Most days I stay home if I can because I don’t know what’s waiting for me on the other side of my door. I’m not a survivor, I’m still being abused.

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The Disconnect in Dating

I have a ton of male friends who are having relationship issues right now. The funny thing is, all of them are having the exact same issue in their situations and don’t even know it. I also realize that there is a major disconnect between men and women- men don’t listen to us and women don’t know how to express their frustrations to men properly. Either things go downhill from it or someone is going to have to realize that things need to change.

Men and women don’t listen to each other. It’s a fact. And it’s extremely apparent with all of my guy friends. I can think of the most recent situation that I’ve had to coach one of my friends through. The female is telling him exactly how she is, what she wants, and what type of personality she has through her actions, certain things that she says, and by what she’s asking of him. And he is on the complete opposite of the spectrum in what he’s ready to give and receive from her. I told him that he was an idiot and if things ended badly it would be completely his fault. I told him that she would kill him. He laughed. I was serious. We as women tell men EXACTLY what we want and need from you, you just don’t listen. I know I constantly used to tell the cop what I wanted from him until one day I said “I’m not going to keep repeating myself. Either you’re going to do it or someone else will!” Guess what happened? I’m not quite sure why our communication skills are not received by men, but if you want your man to hear you, you need to learn to speak HIS language. Now- hear me out ladies. The same way that you have to speak to your kids on a level that they can understand, you have to do the same for your man. He’s been through many different women who have treated him a certain way. He has learned behaviors from past experiences. You have to teach him how to love you by speaking to him in his language. It’ll be worth it in the end, I promise.

Men and women expect their dating partner to already know how to cater to them. That’s unrealistic. They have been with other people before you. They grew up a certain way in their household. They have different beliefs and ideologies. And THEY DON’T KNOW YOU!!! I really don’t fathom how people expect complete strangers to know how to cater to them. They have to learn your behaviors, learn your flaws and weaknesses, learn your strengths and abilities. They have to spend time with you to learn how to cater to you when you are down and when you are happy. It takes time, patience, and determination. That’s how you lessen the conflicts in the relationship.

Men and women need to learn to teach their dating partner how to be with and love them. This is COMPLETELY different from learning how to be with you. I teach my friends and children how to deal with me. I teach my man how to love me. There are certain things that he can do and say to me that will completely change my attitude towards something that my friends and family can’t do. There is a way, a tenderness, a vulnerability that I have to coach my mate to handle within me that will help us fall in love with each other. Because FALLING in love is easy, but STAYING in love is hard. And if you don’t teach someone how to constantly make you fall in love with them, it won’t work. You can be great friends, but not great partners.

The only way to fall in love is to be open to it and be willing to learn new habits and behaviors. If you’ve been hurt before in the past, you can’t to come into a new relationship with those bad habits, old hurts, and negative thoughts and expect it to work. In order for a new relationship to work, you have to come in completely open and vulnerable and willing to learn. I’ve been hurt, abused rather, in the past. When I met my partner, I had to fight to leave all of those past issues in the past. I had to be willing to learn how to cater to HIM- his needs, his likes, his wants, his weaknesses, his strengths. Now- I never said that it would be an easy task, but it is one that is worth it in the long run. You can’t hate love and want someone to love you. It doesn’t work that way. Also, love didn’t hurt you. I hear many people say fuck love, love is pointless, I’m better off without it. We can’t be friends. That negative energy has no place around me. Love NEVER did anything to hurt you. Love NEVER played you. Love NEVER cheated on you. Love NEVER left you alone. Because if you understand what love is, you’d know that God is love and God only wants the best for you. THE PERSON YOU DATED HURT YOU!!!! Stop blaming love/God for people’s mistakes and shortcomings. People always ask me how it was so easy to move on after the hurt that I went through. Easy- love didn’t hurt me, my ex did. Knowing that, I had no problem allowing love to wiggle and 2-step it’s way back into my life and heart.

I love love. I coach many of my friends through their relationships because I want everyone to be in happy, HEALTHY, and successful relationships. But we have to be willing to put in the work to make it happen, then to maintain it. Trust me, love is definitely worth it.

Until next time, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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Gotta Have Faith and Friends

If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that I have been going through a wicked time with the father of my children. Yes, he’s still stalking and harassing me. But now, I am not bothered by it. This is thanks to some awesome friends.

When this whole situation started, it got to the point that I was afraid to leave my house. I didn’t know what to do or how to counter the stress that these situations were giving me. Then, an unexpected friend came out of the blue and gave me some advice. Then, another came, and another, and another. I went from feeling like I was dealing with this issue alone to having several people giving me advice and encouraging words to help me through. This was already a tough atmosphere for me to live in, so these people had to be sent from God.

I am a very Christ-centered person, even though I don’t go to church. But, I don’t like talking to “Christians” because instead of talking to you and giving you advice they always say “I’ll pray for you”. That’s not very helpful. These friends that started coming out of the woodwork spoke to my Christ-centeredness in a way that I could relate to. Giving me advice, telling me their stories, and casually throwing God and bible scriptures into the mix. I sat back one night and said: “if this isn’t God speaking to me then IDK what is”. I went from feeling like the world was against me to feeling like I was ready to tackle the world. All with a few encouraging words and bible scriptures casually being thrown into a conversation. God knew how to get to me.

I struggle with trust- trusting God, trusting my significant other, trusting my kids, trusting myself. Trusting anyone really. If I don’t know what the outcome of a situation will be, I will more than likely try to maneuver it until I think I’m getting the outcome that I want. This current situation is no different. I cannot predict what the outcome will be, so me sitting back with my feet kicked up and allowing God to work his magic was not a top priority for me. I wanted to know who, what, where, when, how, why, and with how much force was it going to be done. Lol. I can imagine God sitting in heaven (or maybe even right next to me) and laughing until tears came to His eyes. It wasn’t until after all of these conversations with these multiple people that I saw His hand in my situation AND an outcome. That was the biggest thing for me- seeing how this was going to play out. Once I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that God got this and me, I was stress-free. My shoulders weren’t tight, I had no anxiety, I could sleep at night, my appetite came back. I started to laugh again.

What I am going through isn’t easy- a mentally and emotionally weak person would have easily given up and given in by now. But I am not weak- emotionally, mentally, or physically (let’s not test that theory out though- I haven’t been to the gym in months and I doubt I can even complete 1 full push up. Lol!). I just needed to hear God’s voice to know that I was going to be good. And honey, I am going to be great!

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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My Pussy Must Be Magic

The last 2 months of my life have made me re-examine people, past mates, and decisions that I’ve made in my 20’s. Mostly the people that I’ve chosen to give my time and effort to. The way I’m getting stalked and harassed, I’ve determined that my pussy must have magical powers in them.

My ex is stalking me. And I’m talking random cars on my block, calling and hanging up the phone, leaving defaming flyers in my neighborhood and at my kids schools stalking. I haven’t seen or spoke to him in a month. He must miss this pussy. Because what logical answer can he give as to why he’s persistently harassing me? And if I’m using my hindsight memory, he told me he’d kill me if I tried to leave him and take the kids with me. The moment he realized that I really left him, shit hit the fan. Never this bad, but honey- he snapped. I’ve had men tell me within the last 3 years that he wanted me back but I dismissed all of that until last night. He must want me back. He must want to dip into my honey pot just one more time. He must want to steal from my high vibrations just one last time. He must want to be in the presence of greatness for one more second, because any other explanation of this craziness just doesn’t make sense. When I’m friendly to him and make a serious effort to just give him what he wants just to have peace in my life, he’s all on me. Wanting me back, his marriage is in shambles, she doesn’t understand him the way that I do. Until he realized I was serious about the person I was dating and (you guessed it) shit hit the fan.

I overlooked this fact for far too long, but this morning the lightbulb went off in my head. My pussy is magic. I’ve had other men be gaga over me but never this hard, never this strong, never for this long (ok that part is a lie because my ex fiancé still sends me love letters to this day). I have no idea what sex feels like for a man but my sex must be directly sent from god and wrapped in a unicorn package with sprinkles of gold dust because the way this man won’t let me go is ridiculous. I actually went into the bathroom this morning with a mirror, sat on the toilet, and opened my legs to examine what was between it just to try to get a better understanding of the situation. I might have to schedule an appt with my gyno; I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.

As I was in tears last night, a friend told me that I was “dope”. It caught me off guard. The first thought that I had was “I don’t feel dope right now”. I went home, fell asleep, and my son woke me up at 5:38am this morning (I’m just about ready to give him up for adoption- it’s a Saturday morning! Why is he awake so early!!!!), and I said I AM FUCKING DOPE!!!!!!! I spent 9 months in jail, came home, and hit the ground running! Started a SUCCESSFUL business, helped my mom continue to build hers, started an after school program, moved into and furnished a whole house after coming from absolutely NOTHING!, and have been making major connections. I even started a blog that unbeknownst to me a lot of people read and relate to. I’m a dope as mom, I give all of myself to anyone I love, and I refuse to be knocked down! I am dope. As fuck actually. And I am grateful to my friend for reminding me of it. So, I’m fucking amazing with magical pussy. And I’m damn proud of it.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles

xoxo

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Being The Bad Guy

There are many parents who keep their child(ren) from seeing the other parent as a form of punishment, to hurt and spite the other person for leaving them and being with someone else. For the 10% of parents that don’t allow the child(ren) to see the other parent because of the damage that it causes to the kid(s) and yourself, I sympathize and understand EXACTLY what you are going through….

For the last 4 years, I’ve been in an ongoing battle with my children’s father. I know what it’s like to grow up without your father in your life and having that positive father-child relationship, so I always ensured myself that no matter what happened I would encourage his relationship with them. Lately, I’m having to rethink that. For several different reason, but the main one being the dysfunction that seems to follow their father in every relationship that he’s in. Never mind the fact that he doesn’t give the kids a bath when they’re with him, he doesn’t do homework or encourage reading and writing, he doesn’t properly feed them, they come home sick and with ringworms, he hasn’t taken my son to get a haircut in almost 4 months (shout out to my current partner for picking up where their father falls short), he doesn’t pay for school tuition or trips, and whenever he gets mad at me he pulls them from their school and enrolls them into another one of his choosing. No, those weren’t the reasons why I’m forced to make such a decision, although there were valid reasons in and of themselves.

I am making the decision to be the bad guy because his home life is full of arguments, discord, and manipulation. He led me to believe that those things only happened in OUR relationship because I was the issue. Yet my children come home with behaviors that I, at first, had been brushing off as them being children. Until my oldest child’s teacher sent a note home stating that her behaviors at school have gotten worse as well. I phoned the teacher and spoke with her; she informed me that she could tell when my daughter is coming from her fathers house because her “behaviors are progressively getting worse”. She pulled my daughter to the side and asked her if everything was ok and my daughter told her that she was sad because “mommy and daddy keep fighting”. At first I became defensive because I am diligent about not fighting in front of them. Then, I remembered that they call his wife mom and a lightbulb went off in my head. My son has said at random times that “mommy _______ is sad because daddy keeps yelling and making her feel bad”. My daughter has told me that she’s sad because “mommy ______ left the house and went to her mommy’s house because daddy made her upset”. In just this past year, my children have told me that their step-mother has left the house on 4 separate occasions. Imagine the trauma it’s causing these children to have someone consistently walking out and coming back into their lives.

I had a talk with my daughter. I asked her if she was happy or sad when she’s at her dads house. She’s happy she’s with her dad, but sad that they always argue. She even told me 2 stories of arguments that happened; I’m assuming they stuck with her because they affected her.

My dilemma now is do I keep my kids with me where they’re safe from arguments, people walking away, and dysfunction and go through the drama of fighting with their father about it (even though I have full legal and primary custody of the kids so I have every right to make that decision), or do I allow them to continue to spend time with their father knowing the damage and psychological trauma that it’s causing. At this point, which evil is the most detrimental? I’ve had people say “why don’t you just try talking to him?” Well, you don’t know my children’s father. This decision that is difficult for me to make, he’s made with absolutely no effort in the past, on more than one occasion. The last time he kept the kids from me was for 2.5 months while we awaited our custody court date because “he was afraid I was taking the kids from him”. Did I mention that according to our order no party can move outside of the county that we live in without prior notification and approval of the courts and the other party? Yet he’s moved out of our county and has been telling our daughter that he’s transferring her into a new school in that new county that mom has no knowledge of. What does that sound like to you?

The logical part of me (my brain) says that this is an easy decision to make. The emotional part of me (my heart) is worried about how this too could affect the kids. I essentially have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I’ve been fighting with him for the last 4 years, so that’s not new to me. My children shouldn’t have to be in the middle of ANY fights, especially if it’s affecting them. I left him for that reason. Can you guess which way i was swayed?

Being a single parent is TOUGH! I made the choice to be a single parent when I walked away from my marriage with their father. I did it to give my children a better life- one with peace, stability, safety, and love. I’ve accomplished that. And I won’t let anyone (including their father) take that away from them. Being the bad guy in this situation is making me their hero. I pray that he can get his situation together so that he can spend time with his kids. They need him. But for now, they need peace even more.

Make wise decisions, especially with the person you think you want to have children with.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo Comment

Cafe Soho Review

Hey all! Happy Saturday!

I love food. Cooking food, going out to eat, pastries, etc. I always said I wanted to be a good blogger or a good critique and I never applied any effort, UNTIL NOW! I eat out a lot, so I figure I’d start writing reviews and if anyone is in the area of the place that I reviewed you can try them out.

I am in Philadelphia- there are a bunch of different places here that have amazing foods, so please read all my food blogs and check some of them out. This particular spot is called “Cafe Soho”. They are located at 468 W. Cheltenham Ave in Philadelphia. They are known for their spicy wings!

I love spicy food! So when I was introduced to this place, I was excited to try their wings. Their menu is pretty dope; when I went I ordered the shrimp fried rice with the spicy wings and my friend ordered their Thai Chili wings. The rice came out first, then the wings. I’m carribean, so I LOVE rice. Theirs was good- it had an egg in it, cheese, shrimp, and veggies and it was seasoned well. Then the wings came out.

If you can not tolerate HOT foods, DO NOT ORDER THESE WINGS! They are spicy! But they have this amazing flavor despite the heat (have you ever had food so spicy that you couldn’t taste any flavor? They have found a way to solve that problem!) Their small order comes with 10 wings and their large comes in 20. These wings are amazing. I order them all the time now! I also tried the Thai Chili- they were great as well! They had a sweet flavor to it, and an underlying slight kick that sort of caught you off guard. Definitely one to keep on the books as a great lunch.

If I were to rate this place, they would get a 7.5 out of 10, only because everything is a la carte and I’m greedy so I want everything together. Taste wise? They definitely would get an 8 out of 10. I go there all the time- I actually just had their wings a few days ago.

Check them out if you’re in Philly. I’ve referred several people there and they were happy with the referral. If you go, let me know what you think!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles

xoxo

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5 Dating Tips For My Future Husband

Fellas. When you meet your significant other for the first time, you go out of your way to let them know that you’re interested. You take your lady out on dates, bring her flowers, tell her she’s beautiful, etc. Those things shouldn’t stop once you get into a relationship or get married. Husband, if you’re reading this, you better not stop these things or you’re sleeping on the couch. This is MY blueprint to dating me after marriage…

1- bring me flowers. I can easily pick them up when I go grocery shopping, but it means so much more when they come from you. To know that you thought of me enough to go out of your way to bring me something that I like will help keep the spark alive

2- smack my ass, hug me from behind, and kiss my neck randomly. Let me know that I am still attractive to you, even when I’m in the house with my hair tied up wearing boxers and an oversized t-shirt. The more I know you still think I’m sexy, the more effort I’ll put into looking good for you

3- call me just to talk! I love to talk, I always have something to say. Calling me just to hear my voice and asking me how my day was will help keep our bond stronger. And it will definitely make me feel important to you

4- take me out, show me off! Let’s get dressed up and go to a party or a lounge. I look good so we will always be a handsome couple. Lol. Let’s get out of the house, not be cooped up, and enjoy the night air and each other

5- f*%! me like I’m a stranger . Do the same moves you did when you wanted me to forget all the other people that I’ve been with (there were only 4. Thanks!) Make it passionate, look me in the eyes, and don’t forget that special move I like 

I’m a simple girl. I like attention, flowers, and cuddling. And I will make you a happy man. But don’t forget to do these things after being married for 5-10 years. I still want flowers. I still want attention. And I’ll still want you. So let’s keep it fresh love. But- don’t forget to help me with the kids, cook for me sometimes, run my bath water, kiss my forehead, and stare at me because I’m beautiful. I am definitely going to be hype about you, I just ask for the same in return.

Whoever my husband is, I’m waiting on you. And if you’re already in my life, you’re taking too long babe. I’m not getting any younger. Thanks 

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS.

-tootles!

xoxo

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Dealing With A Breakup While Being A Mom

As you all know, I have 2 amazingly wonderful children. And I am not with their father. Although I act tough, it was difficult walking away from him. I was hurt, angry, and flat broke with 2 kids. I couldn’t let them know mommy was going through so much internally. But how do you keep a smile on your face in front of your kids when inside you’re on the verge of having a mental breakdown?

I’ll be completely transparent- some days I just could not hold my emotions together and my kids got the short end of that stick. They went to bed early, they had cereal for dinner, and I just let them run around while I hid somewhere and let the tears roll. Most days I was able to keep the emotions down and put on a smile for them. But everyday they put a smile on my face and helped me through.

I worked full time; I was able to keep my mind from wandering about my shitty love life by applying for grants, forming partnerships, and helping others. I avoided my feelings by dealing with everyone else’s. For the most part it worked, and I was able to fake happiness until I hit the sheets to go to bed. On a lot of days I had to cry in the shower to mask my tears. The kids always ran to me and hugged me when they sensed my despair. It’s like they KNEW I was having a tough time.

The main thing that helped me through? Actually allowing myself to feel the pain and hurt and let it go. It took a few weeks, tons of prayer, a bunch of tiny-people-hugs, and at least 15 hours of crying, but I got over it. With each tear, each walk down memory lane, each way I found that I should’ve could’ve would’ve made it work, I got over it little by little. One day I woke up and I didn’t have the urge to cry. I wasn’t hurt anymore. And I was actually happy. Happy that I left that toxic relationship. Happy that I was able to start over. I was happy. Finally.

It is, by far, the hardest thing to do: deal with emotional trauma while being a mom. My kids sensed my worst days, and hugged me until they were better. I cried every time I thought. Every time I saw a picture of us, or a purse that he bought me; or when we had to do pick ups and drop offs. As women, we tend to blame ourselves for break ups; even if it had nothing to do with us. We internalize that guilt and it causes us to hold on to that pain longer than we need to. Especially if the person we are leaving is the father to our children. Yet, we need to FEEL the trauma. FEEL the pain. And I promise you that it’ll help you get through the breakup faster.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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I’m Not Just A Number!

If you’ve read any of my blogs, by now you know that I spend 9 months of my life away from my friends, my family, my children, and my sanity. Today is a rainy day so I decided to catch up on my tv shows until I got bored then I would do some work. On one of the tv shows, a father told his son “when you went to jail they replaced your name with a number and stripped you of your identify and your value”. That hit me waaaayyyy too close to home.

When I was admitted into Riverside Correctional Facility (also known as RCF) I was fingerprinted, asked about my health history, and given a tag. That tag had a series of numbers on it- 1155295. The moment that tag was placed on me, my identity was stripped away. Guards knew me by my last name and my number. Whenever I left my unit, my number was checked. When my mail was delivered, it was identified with my number. Losing your sense of self in that way can really mentally f*%! you up.

It was one thing to be ripped away from my life, but to rip away my identity was humiliating. Degrading. Demeaning. Dehumanizing. Even when I was being released, I was identified by my number. It took a while to regain my identity. I am one out of close to 1,000 women that was housed in that complex. 1 out of countless women who’s identity was stripped away. But today I make a stand- I AM NOT A NUMBER!

I am a mom. Every single day that I open my eyes I am a mother until I take my last breath. I am a daughter. A friend. A business woman. An entrepreneur. A soul mate. A future wife. I am everything BUT a number. And this was something that I had to constantly remind myself for months after I left RCF. And today I want to remind you, who is reading this and has had a similar background as me, that you are not a number. You are a person. A whole person. Beautiful. Smart. Driven. Talented. Brave. Fearless. And NOT who they told you that you were. Don’t let anyone else label you. Ever.

I refuse to be defined by my past mistakes. And I refuse to let my mistakes dictate my future successes. I am not a number, but I plan on having a hell of a lot of numbers in my bank account. Define yourself. Always.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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A Letter To My Children

To my miracle child, and my guardian angel- mommy loves you. God knew exactly what he was doing when he sent to both of you into my life, and I wanted to let you know that I am extremely proud of you.

My miracle baby. I went through a lot before you came into my life. I had many doctors tell me that I wouldn’t be able to conceive you. I went through 2 rounds of invitro, and was told that my uterus wouldn’t be able to hold you. I had given up on having children, and was considering traveling the world before adopting. Your dad has just proposed to me only a few weeks before you made me sick. That’s how I found out about- I went to the hospital because I couldn’t get out of bed one day. Only to find out that I had you growing inside of me. It was one of the best days of my life. You changed me. Feeling you grow inside of me, watching you on the monitors, listening to your heart beat. It transformed what I believed was love and helped me to finally and fully understand how God loves me. You were His gift to me, and I promised God that I would always take care of you. When they cut me open and pulled you out, your very first cry melted my heart, and when I laid eyes on you I knew that I had finally attained perfection. You were the most beautiful little white baby I had ever seen in my life. Although I did think that people would think that I kidnapped you because you were so pale. Lol. I couldn’t believe that I- Kishna- had created and carried you. To this day I am amazed with you- how smart you are, how funny, how caring, how charismatic. You will always be my miracle baby.

My angel. Boy oh boy was mommy going through a tough time when you were conceived. Mommy and daddy were always fighting and I had made some really bad mistakes when I found out that I was pregnant with you. Mommy was dealing with mental and emotional issues and caring for another baby wasn’t very high on my list of short term goals. I told your nana that I wasn’t ready for you, and she begged me to keep you and give you to her. That was the best advice I had ever taken from her. When I was at my lowest points, you gave me hope. When I was feeling helpless, you helped me stay grounded (probably because you were so heavy in my stomach that you were weighing me down! Lol!). When I wanted to give up, I knew that I couldn’t because I needed to make sure you were ok. You helped mommy to stay sane in an insane period of my life. You helped me to remember that I had a purpose, a goal, and a reason to live and to fight. When they cut me open and pulled you out, your bright eyes made me see that everything that I went through was for you, to help you get here because you had a purpose. And when they took you from me, I knew I had to fight to be with you again. You are still my foundation. And you will always be.

To my children. Always know that mommy loves you, mommy will always be with you, and mommy will never leave your side. I will be your biggest cheerleader, your constant voice of reasoning, and the connection to God to show you good vs evil. You are my greatest accomplishments, and I hope to always make you as proud as you make me. I love you.

As always, be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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Nowadays Kids

Growing up, I was around technology. Internet, cable TV and of course, phones. It was my love for technology that drove me towards doing Computer Science as my major. But, I’m not here to talk about me nor my passions.

When I was a lot younger, I used to go outside and play with my dad and my friends. You know, playing hopscotch, double dutch and all those other fun things. Nowadays, these kids don’t really go outdoors and have fun with their parents much. And sure, when they go to school they get the chance to play. But what about that down time with their parents.

Cultures are different. What’s done in the US, UK or wherever else isn’t necessarily done in Jamaica. Well for the most part at least. I have a niece who is so glued to the TV that she knows when her favourite cartoon episode has been repeated. When she was staying with my parents, that’s all she ever did, watch TV.

Her parents are so busy during the day that they don’t really have time to take her outside to play. So she’s mainly inside, watching the kid version of Disney every day. Of course she goes to school and has made friends. But like I said before, what happens to the downtime with her parents.

My point is, nowadays kids are growing up into this highly technological world. And while there are still stay at home parents, some of these parents are too busy running errands or working from home. I’m sure a lot of parents want their “me time” especially after a long day and a long week.

These kids are relying on technology (like their tablets, the TV, etc.) too much and don’t know how to have real fun. They’re taking their phones to the bathroom, to the dinner table, to bed and the list goes on. So what can we do about it? Do kids know how to be kids?

Now, don’t get me wrong. Kids having their tablets and such is a great way to keep them preoccupied especially when you’re travelling. But let’s be real here; they need a break from it every once in a while.

One thing my sister does is that set her TV to a time for it to shut off. This means, no more TV until the next day and no TV at dinner either. This is a really good practice because it helps to bring them back to reality and be more involved with their family.

For parents, try to incorporate some family time into your me time. Take your kids to the beach, an amusement park, somewhere fun. So while they’re having fun, you’re having fun and relaxing too. I’m sure a lot of parents do it but it doesn’t hurt to say it so that busy parents can try it.

I’m no parent but when I do become one (if I become one), I’m going to try to take my own advice. I don’t want my kids to be glued technology for all their childhood. Childhoods are about creating fun memories that they won’t forget. Memories that they can share with their kids.

What do you think about kids and technology these days?

Are you a parent? What have you done to ensure that your kids aren’t always stuck to technology? Sound off below.

This post was written by the talented Shanese! Don’t forget to check out her blog and follow her on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest and Bloglovin’.

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How To Raise Healthy Children

I was listening to a clip of an audible this morning, and it was based on how to show your son that you love him, or something along those lines. I have a son, so obviously I was intrigued. As I started listening to the audible though, I kept thinking that these principles applied to all children, and not just boys. I turned it off and started to think- although I am still learning daily how to be a great mom, I’ve managed to raise healthy and happy children. Here’s how I am doing it….

Be encouraging. My kids know that the words “I can’t” are forbidden in my household. Those words are the equivalent of curse words around me. You can do anything you want, as long as you try. I encourage my kids to try new things like foods, ways to learn, making new friends, different tv shows, anything. If you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. So we try everything- either together or independently. But they know that mommy will always be in their ear telling them that they can do it no matter what.

Be fun! We make up dances to all of the songs in all of the movies that they love to watch. We go to the park and play together. We make watt and crafts in the house. We build using their building blocks. I let them cook with me. We have fun together as a family to help strengthen the bond that we already have.

Be consistent. Today, my daughter said “I love you mom”, and I replied “I love you more”. She followed up with “even when I’m not around you still love me”. I constantly tell her that. I constantly tell her that I’ll always be there for her. I constantly tell her that even when she gets on my nerves I love her to life. I keep all of my promises, I don’t lie to my children, and I am always there for them no matter what. My children’s favorite line to repeat back to me is “mommy loves us no matter what!”. And I’ve worked to show them this truth. I’m consistent.

Be firm. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest push-over softee parent known to man. My kids literally run all over me and I spoil them more than I should. But they also know that mommy doesn’t play with certain things. When I give them that look, or say “what did you just say?!”, they know I mean business. When I say NO, I mean no. Explaining to them why I say no about something can be a task sometimes, but my answer sticks and they know it.

Be a family. I was raised eating dinner at the table with my parents every night. My kids and I eat every meal in the house together. Televisions off, phones down, and we talk. We watch movies together. We do activities together. Sometimes we even pick out each other’s outfits. We do homework together- they work, and I’m on the computer. I teach my children to take care of and look out for each other because they’re all they’ve got.

Most of all, be a mom. My children tell me that their favorite thing about me is that I make them their favorite foods and that I’m always there. Never mind how they steal all my money, my sleep, my food, my bed, and sometimes my boyfriend. Lol. I’m their mom, and the combination of all the aforementioned things help them to trust me to be that to and for them. Don’t get me wrong- there are days where I’m wondering how we still have a standing house or how they haven’t killed each other and me yet. But we manage together; we figure it out together. They make me better and stronger, and I’m hopefully making them smarter, wiser, and better than me.

Until next time; have fun with your children, and tell them Ms. Kishna said that they can do anything they want to, they just have to try!

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

To Shack or Not To Shack?

I grew up in a very traditional household. A married family with children. I was raised to believe that if I lived with a man, he should be my husband. I traveled down that road and it didn’t work out too well for me. Now, I’m in a new relationship with a new man and I’m struggling with the decision to move in with him before we get married. Is it the right choice to make?

I obviously have my reasons for pestering Mr. Officer to sell his house and purchase one with me. He works crazy hours, and I think that it would allow us more time to spend with each other- even if it’s just snuggled up under each other sleeping. Not to mention it would save on bills and the kids would have more time to spend with him. The problem is 1- we aren’t married and 2- I am super comfortable living alone! I haven’t lived with anyone (let alone a man) going on almost 3 years. Does my dad count? If not, it’s been almost 5. That’s a really long time on my own. I have my own routine, my own space, and all my closets and drawers to myself. Just thinking about sharing the closet gives me anxiety. And what if he doesn’t put down the toilet seat, or if he takes his shoes off at the door and just leaves it there? What if he’s the type of man who just leaves his clothes strewn all over the house and I have to pick up after him? Oh my goodness- my chest is getting tight and I’m starting to sweat! See? Just thinking about it gives me a panic attack!!!!!! (Okay- now I see where my daughter gets her dramatic side from! )

On the other hand, having a man in the house would help with having constant stability, a role model for the children, easy access to my man, less stress with bills, and allow me the ability to see if we are indeed compatible enough to walk down the aisle. There are definitely pros and cons to the situation, but I am sure my strict carribean parents would have an issue with me shacking up with a man who wasn’t my husband. And, if I am being completely honest, I will always worry in the back of my mind that he’ll get too comfortable with us living together and not make the effort to marry me.

How many people in relationships “shack up” and never get married? Or have children together and push back the marriage idea all together? What is the point of getting married if you already have the person at your beck and call on a daily basis? Or what if you made the decision to wait until after you were married to live with someone, and later found out that they had extreme habits that you are struggling to deal with? Is there a healthy medium (spending the night a few nights a week at your partner’s house)? I mentioned that I come from a strict carribean background, which means I was raised very religious. My culture doesn’t accept living together outside of marriage. Do you watch Black Ink Crew Chicago? If you do, the episode in which Neko introduced his girlfriend Charmaine to his carribean mother, and her reaction when she found out that they were living together- THAT would be my mother’s reaction. Especially because I was already married and had children from that relationship. I wouldn’t only be bringing a man into MY life, but I would be bringing him into my children’s lives as well. How does that factor into the whole “to move in or not to move in” dilemma that many people face? When is it a good time to allow that much access to your children?

If you want MY answer, it’s I don’t know. Lol. If I move in with someone, they must know that marriage is around the corner, and we better be planning something within the upcoming year. Mr. Officer knows that I am expecting marriage from him, so I hope he’s reading this and getting the ring ready to slide onto my pretty little finger. I think that moving in before marriage can be a good thing- to help you determine if you truly are compatible with the person you love, to find out what the bad habits are early, and to see how you interact with one another on a consistent level. The last thing anyone wants is to think you’re marrying one person, and to find out they are someone completely different. I went down that road already and I do not recommend it. You know yourself, and your partner- make the decision that best fits YOU!

As always, be legendary KINGS, be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

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2-Day Grant Writing Course

I’ve had several people reach out to me and ask me why I haven’t started doing any grant writing classes. My schedule has been extremely busy lately (you can tell by the lack of posts that I’ve put up) and I have my kids on the weekends so scheduling something like this can be a little tricky. But I’ve pushed past all the muck and found the time to schedule the course. I am extremely proud of myself!

This course will be for any person in the non-profit sector. We will go over how to write a proposal, the different parts, budgets, research and statistics that will make your proposal solid, how to find and develop your writing style, and creating engaging content. The classes will be about 2-3 hours long and I will answer any and all questions to the best of my ability.

The only downfall of the course is that I have no idea how to stream this online, so the class will have to be remote- for now! I plan on figuring out how to record the session and upload it online for a small fee (I hope my students won’t be upset at the price difference! Lol!)

Being an entrepreneur- juggling a work life, a small business life, a parenting life, and having a relationship- can be super exhausting sometimes, but pushing through and making things work is always worth the hassle. I love what I do, and I love to teach others, so hopefully this will be a new venture for me!

Wish me luck guys!

Until next time….

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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I Failed At Parenting Today

If you have children, you know that this picture accurately depicts how many parenting moments go in the household. Sometimes you have to just trust in the fact that you’ve done an amazing job at raising independent children (notice I didn’t say responsible! Lol!). This is the story of one of those days for me. I don’t need an introduction, let’s just get this started.

My daughter had a bad night. Every few hours, she would wake up calling for me. Which would wake me up out of my sleep. And anyone who knows me knows that I HATE being awakened from my sleep. She woke up the first time, I comforted her. She woke up the second time, and I cuddled her back to sleep. The third time, I told her if she didn’t stay asleep I was going to make her sleep on the floor with the cat. She stayed asleep. My alarm didn’t go off when it was supposed to, so I woke up late, with a headache (here we go!). I take a shower, and I am now waking up the kids. My son starts crying. “Why you crying pop?” “I want my daddy!” “Why do you want daddy?” “Because. Because. Because. He gives me chips in the morning! Aaaahhhhhhh hhhhaaaaaaa!” I really wanted to just walk away at that point, but I sent him to go brush his teeth. As I’m getting dressed, I hear the water running and running and running. I peek into the bathroom and he’s filling up buckets of water and pouring it into the bathtub. There’s water all over my floor. I turned off the water (which startled him because he looked at me with fear in his eyes), and I went back into my room. I heard him brushing his teeth; I guess he got the point. He put on mix-matched socks, and I think he didn’t put on any underwear even though I laid out a complete outfit for him. My daughter didn’t want to get up, and didn’t want to get dressed so she literally just put on anything (including backwards shoes); she didn’t want to eat, drink, anything. She was a little terror. I dropped them off to school, thank God.

I had a bad work day. I still had my headache; the internet was down so I couldn’t get any work done, and the kids camp called and said my son pee’d his pants. By the time I picked them up from school (still with the headache), I was exhausted and done for the day. So- they found whatever they could in the fridge and ate it for dinner. Luckily, I had small water bottles, so they didn’t have to pour anything to drink. I was laying in bed. Under the covers. Trying to hide. I think (actually, I hope) that I raised them well enough that they could fend for themselves. My daughter knows how to navigate the tv, and my son will just play with his blocks when he doesn’t want to watch what she’s watching. Surprisingly, they only came to bother me twice- I told them I didn’t feel good which is why I was laying down and they let me be (they can actually be sweet when they want to). Bedtime came around- I didn’t do baths, I didn’t dress them, I barely got out the bed. They asked for a bedtime story. I didn’t want to read one so I told them that we were going to make one up (hey- I was winging it here). They loved it, and they each made up a bedtime story. I kissed them goodnight, and put them to sleep.

The next day, I woke up and said to myself “you failed at being a mom yesterday”. I walked down the steps to check my living room and kitchen, and I was amazed that it was still in tact. The pillows were missing, but that was all. I was extremely proud of them. So much so that I made their favorite breakfast and dinner, and took them to the park after camp.

Being a full-time parent is hard- couple that with working full-time, owning a small business, and trying to maintain my sanity, sometimes I just want to turn off being a mom and relax. As long as the kids don’t die, I’m ok with how things turn out. Lol. I have food available, they have access to drinks and water, and they can choose between watching tv, reading books, playing games, playing on their tablet, or playing in their room. One or two days of me checking out for an hour or 5 won’t kill them (insert emoji here).

Until next time….

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo Comment


How Do I Write This Grant?!

Being a grant writer was an easy transition for me; I was already a blogger, I loved writing, and I was constantly doing research for my job anyways. Becoming a grant writer just combined all of these things together. What I didn’t realize was all of the work and time that I would have to dedicate to the craft. Man, this thing definitely takes a lot of work and effort!
Because I had transitioned into a completely new territory, I had to figure out how to put this thing together. Where the heck was I supposed to start! The good thing is, I finally figured it out. And now, I would like to teach anyone working in the non-profit sector how to put together a simple proposal. It’s not as hard as you think.
1. Introduce your organization. Briefly give a synopsis of your what the organization is, what the mission is, and what the focus is. “Uniting Families, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focused on creating stronger relationships within the family structure. Our mission is to build a bridge within the family that creates long-lasting, generational bonds. The organization was founded in 2011 by Dr. Elizabeth Wright who is a family psychologist”, etc.
2. You need to create a name for your program. Identifying it makes it more relatable, and can get your reader to identify with your goal. For example, if my org’s name is Uniting Families, Inc., my program name could be “Mother-Daughter Connection”. This clearly tells the reader what the program is about, and can warrant an emotion from them.
3. Have a clear purpose for your program, as well as evidence that it can or does work. “Mother-Daughter Connection is a weekly workshop that has activities and classes that helps low-income and underserved mothers and daughters establish a closer relationship and helps build trust”. Why is this important, and what type of activities would help make this program plausible?
4. Create a reasonable budget for the program, SEPARATE from the organization’s budget. Think of it like this- the organization is the mother, and the program is the child. The mom has her own money that needs to be spent, but so does the child. It can be seen as 1 major budget, or 2 smaller ones. Being able to distinguish the 2 will, again, help make the program relatable.
5. Explain, briefly, what the money will go towards. It doesn’t have to be a full explanation of the funding; “if funded, the budget would cover the cost of materials, activities, food, and travel”. You’ve already described what the activities are which is why this section just reiterates that.
6. Lastly, as you close out the proposal, thank the funder. Let them know that their contribution to this program would benefit whoever your program targets. Your closing statement should be strong and engaging.
This proposal needs to engage the reader-they’re giving you money after all. The more compelling your “story” is, the more likely it is that you’ll get funded.
I hope this helped someone!

As always, be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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The Way He Treats You Is How He Feels About You

*Before you read this post, please understand that nothing in this post is condoning domestic violence in any way, shape, or form. This post was written through the viewpoint of a healthy relationship. Also, it may be a little wordy. Thanks for reading!*

I based my life on this for such a long time. It wasn’t until I met with and dated Mr. Officer that I realized that this was nowhere near the truth! We are conditioned to think that if someone doesn’t give us or do for us what we want, then they don’t care about us. My children’s father beat that notion into my head- because he bought me cars and placed a roof over my head, and worked and gave me money that he loved and cared about me. Nevermind the fact that he was ripping away my self-worth, my dignity, and my sanity. He bought me stuff and made it seem like he was taking care of me so I should be happy. After I left that relationship, I was so conditioned and brainwashed to believe that if you don’t give me and show me what I want that you don’t care about me, and it almost ruined my next relationship. I didn’t even realize it.

When I met Mr. Officer, he worked 12-16 hours a day. Despite that, he always found a way to make time to spend with my kids and I. His schedule picked up more, and his free time lessened. So now only I was able to get him, but that was extremely limited. In my mind, because I couldn’t see him and spend time with him he didn’t love and care about me. I was used to equating one with the other. Nevermind the fact that he would go above and beyond for me and the kids, would sneak away from work just to see me (even if for only 5 minutes), encouraged and motivated me in all of my endeavors. I was focused on one thing and one thing only- the time (or the lack thereof) that he spent with me at the location I wanted. If that didn’t happen I was pissed! (I’m sure if he were right next to me he would type in that I was crazy). The arguments increased, I broke up with him every month or so, and he would just maintain that he loved me and he wasn’t going anywhere.

One day, after one of my rants and I broke up with him again (for the then 3,976th time), I laid in the bed and had a mild panick attack. I asked myself “what he hell are you doing?” Because I didn’t want to break up with him, I didn’t want to be apart from him, I didn’t want to fight with him. I just wanted him to spend more time with me. Like an oblivious man, instead of calling me or coming to the house and talking some sense into me, he let me cool off. (Guys- please take this advice: DO NOT GIVE US SPACE!!!!! WE DO NOT WANT SPACE! We want you in our face asking us to forgive you, stealing kisses on our foreheads, wrapping your arms around us and not letting go until we aren’t mad anymore. And probably food and sex. Take this advise. It will help you!) I was left in my bed in my feelings, in my thoughts. The worst place for me to be because I over think and over analyze everything! I finally couldn’t take it anymore and reached out to someone to talk to. And they kindly told me that I was an idiot. That the man I had checked off every box that I had on my list of wants and needs in a man, and that although he doesn’t have a lot of time, the time he does have he gives to me. That I needed to stop being so selfish and started to acknowledge and appreciate the selfless acts that he constantly did for me. You know what I did? Defended my position. Because I was right and they were wrong. I went and spoke to someone else, and they told me the same thing. I went and spoke to one more person and they told me I needed to leave him and be single. So, I had 2 against 1 in his favor. Now I needed to figure it out.

I went to church and told God “I am so confused! My spirit aches when I say I don’t want anything to do with him anymore, but he’s not doing what I want!” The pastor had a message that day on control and intimidation and allowing things that happened to and around you. But the way the message was worded, all I heard was “stop being so selfish and let that man love you!”. I couldn’t help but laugh. I was so conditioned to believe that the way he treated me- not having/making time to spend with me- meant that he didn’t love or care about me and that’s what I focused on. Being this new enlightened person, I had to do a self assessment, and I realized that I was wrong in how I was handling the situation. I had to apologize. I texted him and told him I missed him, and that I was sorry for everything. He said “it’s ok Cheri”. Just that simple. No argument, no “I told you so”, nothing. He said he loved me and resumed back to being my love like I wasn’t having an emotional breakdown for the last few days. (I swear- now that I think of it, he doesn’t pay me any mind when I go on my rants! Lol! He literally will just say “ok Cheri” and go back to minding his business! Lol!).

We need to be mindful of what we are conditioned to believe are acts of love. Just because we are used to someone doing or treating us a certain way doesn’t mean that it is the ONLY way for someone to show us that they love us. Mr. Officer made a promise to sell his home so that we could purchase one together. That’s a huge commitment that I was overlooking because he didn’t have the time to give me when I wanted it. Stop believing in what you’re used to, and start believing in what is. You’ll get a whole new perspective on life and love.

Until next time.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

Time Heals All Wounds- NOT!

In my 30 years of being on this earth (I’m super young, I know!) I always hear the saying “time heals all wounds”. I’m not sure where this saying originated from, but I believed it for such a long time- until I realized that time went by and my wounds were still as fresh as the day they were carved. Time certainly didn’t not heal my wounds!

Forgiveness heals wounds. Especially emotional ones. The hurt that someone caused you. The heartbreak from your ex leaving. The pain of losing a loved on. Time passing isn’t going to make these things any better or easier to deal with. Trust me, I’ve tried. But forgiving did. Myself especially. I forgave myself for blaming myself; forgave myself for making bad decision; forgave myself for holding on longer than I should’ve. And I forgave the person that I felt did me wrong. Even when I didn’t receive an apology for the slight. That healed my wounds and helped me to move on.

Love heals wounds. And to my defense, when I say love I am equating it to God. Because God is love and love is God. Love’s patience heals. Love’s understanding heals. Love’s acceptance heals. Love’s kindness heals. Because healing can sometimes be so deep that we don’t know how to tap into it. But the love (either from someone else or God himself) that we receive from a genuine spirit can help ease our anxiety and help us focus on where exactly our pain and hurt comes from so that we can start to mend the brokenness.

Therapy heals wounds. Because talking about the problem is the first step to fixing the problem or figuring out what the problem is. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge or know is broken. And we alone are not always able to see the issue objectively in order to fix it. I know I was a burier. I buried all of my issues somewhere deep down inside of me and tried as best as I could to forget about it. And now as an adult I have an extremely bad memory issue because of it. One that I cannot fix on my own and I probably need therapy for.

Acceptance heals wounds. Many people are walking around hurt and angry because they haven’t accepted a choice or decision that was made in their life. They feel slighted, betrayed, or used and they just cannot let go. Accepting those painful decisions can help with letting go of the hurt associated with it. It will not be easy, but for your emotional and psychological well being it is definitely worth it.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. And I wish people would stop saying that. There are many different ways to heal from something, and many people are willing and capable of helping. They won’t to school for it people! Lol. Find one that works the best FOR YOU and heal! You’ll thank yourself later for it. Because waiting around for it to happen on it’s own isn’t going to work.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS.

Until next time

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

Love Is …

Every time I go over to my best friend’s house, she’s watching some sappy love show or movie. And I normally hate them because they’re unrealistic and don’t show what actual love and relationships look like. Until she put on “Love Is”. We started from the first episode, and I was hooked. To see a real, actual, screwed up relationship fight to make it work. It reminded me of myself and Mr. Officer. A little too much! This is what love is ….

Love is hard. AF! They say it isn’t supposed to be, but my experience has shown that it is. You are taking two completely different people and asking them to merge their lives, beliefs, backgrounds, religions, work ethics, parenting methods- EVERYTHING!!!- and figure out how to make it work together. Without a blueprint or a guide to show us the right way. But love is also beautiful, amazing, uplifting, freeing, passionate, and worth all of the headache. One thing that it took me too long to realize is when you decide to love someone and incorporate them into your life, that lane that you paved for yourself- it’s broken now. We like to control people and situations (at least, I do) and make them conform to what WE think is the best. And our mate is more than likely trying to do the same thing. When we make the conscious decision to love someone and merge their life with ours, we also need to merge our lane with theirs. Or create a whole new lane altogether. We cannot force people to love us how we want them to love us, or walk down the path that we create for them. Love is creating that path together the best way that you know how.

Love is scary. You are literally telling someone who you do not know “I am trusting you with my heart. Please don’t break it”. You are giving your life to someone in the hopes that they can bring fulfilment and peace into it. And it can work out bad, or it can be amazing. You can gain weight in all the right places, have your skin glowing, bring your anxiety down and give you more peace, have someone to help with your finances, have someone encouraging and motivating you. You can find your best friend in love. Love brings out the best in you.

Love is frustrating! Remember- there is no blueprint. But when your love doesn’t put down the toilet seat after he pee’s, or doesn’t take the trash out before he leaves for work on trash day, or didn’t prepare dinner for the kids even though he was home a lot earlier than you, when your love decides that them receiving an award of honor and merit wasn’t a big deal to tell you about because you were out-of-town, how do you still love? In my experience- FORGIVENESS. Love is saying “you made a mistake. It pissed me off. I want to punch you in the face, but instead I’ll kiss you and tell you why it bothered me and hopefully we can fix it so it doesn’t happen again in the future”. Every. Single. Time. EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! Remember I said it was frustrating? But when those quirks turn into coming home to a cooked meal for you and the kids, or the trash being taken out the night before trash morning, or those phone calls come in about awards and honors, dealing with those frustrating moments becomes worth it. I guess I should’ve thrown patient in there as well, huh? Love is patient, because no matter how many times you make a mistake love is right there to help you fix it. Love gives you advice and pointers on how to make it better. Love stays up with you the whole night to help you finish your paper for school or that huge project that you need for work. Love will never leave you or forsake you.

Love is stupid. Have you ever been the friend that always keeps hearing “why are you still with him? He doesn’t love you!” Or “you should’ve left him a long time ago”. Or “you deserve so much better!” The problem with confiding in your friends and family when things are bad is that they don’t know or see when things are good. For example? (He’s probably going to kill me for this! Lol!). Mr. Officer works. Which is normal, right? Wrong. He works 20 hours a day. And on the weekends he works 12-16 hours a day. Which means that we do not spend a lot of time together, and he’s cancelled more than a couple of dates and trips because of his schedule. Had you asked me 3-4 years ago, I would’ve told you that I would not be able to deal with a person who worked that much. But, here I am 2 years later, still dealing with the frustration of his schedule. Because when he does make the time, he is amazing with my children. My son wakes up everyday asking to speak to him and my daughter asked me yesterday when he and I were going to get married because she wanted him to be her step-dad. When he makes time, we laugh all day long. We talk, we share stories, we encourage and motivate each other. When he makes time, we go on dates. When he makes time, he comforts me when I am ready to pull my hair out or make a stupid decision that will affect my children. When he makes time he takes my son to the barbershop and pays for my car to get repaired. When he makes time, he is my best friend. It’s easy to say that I should leave because he doesn’t make the time for me, but he is love to me and my children. Let me repeat that- HE IS LOVE FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN! So love is stupid- it makes you go against yourself and your beliefs when the person shows you their love. It makes you trust when society tells you to doubt. It makes you hope when others tell you it’ll fail. Love doesn’t listen to society or others, love makes its own way. Love is consistent, even in the inconsistencies.

Love IS! Love is a being, an entity. Love is an action word- you are love and someone is love to you. Again, it took me way too long to realize that because I didn’t understand that concept until Mr. Officer. I’ve experienced it before in the past, but I wasn’t ready to understand it until now. My relationship with Mr. Officer showed me love through sacrifice, through forgiveness, through patience, through understanding, through trust. Truth be told, I think the only reason that I recognized and spotted what love is NOW is because of my children. I am love to them unconsciously- I exert no effort to be love to them because as a parent it comes naturally. But to be love to an adult requires a conscious effort. Because we both can get up and walk away at any point with no strings attached, so for me to make the choice to stay, I have to acknowledge the reasons and motivations why. I compare the love for an adult to the love to my children constantly- to be able to determine how it can be so easy to do certain things for my children yet I struggle to do them for an adult. Example? I trust my children. I know what they are capable of and what they will and won’t do. I am still building trust in Mr. Officer (which is probably why I put him through the stuff that I did). I can depend on my children. I know that they will always be there no matter what, even when they get older and decide to move out of my house and be on their own. I cannot fully give my dependency to an adult- because you can decide to leave today or tomorrow with no questions asked. But love is saying even though I think you can leave and hurt me, I will make the choice to trust and depend on you anyways. Love is choosing your mate over and over again. Even when you don’t want to. Love is knowing that you could be hurt yet again, but choosing to stick it out and working to make things different and better. Love is a choice, an action. Love is despite of. Love is!

I am no expert on love; obviously, right? I have 3.5 failed relationships under my belt (despite my frustrations, I’ll most likely be figuring out how to work things out with Mr. Officer- eventually). But I realize what Love Is. Because I am a mom, and because my heart is open to seeing it. And I am still learning.

Until next time.

Be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

Relationship 101

Unfortunately, I have been in enough bad relationships to know what I do not want, what I do not want done to me, and how to make them fail. Horribly. From the point of no return. The last 2 relationships especially have shown me what I need from a mate in order to be a great partner. The issues that we have is that no one taught us how to be effective partners. Communication and trust especially have been a huge cause of the break up of many relationships. So, I’ve compiled a list of things that I believe are important and necessary to maintain a successful relationship. Hope you learn and enjoy!

1) time is extremely important to someone who actually values you –
We can say “if you have a problem with someone who works a lot then you should be single” until we are blue in the face. But the reality is that we need time spent in order to establish and maintain a close connection with the person that we are dating. Yes- working and having your OWN money is extremely important, but that should not take away and stand in the place of spending time with someone. Especially to someone who’s love language is time spent. That will most definitely be the cause of a failed relationship

2) communication- talking daily, texting, FaceTime, etc- makes up for the lack of time-
In the event that the person that you are dating has a hectic work schedule, talking in any form becomes the way that time is spent. And it doesn’t have to be hours on the phone. A 5 minute phone call twice a day goes an extremely long way. I mean, I want to talk to my mate until I go to sleep so 5 minutes wouldn’t be nearly enough for me, but you get the point. Communication in any form can temporarily replace time being spent with someone, or it can equate to time being spent (depending on how someone chooses to look at it). Just know, it’s just as important and necessary.

3) women love when men plan and execute dates –
It’s part of the chase. Having my partner tell me “babe, get dressed tonight I am picking you up at 8” just does something to me. To know that you took the time and effort to make reservations, pick out an outfit, surprise me with an impromptu date, picked me up…. You just made me feel like the most important person in your world. And it doesn’t matter how often you do it- we get those butterflies every time. Now, keep in mind- a date doesn’t always have to involve going out and spending money. My last partner and I used to have home dates. When the kids went to sleep, we would chill on the couch and watch movies. I would lay on his chest and listen to his heart beat and we would laugh and talk about the movie. That, to me, was better than going to some restaurant.

4) women love going AWAY with their men –
We like going on trips, to different cities and states, and enjoying a different atmosphere with the person that we love. This number is pretty self-explanatory- take us on trips! We might do something to blow your mind. *wink, wink*

5) verbally encouraging and supporting your mate makes a huge difference –
When we fall in love with someone, the words that they speak tend to hold more value and weight than everyone else. So, speaking life into your partner is extremely important. Encouraging them, pushing them, and congratulating them will do more for their self-esteem than they will admit to. We love to see our hard work and efforts being recognized, especially when we feel that we are unappreciated and our hard efforts go unseen. Our mates are our coaches- speaking life into each other can help build and strengthen your relationship.

6) small acts of love- flowers, cards, teddy bears, candles, etc- makes us feel loved and gives us something to remember you by –
Think about it- if you walk past your bedroom and see a teddy bear that your partner gave you, it puts a smile on your face. When you get into your car and you see a medallion dangling from your rearview mirror that your babe gave you, you smile. When you see the flowers on the table, you get butterflies. Small gestures and acts of kindness give us mushy partners something to remember you by. Even if we see you every day, the fact that you took the time, thought about me, and gave me a memento to remember you by, it helps keep the flame alive.

7) if you say you’re going to do something  DO IT! Ignoring plans eventually starts chipping away at our confidence in where we stand in your life. –
That sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Imagine making plans with someone you care about deeply, getting dressed and smelling good, and you’re sitting on the couch waiting for them to pick you up and they never show up. After a few times of this happening, you’ll start to question if you actually are important to the person, if they truly make you a priority, if they even care about your feelings. You’ll either break up with them, start feeling a way about the direction of the relationship, or find someone else to give you the attention that your partner won’t.

8) show your mate off. Even if it’s just to your boys, your family, or random ppl in the street. A female will say that she doesn’t need that attention, but we do. It solidifies our role to you –
This is pretty self-explanatory. You know how they say diamonds are a girls best friend? It’s because when we wear them, it makes us the center of attention. Well, we get tha same feeling when YOU show us off. Even if you don’t have many friends or aren’t close to your family, show us off to someone. Make friends. Then parade us to them. Be mindful of the fact that I am not telling you to tell people our business! There is a huge difference. You can show someone off and still keep the relationship private. But our egos need to be stroked just as much as yours does.

9)  KNOW WHAT YOU WANT! If your mate is asking for a time-table, you should be able to give them an answer. Saying “I don’t know” means you don’t know if you want me around –
I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have a conversation with someone who I am expecting to have future plans with and their reply is constantly “I don’t know”. Unless you have confirmation that tomorrow is your last day on earth, you know what you want tomorrow and next week and next month and next year. You’re just unsure about ME because you don’t really want me involved in those plans. That is a major red flag buddy. I have no clue what I am wearing to work tomorrow but I know when I want to get married, if I want more kids or not, and whether YOU will be involved in those plans.

10) never stop dating your mate! No matter how long you’ve been together or how comfortable you guys are, always date them and chase them! Because if you don’t someone else will and their attention will eventually drift –
Need I say more?

11) learn how to communicate even when you’re upset –
I am speaking to myself with this one. When I feel like the issue that I am dealing with will not get resolved, I just won’t say anything about it. Which is not healthy because if the other person doesn’t know that I am unhappy about something, they will continue to do it. If you are angry or upset and cannot say why, you might want to seek some counseling. Effective communication happens when you are happy AND upset; being able to get your point across without lashing out or shutting down is extremely important in a relationship.

The main point that all of this sums up to is this: speak life into your partner and ensure that they are and always remain a priority. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard one person degrade or demean the other and turn around and say “I love you” to that person. Love doesn’t hurt, belittle, berate, or make others feel less than. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I get that. But we do not repeat mistakes. We repeat praises. And encouragement. And affection. And love. We want to be in a committed long-term relationship (at least I do), so we have to figure out how to make it happen. I think this was a pretty goof blueprint, don’t you?

As always, until next time!

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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Is He Too Young?

Being a mother, working with youth, and having a background in education will probably be a gift and a curse for my children. Knowing what I know about everything involving youth and children and the world has made me overprotective and a little paranoid over them. I push education, morals, values, friendships, and safety onto my children. But most importantly, safety!

Growing up, there weren’t this many kidnappings and missing children in my community. If a kid didn’t go home when he/she was supposed to, it was probably because they were with their friends and lost track of time. Within the last 2 years, every week I’ve seen some type of missing person post of a child come across my social media feed. I even had a conversation with a friend of mine about how we let our children play outside. I kindly told them that they were a little too lenient with where they let their kid wander to outside and they became defensive. I don’t even let my kids walk behind me when we are walking anywhere, let alone allowing them to go off and play outside of my eyesight. I guess I’m just a little too protective of my children-all children within my care. Especially because I know the statistics of 1- young children having sex in elementary school and 2- the rates that children are being trafficked for selling sex (themselves) and/or drugs. I do not wish for any child that I know or care for falling into those statistics.

So that leads me to my question- how young is TOO YOUNG to talk to children and start educating them about these things? Being the youth development director at my job, I am certified to teach sexual risk avoidance curriculums (sex ed) to young kids. Because we receive funding for it, we need parental consent outside of the schools to teach the curriculums. I cannot tell you how many parents do not want their kids talking/knowing about ATTRACTION, let alone developing healthy relationships with their peers. Moms. Dads. I get it. You think that talking to your child might open up a door that you aren’t ready for them to walk into. But the flip side is- what if they are already talking about it; or worse-doing it? Need I remind you that I know the statistics? In 2015, 3.9% of students have had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13 years. The prevalence of having had sexual intercourse before age 13 years was higher among male (5.6%) than female (2.2%) students. Considering the fact that 30 years of public health research clearly demonstrates that when young people receive such education, they are more likely to delay sexual initiation, and to use protection when they do eventually become sexually active, than those who receive no sex education or learn only about abstinence. Withholding information about sex and sexuality will not keep children safe; it will only keep them ignorant. Proven research has backed this theory, yet parents are still leery about educating their children.

I have begun to teach my children to name all body parts with the proper name. We don’t call anything “the cookie”, “your goodies”, “your privates”, or any other name other than what it actually is. They can refer to it as whatever they would like, but when I ask “what are you referring to love?”, they both are able to name the part. Educating them about good touching and bad touching in those areas, and who should be touching there in the first place, etc. I am also transitioning them into being able to take a shower and washing themselves independently so that NO ONE will need to be anywhere near them without clothes on period. Including myself. We used to be able to say that just girls were getting molested, but now boys are being targeted just as much- if not more- than little girls. As they grow older, I will teach them about attraction, urges, protection, and the right way to protect themselves if they decide to have sex. Both of my kids get sexually aroused. If you think that children do not touch and play with themselves, you might need to have a long conversation with your child’s pediatrician. I’ve even had to explain to my daughter that she should do that to herself only when she is alone in her room because it is not appropriate to do in front of people. That was not an easy conversation to have with a 4-year-old.

We as parents need to start being proactive rather than reactive with our children. We work. We aren’t with our children 24/7, not matter how much time you spend with them. Teaching them before someone else does will help your child (and you) avoid many difficult situations in the future. From one parent to another, do not be scared of them knowing- be scared of them learning from someone else.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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I Love You, Dad

As an adult, as a Haitian-American raised by a pure Haitian father, and as a mother, I can look back on my childhood and see how my father was a human in being a dad. It’s easy for me now to forgive him for the slights that I harbored as a child growing up, and mend the relationship that we had. It’s easy for me NOW to rebuild and repair and have the father that I always wanted. Not many people can say this.

I can’t speak for American parents and how they raise their children, but I could probably write a book on being raised by a Haitian parent. It was not easy. Especially when your father is strict and can only see things his way. I was the first-born for both of my parents; technically, I should’ve been daddy’s little girl. I don’t ever remember having that relationship with my father. I do remember the beatings, the yelling, the name calling. I remember being scared of him. So, it’s easy for me now (and it was then also) to gravitate towards my mother and have that close relationship with her. She loved youth, children, and me. So she treated me with respect- she listened to me when I talked, explained things that I didn’t understand, and had lots of fun with me. She was the “fun” parent.

When I entered high school, my parents divorced, and my mother took my little brother and I; I really didn’t see my dad much. So it went from being scared of him to not ever really seeing him. I had a LOT of daddy issues that surfaced later on in life. When I met the father of my children, had my daughter, got pregnant with my son, and I decided to leave, I didn’t have anywhere to go. My dad’s house was my only option. He let me stay with him, but it was like living with a stranger. I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. At that time, I was fighting all the time with my children’s father and we had a lot of custody issues going on, so I was always angry or upset. That doesn’t leave for good communication, and I remember that one day I was angry because of something my kid’s dad did to me and I went into the house and I think my dad questioned me about what was wrong and I blew him off. Well, that didn’t sit well with a Haitian man who demands respect, so we argued and yelled at each other and he actually kicked me out (did I mention earlier that I had nowhere else to go and that I was pregnant at the time?). Don’t ask me where I went, I just know that I left. He called my mom and she explained everything to him; he called me and asked me to come back home. A little while later, I was arrested and sent to RCF pending the outcome of my trial.

Something happened when I was at RCF. I’m not sure if it was because my mother told him everything that was going on with me, or if it was because the judge denied my bail and I had no choice but to stay in jail and await the outcome of my trial, or if it was because I was pregnant, but my dad came to that jail every single week and visited me. He held my hand and prayed with (and for) me. We laughed, we joked- we just talked. And we got to know each other. We bonded- I became his baby girl and he became my protector. For those 8 months that I was away from my life and my family, he was my connection. When I was released (by then I had 2 children instead of 1), I moved back into my dad’s house. And this time, things were different. The kids loved him, and I saw his interaction with them. I cooked for him and he cooked for me. We talked. We went out to eat with the kids. We have, by no means, a perfect “father-daughter” relationship, but I now can turn to my father for stuff. I can talk to him. I want him to walk me down the aisle at my wedding. I don’t hate my father anymore; in fact, I actually like his old ass.

Now- I cannot talk about my relationship (or lack thereof) of my dad without acknowledging my stepfather, the guy my mother remarried. He was the dad that I wished I had growing up. I wasn’t his daughter, but he treated me like a princess (and still does today). He spoke to me, advised me, and treated me with respect. He adores my kids, and my son is his best friend. He actually told me that he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle when I was getting married unless my real father was on the other side of me. That’s respect. So, now I have 2 dads. And the love that I felt that I was lacking as a little girl growing up, I now have in abundance.

So now I have 2 children. And, although their father and I don’t always see eye to eye, my children adore him. I hate it! Lol. My daughter is a daddy’s girl to the T, and my son has a new-found love of calling on his father for everything. He’s stealing my babies from me!!!! But I am grateful, because my children don’t have to grow up feeling deprived of love like I did. And, my boyfriend has an amazing relationship with my kids. My son will wake up in the morning and ask to call my bf just to talk to him. He did it this morning. They have so many male figures in their lives to teach them, steer them, guide them, and love them unconditionally. My children are blessed, and I am more than elated about it.

My daddy-daughter relationship didn’t start off the way that I would’ve liked. But I love my father. And my step-father. And I wish them, my children’s father, my boyfriend, and all the  fathers a Happy Father’s Day. And I hope that your family gifts you something other than a watch or a tie. Lol!

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

My Fear of Public Speaking

I am pretty sure that many people will find this hard to believe, but I have a huge trepidation for public speaking. It makes me nervous, and I tend to start talking really fast just to hurry up and get the words out. I find this pretty funny because lately I have been hosting networking events, and speaking on grant writing and forming a 501c3 non-profit. In front of large groups of people. By myself. You can see where the anxiety comes in at…

Since a teenager, I’ve always labeled myself an introvert. I would rather stay in the house and watch a movie or sleep than go out and be around a large group of people. Because that notion was ingrained in me, I carried that into my adulthood. So all of the anxieties associated with that has followed as well. When I had my daughter and was venturing back into the working world, my mother made me the PR & Marketing person for her non-profit. Which means that I was the point person who went out to support coordinating agencies and introduced our organization, explained what we did, and which insurances we worked with. Remember when I mentioned that I do not like large crowds? Before I went to the first meeting, I sat in the car and tried to talk myself into it. I had to carry napkins with me to wipe away the extra sweat, take deep threats to keep from having a panic attack, and pray A LOT and ask God to please give me the words to say! My speeches started off being 6 minutes long. I timed them. Seriously. The crazy thing is, within those 6-minute-speeches, we gained most of the clients that we have now. Everyone always thought that I did such an amazing job speaking and explaining everything about the company. In my head, I kept asking “do these people know that I barely gave them any info and told them to basically read our pamphlet?!” I just couldn’t believe the positive feedback that I was getting just from 6 minutes. So, I made the speeches longer. My 6 minute speech turned into 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. And the more I spoke, the more people listened and followed whatever I was explaining. This was the birth of my public speaking alter ego. I think I’ll name her Veronica. Veronica was born in 2014.

Fast forward 4 years and I now own my company. I realized that there was a need for information to be passed around because of the questions that I was being asked in regards to starting a business that I thought everyone knew. So, I put together my first workshop. I was the last person speaking. And, I didn’t mingle around the room like a normal host does. Because I was afraid!!! Lol. What was I supposed to say to these people? How do you have small talk? What is the purpose of small talk? Lord- I am sweating right now just thinking about it! But- the people who attended the workshop LOVED IT!!!! Especially my 10 minute talk on grant writing.   Which prompted me to do a 2nd workshop, except on a much larger scale. And, again, I was the last speaker. Can you guess why? This time I forced myself to do a better job at walking around and talking to people, taking pictures, and being more social. My workshop segment was a lot longer this time around and again, those who attended loved the event. I must say, Veronica has been doing a great job with people! Lol.

Public speaking is extremely scary when you aren’t a people-person. Even more scarier when you’ve taken 5 public speaking classes and STILL have not gotten a handle on it. Lol. But, having a business later ego has helped a lot. Forcing myself to have more events and attend more events has been a help as well. I’m still learning how to ge a great host and keep the crowd engaged, but I think I’m off to a pretty good start.

Be legendary Kings; be extradorinary Queens.

-tootles!

xoxo

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Men Are Allowed To Be Happy Too!

I am currently struggling to find the time these days to be on social media, let alone actually posting content. When I do have the time (normally while I’m sitting on the toilet trying to avoid my kids), I can only catch a post or two before I have to go back to whatever I was doing. One post caught my eye a few weeks ago (remember, I’m still trying to create a time machine and a cloning machine so that I can be less busy here)- the post said something along the lines of “men are supposed to provide for the family, make sure their mate is happy, then die”. And other guys commented and agreed to the post! The whole time I was thinking “but, what about them actually being happy?” When did it become the norm for men to NOT be happy with life?

At the ripe young vibrant age of- HA! You actually thought that I was going to give my age away? Better luck next time! Lol! Anyways- I have no desire to date anyone who is not happy at this point in my life. I have worked extremely hard within myself to establish and maintain inner peace and happiness, so dating someone who doesn’t strive for the same would make us unequally yoked. Not for me boop! I am the encouraging, motivating type. I wake up and send you a good morning texts. I send nudes randomly. I tell you that I love the peen, and that I think you are the most amazing person in the world. I speak life over my man, I take him on dates, and I leave his stomach full and his man parts empty. My partner WILL BE happy, there’s no doubt about that.

What I cannot understand is why men (and women) think that men shouldn’t be happy in a relationship. Happy couples thrive- they make money together, have great sex, raise happy kids, make amazingly tasting food… The list goes on. This society has created a belief that men are JUST providers and sperm donors and nothing else. Men are that, and so much more! Men are protectors, comforters, friends, help mates, equal partners in business, the head of households, father figures, mentors, leaders, game changers, deal makers, lovers…. as you can see my list is endless. I myself had to accept that I completely disregarded the fact that men possessed feelings just as much as women do. In my past relationships, the man’s happiness was never my concern. Men didn’t show it, so I didn’t bother to cater to it. But not catering to that essential part of a man only lead to unhappy relationships. We foster insecurities, lies, and doubt in our men when we do not make it our business to actively ensure their happiness. A good friend of mine recently told me that in order to keep a man happy, all I need to do is make sure his stomach is full and his balls are empty. But I believe that other little things play into that as well. I’ll send my partner flowers. How many men can say that their woman ever sent them a bouquet of roses? I’ll send my partner to the spa, just because. I’ll plan romantic evenings or getaways just to say thank you. I’ll figure out what your favorite thing is, and get it engraved or personalized as a gift. I’ll ask you how your day was, and can I give you a foot massage. Everything that I want my man to do to me, I am going to do to him. If these actions make me happy, they’ll make him happy too, right?

My partner will be one of the top 5 people in my life (God first, and he shares the slot with my 2 kids and my mom and grandmom). If I go out of my way to make all of those other people happy and ensure that my relationship with them is stable, by the same notion I will do the same for my mate. Shoot- I’ll cashapp him some money on my pay-day and tell him to go get a cut, on me. I plan on living until I am close to 100. My partner has to keep a smile on my face every single day until God calls me home. But, he can only do that if I in turn keep a smile on his face.

Ladies, we need to remember that without our men, life would be so much more difficult. I am not one of those women who say that I do not need a man and I can do everything by myself. I cannot. I hate taking out the trash, I hate having to deal with car stuff, I hate having everything on my shoulders, I hate sleeping alone (but thankfully my kids cuddle with me most nights), I hate when my grandparents constantly ask me when I am going to find a husband and get married. Like I can just snap my fingers and he’ll magically appear. Hmmm…… Maybe I should add that to my list of inventions; a perfect-husband-machine… I can manage without a partner, but life is so much easier with one. A happy one!

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxo

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But I’m Pretty Too….

I don’t really like to have drama in my life, but I love to watch it on tv. One of my most watched “ratchet tv” shows is Love and Hip Hop. All of the women on the show are beautiful- perfect sculpted bodies, reconstructed faces, million dollar surgeries to keep them looking good and in shape. And here I am, little ol’ me, with my 2-pregnancy-raisin-stomach that I just cannot get rid of. Everytime I turn on the tv, I see images of woman who are showing me what I am supposed to look like. But what about me? I’m just as beautiful…

I have been blessed as a woman to not have body issues. I have issues with my body, but it doesn’t affect the image of myself (please understand the difference). We cannot say the same for other women and girls. Visual images play a major role in our lives without us realizing it. We see images of beautiful women on television all day long, and this is the media’s way of telling us how we should look. Our waist should be small, our butts should be big, or lips should be full, and our hair should be long. But what if we don’t naturally look this way? My hair is kinky, I wear glasses when I don’t have my contacts in, my stomach is nowhere near being flat, and I am averagely beautiful. I think that I should still have just as much importance as they do. The media works very hard to make us believe that we should be naked, loud, and unnaturally disproportionate in order to gain attention from anyone. That’s not fair, especially to our daughters. I do not want my daughter to grow up thinking that she has to fit into a certain image in order to be beautiful. She is beautiful, just the way that she is. And so are you, and you, and you. The overweight beautiful beauties, the flat booty beauties, the baby-belly-that-won’t-go-away beauties, the acne-that-won’t-give-up beauties. All women are beautiful, no matter what the media tries to tell you. Reassure yourself of that; reassure your friends, your sisters, your cousins, and most importantly your daughters. We are ALL beautiful!

Within the last few years, dark-skinned women are starting to get recognition for their beauty. Not that we weren’t beautiful before, but now we are RECOGNIZED for our beauty. As well as thicker women. “Thick thighs saves lives” is the new slogan (which I love because I love my thick thighs honey!). But how far have we really come in this “beauty image” industry? And can we expect this recognition to last, or is it just a fad? The naturalista’s, the natural face girls, the freckles, the beauty marks- can we really expect society to love and accept us from this point forward? I don’t know about you, but my chocolate skin complexion has always been one thing that I was the most proud of in regards to my beauty. Now that my acne is cleared up and you can see the smoothness of my chocolate face- hunny, NO ONE can tell me anything now! Lol! And it only ADDS to my beauty. I define my beauty- not the media. Who defines yours?

Remember- you are exactly who you think you are, NOT who other people think you are!

Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxo Comment

I Thought He Was The One…

As a woman, a sister, a mom, a friend, a cousin, and a niece, I wish I listened more when my elders were talking to me. I would have saved myself a lot of grief, and a major heartache. For the last 7 years (and currently still), I have been dealing with the most evil and pettiest person that I could ever meet. And he just so happens to be my ex husband and the father of my children. Let me explain…

You know how they say that people will always remember the bad? Well, I can’t get the bad out of my head. When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter, the first words that blurted out of his mouth were “you finally got what you wanted”. Followed by him coming home and us arguing for the next 2 weeks. I remember me sleeping in the back room because I was tired of arguing. Eventually (about a month later), he came around and became excited about the pregnancy. Until she came out. Then things started going down hill again. I remember having to put plastic over the windows because I didn’t want my daughter to catch a cold (I was a very paranoid first-time-mother); instead of him doing it or helping me, he started criticizing my work. He had his clippers on the nightstand, along with some other things. I moved them off of the nightstand so that I could get on the ledge. That became an argument- why did I move his stuff? His stuff is valuable and I could’ve broken it. Why was I even doing it? I walked out of the room because I got tired of hearing him. Guess what he did- he followed me. Into the bathroom, downstairs to the kitchen, back upstairs; all the while, I was carrying the baby trying to soothe her. I got so fed up that I took those same clippers, stood at the top of the stairs, and threw them down. Yup- I broke it, and told him “since they’re the issue, I eliminated the problem”. I constantly found text messages or emails between him and other women; one message I distinctively remember was of him telling a young lady that he would be taking her to the movies, and she shouldn’t wear any panties because his tongue would get lonely. I was constantly being disrespected.

The defining moment should have been when I moved into the middle room of our then new house (which was a fixer-upper that he was never fixing might I add). I was tired of the arguing and decided that I just did not want to be in the same space as him. I was in the bed playing with my daughter (who was around 3 months) and the bedroom door was closed and locked. He wanted to get inside the room- his excuse was that he wanted to see his daughter. I responded and said when I was done playing with her, he could have her. That wasn’t good enough for him. He started pounding on the door; the pounding turned into him slamming his body against the door until he took it off of the hinges. He looked at me and said “don’t lock any f*&%$! doors in my house”. He didn’t take the baby; he didn’t even look at her. Then, he left. I should have listened to my instincts then, but no- I stayed. I thought that I could love him enough to squeeze the insecurities, the paranoia, the controlling and abusiveness out of him.

I’m sitting here trying to think what was the straw that broke the camels back for me. Was it when I told him that I was pregnant for the 2nd time and he said that he didn’t want another child? Or was it when I found yet another woman’s texts in his phone. Or when I found out that he was on an actual date with another woman. I can’t figure it out, but I know that one day I just woke up and said “I’m done”. And ever since then, I have been going through hell with him. He’s withheld the kids from me more than once. I want to say kidnapped, but there was no custody in place at the time. He took both the kids and said he would not give them to me (nevermind the fact that he said my son wasn’t his, and that he didn’t sign his birth certificate). The last time, he held them away for 2 months because he found out that I applied for custody of the kids. It was only AFTER the judge granted me primary custody and TOLD him that he needed to hand the kids over that he did. Every female that he gets into a relationship with, he has my children calling them “mom”. His ex girlfriend told me that she was “a better mother to MY kids than I was”. At one point, he was telling any and everyone who would listen that I had every STD out. He won’t take the kids to daycare, and he still has the nerve to tell me that I need his permission to go on trips with my own children. Let’s not forget the current situation with him stealing the hard drive from my WORK COMPUTER!!!!! (eye roll emoji). How did I ever think that I was in love with such a person?

Ladies- we love the idea of love. Of having someone love us, flaws and all. BUT! We also need to be able to determine if the love that we are getting is genuine or abusive. Is beneficial to our mental health, or condemning it. If it’s someone who we can be truly happy with, or hoping that happiness comes in the future. We need to be honest with ourselves about the relationship what we are in. If it’s not what we need to be a better person, maybe we shouldn’t be in it. Save your self- your mind, your heart, spirit, you. Because once you give it away, you can’t get it back.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

A Piece of Me..

Picture this: you’re 9.5 months pregnant, locked up in a room, laying on a bottom bunk bed. You start feeling contractions, and immediately start panicking. You’ve heard stories before of other women who lost their babies because the guards took too long to get them to the hospital; you don’t want that to happen to you. You try to calm yourself down, but the next contraction hits you. This baby is coming out, now.

This was my story 4 years ago. I was incarcerated for 8.5 months. Had my son in jail; had him ripped away from me just 2 days after giving birth to him. Missed a year of milestones with my daughter, and 4 months worth of my son’s life. And here I am today- a successful business owner. It wasn’t easy. One of the hardest moments of that time was my son being taken away from me. Any guard who came across my path always said the same thing to me- “you don’t belong here”. Tell me about it! The guards who were with me at the hospital felt my pain so much when they took my son, that they themselves cried. It was tough. Now, imagine having been through a cesarean section, and needing medication to help take the pain away and the nurses refusing to give it to you (there were MANY addicts in the prison). No pain meds, no wound care, puss coming out of my incision, and no baby boy (my scar and stomach is still numb to this day). I had 1 of 2 choices- I could either give up on life, or fight to get the hell out of there. There was never really an option; I had to fight. I have 2 children who need their mother. So, I dug deep inside of myself and found a way to forgive everything and everyone I could think of (including the person who put me in jail) and forced myself to have internal peace. In order for me to be able to function inside of that society, I had to be at complete peace within. Because I knew that if I didn’t check my emotions, my anger, my rage, I would hurt people in there. So I fought that voice inside of my head telling me to slam someone’s face into a wall, or to kick someone’s face until they stopped moving (yes- there was that much anger inside of me at that time). I had to find a way to let it go. And God reached his hand down from heaven and touched my heart. And I asked him to piece all of my broken-ness together, and He did. And I was at peace. And not too long afterwards I was released and with my kids.

The crazy thing is, I was only incarcerated for 8.5 months, but coming home was a major transitioning for me. It took me almost 2 weeks to transition back into normal life. I still can’t sleep or use the bathroom with the door closed, or go down State Road without having a panick attack. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that I have the really bad ability of  compartmentalizing myself and my emotions towards people. I’m still trying to learn how to undo that. But I’ve grown this amazing resiliency in life. And despite it all, I still believe in people. I own a small business- coaching and consulting people in starting their business ventures. I am a successful grant writer, and an amazing mother. I have met, surpassed, and SMASHED all of my personal and business goals, and I am currently starting my venture into real estate investing. All by the graces of God.

NEVER let a situation, circumstance, or bad decision determine your life. I was looking at 2-5 years in an upstate prison, but God saw fit to only have me serve 8.5 months in jail. I could’ve lost my life and my sanity, but God saw fit to restore me. I am still learning how to open up and trust people, but I made a promise to myself and my children that I would not let myself be put into another situation where their mother would be taken away from them again. I feel like I should be a motivational speaker with all of the foolishness I went through and overcame. We have to believe in ourselves in order to make it through any situation. It’s not going to be easy (nor is it supposed to be), but we can do it. I know that if I could do it, anyone can do it!

We are who WE believe ourselves to be!

Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxoxo

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Boys Will Be Boys

I have the most incredibly cute 3-year-old toddler boy. His smile is infectious, his kisses are big and slobbery, he loves to hug and cuddle with me, and he is extremely encouraging and flattering. Yet, he is stubborn as a bull, defiant, and extremely headstrong. How in the world am I supposed to deal with him?!

Last night during dinner, just like many nights before, he gave me a hard way to go to eat his dinner. He was constantly standing up and moving around, playing with the food on his plate, chewing the meat and spitting it back out, and picking through everything. Before you say “well, maybe he just didn’t like what you made”, I made his favorite foods: chicken nuggets, corn, and rice and beans. Just the night before, he demolished (literally) a plate of rice at my grandmother’s house. So I really couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t eating his food. To make matters worse, me threatening his life (which normally works) just made him look at me. It was super frustrating. But, this also sparked a heated debate between several people and I on whether you can change/alter the characteristics and personality of a child at a young age.

I was never one to believe in astrology signs being able to spell out the characteristics of a person. But, as I got older and actually dated more, I came to realize that although they aren’t 100% accurate, they tend to be pretty on point. I say this to say that my son is a Sagittarius. And so is his father. Their characteristics traits are curious, outgoing, friendly with a great sense of humor, loves change, stubborn, hard to settle, creative with their hands yet won’t sit to learn, careless and inconsistent, and in these two particular men’s cases- extremely defiant. Everyone says that my son is a spitting image of his father and grandfather; I don’t see it. But- my son acts exactly like him. It’s so crazy. How can I change his personality? I can’t make him not be stubborn or defiant. One of the debaters said to me last night “if you correct it while they are young, you can mold them into who you want them to be”. I don’t agree with that- I believe that trying to change my son into how I want him to be will only make him sneaky and manipulative. The other debater made the point that “personality traits are different- those change with what you experience and the situation you are in”. Which is true- but for adults. Now- kids do pick up habits from other kids through social interactions (school and playground play) but that isn’t their personality. My counter argument was “can you mold and change the characteristics of a sexual predator or a child who identifies with the opposite sex”. Characteristics and personality is who a person is- there is no changing that. You can tame it (which was my defense argument) but actually changing it is impossible- short of a brain injury causing them to lose their memory. But would that even alter who that person is?

Can we really change who a person is- mold and shape their personality at a young age? I can teach my son values and morals- not to lie, to help others, to be nice to friends, to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, to give selflessly, etc. But can I change him being stubborn and defiant and energetic? Do I want to? And even if there was an actual way to change a person to be who we wanted them to be, HOW would we do so? I do not believe in beating my children. I was beat ferociously as a  child and it didn’t do much other than make me believe that my father hated me. So I don’t have any intentions on repeating that pattern with my children. I will however threaten them into compliance. That normally works pretty well. But if I decided that molding his characteristics would be beneficial to me as his mother and make it easier to parent him, how would I do so? And would it change the fun, energetic, happy, creative, friendly and helpful little boy that I have now? Maybe I should just change the way that I deal with him in order to make my life a little easier. I know that I am instilling great morals and values in him because when he is with others, they praise how much of a polite, helpful, and friendly young man he is. Dealing with his stubbornness and defiance is annoying, but those traits and qualities will help make him a great business man in the future- so would taking those away from him be beneficial?

I guess the bottom line is- can we change who people are? And if we can, is there a way to do it that won’t affect them in a negative way?

Be legendary King’s; be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxoxo

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You’re Acting Like A Girl!

Being a new parent, I consciously make the choice daily to not raise my children the way that people and society tell me I should. I am raising a young man and a young lady. I teach my daughter that she can do whatever, play with whatever, and be whatever she wants. I have a princess tomboy and I encourage her to be her own unique self. I have a rough cry baby for a son and I encourage him to be himself. So why do people keep telling my son how to act?

We have gone from generation to generation teaching our sons that they should not cry, they should not show any emotion, and that they should keep everything bottled up inside. What good has that gotten them? We have grown men walking around unable to express emotions, unable to deal/cope with stressful situations, and addicted to drugs or alcohol or sex as a way to manage their emotions. But we are still teaching our sons that they shouldn’t talk about and find HEALTHY solutions to their problems. Not on this side! I tell my son to use his words. Tell mommy what the issue is so that we can find a solution. Cry when you are frustrated or scared or angry, and wrap that up and figure a way out. Everything that I teach my daughter, I teach my son. I refuse to raise an emotionally crippled member of society because society thinks it’s too “feminine” for a man to express himself. Don’t get me wrong- my son is a cry baby. He cries about everything. And it frustrates me. You say no- he cries; you tell him it’s bedtime- he cries; you tell him it’s time for school- he cries (in hindsight, it’s actually really funny). But for me, that’s ok. He’s expressing to me that he’s not happy about something. When he cries, I prompt him to use his words and tell me what is wrong. I am teaching him to deal with the emotion, get it out, then find a solution for it. Just like a normal person should!

Men (and boys) are not pussies because they cry. Men (and boys) should be able to open up and share how they feel about situations. Men (and boys) should be able to be comfortable doing anything they want to do without being judged by anyone. My son plays with blocks and cars and balls and rocks, but he also plays with his sisters toys. That doesn’t make him less of a boy (especially because he’s always ripping her toys apart. Lol!). My son still sucks 2 of his fingers. That doesn’t make him less of a boy. My son likes to play in my hair, and rub soft fabrics between his fingers. That doesn’t make him less of a boy. I am tired of other people telling my son to stop sucking his fingers, or to stop crying, or to stop touching fabrics. Especially grown men who are emotionally crippled and don’t know how to express themselves. My son can tell you EXACTLY what is wrong with him, and if you guide him with questions, he can also tell you how to fix the situation. I know grown men, age 30+, who cannot do that. I think I am doing a damn good job.

If I could have one super power, it would be to heal people’s emotional instabilities. Being unable to process and work through unresolved emotional issues has caused more damage to self and others in more generations than we admit to. I’m ready to bet my future business success on the fact that every man reading this post right now has an unresolved emotional issue that they have not been able to work through because they don’t want to seem “weak” or “feminine” by other men. And women. To be honest, I believe that now more women are hanging these unrealistic emotional expectations over their male counterparts heads and causing more crippling emotional instability. At this point in my life, all of the men that I am associated with are encouraged by me to express how they feel about situations (both good and bad). And yes- it is frustrating trying to pry that door open that has been ingrained in them to remain closed. Building trust and understanding with these men that I love, and establishing a healthy rapport that will allow that release, is a LOT of work. But for the men that trust me enough to open that door, the progress is phenomenal. I am by no means a fixer; but if I love you, I want you to be healthy. The same exact way that I want my son to be healthy. If you need to cry, let’s cry together. Let’s deal with this together. Then, let’s figure out a solution (if there is one) together.

Men- YOU ARE NOT WEAK IF YOU SHOW YOUR EMOTIONS! And real women will love you more because you are able to express those emotions. I don’t know about other women, but I want a healthy relationship and a healthy marriage. And the only way to have that is if we are both healthy- emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Let’s make this work King.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxoxo

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He Was Just Playing, He Didn’t Mean It….

I am prompted to write this post because just a few days ago, I overheard my neighbor laughing outside on her steps (I always keep my bedroom window open). Being a naturally nosey person (judge your mother), I looked out the window to see what was so funny. She was sitting on the steps, and the guy that she was talking to was KICKING her. And she laughed, said “ow, that hurt”, and continued to let him kick her. For at least 2 whole minutes (I already said I was nosey so don’t even ask why I was still watching, ok?) I stepped back and said to myself “he is abusing her”. And she was letting him think that it was ok. And that made me think about whether I had been abused in any of my past relationships, and why I thought it was ok to let it happen.

If I could go back to my 6-year-old self and teach her any 1 valuable lesson, it would be to not believe anything that a man said to me, starting with my father. Abuse- in any form- has negatively impacted more people in my generation than we are willing to admit to. Growing up, I remember my father telling me that I was dumb, stupid, and useless. I remember him being frustrated with me not understanding HIS way of teaching me my homework, and getting severely beaten because of it. I remember not hearing any positive words coming from him towards or about me. And as a child, my father was the FIRST and MAIN example of how a man should treat me, Things didn’t start off right… I remember being teased by my cousins (and it wasn’t until my adult years that I realized that they were innocently playing around with me) about how skinny I used to be, my glasses, my big lips, and how much I looked like my father. Because I was already coming from an abusive background, that caused damage. The only relationship that I was in that was actually abusive (verbally and psychologically) was when I was with the father of my children.

Hurt people hurt people. And that is by no means my way of making an excuse for how I was treated in that relationship. But looking back, I can see how he was damaged and took advantage of me who was also damaged. I remember him telling me that he could never see himself standing at the altar with me walking down the aisle to him because I was “too fat” (at the time I was wearing a size 12 in pants), and that I needed to “fix my skin” because my acne and blemishes made him not want to kiss my face. I remember him calling me dumb or stupid when I didn’t do something that he asked me to HIS perfection. I remember him telling me that I was a “shitty excuse for a mother” after I had my children or that I would never find anyone else to love me the way that he did. When I got out of that relationship and asked myself WHY DID I STAY?!!, I could only answer with “I thought that he loved me”. That’s a warped sense of love, huh? I admit, I had low self-esteem, but I was also coming from a home where my father told me that I was stupid and dumb and worthless. I’m not sure at the time that I thought that I deserved anything more. Thank God for wake up calls!

So that leads me to ask- why do women (because let’s be honest- it doesn’t matter the age, we all let men treat us like crap) allow these men to abuse us verbally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically? If we come from an abusive home, how do we know to not accept that in any future relationships? How can we open our eyes to see that hey- this ain’t right! And you know what’s crazy? We KNOW that abusive relationships should be avoided, but when we get into one, we make all of the excuses in the world to justify the behavior. Why! I am asking myself that question as well because I should’ve known better than to stay with my ex in that relationship. Why do we think that the small pushes, punches, degrading word slips, etc. won’t increase into full-blown abuse? Low self-esteem is the leading reason why people (both men and women) fall into negative and risky situations. Bad friends, bad influences, peer pressure- these are all direct casualties of low self esteem. We need to raise our young better. It starts in the homes.

I want to say that I regret that relationships, but I was blessed with 2 wonderful children because of it, and I learned who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be with from it. I pray that my daughter doesn’t go through what I went through, and that the young lady across the street doesn’t go through it either.

Be mindful of your words and actions- you never know the effect it will have on someone.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxoxoxo

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Don’t Shoot!!

Growing up in today’s generation is completely different from when I was in coming up. The students deal with things completely different than we did. In school (especially high school) kids just fought out their problems and were done with it. If you lost the fight, you fought again and again and again until you A- proved yourself, or B- won the fight (finally). I have never in my life seen so many cases of suicide, mass shootings, and social and emotional crippled children under the age of 18. What is going on?

From 2013 to 2016, there have been 84 school shooting in schools from grades k-12. There have been 84 school shootings! Between 2013 and 2015, an average of two school shootings took place at K-12 schools each month. Among shootings at K-12 schools in which the age of the shooter was known, 56 percent (39 of 70) were perpetrated by minors. Over the past six years, 5,051 young Philadelphians ages 14 to 24 have been shot or killed. According to the 2010 FBI Uniform Crime Report, Philadelphia has the 4th highest homicide rate among the 50 largest US cities – 21.6 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2012, 331 people were murdered in Philadelphia, and nearly 40% of those victims were youth 24 and younger. Not only do I have a problem with this high number of shootings, but I have a major issue with how these kids are getting access to these guns. So the issue becomes: 1- do we regulate the access to guns, especially to minors? 2- do we lobby to get social workers and psychologists put back into the schools to help decrease these emotionally unstable children? or 3- do we put armed police officers into the school to help decrease the likelihood of another school shooting from happening? Why not a combination of all 3? If we are being honest, just in the city of Philadelphia alone, there have been 15, 556 violent crimes in this city in 2017; there have been 65 murders since January 1, 2018, and 315 overall murders for 2017. There have been 17,250 murders in the United States last year alone, and currently 3,425 murders to date. Does this increase of violent crimes have any correlation with the increase of school shootings?

Many people would probably tell me that I am stretching the line too far by tying to make a comparison between the 2 because statistically school shootings have been done mainly by white males while violent crimes have been committed by black or latino males. So, should I make the correlation that these males are the issue? Stop giving males guns!!! That would be too easy. So maybe I should keep it simple and just say that we should arm our teachers (although I don’t think that this is a bad idea). What is the solution to this problem? I certainly can’t give you an answer on this million dollar question. What I can direct you to look into is the link between the shortage of social workers in the school and the increase of emotionally unstable children walking the halls. Or the link between more violence and sex and drugs being portrayed on tv and the increase of our youth engaging in dangerous and risky behaviors. Did you know that out of school time (the hours between school being let out and around 7ish pm) has the highest rates of crimes for juveniles? Stealing, drinking, robbing people, just getting into stuff they have no business getting into. Fewer programs being offered in the schools, less likelihood of neighbors looking out for the kids, more exposure to violence and sex…. You see where I’m going with this? There are more kids under the age of 16 in the juvenile system now than in the last 5 years.

It’s easy to just say “put armed cops in the schools”, or “put metal detectors in schools”, or “hire more armed guards”, but will these things really make a difference in the problem? In my opinion-NOPE! In order to stop all of these shootings, rapes, and other crap these kids are doing, we need to talk about all the issue with the kids. There were less violent incidents in schools when the students had more access to people to talk to about their issues. School used to be a place where students could get conflict resolution “talks” with adults that were supposed to mentor and help them. Those assets were taken away. More violence was exposed to them, more sex, more drugs, and we just expect these students to know not to engage in these activities. Expect these students to know how to manage their anger and emotions and sort through their feelings and still be able to function. We as adults have a hard time handling this, so how can children do this? Do I believe that mentors and coaches and positive adult role models make a difference? YES! I’ve seen it work first hand. Should access to guns be removed? YUP! Should parents be more mindful of where they keep their weapons? YUP! Should guns be so easily accessible to civilians? NOPE! Should counselors be put back in schools? YUP! There is not just 1 answer to the problem- there are many little things that should be implemented to help correct this situation.

Let’s just be clear- white kids shoot up schools because they are emotionally unstable. Black and latino kids shoot people (outside of schools) over money to provide for themselves and their family. Am I saying that more white kids are not becoming “gansgters” and selling drugs and shooting people over money and drug beefs? Certaintly not. But I am saying that white kids are the only ones reported bringing guns to school with the intention of hurting large numbers of people.

I would like all of these shootings to stop. Black kids, white kids, latino kids, all kids. I don’t want anymore children to die, for any reason. Let’s figure out all of the different ways that we can rectify this situation.

Be legendary Kings, be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxo

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Living In A Fairytale

Every little girl growing up hears and reads tons of fairytale stories where in the end, the prince gets the princess and they live happily ever after. Young ladies (untainted by the world) grow up believing that they’ll find their prince charming. I never had that belief. I don’t remember being read fairy tales, and I certainly didn’t grow up believing in finding my prince charming. As I grew up, I always thought that love, happy endings, and happy marriages were something that only white people had, and rich black people who were on tv. I wasn’t going to find it, so it wasn’t on my list of things to accomplish in life.

I grew up watching the people closest to me have failed marriages and relationships, so I wasn’t interested in going down that path. School, working, figuring out life- those were on my lists of things to accomplish. I graduated school, started college, and met the first person that I really fell for. And I was the “other woman”. His home life wasn’t good, and like I said- I wasn’t interested in being serious because I didn’t expect a marriage. So I kept it casual, but he fell for me. Then, I fell back (all while STILL being the other woman). The funny things is, as I think about it, that was probably the best relationship I’ve been in. Crazy, right? He wanted to be serious, left his home to be with me, moved to Philadelphia with me. Proposed. And all this time, I still didn’t think that it would amount to anything more than what it was, BUT I grew into the relationship and fell in love with him. He left, went back to his children’s mother, and left me alone. Not surprising. Then I met my children’s father. He- something about him- that’s the one I started to believe in the fairy tale with. The family, the kids, the house, the white picket fence. That became a possibility with him. Even more so when I became pregnant with our first child. But, I wasn’t happy. I kept trying to make it a happy home because I had the family I wanted, but I couldn’t make it work. That family broke apart, and it broke me. This made 2 relationships, serious relationships, that failed. I was starting to not believe in those fairy tales again.

Then, I met the cop. And he was totally different from the last 2. He just, stood out. This time, I wasn’t the other woman. This time, I was actually happy. This time, I didn’t see it coming and it felt amazing. But, life always throws curve balls at you. And this fairy tale that I had created in my mind since my ex and tried to hold on to still wasn’t becoming a reality for me. Then, one day I woke up and realized that fairy tales aren’t for me. They never were. That prince-charming-saves-the-princess-lives-forever-happy-ending doesn’t pertain to me. And it probably never will. And all of these unrealistic expectations that I had needed to be adjusted to fit me and my life. Realistically, love doesn’t pay the bills. Or help raise my kids. Or help build and grow my business. Even in the bible it says that marriage isn’t for everyone. So, I think that waking up from my fairytale dream would be beneficial for me. Be real with myself about my expectations, and focus on the kids, my businesses, and continuing my education. If God decides that one day, someday, down the line, he actually has a prince charming lined up for me, I hope that he has the patience to get past my walls.

My truths; my fears; my realities…

Be legendary Kings, be exceptional Queens!

tootles…..

-xoxo

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What Is Marriage?

I was having a conversation with someone close to me (actually, we were arguing about this topic) and they were saying that they weren’t sure about the future so how could they be sure that they wanted to be married to someone? It sparked a very interesting conversation.

I believe that people tend to over think marriages, making them harder than they need to be. Marriage is all about choosing the person you married over and over again. Divorce happens when people don’t talk about the major issues BEFORE getting married; issues like finances (who pays what bills, and saving), raising children, marriage roles, what happens if someone cheats, in-laws, even date nights, AND how to keep the intimacy flowing before and after children are involved. When these situations arise, neither party is prepared for the drastic changes that they cause, and one person ends up feeling slighted. Once that initial slight is felt, and left unresolved, everything else falls downhill. This 2-person commitment, just became a 1-person pity party. Arguments start, both people become petty, and no one is talking about the problem or how to fix it. This is how a marriage ends in divorce.

But staying married means that even when those things happen, you make the choice to stay with your spouse. Finances get screwed, choose to stay. Baby takes away her sex drive, choose to stay. Your job takes you away from home, choose to stay. Being married is a choice- you are choosing to sacrifice for the greater good. It’s easy to be selfish- wanting the things that you want, despite how it may impact the other person. It’s human nature to look out for yourself first. But in a marriage, there is no I (I’m not talking about the spelling here people!). We walked down the aisle, we said vows before God and other witnesses, we signed the marriage certificate, we chose to spend the rest of our lives with each other. The beginning stages of the marriage was made together, so why are decisions down the line being made alone?

Communication is one of the most important parts of being married. Without talking to your spouse, about EVERYTHING, you’re allowing the opportunity for small issues like who’s paying the cable bill this month turn into the cable being cut off, to irresponsibly handling money, to opening up separate bank accounts, to hiding money, etc. One small move or mistake can lead to a huge consequence- all because the talking part of the relationship died down. Communication keeps intimacy high. Communication helps resolve issues. Communication helps the other person know when you’ve done something to make them feel slighted. Communication allows growth and togetherness. But- you have to choose to do this. It’s a choice that is made between both parties that helps to keep the marriage afloat.

I know that whoever gets to marry me is going to be in for the ride of their life! I am probably pretty annoying as a mate, but I am even more so appreciative, respectful, encouraging, loving, and catering to my significant other. If I make the initial choice to choose you to be my husband, then I promise to choose you every single day for the rest of my life. No matter how stinky your feet are. Lol!

Be mighty King, be purposeful Queen

tootles!

-xoxo

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Single Mom Struggles

As a woman who is not living with a man, and has 2 toddlers, figuring out how to do things around the house can sometimes get….. creative. Let me explain….

Since I am living alone, I have to do all of the heavy manly stuff on my own. Moving furniture, hanging stuff up, fixing things- it all falls on me. My uncle and I brought ALL of my furniture into my house. I mean all of it. The dressers, the beds, the heavy bags of clothes… that was me. After we were done, I don’t think I was able to move for 2 days. I hung up all my mirrors, curtains, and put my shoe racks together. I bring in all my groceries. And put them away. That annoys me . I pump my own gas, put air in my tires, check and fill my oil, replenish power steering fluids, I check my transmission fluids, and I still have a smile on my face at the end of the day . What I hate the most about being single? Moving .

I don’t think people realize how much crap you have until it’s time to move. The amount of shoes and clothes between 1 adult and 2 toddlers is ridiculous. Why little people have so much stuff is beyond me . Boxing everything, keeping certain things together and labeling everything, and actually MOVING this stuff. It’s just way too much. Then, to unpack everything and put them away . And no one wants to help. My kids only make the mess worse, my friends always seem to have an excuse to be busy, and I wasn’t dating anyone at the time so…… I was not happy. And it took me forever! I literally was unpacking for almost 5 whole months! And now I have to do it all over again because I plan on purchasing a house within a few months. This is not how I planned my life.

You know what else sucks about being a single mom? Cleaning. When am I supposed to find the time to keep my house clean? I wake up in the morning and get myself and the kids ready for the day- clothes, breakfast, out the door. Go to work, do work stuff. Pick the kids back up, come home. Make dinner, keep the kids from killing themselves, do homework, bath time, story time, prayers, and bed. Do you know what I want to do after all of that? Sleep. With dishes in the sink. With toys all over my floor. With laundry undone. Sometimes my hair isn’t even combed. And I’m going back to school, so someway somehow I need to incorporate class and homework into that schedule. If and when you come over, just step over the clothes and toys and keep it moving. Thanks.

I am one of the most kindhearted, semi-patient, awesome people you will meet. And I’m a mom. So that makes me stronger than a lot of men. (I have the scars to prove it). If you want to incorporate yourself into this lifestyle of mine, be warned- I don’t always comb my hair, my house isn’t always clean, my laundry pile is huge, my bathroom smells like pee because my son thinks everything is target aim practice for his peepee, you’ll probably step on a toy, and my snack cabinet is poppin. And I prob have 2-3 day old dishes in my sink. But, we are all happy in this house!

I’m off to watch Moana and dance all over my bedroom with the kids. Tootles!

-xoxo

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The Blues…

As I walk into 2018, single, I’m questioning myself. Once again, I’m coming out of a relationship where I put too much in, and he didn’t put out enough. And I honestly cannot figure out why I keep having this same issue. Especially because in the beginning of this last one, he put in 100% more effort than what I did from the start. Somewhere, somehow, the tables turned. And I stayed, believing that they would turn back. But, I was wrong….

One thing that I definitely believe to be true is that being with me requires way more work than men are willing to put in. What exactly does that mean? Did you read my perfectionist blog? Once I reach a level of whatever it is I am going after, I want the next best thing. This doesn’t exclude my relationships. There should always be a goal to reach. We date, we become serious, we put a title on it, we fall in love, get married, move in, have kids, build businesses, accumulate wealth, etc. Maybe not exactly in that order, but you get the point. I feel like my ex got to the “fall in Love” stage and just quit. He was content with staying right there, and I was ready to move forward. I think most men are like that. Once they KNOW their woman is crazy about them, it’s like they think they don’t have to put in as much (or any) effort anymore. Sir- I still want to smile, I still want my heart to skip a beat when you call me, I still want to daydream about you while I’m at work. I don’t want to argue. All of my exes did that; once they got to a point where it became a requirement that they put in additional work to maintain our relationship, they just stopped. And it’s funny, because if I (the female) decided to stop putting in effort to make the relationship work, then I’m cheating, I’m seeing someone else, I don’t love you anymore. Any situation in which 2 people are involved requires a 2-pronged effort my man. That’s just the way it goes.

I definitely think that I am to blame for yet another failed relationship. I didn’t listen. I wanted what I wanted and I forced him to want the same. I can admit that. But, I can also place blame on him. Because if you know that something isn’t for you, walk away. If you know that your woman needs certain things, provide. If your woman keeps complaining about the same thing over and over again, do something about it. Because once we STOP complaining, you probably don’t have a woman anymore. As a female (being completely transparent here) no matter how strong, resilient, tough, nonchalant, or indifferent you are, break ups still rip a piece out of your heart, even if only a small part. It still causes you to have a small twinge of insecurity. It still leaves you feeling just a little bit empty. And those are the pieces that you have to pick up and put back together. Whether big or small, whether lasting 1 day or several months, it’s still there. I went to sleep on January 1, 2018 feeling alone and empty, even though I had a house full of people. But, se la vie (this is life).

I’m off, to figure out how to start putting my pieces back together. Tootles!

-xoxo Comment

Divorce Is NOT An Option!

One of the greatest mistakes that my generation is currently making is going into a marriage with the option of divorce. That’s kind of like having one foot out of the door already. Why get married if your first option is to get a divorce?

Before I get started, let me start off with saying that I do not condone violence of any kind in a relationship, or any form of abuse (and continuously cheating on someone is a form of abuse). With that being said…. Running away from someone should not be THE answer to marital issues. People get into arguments, people fight, people disagree. Those are not reason to leave someone. Being completely transparent, I was a runner. When things got rough, when things didn’t go the way that I wanted them to, when things moved at a different pace then what I expected, I ran. I left the person that I was dating, and I “moved on”. Until I met my ex. He was the one person that I fought very hard to ensure that we stayed together. I left my “runaway girlfriend” mentality behind and fought for longevity. Things just didn’t work out. But I fought. In this generation, many people do not want to fight. Counseling and therapy is “for white people”. Sticking around with someone you love when they aren’t showing that they love you back is considered “being desperate”. I do not understand that logic in a marriage. When you said the vows, you said “til death do us part”. Divorce isn’t death.

There are many reasons why a marriage can fail. BUT! Dating someone for a while before you make that committment will help to maybe weed out certain characteristic traits that you may not be able to deal with. Living with someone before marriage is another option. And let’s be clear- sometimes people change over time, and circumstances that happen can change people as well. But if the person whom you are the closest to you bails on you, what are you left with? Your husband/wife is supposed to be the closest person to you. Closer than your friends, your parents, your children. Your mate should be your best friend. You fight with your best friend, you argue, you have disagreements, and you are still best friends. So why would your life partner be any different? When I get married, DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION!!! (I hope my boyfriend is reading this). When I get married, it’s because I know that the person I made that committment to will be there for me through good and bad, ups and downs, and he knows that walking away isn’t an option. You know if your mate is abusive before marriage. You know if your mate is a cheater before marriage. You SHOULD know if your mate mishandles finances before marriage. You should date someone long enough to know how they handle conflicts, difficult situations, and how they deal with children (regardless if you have any because if you want them your mate should be a good help). And you shouldn’t marry someone within a few months of meeting them. THAT’S WHAT DATING IS FOR! We all have bad habits; if you can’t love someone despite their bad habits, you shouldn’t be with them. People are more likely to keep a toxic friendship than fight for a salvageable marriage.

I don’t mind dating someone for a few years. I need to be extremely comfortable with your role and position in not only my life, but my children’s lives as well. We are a unit, and they come right along with me. Can you deal with them being spoiled and loving attention? Can you deal with random late night bad dreams that result in hysterical crying for 30 minutes or more? Can you deal with a messy house? Because let’s face it- working 40 hours a week, going to school, and dealing with 2 toddlers, who really has time to keep their house clean? Can you deal with fighting with my kids to get my attention? Dating a single parent is tough, but we are definitely worth it. If you choose this life, divorce is not an option boo (emoji kissy face).

See you soon!

-xoxoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsDecember 11, 2017 Comment

The Imperfections of a Perfectionist

Within the last few years of being single and attempting to date, I have heard many people claim that I- a virgo- am a perfectionist. And when I first heard this concept being thrown at me, I was quick to become defensive against it. But, sadly, it’s true…

Webster’s definition of a perfectionist states “a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable”. If I am being realistic with myself, I definitely fall under this category. Let me explain how bad I am. Back in 2009, I was involved in a fender bender that resulted in my having a pinched nerve in the right side of my neck. Because of this, sometimes my right arm is weak and I cannot complete simple tasks like washing dishes or cleaning or folding clothes. So, sometimes I have to pay someone to clean my house for me. This is the problem- if I am in the house while they are cleaning, and I visibly see them cleaning in a fashion or manner that I would NOT clean in, after I have paid them and they have left, I will clean up after them. I cannot help it. This also defeats the purpose of them coming in to clean in the first place. I know. It’s a psychological thing that I cannot help. If someone is helping me fold clothes, I re-fold what they have already folded. You can’t wipe anything down in front of me because I will go after you. You cannot help me make the bed, because your corners aren’t folded and crisp like mine are. If I see it, I have to correct. Once I realized this was an issue for me, I would purposefully leave when someone comes in to clean for me. This way if I don’t see it, I won’t go behind you to fix it. I am an all or nothing type of person because of it. BUT, it creates problems with people. They take great offense to this. My significant others included.

Because I am a perfectionist, I have extremely high standards for myself and the people I associate with. Which, to me, is a good thing. I see the potential in someone and I work to help push them to this potential. Buuuuuuuuuut, not everyone see’s it this way. Apparently, I come off nagging, pushy, judgmental, and annoying. excuse the heck out of me for wanting you to be a better version of yourself (I really need to figure this emoji thing out). If I know that I can do something, I will work at it over and over (failure and mistake after failure and mistake) until I get it right. But in my mind, it’s not a failure. A failure can be described as an inability to perform or a lack of something. Just because I didn’t get it right doesn’t mean I failed. It just means that somewhere along the way I missed a step, I miscalculated, or I overlooked something. I guess that’s the perfectionist mindset in me. It won’t allow me to give up until I get it. Then, once I’ve gotten it, I know that I can do it, so I have to keep at it and get more. And I expect the same in the person that I am dating; this is where the problem is created. Lol! Obviously, not everyone thinks, processes, and reacts to things that way that I do. It’s funny- as I was doing the research on perfectionists and their characteristics, one article stated that perfectionists will either do it or they won’t. There will not be in “in-between” stage. I laughed, because that is EXACTLY me. Once I have set my mind on doing something, I cannot let go until it’s accomplished. This neurotic obsession can get really annoying sometimes.

Because I am a perfectionist, it is hard for me to walk away from a relationship that I have invested in. This I can admit to, wholeheartedly. One of the reasons it took me such a long time to detach myself away from my ex husband-fiance-boyfriend-baby daddy (lol!!) is because we had such an invested amount of time together. Good and bad, we both had given over half of ourselves into the relationship, AND we had children together. In my mind, that meant that we HAD TO make it work. There was no option. I really don’t know how my perfectionist mind was able to shift out of that mind frame, but once it shifted I was out. And I doubt my brain would allow me to shift back into the opposite direction. I hear all the time, “you and your ex are going to get back together”. In my brain, I’m like, yeah-ok! Lol. I gave it my all, and now I have nothing more to give. All or nothing, that’s me. It’s also one of the reasons why I love so hard. If you can make it past my multiple walls of defense and get to the softer side of me, you are STUCK! I said that to the cop and he laughed at me. He must not know how serious I was. Lol! Once I make the decision that you are worth loving, I hold on to that. And it will take a while for me to be able to reverse that thinking. I have no clue why I function this way, I just do.

Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing. We have many imperfections within ourselves that we are constantly trying to fix. Either I look well put together all the time or I always look a mess. Either my house is always clean or I let my kids trash it. Either I put 100% effort into the project I’m working on, or I let it fall to crap (emoji insert!). But they all are with great intentions. Huge hearts, and warm smiles. It helps to make me a great cook, and I love to have random dinner parties and cook for everyone to come over and eat. It helps me to be a really attentive mother, paying attention to the smallest details within my children (especially when they are getting sick) and allowing me to care for them accordingly. It enables me to really get to know the person I am dating (likes, dislikes, wants, needs, how to calm them down when they are angry, how to piss them off) and helps make the relationships better. I am an imperfect perfectionist. Lol. Oh, the irony!

Tootles!

-xoxoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsNovember 15, 2017 Comment

21st Century Dating

Remember back in elementary school, when you liked someone you would write them a note that said “will you go out with me?” with the yes, no, and maybe box? Or in high school, having butterflies in your stomach waiting for the boy you really like (or the girl you really wanted to go out with) to ask you to prom, or on a date, or to sit with them during lunch? Now, we’re checking our inboxes and our DM’s to see if someone left you a message asking you out. Has social media changed the way males and females approach dating?

I am super old-school when it comes to dating. I believe that the man asks the female- approaches us, asks us out, takes us on a date, maybe even leans in for a kiss before we depart. But I am having such a hard time adjusting to the way dating has evolved. I am selective in what I post on my social media, so someone approaching me in my DM based on what my pictures are is a little odd to me. In an era where social media dictates popularity and social status, and people “fake and fraud” for the gram every day, how can you determine who is worth shooting your shot to?

I have had several friends/associates tell me that their “new boo” was someone who hit them up on Instagram or Facebook, even Twitter. They liked their pictures, thought their posts were funny or insightful, and decided to go for it. Only to find out a month later that the person was a douche-bag and not worth their time. I am not surprised by that. Is it really that difficult to log off of social media and to go out into the world and meet people? Mingle? I’m not sure that I would be comfortable dating someone who hit my DM after seeing the few selective pieces of my life that I decided to post. I mean, come on- I could be crazy, bipolar, or a sexual predator for goodness sakes! (Yes, I know that no matter where you meet someone this is still a possibility, but let me be paranoid about social media please). And when has going over to someone’s house to watch movies and try to have sex with them become what a date is? Or spending an insane amount of money at a restaurant on some you just met just to prove that you are “getting money”? Why has social media changed the way we socialize on such a wide scale? Phone calls turned into texting; dating turned into casual sex; wanting to get married is now replaced with living with each other forever.

The introduction of social media was a great platform it helped connect people from across different states and countries, putting them all in one “place” and allowing them to share, connect, and exchange ideas/information. Now, it’s a dating site. A place where people use filters, quotes, angles, and modifications to portray a completely different version of themselves, in hopes of finding someone who will dote attention on them. I have not had a successful “social media hook up”. I always become disinterested in the shallowness of the men. *Disclaimer: although I can easily blame men for this sudden shift in the dating norm, the truth is that I need to blame/address the women. A multitude of women are accepting social media to be a platform where they can and will “find love”. And because of this, are allowing men to approach them in this manner, talk to them in a less than respectable manner, handle them in a less than respectable manner, then dispose of them in a less than respectable manner. If you approach me because my pictures are beautiful, my clothes are revealing, and my body is on display, then you will treat me as a beautiful object- to be displayed, used, then discarded. And it seems that the more value these women put into their social media presence, the less value they actually have in themselves. The less value they have in themselves, the less value they allow the men who approach them to have in them as well. So this amazing platform that was supposed to bring this huge world together and make it somewhat smaller by bridging it together, has only enabled people’s self-worth to be determined by likes. Despite what many women believe, we are the key holders to what is set in the dating world. If we as a whole allow less than par dating antics, then that is what will be widely accepted. If we as a whole demand a certain level of respect, then that is what will be widely accepted. We need to do better Queens!*

I am an amazingly complex introvert, and I am extremely socially akward. I do not post the actual “me” on social media, so approaching me based on what you see is only going to leave you disappointed. Meet me in person. Let’s grab tea (because it’s supposed to be getting cold outside). Let’s go on a picnic, and just talk. I promise you this would lead to an amazing and lasting friendship.

Be amazing Queens; be legendary King.

Tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsSeptember 28, 2017 Comment

The Stages of Breaking Up

What’s funny to me is that this is supposed to be “cuffing” season, yet a lot of people who I have conversations with say that they are on the verge of or already have broken up with their significant other. That got me to thinking- how difficult is it to break up with someone, and what are the steps? Don’t ask why my brain functions this way- it just does. These are MY interpretations of the breaking-up process:

1- Frustration: in this stage, you’ve probably noticed an issue and have had several conversations about it, trying to fix it. Maybe the person made a little change, maybe they ignored it. Whatever the issue, now you’re frustrated because your concerns are not being rectified and you’re not happy.

2- Indifference: you ever get to a point with someone where you just don’t care anymore? That’s this stage. You’ve talked and talked and talked (or in most cases the female yells and screams and you men just sit there and say you understand) and now you’re talked out. Nothing has changed, and you’re just over the situation. *Keep in mind that I am a female so all of my views are from a woman’s perspective, thanks* No one has spoken the words of breaking up yet, but you both know that you guys have reached that point.

3- The actual break up. This is pretty self-explanatory. An easy break up is when you don’t live together so you can just go your separate ways. A difficult break up is when you live together so now someone has to move out, and you have to seperate things, bills, responsibilities, etc. It can get pretty messy. Equally so if child(ren) are involved. Co-parenting now comes into play, who the child(ren) will stay with, when the child(ren) will go with either parent, and so on.

4- Anger/Bitterness: maybe one of you didn’t want to break up. Maybe you thought that’s what you wanted, but after it actually happened you realized that you should’ve done more to fight for the relationship. This place (being angry or bitter) is where people tend to stay for entirely too long. It’s okay to feel some type of way about the breakup, but holding on to that feeling for an extended period of time is dangerous; more so for yourself. Being angry or bitter will only cause you to have negative interactions with new people, or will cause you to jeopardize future relationships for the other person. Sorting through these feelings is the healthiest thing that you can do for yourself.

5- Acceptance: accepting that you and that person are not together and will not get back together, and that THAT fact doesn’t make you any less of a man/woman. Acknowledging that sometimes relationships fail, you process those emotions, and you move on. Being able to see the other person and not want to lash out at them, and being able to date other people without bringing those past feelings into a new situation.

While there is no particular time frame for breaking up and sorting through those feelings/emotions, it should not be 5 years after the fact and you’re still having a hard time accepting the reality of it. My most significant relationship (and break up) was with my children’s father. We went through the first 3 stages pretty easily, but I stayed in the angry stage for a while. I blamed him for our relationship failing, I blamed him for my circumstances at the time, I blamed him for anything that I could think of. And when I had the opportunity to mess with this new relationship after me, I did. I’ll admit- that was fun, but it didn’t get me anywhere. And it surely didn’t help with us co-parenting. It took a long time for me to actually let go of that failed relationship. From being together, to him proposing, to us signing marriage papers, to us having 2 kids…. It was a lot to process and a lot to let go of. And, if I am being honest, I definitely could’ve handled a lot of situations within that break-up-get-back-together-then-break-up-again differently. I think I was over it when I KNEW that I did everything that I was supposed to do and it still didn’t work out. I was okay with the fact that it wasn’t my fault that the relationship failed. That helped me to move on.

Now, my ex-fiance from Georgia, that’s a different story….. I internalized that anger and it turned into depression. And I was in that state for almost 2 years. So, a little back story on him and I. I met him when I first moved down south, maybe in 2006. I think I was 19 at the time. He was living with the mother of his children, and I wasn’t looking for anything serious. It was fun. That turned into him loving me, which turned into me loving him. Fast forward 3-4 years and he’s leaving his home and moving to Philadelphia with me. *I can admit now that I had major daddy issues back then*. I state that fact to say that my ex filled a void for me. He was the first man ever to pay attention to me, learn my likes and dislikes, and be a genuine friend to me. He was more than a mate, he was my everything at the time. So, we’re in Philadelphia, and things are more difficult than we both anticipated. Money wasn’t coming in the way that we planned, and it just wasn’t easy. One day, I am looking for my dear old fiance (because by then he told me he wanted to marry me and we were fake planning a wedding), and he is nowhere to be found. He’s not at work, not home, not with his sister- he’s missing. Finally, later that evening, he calls me and tells me that he went back to Georgia to go work at his old barbershop for a little while to make some money. Red flag, right? Well, 2 days later I am on Facebook and somehow I end up on his page which links me to the page of the mother of his children, and her profile picture is of her in a wedding dress and my fiance in a tuxedo with the caption “Just Married” across the bottom. Two days after that, after calling and calling his phone, he finally answers and tells me that he couldn’t leave her. For me, the hardest part about that, and why it took me so long to get over it, was the lies that led up to it. I think I would’ve fanned better if he just told me the truth. It still would’ve hurt, but the shock factor of their marriage wouldn’t have been such a major blow. Easily 7-8 years after the fact, he still manages to find a way to contact me and tell me that he should’ve married me, and that leaving me was the biggest mistake he’s ever made. I guess he’s still in his “bitter” stage.

Processing is different for everyone. Grieving time is different for everyone. Managing emotions is a learned ability- many people walk through life not knowing how to manage their feelings and are just hurt. Walking around hurting other people. A majority of people stay in that bitterness/angry stage for so long that they don’t realize that they are bitter or angry. BUT!!! Letting go is definitely possible. You just have to want to. Breaking up is hard, and moving on can be even more difficult. The only way I was able to was to first forgive myself, then to trust that God would forgive me and help me to forgive the person that I broke up with (or who broke up with me).

We all get dumped, but it’s not the end of the world. Heal Queen. Heal King. And move on!

Tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsSeptember 27, 2017 Comment

Dating Vs. Child Rearing

So, as I lay here in bed (being completely lazy) and think about my relationship, my past relationships, and my friends relationships, I realize that relationships have something in common with raising children- you have to teach your man to do what you want just like you do with your kids.

I imagine that this statement won’t go over very well with my male readers. This isn’t for you. (cheesing emoji). Ladies! Let’s think about it! So- my example (because I always love talking about my kids) is when I was trying to teach my son to use the big boy bathroom. Let’s state some facts (note: these facts are true for the male gender, regardless of age). Fact 1: men are lazy. I don’t care how hard you work for your job, a sport, or anything. When you get home, and sit in front of that computer or tv, you’re not getting up for anything. You are lazy, and will refer any and everything to mom, a girlfriend, an older female relative, friend, etc. It’s a fact. Fact 2: men are dirty. There’s no reason why you miss the toilet bowl when you’re peeing. There’s no reason why your white washcloth is brown after you shower. There’s no reason why your feet stink so bad (eek!). There’s no reason why you have stains in your boxers (emoji eye rolled up). Fact 3: we cannot ask you to do anything just once. We WOMEN have to repeatedly ask you to do something over, and over, and over, and over, and over (have I made my point?). Fact 4: because of us, you are made amazing (just needed you to know this). Now- back to my story. I had to repeatedly deal with accidents, slow runs to the bathroom, and an unwillingness to be taught. What worked? Even when he had an accident, I told him that it was ok and encouraged him. I made up a song, did a little dance, smiled, told him that I loved him. And you know what happened, the accidents became less frequent, and now he’s fully potty trained.

How does this convert to being in a relationship? That’s how men are. Although men have good intentions, they make the dumbest mistakes. We as women tend to get mad at them, especially if they don’t fix their errors the way that we want them to. Well, I was talking to a close friend of mine and she was telling me about her boyfriend and the dumb stuff that he’s always doing. And I had to keep reminding her -MEN ARE DUMB! Sorry guys, but it’s true (oh well emoji). We have to train men to do what we want. When they make a mistake, they normally do something to make up for it. Instead of having an attitude when accepting the gift or gesture, try encouraging and congratulating him. (Now- hear me out ladies, I think I may be on to something). My guy makes mistakes. After I fuss at him (oh yes- I still fuss!), I encourage him. I show him what I like and when he does it I go overboard with enthusiasm. Don’t let him make extra time for me- I may just rock his night (wink, wink). Simple things like good morning texts, impromptu dates, him accommodating some weird request that I made… When he complies, I congratulate him. We don’t have very many arguments needless to say. *Disclaimer- this is for men who legitimately want to make an effort to please his women, and not the “ain’t ish” guys who are using and disrespecting their women!*

What is my point? We women expect men to have this mature understanding on how to be in a relationship, how to treat women, how to deal with women, etc. But realistically that’s untrue. Men, no matter the age, need to be coached, coaxed, and taught to be with females. Especially because all women are different. We like different things, handle situations different, etc. So, in order to have the perfect mate, we must create him. Men love to be encouraged, their ego’s love stroking. Instead of yelling and screaming when they mess up (and yes, I am speaking to myself as well), let’s remember that they need to be taught. My guy makes a decent amount of money, but isn’t keen on buying gifts. I like gifts. So, I buy him gifts. He receives them very well. Now I get gifts. I love good morning and I Love You texts. So, I send them. He may not do it every single day, but I definitely get them more often. I love to cuddle. Well, he does too so that works out well. Lol. But teach your man to give you what you want instead of going elsewhere. What’s that phrase- the grass isn’t always greener on the other side? If we all watered the grass that we had, ours would definitely be green as well. Anything worth having, is worth fighting for (in this case, worth training). Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” didn’t have patience, treats, and a hot meal waiting for him.

Tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsSeptember 15, 2017 Comment

The TRUTH About Parenting!

When I was younger, I thought that being a parent was one of the most respected and worthwhile things to do/be. I wanted to be a mom so bad, and when the doctors told me that I may not be able to it crushed me. So finding out months later that I was pregnant changed my life. I’m just not convinced if it was for the better… Lol!

There are a lot of things that no one told me about being a parent. Being that I am a very generous person, I decided to dedicate this blog post to the facts of parenthood, from the views of a single mom.

  1. First and foremost, say good-bye to sleeping. Period. The minute you become pregnant, your sleep life becomes almost non-existent. Especially if the fetus likes to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. The bigger your stomach gets, the more difficult it is to get comfortable in the bed. A sleeping pillow is helpful, but that depends on the size of your stomach. The bigger the stomach, the less you sleep.
  2. You pee on yourself when you’re pregnant. If you sneeze, you pee. If you laugh, you pee. If you cough, you pee. If you burp, you pee. And the bigger the baby gets, the harder it is to hold your bladder to make it to the bathroom. I’ve pee’d on myself more times than I’d like to admit.
  3. IF you’re lucky, you don’t get nausea. I wasn’t so lucky. I was nauseous for the first 5 months of my first pregnancy. I literally couldn’t see, smell, think about, or hear about food or I would throw up. And I have absolutely no clue why they call it morning sickness because it lasts all day long. The only time I wasn’t throwing up was when I was trying to sleep. I lost so much weight that my doctor was scared and put me on anti-nausea medication.
  4. Heartburn. Acid reflux. Whatever you want to call it, it is BAD! The bigger the baby grows, and the more hair your baby gets, the worse your heartburn is. Tums and milk are the only things that are safe to use because antacids can harm the baby. Needless to say, after I got over my nausea, my loving ex went to the store and bought me a vanilla milk shake EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. God bless his heart.
  5. Contractions. Imagine cramps, times 100,000! Well, for me they were that bad because I don’t get my period so I don’t get cramps. I literally felt like my uterus was trying to fall out of my vagina. I couldn’t even walk- my kids’ dad had to half drag/half carry me to the car when it was time to go to the hospital. By then, my stomach was huge and I was a tad bit on the heavy side. I’m sure he struggled a bit. And then the epidural. I do not care what anyone says- that stupid thing has given me a lifetime of back problems. And I had 2! Smh. But, I will admit that with my 2nd pregnancy my contractions weren’t that bad. I was able to walk this time, so…
  6. Private time; I’m not sure that I know what that is anymore… Do you have a pet? Does it literally follow you around every part of the house? Well, that’s what kids do. *Disclaimer- I have toddlers. I have absolutely no clue what older kids do, but I’m hoping that it gets better as they get older (emoji insert)* The ONLY time I get to myself (when they’re home) is when they’re sleeping. I can’t eat, poop, shower, talk on the phone, take a nap, cook, read a book- ANYTHING!!!! without one of them being next to me. It’s mostly my son, although my daughter has moments of wanting to be up under me too. Once, I turned on every tv in the house, gave them snacks, their tablets, and all of their toys and hid in my room. I was only able to have 3 minutes and 28 seconds to myself before my son came looking for me. He just wanted to say hi…. (side eye)
  7. Wasted food. I cannot tell you how much food and money I have wasted on my kids. They’ll ask for something, you make it, then they decided they don’t want it anymore. Typical day- me: Bell, what do you want for breakfast? Bella: I want noodles mommy. Me: fats, you want noodles too? Jake: yea mommy, noodles! I make noodles for breakfast. They both come downstairs. Bell: ewww! I don’t like noodles mommy, I don’t want it! Jake: yucky mommy, no noodles! Me: you guys asked for noodles, so I made noodles. Bell: I’m not gonna eat it mom! I want cereal. They literally won’t eat it. I fought with them for 10 whole minutes before I finally just gave them cereal. And my noodles went into the trash.
  8. A messy house. Between my son and my daughter, I’m sure on of them hates me- I just can’t figure out which one. I will clean the whole house on Saturday and Sunday. They get home Sunday night, I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner. About 10 minutes later, I check on them in the living room and a tornado hit it. I ask them who did it, and they both say “it wasn’t me!” I don’t think I’m a mom anymore, I think I’m a nanny and I just don’t know it. I clean more than I do anything else.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. Many of the happiest moments in my life have to do with my children. I love waking up to them, rolling over and seeing them blink their eyes and smiling at me first thing in the am. How they run to me when I show up to their school after work. Their smiles, giggles, songs, dances- they make my life amazing. I just wish I knew about all of the “other” sides of being a mom. So, I will dedicate at least 1 more (maybe 2) posts on the woes of being a mom. Well, a single mom, because there is a HUGE difference when you don’t have any help.

Tootles! -xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsAugust 23, 2017 Comment

I Think My Mom Is My Muse…

I think one of the toughest parts of growing up and being an adult is figuring out who you are, and what you want to do. Actually taking the time and doing some self inventory and knowing what you want. I’m almost 3 decades in and I’m still trying to figure it out…

When I graduated high school, I wanted to be just like my mom. Work with people who needed care, in the home health aide industry, and/or working with kids. Went to school and majored in Social Work because I just knew that this was the field that I was meant to be in. Then I got into a fender bender and became partially paralyzed. That’s when my life became interesting.

I left the dirty south moved back north. Finished up and got my Associates degree in Social Work. By this time, I met my children’s father and he was working as a daycare director. So I started contracting as a PCA and  TSS worker. I actually loved it, but I knew that it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t beat those kids. That in and of itself vexed me enough to get out of that line of work. *Between you and me, these white people need to beat their kids. I wish my daughter would tell me to shut up and get out of her face. When she stomps her feet and I give her that look, she runs into the other room screaming “I’m sorry mommy, please!!” Why are white people afraid of their own children?* (insert emoji with eyes rolled up)

I became pregnant with my daughter and had a ton of complications. I should’ve known just by that alone that she didn’t like me very much. Before she even came out the womb she was kicking my ass, but the minute she heard her father’s voice she would do backflips. This little thing would sit on my lungs, reject everything I ate for the first 5 months, caused me to have mini panic attacks at least twice daily… The list went on. I eventually had to stop working because I kept having to call out of work. So I became a stay at home mom. That is very BORING!!!! Especially when the child is a newborn and doesn’t do anything. So, me being at home didn’t last very long. Went back to PCA contracted work, but by then I was over it. I got pregnant again (I was a fast little thing wasn’t I?) and my mom asked me to come work for her. At first I was super reluctant, but I did it anyways. I ended up loving it.

I did marketing and PR for her non-profit. I always thought that I was this super shy person who no one liked or wanted to talk to. Boy, was I wrong! I excelled in this profession more than I thought that I would- I was great at networking, great at talking to and connecting with people, great at public relations. I was just great. And it made me re-evaluate my line of work.

A few years later, my mom (again) encouraged me to look into grant writing. I was on the computer all day anyways doing research to see who and how I could market to, so I figured why not. And again, I loved it. (I’m starting to think that my mom knows me better than I know myself!!) Took a few courses, and boom-started writing grants. I was a little shaky at first, but I got the hang of it quickly. Even turned it into a business. It might be slow at times, but it is definitely lucrative. Thanks mom!

And now I have ventured into a new line of work. I went to a seminar with my mom (her again) and I fell in love all over again with working with kids; just at a different level. Creating development curriculums to help youth and young adults develop skills necessary to becoming successful adults. I will be going back to school for Social Work and getting my license, and becoming a Youth Development Consultant. All with the guidance of my momma.

I say all of this to say that you may never know what you want to be (professionally and sometimes personally) until you go through life. Try different things. And listen to your mom (but only if she has your best interest at heart). My mom was with me every step of the way, and she saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself. She’s awesome, and NO I will not share her. Get your own. Thanks.

Anywho, I’m off to venture into a new project. Tootles!

-xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsAugust 22, 2017 Comment

God, I Can’t Hear You….

*This post is going to be a spiritual one. If you do not believe in God, skip right along and read my previous posts. Thanks*

As I am nearing the end of my 20’s (like, I’m literally staring at the door), I’m still struggling with the same thing I’ve been struggling with these last 5 years. How to determine if this little tiny voice in my head and this little tiny tug at my heart is indeed GOD, or just me convincing myself that it’s Him. I have come such a looooooong way- from not trusting God to do anything for me, to trusting him to do everything EXCEPT!!!!!!! guide my love life. Hey- at least I’m honest. See, my issue isn’t that I don’t think that God will send someone to me, I am SCARED of the person He’s going to send. What if he doesn’t look like my ideal mate, or what if he doesn’t make the amount of money that I am looking for? What if he’s the complete OPPOSITE of my expectations? That’s just too much pressure to take GOD!

How am I supposed to tell if that little tug at my heart isn’t God telling me not to give up, or me telling myself that it’s God talking to me? Do you see my dilemma here?! I pray daily, read my scriptures, listen to Christian music all day, and sometimes I still can’t tell if it’s him or not.  And if any of you are like me, you go through waves in your relationship with Christ. Sometimes my waves are deep and I know exactly when it’s him because that little voice is distinctive. And sometimes I can’t tell if it’s Him or my son whispering in my ear that he’s hungry. Lol. Yea- it gets that bad (emoji face, eyes up). That’s life- I’m either super connected or trying to figure out when the heck did I lose the connection.

Lately, I’ve been going through a lot. To the point that I do not feel like adulting (yup- I’m using that word!), parenting, working, eating, breathing- anything that you can put an “ing” on, I don’t feel like doing. And I cannot figure out why I am in such a rut. I get over one situation, and another one pops up. I deal with one person, and 2 more have a conflict. I get my son potty trained, now he won’t eat properly. He used to be my fat daddy. Now he’s more like a q-tip; really skinny with a big head. Lmao! I just don’t get it.

I can only speak for myself, but whenever I’m going through something spiritually, everything in my life is upside down. The sad part about this is that I didn’t make that correlation until I wrote it into the blog just now. Everyone goes through struggles in life- it’s inevitable. But a series of unfortunate events, back to back to back (I’m talking the last 4 months and counting!) has left me barely afloat in my prayer life, and super BARELY making it in the natural. The last time I felt this broken God was trying to get my attention. This time I recognize that He is, but I can’t hear Him talking to me. I’m a virgo (I’m just gonna assume that this is relevant, please bear with me), and from what I’ve read, we are over-thinkers and over-achievers. This depicts my personality to the T. So, I think that my brain just won’t shut the hell up long enough for me to hear God talking to me. And it’s reeeeeeaaaaaallllllllllllllllllyyyyy hard for me to shut my brain off (it takes me close to 45 minutes just to fall asleep!). So imagine how hard this is for me…

But then God always gives us confirmation- even when we haven’t asked him for it. A random conversation with a friend, a song that plays on the radio, a quiet thought that passes through your mind…. Even if you’re like me and you feel like you’re struggling to hear God talk to you, He reminds you that He’s listening. I know that He hears me, I just want to hear Him. Maybe I’m just expecting to hear Him in a way that He isn’t willing to talk to me in. I have this horrible issue of expecting certain things from people and God, and when I don’t get it that way I have a hissy fit. No, seriously- my boyfriend and my children’s father can attest to this (emoji eyes rolled up). I’m working on it.

Long story short, I want to hear God’s voice. If you’re talking to him today, tell him that I said that He needs to speak a little louder please. Thanks.

Tootles! -xoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsAugust 21, 2017 Comment

Small Thing, BIG Meaning!

Recently, there have been a lot of discussions between my friends and I on the topic of marriage and relationships. Someone is always going through something (including myself), and we always need sound advice to help us be rational in how we deal with our significant other. I’ll be the first to admit- I should probably listen more to my friends. I would more than likely avoid a lot of self-induced issues within in my relationship. Lol.

Something small happened last weekend that made me thing about how I handled my relationship. My girlfriend came over to hang out with me and my munchkins, and she left her phone on the bed. We have the exact same phone; but when I looked at her phone I couldn’t help but ask myself why her phone appeared bigger than mine. To the point that I picked her phone up and placed it on top of mine to determine whose phone was bigger. I could not fathom why it was that her phone appeared to be bigger than mine. I put the phone down and kept doing what I was doing.

A few days later, the phone incident went through my mind as I was preparing to call my boyfriend and fuss at him about something. Why that little phone crossed my mind at the precise time, I do not know, but it halted me. I literally sat and thought about how in my mind, her phone appeared to be bigger and better than mine to the point that I had to pick it up to investigate. It wasn’t until after the investigation did I realize that the difference was in my mind. So then I thought about what I was calling my boyfriend to fuss at him about. It made me question if the issue was just in my mind, or if it was actually a valid issue. After mulling it over for a while, I decided that I was making a big deal about nothing and that I needed to let it go. Needless to say, I still called him to fuss. I was bored, and he can handle it. Lol.

This incident made me think- how many times do we allow our perception of things be distorted by what we want, or what we think is better? We always have an ideology of what is good, better, worth it, or important. These things that we intentionally embed into our brain makes us believe that anything else isn’t good enough. We kill any chance we have of finding someone amazing or pass up great opportunities because we believe that it isn’t good enough to lead us to where we want to go or what we want to have. The phone incident reminds me of the saying “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side”. I want my grass to be green, so I’m going to water it! Maybe I’ll pay someone to water it for me, it’s been hot the last couple of days.

“A wise man seeks the council of others, a fool relies on his own thoughts”. Be wise today- don’t let small things turn into big issues!

Posted bybalancinglifeandkidsAugust 18, 2017 Comment

New School vs. Old School

My grandparents have been married for over 60 years. My parents (had they stayed together) would’ve been married for over 30. My best friend’s parents have been married for over 40 years. What was the secret ingredient in their marriages that helped them last for so long?

As I am nearing the end of my 20’s and excelling into my 30’s, my biggest question is whether or not I will get married. Not because I don’t think I deserve it, but because the institution of marriage has lost it’s luster over the years. I have been in and seen/read/heard countless debates on why people don’t believe that marriage is important anymore. That it’s just a “piece of paper that causes more trouble than it’s worth”. (emoji-eyes looking up). If that was indeed the truth, then why did our grandparents do it? Our parents? Our aunts and uncles? What happened to love and committment that made people deem marriage unnecessary?

Our grandparents LOVED one another. Now- by no means am I saying that their husbands didn’t cheat on them, have children outside of their marriage, or worse maybe even disrespected them a time or two. And by no means am I condoning the behavior. BUT, despite that, they wives didn’t walk away, and the husbands busted their asses to ensure that transgressions weren’t repeated (hopefully). My grandfather cheated on my grandmother. But he’s also the same man who bends over backwards for her; the same man who is up at night with her when she can’t remember whose house she’s in and why everything doesn’t look like it did in Haiti; the same man who cooks for her (he learned how to cook just to care for my nana); who takes her to every doctors appointment and sits in the house with her on the days that she can’t get out of bed. Yes- he cheated. But that didn’t diminish the LOVE that he had for her. An associate of mine’s parents has been together for over 45 years. Neither one has cheated. His father puts his mother above everything- even their children. My point? That’s what true love in a marriage is.

The dictionary definition of love is an intense feeling of affection, or a deep romantic or sexual attraction to someone. This worldly definition is why some marriages don’t last- because those feelings WILL fade. It’s inevitable; people fall in and out of love throughout the years. But the biblical definition of love is kindness, gentleness, patience, purity, humbleness, never judging, never-failing… The couples who believe in this definition of love make it through any storm. It’s amazing that a simple switch in the definition of a small 4 letter word will determine whether or not your marriage will last. Because in this way of viewing it, love is not a feeling, it’s a way of being. Being love to someone is far more paramount than feeling love for someone.

I know that I am the pot calling the kettle black, but I cannot be in a relationship with someone who will run and cheat or leave when things get bad. And that’s what my generation does. Either call it quits or find comfort in the bed of someone else. I am not looking for that for myself. When I get married (because I know that someone will eventually put up with all of my beautiful craziness), I want to know that he won’t leave when I’m jumping on his very last nerve, or when I gain a few extra pounds in all the wrong places, or when I start making more money than he is. I want to know that no matter what, we have that old-school “I’m-not-leaving-you-no-matther-what-happens-because-I-love-your-funky-sweaty-don’t-ever-want-to-shave-in-the-summer-but-wanna-be-cute-in-a-bikini-drools-on-my-chest-when-you’re-sleeping-stop-eating-off-of-my-plate-with-your-big-headed-ass” love(emoji smiling face). I have the love to give to someone, and I have the committment. I just want someone who’s going to love me like God loves me to come knocking on my door.

*Side Bar* I think that in today’s generation, people expect the relationship to always be “perfect”. That times aren’t going to get bad, that your spouse isn’t going to get on your nerves, and that the love won’t come and go. That’s unrealistic. Things happen, people change, life throws curveballs at you. But the true test of your love for someone is CHOOSING to love them despite all of this. That’s the difference between old school love and new school love. I want someone to choose to love me, no matter what. Because once we get married, you’re stuck anyways so you kind of don’t have a choice in the matter…

Husband, where art thou?

-tootles! xoxo Comment

Loving the Skin I’m In!

I grew up in an environment that breeded low self-esteem. As I grew older, I realized that it wasn’t intentional; however, the damage was done. And needed to be undone.

I remember being 18 years old, standing at 5’3, weighing no more than 110lbs soaking wet- looking in the mirror and hating the person that looked back at me. My face had acne, my body was too skinny, my lips were too big, and my butt wasn’t big enough. I fixed the glasses issue when I started wearing contacts. This was the mindset that I had growing up, and the teasing and joking from friends and family (although completely innocent) only added on to the insecurities that were already there. Fast forward 8 years and add on heartbreak, anger, being cheated on, and a failed attempt at marriage. I was a wreck-emotionally and spiritually. And it manifested in my self-image. I kept making one bad mistake after another, after another. And it finally reached a point where I had a complete meltdown.

I had to take a break from life- family, friends, my kids- and work on me. It was unwanted, but extremely necessary. I had to find out why I was so angry, why I was so hurt, what made me so damaged. I never actually figured out all of these things, but I did find my peace. Through God. I know- it sounds sooooo cliché, but that’s what happened for me. I plunged into my bible, prayed every hour, and just told God “listen- I can’t take this anymore. So, like, you gotta fix this bruh cuz this right here ain’t working for me!” Or something like that (emoji!!!) And slowly, I forgave myself and all of the people who I felt slighted me. And guess what happened? My acne face became beautiful. My raisin stomach became acceptable. My skinny frame because goddess-like. Transforming my mind and emotions transformed how I viewed myself.

The funny thing is, people do not tell you how to love yourself. Or, how to keep up with loving yourself. It was an extensive process to love God enough to love myself enough. And it’s a fight to wake up everyday still loving myself. With other people’s opinions, society telling black women what they should look like, and our own personal opinions of what we should look like- being in love with yourself takes a lot of work. It’s a wonder that more parents don’t teach their children (especially girls) that we NEED to love ourselves unconditionally before we allow a man (or woman) to try to love us. It makes a world of a difference! My relationships with people period is so different now, let alone my relationships with men. Falling in love with myself gives off some sort of respect and QUEEN vibe cuz now…. They don’t even approach me if their lives aren’t together. Every guy that sends their affection my way wants commitment with marriage on the table. Reconditioning my mind and spirit has changed my life. I love who looks back at me in the mirror. I love my imperfect body. I love my flaws. They make me unique and amazing. I’ve always loved my skin tone; thinking back on it now, that was never an issue for me.

Piggy backing from my last post, skin tone is something that affects every black community, in every culture. I recently came across an article which said that females in Jamaica were bleaching their skin to become lighter. The rapper Lil Kim and the late pop star Micheal Jackson are just some examples of this. Low self-esteem is a killer, and it goes by unnoticed. It manifests itself is so many ugly ways, and causes us to do ugly things to ourselves. Every shade of black is beautiful. From the extremely fair skin, to the extremely dark one. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! And no, just telling yourself that isn’t enough. You need to teach your mind, your heart, and your spirit that you are beautiful. Change your environment, educate yourself on love and acceptance. You are not and will never be perfect, and that is what makes you perfect. Your imperfections define you- freckles, moles, beauty marks, slanted eyes, an oval face, a broad nose, and pointy ears. Embrace it. You can change it, but it wouldn’t change the way that you see yourself. You’ll just find something else wrong. So instead of changing everything on the outside, change everything on the inside. You’ll see a completely different person looking back at you in the mirror.

I cannot change the world, but I can definitely change myself and my household. I teach my children that they are amazing. The word “can’t” is not allowed in my house, because my little ones CAN do ANYTHING. They just have to try. Their fair complexion does not get them a pass in life (but their beauty does. Whether or not I like it, beautiful people have more opportunities. And my kids are BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Lol!). They have to work just as hard as anyone else to get what they want. BUT- mommy will teach them to love themselves, and to love each other. That simple act will lead and guide them through every relationship (both platonic and emotional), and shape them to be happy and healthy adults. It took waaaaaaaaay to long for me to learn to love myself. But now that I am here, I can’t ever go back.

I love me enough….!

Until next time, tootles! xoxoxo

Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

“You are so pretty for a dark skinned girl!”

So, funny story. A few weeks ago, my daughter came up to me and asked me what color was my skin. I told her that mommy is chocolate. She proceeded to tell me that her skin was lighter than mines, and her cousins was lighter than hers. After we identified and discussed the different shades of our blackness, I told her “but we are all beautiful, right?” Her response “yea, we are. But, I’m still lighter than you mommy!” My daughter is 3..

Skin tone and color has reared its ugly head and become a huge issue within the black community. There is a light skin, brown skin, and dark skin complex amongst both the male and female community. Which to me is actually crazy, until  I think about my preference of the men that I date.

I really do not like it when people (especially the older generations) tell me that I am pretty for a “dark-skinned” girl. First of all, I am almost 30 and I have 2 children. I am a woman, thank you! Secondly, I am pretty-PERIOD! Not in spite of me being a darker complexion. And I’m not even that dark- if you put me next to a milk chocolate candy bar, I match up perfectly. Which means I probably taste just as good. I’m just saying…. There are a million and one reasons that the black community has for why they believe that the lighter complexed people are more “sought after” or “more desirable” than the darker skinned population. Going back to slavery, and slaves being raped, and whatever what have you. That’s all fine and good, but shouldn’t that equate to status and not beauty? And why is it that someone who is lighter than me is also more beautiful than I? SOLELY BECAUSE THEY ARE LIGHTER! I have never understood that logic amongst the black community. Beauty should not be defined by complexion it should be defined by actual physical attributes. I know plenty of light-skinned women who are not pretty, just as I know plenty of dark-skinned women are not pretty. And let’s not get started on the black people that they put on tv….

So, if I am being completely honest, I subconsciously fall under that category as well. While I do not have a particular “type” when it comes to dating men, I have noticed that I prefer lighter complexed men over darker ones. Why, I do not know. But, I also prefer tall men over short, and fit men over… let’s call them husky. But, I have dated them all. And I would date them all again. Put me in a dark room with 5 men: I will choose the one with the deepest baritone, with the softest (and biggest) hands, and who smells amazing. And he would probably not be my type with the lights on. Lol! But let me see a line up of 10 men, and I will more than likely gravitate to someone shades lighter than me. But it’s not because one is more attractive than the other- I have met some fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine ass chocolate brothers in my life. And some even fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiner dark skin men. Just thinking about it is making me a bit sweaty. To me, one is not better, more attractive, or more desirable than the other. It’s just a preference; because I will take a tall, dark chocolate, sexy brother over an average light skin one any day!

So, my point? I am beautiful- not because my complexion is chocolate, but because my lips are full, my eyes are deep, my face is beautifully crafted, my hair is lustrous, my hips are curved, my ass is fat, and my legs are long and lean. My physique is sexy, my face is attractive, and my complexion is just the icing on the cake. I am beautiful, despite being a dark-skinned woman!

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Being A Lady!

As a child, I used to love reading books. Even into my adulthood, I chose to read rather than watch tv. I’m currently reading a book called “Gentlewoman” by Enitan O. Bereola II. It’s a man’s interpretation of what a Lady should be. And it got me to thinking.

I think we in the 21st century have forgotten what it is to be an actual LADY! We are so concerned with what society wants us to be, what our men want us to be, what our children want us to be, and what we have come to make ourself. And we have forgotten and neglected what makes us a woman. I know at some point that I have. It’s funny, because as I am reshaping my ideology of who I am, what I want, and who I want to end up with, I find this book. Maybe this is God’s way of saying “you’re on the right path baby girl”.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like females are forced into this BOX and have a hard way of being individualized into actual people. We have to be successful because we are undervalued at work (when in all actuality we work harder than our male co-workers), we have to raise our children with little to no help from their fathers, and we have to upkeep our appearance because men want something pretty to look at and keep on their arm. Which is why I refuse to wear make up. You’re either gonna love me and my adult acne and oily skin, and my 2-cesarian-section-baby-belly, or you can find someone else to bother. Either way, it makes me no nevermind.

What is a lady? Websters says that it’s a woman of superior social status. So does that mean that someone of my social status can’t be a lady? Because I have absolutely no social life. And my bank account doesn’t exactly match a high-social-status-life either. How can I be a lady, and what does being a lady look like/reflect? It would be completely easy to say that it varies per person, but that isn’t true. Just like there is an across-the-board expectation of being a mother, a wife, and a good friend, there is a set expectation of being a lady. Whether or not you want to follow that guideline is a different story…

I’m still learning what it means to be a lady, just like I’m still learning who I am and what I want out of life (though, some chocolate cake with fudge icing would definitely help put me at peace right now). I do know that I want to possess certain qualities like being kind, polite, intelligent, sexy (NOT SLUTTY!! I realize that today’s generation make the two interchangeable and they are not! You can be sexy fully dressed; try it. It may warrant you the POSITIVE attention that you have been looking for ladies!), humble yet dominant, and I want to be memorable. I want people to walk away from me and still remember me a year later because of the presence that they felt when they met me.

My goal is to be the woman that I want my son to bring home, and the lady that my daughter wants to be when she gets older. The woman my husband is proud to show off, and the lady that is constantly admired. I strive to be successful, a goal-digger (so that I can afford my own gold!), and an amazing role model. But, in the meantime, I want the luxury of not always having my hair perfect, wearing sweatpants out of the house, eating ice cream out of the carton, running out of milk when I’m preparing cereal for breakfast, and yelling when I get upset at someone. I have like 6 and a half more months until I turn 30- I’ll use that as the marker to start being a lady on a daily basis.

Tootles! -xoxox

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Is “Multitasking” A Superpower?

As a mom, working a full time job, having a small business, and being someone who is determined to have a personal life, multitasking has become a superpower for me. How in the world do I manage to accomplish all of these things? I’m still trying to figure it out myself.

I always joke with my boyfriend that he is the worst multitasker in the history of the world. He cannot talk and text. He will literally stop mid sentence to write a  paragraph long text (which can sometimes take him 5 entire minutes) then pick back up where he left off. Actually, now that I think about it, he has very good memory. Meanwhile, I can carry two plates full of food, 2 cups of juice, and have my phone in my ear while walking from the kitchen to the dining room. Or, I can be on the phone while writing an email and researching simultaneously. I told you, I’ve created a superpower. (cheesy emoji face)

How do women do it? How do we compartmentalize our brains to focus on more than one thing at a time? I’m actually asking you- how are we able to get this done; do you know? I find it amazing how many things I am able to accomplish in just one hour. As we speak, I am writing this blog and working endlessly to make my son go to sleep while having 2 text conversations and planning in my head what I will be making for dinner tomorrow (I’m thinking tacos). It is an ingrained ability that I have.

Thinking back on the personality test that I took a few days ago,  it might have something to do with that fact that I am particular to details, or that I like order and control in my life, or I may just have OCD. I’m pretty sure that the latter has a major role in it somehow. Now that I have children, I am convinced that you cannot be an effective parent if you don’t know how to juggle things. I can carry both my son and my daugher, my purse, and a bag or two in my hands from the car into the house. I’m talking up the stairs, keys in hand, unlocking the door, walking through the porch, and opening the door to the house and putting everything down on the couch/floor. Now THAT’S a skill! And I can cook with my son either on my hip or dragging on my leg. *Kanye shoudler shrug* You do what you have to do.

The downside of effectively mutlitasking? I don’t remember crap. I do so many things at once, that I can easily but unintentionally overlook something or just completely neglect it. I might’ve done so to the kids a time or two. Don’t tell anyone, please! I’ve tried leaving notes for myself, leaving papers on top of my keyboard where I think I can’t overlook it, sent myself emails- you name it, I’ve tried it. And I still manage to forget something. I think I’m just old. My pregnancy brain never left- my mind is permanently pregnant and I can’t undo it. That could be the very reason why my basment is filled with all of these parts but I cannot figure out where exactly in this time machine these pieces are supposed to go…

All of this to say that I am superwoman because I can do multiple things at once and get a whole heck of a lot of things done. Just don’t be mad at me if I forget or overlook something. Wait, what was I talking about again?…

Tootles! -xoxo

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When “Mr. Right” Comes Along….

My fellow single moms, and everyone else- Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!! It’s never too late. But it has certainly been a really long time. Life happened, along with everything in it. Then, someone came along.

So, I’ve been seeing this guy. We won’t mention any names; he’ll just be called Mr. Officer. Mr. Officer was referred to me by a friend when I needed some legal advice. He was really sweet and we became friends quickly. Now I must mention- after leaving my children’s father I didn’t think that I would meet anyone so I wasn’t really interested in dating. Back to Mr. Officer- we get to talking daily, hung out a few times, and boom- I start cathcing feelings. I woke up one day and I smiled. I mentally smacked myself like “Hold up miss lady! Why in the heck is you smiling for? This aint what we doing!” (Yes- I did the neck roll and the finger snap in my head). But did I listen? Nope!

I kept talking to him, kept seeing him, and the next thing I know I’m in a sticky situation. Me being the “relationship” type that I am, I told him that’s what I wanted. Welp, yea- he shut that down. Quick. Claimed he wasn’t looking for a relationship. Now- if anyone knows me, they know that I don’t listen. And I’m spoiled. And I like to get what I want. And I don’t take no for an answer. Plus there was just something about him. I couldn’t put my finger on it- it was this intensly strong feeling that he was “the one”. So, we continued to date. And I continued to get more and more happy. I started to feel like I actually had someone who saw me for who I was and not who he wanted me to be. That was a waaaaaaaaaaaay different scenario than what I had come from. Then BOOM!!

One day, someone dropped the L word. Now- we all know that once that word gets thrown out there, it changes the entire dynamic of the situation. The person that says it first is always uncertain about what the response is going to be. It’s like jumping double dutch- you have to wait until the perfect moment to jump in and your footwork has to be perfect or else you just messed that jump up. Well, you have to make sure that the atmosphere is perfect and the feeling is mutual before you drop that bomb. *I was trying to find a funny L word to use but I couldn’t find one…* So yeah, the L word is love in case anyone was wondering.

Did I mention that he was really great with my kids? They don’t tend to take to anyone, and they BOTH took to him. My son wakes up and asks for him by name. He doesn’t even do that for me…. My daughter, when he comes over she runs to him to give him a hug. She doesn’t do that to me when I pick her up from school anymore. I don’t understand why she does it for him…. I told him, I said “so… you know you’re stuck now right? My kids only know their father, and now you. And they love you. So you may as well get used to being around cuz you can’t go anywhere now.” And, I meant it. Oh- did I mention that he’s my boyfriend now? I always get what I want (emoji with sunglasses face).

So now I have a boyfriend, and I’m in a relationship. And I’m super happy. And it’s weird for me because I haven’t had a genuine connection with someone in a really long time. Seven and a half years to be exact. It might actually be a bit longer than that… Oh, and it’s not like a fake relationship- he picks my nose, pops my pimples, farts in the bed with me, poops and talks to me at the same time. I think if I asked him to suck my toes he would. Now THAT’S the ultimate “I love you”! Well, to me it is. Lol. I am smitten. It’s about time that I had someone actually care about me. I think I’m worth it.

Did I mention that my butt has gotten bigger since we’ve been together? (emoji with the sunglasses face) Yup! That’s my boo!!

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What The Heck Is A Grant?!

Randomness……

Hey guys! This is just a random post. I have a few thoughts in my head that I wanted to get down, so I figured that I would share them with you.

First things first- this election. I understand that Trump is a douche bag (to put it nicely) but what makes Hillary any better? They both have HUGE flaws that cannot be overlooked, and they are both selfish people who only want power. So how would having Hillary as president be any better than having Trump? Because she isn’t blatantly racist? But isn’t this the same person who helped pass the bill for the “war on drugs” that has gotten young boys locked up for 5+ years for having a small amount of marijuana on them? Or a female who unknowingly transported something for her idiot boyfriend and now has to serve 6 years away from her child(ren)? People aren’t perfect but this law put too many people in prison for MINIMAL offenses! OR, isn’t she the same person who covertly rerouted all of the relief money that was supposed to go to my home country of Haiti? And instead the people there are suffering and still in need of essentials like water, and bread, and a cot to sleep on? I personally don’t like either candidate, but Hillary was NOT my lesser of the two evils. Just my opinion.

Second topic. I am happy! (emoji insert, guy with the tongue out). Like, I’m smiling ear to ear as I write this post. My life is SLOWLY falling into place, but it is definitely getting there. I just need to finish with this stupid time machine…. This thing is taking way longer than I thought….

Okay, if I am being honest I only wanted to talk about me being happy. LOL!! I haven’t been this happy in a really long time and it’s all just bottled up inside me and I needed to let some of it out somehow. It feels good to be in this space. Life is so simple, yet we as people make it complicated. Money does not bring happiness. We need it to pay bills, buy clothes and food, and to keep certain things in order. Outside of that, money is actually the CAUSE of many issues! Our ancestors lived on the bare minimums and had amazingly LONG lives! We have all of these things that we think we need and we still aren’t happy. As long as I have my children, some food, a place to lay our heads, and a great support system, I am a okay.   When I cut all of the unnecessary stuff out of my life, I started to gain a sense of peace. The less stuff I worried about, the happier I became. And now I am blissfully happy. Everything is NOT in order, my money still doesn’t look how I would like it to, I still do not know how to manage my schedule, and this darn time machine still will not work! But, I am happy! (you guessed, EMOJI!!!!!!!!) Lol!!

Until next time my friends!

-xoxoxoxo

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Kids Say The Darnedest Things…..

Heeeeeeeeeeey y’all! I haven’t been able to write a blog in such a long time- I got busy, busy, busy! I am now working on rescheduling my days so that I can come back to you beautiful people.

In the meantime, I have been a mommy (like that’s ever gonna change). My oldest is 3, in day school, and learning more than I can keep up with. I love having conversations with her because she is just HILARIOUS! At least, to me she is. I think everything is funny so I am pretty sure that that helps. Lol. The other morning I was dropping her off. The teachers ask that we take the kids to the bathroom to use it and wash their hands before bringing them to class. Ms. Spunky (who likes to be referred to as Princess Elsa) runs to the bathroom. She sits on the toilet, and here is our conversation:

Mommy: are you pooping or peeing? Princess Elsa: I’m doing both mommy! Do I stink? Mommy: no baby, you don’t stink. Princess Elsa: I smell good mommy? *inhales deeply* mmmmmmmmm, refreshing!! Mommy: *chuckling* you are so silly! Princess Elsa: mommy, does my breathe stink? Mommy: *laughing* why do you think your breath stinks? Princess Elsa: I don’t know mommy, come smell it pleeeeeeease!!! Mommy: *smells her breathe* it smells like candy momma Princess Elsa: yeah. I don’t stink huh? Where does she get this stuff from?! I promise you, I was chuckling all day long from that one conversation with her!

Here is another one of our conversations. This day, she was herself.

Bella: mommy, this is MY house. Mommy: are you sure? I thought it was OUR house! Bella: no mommy, this house is mines. You and fatfat just live here. Mommy: so do you pay all the bills also? Bella: yes mommy. Mommy: well, where do you get the money from, do you have a job? Bella: yeah mom *huffs* I work for YouTube! Mommy: YouTube? What do you do there? Bella: I make videos. I could not contain the laughter- I laughed so hard that I had tears coming from my eyes. I think I need to switch jobs and start working with her because obviously they hire anyone.

I love my toddler. I love being able to have a conversation with her because she ensures that I laugh daily. She says the silliest things with a serious face! I cannot wait until my son can have conversations with me also. These nest 2 years are going to the be funniest years of our lives.

Talk to your toddlers! And read my blog! Lol

-xoxoxo

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Social Media is the Enemy!

As a business owner, social media is supposed to be the most amazing thing known to me, right? It’s supposed to allow me the platform to get my products and services out to the world and attract attention to me. But there’s just one problem. TIME! I barely have time to post to my own personal social media and now I’m supposed to post for my business too? Like, who comes up with this stuff?

I have this amazing app on my phone called “When to Gram”. It figures out when the most people that I am following and are following me are logged into social media and tells me so that I can post and they all can see and like it. It works great- when I actually use it. But it always goes off when I’m right in the middle of doing something- like actually working, or driving the kids to school, or making dinner, or enjoying the 2 second break that I get to use to go to the bathroom. Then, it’s just goes unnoticed…..

When I am actually able to use my social media, it works great. People see what I do and comment and I’ve been able to get business from it. Which means that I have more work to do. Which makes me busy. Which means I cannot be on social media…. Do you see my cycle problem here? I want to force myself to break away from everything that I am doing for just 5 minutes and manage my social media. But then when I’m actually able to do that I just wanna take a quick nap. Lol! Eventually I’ll figure out how to manage everything entailing work and social media. But until then, social media always takes a back seat because it doesn’t pay me. Man oh man, if social media paid me, I would LIVE on there. Eat, sleep, breathe, everything on social media! Show me the money Instagram and Facebook!!

In short, if you’re looking for a grant writer or a business consultant you can hire me. My IG is @egd_grants and my Facebook is Exponential Growth & Development. If not, then can you please share my information with someone? It will really help grow my business and I would greatly appreciate it. 

Thank you! xoxoxoxo

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Balancing…. Life!

Hey guys!! It’s been a while, I know.

Have I ever told y’all what I do for a living? Cuz I am bout to now. Lol. So for my day job, I am a Program Coordinator (I come up with different things/activities that the organization can do to benefit people within the community), I am the Marketing Coordinator (I make appointments to go talk to social workers and support coordinators to introduce the company, what we do, what insurances we take, etc.), and I am the grant writer. That’s self explanatory, but for people who don’t know what grant writing is, it’s basically searching for foundations, organization, and federal funding (money) that they are willing to give to non-profits and for profits for certain projects. It’s extremely time consuming and requires a ton of research. I then started my own business doing grant writing and business consulting, and I’m working on starting a non-profit for girls and women. To say the least, I’m always doing something.

I have to force myself to not get burned out by the end of the day. Especially with two toddlers running around the house. Between the constant mommy! calls, the fighting, the toys all over  my house, the juice on the floor, and my son clinging to my legs, I have a good reason to just call it quits by 9pm. But, I still have dinner to make, hair to braid, baths to give, stories to read, covers to tuck, and prayers to recite before I can have some ME time. I think I want to clone myself. One part of me will work, the other part will be the mom, and the last part will just lay around and relax for the other 2 working parts. Now, that’s a good life. We can rotate positions on a monthly basis so we all have a chance to take a break. Please, Jesus, let this become reality! Lol.

You have got to be extremely motivated to balance working and mommy life. Like, EXTREMELY motivated. Because it can and will take a toll on you. You’ll miss out on important events, a dating life, a social life, birthdays, holidays, sex…. Wait, sorry- I just went off on a mini tangent. But, as demanding as it is, I just cannot see myself doing anything else. Yes, I am ALWAYS tired (I actually dozed off twice while writing this), but I love being a mom, working with a non-profit, and running my own business. I just hope that I still have hair left by the time I turn 35… Lol!

I promise to try and do a better job at blogging. And figuring out how to do this from my cellphone. That’ll probably make my life a whole heck of a lot easier. Tootles! xoxo Comment

Moving! Love it or Hate it?

So, I have finally moved into my own house. It’s a beautiful 3 bedroom, full basement, small backyard twin that is perfect for my kids and I. And I am excited that I am finally on my OWN- with no man, no best friend, no dad, no cousin, no one! Just me, myself, and I. Oh, and the kids. But I absolutely hate packing and unpacking!!!!

This is the most tiresome thing that I have ever done! Where did all of these clothes, shoes, appliances, nick-knacks, EVERYTHING come from? And how the heck did it all fit into where I was staying at before? I never even knew that I had half of the things that I had; like, my mom sent me 2 blenders. Two blenders! Packed between a vase, some coffee cups, and a cereal jar holder thingy. By no means am I complaining- I am overly blessed to  have a house full of things. But man oh man I do NOT want to unpack all of it! Would I be wrong if we just lived out of boxes for the next month or two? I mean, kids love boxes. Their toys are in their room. And I think I can find the bag where I put all of their clothes…..

I’ve been moving around so much, that this morning I woke up and my whole entire body was sore. For a second, I questioned whether or not I had been to the gym. Hey-maybe when I am all done, I’ll have some abs. And even some toned arms. That would definitely be an upside to all of this moving. Okay, let me be completely honest- packing was super easy. I threw everything in either a box or a bag and told the movers to “load em all up!” Unpacking is the pain. I literally have boxes and bags in the kitchen, living room, hallways, dining room…. I can’t even tell where one room ends and the other begins because it’s so many boxes laying around. Last night, I was so tired, that I just pushed things to the side, turned on Netflix, and pretended that I was at my dads on the bed watching tv. That fantasy didn’t last very long- there was a box in the way (emoji insert).

The best part about moving is moving into something that you want. The worst part is unpacking. You know, now that I think about it…. I wonder if I go on Angie’s List if I can find someone to unpack and organize my house for me… Now THAT would be something worth paying for! Lol!

Stay tuned for the next crazy adventure of #balancinglifeandkids ! Dun dun duuuuuun! Lol

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How Much For an Oil Change?!

Why is it that us women get taken advantage of at the mechanic’s shop? It’s like, men run the shop, and think that we women have this immeasurable amount of money to dispense on cars just because. We aren’t expected to know what a cam shaft position sensor is, where a throttle body is located, or how to replace the seal in the head gasket. Yeah, I know a thing or two.

My ex had a mechanic that he used that was pretty good with pricing and did really good work on cars. Welp, I’m single now, and I don’t have that go-between buffer of an ex that I used to have. Thus being said, an oil change now costs me $200. Changing my oil pan is expensive because, and I quote, “the front of the car has to come off and we need to move the engine in order to take the old pan off”. (emoji face). But when I Youtube’d it, it’s just a drop and swap job. My price for changing my starter was $500,  but my ex’s price was conveniently only $250. Prejudice at it’s best, no?

I just do not understand why we have to pay all these crazy prices for the same exact services that men need. We make less money (even though we are smarter and more educated), we have more to pay (because realistically no matter how involved they are in their child’s lives, we always end up paying for more), and we are extremely more attractive so we should get a discount just because (emoji face! Lol).

Also, I wonder if anyone can explain to me WHY these same mechanics fix whatever it is we bring the car to them for, and then they also tamper with something else which forces us to bring the car back to them to get fixed. Again. I mean, if you want to see my pretty face, you could just ask for a picture or a date. No need to sabotage my ride. I need my mom-mobile, sir. Thanks.

Why aren’t there any female mechanics? And if they are out there, where the heck are they?! I’m tired of paying these inflated prices. Batting my lashes and wearing a short skirt hasn’t been working for me thus far. I wonder- if I wear a baseball cap and really baggy pants, will I start getting regular prices for my labor? I know how to change a tire, shouldn’t that count for something? Sheesh! You mechanics are killing us females. It isn’t fair. There should be a law against it. Or, at the very least, we should be able to get our oil changed for free. I think I’ll start a movement for that. What should my slogan be?…… I just spent like 10 minutes thinking of one and I couldn’t. I’ll get back to you on that (places note next to time machine schematics).

*Tootles!*

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I Like Cuddling & Long Walks…..

Full time job, full time small business, full time mom, and dating. Where does that fit in?

I am one of those old school moms- if I’m dating someone, you do not need to meet my kids. I think that’s fair. I mean, what guarantee do I have this it’s going to work? I need to make sure that my kids aren’t randomly meeting a new man every 4 months. Plus, there are a lot of weird people out there. But um, when do I have the time to date? Let’s see…. Work, kids, dinner, bath time, bed time, computer work, sleep, wake up and do it all over again. Can I fit a date somewhere in there?

How am I supposed to date? This is how I think it’ll go: I’m pumping gas in my car, and a tall handsome man walks over to me. “Hey, I’m Jax” (I like that name, it’s kind of sexy). “Hi Jax, I’m Kishna.” “So what do you do, Kishna?” “Well, I work full time, own a small business, and I’m a mom.” “How many kids do you have?” “2, a boy and a girl” “So, when can we spend some time together?” “I don’t know, I’ll have to put it into my schedule, find a sitter, and shave. I’ll let you know.” Yeah….. I don’t think that it will go over well. Especially because I really don’t feel like shaving….

Okay, so I do get breaks. My kid’s dad picks them up and gives me a few days off, but then I’m exhausted from when I had them. I need to catch up on my sleep and whatever work that I missed. And, I’m not coming over to “netflix and chill”. Whatever happened to the days where guys came to your door and picked you up, held doors open for you, pulled out your chair, and paid the WHOLE bill after dinner? I once went out with a guy that took me to a diner, asked me if I wanted to split the MEAL, then stated he was going to ask for separate checks. The bill was only $21.25 (yes, I distinctly remember the total). Needless to say, we haven’t been on another date since. Or, the guy who MET me somewhere (because I don’t like people knowing where I live), and he asked me for gas money…. Or the guy who was texting me and asked me could we have sex. I replied “no”, and he said, okay then have a great life. Or, the guy who kept sending pictures of his private parts to me; when I didn’t reciprocate, he proceeded to curse me out and said that I wasn’t that pretty to be acting all “boujie”. I once met a guy who fell in love with me. Via texts. We never actually went on a date. I had to block his number. And there was this white guy who insisted on showing me why white guys are “where it’s at”. I have NOT had the best of luck when it comes to dating.

So now, I’m just kind of…. Waiting. For God to tap me on the shoulder, and point to a guy somewhere in the crowd and say “that’s the one!” If only it was that easy, huh? The second option is if you have an older brother/cousin/uncle/friend that is handsome. I’m in the market for a tall, well educated, financially stable, already has children (because I am not having any more!), God-fearing, kind man. Tell him that Kishna said “heeeeeeeeeeeeeey!” (I really need to figure out how to make emoji’s! Lol)

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Hello, World? Can I Catch A Break Now?

Have you ever had one of those days where you just want to have a really chilled glass of wine? Then drink the whole bottle in 5 gulps? No? Yeah, neither have I. But I have had days where I want to just lay in the bed all day long and ignore all my phone calls. And my rumbling stomach. How in the heck am I supposed to deal?

I hate having bad days. It’s like I have a bad day, and that’s when my kids decide that they want to be cranky, ask me a million questions, spill their food on the floor, pee on themselves, splash water everywhere during bath time, and refuse to go to sleep. By the end of the day, I’m ready to just pull all of my hair out. I think I have pulled some out. It was by accident though; I didn’t realize my strength that day (emoji face). Why can’t all of our days just be easy going? I feel like all moms should have the luxury of not having bad days. We carried babies for 40 weeks, and some of us had to get cut open to get them out. Give us a break dagonit!

I love my job. I love my life. I love my kids. And I hate bad days. Actually, I hate CONSECUTIVE bad days. One bad day I can deal with, but bad days back to back? That’s like the world is saying “hey, you! Yeah, you! I’m going to mess with you. Just because!” I mean, I know that’s not realistic, but that’s what it feels like. If the world was a person, I think I’d kick it’s a** every once in a while. I’m just saying…

So, I’ve come up with a way to manage the stress of life. Ready? The secret is…… Play hopscotch. No, Seriously- go play hopscotch! Hoolahoop. Do jumping jacks. Play with your kids. Being active makes you feel better. The only thing is, I’m really lazy. And by the end of the day, I don’t feel like being extremely active. But then, my daughter starts singing the hokey pokey and my son starts dancing around. And all of a sudden I get this burst of energy and we all start dancing, jumping, and singing all over the house. We run around, we act silly, and we fall down laughing. The antidote to a crappy day is happy kids. At least, my antidote is.

So come on world, send me another crappy day! Well, no. Don’t actually send me another one; I hate those. But if you do send me one, my babies will make mommy feel better. And, I’ll still be gorgeous. I really wish that I could put emoji’s in this thing…. (emoji face)

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Friends! How Many of Us Have Them?

One of my favorite tv shows was Sex and the City. I used to always believe that as I got older, I would have a group of friends; it would be the 4 of us, we would have amazing jobs, killer wardrobes, lots of money, handsome husbands (or fiances), and successful careers. I currently have 1 long time friend…..

What the heck happened? Where did all my friends go? And why did they go away? Welp…. First and foremost, I have kids. Which means that I don’t really have a lot of spare time to just go out with people for drinks and whatnot. And the closest friend I do have has kids. And a husband (that wench!), and a job, and a small business, and a new born baby….. Now that I think about it, she has the life that I’m supposed to have… Let me go call her and tell her that we can’t be friends anymore. I’ll be right back…..

Seriously. Everyone I know has kids now. And a job. And some are even starting their own small businesses. This is all great, but leaves us all with absolutely NO time for a social life (at least, that’s what I have to keep telling myself in order to make it true). The reality (at least for me) is that I’m reclusive. I’m an introvert and I like to stay to myself. Which is horrible for business! (I wish I could put emoji’s on here). So I have been forcing myself to make time and be more social. It’s actually working.

I met this young lady who has 2 children. She just graduated with her bachelors degree, and she is on her way to starting up her own small business. She’s really smart, positive, and funny. I like her. Then, of course, there’s my best friend (when I called to break up with her, she didn’t answer. So, she’s still around. Lol). She’s in school for mortuary science, and she’s started her business doing funeral obituaries. She’s pretty smart too. And, I guess I have to give her credit for sticking with me for so many years. And every black girl has to have 1 white friend. I love my white girl; she’s my Caucasian persuasion. She has a great career doing recreational therapy (google it), and she’s on her way to moving up the corporate ladder. And she has really long brunette hair that I’m always running my fingers through. Hold on, I have to call her too….. And there’s my younger girlfriend who has a really cushy job working at a  university. Easy hours, great pay. She’s going back to school for her masters, and then to get a better job with easy hours and great pay. She’s also very smart. Then there’s…. wait. No, that’s all I have as friends. (Again, a perfect emoji insert right here!)

Am I the only person at the age of 29 (minus 1.5 months; don’t judge me) to only have 4 friends? Wait- I just realized that I have my clique! Ooooooohhhhhhh, I need to make a girls night and invite everyone over for drinks and games and crabs! But my best friend has a crazy work schedule and when she comes home her husband goes to work, and the recent grad works kind of late hours so the weekends probably would be best, my Caucasian persuasion has a 2nd job that she works most days so I would have to see when she’s free…. See? (Again, PERFECT emoji insert!!!!!)

Anyways, having a life and kids and friends and a social life is like trying to stick the thread into a needle hole- it’s possible, but you gotta be damned good at it! Lol! Or like trying to get my 19 month old son to eat with a spoon and not make a mess. Unless its dry foods, it’s nearly impossible! I’m working on it. The schematics for that is right next to my time machine; just another project that I’m working on mastering. Wait, have I even mastered ANY of my projects yet?…… (You guessed it, emoji insertion!!!)

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Is Saving Money Possible?

There are so many self-help books and websites out now that claim to teach you how to save money and invest in your future. Open up saving accounts, IRA’s, stocks, blah, blah, blah. I’ve tried a bunch of different ways to save money, and I’ve failed a bunch of times.

So, how did I finally figure out how to save money? I didn’t. I just managed to manage my money better. I have 2 separate accounts in which I divide my money into. One account I use to pay all of my bills, and the other account I use for miscellaneous activities. And I use my online banking app. This helps me to track all of the money that I am putting out, and allows me to check what my remaining balance is.

The first thing that I do is tithe, I put 10% of whatever I make aside so that when I go to church I have it on hand. Then I pay whatever upcoming bills I have: rent, car insurance, house insurance, kids’ schools, diapers, wipes, etc, etc, etc. Whatever I have left (hopefully it’s more than $10), I use for what I need. I don’t save. At least, I don’t think this is saving. I tried putting money into a closed saving account in which I wouldn’t touch, and something random happened and I had to touch it. I gave money to a close relative to hold every time I got paid, and again I had to touch the money. I realized that I don’t make enough money to save! Lol! So I figured out that I needed additional income. So I started my own business. Now, that does make a huge difference in cash flow, and how much money I have left over after paying necessary bills.

My advice? Find something that your good at, and charge people for it. It doesn’t have to be much- $5 for helping fix resumes, $10 for babysitting, $20 for a batch of cookies or a pretty cake. And watch those small funds add up. They make a huge difference in what you have left over at the end of the month, and you’re not pinching pennies or eating ramen noodles for dinner every night of the week.

Now, don’t get me wrong- if you never learn to manage your money, you’ll always be in the red no matter what you do. You can make $300 a week or $3,000 a week and still be broke. Financial management has been a huge issue for my generation. And I have, by no means, figured out the key to making money last longer. But I am working on the key to figuring it out. It’s right next to my schematics on building my time machine. It should be completed by March 2020. Posted bybalancinglifeandkids Comment

Introducing….. Me!

Hey Guys!

My name is Kishna. I’m a mother of 2 beautiful little toddlers, I work full time, I have a full time small business, and now I’m a blogger. My life is absolutely amazing, absolutely crazy, absolutely hectic, and absolutely all mines.

Have you ever thought of what your life would be like AFTER you decided to have children? I’m pretty sure you had everything figured out. You would have the kid (check), stay home for the full 6 weeks + to care for your child (check), you would have a spouse to help you with your child, work, and home life (check), you would work shorter hours so that you could spend more time with your child (check), you would have an awesome work/life balance (check). Now let’s look at reality. If you’re anything like me, you started back working right after you got cleared from the doctor, your spouse and you didn’t really work out according to plan, and you feel guilty because there is no way in the world your kids still remember who you are! Obviously, this isn’t the way I thought that things would go.

Okay, so I am exaggerating a bit. I have found a way to balance out my work and home life pretty decently, but it took a whole heck of a lot of practice and discipline. And a lot of guilt (on my part). Why do we always feel guilty that we aren’t spending enough time with our kids? Or that our kids are somehow being neglected if we pick them up late, work while we’re home, or we put them to bed early? This was definitely not in the plan when I decided to have children. But, who’s plans go according to schedule anyways?

This is my blog- about my life, after I had my kids. Join me for a crazy, fun, dramatic, whirlwind adventure as I laugh and cry about my crazy parenting/single/working life experiences.

Welcome, and enjoy!

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