7 Simple Summer Must Haves for Every Savvy Girl

Springtime is saying goodbye quicker than it came to us this year. With that, Summertime is Bo-guarding’ it’s way into our lives faster than we can pack away the clutter.  Have you thought about how you will be spending the summer? It’s OK if you haven’t. So long as you have thought about the things you will need to get you through the Summer, it doesn’t matter what you end up doing or where you end up going. Here are my suggestions:

beach,

A great pair of sunglasses: Every Savvy girl needs a chic pair of sunglasses to protect her eyes from the sometimes-dangerous sunrays and overcast. Not to mention, accessories are a wardrobe staple and just what you need to top off that glamorous look that you will be sporting; whether its in your yoga pants while making a run to the store or headed out to brunch with the girls where you’ll be soaking up the sun from the rooftop deck or patio of some mouthwatering establishment. But listen… Some of my favorite sunglasses cost $5-$10, so you don’t have to spend upwards of that to achieve the look of a small fortune. When you keep the cost between $5-$10, you can splurge a little on a few more pair for the summer. If you are a hat person, top off this look with a nice one. Summer always has room for a Diva Hat! (Big Floppy Hat)

adults,

Sunscreen: If there were any lessons taught to me on my trip to The Bahamas, it was that the SUN did not come to play! When it says its hot outside and the sun is out, that is fair warning that you need to protect your skin. After one day in the Bahamas, I was already 3 shades redder. My face is still recovering from the sun, as I made the mistake of laying out without any coverage. It only took about 20 minutes for the burn to occur. Tanning is great, but I don’t think anyone wants to be burned. With adequate sunscreen coverage, you can accomplish your bronzing without the pain of a lingering sunburn. Not to mention, your skin will thank you years later. Pack a small bottle in your purse if you plan on doing any outdoor activities including but not limited to, the beach, the pool, the park, walking and hiking trails. Since were on the subject, don’t forget to pick up a lip balm with SPF 30 to ensure that your lips also get the coverage and moisture that they need for protection against the sun.

Red

Conditioner: Speaking of the damage that the sun can do, you will want to invest in a good hair conditioner for your hair. Whether its long and straight/wavy, short, curly or coiled or a combination of all; moisture is what it will need to keep from breaking or becoming brittle and damaged. This may vary across the board of course. The key is finding the right one for your hair type and there are several out there. I have found my fountain of luck in The TRESemmé Flawless Curls collection for Naturally Curly hair and it has worked wonders in keeping my curls hydrated! I have also used Garnier Fructis Butter Cream, which is a 3-day moisture for defined frizz resistant curls. These products lock in moisture and keep my hair safe against the sun while maintaining the look I am going for throughout the day. When consistent with using it, your hair builds up strength against the weather.

Assorted

Sandals/ flip flops: Yes! Remember that “look” I talked about. Never underestimate the power of a good walk in a comfortable pair of sandals or flip flops with a long sundress, a sleeveless jumpsuit, or romper. Every Savvy girl must have at least one pair heading into the summer. Wonderful thing about flops and sandals are that they come in many neutral colors and can be cross-worn with a majority of your summer wardrobe selections.

A lifesaver Bag: A few years ago, I proposed a blog challenge to readers called “What’s in Your Purse” The idea was to discover the things that women carry in their purse and by what’s in their purse, we could tell them what they were ready for. IE: If you had a B/C Powder, you were prepared for a hangover. It was a truly funny assignment in seeing some of the non-sense that we carry around and when faced with the question of, “Why in the HECK do we have that”, you really should have heard some of the creative stories we came up with. But anyhow, I poured out the contents of a bag that I carried and couldn’t believe the things that fell out. I was appalled at how prepared I was for the world to come to an end. LOL. JK…. But I truly was prepared. From that, I aptly began to call it “The Lifesaver Bag”

Six

This bag has come in handy on some many occasions. From being stranded in airports on long layovers, to being out late and having to stay over at a friend’s house, to last minute trips where I would not have to shop for items I already had at home. So, what exactly goes into a lifesaver bag? Whatever you need that will fit into a small bag that you can throw into the trunk of the car. I just use the largest purse I have. In it, goes the travel sized hygiene kit/fem products and travel size items that can be easily slipped into a pocket, such as: Lotion, Deodorant, B/C Powder, Tweezers, Tide Pen, Gel, Hairspray, Wipes, Body Spray, Powder, Soap, Razor, underwear and a change of clothes. Seriously, just trust me on this one. Keep it in the car always.

Trunk Kit: So, the above blog challenge didn’t stop at the “What’s in your Purse” Challenge. It extended itself to the “What’s in your trunk” Challenge. Both challenges worked the same, so without further ado: An Umbrella, Pic-Nic Blanket and a Lawn Chair were the three things that I always keep in my trunk as I never know when my child will want to stop and take 6 solid hours in the park. I must always be prepared! Perhaps you don’t have

alcohol,

A GOOD Drink: What kind of Savvy would I be if I did not mention a Summer Cool Down! This is not limited to Wine… Liquor, because I do realize that there are people who refrain from drinking. And while I am not one of them, because I take my wine red and prefer a glass or two each week; I can suggest many cold Teas and Lemonades that will keep you refreshed this summer. Don’t forget a good Alkaline water and if I had my preference for any water, it would be Essentia or Fiji. Ahhh…. Refreshing and hydrating…Now, you are ready!

Follow Niedria on Twitter and check out her blog.

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Here’s What You Need To Know If You Are Headed To The Pool or Beach this Summer

It’s that time of the year again where children are excited about getting out of school, taking a family vacation and just being away from the classroom for a while. For the adults, summer trips are being planned to the beach, water parks and community pools to escape the heat. This means neighborhood and community pools and parks are gearing up to host hundreds of children throughout these hot, summer months to aid in the cool down. There’s something you need to think about as you head off to these bodies of water: Water Safety!

People Near Sea

This includes learning how to swim. Getting your hair wet is not a good enough reason to not learn/know how to swim if you are going to be headed to pools and beaches this summer. I hate to be the one to say it, but this topic came to mind after so many years of swimming myself and learning that a lot of women and their children do not know how to swim and do not care to learn to swim due to the fear of their hair “getting wet” messing up perms, damaging their hair from the harsh chemicals that are in pools. However, everyone wants to take a dip, float around and lay out in 12 feet of water on a floating device that if accidentally tipped, they wouldn’t know what to do.

Girl Wearing Green Wet Suit Riding Inflatable Orange Life Buoy on Top of Body of Water

It’s a sensitive topic, I know. Because usually when you make mention of someone’s hair as it relates to water and the hairdo- someone is bound to talk about how much it cost to get their hair done and how they do not want to waste “all that money” at the beauty shop, just for their child or themselves to jump into the water and mess it up. I get it. I wouldn’t want to either. However, if I am going to make the choice to go to the beach or pool, where I know that I am going to get into water, there’s a chance that my hair will get wet. Knowing how to swim is important enough to my survival and safety…more so than my hair is. I am saying that even when you go and wear a cap or have your hair up with no intention on submerging your head, there’s always the possibility of going under and you still want to be able to swim your way out.

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On a trip to LEGOLAND last year, I learned with my own child that you cannot always rely on a lifeguard. Neither should you. It was my own vigilance at the pool and my ability to swim, which rescued him, as the Life-guards stood by watching and others were pre-occupied with talking to each other, distracted by their cell phones and never knew anything happened.

I don’t want to run drowning statistics on you, neither do I want to create a fear that we are never to go into the water again. But I would like to convey that it is a serious matter. While there are several people who drowned who were able to swim, it was under harsh and extreme circumstance. Most drownings were due to an inability to swim.

For the most part, children love water: They love to play in it, jump in it and often underestimate the dangers that surround water. When they see water, the first thing that want to do is run and jump in it.

Three Boy's Jumping Into the Water

Then, there are the children who are fearful of water even being splashed in their face. When I see them, I wonder to myself why are they even in the pool right now? (Unless they are in a swimming class, which I strongly encourage) The first lesson of swimming is that you are going to get your face wet. So, in getting them used to it, we would start with water splashing.  Remove those small fears and it creates an avenue for the beginner lessons to begin, such as putting your face in the water, holding your breath underwater, being comfortable with being submerged in the water…. etc.

adorable, beach, beautiful

Getting back to the hair: In a related article I offered suggestions about a great conditioner for the hair. This was an item that I personally use, but not on a selling trip… merely making the point that a good conditioner may tackle the issues of hair and pool/beach. Invest in a good coverage swim cap. Condition your hair daily, so that the parts that do get wet are safe. Sign up for a beginner’s swim class. Learn to swim.

Additionally, there are hair products such as Aqua Guard pre-swim, which act as a protect layer that you can use on the hair prior to getting into the water. There’s also a product called Ion Swimmers leave in and Surf Cream Rinse Conditioner. These products are designed for protecting the hair against the chemicals in the water. Too much hair for a swim cap? That’s cool…. Leave the cap off and explore those conditioner and pre-pool conditioner options. You can always explore the idea of braids for your child while they are learning to swim or for when your beginner swimmer heads into the water. This will help tremendously with the tangles. Tie the hair up in a tight ball while braided to decrease the number of loose hairs that would get tangled.

The Wrap Up: If we know that even the strongest swimmer can drown, we know that the possibility of drowning increases as we put non-swimmers in beaches and pools without proper training and techniques or even the basics of breathing and staying afloat. With that, it begs the question of why you would allow a child in or around any body of water when they cannot swim? Especially if you cannot swim either.

Girl Wearing Pink and Blue Floral One-piece Bikini Suit

We can tackle these numbers this year by making sure that all children take basic water safety and beginners swim class. Adults can also join in on the fun! You can still get your Friday night hairdo and skip the water for the duration of the time that your style will last but take time in those weeks where you are waiting for an appointment, to make sure that you learn to swim if the pool and beach is on your radar for summer fun.

Suggestions for Swim Class: American Red Cross, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club of America, Private Lessons int eh community and neighborhood, Community Colleges and Summer Programs. There is a plethora of options.

Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing)

Can I be honest with you? Do I have your permission to be vulnerable and transparent? Is it OK if I share something with you?

adult, blur, businesswoman

A few short weeks ago I came across a post on Facebook that one of my acquaintances posted which solicited participation from his followers and friends. The post asked that you post your age as the Chapter of your Life, (EX: 40) followed by the title of your chapter, (EX: Over the Hill). I thought to myself wow, this is going to be fun. However, after I typed in the number 40 and attempted to add a title- nothing came to mind. A deer in a headlight moment. Then a few single-word statements came to mind. None of which could be appropriated to my chapter 40, as it pertained to what I wanted it to say.

design, desk, display

I was finding it difficult to do something that I thought should be so easy for me since I have all this “self-awareness” about myself. The fact that I could not come up with a title as fast as I thought I should was nerve-racking grounds for a more solemn discussion to take precedent over the fun, Facebook activity before I could proceed. Now, I could have been over-thinking this moment and maybe I was, but it made me earnestly ponder the question of why I at a loss for words? I thought I had already reached the point of Self-Actualization, so what was the problem? Wasn’t this just an exercise that simply called for a reflection of the following questions: Where are you? Or, where are you going? And, where do you want to go? How will you resume and finish this story? I mean, seriously, this is how you write any book, right? Talk about a humbling moment!

Person Wearing Gray Long-sleeved Mini Dress in Front of Green Leaf Plant

I toggled a few more titles but still, none worthy enough to adequately described or depict what my title should be in CHAPTER 40 of my life.

I couldn’t summarize it in a Chapter title, so I bargained for answers with this approach: Niedria, do you even know where you are and what you want? What do you intend on doing at this point in life? That would be your chapter title.

I had to break it down: I began to focus in on the perfect title that would describe where I am as it related to where I have been and then consider what I want and where I want to go. (Side note: Sometimes we are so caught up in where we are trying to go and what we want, that we forget that we must acknowledge where we are first because that’s our starting point or our point of continuation) So having a complete, sound, embracive and merciful understanding of where I was, was important. Being transparent, forgiving and truthful with ourselves will open the avenue for this understanding to flow.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing where you want to go or what you want, but you must know where you are first.

I arrived at a title by telling myself to instead, first come up with a title that would speak to where I am at this moment which would address the question. In doing that, I would clarify some things for myself first. And so, I decided to use a statement to describe what I have learned, which I believe is helping me to live my best life in this present moment at 40, which provided dual-purpose in moving forward: Chapter 40: Gratitude Changes Everything (Still Standing) From where I am, all I can say is that I am grateful that I am still standing.

Woman in Blue Jeans Standing on Clear Glass

I came up with the title only because I considered where I was at 20, at 25, at 30 and at 35. (Being through a lot, but having done a lot of things) Just like any book, you want the next chapter to be an extension of the last chapter, expounding more on the story. So, you must know where you are in your book. I had to scan back over my life so that I would know for myself where I was. I am still standing. That’s where I am.

Since we are in a current and constant state of living, we know that life is an “on-GROW-ing” thing until we make our final departure. All we can do to make it better, is to make sure that we are “living” out our best life. Chapter 40 is not about one thing. It’s a culmination of things that I have learned and how I am applying gratitude, to make it my best life today in order to have fulfillment in the rest of my life.

With consideration given to where I am going, what I want and what I intend on doing; I must apply gratitude. What I have learned about gratitude and how it has and is changing things is that when we recognize the lessons and value the experiences we’ve had and are able to see the good in it all and be grateful that we were chosen for those assignments which made us stronger, better and wiser-it manipulates life by altering our mindset. This new set of lenses changes our lives as we are then able to elevate to a higher state of conscious awareness, acquiring the ability to then utilize everything we have learned and apply it to the next steps of life.

My life went from “You don’t know My Story” to “Let me tell you my story” to “This is my Story” to “I didn’t choose this story; this story chose me.” It’s only fair now that I’ve told my story, that you know that I am grateful for my story. That’s precisely what it is all about. So, I am grateful for the lessons, experiences, journeys, friends, family –and most of all, the good and bad of it all. I am grateful for those who told me no and those who said I couldn’t. I am grateful for those who supported me and were equally happy to see me prevail. That gratefulness and gratitude for those things is what enables me to eradicate mendacities spoken about me. That gratitude is what authorizes me to write the next chapter.

Woman Drinking Water Beside Mountain

Switching Gears: With that, this is what I think living your best life is: It is knowing where you stand today. Deciding where you want to go from here and what it will take. Deciding what you want, no matter if it is to live more of a healthy lifestyle, pursue a more lucrative career, go back to a more simpler life, embark on a new journey or pursuit and all around doing what makes you happy despite what anyone else thinks of it. It is taking your given set of circumstance and making the absolute best of it as you continue in life and expound into new territories IE: New Chapters. You must make sure it’s the best that you can do though. Have you done the best you can with what you are working with?

On a much broader note: Living your best life works best when you concern yourself with yourself. Be selfless when it comes to helping others but selfish when it comes to taking care of yourself. Focus on what you want, stay in your lane and take care of your business. You may not be exactly where you know and feel that you need and want to be. It doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong. You don’t have to settle in who you are today, but you can accept who you are now and still be determined to have more in your life and live more abundantly.

Sometimes we get tossed around in the wreckage of life (divorce, break-ups, lay-offs, illness etc.) where we get lost or set back. Other times, we get caught up in the wonders of the world while living the fab life (leisurely travel, marriage, children, promotions, new homes, business ventures etc.) Whatever life we were living, it’s quite possible to forget where we are at times. The need for awareness that life is still happening when those joys or heartbreaks become things of the past is a reality that we face one day when we are trying to determine where to next. To avoid feelings of displacement, a Full assessment and inventory of our life is required. If you remember that life is on-GROW-ing, you can make changes along the way that will be conducive to the lifestyle that you want.

Everything you have done and have been through (good and bad) in your life has prepared you for this moment.

Yesterday is a chapter of the past but even if it is still a part of your story, you can turn the page into something new and improved because now it’s time for the story to go on. What would be your title?

Article originally posted on SheSavvy.com and was recently selected First Place for the “Best Life” writing contest.

The Who What When Where and Why that you may want to concern yourself with

Woman Wearing Grey Jumpsuit Standing Beside Brown Metal Gate

When, Where & What:

In the spirit of being our own constant reminder that we are valuable, purposeful and destined for greatness, we must have what I refer to as a safe space. A safe place can be of physical form (a park, a body of water, your closet, a hobby) or mental form (meditation through yoga or being still) and it is a place that you retire to in any moment where you feel torn apart, broken, stagnant, confused, hurt, defeated, berated and belittled in your life. It’s a place where you go to find peace, relax, relate and release through talking out loud, thinking things through, practicing breathing techniques, being alone to recharge or rejuvenate, calm down and re-center yourself to emerge like the phoenix.

Woman Wearing Gray Short-sleeved Shirt at Daytime

Why:

The reason we must cultivate an atmosphere in our lives for such a space/place to exist is because if we rely on someone to do this for us, they may not be available for us one day. Not because they don’t want to be, but perhaps because they can’t be for one reason or another. (They are sick themselves, going through and processing their own set of issues, on a trip, extended vacation, at work, not able to talk, in their own safe place where they cannot invite the troubled of the world in while they are taking time to themselves. etc.)

While you are there, you must keep in mind the importance of your health and well-being, being the single most important thing for your survival.

Photo of Woman Holding Her Lips While Sitting

Also keep in mind that this place does not replace the need to talk to another individual who may be able to aid and offer guidance to us through our troubles, along with perspectives, advice and wisdom. It’s merely a place that we can rely on, in the absence of that individual that will sustain us. In my Christian Faith, they will say… it’s where you “have a little talk with Jesus.” This conversation transpires internally. Reach deeply within, where that seed of faith is and nourish it. This is where your confidence, safety and security rest. Bring it back to the forefront in this time and trust yourself with your life. Knowing that you can and will overcome these thoughts and situations which have tried to steal your joy and seal your fate.

Shifting Gears completely on the WHO:

Who:

We cannot allow the people who are around us to constantly tear us down, beat up down, bring us down, push us down and keep us down. Sometimes we must rise above, by cutting those people off who are wired with “fuggery” (in my Redd Foxx voice) as they have no good intentions. This is all stuff that we know but just need to speak it, hear it or be reminded of it from time to time.

You are headed in a direction where those people cannot go, so again I say THEY WILL NOT UNDERSTSAND AND YOU HAVE TO STOP EXPLAINING IT OR TRYING TO PROVE YOURSELF.

Woman Wearing Orange Pullover Hoodie Sitting on Chair's Arm

Sometimes growth is forced upon you and it requires you to move out of a place where people are keeping you down. They are not in your shoes. No one is saying that you are to walk around with delusions of grandeur, but it is ok to feel that you are moving in a direction that someone else is not equipped to go, based on the things they are doing to you. It’s ok to say that you are better than your circumstance. It is ok to say that you are not about a life where you constantly seek approval through proving yourself to the people around who don’t believe you anyway. And it’s perfectly ok to know that you are better than people who constantly live in a state of jealousy, envy, spite and malice. You are not that person and you don’t understand them just as they don’t understand you. This is what makes you “different” perhaps if not better. Its ok to have the revelation that for what you are trying to do and where you are headed does not allow for people like that.

Woman With Black-and-white Sweater With Pants Sitting on Black Leather Sofa Beside Red Painted Wall

Stop looking back:

Sometimes people reach out just to be nosey. And because we have this natural desire to stay connected or to remain “loyal” to our roots, (old friends) we reach back with a response. However, their intention is just to make sure you are not doing better than them. It’s to get an “update” on your life so that they will have something to talk about. It’s not a sincere concern to see how good you are doing and it’s not to motivate, encourage or to inspire. Toxic people reach out when they know you are doing better but they want to say something to you that will have you doubting yourself. It has nothing to do with you. They are dealing with where they are in life and because they are not happy about that, they want to bring you down. And sometimes their contacting you, is to give you an update on themselves because they need to feel sufficient. Again, nothing to do with you. It’s their insecurities.

It happens. It happened to me recently. Someone asked me a personal question. I answered it – even after answering, they took that opportune time to slide in an unsolicited assumption on what they thought the truth was and completely ignored the answer I gave because they were determined to take that jab. This tells me that they have been sitting around worrying about what I am doing and had already come to their own conclusion which was more satisfying to their state of misery. When they heard a truth different from what they presumed, because they are conditioned the way they are which is anchored in an ugly spirit; they insisted on with their assumption. This was something that they just had to get out, in order to feel better about themselves.

People will question what you do because it seems so impossible for them or it’s not possible for them from where they are standing.  This is a sign that you are entertaining the wrong group of people and when you are doing that, you cannot be living your best life.

Woman Wearing Black Sleeveless Top With Green Hardtail Bicycle at the Back

Sometimes people force on you the feeling that you should show and prove something to them and that shouldn’t be your burden. It’s not your lot in life to make miserable people happy. If someone asks you something and your answer is yes, but they say no it’s not … just say OK. If they say you are anything other than what you know you are, just say ok, walk away and cut them off. They have shown you who they are, and it is now your responsibility to take charge of what you allow and accept in your life. If they say anything at all that speaks against who you are- you absolutely must know that this is the point where you cross the bridge without them.

Why even entertain this kind of mind trash OR this trash can individual? Wish them well and keep it moving. Be selfish in your right to move through life without carrying with you those people who do not mean well.

Generally speaking, “People will second guess the truth and wouldn’t think twice about a lie” so you can not stop to address every, single thing that a person has said, heard or thought about you. Leave it alone.

Something For Moms Everywhere

I was searching for the words over the weekend to share something that I was not sure if I should even share at all. Then, the more I thought about it the more it became clear to me that I had to. Because sometimes the very thing thing we went through, are the very things that someone else is going through. This is the time that we may have a word, which may help and assist someone else who’s going through something similar, even if just by letting them know that they are not alone.

As mothers, we are often criticized when we take on careers outside of being a housewife or a stay at home mom. Sadly, this criticism comes from other women and mothers sometimes. Even more sad, it can come from people that we are close to or share a past with.

These careers may come with the requirement of travel, where you are away for up to a 2-weeks period. It may come with the requirement of attending weekly events or conferences and being out until 10 P.M. on some evenings reporting on them (if you are in journalism) It may require that you have an after-school program in place for your child to attend, as you are not able to pick him/her up from school every-day. It may require moving away altogether, when the situation is that you are a mom with a portion of responsibilities that require you to accept work out of town, to meet the terms of those responsibilities.

For some 1930’s reason, there are many people who still think that women who do not stay at home with their children or are not able to be with their children everyday are less than worthy of being called a “good mom” whether it was by their own choosing or force through minimal options available which would have otherwise allowed them to stay at home with their children all the time.

Perhaps we should examine the meaning of the phrase “good mom”

Does she love and care for her child? Does she show and tell her child that she loves him/her? Does she provide for her child? Does she show her child that she has a vested interest in his education and success? Does she teach her child right from wrong? Does she instill values in her child and build moral? Does she support her child in ways that show her child that she is devoted to his/her mental and emotional needs? Does she feed her child and make sure he/she is eating healthy? Does she clothe her child and make sure he/she is clean and groomed? Does she listen to her child? Does she engage in bonding activities with her child?

So, she does all the above, but she happens to also work.

Does her child have an age appropriate understanding of why his/her mother works and that mom must work, to continue to provide the most basic thing that he/she need for survival? IE: Food. What about shelter? She must provide that as well, right? What about the things that go into that shelter and the things that are needed to maintain that shelter, such as electricity, gas and water. What about the additional things that are needed for the child, such as Shoes and Clothes. What about all that fun stuff he/she wants to do on the weekend? IE: The Movies, The Trampoline Park, Chuck-E-Cheese?

So, again… she has done all of this and makes it clear to her child as she re-iterates the importance of her having to work. Wouldn’t you say that’s a pretty good mom? If theability to do all of these things exist, and are being done…. I’d say she’s nailing this mom thing.

So why is it that people only concern themselves with the “picture” or the “image” of a good mom only being one that is with her child every day? What does it mean when someone says that you are “not there for your child” when you are doing all the above?Sidebar -RE: Divorced Parents – Have you factored in the naked truth that when a child is assigned to live primarily with one parent, it can be relatively impossible for the other parent to physically be there every day? And that is far from saying that someone is not there for their child, when they aren’t being allowed to. I think this is something that parents, men and women, should consider, as well as those who are judging the situation.

What I think people in the world often do to one another that is so wrong, is that they make you feel forced to make them understand why you have made every decision you have made in your life. Your responsibility is not to make them understand. But if it doesn’t make sense to them or if they “think” they would have done something differently, they can’t accept it. It’s unfortunate, because the way that they deal with the inability to understand is then to criticize.

This is what I say to mothers and career women: You should not consume yourself with trying to appease everyone with an explanation about why you have chosen to live your life the way that you are living it. It’s your story for a reason and everyone will not understand that. You may be on a different path than they are. You have a separate set of circumstances. Your destiny is not the same as everyone around you, and so your journey will not be the same.

Whether you are a stay at home mom, a career mom, a mom who does it all, a recently divorcee, a mother who’s going through the most trying time in her life… don’t let anyone tell you that you are a bad mother for doing something differently from what they would have done.

1. Don’t allow people to steal your joy by making you feel guilty about the healthy decisions that you have made in your life.

2. Don’t be afraid to take that job, embark on a new career which may require travel. People are going to have something to say, regardless. (If you did not work, they would talk about that too)

3. You are not leaving your child. You are a great mother. You are a mother who is making yet another sacrifice for your child. You have demonstrated this to the one person who matters… your child.

4. Don’t set expectations high for anyone to see this. People will discourage you. They will try to break you down. They will tell you that you are wrong. They will judge you.

5. Don’t be afraid to love and be loved. Don’t feel guilty about loving or being loved. Sometimes people will not applaud this. It won’t sit well with people who are not rooting for you to love or be loved.

But for everyone that is telling you that you wrong, there are more that will tell you that you are right. Sometimes in putting your child first, you must make that move. You must cultivate a healthy life so that you are healthy for your child and so that you can consistently provide a healthy environment for him/her.

I absolutely loved the time I was able to stay at home with my child even though I was a single mother. I chose assignments that did not require me being away from him at all. I chose assignments where I could bring him along with me. I incorporated mommy-hood/parent-hood into my career. But those were the options I had at that time in my life. As your child gets older, things change. The need to change his diaper every 4 hours dies out. The need to warm his bottle, rock him to sleep, and feed him will begin to fade. As the need to do those things dissipate, the need to do more will materialize. His needs are different, so quite naturally we adjust with the times to ensure that those new needs are being met. My child is older now and in school, he’s more independent and able to speak for himself. If we are maximizing the time that we do have with our children in loving them, caring for them and supporting them, we are all good mothers. You are a GREAT MOTHER.

SOOO, I am not a good mother since my ex can’t piss me off anymore?

Warning: Excessive foul and Expressive language may be used to express excessive points. If you are sensitive and more importantly if you are a bitch ass baby daddy- you may want to exit right now. You have already been warned.

Disclaimer: I am tired as fuck of my baby daddy and his air balls at pissing me off.

Here’s the post he’s been waiting for: This is how the story went…. A fleeting time ago I was hit with the devastating news that I was losing custody of my child to his father, whom successfully gained custody after lying his Ars off in court. Lies included him saying that I did not care about my son, he did not believe that I was a good parent, a loving mother and that I had no concern for my child’s health and overall well-being. He said that I did not spend time with him and that I poked fun at the fact that he had a TIC on social media. He lied about me endangering my child. (All made up) He even went on to make these false and meritless statements, none of which were supported by any documentation, evidence or anything other than his opinion and word. Go Figure!

He had me jailed on a false accusation. He caused me a criminal record over a false accusation. Never providing proof nor evidence – and the prosecutor never heard from the witnesses but went to the grand jury with a bunch of opinions- and because that’s the way it works in Texas, they indicted me. However they ultimately dismissed the case two years later. But guess what? ITS STILL ON MY RECORD and still affects my life! The damage was done.

The sad part is that idiots of the world only see that he won the custody battle, so they believe this shit must have been true. They don’t have the details or the back story and absolutely no wherewithal to discern between truth and lies- they are lazy as fuck and would rather go off what they hear rather than to research.

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For those who know me, they knew that this was a cold-hearted…. Well, A heartless attempt at making me look bad, so that he could get the favorable outcome. All is fair in love and war, right?

He went on to say that I was unemployed, financially unstable and had not proven myself to have stability in life. He harped on his job of 10 plus years, his status as a pharmacist, his salary over 100k and his success at remaining in a home for over 10 years, (the home I left to his ass after trying to show that I wasn’t trying to take anything from him) as his means for solidifying his claims against mine. (Who knew that you couldn’t decide to move from a home to a $2000.00/month apartment and then back to a home within 10 years without being labeled as unstable? Who knew that you couldn’t take on another position with another company making more income within 10 years without being called unstable? Who knew that in Texas, if you have lived in your boring ass home for 10 years and kept the same job for 10 years it meant you were stable) That’s a memo I never got!

I stayed home to take care of my child everyday of his life and he never needed for anything. I provided love, support, affection, attention, teaching, learning opportunity and extra curricular activities- never once denying his dad the opp to be there.

While it was heartbreaking to hear someone that I had known for over 25 years could make such an accusation, especially knowing the leaps and bounds I took for my son, the sacrifices I made for my son and the passion I had for being a mother along with all the things I did for my son before daddy even decided to claim his son, and all the things I did to make sure that Mr. Deadbeat had an opportunity to be in his child’s life when and if he decided to be; I was even more devastated that it came from someone I had blessed with a son and had no hard feelings against. But when a man is scorn, my lord- he can turn into the most evil, vindictive and malicious creature you’ve ever seen. #FACTS And yes, while we are on the subject, his own pathetic mother, grandmother, family and broke ass friends can be a part of it. #CHEERLEADERS

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Now, let me add this: It didn’t help me at all with the custody case that I had written grievance after grievance against the judge and the lawyers involved with this mockery of justice during the 4 years that we were fighting – Along with sharing the story with news channels and making a documentary … A screenplay… etc., Because when it came down to the judge making his decision, opposing counsel made sure that he reminded the judge that I had written a grievance against him and the Judge who was hearing the case. This was hunting season for them. The day they’d all been waiting for had arrived. This was a no win for me. And it had nothing to do with me being a bad parent. It was finally time for them to seek revenge. My custody case was not about how bad or good of a parent I was. It was about what I had posted, written and shared on social media about the injustice that was unfolding in Harris County. And that’s documented in the transcripts of the court from that day (Feb 2017)

I told them all before entering court that I knew there was no way that I would win, when the judge making the decision was already upset about me saying that his ruffled pink socks did not match his cute little skirt. I knew that opposing counsel felt some type of way about me talking about his correction shoes (which he even brought up in court….at a damn custody hearing!!) lol. My point of going to court was to have on record all the lies that were being told, because at that point I had to start thinking ahead to all the questions my son would soon have about why he was not with his mother that he loves and adores. I wanted my son to know that I went through the fire! I wanted him to hear for himself, should he ever ask. So, I was at peace. I had to arrive at peace because this was a situation that I was not in control of and no matter how right I was, I was not going to be able to convince a judge that he shouldn’t retaliate against me when he had all the power to do so. That’s just how little men with complexes are. When you point out that they are two feet tall, it’s game on! When you point out that they should not have a seat on the bench because they cannot handle someone telling them when they are wrong, their narcissistic urge to fuck your world up comes into play. They will stop at nothing to show you that Little, Short Men who got no play in school, lives matter. Furthermore, when you have intel about their personal lives, they are on a mission to destroy you before you can destroy them. (Another story for another day)

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I said all that to say that its apparent that I had my share of lashing out as I was angry, upset, mad, disgusted, livid, pissed off, in denial about what was happening, all while seeking justice for my son and trying to make sure that he did end up with the more suitable parent. But in that time, I forgot about how little men handle insults. I forgot about how when they were in high school they were overlooked, so they took on powerful positions in their careers and work life later in life so that they could prove a point and go after every woman or good looking male athlete in defense of the not so popular crown and root for the underdog. My hand was in the lion’s mouth. I was up against insecure, little men with complexes who were pissed off that I called them out. Unfortunately for me, they were the little men who were making the decisions at the end of the day.

But here is where I tell you about how things changed. As mentioned before, I knew what the outcome would be, and I had already planned for it. That’s why when it happened, I moved on without hiccups. I had small setbacks and it bothered me of course, but when you arrive at a place where you realize being down everyday and hurt or remaining in disbelief over a situation doesn’t place you where you need to be and does nothing for the situation, you move the fuck on. You find ways to cope. You see the silver lining. You embark on new journeys and opportunities that are available to you with your new set of circumstances. And if you are smart about it, you make it work.

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But here’s what happens when you do this. You get that email message from your bitch assed baby daddy one day that states that you’re not a good mom and you don’t care about your kid, and mothers “don’t do that” (Move out of the state of texas) since you are not mad anymore about what has taken place. WTF? LOL Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t. They want you to be upset, That’s why they did what they did… long as you are upset, they are happy, but when you find happiness or ways to cope and measures to take which will help you navigate through all the pain, it eats at their soul and the only thing they can tell you is that you are not a good parent since you can only see that you don’t have to take the responsibility of the mistakes they made.. WTF. Moving out of the state all of a sudden means I don’t care about my son? Moving from a place of constant harassment and threats of going to jail, makes me a bad mom? Get over yourself. A smart mom would do just this! So that they will no longer be a target of destruction! And so that they can ensure that their child will have their mother around and not fall victim again to circumstance brought on by an angry father who can’t digest that his BM doesn’t want him.

This is what I see: I see a man who did all he could to destroy my life and instead of destroying my life, he’s slowly destroying our sons. Does that make me happy? Hell no. I am still devastated- but give me one example where being devastated fixed a situation. I’ll wait….. NONE. Action is what fixes a situation. I’m taking action- and that doesn’t include giving more crooked attorneys 100’s of 1000’s of dollars all for them to take money under the table (from opposing parties) and under represent me at the end of the day!

My action is to be there for my child in all the ways that I can. In all the ways I can be, which are all the ways I wholeheartedly want to be. It does not include giving the baby daddy any energy. My plight is not to rescue the daddy from hurt and deliver him from pain of me leaving him or showing him that he hurt me by taking my son under false accusations and playing on the court. My plight is to be the best mom possible and that includes being healthy in mind, body and spirit. If that means that I must cope with a temporary situation because of the cards that were dealt and watch from a distance because I have no other options, then that is what I will do. I will never give up on my son and I will always be here for him, wherever the chips may fall…. but what I will not do is to give my baby daddy the fuel he so desperately needs and desires in knowing that he shattered me when he took my son away just to prevent paying child support. So, my question still is WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL SO MAD?

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Is it because you thought that stating your income would piss your BM off, as if she didn’t know what it was? Is it because you thought you were the only nigga who could take care of your BM? Is it because you thought that none else would want your BM and you’ve found that not to be true? Is it because you mentioned that you are in a relationship and that was supposed to piss your BM off (? which you’re clearly not happy to be in)? Is it because the “stable home” that you are building a new life in, is the same one that you literally built a life in with your BM? Is it because you are just upset that she’s not mad anymore about the lies you told and that the universal laws of karma have proven to you that you can’t get away with murder……? How can you tell her that she’s not a good mom, just because she’s not upset over the outcome anymore? Is it because you now know what it takes to be the custodial parent and you bit off more than you could chew? You don’t get to be upset about having the sole responsibility of providing for your son, when that’s what you asked for! Man Up!

I am making moves that will guarantee my son a successful set up in life, despite the circumstance. I would like Baby daddy to know that now is the time for him to get over himself and his need for constant attention and focus on his son. I would love for him to know that he should not be concerned about what I am doing, if I am doing for my son, the things I can do. I would like for him to know that just because he doesn’t see me angry about the bull shit he pulled in court, does not make me a bad parent. Its an example of someone picking up the cards and moving on, to create a future for the child she cares more about than the feelings of her trifling baby daddy who wants so badly to see her hurting.

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In closing and in response to that ridiculous email about me not being a good mother since I am not mad over not having custody….Fuck you and the horse you rode in on… It’s not about you. It’s about the child. Stop trying to upset your child’s mother. Stop trying to piss your baby mother off. Stop trying to destroy your baby mother…. Think about your child. Yes, your child’s mother has moved on. She has found a life worth living. She has found ways to cope and she has the support to do so. If you were any kind of father, you would want this for her. You would want this for your child. If your child’s mother is still present for your child and supportive of your child’s endeavors, don’t make your life about making her so mad that she is not able to do so. Because when you do………. When you did, with that email, you showed the world what your entire intention was; Which was to make her so mad that she wouldn’t be able to do any of these things. And now you look stupid.

There’s new meaning to the expression, Once in a Blue Moon

There’s new meaning to the expression, Once in a Blue Moon. Today in Australia, Asia and parts of the United States and Eastern Europe people were able to witness the rare lunar trilogy of a Supermom, Blue Moon and a lunar eclipse which occurred simultaneously. In doing so, hopefully the thought of rare occurrences resonated, as it is scientifically stated that we would not see another like it for 19 years and for the first time in 150 years, a trilogy. How’s that for the idea of once in a blue moon or a once in a lifetime opportunity?

Here’s the part where I will take you all over the place to try to make this point. Try to follow……

How many times have you looked back and said to yourself, Dang I should have gone for it? I should have made that move, I should have taken that job, I should have latched on, to the opportunity when it came around because there’s no telling when it will happen again or if it will ever happen in this lifetime. Sure, there will be nights when the stars shine a little brighter. There will be mornings when the sun will rise a little brighter than the day before. And there will be days where you experience snow in Alabama. But you’ve seen it all before. How many times will you see that one thing that you’ve never seen before? And when will it happen again? This is where I will plant the following:

Lukens ascribed the saying to Edison [TEDL]: He borrowed two quotations to capsulize his conclusions. He quoted from Plato “let him who would move the world first move himself” and from Edison “opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls looking like hard work.”

Be on the look-out for opportunities that will set you up for success. Sometimes the benefits such as life insurance, health and medical insurance, the hours that you need, the salary that you need are not readily or immediately available. However, the opportunity to get there is, and it may only come around once in a blue moon. Know that it may not always be the full package in the beginning, with all the perks, bells and whistles that we would like. See the opportunity in the assignments. This is regarding lateral moves in your career, taking one step back to take 2 steps forward or moving from the C-Corridor where the cheese used to be and setting out on a new journey to find more cheese (a concept from the book: Who Moved My Cheese) Neither to be confused with taking 3 steps back and staying back…. That’s a different discussion. That’s accomplished through the process of discerning. You must be cognizant about which are opportunities via a minor setback, and which are truly setbacks which may result in a stay back.

The only way to know this is to know where you are. Is there any cheese in your situation? No? Then, any step could be a step in the right direction. In the book, Haw didn’t immediately stumble upon a new mountain of cheese when he decided to move either. While in the Maze, he hit dead ends and road blocks before he stumbled upon crumbs that sustained him until he found that new corridor. Whereas Hem remained in a situation where there was no cheese, hoping that the supply would replenish itself one day without him having to act.

You must be willing to relocate yourself and your mindset. Continually looking for cheese in the last place you found it; in the last job you had it; in the last career you found it and in the last opportunity and expecting it to remain there even as you see the supply dwindling, could place you in a constant state of rewind, pause, stop and repeat.

I think it really sucks that people often find themselves in positions where they have been out of work for a while, unable to find a job and with all the luxuries they are used to, whom end up taking part time jobs that don’t pay well or don’t pay what they need to sustain the livelihood that they are used to. It’s discouraging at times and it can be very depressing.

I am also in tune with the reality being that sometimes it’s impossible to consider taking a job that will cost you more than you make, to live. But I also know that there’s a such thing as in the meantime and temporary assignments. If you can keep in mind that some things are just temporary and can provide you a benefit from the opportunity to be placed in a position for greater, that’s the point.

Example: Batter up. You have been sitting on the bench for much of the game or you’ve been on the injured list and waiting for your chance to get back out there to play the game. You’re used to hitting home runs…but your game is a little off and you haven’t been your best. You can’t let fear of not hitting a homerun on your first bat take you out of the game- because here’s your once in a blue moon opportunity to show the team that you are worth keeping. If you don’t want to be benched for the rest of your life, you take your chance at bat. It may not be a homerun. The ball may have only landed inside the diamond. You didn’t reach the grass line. You didn’t knock it out the park, but it was enough to get you to first base. (opportunity) If your blessing is on 3rd base, you must know that 1st and 2nd base is a requirement. You must see that in taking your bat and getting to first base, increases your chances of getting to 3rd base more so than remaining on the bench.