Pre-Mother’s Day

The week is in full swing and Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. I’m always excited to see what the hubs and kids will do, although they really don’t have to do or get me anything. Nonetheless, I’m always grateful because they think enough of me to want to do something special.  Blessed to have them.

As I go through these days leading up to Mother’s Day, I can remember dealing with a severe medical condition called endometriosis during my teenage years. For years I was riddled with pain that no one should ever have to endure.  I’ve come to learn this is a very common disease, especially for African American women.  It wasn’t until I went off to college that I was actually diagnosed.  I underwent surgery and life got better (thank God). The doctor told my parents and I there was a chance I would never have children.  Of course that was heartbreaking because it was always my desire to have a family.  I’m so very thankful for the three children God has allowed me to have. When I found out I was pregnant with my first child back in 2005, I was disappointed in myself because I was not married at the time. I felt I had failed my parents, but most of all, I had let God down. But God is forgiving and He allows us to start over and do better.  He turned my mistake into such a blessing. For a long time I still beat myself up about it because I had a vision of how I wanted life to go, but ultimately, God was in control. He overturned what the doctor said.

Needless to say, no one can prepare you for the job and career of being a mom. There’s no textbook or assessment that can predict whether or not you will be successful. There are many days I want to give up and throw in the towel. Times I just cannot believe “my child” did that! Frustrated with the fact that I’m having to say for the second or third time to do something. But from the bottom of my heart, it is rewarding and I love seeing them grow.

On this upcoming Mother’s Day, I thank God for allowing me to mother Rayana, Tavares, and Takira. It is through them I learn unconditional love, patience, and forgiveness. I see me in them! My imperfections as a parent and child are shown through them, but because of that I have the opportunity to grow.

Remember, children are a GIFT from GOD!

Peace and Blessings to all who read this….

Marriage QT

It is important for me to spend quality time with my husband. Working full time and having a family to take care of can sometimes distance a marriage. You spend so much time taking care of household duties, building your career, and parenting that you can become complacent with the concept of marriage. When my husband and I met over 11 years ago, we spent a lot of time together, but after starting a family, the quality time we used to have with it just being the two of us, decreased. It’s not that we don’t spend any time together because that’s certainly not the case, but there is definitely a difference. The uninterrupted conversations we used to have are now interrupted with little ones vying for our attention. The romantic dinners have become an orchestrated process of who eats what and keeping voices down at the table. But I give my husband kudos because he makes it his mission to keep me smiling and spend time with me. Last night we got the opportunity to enjoy dinner and a movie while the kids attended a church sleepover (#lovethatdove). It is important for parents to have a night out to reconnect and remember why they chose one another. And yes, marriage is a choice. It takes work. There are times of joy, anger, laughter, stress, financial upsets, and so much more. The vows you made to one another will get tested. The important thing is to pass the test!  No marriage is perfect and anyone who says their’s is, is lying and deceived. What I do say is spend time with one another. Carve out the time to talk and keep the love alive!

Keep God first and everything else will fall into place, that includes your marriage.

Mom Priorities

I feel so distant from my blog right now. It’s been over a month since my last post and I’ve missed writing. It’s hard at times to take a moment for myself and jot down my thoughts. With a husband, 3 kids, and now a dog, the time is few and far in between. There is homework, piano lessons, school activities, and so much more that requires my time.  Like I’ve said before, in my mind I can do it all, but in reality, time just won’t allow for it. Over time I had to get to the realization that I have to prioritize the important things in my life. The laundry can wait, at least temporarily. The entire floor doesn’t have to be mopped, I can do a section. I don’t have the energy to clean all four bathrooms, but I can tackle at least one. So, I’m learning to focus on the important things in my life, because my tomorrow is not promised, and I would like to make memories and not regrets. Life can be so cumbersome, but I refuse to throw what I’ve always wanted to the side…..family. So for me, my relationship with my Heavenly Father will ALWAYS be first. Without work, my marriage wouldn’t exist which causes a breakdown of my family. I have to work to generate income, but I believe in working smart and not hard. Although money makes the world go round, it’s not everything and I don’t have to be a millionaire.

These are my priorities, what’s your?

Do they ever stop fighting?

In my head my kids are the best of friends, while in reality they fuss and argue just about all the time. Granted, on average they are two years apart: 6,8, and 10. My biggest question is, “will they ever stop fighting?” It’s like from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, constant arguing. Well, to be honest, there are some times where they get along and play just fine. Sometimes all three, but mostly just two of them. My oldest is a loner and enjoys her space, but she allows her little sister to join in at times. My son wants to hang with his boys, but his little sister wants to tag along too. Wow, I need to find my little one something to do!  It just amazes me how different they are. They each have a unique personality, but I wish they’d mesh more. My husband tells me to stop getting so worked up over it, but it’s like I can’t. I just want everyone to get along and live in peace and harmony. I have asked moms of older children if it gets any better……mostly it changes about what they are arguing about, but it doesn’t really stop.

We are all in relationships whether husband and wife, brother and sister, mother, daughter, father, son, whatever. Part of the relationship is not getting along all of the time. As we mature, we learn to communicate better and express ourselves in a manner that is not offensive to others. No relationship is perfect and they all take work. As a mom, I’m training my kids to listen to one another, respect each other, and to treat the next person how you want to be treated. I think it’s advice that we can all use and appreciate.

My Prayer

God, grant me the patience to not give up. The determination to keep pushing forward. The love I need to give to my family. The confidence to know I’m a good mother. The faith to carry me through the hard times. The joy to laugh when I want to cry. A listening ear to stay in tune to what’s needed. The strength to persevere during times of weakness. But most of all, keep me close and never let go or give up on me!

Amen.

I’m still here

I know it’s been a few months, but I’m still here. Life over the past few months has been a roller coaster. School has ended for the kids, and summer is in full swing. I have changed jobs and I’m very happy with my career direction. We got our first dog and we’re all excited. The kids are their usual selves, but now they call the dogs name just as much as mine and my husband’s. The parenting challenges still exist and I’m still trusting God to help me as I learn to be the parent my kids need. So, know that I haven’t stopped and I’m getting back to my blog!

A Healthier Me

My mother told me my body would change after having children, but I never realized how much. After having three children in 5 years, the weight I was able to lose after kid #1 found a happy place on me by the time I got to kid #3.

Well, after being diagnosed with high blood pressure, then sleep apnea, and most recently, prediabetes, I was done! Done eating all the unhealthy foods! I started seeing a nutritionist about six months ago. Having someone to be accountable to has truly helped.  I like having my curves (and so does my hubby), but what I don’t like is putting myself at risk for a stroke, or heart disease, and sleeping with a CPAP machine at night. Lil by lil, the pounds are coming off. It’s going to take dedication and determination.  I’m being an example to my kids and showing them that it’s important to eat right, exercise, and be healthy. It’s not about being skinny, it’s about taking care of the body God has given me.

After just recently celebrating Mother’s Day, I want to be around for and with my children for as long as possible.  So if sacrificing that extra slice of pizza, or the blizzard from Dairy Queen, or even the sweet iced tea that tastes so great, means a healthier body and generates longevity, my kids are definitely worth that!

Without kids….

Without kids I am not a mother, just simply a woman. Being a mother is teaching me how to show unconditional love, patience, and selflessness. If I had no kids, the house would be quiet, and I’d be left with just my thoughts. Without kids, there would be not hugs and telling me about what their day was like. I have complained before, but when I begin to think how empty my life would be without kids, I start to smile and think of all that I’m glad for because of my kids. I’m glad I can celebrate Mother’s Day, attend special events for them, chaperone on field trips, help with homework, be a Mighty Mom at their school, or just spend the day snuggled up watching a movie. Without kids there is no me……

Mental Strength

My mind is always in constant overdrive. I feel like I am planning and thinking in my sleep. As a mom, I am always wondering how the kids are doing at school….are they learning, being treated OK, or just simply having a good day. I sit at my desk with my to-do list of action items to complete while simultaneously thinking about what to cook for dinner. It’s enough to wear you out. No wonder I’m mentally exhausted. I want to have one of those “Calgon” moments where I can sit in a bubble bath and relax my mind and body. Then I snap back to reality and remember there is too much to be done and no time for bubble baths.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste! I totally get that, but what if i just want a small break. You know, to recharge. Every morning I thank God for allowing me to see a new day, for waking up next to my loving husband, and for being able to walk up the stairs and get the kids out of bed. That’s huge to me! Immediately after processing the fact that I’m grateful, my mind starts to spin and I’m in combat mode ready to conquer the day.

To all the mom’s, I share Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Blessings and strength to all!

House Rules

I must admit having a larger home is exciting, but daunting at the same time. As of family of six, we need the space. Unfortunately, the kids don’t understand or appreciate the concept of cleanliness. My obsessive compulsive disorder of keeping the house clean and everything in its place drives me bonkers!! My dilemma are the shoes, clothes, and toys on the floor that I’m constantly tripping over or stepping on. Upon my perusing of Pinterest (daily I might add) I found a Pin I might be able to use. Becky @yourmondernfamily suggests this rule: for every item picked up off the floor, bedtime is reduced by 5 minutes. Love it! I’m so adding this to the house rules (now I just have to enforce it). I’m convinced the children are plotting against me and are junky on purpose. So what’s a mom to do without driving herself crazy? I pray for patience, find frustration, and end up cleaning. Like any other rule, our house rules are not perfect, but boundaries have to be set. So I’m going to see if this rule helps me by making the kids more accountable. I’m also open to suggestions!!!