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.

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I’ll Drink To That! In 2018, what are you drinking to? Reader comments encouraged. Share and Re-tweet

I’ll Drink To That! In 2018, what are you drinking to? Reader comments encouraged. Share and Re-tweet

It’s time for a little fun and reader engagement! Don’t you just love when there’s an activity that gets everyone involved! Here’s your chance to participate.

We are drinking to success in the new year, success from previous year, goals in the new year, achievements and milestones in the new year. We are drinking to dreams coming true and for blessings and a prosperous year ahead. We are celebrating by raising our glass victoriously, to what we’ve accomplished in the past as well as to what we anticipate accomplishing this year as if it’s ALREADY done. It’s an exercise about speaking things into existence or to visualize it so that you can achieve it.

It can also be what you are doing in the present moment that you have been waiting to do, in which you will drink to. You are free to be as humorous, as serious and as sarcastic as you’d like to be with this exercise. I just ask that you keep it clean and G-Rated. Keep in mind, this is something that YOU are speaking into existence, if it’s not something that has already been done or being done in the present moment. If you think about it, you probably have more to drink to that you could imagine. Whatever you’re excited about having done or doing, lets share!

It’s not about being unrealistic and forcing people to get their hopes up just to be let down, its an exercise about the power of life and death resting in the tongue. If you see it as real, then that’s what counts! If you have done it, celebrate! You must speak over yourself sometimes, be encouraged and say give yourself an applause when done. It’s an exercise about speaking positivity and light into your life, seeing dreams manifest into something real and being excited about what you have done.

Take it a step further if you like and play this game while you’re entertaining guest at your home or while you’re out with your friends this weekend. Go around in a circle and rattle off things you would drink to. See how long the game goes on.

So, pull out your wine, whiskey, cognac, coolers, beer or sparkling grape juice. Below are a few responses I received already. This is what we are drinking to!

Just closed on my Dream home – I’ll drink to that

Just opened a homeless shelter – I’ll drink to that

Passes my Physical Exam – I’ll drink to that

Just refinanced my house- I’ll drink to that

My son just passed 11th grade – I’ll drink to that

My son got a job – I’ll drink to that

I am in great health – I’ll drink to that

Just completed budget for 2018 donations to various Charities – I’ll drink to that

My clothing line is in several stores across the country – I’ll drink to that

He liked it and he put a ring on it – I’ll drink to that

I was able to give to those in need – I’ll drink to that

My business is a total and complete success – I’ll drink to that

My largest Bill is paid off – I’ll drink to that

You’re not paying me what I am worth, Bye – I’ll drink to that

My credit card % usage is less than 30% – I’ll drink to that

Confirmed my trip to London – I’ll drink to that

Just furnished my new home – I’ll drink to that

Started a new job who pays me well – I’ll drink to that

My blog just went viral – I’ll drink to that

I’ve been asked to be an Ambassador for the ABFF – I’ll drink to that

I just got a phenomenal raise – I’ll drink to that

Just got invited to Turks Island – all expense paid – I’ll drink to that

Just made my first million – I’ll drink to that

The judge awarded me custody – I’ll drink to that

Headed to Dubai with my son – I’ll drink to that

Getting married in Monaco – I’ll drink to that

Just got married – I’ll drink to that

Just sold a house – I’ll drink to that

You must pay me alimony – I’ll drink to that

Pay my momma Bills, I go no time to chill – I’ll drink to that

My son made the A- Honor-Roll – I’ll drink to that

My son just got a full scholarship – I’ll drink to that

Won my lawsuit – I’ll drink to that

Paid off my school loans – I’ll drink to that

He finally paid his child support – I’ll drink to that

Lionsgate just requested my manuscript – I’ll drink to that

My Move across country was the best move I made – I’ll drink to that

My son is the teacher’s favorite – I’ll drink to that

Debt Free for the first time – I’ll drink to that

Hit the lottery – I’ll drink to that

My son just wrote a book – I’ll drink to that

Got Master’s Degree, finally at 62 years old – I’ll drink to that

My mom is looking stunning, standing next to the ride I just sent her – I’ll drink to that

The Battle Is Over – I’ll drink to that

My son gives a dam – I’ll drink to that

My son doesn’t get in trouble in school anymore – I’ll drink to that

My sex life is revived with my husband – I’ll drink to that

I am on the Best-Selling Author list – I’ll drink to that

I completed another book – I’ll drink to that

My screenplay just hit it big – I’ll drink to that

I have a sex life – I’ll drink to that

He made a promise and he kept it – I’ll drink to that

I said yes – I’ll drink to that

My health is renewed – I’ll drink to that

Cancun is looking lovely from where I am sitting – I’ll drink to that

I paid all my back taxes and got rid of the IRS – I’ll drink to that

The IRS got hacked, all records lost – I’ll drink to that

Headed to the Netherlands with my son – I’ll drink to that

My son has his own side quarters in our new house – I’ll drink to that

New Home construction finally complete – I’ll drink to that

5 Things to Get Excited About In 2018:

5 Things to Get Excited About In 2018: Out with the old and in with the new. Though the expression has been heard before, it’s a timeless statement to apply to life. Especially when you arrive at the conclusion that there is a need for change. Change occurs when we make any alterations to what currently exist. That change can be subtle or dramatic. Those changes can have an impact on eating and dieting habits, life adventures and activities we set out to take part in, and it can also manifest in the measures that we take in simply doing things that make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. So here are 5 things to get excited about in 2018

Eating Well: When it comes to eating well, the results can be different across the board. It’s important to keep in mind that the things we eat and take into our bodies can greatly affect our health and the way we feel.

Spending more time doing the things we love: This is when you must carve out the time. Doing things, we love to do often takes a back seat to the things we have to do. But if you take a closer look at your schedule, prioritize, close in the gaps and tighten up the schedule, you may find that you do have an hour or two to spare for the things you love to do.  It can create impact your quality of life when you treat yourself to something you love, at least once a week. Better planning may set the tone for this to occur.

Being involved in community activities: When and if you have the time, and depending on how much is already on your plate, there is always a community endeavor underway. Every community has room for improvement. If you are looking for something to do that will be fulfilling to your daily life routine and you want to be more productive in life, explore where your efforts are greatly needed in the community.

Exercise: Coupling your dieting with eating well and exercise produces the best results. Find a regiment that works and stick with it. Solicit the advice from trainers and nutritionist to find the best way to go about achieving desirable results from where you stand in body size, weight and health conditions.

Re-direct Energy: You have found out what works and what doesn’t work. Now it’s time for application. Apply your energy to the things that work and focus on making it better. You are now able to see where time was wasted, energy and emotion was wasted doing things in the past or last year. Cut those things off and take that same energy and put it toward something else that you need to do.

Regardless of what new thing you do this year or whatever you decide not to do anymore, it’s a change to the routine. Sometimes that change is the catalyst for better living. Each day, we should strive to live happier and healthier. Start with one thing at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. There are no losers in this exercise. Pick out one thing you want to do that will increase your chances of overall happiness and go for it. If you are doing everything that you want to do already and are living a fulfilling life, then show someone else how to do it. Help them achieve this kind of satisfaction in a life well-deserved. Happy New Year.

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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.

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

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

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