Charity, Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

Holiday Tips for Entertaining

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Pulling The Plus On Your Own Life Support

Wellbeing

Is there ever a time where you say, I need to get away from everything and everyone that I know to get back to myself? Yes. There is. Finding yourself in a place where you’re not allowed to be an adult, because you must follow everyone else’s rules, is the time to get away. Run away, go away, stay away.

Do you feel like you’re fulfilling the life of someone else? By which you must do exactly what they say, or else? Or else meaning that they will cut you off financially, or give you the silent treatment, or dis own you or anything else along these lines, if you don’t do exactly what they say or if you express a difference in opinion?

You don’t get to make your own mistakes, and you don’t get to make your own decisions because you’re following someone else’s rules and demands…. So, then you never know where life could have led you if you followed your own path or submitted to the divine intervention that you feel that you have been subjected to because against your better judgement, you did what someone else demanded you to do because they had control over you. You had to do what they said to do because they felt as though they had all the answers to your life and because they thought they had all the answers- you had to do it, because you’re in no position to not do what they tell you to do.

However, you’re the only person who will suffer from the circumstances/consequences that come on after the demand to do something you didn’t want to do, but only did because someone else demanded that you do it.

The demand comes in several different outfits. It can be that the person who is telling you to do something, will change their demeanor toward you if you don’t do it. It can come in the form of that person discontinuing an affiliation or association with you. It can come in the form of someone treating you differently after you refused to heed their command.

For instance: A parent tells a child to take the trash out on Tuesday afternoon, but the child knows that vicious dogs are out on Tuesday afternoon and insist that they take it out on Tuesday night instead. The parent tells the child, “No, I said take it out right now…” and when you fail to move… the parent spends that time ignoring you or giving you the silent treatment and making you feel that they will no longer be your friend/confidant/parent/mother/father… until you take the trash out like they told you to. Never considering the age of the child being an adult in this instance. Never considering how it may affect their child.

The only principle they are practicing is that if they tell their child to do something, that the child does it. Or, they feel that you should just do it period, because they are the ones who are supporting you. You must do whatever they say, even when you know it’s not good for you. You must heed their command because they are the ones who call the shots. You do not have the right to make your own decisions about what you feel is the right thing to do in life or your situation- because they are looking at you as if you’ve made bad decisions in the past and that’s why you’re in a situation where you need them. And because you don’t want to point the finger or go tic for tac, about details of those decisions, tarrying into the past and opening old wounds, you accept it. That adage which says, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Or the scripture, “Honor thy mother and they father” … you just grin and bear it.

The parent feels as though their instruction is law. The parent feels as though the child should do what they tell them to do, because it’s what they should do. The parent has no regard for what the child may feel is right, because it may be contradictory to their instruction. The parent has no regard for the feeling that the child has about the assignment and they have no regard for the divine instruction that the child says he/she may have received about what should be done, because all they can see is that they have a child who they are taking care of. As if GOD only communicates with the parents and not the child, because the child is not worthy of communication with GOD if he/she is in a position where they need help.

Mom knows best and if mom says do it, you do it. That’s the underlying factor. And even though the parent has witnessed the attacks of the vicious dog on Tuesday afternoon, they still tell you to take the trash out-and they stand on the belief that the dog will not attack you. (because they are uber religious) never-mind the nature of a vicious dog.

So, next week you decide… OK, I am going to take the trash out on Tuesday afternoon because this is what my mom/dad says, and I know that they are the ones who are supporting me, so I better to exactly as they say or else… (because that’s the feeling they give if you go against your better judgement) So, you take the trash out and you get viciously attacked by the dogs.

I pause to say…You can have all the empathy and sympathy in the world for a person who has been viciously attacked by a ruthless dog, but if it wasn’t you who lost an arm, a leg, and you have not been hospitalized for the wounds… or paralyzed from the waist down, you cannot under any circumstance relate to the pain. But the child is stuck with it. So, what now?

Now your child resents you and doesn’t want to take any instruction from you at all. They see you differently, because of the way you move. They cannot trust that you have their best interest at heart. They are not as willing to make information readily available about their life and life choices. They truly want to exclude you from anything that they do, because it seems better that way. They don’t really want your support anymore because your support comes with the caveat of you telling the entire world about their problems with no discretionary discernment. They see that you will deliver them right into the hand of the enemy (the dog) only because you believe that no weapons formed will prosper but you don’t understand that if that was true in totality, that good people would not suffer. (beyond saying that everything happens for a reason. Because the point is that if the dog never had the opportunity to attack, the child would not be a paraplegic.)

Parents, Christian parents especially, sometimes feel that it’s their natural born right to discuss the affairs of their child, with anyone that they feel comfortable with. But sometimes, especially in old age, they put their trust in people who are not deserving. Mostly, the pastor of their church, who they may praise or see as “the good guy” since he’s the pastor…He must be the upright, honest, sinless, perfect, without fault, born again do no wrong man of GOD. They do not do a critical analysis of an individual’s motives and intent, when discussing their child. (Throwing them to the wolves)

Listen: Doing exactly what someone else says to do is not always the best thing to do. Even when is your mother or father, big brother or big sister. And especially when you hear that voice deep within speaking to you about what to do. Some decisions you must make in your own. Being in the position where you feel like you must, knowing it’s not the best, is toxic. Get to a place that’s edifying to your spirit. If you are in a place where you feel that you cannot make your own decisions and you are being told what to do or forced to things you don’t want to do, it’s not a good place by no stretch of the imagination. You will have a deeper battle ahead, in which you will need to create a means of financial stability if this is the strain you’re under, but you can. I don’t want to make it sound easy because I know that it’s not. It’s the hardest thing to do if you ask me. I am just saying that it can be done. Whatever you need to do to get you out of this kind of situation, just do it.

Originally Published on SheSavvy.com

Follow Niedria on Twitter and check out her blog for more.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

Tis the season! Here’s Your At Home Guide To Creating Holiday Flare And Memories At Home This Christmas

There was this song that used to come on, seemingly at the same time each year where I said, “Oh yea, it’s Christmas time.” Nope, it wasn’t Jingle Bells. Although I would love to go back to a time when things were simple. Even though things have changed from age 10 to 40, I still have the same holiday spirit when the end of the year approaches. I was thinking to myself that there might be a song that reminds you of when Christmas is coming also, right?

For me, it was “What do the Lonely Do, at Christmas Time.” Now before you laugh, here’s something to really laugh about… I was only in High School then. What in the Deck The Halls, could I have possibly known about that song? Nothing! That’s the point. Christmas is that time of the year where everyone gets excited about something. We look forward to spending time with family and friends when the season approaches.

We are reminded that it’s right around the corner when we hear songs, see traditional movies and notice that department and retail stores are displaying ornaments as such. We create memories around those moments, as they begin to build when the time draws near. We all have a song, for whatever reason we attach it to Christmas. We have a ritual, a tradition, a something that gets us in the spirit of Christmas. If you don’t, I am here to tell you how to do it in a fun and exciting way!

Break Out The Onesie: Yes, it’s revenge of the Onesies. You can never get tired of an adult Onesie. I have seen Holiday themed Onesies such as: Reindeers, Elves, Frosty the Snowman, Mrs. Clause and Santa, as well as decorative in holiday colors: Red and White, Red and Green, or even an extra-large Christmas gift or Christmas Tree. These make great for holiday photos around the Christmas Tree or Fireplace. If you’re looking for something less costume like and more fashionable, there are also fleece onesies that simply have a printed assortment of holiday symbols. Do something fun, as a family and get matching onesies, or couple onesies.

Throw on Some Holiday Music: Have a dance off or play musical chairs using Christmas music. This is a no cost, all fun game that everyone can participate in, from Grandma to Grandpa, the kids and teenagers if you make it fun and include prizes for the winner. It’s also a way to enjoy the music in a new setting rather than just hearing it on the radio all day long and becoming eternally tired of ever hearing another Christmas jingle. Look at it as recycling or revamping your holiday in breathing the life back into the music by giving it a new assignment. Don’t forget the Christmas Caroling and trimming the tree! Nothing goes better with decorating the home and tree, while listening to, “This Christmas” Karaoke Anyone??

Crank Up the Oven: Cookies, Cupcakes, Scones, Cakes, Pies, Cobbler…. Just bake something. Food is the universal language of love and comfort. It fills the house with an aroma that brings everyone to the kitchen around the kitchen table or nestled together watching movies in the living room or around the fireplace roasting marsh-mellows. Don’t have a fireplace? No worries. Create a DIY Firepit in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be super large. Something small and quaint with just enough fire for the marsh-mellows accomplishes the point of just bring everyone together for that time.

Holiday Drinks: I would never leave a good drink out of a celebration. This too, is something that the kids can get involved in, apart from the adults. So, while the adults are settling in with a Jack Frost Cocktail, virgin-style or with a little alcohol. I have found some amazing recipes for a plethora of holiday/fall/winter drinks to serve at your gathering at the house between family and friend. There are also many recipes for creative ideas in composing a punch for the kids and non-alcohol drinkers. Get super creative and family and friends form a team, in which they create a recipe from scratch and share for first, second and third place prize for the best Holiday Signature Cocktail.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party: Ugly Sweater Parties and Contest are still winning. Who doesn’t own an ugly sweater that they would love to recycle and find its highest and best use, where a prize could be attached to that awful sweater your mom, dad, sister or significant other bought you many years ago. It’s probably in the box in the attic or in the garage next to the stuff you keep saying that you need to throw out, giveaway or sell to a consignment store. Which brings me to my next point: If you do not have an ugly sweater, check out the consignments stores in your area. I am positive that you will find one there. Even department stores have begun to sell them brand new, and with a mess of material that will help you bring home the ultimate prize.

Themed Dirty Santa: So, what’s the difference between a Dirty Santa Holiday party and a Themes Dirty Santa/ You said it! One is themed…. It is when going in to the party, you announce to your family and friends a decided upon theme, such as (Holiday Beauty Essentials, Things that make you Cringe, Food under $5, Bath and Body Works, A Victoria Secret Party, Gadgets and Electronics, Hats and Gloves, Socks and Scarves… etc. You get it? So, pick one or two, depending on how large your party or how many participants and go from there. When your participating guest arrive, they can draw a name from the hat and that’s whom they give their gift to. Or, have your guest pull names from a hat. Whomever name is pulled, gets to choose whichever gift from under the tree they would like. All gifts should obviously be wrapped.

Originally Posted on MomBloggersClub.com

Lifestyle, Parenting

What I Remember Most At Christmas Time

What I remember most at Christmas Time

Family: Long before we came to include Secret Santa, Dirty Santa and Ugly Christmas Sweater parties in our Holiday Tradition, we were just a family of five, who celebrated Christmas Eve together. There was no sign of a gift in sight. We believed in Santa, we tried to stay awake to catch him coming down the chimney and we even tried to sneak a peek to see who’s “really” bringing us the toys we asked for. Mom and dad carried on through the evening as if it were a regular night. And it was, if watching TV and playing games together is still a cool thing to do. However, my sisters and I would awake to find the living room floor covered with a mountain of toys. Granted there were a few there prior to going to sleep, in which we’d tear the corners open, to find out what it was. I remember waking up in awe! Like WOW! Santa really did come…. Because there was no explanation as to how my parents went out to get all this stuff in the middle of the night, wrap it without waking us up, and leave it all there without us knowing. Once you become a parent, you see just how this happens.

Friends: This is when Playing Secret Santa came into the fold, along with Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. In Middle School, High School and College as well as Post College when entering the workforce, Christmas parties were the thing to throw. Whether it was a house party where punch was on tap, or a company party where we were all required to participate in the holiday festivities (if you celebrated Christmas of course) I remember winning one year at my company Christmas party and after that, I went into high gear and awaited the next opportunity to throw on something ugly. Secret Santa and Dirty Santa was an inexpensive way for everyone to partake in the gift giving process and I have always thought that to be a wonderful inclusion at any party. Celebrating with friends and co-workers aside from family, but in addition to knowing the celebration would continue once you made it home was double and sometimes triple the pleasure!

Food/Drinks: Sneaking a taste of Eggnog! Yup. If you didn’t do it, that’s ok – it’s something I remember as a child and it was the best way for us to find out that we didn’t want to drink anymore eggnog, especially the kind with Jack Daniels in it! YUKK! My dad loves it though and it’s a Holiday Classic drink. As we got older, we learned to mix a few drinks of our own, if you know what I mean. However, still to this day, around this time I smell the spices of that Eggnog. It is a pleasant reminder that Christmas is here. It brings on the nostalgic moments of sitting around the tree, unwrapping gifts and oh, how I love to go down memory lane. While food is always in plethora during the Holidays and especially Christmas time, it has become necessary for me to remember how much weigh I will gain. Therefore, we now take the diet challenge over the summer, because we all remember the food that this time will bring!

Fun/Entertainment: Hanging the Mistletoe, Trimming the tree, decorating the house, hanging the Christmas Stockings, hanging Christmas lights…. Just a few things that I remember most at Christmas time. Not because I loved to do it, but because we had to do it. In fact, we hated hanging the lights and decorating the tree. I cannot remember when we got to the point that we absolutely wanted no parts in doing this. But my dad was serious about his decorations. He was that house on the street who had the tree and lights up the day after Thanksgiving and made it the most dreadful part for us. I am sure that at one point in our youth we loved it. I look forward to doing a tree these days, but I am not too much for the lights. Just takes too much. However, it’s something that I would take pride in doing with my own child. So, Dad…. I get it. I understand it now. Thanks to you and mom for making Christmas one of the most memorable and valued times of the year.

Originally Shared On CafeMom.com

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

When What They Meant For Bad, Turned Out For Your Good, But Now They Mad

Have you ever found yourself in a place where something tragic happened, which turned out to be something as equally good? When it happened, you were devastated on many levels and you could not get your mid around it. You couldn’t not believe the betrayal involved, the dishonesty, the manipulation, the evil and vindictive ways of someone and how their action caused you the friends that were lost, loss of employment, loss of career in which stunted your growth for a while and brought on many hindrances in moving forward in your career by staining your reputation and ultimately demolishing everything you had worked for, achieved and built. Their action caused the loss of your business connections and weakened your opportunities in the process. You couldn’t believe how something so impossible could happen to you. It was downright wrong and no reasonable explanation as to how it could have happened, was in your line of view.

You were in a place that you could not explain it to anyone, and even when you did, they didn’t believe you because it was so impossible that they could not phantom it for themselves. So, in the end, you looked as though you were making it all up. You appeared as though you were leaving something out. You were viewed as the one who was not being honest and forthcoming about all the details of what transpired. This impossible action brought on grave circumstances in which you never thought you would overcome. You were in a place where you could not see the beginning from the end. You were stuck in the middle of just existing in life. It was no way to unravel what had been done.

I bet you never looked at it as GOD’s way of cleaning house. Have you ever heard the expressions, “I asked GOD to protect me from my enemies and I started losing friends?” or “We Plan. GOD Laughs?” “When You Are Down To Nothing, GOD Is Up To Something”

Here’s an example: He got you pregnant and then decided that he didn’t want a child. So, you became a single mom overnight. You still smiled, and it bothered him that you accepted the challenge. After-which, he fought you in court to gain custody and to evade paying child support.

He told you that you would be nothing without him and his money and he added that no man would want (A woman with a kid) He dug deeper into your flesh when he said that you’ve been tarnished because you are now a single mother.

He stood on his title, stability in the workplace and financial status to solidify his claim as the better parent. He won in court.

Now, he has all the responsibilities that you had but he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t want that kind of responsibility. He especially doesn’t want the responsibility if it means more freedom for you.

He told you that he wouldn’t need child support from you if he had custody, because he has all the money- but now he’s not only begging you for child support, but he’s requesting it be raised.

He hated you and called you out for being a single mom, but now he has the burdens that he said no man would want you for; which is that he now dates a woman who has two kids of her own.

He didn’t want to pay child support, but now he see the cost of food, education, entertainment, school, clothes, medical, travel and daily expenses of having a child- but he also has the additional two kids, plus the woman, that he must do for in his new relationship. (way more than he would have paid in child support to you)

He can’t walk away from his relationship, because he used it to show that he had a “stable family at home.” Also, if he walks away or allows her to leave, he will look like a double failure and all the truths will be exposed. So, he must continue to buy/purchase her company to keep her around. He must keep her there to keep up the façade. And he hates it. (This cost money)

He dogged you for being a single mom all to find out that a relationship with a Single Mom, is all that he qualifies for, for himself. SIDEBAR: I am no rocket scientist, but its beginning to look like I am being hated because what he once told me, is happening to him. No woman wants a Single father- unless she’s a single mother herself. So now he has exactly what he criticized me about. And perhaps he has come to the realization that there aren’t many women out there who don’t have kids at our age. Perhaps he realized that those women without kids, aren’t looking for a man with baggage.

He invaded your professional spaces with slanderous statements and libelous actions that caused you to lose your place. He constantly pushed for corruption over your life, so that you would not be able to provide for yourself or your child and he won that battle. But he was not happy to see you smile through it all.

When someone wins everything that they asked for and they still are not happy with the outcome, it is because all that they took from you, was meant to paralyze your faith, steal your smile and cripple your existence. And it may have been the case for a while, but you kept smiling and believing. You found your footing and your bearings in life to do it all over again. You continued to smile and that irked the mess out of those who came to kill, steal and destroy. So, they are unhappy about your happiness and your success and most of all, your existence. Because for them, they know that you get to look at them being unhappy in a situation that was meant to bring you that kind of unhappiness.

You went on to secure a better position in the workforce. You remained grounded in faith and your prayers availed. You realized what the ultimate plan on your life was and how all of this was not in vain. You realized that vindication was not yours. You realized that there’s a reason for everything happening in your life, when all those connections and bridges were cut and burned. You begin to see the path. You went on to find happiness in a relationship with someone who loves your child. You went on to have the freedom and luxury that comes from not having the responsibility of having to look out for a child every moment of the day- While he, inherited the curse that he attempted to place on you.

He ended up with triple the hell from what he stole from you and now he’s drunken with hatred for you. He is feasting on his own insides, as he staggers and slowly fade away.

My advice to you is to remain humble. Forgive him, as you probably have which is why he has no more power over you and you have been able to keep it moving. Keep believing. Never stop smiling. Continue to move forward and trust the slow and steady process. Don’t gloat. Don’t brag. Just wait. Just watch.

Charity, Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

What You Should Be Talking About, When You Choose To Talk About People Word Of Mouth Travels Faster Than A Speeding Bullet – Make It Count

It can be awfully frustrating to learn that people you love and adore, are using their time to “talk about you” instead of to encourage, inspire, motivate and support you in ways that would not cost them a dime. All the same, when you know that if they were to use that time supporting you in the ways that you need them to, that you would be more successful. And in turn, you can do something for the greater good of humanity, by blessing others with your talents, skills, and by being able to financially provide for yourself and your family.

Personally, I think that when you are not contributing to someone’s success, you don’t have the right to talk about them at all. At least not in a negative way. I don’t drive down the street and talk about homeless people, when I have not offered them any food, or when I have yet to ask them if there’s anything that I can do for them or if there’s anything that they need. And I certainly don’t do a drive by, just to determine and make sure that they are still homeless, to satisfy myself. I do not talk about them, because I have not offered them a room in my home. While that may be an extreme example, if you consider that approach, it may ward off any negative conversations that you begin to indulge in, in the future; with regards to other people. If you are going to talk about someone, make sure that you are contributing to their success, or toward sincerely seeing to it, that they are doing well. Here are some ways to be productive on your own

When you know that someone is asking you about the statuses of another person, and they have no good intentions, except but to spread the information they get, around town, you should make it your priority to answer them with something worth sharing, such as: XYZ is trying to start a business and I think they will be tremendously successful at it, with proper guidance and support from family and friends… would you like to contribute? That will shut down all that negative-speak.

I made a mention of this once, during a time where I was filtering friends, to determine who was in the thick of it with me- versus those who were just there for the show. After-which, I found out exactly who those people were. Someone asked me why don’t I just block them. Well, here’s why: Because they are still fans, and fans deserve a seat- just not one on the front row. In other words, they are still a part of the audience. They too, inspire you to write about certain things, which may assist another person on how to tackle similar issues with people who are not there for the win.

Which leads me to the next point, which is how it is sometimes a challenge to pin articles such as this, because your real supporters must read and filter through it. They may get a bad taste, that you are even responding to such behavior. However, I do believe that many people go through this, which is why it is important to address and mention. Perhaps it does challenge growth to a degree. It encourages you to use discernment in business relationships as well as how to find ways to handle such instances, and how to move beyond the wanna be threats in your life. Dear Haters, I still want you to win

While I may “unfriend” someone in life as well as on social media, I don’t block them. I just revoke full access to front row and back stage and terminate their VIP access.

Take their seat away and give it to someone else who will applaud your performance, and offer positive reinforcement. Give the seat to someone who’s interested in being in the front row. Allow the others, to sit in the nose bleed seats. They don’t get to sit down here where the drinks and food are free-flowing and they don’t get the swag bags that are full and plentiful, when they have chosen to neglect the fact that they had full access, when they chose to go sit in nose bleed seats and talk about what they think they can see from afar. Since they act like a nose bleed seat audience, give them a seat in that section, and be done with it.

For those who run out of things to talk about, and get to the point that they feel the need to discuss the affairs of others, take the time to assess how you can be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

Example: If you know someone who blogs for a living, and their blog is monetized, meaning they are paid on views etc., then talk about that to everyone you know. You should be telling everyone that you know, that XYZ has a blog, and that they should check it out. Instead of sitting around, wondering how much money they are making and if they are making money at all. Invest in them, by sharing their business, with everyone that you know.

Example: Someone owns a dealership. Instead of talking to people about how they may not be selling any cars,** tell everyone that you know that if they are in the need for a car/motorcycle in the near or distant future, that they should consider XYZ’S business.**

Example: If someone you know is unemployed, and actively seeking full time work to support their family – instead of spreading the word about how they lost their job, share the qualities that they have and what they can/will bring to the table to any future employer.** Speak to everyone that you know who may be hiring, and speak positive things about how this unemployed person would be a great fit.**

Choose your words wisely, when you spread other people business. Word of mouth travels faster than a speeding bullet. Make your contribution count.

http://www.workingmother.com/what-you-should-be-talking-about-when-you-talk-about-people-you-know

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Here’s The Best Advice That I Can Give To A New Single Mom: It’s Not Going To Be Easy, But It Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Mommy-hood sprung on you like flowers in the springtime, after the stork dropped a bundle of joy at your door and forgot to leave the dad. Devastating, but not the end of the world.

Here’s what you should know: Being single is not a disease. Being a single mom is not a handicap. To find yourself solely responsible for the health and well-being of a child can be overwhelming, and while being a mother is a life sentence, being a single mom is not a death sentence.

ON LIFE:

There was a time long ago, when it seemed like single moms and women who had children were looked over in the dating and work stream because they were perceived as having too much baggage. Today, they are an asset. Not just as potential wives and life-partners, but as business partners and leaders. They have overcome some of life’s greatest challenges, demonstrating their relentlessness and resilience.

Single moms are proving more and more that they can run lucrative businesses from home and be as productive , working from home as someone on a 9-5. Moms and single mothers are the go to, when looking for the best deals and the latest products to hit the market. For that, they contribute to a substantial portion of brand awarene… being targeted by some of the world’s most notorious companies, who seek to reach moms. Know this: You are useful. You are resourceful. You are valuable.

ON BEING SINGLE:

Being a Single Mom is not what we strive to be. But hey, let’s face it. For some of us, our affirmation is, “I woke up like this” -Niedria

You don’t have to do it alone: This is our biggest fear. The fear of being alone in the process of raising healthy children. The fear of having no one around when we need assistance and guidance, advice, counsel and wisdom.

Utilize your immediate network of family, your friends and organizations My mother was and still is my strongest ally. When you access your immediate network, you remain in a constant state of motivation.

Extended Support: Take advantage of the extended support (available through church or community activities) and opportunities to become involved with people who will assist you in finding programs that provide resources. Even if it’s temporary assistance, don’t be afraid to use it so that you can position yourself to win.

Access local resources: Many libraries list groups where you can meet and have discussions with other moms. Attend seminars, where you can get connected with local moms, parenting groups and others alike.

Everything takes time: Trust the process. This is something that I not only tell you, but it’s something I remind myself of everyday. If you need to tell yourself, over and over, to remind yourself that it’s a process, then do it. Try not to become bogged down in the desire to achieve immediate results. That’s something that I am guilty of. Stand back and look at the whole picture, even when you feel like time is running out. Have a Plan A, B and C, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Give the appropriate amount of time and attention to each plan as you go.

ON BEING MOM: I adopted a “Mother First” mantra. Before I considered anything, I chose to take in account how it would serve my child as well. This boiled down to lifestyle choices. We all live very different lives, in which we must tailor our decis…

GET ORGANIZED: This entails making lists, setting reminders, scheduling things in advance, making appointments for the future. Use a filing system, a planner or a white board to write down important dates to remember.

Focus and Prioritize: Sharply define your center point. (Where am I now?) Start there. Then readjust where needed, for clarity of what’s most important, to properly file and address things accordingly in life.

Plan Ahead For Urgent Situations: Create an emergency list of family and friends, as well as useful numbers for emergency personnel. Place the list in an area where it can be accessed.

Preparation: Making use of free time to prepare for your day. Such as: packing items you may need before leaving home, like for a day at the park, zoo, mall, movies or anywhere else.

ON DATING:

You don’t have to tell everyone that you are single: You don’t have to take every phone number that’s offered and you certainly shouldn’t give yours out to everyone. You’d want to practice discretion in dating and be mindful of the company you keep.

You don’t have to answer all the questions as to why you’re still single: When do you plan on getting married? Don’t feel pressured. Once again, being a single mom is not synonymous with desperate. Take your time choosing a partner. Do not rush to settle. If you have learned anything from the stork who left the bundle at the door, it’s to not open the door for just anyone.

ON LOVE: Single moms have demonstrated what they can bring to the table in providing nourishm… To the mature and distinguished man, these moms are attractive, in that they are independent, responsible, successful and sexy, at the same damn time.

When and if you do find someone, you will wonder when the right time to introduce significant other to your child. This is something that only you can gauge. It’s O.K. to seek advice from close friends who truly have your best interest at heart. Sometimes it’s good to consult with friends. Just be sure that you have overcome all your objectives in the relationship, as to what you want to bring around your child. A general rule of thumb, if you can’t bring him home, leave him alone.

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