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.

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

How Your Unsolicited Public Relations Role Can Have Negative Impact In Your Child’s Life

My son will be turning 7-years old in December. I am guilty of looking at him sometimes and only seeing my precious little toddler who needs his mother to hold his hand in everything he does. I cringe when he swings too high on the swing set, for fear of him falling. My heart beats a bit faster when he charges across the Monkey Bars, what if he misses a step? What if he scrapes his knee? What if he bumps his head? What if he knocks his teeth out? In the past I have been known to run to him, attempting to prevent the inevitable. Sometimes I’d run when there was no possibility of an accident, because I could always ‘imagine’ a possibility. Think about the term imagine for a moment, I will come back to that.

My beautiful baby boy is growing up. He does not need me to step in and catch him from falling on the playground turf made of rubber mulch.

What am I teaching the other kids about my child when I do this? I am teaching them that my son is dependent on me. What I am doing can quite possibly in his eyes be interpreted as showing all his peers that he needs his mommy, he can’t do it without his mommy, he needs mom to hold his hand, he’s incapable of doing this and he will likely fall because he’s not skilled.

He then appears disabled or even crippled and somewhat impaired. When the truth is, he crosses the monkey bars better than I do. He has more energy and resilience than I do. He’s a beast on the obstacle course. No one gets to see this if I am there showing/telling/suggesting to people that he needs me to do it. I also steal away the moment for myself to see what he’s capable of doing, so long as I am standing in his way.

When I watched my son take on the monkey bars one day I was in total and complete awe! I didn’t even know he could. I was happy to have caught it all on a video. More so, I was proud that he was not only great at it, but that he was showing the other kids how to do it.

If you are standing too close to your child and watching their every move, you won’t know what they can do. Even if you have doubt, you don’t have to tell the entire world. Because when you do, you shape and mold the perception that everyone begins to have about your child. And then you end up putting something in their lap to overcome or prove, which they didn’t ask for.

For Example: What if I am out there on the playground watching my son while having small talk with the other parents and I am saying things like, “Oh my child is so clumsy… Oh I must watch him, He’s a dare devil. I have to keep my eyes on him, because he might fall.” Do you see how that translates into a perception that someone may gather about my child? It would speak volumes about my lack of confidence in my son.

There have been times where my child has missed the step while I was standing back, after-which I watched him get up and continue as if nothing ever happened. But when he notices that I see him and that I am hurt or uneasy- it affects him. He is hesitant to try new things or to be as daring- because he’s worried about me. So, I am inadvertently teaching him not to be a risk taker and I am showing him that I don’t believe in him. I think he will get hurt. I think he can’t do it. I am lessening his self-confidence. I watched him take off on a scooter one day and because it was a wobbly start, I panicked and screamed, “jump off, get off, let it go.” He let it go alright. And he fell on the ground only because I caused him to panic, when all the while he had it. He refused to get back on. So, all his courage to give this scooter a try and to keep holding onto it even while it was wobbly, I had completely crushed. Lesson: Have a little faith in your children. Or at least, have the faith in them that they will do it, like you have faith in all the people you talk to about your child when you think telling them something about your child will be safe with them and that they possess a skill to help your child. Have that same faith and trust in your child.

In the same Breath: It thinks it’s fair to say that by nature, moms will always possess the innate desire to think, speak and act on behalf of our children when it comes to protecting them But it can go left if we don’t stop and think it through

Parents: As parents we sometimes take it upon ourselves to not only speak on behalf of our children, but we speak about our children. We don’t realize that we should be mindful about the energy we are entertaining. We need to be mindful of what we are putting into the atmosphere about our children.

(Adult Children/Parents) Sometimes parents without all intentional purpose of putting their child in a bad light, take on the role of Public Relations without note given to whom they are sharing intimate details, private affairs and personal information about their child. At the same time, because they feel comfortable with the people they are sharing the what’s-what with, they speak very passively about their children. For example: The parents friend may ask, “So what’s Amanda up to these days?” The parent may reply, “Same old Same old, she’s going to get it together soon” following with a smirk, a laugh, maybe even a shake of the head. Seems innocent, right? Especially since they are speaking to a friend and they didn’t exactly dog the child out. And while saying “they will get it together soon” could mean that you’re hopeful and that you are co-signing the fact that they are moving in the right direction, you are also implying that they “don’t have it together.”

So now, your child’s reputation precedes them before they have an opportunity to carve out one of their own. They are viewed as the child who doesn’t have it together.

I know parents who’s children are having a hard time, but you still won’t hear that parent saying anything negative about them or in any way putting them in a bad light regarding the way people see them. It clearly shows that you can keep your child lifted in the eyes of others until your child “gets it together” so that in the process their reputation is not tarnished. And so that in the meantime, people aren’t discounting their abilities or reducing them to the child that doesn’t have it together. This way, when they do get it together they have a fair attempt at doing something right. They have a vote of confidence from their peers.

However, when they walk around feeling plagued by an impression that their own parent has shaped for them, they feel hopeless and giving up seems easier because no one can unhear all the things that they have “heard” from the parent, since people view a parent’s opinion of their child as law. IE: If their own mother said it, it must be true.

Furthermore: It’s even more damaging when the parent speaks off assumptions. Meaning the information is not even true-or it’s information created by the parents who are entertaining their own thoughts. “Imagine” Because parents always imagine the possibilities.

When you assume that the child must be hurt from the fall they took earlier, because they are walking slow- you call 911, create a scene, the paramedic arrives only to determine that the child was just dehydrated, and it had nothing to do with a fall. Something you could have determined before creating a scene if you bothered to ask or even notice that the child hasn’t had anything to drink or eat all day.

Parents sometimes speak about problems that don’t exist. In turn it creates one more issue for the child. Overall what ends up happening is the child is walking around not even knowing what has been said about them. People will move a certain way, based on the information that they have. All the while, the child knows nothing.

There is a scientific notion: Formally stated, Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.

Picture this: You walk into a room very excited and you can’t wait to see everyone. You have eaten a great breakfast and last night you had the time of your life. Once you get into the room, you’re being the social butterfly that you’ve always been, and you make your way around the room to hug everyone and share your contagious smile. However, people are giving you half hugs and side eyes and you soon realize that they are also whispering something about you.

You cannot tell me that this would not influence how you then react. Suddenly your fun-loving spirit withdraws, you are deflated, and you begin to wonder what the hell so going on. In some cases, no one in the room will believe that your smile is real, due to the information that they have about you. In some cases, no one on the room will want to be around you because of the information they have. And because they haven’t had the opportunity to get to know this child outside of what they have been told, that’s the authentic impression that they have. So, they are looking for that type of behavior and when they don’t see it- they don’t end up saying, “oh momma must have lied- this child is awesome.” Instead, they say, this child must be putting on a show.

Last Thing:I have a home girl who had her adult daughter living with her while she was transitioning from job to job, finding her place in the workforce. My homegirls’ daughter stayed with her for about 7 years. All I knew at the time was that her 29-year old daughter was living with her. I never knew the girl was unemployed and I never knew she was struggling to find a job. While I could assume, those assumptions were never confirmed from her mother. That’s because her mother was careful about the information she shared about her daughter. She was mindful about the impression she would give anyone about her adult daughter living with her.

When her child did find a job, it was an awesome job. The best part about it is that I didn’t look at the situation as, wow you got a job? (as if you were incapable of working or finding a job or being worthy of anyone hiring you) My understanding of who her daughter was and my perception of her abilities and quantities were never warped by anything her mom said. My perception of her was that she was always capable of securing such an awesome job, because her Mother never made her feel like she was less than what she was.

In my opinion and experience with this close friend, she never shared with the world the information that she had pieced together from possibilities in her own mind that came to exist about what her daughter could have, may have been thinking or going through and she never tainted it with her own diagnosis.

I have had to put many things into perspective about the details of my child’s life that I too, have shared.While I think it’s my story because I am witnessing it along with him, I have been unintentionally reckless about how it may be viewed later in his life. So, I get it. And once you know better, you do better. I have learned to stand on the sidelines while my son is at play. When and if he falls, he will let me know if it’s bad enough. That’s when the momma-bear comes out. Other than that, he got this!

Article Originally published on Mom Bloggers Club

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

A Realistic Concern Of A Single Mom Raising a Child Alone

I remember walking into Quest Diagnostics in October of 2010. First thing I noticed was a baby cuddled between a blanket in a car seat, nestled next to a woman. I had no idea who she was because the baby was so young and the only perception I had of someone who’d just given birth, was that she’d be in the hospital for several weeks. So, surely it was not the mother. But who else?

Because I’ve never met a stranger, a trait I inherited from my dad, I began to ask questions. How old is he? 4 days. Is that your baby? How ignorant of me, as I reminisce about how this conversation transpired. “Yes” the lady answered.

I was 7 months at the time. Small chat kept me occupied as I waited in the lobby alongside this lady, that I’d come to know as Danielle. A single mom, who’d given birth naturally, with the help of a doula. Her child, Kingston.

I talk a great deal about forming bonds with other mothers and networks as well as extended support through family and friends. So, I figured it was necessary to tell you about this one that I formed back in 2010. We exchanged numbers and the rest was history. We are still friends to this day and our sons have formed a bond as well. (when they are not fighting like siblings) laughs*

Danielle recently posted a status on Facebook, which caught my attention. It caused me to think about the realistic concerns that we have as single mothers. I have spoken before about the importance of having an emergency contact list, and a POC in cases of emergencies. Danielle’s post was one of those cases where the emergency contact list would come into place. It puts into perspective, what it is like sometimes, to be a single mother.

“When you almost choke on a strawberry and realize your emergency contact most of the time is your 7-year-old son, then you gotta go over “if mommy passes out and she is not playing” drills…You get a true sense of what partnership is. Get hopeful for what you want partnership to be. Get anxious about if you’ll live long enough for your child to survive on his own? Have I taught him enough? Does he know how much I love him? All this crossed my mind in a matter of seconds.” (Danielle) 

After reading this post, I immediately thought back to a time when my son was only a few months old and we lived alone in a Townhome. One night, while I lay asleep upstairs with him next to me, I was awakened by the sound of what I thought to be someone breaking in. I jumped from the bed, pressed my ear against the closed bedroom door to confirm the sound. I did not have a landline in the home and my cell phone… who knows? Why didn’t I call the police? Not sure, as all of this happened in a matter of seconds.

My son was waking up and beginning to cry. He was a colic baby, so I was worried that whomever was in the house, was about to come right to us. I had to think fast. I knew I could not remain in that room and wait for tragedy to strike the both of us. I picked my son up from the bed, wrapped him in a blanket and placed him in a large plastic storage tote that was next to the bed. I placed my index finger over my lips, signaling to him, please be quiet. We locked eyes almost as if we had an understanding. He didn’t make one sound. I partially covered the container, leaving more than enough open for him to breath and see light.

My heart was thumping out of my chest. I grabbed my firearm and proceeded to the bedroom door. I opened it and drew my weapon, ready to shoot to kill whatever was on the other side. No one was there. I walked to the adjacent bedroom. Nothing. Body shaking, I made my way down the stairs. Afraid for my life, I screamed out a warning. I wanted the burglar to know that I had a gun, in hopes that he/she/they would flee. Nothing. Now I am standing in the downstairs living room, where I have full view of the whole downstairs. Nothing and no one was there. I did a thorough check of the house and went back upstairs. I uncovered the tote and there he was just lying there being silent. I picked up my son and just cried.

In telling the story, it seems as if all of this took place over several minutes. However, it didn’t. Everything happened quickly and there was no time to think of a solid plan or to rationalize with thoughts. I had a small townhome and perhaps I thought the odds were in my favor to face the danger, rather than wait on a cop to show up.

After all of this happened, I couldn’t help but to think about the fact that there was no safety plan in place. There was no escape route. There was no plan of action.

Now that our boys are older, she and I have had to somewhat rely on them to be able to act on knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. Being single mothers, this often-times is the case, especially when there is no family around. I have done mock demonstrations with Cornelius, where we’ve staged a 911 phone call on what information he would need to be able to give to the operator.

I have also implemented an exit route that no one knows about but the two of us, where I had to find creative ways for him to know that it should be kept between the two of us. I have posted emergency numbers around the house, and without terrifying him, I routinely go through a safety check, where I have him demonstrate to me that he knows what to do.

Originally Published on CafeMom.Com

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Teachers Spill The Tea on What It’s Like Dealing With Divorced Parents, and it could use a little more tea

During the summer, while catching up on some old movies that had slipped through the crack in years past, I gathered with career moms to watch a few movies that we could somewhat relate to, while catching some gut-busting laughter and a break from work. As we met, we exchanged dynamic stories of the inner dealings of co-parenting our children. We also shared our anxieties over school beginning, taking on larger than life responsibilities in our careers; where new beginnings were concerned, as well as moves we would have to make, exploring family dynamics, and how to find blends and balances. While a few of us are still dealing with unwilling parents, there were others who have evolved into a place where they have been able to work together, in providing a nurturing environment between homes. Even when it’s a one-sided operation, we keep reaching to find solutions and ways to create a more cohesive relationship, in the name of our children.

In sharing stories as such, you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your plight to raise your children. You find comfort in laughing about things of the past. You also find that you have so much in common. While we all had different stories, there was one denominator in which we all seem to share, with reference to the anxiety of our kids/kid going back to school. It was how the teachers usually handle divorced parents, when it came to access and information.

The kids have been back in school for at least two weeks in some areas, whereas other schools that weren’t closed or affected by closures, due to weather related concerns, began a little over a month ago. Curriculum is underway, as students, teachers, counselors and advisors are getting adjusted to the early morning commute, the back-to-school routine, dismissals and parent-teacher conferences. We thought it would be a great idea to gather teacher perspectives, on what they face from the inside; to either solidify our feeling and claim, or to put it to rest.

Among other things that teachers and school administrators dread, dealing with parents of divorced kids was one. The teachers say that they are often caught in the middle of the mess a lot of times and do not know what to do, which is probably the reason that the other parent feels slighted. While they are advised by superiors, on how to handle situations, it gets sticky when they have formed relationships with one parent, instead of both parents. BOOM! Just what we thought. They went on to say, the hearsay from one parent, regarding the other parent, has influenced them on how they deal with the other parent, and has put them in the cross-fire on many occasions. Here’s more on what they had to say:

In general-In joint or full custody, when moms are the primary: When it comes to dealing with divorced parents, moms major concern was that NO ONE is to pick up child without moms’ consent – no early or random dismissals from school, without her being notified, even if it was dad. School administrators agreed with this as a valid concern for safety*. Dad is permitted to have all the access to the school as she does. Mom wants Dad is to be informed about all things related to child, should he request information. Dad is to be included on the list of immediate emergency contact. Dad should be included on email advisories about events, projects, assignments and all things related to the child/school. However, some moms scoff or rolls eyes, at the sound of dads’ name and throws shade, when having conversations with the teacher. Makes it awkward and uncomfortable for teachers. Moms were described as mom Nazi’s by some teachers account, and the teachers felt as though it was an overcompensation for being a single-parent.

In general-In joint or full custody, when dads are the primary: Dad usually have classify the mother as a “crazy baby-momma”, when addressing teachers. More than half of these Teachers/Administrators said that the dads are the hardest to deal with, being that they use power and influence to make uncompromising request such as: Do not allow mom to visit, do not allow mom access to info regarding grades, teacher curriculum, behavior growth and progress of child; their request seemed more vindictive and spiteful, rather than a true and genuine concern for the child. Their request was reflective of a parent who wanted to deliberately leave the other parent out of activities.

While dads painted a picture of a bad mom, some teachers can read between those lines, to see that it’s not that mom is absent of her child’s affairs, but that she is being maliciously left out, for dad to bring this paining to life. For instance: If mom doesn’t know about curriculum night at the school, because she has not been informed by the school or dad, she is a no-show. Dad express care and concern for the child, but their hatred toward the mother makes teachers uncomfortable*.

About this survey: (conducted in Harris County, Texas/Cy-Fair ISD) -Interviewed 20 teachers / 4 principles / 4 schools-(16 female teachers / 4 male teachers: athletic instructors) (18 teachers whom are married/2 divorced) Grades K-5Questions asked: 1. Is it harder to deal with moms or dads and why? Provide examples. 2. What is mom/dad major concern, with respect to the child? 3. Does the opinion of one parent about the other parent influence you on how to deal with the other parent? 4. How does it make you feel, when one parent puts you in an uncompromising situation? 5. Does either parent influence you to take sides, by with gifts for the school/class or fundraising?

Statement from the Principles: It is our overall concern to teach children while they are in our care, and make sure that they are in a safe environment, conducive to learning and teaching. While it is extremely necessary in sensitive situations, regarding the child, for us to know pertinent information, when it comes to enforcing our policies on safety of the children; it is not necessary to know that one or both parents had a troubled marriage, and that they have a grave dislike for one another. It creates a hostile situation for all, when parents discourage administrators from having a parent-teacher relationship with the other parent. We would like to keep both parents involved, when it comes to the child that they share. We hope that parents will come to agree, that this is what’s best for the child.”

http://www.workingmother.com/teachers-spill-tea-on-what-its-like-dealing-with-divorced-parents

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Dad, Are You and My Mom Going to Get Married Again? A Child’s Plea To Do Things Together With His Parents

Dad, are you and my mom going to get married again? A child’s plea to do things together with his parents

I can tell you off the top that I do not have the solution for this. My question to everyone else is, how do you address these questions? I was not prepared and I don’t know how to get prepared. I was prepared for all the other questions that I knew he would ask someday and I think I knocked those out of the park.

Kid, Children, Baby, Kiddie, Summer, Join, Barn, Dirty

As I’m about to drive away, after I had just picked up my son for the weekend, I was excited about the time we were about to have. I looked back and noticed that he was getting teary eyed, and his face was that of one holding back the tears. Confused, I told him that is was perfectly OK if he wanted to roll the window down to say bye to his dad.  

“Why are you sad?” I asked. “Because my dad looks sad. I want my dad to come too. I want to be with both of y’all at the same time.” he responded. My son had expressed this on several occasions before, when he asked me if I could come with him to his dad’s house. He’s cried several times upon being dropped back off at his dad’s house, because he wanted me to come too.

basket, blur, boy

Deep Breath** He took me up on my offer to roll the window down to say good-bye to his dad. However, he didn’t just say good-bye. He asked, “Dad, can you and my mom get married again because I want to be with both of yall?” My head fell… Not sure what his dad said. I began to back away.

Only recently, had my son began to ask me about us getting married again. Almost as if he’d been searching for a resolution and rested on this being the only answer to how we can all be together.

Never did I think he’d ask his dad or me, right there in the presence of one another, if we would get married again so that he can be with both of us, at the same time.

Car, Toy, Childhood, Child, Boy, Fun, Kid, Vehicle

I knew that it would not be much longer before I would have to ditch the kiddy talk and address the conversation head on. But is this considered something age-appropriate to discuss? He’s only 6. Well, he will be 7- years old in December. He’s a pretty quick-witted, smart and intelligent kid. I recognize that he is a lot more insightful about what is and has been going on. I knew he’d have questions, but not this one.

I did not think his request would be that his dad re-marries his mom. (Internal thoughts: Does he see this as the only possibility for us to do things together? Poor baby, this is his perception) Perhaps he doesn’t know that we can do things together and we don’t have to be married? But how can I drive that point, when we haven’t made it happen? (More internal thoughts) Do I just say to him that we are waiting on his dad to be comfortable with having me in the same room with his girlfriend? No, I can’t say that. Do I say that mommy has been trying to do this for years, but dad is afraid to bring us all together, for some reason? Nope, I definitely can’t say that. I cannot tell my son that it’s his dad that is standing in the way of this happening.

Doll, Clown, Sad, Bank, Sit, Colorful, Sweet, Funny

As I am driving away, looking at my sons’ face, I felt awful! “Your dad can come if he wants to.” I said. Besides, we were just headed for a quick bite to eat at that moment. I stopped when I got to the corner. I asked, “What do you want me to do? Should I invite dad to lunch with us?” He said, “Yes.” My son told me that I would have to be the one to ask, because dad would listen to me. (My inside jokester said, oh boy… you have no idea… no he won’t) But, I escaped from that being my response and I just did the dirty work.

Dialing*** He answered the phone, “What’s up, what do you need?” to which I replied, “Hi. Deon wants to know if you would like to grab lunch with us.” He explained that he had some other appointments and things he needed to do. He thanked me for the invite and that was it. I hung up the phone and my son asked, “Does he really have something to do or is he just saying that?” Geez! I am slapping my forehead at this point. All these questions. LOL.

All I could think to say was, “Well, what would we do with (xyz) dad’s girlfriend? My son responds, “IonKno” followed by a, ‘least of my concern, shoulder Scruggs and facial expression’. I thought that if I threw her into the mix, (reminding my son that xyz may get hurt and he shouldn’t want to hurt her because he already told me he likes her) that my son would consider the fact that his dad has a girlfriend that we all like. (Internal thought: My son told me one day that he was afraid to tell me that he liked xyz, because he did not want to hurt my feelings. Little did he know, but I assured him, this was music to my ears because it was all I was worried about) Man, I wish they knew how much this meant to him.

Little Boy, Child, Son, Play, Outdoors, Toys, Cars

But then I thought that if I used her, it would make it seem as if there was a possibility of his dad and I being together if xyz didn’t exist. And that’s not the case, so I tried to fix it. So, I asked, “Well what will mommy do with her fiancé?” Oops… had to take that back too, because again it sounds like if mommy was not in a relationship, that there was a possibility. Altogether, I didn’t want my son to become hopeful about there ever being a possibility. (Because doesn’t he need to know that there’s no possibility?) Or do I just address and work on the problem that he is having, which is trying to get us in the same room to do things together? Because if I fix that, wouldn’t he stop asking us to get remarried? – Stop me when I start over-thinking this!

Image result for BLENDED FAMILY

I didn’t want my son to think that the reason that his dad and I were not together, was due to us being committed to other people. Because that’s not the reason. And for all I know, if he thought this, he could begin to resent our partners if he thought they were the reasons for his biological parents not being together. (Furthermore, he doesn’t need to know the real reason we are not together, right?)

Bottom line is this. I want my son to know that his dad and I do not have to be married for us all to do things together. But I am not able to show him this, as I am restricted. I want him to know that we can do things together with both individuals that we are involved with. I want him to know this so that he can abandon the idea of us ever getting married again, with ease.

Image result for KIMORA RUSSELL BLENDED FAMILY

I’d be remiss not to say that I notice when my son is happiest and it’s when he sees that his dad and I are in one place at one time, with him. Such as during his Baseball games. I want my son to be happy. With that in mind, there’s always a thought in my head about when the time will come that everyone will be able to blend.

I want my child’s underlying request to be granted, which is for us to have a cohesive relationship where we can have positive interactions as parents, in the presence of my son. I want to blend our families and have the luxury of them joining us for dinner or lunch, so that my son can know and feel that we are all part of one team. 

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

Image result for clifbar

CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel

5 Ways My Life Has Changed, Since My Son Has Been Living With His Dad: The Pros And The Cons

  1. My schedule is random unless my is visiting on the weekend. When he’s home with me, I provide the stability and the structure as well as discipline that he needs, by following a schedule to keep him on track with bed time, dinner, breakfast, play time, reading etc. It was a schedule that I implemented for him long before he was living with his dad. Now that he’s gone, I sleep in, I eat out, I cook less, and I eat whenever and whatever I want. I take longer naps, make runs to the store at any time throughout the day, no matter how late. I can travel more if I’d like to and not worrying about who would take him to school and pick him up, or even the fact that he would have to miss school. I can take last minute media assignments, make last minute plans, and spare of the moment trips out of town/ in town or even out of the country. Overall, I have free time to pursue many endeavors.
  2. Anxiety: For a while, I had my anxiety under control. I did not experience anxiety on this level at all, prior to having a child. It was not until my child was taken from me, over an accusation, proven to be false; which left me in such a helpless and anxious place. It was because I could not help my child. I could not do anything to give him what he asked for, which was to stay with me. That is when I began to experience anxiety again. The decision on who he would live with, did not rest in my authority. It was not in my hands and no one asked my son where he wanted to be. The reason the anxiety heightened and escalated to the place where I am today, is because over the last 4-years, I became aware of things that were taking place, when my son was not in my care and after hearing so many things, it caused my anxieties to soar through the roof. While most of this, is a thing of the past, it was traumatic for me, and I still live with it, constantly finding ways to cope; reposing in the assurance that everything happens for a reason, and I have seen some of the advantages and blessings come out of it all.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

  1. Parks will never be the same: One of my son and I favorite pastime was to go to the park. We discovered just about every park there was, in the city. We settled on two, to call own, which were closest to the house. I spent many flex-days there with him and while he would play, I caught a spot under the tree. Today, it’s hard to drive by those parks. It’s hard to sit in those parks, work out, run around or walk around those trails. It’s a real challenge to be there, if other children are there. I have been in a place, where I couldn’t watch the other kids play, without breaking down. Though I am getting better with regards to seeing other children, I have yet to overcome the anxieties of going to those parks without my Bambino. When I do have him, we still make the most of our time. I found another park to create memories at, until the time comes…
  2. Insomnia: In other words, I cannot sleep at night…. Literally. (due to the anxiety) At times, I have been up 48 hours straight. That had a lot to do with the anxieties as well. Constantly worrying about where my kid was, who he was with and if he was OK. I had been fed some things by the Amicus on our case, in which she thought to be disturbing. Naturally, it disturbed me at that point as well. For 4 years of constantly hearing more and more, I was finding that my nights were getting longer and longer. Time passed like molasses. I would lay down with every intention of sleeping, but couldn’t make it happen. Still, to this very day, I have nightmares, terrible dreams that wake me from my sleep, where I fall to the floor and pray that my child is OK. He may be doing terrific! And that’s what I hope, but until I can get over the thought of anything happening to him, I will be woke.
  1. I have more Me Time: Me time has showed to be my best friend. It’s A time to get back to me, and focus on improvement. There’s always room for improvement, right? And since I do have severe anxiety and insomnia, it gives me the opportunity to work on getting myself back to a place, where I am rested, refreshed and refined. It allows me the time I need to “talk” about why I can sleep, why I have so much anxiety, why I stopped traveling as much, why I don’t leave the house as much, why I can’t sit in the park and watch other children play, or why I cannot do anything about what has transpired, but that I can find ways to cope with it. Me Time, gives me the space and time I need to do my make up again, do my hair again, celebrate myself again, in all that I do. Me Time helps me get back to the business of this empire and to pamper myself, heart, mind, body and soul. Me Time has encouraged me to get out of the house and to get active in the world again.

Article Originally posted Here, On Working Mother