The Season of Thanksgiving

In a few days we will share in a day of thanksgiving. For some people it will be about the turkey, ham, Mac-n-Cheese, deserts, and the thought of eating everything in sight. I too will partake in the festivities of food, but I take this time to really reflect on the many things I am thankful for.

Many times I get caught up on the things that don’t quite add up to where I’d have them be in my life: lack of sufficient finances, stresses of parenting, and undesirable weight, just to name a few. However, to give thanks is to be grateful for the things I do have.

In this season of Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

  1. Life – I just recently celebrated my 39th birthday. I know people who didn’t make it this far in life. I’m still here to live out my purpose.
  2. My husband – I never could have imagined a person who wanted to just give me everything and make me smile. No me without him!
  3. My children – To have given life to 3 beautiful people who are healthy and growing up before me is priceless!
  4. My career – IT has been my passion and I’ve gotten the opportunity to grow and increase my skill set. It’s ever changing and intriguing!
  5. My parents – To still have my mom and dad who continue to support me, encourage me, and inspire me!
  6. My siblings – We don’t talk daily but we always have each other’s back. Family is important!
  7. Friendship – I don’t have many close friends, but the ones I do have love me unconditionally and although distance separate us, I can always depend on them when I need a shoulder.
  8. Church – The place I know I can always hear a word from God to help my life.

I don’t have everything my lil heart may desire at this stage of my life, but the things listed above is enough to keep me pushing forward. I try to remind myself of this daily because in this life we tend to get clouded by all the things wrong instead of all the things that have gone right. I’m almost brought to tears as I reflect.

In this season give thanks for all you’ve been blessed to enjoy, acquire, and achieve. This year has been filled with many tragedies, incidents, and unfavorable events. Take time to reflect on the good that has also happened and you may be surprised just how much you have to be thankful about.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Forgive Yourself

This title sounds simple enough, right?  However, it is one of the hardest things to do.  Forgiving yourself is a critical step in realizing you are not perfect.

What are you forgiving yourself for?  As I write this post, I am self reflecting and remembering the reason I wanted to take this journey.

I need to forgive myself for yelling at the the kids when they made a mistake.  I need to forgive myself for being embarrassed in the store when my son was running and being loud.  I need to forgive myself for taking it personally that my kids didn’t like the dinner I prepared last night.  I need to forgive myself for not having the flat tummy I had pre-pregnancy (I do have 3 kids!).  I need to forgive myself for having a career and growing professionally.  I need to forgive myself for not having a squeaky clean home.  I need to forgive myself when my girls hair isn’t the cutest.  I need to forgive myself for all those things I have conjured up in my mind and feel like I’m being judged on.  I need to forgive myself for not being perfect.  For making mistakes in my parenting.  For not trusting my instincts.  For being weak and not disciplining consistently.  For allowing the kids to have way too much sugar!  For just being a mom who’s learning as she goes.

I don’t have it all figured out and I probably never will.  But that’s ok and I’m going to have to be ok with knowing that.  It’s tough because I want so badly to do everything right.  But according to who’s level of right am I comparing that against?  Is it from the TV shows, the magazines, or social media outlets?  Time out!  Who say’s they are right.

I encourage all moms to lighten up, forgive yourself, and trust that your are doing a good job.  Stop comparing yourself to other moms or trying to parent according to someone else’s terms.  Don’t even try to be your mom.  Just parent!

I pray to be the mother God wants me to be.  To be loving to my children, to show God in the life I live so they may grow to do the same, and to encourage them to be the best they can be.

Forgiving others can be tough, but forgiving yourself is even harder.  Look yourself in the mirror, and say, “I forgive you” and show yourself some unconditional love!

Blessings!

Release and Relate

I’m sure there are differing opinions as to whether or not motherhood is tough. I can say with certainty that it’s definitely not easy.

I am a very family oriented person and very passionate about everything I do. Whatever’s on my heart I tend to wear it on my sleeve. Well, the past few weeks have been somewhat stressful with different things that have been going on with my son. In times like these I’m greatful for family.

In talking with my brother and sister this weekend, one thing I realized is that none of us are alone or at least we don’t have to be. When I’m able to express my frustrations of parenting, complications of being a mother, or anxiety that I’m doing it all wrong, I feel a release.

There is no one way to parent. I think talking and sharing experiences lets other moms know their feelings are normal and they aren’t in this world alone. I don’t have it all together and I’m learning every day. I can’t be ashamed that I have tough days, that my kids can be a handful, or that I have times in which I want to give up and not even be a mom. My healing is in my honesty.

It can be tough being a mom. Many days I just want silence in the house. I want to get through a week without a phone call from the kids school or a note in one of their folders. I want the kids to be friendly to one another. I want laundry to somehow shrink. I want all the things I dreamed motherhood would be to show itself at once!

Reality versus dreams. That makes me laugh out loud because my reality isn’t what I dreamt motherhood would be, and that’s ok. I’m learning that I’ve got to make the best of what God has given me.

So, know that we moms have a support system. Each other. I don’t have to be fearful of my feelings. It’s better to release them rather than letting them rule you. Reach out and share your story. You never know when your story is someone else’s salvation.

Parenting Woes

Is it OK to become so annoyed with your children you don’t want to talk or deal with them anymore? I’m inclined to say “yes”, but they’re mine and I can’t just throw them away.

If only there was a class I could have taken to prepare me for the times when my kids would talk back, roll their eyes, stomp away in anger, or slam their bedroom door. Maybe it would have provided me instructions on how to handle these situations better than I do now.  Unfortunately, there was no such class before I became a mom, so I have to rely on memory of what my parents did, prayer, and of course, plain old common sense.

We all have those parenting woes and it doesn’t mean you are a horrible parent for not dealing with it in the most pleasant way.  It just means you’re normal.  Just the other day I totally went off on my son.  He’s 9 years old now, but he needed an attitude adjustment and I was the right person to give it to him!  I let him know he doesn’t own anything in our home and if it were not for me and my husband, he wouldn’t even have a home.  It’s not a good quality trait to be ungrateful and think you are entitled.  I mean my goodness, does it even cross a kid’s mind that they have what they have because they’ve been blessed to have it.  Well, evidently, not that particular day in my son’s little 9 year old brain.  I had to clue him in!  That in no way diminishes my love for him.  If I didn’t give him clarity and understanding, it would be my fault that he’s lost.  Not on my watch!

Sometimes I think my kids have it out for us.  I make my husband laugh when I say we’re outnumbered; it’s us against them! Three against two!

Kids can make you laugh and then turn on you and make you cry.  They can be your best friend and days later become your worst enemy.  They make you proud to be their parent and then there are times you totally want to disown them.

What I do know is that no matter what parenting woes I face, I wouldn’t change having my kids in my life.  They give me purpose!  I greatly enjoy the conversations we have and although there are truly times I want to disown them, I must admit, I’ve come to enjoy this thing called Motherhood.  My kids don’t need a mom who’s trying to be politically correct and be what she “thinks” society demands of her.  They need a mom who is down to earth, who doesn’t mind sharing her childhood experiences (both good and bad).  Someone who will love them in spite of how they behave and who doesn’t toss them to the wind for making mistakes.  That’s why motherhood isn’t about being perfect, it’s simply about loving your children unconditionally, through their imperfections (and yours), and teaching them to be the best person they can be.

1 Peter 4:8 Living Bible (TLB)

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults.

Life’s Detours

It seems like forever since my last blog post.  Life can certainly take you in a different direction than what you initially planned. I wanted to start this blog as my journal through motherhood to express my feelings, the ups, the downs, and all in between, but it’s been hard to do that simply because of the life of being a mom.  I haven’t given up and I still dream of making this blog into a place where I not only talk about the joys, sorrows, frustrations, and experiences of motherhood, but other moms will be able to join me.

Being a mom is an all consuming task that spans many facets of your life.  The past seven days has been one of those times where I have been tossed to and fro with life’s many “trials”.  My nine year old son has had asthma since he was at least a year old and we are used to flare ups, but last weekend threw me for a loop.  My husband was out of town for the weekend, my son complained of not being able to breathe so I did what we always do…..rely on his rescue inhaler.  Unfortunately, after hours of this process he didn’t get better and had a high grade fever.  It was 10pm.  I packed up my girls, dropped them at my in-laws and headed to the ER.  After a breathing treatment and a chest X-ray, the diagnosis was pneumonia. I never saw that coming.  We picked up the prescribed medication and began treatment as directed, including following up with his primary care physician.  Well, low and behold, she said his lungs sounded horrible and we did around the clock breathing treatments for the next 24 hours.  This meant no school or work for us.  She wanted to admit him to the hospital because of his low oxygen level but entrusted that we had done this numerous times and could get him better with proper medication and breathing treatments.  Fast forward to today.  He’s improved, but still recovering.

See what I mean when I say being taken in a direction you didn’t plan.  I was expecting last weekend to just hangout with the kids, but life threw me a curveball.

Your dreams don’t die, but they may take a hiatus. So although I haven’t had the time to blog, I still have the desire to and as long as I have that, my passion will remain to always come back to this. Life has many paths and although we don’t understand why we end up where we end up, we have to trust that God is always in control and will not lead us in the wrong direction.  Keep moving towards your dreams and don’t give up when you have to take a detour.  At some point you’ll end up right back on the path you initially started on and still reach your destination.  So when there are no active posts, I haven’t stopped, I’m just temporarily detoured.

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.